My Little Quran Buddy

 

my little quran buddy
My little Quran buddy

 

بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ

Dear friends, I would like to share with you something which made me very happy!! For me, it is an achievement too good to be true! This happened a year ago. Yet, I can’t cease being pleased about it. My son, who was then just a six-year-old had memorized 30th para (last part) of Quran! Allahu Akbar. But there is more to be happy about. With him, his thirty plus years old mommy (me) memorized Juzz Amma too!!!! Alhamdhulillah. And we did it ourselves by the grace of Allah. If you see my journey, you would understand the reason behind my uncontainable happiness.

I had been childless for the first few years after marriage. This is when I took up a course to study tafsir (explanation) of Quran. Like any other infertile Muslimah, I recited invocations of Zakkariya (PBUH).

Zakkariya As invocations

Quran clearly showed the state at which Zakkariya (PBUH) asked Allah for a child. It was more than a mere desire. Zakkariya (PBUH) was an old man with a barren wife. This is when he prayed for a child! His humble plea showed the prophet’s Tawakul (Trust) in Allah. He wasn’t unhappy with Allah’s decree. There a strong reason for his request. HE WANTED SOMEONE WORTHY TO INHERIT HIS PROPHETHOOD! Subahan Allah.

Zakkariya As reason for invocation

I had no idea what had Allah decreed for me. As I read the above verses, I wondered why did I want to be a mom? I realized being a parent is a huge responsibility. We parents work hard to provide the best nourishment for our child. We spend a fortune on our little one’s education. Are we ensuring that they are brought up on the way of Islam? Do we instill the love of Quran in our child’s heart? How can we show our gratitude to Allah for being blessed with a child? We could learn from the attitude of Zakkariya (PBUH) on being blessed with a child.

zakkarriya as being grateful for the blessings

We are to raise our children as believers adhering to Allah’s command. Inspired by the narration in Quran, I prayed for a child with whom I could worship Allah with ease; a child who would be a means of sadaqa jariya (who becomes a reason for increase in my good deeds after the parent’s death). I resolved that If Allah blesses me with a child I would encourage him/her to memorize Quran. For the majority of my life, I had only uttered surat ul Fatiha and surat ul Ikhlas in my Salah! And, with no hafiz-a-Quran as far as I know in my lineage, this indeed is a very heavy resolution.

Alhamdulillah. The Most Merciful Allah soon blessed me with a son. When Zakir was less than three years old I attempted memorizing surat un Naba from a popular website. A group of ladies repeated the teacher as she recited the verses. I tried reciting the memorized verses at the end of the session. Whenever I stumbled my little innocent baby would help me!! I was stunned. The truth is every toddler would readily learn things which are repeated to them. Don’t we teach our children poems?

When my son was ready for a nursery, I wanted the best of the teachers to teach Quran to my son. Either he was dismissed as too young or the institute was too far away. The teachers who were willing to teach him at home would only spend a little time with him and I wasn’t satisfied with the outcome. With a birth of another son, life turned busier. I wasn’t sure when to start or whom to approach to help Zakir memorize the Quran.

As a kindergartener, Zakir used to return home early. To prevent him from troubling the baby, I used to play nasheed (Islamic poems/songs) on the computer. He would hum the nasheed while playing. This is

when it struck me – MY SON COULD LEARN TO RECITE FROM THE BEST QARI IN THE WORLD! Qari (Quran reciters) like Misry AlAfasy, Khalifa Al Tunaiji, Husairi and more could indeed help my son memorize the Quran! Several websites with memorizing option are freely available for us to explore! I tried such a website. Alhamdulillah. 4-year-old Zakir was happily reciting the verses I had just played on repeat mode! And here began our Quran memorization journey.

Prior to the birth of my son, I had attempted several times to memorize few small chapters from the Quran. We all know the story of the Hare and the tortoise. Let’s just say, my approach was more like that of the Hare! I could have never completed the mammoth task like this. I did pray and plead to Allah to make Quran my companion in the grave. But, I was not doing enough to give life to my supplications. The All-wise Allah, who had installed this desire in my heart also showed me a way to give life to my desire. I wanted my son to see Quran as a part of his life. This required me to take time out and dedicate myself completely for memorization. During this fixed time, nothing else was to be given preference! Could there be a better way to have quality time with one’s child?

Does one’s smartness or memorizing speed make a difference? It wouldn’t help if we are not consistent. I tried my best to make memorization an everyday task. It didn’t bother me if we just memorized a line or a word as long as we continued spending time with the Quran. We read and listened to the verse over and over again. Having a little buddy made this task much easier. My son’s company served as the much-needed push to keep me on the track.

All my life, I avoided studying anything I didn’t understand. Even as a teen I preferred reading the translation of the Quran to the original Arabic text! Back then, I just couldn’t read Arabic. Even after, I had taken up tafsir (explanation) course, I hesitated reading Arabic text while explaining translation to others. When I finally had to, I was down to tears due to my inability to read Arabic fluently. And in my tajweed (art of reciting Quran) class, I was probably the weakest student. Till date, my pronunciation in any language is far from perfect. Honestly, even in my early twenties, I would have never foreseen myself trying to memorize the Quran. But most merciful Allah has helped me start this journey of memorizing Quran. Alhamdulillah. When I could do it, anybody could do it with Allah’s help. The first step is the most difficult step.

 

Allah remembers/ mentions you as you remember Him
Allah draws close to one who moves towards Him

Additional benefits of Memorizing Quran

Like any other normal seven-year-old, my son loves to play and read books. He too demands the toys that are in trend. He dislikes cleaning up. He too plays pranks around his little brother and tests my patience with his mischief. I can’t keep him from being influenced by factors outside the home. But, I hope in future he’ll influence those around him in a positive way. When he first joined the school, he returned home singing a song in a language I didn’t understand. After he started memorizing, he returned home stating that he taught few of his friends the chapters he had learned. His love to memorize things surprise me. Even if it is not necessary, he readily memorizes any poem he loves during the school hours.

This journey was originally taken to help my son memorize Quran. The truth is – it is my little buddy who has helped me more. Like any other little chap, he is much faster than me in memorizing and refuses to continue unless I too memorize the verses. This has resulted in me spending more time with Quran when he is at school. I know I am not good enough to teach him or anyone else. His pronunciation is far better than mine (We still have a teacher helping him recite Quran). The necessity to improve my tajweed has dragged me to the masjid. I opted to visit a masjid which is a bit far from home. Well for every step towards masjid don’t our sins shed. Plus, a brisk walk is good for our health. Sometimes, I feel lazy. Then I think of a walk in the paradise which I could be rewarded for this. (Insha Allah <3) This gives me the much-needed boost.

Ascend with Quran

Insha Allah, I would like my son to join the halaqa (memorizing circle in masjid). There he could study much better. I don’t know how long will I be able to keep pace with him. Maybe soon he would not need me to help him out. Ah, it would be nice to see him take a role of the teacher and teach his brother (and me too). Yes, I would love to become a hafiza. I would love more to see my sons turn into Hafiz and live trying their best to please Allah. After all, parents are rewarded in heaven for this!

crown

Quran time is a blessing in other ways too. My naughty explorers are silent during and after Quran session. It keeps us away from TV and the computer. We have things to speak and laugh about, which only we understand. Zakir has even invented some Quran recitation games and pop quizzes!

I can’t thank Allah enough for blessing me with a son, who in turn helped me take this major step. Now I work like the tortoise (recollect the good old story about hare and the tortoise 😊). We take a step at a time. The finish line is far away. I am not sure whether I’ll be able to reach it. Insha Allah, I’ll never give up. May Allah make it easy on us. Aameen.

Would you like to take up such a journey? Who would be your memorizing buddy? Maybe my upcoming post on tips to memorize from home will motivate you further.

Per published in muslimahbloggers

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A Perfect husband

بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ

Gentlemen, have you wondered, “what a woman desires?!” Ladies, let’s discuss, “How should a perfect husband be?” What kind of person would you love to marry? For those of us who are married, what were/are your expectations from your life partner? Is he a romantic hero who would sweep you off the floor with his charm? Or, are you expecting him to shower love on you with roses and chocolates! I am sure every woman has her definition of Prince Charming/ Superman. Does anyone really fit in?

Having seen marriage of a near and dear ones break, I had lost trust in marriage. When it was my turn to get married, I was scared. I wondered, “How should a perfect husband be?” The romantic hero seen in movies appeared to be an immodest flirt. I was sure such would continue to woo other women too. I was looking for a real human not a superman. A husband should cater to physical, emotional and financial needs of a wife. Unfortunately, many have failed in one or all these aspects. Men mostly seem incapable of expressing love. Do you know your partner’s likes and dislikes? Can you recognize your spouse’s developing anger? How many activities do you do together? Thankfully, I learnt about a person who reassured my faith in marriage.

My search led me to take interest in life of a modest man. His wife didn’t have to search for a reason/activity to get his attention. At home he readily made himself available for her. He would help her with the household chores! Love needs to grow in a marriage. Occasional showering of gifts/flowers cannot replace the interaction required to nurture plant of love. Unlike most men he listened attentively to his wife. What else could be better to prove a man’s love than caring for every word his wife utters. He could make out his wife’s slightest expression of anger! When she is upset, he consoled her. He saw to it that, no one hurt his wife, including her family even if it was in his favor! He didn’t ignore his wife’s whims and fancies. In short, he used every chance to shower her with affection. He was not amidst those who would forget their wife at the time of honor. He saw to it she had same privileges as him. No person is devoid of human flaws. He didn’t make big deal of his wife’s flaw and rectified it with love!!!  A wife hopes her spouse cares for her parents and extended family the way she does. Our hero respected and cared for his wife’s relatives even after her death! Do you think a busy successful person cannot be like that? Does this make him appear as someone unsuccessful in life? Contrary to that, he is the most successful person ever. This humble king even sought his wife’s advice in important matters. He was none other our beloved Prophet (ﷺ).  This unlettered Prophet (ﷺ)  was wise enough to state.

Prophet was best towards his wives

With an open mind let us see how exactly he treated his wives. Gentlemen here are some tips to increase sweetness in a married life. 😉 Our Prophet (ﷺ) was indeed a perfect HUSBAND!!

humble

Help your wife with chores.

Most of us struggle to find quality time with our husband. Either spouses are too busy or emotionally void. Helping one another in everyday activities could keep love fresh and strong.

ultimate listener

Once, Aisha (RA) narrated a story of 11 women. It is a lengthy hadith where in each women relates about her husband. Prophet (ﷺ)   listened to her without showing any signs of fatigue or boredom. He didn’t interrupt her and finally related “I am to you as Abu Zar was to his wife.” [Shahi Al Bukhari]

I have not included the entire hadith here due to its length. Indeed one who reads this hadith could make out how attentive was the Prophet (ﷺ)   to his wife! J

During Hudaibiya treaty, Shabas were disappointed that they can’t perform umrah that year. None proceeded to sacrifice. Umm salamah (r.a)  said, “O the Prophet (ﷺ) of Allah! Do you want your order to be carried out? Go out and don’t say a word to anybody till you have slaughtered your sacrifice and call your barber to shave your head.” The Prophet (ﷺ) followed her advice. When the sahabas saw what their Rasool (ﷺ) had done, they copied him with zeal. [Shahih al Bukhari]

Our Prophet (ﷺ) didn’t feel inhibited to follow a wise advice of a woman.

Scintillating rectifier

jealous wife

There is no mention of him being angry at Ayesha RA. He realized her love for him had made her jealous. How wisely he handled the situation?!

benevolent

be good to wife's relatives

Subhan Allah, his () love and respect for his wife Khadija (May Allah be pleased with her) extended even after her death. He continued to maintain ties with her family and friends.

Anger recognizer

console your angry wife

Mother of believers Ayesha (RA) hardly did anything to express her anger. Just one different word was enough for our dear Prophet (ﷺ) to recognize her anger. He didn’t ignore it, but mentioned this to his beloved wife. Subhan Allah

never abused

be kind to your wife.

Our brave prophet (ﷺ), who commanded armies, was always kind to his wives and those who served him!

Desirable

Darling wife.

With such open verbal expression of love, a wife would feel happy, secure and contended.


Handsome is what Handsome does. Now, could there be any one more handsome than our prophet? Are you amazed at prophet’s treatment towards his wives? I have just mentioned few of my favorite hadiths. He was much more pleasing. He entertained and played with them too. So, what kind of partner would you like? How about following our Prophet’s (ﷺ)  advice?

Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) from the Prophet (ﷺ)  who said: “A woman may be married for four things: her wealth, her lineage, her beauty and her religious commitment. Seek the one who is religiously-committed, may your hands be rubbed with dust (i.e., may you prosper).” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

With this hadith in mind, I had prayed for a religious man. Our choice for a spouse has a great impact on our future and our children’s future!  Only a man with Taqwa (God consciousness) can try his best to cater physical, emotional and financial needs of his wife and children. My hubby may not be the best man ever, but, Alhamdulillah he is the best man I know. One of the things I love about him is, the way he cares for our children. He doesn’t fuss when it comes to helping me with kids. This gives me extra time to learn, memorize and blog.

Ladies, pay heed. No one is perfect. There are times when I am angry /disappointed with my hubby. That’s when I remember:

Ungrateful wife

Yes, that’s scary. Indeed my husband’s merits outweigh his shortcomings. Life is too precious to be wasted on arguments for trivial things. When upset I recollect some of the lovely things he did for me. This melts my anger away. (MostlyJ) Then, I think of my flaws. Honestly, he rarely complains about them. This really turns my anger into appreciation for him.

Remember ladies, no one can be a better husband than our Prophet Muhammed (ﷺ). Blessed is a lady, whose husband aspires to be like Prophet (ﷺ) was to his wife.  Support him when he practices any sunnah (prophetic mode of life). With time, he would make Prophet (ﷺ) his role model. This would be a huge blessing for a wife.

For those of us who are married we can still strengthen bonds of love by ignoring the past. Let us help one another grow spiritual. May our bonding with Allah help us establish a place in heaven together.

Quran [at-Toor 52:21] [ar-Ra ‘d 13:23] [az-Zukhruf 43:70].

This is where our concern should be. Are you the one who wakes your spouse for fajr? Do you request your spouse to accompany you to a movie or an Islamic class? Do you relax with music or qirat?

Aim for the true eternal love.

Prepublished in Muslimahbloggers

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Fatima, the maid

Written by Honeybee

fatima the maidWhenever I remember the story of Fatimah, my eyes become moist and heart softens. This is because she reminds me about Allah. About Allah being the best of providers. After knowing her story, I kept wondering how Allah planned for her. Whatever was her decreed portion of rizq, nobody could take it even if all efforts were made. What was meant for her remained hers.

It so happened that in one of the hot summer months, Annua was desperately looking for a part time maid as her old maid had left. Alone with a small baby in the house, it was difficult to manage all the work. She caught hold of all the maid adverts. They were around fifteen maid contacts. She called each one of them. Some refused as they had other work. Some wanted extra money because her house was a little off the main road and they would have to walk down more in the scorching summer heat. She gave them the option of cooler working hours but nothing helped. Some agreed to come but finally did not turn up. She was sort of frustrated. Only one girl out of so many agreed to come without any hassle or negotiation. The best part was that she did come. She was Fatimah, a hijabi girl!

Allah provides all.
Quran 11:6

I am not trying to say that a maid and a spouse have anything in common but does not the same thing happen when looking for a spouse? Even a hundred number of proposals will not work for silly reasons but when the decreed spouse arrives, things move surprisingly fast and smooth as a knife will move through butter. Oh again an analogy! But please do not mistake the knife for the wife.

Annua was happy that finally she had a maid. The maid became busy with the house work and Annua with hers. Sometime later she could hear the vacuum cleaner and with it Fatimah’s angry voice. Fatimah was angry with the fact that she will have to clean the dust bag before proceeding because it was full and Annua had not made sure that the old maid emptied it timely. Annua was annoyed by this attitude but let her finish the work. When she was leaving, Annua gave her the money and asked her not to come again. Fatimah asked her the reason. She told her that it was her rude behavior. Fatimah mumbled something, sort of agreeing with the objection and slowly walked away.

Annua’s search started again but no success. Then one fine day, Fatimah called her and asked if she could send her friend for work. Annua recalled the ayah where Allah tells us that we may dislike a thing which is good for us. Her heart melted and she asked her to come.

Disliking a beneficial thing;
Quran 2:216

Fatimah worked for a few months but her rough behavior now and then continued. But one thing Annua admitted that Fatimah was the only maid she had who used to offer her salah without fail in her house. A couple of months later she needed Fatimah to work for more hours but she could not. Hence Annua had to change the maid.

During this time whatever happened with Fatimah brought tears to my eyes. One day she came and knocked the door. Annua was surprised to see her. She had come to give her the new mobile number. Why? Because she had been kidnapped by a man in his car on the pretext of giving work in his house. He robbed her old mobile along with her cash savings and a gold chain (in short all her savings). He left her luckily untouched, in some remote area from where she somehow managed to reach her house.

Even before Annua could stop thinking about Fatimah’s over deal, the other maid left. It was searching time again! Who says there are no jobs? By that time she had received several other mail adverts. She called a number on one of the slips and guess what? She could hear Fatimah’s voice on the other side. She was saying, “Madam it is me.” Annua said, “I called somebody looking for work, did u put a slip in my house.” She said, “My friend might have put it when doing it for herself.” And I am sure you know what happened next. Fatimah was back in her house doing the chores and left her thinking about how Allah has written down our source of rizq. All other girls were blocked to make way for Fatimah because Allah had written her rizq in Annua’s house. She was such a sweet maid thereafter and worked for her till she left to her hometown.

I can never forget about her because she reminds me about how Allah cares for us and plans for each one of us. We only have to keep our duty to Him.

He provides from where we donot expect
Surah Attalaq verse 2 and 3

Sometimes I wonder what Allah is asking for is too little from us as compared to the blessings He is showering on us day in and day out. Still we are disobedient and on top of that we complain!

May Allah give us the wisdom and strength to live our lives only for His pleasure.

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honeybee.weblog@gmail.com

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Sweet Home

In honor of summer.

Oh sweet spring, where are you? When did you leave me?

Pleasant breeze and colorful flowers had promised sweet fruits in summer?

Oh summer, where are the juicy mangoes, peaches and berries I wanted to reap?

Oh hell has broken lose and my life seems no longer mine.

I found love in life’s spring – I hopped my spouse would sparkle my life.

Now my sweet heart is no longer sweet, all I face is nag-nag;

I feel the weight of responsibility with my kids demands;

Exhausted, thirsty and drenched in sweat I find no shade to rest.

My old flocks ask me to be patient, I pretended to be deaf;

Grinded in this life’s grid I had no place to run.

Eventually, I became victim of heat and fell down ill.

I was touched by the kindness and selflessness of my spouse and realized –

I was the field she was hopping to reap; I could be her plum or a mere weed.

By being nice and kind to one another –We could all enjoy sweetness of life;

Being still blessed with strength and with little added patience –

I can reap enough fruits- to last through autumn and chill winter,

I hope to nourish my kid’s spring with better morals –

Perhaps they could reap better in their summer.

Prepublished in wolfpublishing

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Precious Five

precious 5

Silence in the hospital was broken by cries of pain; deep unbearable pain. Rehma was brought to the  hospital in labor. The pain was unbearable. Her husband wiped sweat off her forehead as she waited to be admitted.  Doctor examined her and was quick to take her to the  labor ward.  The baby would be here any minute. Any minute? It seemed like ages.

Unlike her first pregnancy this pregnancy had been tough. It was not the pregnancy symptoms which made her life tough. It was cough. Yes!  Cough.  Being pregnant she wasn’t prescribed strong medicines and it made things worst.

She had promised herself that she would take great care of her unborn child. She had planned a list of things to do once she was pregnant.

  • Go on a morning walk.
  • Pray more voluntary prayers
  • Recite Quran daily after fajr
  • Eat healthy balanced food. (no junk)
  • Spend more time with elder son, helping him memorize

Alas, now she could do none of it with her deep coughs. While walking -Where could she vomit? Forget the nafil (voluntary) prayers,  she found it difficult to utter surat ul fatiha (opening chapter of quran) in fard (obligatory prayer).  Getting something on the plate for her family to eat was her biggest challenge of the day. And her poor son, she could do nothing more than to smile with difficulty.  This adversity could purify her – this was her only consolation.

desert flower

Cough would start somewhere deep within and wouldn’t stop until she had very hot water!  This cough wouldn’t let her sleep or eat well. It made sure that she vomited what little she ate. And at its peak won’t let Rehma utter a word. Due to this she didn’t even go out. It always occupied her thoughts and made her sad.

Continue reading Precious Five

Lucky me!

 “If the Son of Adam had a valley of gold, then he would still like to have a second . And nothing fills his mouth but dust, Allah turns to whoever repents.” 

Naima had just returned from school. Her long face and a lifeless salam spoke 1000 words to her mother. “what’s wrong Naima?” asked her mom. “Nothing Ammi”, responded Naima. Few minutes later Ammi got her favorite snacks and chocolate milk. Normally easily pleaseable Naima hardly noticed her plate.

Ammi asks softly, “Did you forget to take your assignment to school?” Naima now in all tears,“I don’t want to go school.” Ammi questions, “why?” “Ammi all girls have fancy gadgets and latest cell phones. They speak about it all day. No matter how much I ask, you won’t get me any of those?” Ammi replies, “There is no need for these. We have a phone they can use it to call you. With that stuff you will be lost in games and useless jokes. Your time is better spent without that fancy stuff.” Naima bursts out, “I feel primitive belonging to Stone Age. I feel ashamed to be amidst my friends. Their parents pamper them as though they are princesses. I think they are special. How lucky are they? And here I am…” She stops abruptly.

Ammi was upset too. She silently left to kitchen. Few minutes later Ammi calls out. “Naima, would you like to have avocado kheer?” Naima can’t prevent herself from smiling. She had a big sweet tooth. Ammi announces, “you would have to help me cook it today.” Naima gladly agrees.

Continue reading Lucky me!

SMILE PLEASE

Tabassum was busy preparing breakfast for her husband Firoz. He hardly shows any change in attitude on seeing hot paratas; gulps them as he reads morning paper; says salam and leaves to office. Tabassum replies walikumsalam habitually as Firoz shuts the door. It was just a year since they got married. She thought, how blessed she was to be married to humble Firoz. Seven years back her father had died in an accident. She was grief struck for days. Her mother seemed lost. Life seemed to change so much since. No one seemed to like her anymore! Relatives seemed happier to visit other rich relatives. Friends! Hardly can they be called friend. She had embraced her loneliness and learnt to be as independent as a girl her age possibly can be. Having Firoz as “her hubby” was something she cherished. “Someone there just for me. Someone I can trust. My blessing indeed” , she thought. “Why is he so silent? Men are. Couldn’t he have complemented those parathas? May be he was busy. He is so used to tasty food. If only he had smiled, his salam would have been better. I know – he was busy. Wasn’t he so for the past few months? Ummm something is missing. Ah! We are not newlyweds anymore.” Having finished her chores she casually switches on laptop with hope of seeing her mom on skype. “Sweety, Soon it will be month of zul haj. Do you remember dear your dad used to feed orphans this month? I am going to withdraw from account for the same purpose. I can’t chat today. Take care.” pops the message. Tabassum thinks, “I should also give charity on my father’s behalf. Yah Allah grant my dad high levels of paradise. Ameen. Mom is feeding orphans, what else can I do? Let me browse to find.” She types words “HADITH different CHARITY” on her search engine casually. She scans through the results in one of the site. she reads through headings: DON’T DELAY GIVING IN CHARITY THE IMPORTANCE OF CHARITY EVERY MUSLIM MUST GIVE IN CHARITY SMILING IS CHARITY “???????!!!!!!…. must read that.” Abu Dharr narrated that the Messenger of Allah said : “Your smiling in the face of your brother is charity, commanding good and forbidding evil is charity, your giving directions to a man lost in the land is charity for you. Your seeing for a man with bad sight is a charity for you, your removal of a rock, a thorn or a bone from the road is charity for you. Your pouring what remains from your bucket into the bucket of your brother is charity for you.” – Jami` at-Tirmidhi,

smiling is charity
smile is a charity

“Smiling is a charity!!! It has been stated in hadith even before enjoining good!? Why?

Continue reading SMILE PLEASE