Monday, October 08, 2007

Qur'an made easy | Taraweeh tips | After death- Reflections Ramadan 26

The Holy Qur'an has many verses that are repeated a few times, either in the same chapter, or in different chapters.
Then why of the favours of thy Lord will you deny is one such ayah, which Hafsa reflected upon a couple of days ago.
The ayah below is repeated 4 times in Surah Qamar:

وَلَقَدْ يَسَّرْنَا الْقُرْآنَ لِلذِّكْرِ فَهَلْ مِن مُّدَّكِرٍ

And We have indeed made the Qur'an easy to understand and remember: then is there any that will receive admonition?

To me, this ayah is very reassuring, especially since I've been studying Arabic Grammar for over a year now, without much progress!
Speaking of that, here are a few tips that help me concentrate in taraweeh and can be applied to any salah(for you Hammad):

  • The first step is to go with the mindset that you're going to enjoy the experience. Many people assume it's going to be long, monotonous, slow recitation, etc. All this will defeat the whole purpose and let the shaitan get to you.
  • Dress smart (don't go in your pjs), brush your teeth, perfume yourself (not smelling like fried food), eat light, get your coffee or whatever gives you the "punch"- The last thing you want to do is sleep through taraweeh. This adds to making the experience enjoyable. Imagine if the person next to you smelt like biryani or garlic? (as many people actually do!)
  • Focus on the tajweed rules. Often, the rules of tajweed help you predict what the next letter will be, and once you get used to it, you'll also be able to predict the next words as well.
  • Sh Hamza mentions learning Arabic as a long-term solution, however, use whatever Arabic you do know. When the imam recites a verse with the word "naar" (fire) in it, imagine the hellfire, how hot it will be, and how it would feel to be in that fire. Similarly, learning common vocabulary is very easy. Names and attributes of Allah, nature and creations of Allah from plants to food, condemnations, winning and losing, and many others- visualise them, thank Allah for your blessings, and ask for forgiveness, as appropriate.
  • Read the translation before the evening's taraweeh. Whatever you retain will be strengthened through the recitation inshallah.
  • Hold a Qur'an with translation- I do it ocassionally, and it always helps me remember the translation. Of course, there's difference in opinion about this.
  • Stand with your feet apart. Men do this instinctinctly, but women tend to stick their feet together. Also, take long breaths. This is very helpful.
  • There are different ways of placing your arms according to the different schools of thoughts- Either by your side, folded your chest or on your waist. Vary where you place them.
  • Get your spot in the first row. This minimises distractions from fidgety people and everything else! Also, it makes you more conscious of the place you're standing at.
  • Encourage someone who doesn't generally attend taraweeh to go with you.
  • Say salam to the person on either side of you. Often you change rows to fill the gap, so there's lots of people to say salam to. Much as every salah and nawafil is a personal spiritual experience, it's also a congregational spiritual experience. Giving salams or having a quick conversation adds a level to being aware of where you are, and brings your attention to what you are doing, rather than getting lost in thoughts of pending tasks or other worries.
  • The best khushoo of course, is to pray with being conscious of Allah (swt). Make dua that Allah (swt) increases your concentration and the ability to focus.
It's the time of the month when everyone is realising how fast it went, the moon's almost disappeared, about being sad, and most importantly, thinking about how they're going to keep up with their good habits, and not go back to the bad ones. At the beginning of the month, everyone talked about how it's a blessing to be able to witness this Ramadan especially because death is uncertain.
After my experience during last Ramadan, I realised that I needed to work on ways to continue earning rewards from Allah (swt) after I die. And our beloved Prophet (pbuh) tells us how to.

Narrated Abu Hurairah (ra)
Allah's Messenger (pbuh) said, "When a person is dead, his deeds are stopped except from three:
Deeds of continuous Sadaqah [well for drinking water, orphanage, etc]

  1. (Written) knowledge with which mankind gets benefit
  2. A righteous, pious son or daughter who begs Allah (swt) to forgive her/his parents.

[Sahih Muslim, the Book of Wasaya]

Begging Allah (swt) to forgive one's parents is an action anyone can do anytime without any preparation, unlike the other two. So, why delay ensuring you're being rewarded until the Day of Judgement?


Hafsa said...

those are some excellent tips, Jazak Allah. I never noticed the tajweed! I'll try it tomorrow insha Allah :D

hajera said...

i second hafsa's comment - that's some excellent advice. we miss you here humairah :)