Ramadaan and the Quran
By: Bint Muhammad S.K.
“The month of Ramadaan [is that] in which was revealed the Quran, a guidance for mankind and clear proofs of the guidance and the criterion (between right and wrong). So whoever sights [the new moon of] the month (or, whoever is present during the month), let him fast it; and whoever is ill or on a journey – then an equal number of other days. Allah intends for you ease and does not intend for you hardship and [wants] for you to complete the period and to glorify Allah for that to which He has guided you; and perhaps you will be grateful.” (Al-Quran 2:185)
He was terrified, trembling with fear, as he said to her, “Cover me… cover me” – those famous words that resonate with the story of a man who grew up in a time of corruption upon corruption; who was pure of heart despite it all; who would treat well even those that harmed him… who was approached by an angel and commanded to “recite”… But he could not recite, and the angel squeezed him, and again commanded him to recite – thrice, until the first verses of the noble Quran were revealed to him, there in the cave of Hira, in the blessed month of Ramadaan… And he, Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), recited the verses, then fled home to his wife…
(See The Sealed Nectar by Saifur-Rahman Al-Mubarakpuri 1979:137-144, for a more detailed narration)
Let us step forward into the present…The blessed month of Ramadaan is one in which many Muslims strive in practicing Islam: men who do not have beards start to grow them, women who do not don hijab try to do so, the television is put in its “kafan” (shroud) and shunned, and people’s spirituality “flies on a high”. In addition, this month is somewhat reputed for competition in Quran recital – particularly between the Huffaadh (memorisers of the Quran). Sounds good? Yes, of course…
However, certain issues need to be addressed and resolved, first of which is: Ramadaan is not the only month in which we should be practicing Islam – the effort should be lifelong, and in all aspects of our lives In Sha Allah. Secondly, the objective of reciting Quran in Ramadaan is not that we complete the most khatams. Indeed, the reward of every good deed is multiplied in Ramadaan, but focus should be more on quality than quantity. Sheikh ‘Abdullah Ibn Baz (may Allah have mercy on him) has said regarding recitation of the Quran, “It is better not to finish it in less than three days, because three days is the shortest period that the Prophet (PBUH) instructed for ‘Abdullah bin ‘Amr bin Al-‘As… Reading the Quran in less than three days may lead to a hasty reading, one that is bereft of contemplation” (Fatawa Islamiyah vol.7:30). My sister, my brother, if we speed through our recitation of the Quran with much of it inaudible; without tranquility, tajweed (proper pronunciation) and taghanni (melodiously)… how much of justice will we be doing to it?
May Allah guide us, accept from us, and make this Ramadaan a time of lasting reformation for us all.