A letter written by my wife to our eldest daughter Rumaysah when she had completed the memorisation of Juz Amma. Alhamdulillah, Rumaysah has now memorised 5 juz of Qur’an. May Allah (swt) make us all of those who beautify the Qur’an with our actions.
A letter to my daughter……..
Assalamu alaykum sweetheart. I wanted to give you something very special to congratulate you and celebrate with you your hifdh of juz amma. I thought about what I could do for a long time and then the answer finally came to me. I realized the best present to give you is a reminder, not just of how much I love you and how proud I am of you, but a special reminder about some very important things. There will be times when I may not be with you to remind you of all these things, but insha’allah you will keep this letter safe and read it often. Read it especially at those times when things get a little difficult, you get a little stressed and you need a mother’s hug and some kind words to get you back on track.
So, let’s begin with thanking Allah. Thanking Allah for blessing you with life, for giving you health, for helping you to achieve everything you have achieved so far. It is Allah that gave you those beautiful eyes that you see with, those ears that you hear with, the tongue that you speak with and the body so perfectly formed that you are able to move about with and do various tasks. It is only because of Allah’s mercy and blessings that you have been able to memorize what you have and it will only be because of Allah’s mercy and blessings that you will be able to do more. I am of course very proud of all the hard work you have been doing. I know sometimes it hasn’t been easy. Sometimes the ayahs are so long, then there’s times when I haven’t been able to listen to you and all those times when we’ve tried to read and listen but the distractions have been too many – the biggest distractions being your younger sisters!
I want you to know that the journey of completing hifdh of Quraan is not a race. Sometimes it will be easy and at other times it will be difficult. This is nothing to panic about. Carry on with your hard work and always remember the words of the Prophet (saaw) when he said, “Verily the one who recites the Quraan beautifully, smoothly and precisely, he will be in the company of the noble and obedient angels. And as for the one who recites with difficulty, stammering or stumbling through its verses, then his reward will be multiplied twice”. So know that Allah sees you struggling and think of the rewards that you will be collecting even though you struggle. Make dua, trust in Allah and with Allah’s help you will get through it, insha’Allah. Of course I want to see you complete all 30 juz and have the honour of being a haafidha (protector) of the Quraan, but more than that I want you love the Quraan, to enjoy listening to it, reading it and reciting it. And as someone who has embarked upon a special journey to memorise the Quraan I want you to understand what exactly you are doing and what exactly it means to be a hafidha of the quraan.
The words you memorize are without a doubt the very words of our creator Allah, delivered to us through the Angel Gibreel to the Prophet (saaw). The Prophet’s wife Ayesha (may Allah be pleased with her) described the prophet (saaw) as being ‘the living Quraan’. He lived his whole life the way Allah told him to, with the guidance of the Quraan. The Prophet (saw) wasn’t selfish and didn’t just keep the Quraan to himself. He told the people about Allah and the things they were doing wrong, even when the people didn’t want to listen to him and wanted to hurt him. The Prophet (saw) changed all the bad things in Arabian society with the teachings of the Quraan and made it a beautiful and safe place to live. Many, many other people then realised that they were living the wrong way and also wanted to live according to the Quraan, worshipping only Allah. The Prophet (saaw) was the real hafidh, the real protector of the Quraan and this is how I would like you to become, insha’allah. Learning the words of the Quraan, the rules of tajweed and perfecting your recitation with just the right amount of stretching of the letters and pauses in the right places is just one part of the journey you have embarked upon. Understanding the words, living by them and working for them to change the society is the real struggle which must not be ignored and also requires your time and effort.
You my precious child, are living and growing up in very difficult times. There are so many bad things happening today, things which you know about and then other things which I don’t even know how to explain to you yet. And it is especially hard for the Muslims today. You know that the people today are very similar to the Quraysh. You learnt in the seerah of how they used to say bad things about the Prophet (saaw), how they did not want him or the Muslims to worship Allah and also what they did to Bilal and Summayah (may Allah be pleased with them). The people today do not like Islam, the Muslims or the words of the Quraan. They criticize our hijaabs and jilbaabs, they arrested many good Muslim people who wanted to tell the people about Allah and the Quraan and they are hurting the Muslims in many parts of the world. They do this because they are scared that the Muslims will turn back to the Quraan and want to live by it’s guidance in all parts of their lives.
You will remember from the book ‘The secret Garden’, what happened when the garden was neglected, locked up and not looked after. No-body could enjoy it, no- body could feel the peace or see it’s beauty. Instead there was just a gloomy mess. The people forgot how to use the garden and what it’s purpose was. Mary Lennox had to find the secret door and then work hard to bring the garden back to life. In the same way, people today have lost the real understanding of the quraan, it’s words and it’s purpose. The ummah, which should be like a beautiful, healthy and growing garden is full of weeds which hide away the beautiful roots of Islam. We need to remove those weeds and let the beauty of Islam grow again. The secret to achieving all this is to bring the Quraan back to life, to learn it, understand it, to live by it and teach it to others just like the Prophet (saw) taught us to do when he said “The best amongst you is the one who learns the Qur’an and teaches it [i.e., to others]”. When you learnt this hadith you came home to tell us of how you wanted to open your own school in the future and how you wanted to teach others. I have seen you teach your sisters and even teach your father and me and I know insha’allah you will do a great job.
So my dearest, use your time wisely. Eat well, sleep well and work even harder. May you grow in strength and confidence and be a rahmah – a mercy for those around you. Keep the Quraan close to you always and remember it has the keys to the forever lasting gardens of jannah.