Posted by: Dawud Israel | February 1, 2011

Quran Reading Board Experiment and Tawakkul in Reciting Quran

I decided yesterday to take a break from monitoring the developments in Egypt (May Allah protect them, ameen) on AlJazeera English/Twitter and try to create something new.

I decided to expand the idea from my previous post on simplifying reading your daily surahs and thought maybe if I could utilize it further. I thought maybe it would be convenient if I could put a whole Juz up and be able to read a small portion after every prayer. I used a corkboard, photocopied the first Juz onto 14 sheets of paper and pinned it up.

My initial idea was that this would be much more convenient, make reciting the Quran easier, less ‘intimidating’ and make it easy to complete a Juz every day just by reading a page or two after a prayer. I figured so many do not read the Quran everyday so why not try this and see if I can come up with something that might be of help in alleviating that weakness. But  I found out that this was a little different than I thought.

What I found was that when you read a longer amount of Quran in this way, there is a noticeable lack the intimacy, since you are not sitting and reading, you aren’t touching the Quran, you are more detached from it physically, and therefore also somewhat detached emotionally. And another problem was the neck strain but I guess that comes with sitting and reciting as well. But most importantly I found that it was more intimidating, because I was aware that I had to recite everything on the board soon and it would be relatively new material everyday so it was much slower than reading the same surah everyday. So I think for reciting a Juz everyday its better to just do it the good, old-fashioned way.

However, on the plus side, I find this method to be very useful for regular recitals of surahs I recite daily. Its also very useful for reviewing a new surah I am trying to memorize, since often what happens is I always want to go and check back on a verse, or need to refresh my memory. This is especially convenient when I am trying to recite the new surah in prayer and just take a quick glance before I start. Its also good for reviewing certain longer surahs I like to recite in prayer but may forget or make mistakes in after a while of not reviewing.

Tawakkul in Reciting Quran

This made me reflect on just the act of reciting Quran and why I came up with this idea in the first place. Why is it intimidating sometimes? Why are so many conscious of how much more they have to read? Is this why people don’t recite the Quran because its the idea of reciting so much that turns them off? To this I realized there is a tawakkul (trust/reliance upon Allah) required in reciting the Quran. I find reciting the Quran the most relaxing when I just read and keep going without worrying how much I read before and how much I have yet to read. You just trust in Allah as you trust in His Words you are reciting, and they move by quicker somehow and time flies even though it feels like its at a standstill. Its like being on some type of escalator.

The idea of doing something is always more daunting than the actual task and I find balance in the difference between perceive/actual effort, because our good deeds are from Allah and our bad deeds are from ourselves. So when I recite the Quran I see my reciting the Quran as a good deed coming from Allah and so in this sense, I rely on Him for my reciting of His Words. Its from Him so I don’t try to own the good deed and attribute it to myself by worrying or fretting- I just go with the flow and have tawakkul. You can feel this tawakkul in a very real way, as there are rhythms and waves in reciting the words of the Quran in a way, that the words almost seem to recite themselves. You think you are going to recite so much when you open the Quran, but when you are done, you feel as if you didn’t even recite anything! I think that is one of the remarkable blessings of the Quran and maybe one reason why perhaps there is lots of ease and tranquility in reciting its Blessed Words.

Subhana kallahumma wa bihamdika ash-haduana la illaha illa ant astaghfiruka wa atubu ilayk, ameen.

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