The title probably made you think, “only one Ayah for a whole week? That is little!” That’s the point of the challenge, to start soo little that we have no excuse but to make it a habit and part of our routine. So, what is this challenge really about and how do we go about it?
As we all know, emaan (faith) fluctuates and it’s sometimes very difficult to be consistent with our acts of worship. Sometimes, it’s easy to read or memorize pages of the Qur’an a day, but there are also days when we go for a whole week, month, or even years without memorizing any Surah or Ayah (verse) of the Qur’an.
It is very important to make it a daily habit to read or listen to the Qur’an. But we all have different abilities, levels of emaan and different ways of staying motivated. It’s beautiful and good to memorize half a page of the Qur’an a day and there are many people doing it, but most people couldn’t keep up with that and easily just give up altogether.
When it comes to worship in Islam, Allah values consistency more, even if it is small. When we take very small steps to accomplish something, what we don’t realize is that within a period of a time, we see ourselves doing much more than we probably would have done taking bigger steps and giving up down the line.
“The most beloved actions to Allah are those performed consistently, even if they are few.” Al Bukhari
If you would like to join this challenge, here are some important tips:
1. Purifying intention
It goes without saying, we should always purify our intentions in whatever we do. In shaa Allah, Allah will make it easier and rewarding. Intentions could always change, so we must make it a habit to constantly reflect and ask Allah to get us on the right path.
2. Deciding where to start
You’re free to start with whatever Surah you prefer. It could be the short or longer ones; as long as you haven’t yet memorized it. What makes this challenge effective is that you can do it with any Surah in the Qur’an without feeling overwhelmed because you’d be working with only an Ayah a week. Also, choose your starting day of the week and add a new Ayah every week on that same day. You can also choose a specific time of the day to start if you prefer. If it’s easier for you, you can write down your progress. I made a planner specifically for this. Click here to download it. If you use this planner, simply print it as many times as you like on A4 sheets.
3. Reading and memorizing an Ayah
After deciding the Surah you would like to start with, memorize the first Ayah. Begin by first listening to an audio recitation of the verse. Repeat out loud after the reciter once you familiarize yourself with it. If you have children, reciting out loud will have an extra bonus! They will memorize along with you without even realizing it. For the recitation, I would recommend reciters who read slowly and emphasize on tajweed and tarteel (rules and clarity) such as Husary, Ibrahim Al Akhdar, and Minshawy. There are many apps on Android or iOS that you can download. You also have the option to use sites such as House of Quran. If you don’t know how to read the Qur’an directly in Arabic, you may read it using transliteration, but I would recommend learning how to read Arabic to make it easier to memorize the Qur’an down the line.
4. Reading the meaning
You have a whole week to try to understand the meaning of the verse if you don’t speak Arabic fluently. You’re free to either do so word-by-word or by simply reading the general meaning. You can read it multiple times throughout the week if you prefer. Because you’d be dealing with just one Ayah, you won’t feel overwhelmed and the meaning would be better ingrained in your memory, in shaa Allah.
5. Reading the Tafsir
The Tafsir of the Qur’an goes in depth about the meaning of verses, events that surrounded the revelations, and probably related stories. This is important for those who speak or do not speak Arabic. You don’t have to do this part, but it will help you understand the Qur’an even better. Again, doing this with only one Ayah for the whole week would make it a breeze. I would recommend Tafsir ibn Kathir.
6. Sticking to the routine!
Once you begin, you may find this challenge too easy and want to increase the number of Ayaat; do NOT! Why am I saying this? Doing more from the beginning may result in you giving up later down on once you feel a bit overwhelmed. The point of this challenge is to build a healthy and effective routine without feeling overwhelmed.
Once you form a habit that you’re comfortable with, you can slowly and gradually increase the number of verses. Please, for the first four weeks, do NOT memorize more than one Ayah a week. If you want to increase it after the first month, go ahead. If you find yourself falling back, get back to one Ayah. But, if you are comfortable with two Ayaat after a month, you may increase it again. Basically, go slowly and steadily. But whenever you see yourself falling back, decrease the number of Ayaat. I hope you get the point.
1. Gaining rewards
There are many virtues of reading the Qur’an. One of them is the reward gained by simply reading each letter of the Qur’an. The Prophet (peace be upon him) was quoted to have said, “Whoever reads a letter from the Book of Allah will receive a reward. And the reward is multiplied by ten. I’m not saying that Alif-Laam-Meem is a letter. Rather, Alif is a letter, Laam is a letter, and Meem is a letter.” At-Tirmidhi
Now imagine repeating those letters multiple times a day and week.
2. Getting into a good habit
Don’t worry about how little the numbers may be, focus on the fact that you would be reading and studying the Words of Allah. How amazing is that! And doing so on a regular basis … nothing beats that.
3. Getting long-term memory of the Qur’an
Reciting the same Ayah for an entire week will make it almost impossible to ever forget it. Memorizing a lot at once is possible, but what is the likelihood of retaining the information on the long term? Don’t get me wrong, it is possible, but it’s more effective to start slowly and first make memorization an enjoyable habit.
4. Loving the Qur’an and having it on your mind all the time
Repeating the same verse multiple times will make it easier for you to enjoy the process. It will make you feel less intimidated and always look forward to reciting it throughout the day.
5. Getting closer to the Qur’an
There’s nothing better in this world than listening to the Words of the Creator of the Heavens and the earth. We often take having access to the Qur’an for-granted to the point where we could go for months or even years without opening the Book. Starting slowing may help take care of that problem.
6. Feeling closer to Allah
One thing that makes many of us often fall back is when we feel distant from Allah. The problem with that is that it becomes easier to sin because we don’t feel a connection or aren’t very conscious of our actions. Once we start to feel a special bond, it helps us eliminate unwanted actions we could have otherwise found ourselves doing.
7. Gaining in-depth knowledge
As you would be learning the meaning and hopefully the Tafsir of each Ayah, your knowledge of the Qur’an will increase, in shaa Allah.
8. Feeling better about yourself
Many of us have had times when we felt that we were doing it all right; memorizing, reading the Qur’an, and doing many other extra acts of worship, then it all disappeared. How did that feel? We probably felt low, like hypocrites, and tried to shy away from Allah because we didn’t think we were good enough. That feeling can create more problems down the line. It’s normal to have highs and lows, but when we get soo down that we feel like making efforts is now pointless, that’s where the problem lies and it starts opening doors to more worms. Creating a habit of connecting with the Qur’an every day by simply repeating the same Ayah for an entire week can make a huge difference in how we feel about ourselves as Muslims.
9. Possible and easy for anyone
This challenge can be done by just about anyone with a minimum ability who puts his/her mind to it. The efforts are little, but the rewards are great. If reading is a struggle for you, this is the time to practice. If you don’t think you have a strong memory, this challenge is for you. If you just became a Muslim and don’t feel confident enough in reading the Qur’an, this challenge is for you. If you believe pronouncing Arabic words is a challenge for you, well, the repetition in this challenge will make it easier for you in shaa Allah. And, you get more reward for your efforts while struggling.
If you feel low and want to get back on track with the Qur’an or Islam in general, this challenge is for you. If you’re seeing yourself slowly decreasing on all the extra acts of worship you used to do, this challenge is for you. If you just want to create a consistent habit with the Qur’an, you have to try this challenge.
Of course, it’s always better to learn the Qur’an with a qualified teacher, but don’t limit yourself if you don’t have that option. Besides, even if you did have a teacher, you would still have to be the one practicing the recitation and the teacher would correct you when you make mistakes. So either way, it’s important to form a habit of reading the Qur’an as often as possible, even if it’s repeating the same verses multiple times. Remember, it’s not a race; some of the companions of the Prophet (peace be upon him) took many years to memorize and understand the Qur’an.
So, are you in?
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