Assalamo alaykum and welcome.
As mothers, we have heard it and said it countless times: “You can’t pour from an empty cup.”
As Muslims, we know how that “cup” can ever truly be filled.
Verily, in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find rest.
[Surah ar-Ra’d 13:28]
Striking a balance between our many wordly commitments and our own growth in the deen is difficult, and Allah’s help is sought.
As with everything, we might go through phases: We start off determined and focused and then, after a while, life happens; we feel overwhelmed, lose momentum… and the dust starts to settle over our books. Maybe even over our heart.
The Muslim woman, particularly the Muslim mother, has many responsibilities. Contrary to what one might assume, learning her religion (as much as she is able) is one of them.
The Qur’an was revealed for you
It was revealed for the guidance and success of each one of us. If we fail to connect with it, to know what it says and try to act upon it, then we will never be truly happy.
The Qur’an was not revealed only for children in the madrasas, or for the elderly uncles that have time to sit with it in the masaajid. It was revealed for us busy moms too.
On the Day of Judgement, it will be a proof for or against us. We cannot be Muslims without it.
Memorizing Qur’an, accessing its meaning by learning Arabic and studying tafseer such as those of Ibn Katheer or Imam as-Sa’dee (which are available in English) is not something only for those who have “time to spare”.
One might start enthusiastically, then run out of steam and stop for a while. None of us is immune to the day-to-day mom-wearout, nor is any of us safe from getting discouraged when we see we “can’t keep it up.”
But we can always start again, insha’Allah.
About the daily Qur’an journal
To establish a minimal, sustainable study routine for myself, I tried to come up with a simple logging system that I can use daily and that would enable me to:
- Break down the task of memorizing Qur’an and learning its meanings into small, manageable chunks
- Attach meaning to the ayaat to aid memorisation
- Increase my Arabic/Qur’anic vocabulary
- Record tafseer benefits so that what is read can be revised and looked up easily
- Feel encouraged by seeing my small daily efforts add up in a tangible way
- Use a format similar to journaling, which, in itself, can be a very calming and enjoyable activity.
For a few days, I did my daily Qur’an with a piece of paper next to me, sketching out layouts and filling them in with my notes, and this is the final product:
- It is FREE;
- It is available in 3 sizes: A4, A5 and standard traveler’s notebook insert;
- It comes in 4 accent colours (and a monochrome version);
How to assemble the journal
- Choose how big you want your journal to be. Personally I find A4 too big, but you may want to have lots of space to write. I recommend size A5 or the standards TN size to use as a traveler’s notebook insert;
- Print. With the exception of the cover, make sure you print pages on the front and the back of the paper;
- If you are using a ring binder, cut the pages to size (if needed), punch holes and you are good to go.
- If you want to make it into a notebook, fold all the pages along what will be the spine, stack them in the order you want and stapled them with a regular reach stapler and a rubber (see how to do it HERE). If you don’t have too many pages you can even run it through a sewing machine. (TIP: If you are printing different colour pages and want the two pages of each spread to match once the notebook is stapled, make sure that -when you stack the pages before stapling – you do so with the same colour facing each other!).
How to use it
This Qur’an study journal was designed to be used as an aid in your hifdh and tafseer study, but there is no reason why you couldn’t use it to learn about the Qur’an you read daily.
When you can appreciate the original wording and you understand the meaning of an ayah, it will be easier to memorise it and, of course, your attachment to it will grow.
- Simply choose the ayah you want to start with. It can be something you want to revise or a brand new one to memorise. Read it a few times.
- Copy the meaning in English to familiarize yourself with it (I do recommend using the Noble Qur’an translation by Hilali and Khan which is, to my knowledge, the most accurate in English.)
- Choose an Arabic word from the ayah to be your word of the day. You can see the Qur’an translated word by word HERE. PLEASE NOTE: I do not know this site’s methodology and I do remind everybody that the Qur’an must not be interpreted on the basis of linguistic/grammatical analysis alone, but understood through the tafseer passed down from the companions of the Prophet (salla Allahu alayhi wa sallam).
- Read the tafseer of the ayah from Ibn Katheer or Imam as-Sa’dee and note down some points of benefit.
- There is additional space for a little daily gratitude as well as notes. You can write what worked well for you, how you could improve your study experience, your plan for the next day… or anything you find useful!
- Feel free to spend as many days (and pages) as you need on the same ayah. Each day you can pick a different Arabic word from it and add more tafseer benefits, insha’Allah.
- The pages are not dated. It might sound silly, but that will make you feel better in case you end up skipping a few days, and it will make it easier to resume where you left off, insha’Allah.
Let’s strive this Ramadan!
I designed this journal pages to cover a small portion of daily work. This way, fewer people will be intimidated by the fact that they simply don’t have a whole hour to sit and study.
How long it will take each day depends entirely on what you are able to put in, but this system should be doable even for busy moms that can only have 10 minutes at a time, insha’Allah.
It is a very good thing for our children to see us studying and putting effort into learning our religion. It is part of setting a good example for them.
Sometimes you may want to find a quiet place; early in the morning before everyone is up or first thing after the children go to bed are good times to study. You might be able to find pockets of time here and there during the day (try keeping your books and materials somewhere safe in the kitchen and take them out once the food needs your attention only once in a while!). To make it extra easy, both the Noble Qur’an and Tafseer Ibn Katheer are available as free apps for your phone.
Mankind is forever in need of another chance from Allah.
The coming of the month of Ramadan is an especially precious chance: a time when the shayateen are chained and largely prevented from hindering us; a time in which we find it easier to pick up good habits and during which the rewards for our deeds are multiplied even more than usual.
O mankind! There has come to you a good advice from your Lord, and a healing for what is in your chests – a guidance and a mercy for the believers.[Surah Yunus 10:57]
Nothing can recharge our batteries and “fill our cup” like the Word of Allah can.
Let’s try again this Ramadan. In fact, let’s try to increase our bond with the Qur’an today!