Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim
Ramadan is almost here! Ramadan, the month of Quran, the month of reciting it, and memorizing it, and understanding it and studying it and making Quran part of our lives and everything we do! In order to maximize our Quran reading during this month when it was revealed, let us consider some obstacles in the way and ways to tackle them, and enhance our capacity of recitation.
- Set SMART goals
S = specific: Specify what you’re going to recite. Don’t just say, ‘I’ll recite some Quran.’ Say, ‘I’ll recite the whole Quran twice during the month.’
M = measurable: Having measurable goals lets you see your progress at a glimpse any time, and helps you adjust your goals later on. For example, for everyday of the Quran, divide the pages you want to finish during the month by 30, then set that as your measurable goal for the day, something like, ‘I’ll recite 20 pages of the Quran everyday.’
A = achievable: Goals need to be challenging so as to stimulate your learning skill, and at the same time not too challenging so as to demoralize you. If your usual capacity for recitation is 2 pages per day, don’t just imagine you can read 30 pages per day during Ramadan.
R = relevant: Goals have to be relevant to your life and your surroundings. You can’t set a goal of writing a translation of the Quran on your own if you have no knowledge of Arabic.
T = time-bound: This is setting a time-limit for achieving your goal, for example, the last day of the month of Ramadan.
- Read at the same time everyday
Human beings are creatures of habit. If we set a specific time (or multiple times) of the day for reciting Quran, then our minds will automatically lead us towards it when the time comes, and we won’t easily forget doing it.
- Choose the method that suits you best
There are several methods that you can use, two of which are:
- Chunk the number of pages you will recite each day into 5 parts, then recite each part after every salah. For example, if your specified number of pages is 20 (1 juz), then after each prayer you need only to recite 4 pages. This is a good technique for those who can’t recite a lot of Quran at one go.
- Recite one or two hizbs (half a juz) in one sitting. This is good for those who have high level of concentration and can read a lot of Quran at one go, and those who find it difficult to make the habit of multiple sittings.
- Remove distractions: While sitting down to read the Quran, turn off/silent your phones, close your facebook windows and other distractions. Don’t choose a time when you will be repeatedly called by your wife to bring groceries for iftar, or by your husband and children to serve them food.
- Say isti’adhah: Allah (swt) said in the Quran:
فَإِذَا قَرَأْتَ الْقُرْآنَ فَاسْتَعِذْ بِاللَّهِ مِنَ الشَّيْطَانِ الرَّجِيمِ
So when you recite the Qur’an, [first] seek refuge in Allah from Satan, the expelled [from His mercy]. [16:98]
Quran is our shield against the shaytan, and therefore shaytan tries to distract us from it. So we seek refuge in Allah from the shaytan before every recitation.
- Start in the name of Allah
When you start anything saying ‘bismillah’, be conscious of what it means. We are starting in the name of Allah and for the sake of Allah.
Remember the following verse every time you say the basmalah,
قُلْ إِنَّ صَلَاتِي وَنُسُكِي وَمَحْيَايَ وَمَمَاتِي لِلَّهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ
Say, “Indeed, my prayer, my rites of sacrifice, my living and my dying are for Allah , Lord of the worlds. [6:162]
- Take care of your voice
Our voice is a very precious gift that Allah has given us, it enables us to say Allah’s words. Therefore let us take some steps in enhancing the power of our voice:
- Do not risk catching a cold. If you’re susceptible to it, avoid cold drinks and icecreams etc.
- Avoid dryness of the throat: Drying causes friction inside the throat, making our voice break and our vocal cords and muscles tired. To avoid this:
- Drink plenty of water during the night
- Do not take stuff that dry our throats, e.g. caffeine, chocolate, and antihistamine tablets. If you have the forbidden habit of smoking, stop doing it in order to save yourself from bad voice and even worse health problems.
- Avoid smokey and noisy environments
- Take precautions against acidity.
- Avoid voice fatigue from incessant talking, shouting or whispering.
- Recite from the stomach, not from the throat. Put an arm on your stomach, stretch your diaphragm while breathing, and then feel it rise and fall as you recite.
- Exercise: Cardio exercise enhances your breathing and muscle tone, helping you recite longer.
- Avoid speaking for some time whenever your voice breaks.
- Remedy for voice break:
- Inhaling steam
- Honey: It acts like a moisturizer for the throat by coating over the dry part.
Learn to read the Quran in 20 hours in UQ Academy.