The Prophet’s (pbuh) Companions (may Allah be pleased with them) were totally open about their iman highs and lows. Not only did the Prophet (pbuh) reassure them that this is normal, he even talked about needing to constantly connect with the Quran in order to feel it.
People expect to have an instant and magical connection with the Quran and that this connection will get them through thick and thin and will last forever. In this day and age people talk about it as though you either have a connection or you don’t, and unfortunately this makes many of us feel excluded or guilty when we go through periods of ‘iman lows’.
Here are a few tips that can help us to create a connection with the Quran and Inshallah if we stay consistent, we will be able to continue and increase this connection over time. With time we will develop a deep love for the words of God and will feel lost and empty on the days that we don’t pick up the Quran and read it or don’t put some on to play and listen to.
1. Pick up the Qur’an!
This is the first step, but for many it’s also the hardest! Take it off your bookshelf, remove that dust, and keep it accessible (maybe place it on your coffee table or bedside table). Get used to the feel of the Quran in your hands once again, and seeing it in close proximity. If it is always visible to you, you’re more likely to pick it up and read.
2. Start reading
Start with even a few verses or just half a page if you must, but make sure you read every day. Remember, consistency is the key to building a habit.
I recommend having a regular scheduled time (e.g. after Fajr, Maghrib or Isha prayer), or just as you sit down and are about to switch the TV on or pick up your phone, pick up the Quran instead for a few minutes (as it should be accessible) and read. If you’re not ritually pure (i.e. don’t have wudu), use an app instead.
3. Start Qur’an journaling
A great new trend I have seen people sharing is Quran Journaling, which involves studying small portions of what you read to help you understand it better as well as connect to it.
For example, this may involve reading one verse and thereafter writing some notes on what it means, how it may be important to you and your life, and how you may apply it. Some people like to annotate, colour and highlight their notes and create visual infographics. This is great if you have kids too!
4. Learn proper tajweed
Along with reading and contemplating, the Quran is a book which is meant to be recited. Make a conscious effort to learn tajweed (rules of pronunciation) by enrolling in classes, finding a teacher, or watching videos. Make an effort! It will start off quite hard, but with time you will enjoy the beauty of reading.
5. Study tafseer
The Quran is the word of God, and it goes without saying that God’s words are incredibly profound and timeless, so understanding them requires diving a little deeper into the meanings behind the words.
Whether you join a local study group or watch tafsir videos online, you should really look into it. You will get a feel for the reasons why the verses were revealed, the historical context as well the rulings that came along with them. It will not only help you understand why the verses say what they say, but also how they can relate to your own life.
6. Study Arabic
Similar to the previous tip, one of the best ways to connect with the deeper meanings of the Quran is to learn Arabic. Don’t worry! I know this sounds daunting, but take it one baby step at a time. Even learning a few key words will help you understand parts of the Quran as you read, and as an epic bonus, will increase your focus during Salah!
7. Join a Qur’an study group
I know how difficult it can be to find the motivation to do this on your own, so one of the best pieces of advice I can give is to join a local study group. Ask your local Masjid, youth group or student society about what’s available and attend regularly. A bonus is that you will make lots of great friends in the process.
8. Download an app
As we’re always on the go, it can be difficult to find a moment to sit down and open a physical copy of the Quran. This shouldn’t be an excuse to miss out on reading a few verses per day.
Find an app that you are happy with that you can listen to the Quran on, put it on your phone’s home screen, and use the spare moments of your day to open it and read.
9. Listen to the recitation of the Qur’an
As mentioned above, the Quran is very much a book that is recited, as well as read. In fact, one of its miracles is the various methods in which it can be recited. I find that the best way for me to fall in love with the Quran besides reading it is to listen regularly. Not only will this help you with Tajweed, but you will feel a sense of peace, calmness and tranquillity when listening.
10. Start memorising
Once you’ve begun to establish a better connection with the Quran, try picking up a habit of memorising small portions of the Quran. Start from the 30th Juz’ and pick some small Surahs to begin with. Not only will you have more verses to recite during Salah, but the act of revising these Surahs will keep you connected with the Quran.
All the best in your journey to reconnect with the Qur’an. There will be times when we may forget or not have time, but intending and trying and making an effort is the most important thing. Remember that Allah (swt) gives us hope when He tells us that when we take a step towards Him, He takes a bigger step, and if we come to Him walking He comes to us running!
No matter what stage you are at in your journey, there is always hope for all of us, no matter what our journey has looked like.