Last month before summer ends, we let the days go by or wrap up summer courses before it all starts over again! To get that degree, we consistently keep up with projects, homework, study for tests, etc. And sure enough, most of us accomplish this ‘goal’ within the time we aimed for.
But do we have similar goals for learning the deen? It might be something we admired–and perhaps desired–but never really worked for. It is not a shock to find most of us spent our youth and failed to reach any significant levels of acheivement with respect to our knowledge of Islam–which is supposed to be our way of life. Do we prepare to pass this life’s test even remotely at the same level as we do for our duniya education and goals? How regularly do we study the Qur’an or the Arabic language?
If you have asked any of the above questions, you are amongst the thousands of muslims facing the same problem. What is the resolution? Study the Qur’an and the sunnah of the Prophet (صلي الله عليه وس) on a regular basis.
The Messenger of Allah (صلي الله عليه وس) said, “I am leaving you with two murshids.” The term murshid refers to the one who guides to the right path. The first is the talking murshid, the Qur’an, the second is the silent murshid, mawt or death. These are the only two things that will lead us to the right path: learning Qur’an and remembering death. If we truly remember death, we realize we have a _dead_line, and would work towards our goals in an efficient manner. Insha’Allah, the following outlines a recommended routine.
Try to read the Qur’an on a regular basis. It is better to read small portions consistently, rather than large portions occasionally. A good start would be from the interpretation of the 30th juzu: pray qiyam, and read from it at night. Those who say they do not feel submissive prayers should try this and see the results. This way, you truly taste the sweetness of qiyam. Suggested choices for interpretation:
- Mukhtasar Tafseer Ibn-Katheer (The Abridged Interpretation of Ibn-Katheer).
- Fee thilal Al Qur’an (In the Shade of the Qur’an) by Sheik Sayyed Kutb (part 6 has the 30th juz interpretation)
Try to observe what time of the week most of the family members are around. Read one topic from a book weekly with them. Even if you cannot cover the full topic, set up the family halaqa to be at least an hour long. You can incorporate this with any picnics or outgoing activities that your family takes part in to make it more enjoyable and rewarding! Some good books include:
- Riyad As-Saliheen (The Gardens of the Pious) by Al-Imam An-Nawawi. Explains kind treatment towards parents, Qiyam, praying at masjid, etc. and it states all the authentic ahadith only for the specific topics.
- Al-Imam An-Nawawi’s 40 Hadith, Commentary by Jamaal al-Din M. Zarabozo
The Prophet (صلي الله عليه وس) said: “None of you believes until he loves me more than he loves himself.” [Bukhari]
How many of us claim that we love the Prophet (صلي الله عليه وس) more then ourselves? How much do we know about him? In order to truly love him more then ourselves, we must first learn the seerah, learn about his life, learn about manners, and learn about his sunnah. A good way to do this is to set goals for yourself, to read at least one book that allows you to learn more about the Prophet (صلي الله عليه وس) and derive lessons for yourself. This can be done monthly or bi-monthly, depending on how fast you read. Suggested books:
- Fiqh As-Seerah (understanding the life of the Prophet) by Sheikh Said Ramadan Al-Buty.
- Ar-Raheek Al-Makhtoom (The Sealed Nectar), it teaches of the life of prophet as well as lessons that can be taken from it.
- Fiqh As-Sunnah (Understanding the Tradition of the Prophet, especially part 1) by Sheikh Sayyed Sadek. Outlines how the Prophet performed wudu’ (ablution), prayed, fasted and so on in detail.
May Allah (سبحانه وتعالى) allow us all to make the best use of our limited lifespans, ameen!