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Why Recite Qu'ran Everyday - My Thoughts

Most people think that prayer, supplication, and reciting scripture has no benefit in their physical every day life.  Especially in a secular country where spirituality is seen as a personal, private thing, and religion does not (is not supposed to) play a role in public society.

Most Muslims recite Quran every day either in prayer (5x a day), in dua (supplication), or in tasbeeh (words of remembrance praising God).  I recite Quran every day as a habit.  I read Surah Yaseen in the morning, recite Juz Amma in salah, recite dua for ending eating and dua for entering the bathroom, and say tasbeeh when I get hurt or hear surprising or scary news.

Beyond the spiritual benefits, reciting Qu'ran improves your mood, gives you strength and resolve to go about your work -- even those difficult decisions, or tasks you may have to face in the course of a day.

Lately, I've wondered why more people don't utilize recitation of the Quran every day -- something which has a dual, beneficial nature.  Why should we add additional recitation into our every lives? In reality, there are numerous examples of why it's so great to read the Quran and how it benefits us in our lives.  Here are just a few I came across.

Why recite the quran...
The ones who recite are believers.
Those to whom We have given the Book recite it with its true recital. They believe in it. And whoever disbelieves in it - it is they who are the losers.
2:121

The Prophets did it.
Our Lord, and send among them a messenger from themselves who will recite to them Your verses and teach them the Book and wisdom and purify them. Indeed, You are the Exalted in Might, the Wise."

2.129
The pious have no fear nor grief.
O Children of Adam! If there come to you Messengers from amongst you, reciting to you, My Verses, then whosoever becomes pious and righteous, on them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve.
7:35

Increases your faith.
The believers are only those who, when Allah is mentioned, their hearts become fearful, and when His verses are recited to them, it increases them in faith; and upon their Lord they rely -
8:2

The disbelievers want something better.
And when Our verses are recited to them as clear evidences, those who do not expect the meeting with Us say, "Bring us a Qur'an other than this or change it."
10:15

It makes you of the special ones.
And when you recite the Qur'an, We put between you and those who do not believe in the Hereafter a concealed partition.
17:45

It propels the believer into action: doing good things.   
Say, "Believe in it or do not believe. Indeed, those who were given knowledge before it - when it is recited to them, they fall upon their faces in prostration,
17:107

They'll enter heaven and wear gold, pearl, and silk, and say good things.
And they had been guided [in worldly life] to good speech, and they were guided to the path of the Praiseworthy.
22:24

So those are just a few of the reasons I came up with, and ayaat (verses) to go along with them. I thought since the Quran 2 oh 14 recitation challenge Facebook Page has been getting an overwhelming number of likes I would write these thoughts. This post is part of an overall discussion about why we should add more Quran in our lives and is NOT a complete list.  What are some of the reasons YOU read Quran everyday or want to make a better habit of reading it? Leave your thoughts in the comments below to add to the discussion.  I sincerely hope you enjoyed!  Have an awesome day =)


 
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crazy new stuff

Salaam & hi all!!

Just came back from a family vacation in New York City and wanted to update this blog which is linked to my FB account.

So, this blog is mostly for people I know in real life, and if you've known me long enough, you know I'm always doing something new.  Right now I'm working on a new project - - I am Book Blogging - which is basically talking about books online and is a variety of book reviews, game-like Tags (the kind you see YouTubers doing),  Read-a-thons, photo challenges on Instagram and other great ways of increasing your reading habit. I have a new blog on Wordpress at http://MnMmariam.wordpress.com.

This is where I write and post photos and videos about blogging, books for kids, teens, adults, including realistic fiction, business books, Islamic books, and children's books, for example paranormal fiction, sci-fi fantasy, book to movie adaptations...any Harry Potter fans?? :)

Also, I have a survey out there for parents about kids, technology and reading.  If you are a parent, I would be so grateful if you filled it out!  It's short and will take no more than 2 minutes =)

Here is the survey:
LINK WILL OPEN IN SAME WINDOW: http://docs.google.com/forms/d/1bBH_Q7r_PdqwoCZk-oHnc29fH_1ncHvOznFP4zrjYqc/viewform

Nowadays I have limited time as I'm working with a few bloggers on Facebook & GoodReads.com, a new business, and reviewing books on top of that, but please keep in touch with me through Twitter (@mariemerald) and Facebook.  Would love to catch up with you all and what you're doing right now. My work is primarily online, so feel free to hit me up  on any of the above social media sites -- or any new SMs  you're using.  SnapChat anyone?? Text me the name of the whatever social media apps you're using and I'll download it.  Meanwhile, take care & Ttyl, inshaallah.

Peace, Love, and Respect,
Mariam

Check out the great graphic above by Hayley Hobson.  I give her all the credit for it, just modified it to make it family friendly =)
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graphic for quran challenge 014 smaller file

So imagine a group of about 40 Muslims — family, friends or colleagues — encouraging and motivating one another to read small portions of the Qur’an along with its translation each day on WhatsApp, Hangouts or any other instant messaging (IM) service that allows group messaging.

Yes, you read that right! As much as these apps and social media can be a distraction, when used in the right way, they work very much in our favor and are a great example of how we can use technology to enhance our spiritual productivity.

My sister and friends have been talking about this for a long time -- to try to find a way to incorporate more Quran in our daily lives.  I decided to embark on this journey this year, and thought, why not invite all of my friends and family to join??!? :)

So the focus, devotion and aim of this group is to take a proactive approach to reciting the Qur’an daily. Imagine the reward, the barakah (blessings) and the feeling of being part of an amazing circle of Muslims who not only motivate you, but are connected to you daily solely for the purpose of getting closer to the Holy Qur’an.

Abu Musa narrated:
“The Prophet  said: “A faithful believer to a faithful believer is like the bricks of a wall, enforcing each other.” While (saying that) the Prophet  clasped his hands, by interlacing his fingers.” [Sahih al-Bukhari]

How does it work, I hear you say?

Goals and Objectives*
The aim of the group is to motivate one another to complete a full recital of the Holy Qur’an in Arabic and its translation from beginning to end over a year: August 20, 2014-August 19th, 2015.

Some of the objectives include reflecting on Allah’s words and signs, deepening our connection with the Qur’an, improving our fluency and recital with tajweed, self-satisfaction, affecting a cure for oneself from any malaise, a softening of the heart, unity of brotherhood or sisterhood, among others.

What You Need
1.    A phone with access to WhatsApp, or Twitter
2.    A mushaf/Quran or Quran app to read from
3.    Family and friends to be invited, who have access to one to Twitter or WhatsApp

Rules: The Fun Part
1.    The number of ayaat (verses) to be sent each day can vary from ¼ of a juz’ to approximately 20 ayaat each day.
2.    These ayaat will be displayed in the group subject line, for e.g. ch 2: v 224–242.
3.    Group members have until the following Fajr to complete the recital.
4.    If only the Arabic is read by a member, they post a thumbs-up.
5.    If only the translation is read, they also post one thumbs-up.
6.    If both Arabic and translation are read, they post 2 thumbs-ups.
7.    I will send words of encouragement and motivation throughout the day including the benefits of reciting the Qur’an.

Be Reminded, Get Motivated
 With multiple thumbs-ups being sent throughout the day, that has got to encourage one to dust off one’s mus’haf and start reading.
Reciting and reflecting on shorter portions of the Qur’an daily allows one to meditate on key messages throughout our day; be they examples of the states of our hearts:

“Then your hearts became hardened after that, being like stones or even harder. For indeed, there are stones from which rivers burst forth, and there are some of them that split open and water comes out, and there are some of them that fall down for fear of Allah. And Allah is not unaware of what you do.” [Qur'an: Chapter 2, Verse 74]

… or showing gratitude to Allah  and patience in general:

“So remember Me; I will remember you. And be grateful to Me and do not deny Me. O you who have believed, seek help through patience and prayer. Indeed, Allah is with the patient.” [Qur'an: Chapter 2, Verses 152–153]

People in these groups have accomplished reciting three ajza’ of the Qur’an within a short span of three weeks!! What a massive achievement for the group itself. You don't have to read 3 juz in a week to start, but meet your own goals insha allah.
The group effort is a huge motivational factor at an individual level too. Being connected to one another via the Qur’an has even encouraged a sense of belonging, Masha Allah.

And hold firmly to the rope of Allah all together and do not become divided. And remember the favor of Allah upon you — when you were enemies and He brought your hearts together and you became, by His favor, brothers. And you were on the edge of a pit of the Fire, and He saved you from it. Thus does Allah make clear to you His verses that you may be guided. [Qur'an: Chapter 3, Verse 103]
determined to continue with the challenge, In sha Allah.

I've been wanting to get together with other sisters and recite Quran, but since I work so much and will be travelling a lot this year I don't have time to meet with a lot of your face to face.  However, like most of you I'm on Social Media -- even more than I sleep,  so I thought why not stay in touch though this technology and use it for something good!

So I hope it will be fun, encouraging, and help us to achieve some of our own Quran goals for the year, or to make some! I think this is a productive way of bringing the Qur’an back into our lives daily using everyday technology.  It will surely added a sense of barakah and tranquility to our busy lifestyles, insha allah.  I hope you will join.

If you would like to be a part of the group, it's super simple:
Just email me with your name , your time zone, and your Whatsapp username so I can add you to the group.  Also, follow the group on Twitter
@recitechallenge.  Please use the hastag #recitechallenge to keep up with the happenings and participants in this challenge.


I've created a graphic for this challenge and attached below. Please post this to your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, account or just forward it by email to any of your friends and family who might be interested insha allah.

Start date for the challenge is August 20th, this Wednesday , so please email me ASAP or follow on Twitter @recitechallenge so I can add you to the list ! Orrr....you may simply leave me a comment below and let me know you're participating! Get your mushafs out and I'll see you around on Twitter and Whatsapp!!

Peace, Love, and Respect,
Mariam

* This challenge was adapted from Sr. Umm Ammarah's post on ProductiveMuslim.com.
Here's the link to the original post: http://www.productivemuslim.com/fajr-to-fajr-a-quran-challenge-for-you-and-your-close-ones/
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Suspects, heathens, criminals is what some people think about Muslims when they hear about them. The truth is, they either don't know one, don't understand them, or don't see the good they have contributed to the societies they live in. In America I'm proud to say, many Muslims have been stepping up for the betterment of society. Here is just one example:

"On May 22nd [2011] a tornado struck the town of Joplin, MO, leaving over 150 dead and thousands homeless or displaced. In the weeks since the tornado, ICNA Relief volunteers have joined together to bring much needed food and essential supplies to the residents of Joplin. Muslims from across the country and within the local community are helping residents sort through the wreckage and salvage what little is left of their homes and lives." (The Message International Magazine, July-August 2011, p. 11)

One victim said of the volunteers that they have "been with us on the ground...they haven't asked for anything; they've only given. They were here when we needed them most."

This was organized by ICNA Relief -- an organization that believes in empowering disaster victims through its support.

I thought that I'd share this because I know the good Muslims are doing in society, including running/walking marathons for the American Lung Association and feeding the homeless downtown, however the media fails to cover it. And I think it's time for a change. This is the first in my series of work Muslims are doing for the betterment of their communities.

You can find The Message International magazine at www.messageinternational.org
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Here is an excerpt from a Muslim American perspective of the world condition today -- published in a Muslim magazine.

The world is now careening inescapably into crisis. Face east and behold the spattering blood of long-anguished Arabs, Asians, and Africans who now cry freedom to a heartless human hemisphere deaf and blind with fear.

And what do they fear? They fear their faith. They fear their race. They fear that they will stanch in the name of God the corrupted tide of unfathomable riches that flow to them in the name of false dieties of materialism that their hands have fashioned and upon which they religion of arrogant except[ionalism] rests.

Face west and look into the angry eyes of its melted, multicultural, vanishing middle class, whose sudden recognition of a lifetime of partisan deceit and legislative betrayal has put them in tear-gassed streets shoulder-to-shoulder with burgeoning, disheveled poor. Raging in the eyes of both, the debt-ridden doomed and the permanant down-and-out, you see the same unnerving glare. It is hate.

And what do they hate? They hate bankers who have robbed them in broad daylight of their old-age pensions and turned their assets overnight into dust. They hate the politicians, left and right, who have shamelessly sold their souls and public trusts to the corporate barons and lobbyists, foreign and domestic, for the egotistic shadow of power and prestige--brazen agents for legalizing the enslavement of their constituencies to the moneyed elite through the tryanny of "jobs" while eliminating their rights to league and localize.

They hate American warmonger industry whose business plan is to kill their children in far-flung lands for the sake of weapon sales and stock portfolios, or to reduce their children to demoralized sociopaths who murder abroad and maraud at home, and then destroy themselves.

They hate seeing their children buried alive in tuition debt by the age of 21, and then pepper-sprayed for daring to dissent against the lost opportunity of their youth and life.

---

We, the Nation of the Divine Trust, must not break our collective handhold of the rope of [God]. In these times of crisis, we should be the most keen and clear in rejecting false dieties, and vindicating the [sacred sources of knowledge]. Our charge is to maintain unambiguous rectitude in faith and moral action...

Our salvation lies in the heroism of [God-consciousness], the fear of God, and the humility of [patience], for there is no doubt that civillizations in crises call for immense quantities of both.

Practically, we need daily ordered and organized steady deepening of our knowledge of what the [sacred sources of knowledge] are over and again telling us. We need, as well, a practiced, instrumental truing of our attachment to the wisdom, character, and conduct of our Prophet (PBUH)...

By these means should we take a stand with all that is honorable, just, and good. And we should fly to the rescue of our exploited fellows in humanity and creation.

-- Amer Haleem
Al-Jumuah Magazine
Volume 24, Issue 1
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Amongst the Few - Videos

One of the Qabeelat Noor members just emailed us this video channel:

https://www.youtube.com/user/amongstthefew

I've only previewed one of the videos by Kamal Al Mekki called "Whoever Gives up Something" -- but I'm totally digging the title of the talk show "Amongst the Few." :)
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Here are some tips I've gained from reading an article by prominent shaykh. This is mostly trailored to me and my schedule during the year -- but it has some important points of interests for others as well, including some recommended texts to study and in what order.

Have a schedule of study:
After fajr - memorization of Quran
Duhr - Tafseer & Arabic
Asr - hadith
Maghrib - Fiqh
Isha - Summarize & Share knowledge by teaching it
tahajjud

Get tapes, audio lectures of scholars whose religious commitment is strong and is trusted.

Study
Arabic Grammar
Usool al fiqh
musta;ah al hadeeth
fiqh
hadeeth

Before all of this, memorize Quran

Aqeedah
Al Usool al thalaathah (The Fundamental Basis of Islamic Theology)
Kitaab at Tahweed
Khasf al-shubuhaat - Shaykh Muhammad ibn Abd Al-Wahhaab
Kitab al Aqeedah al Waasitiyyah (Principles of Islamic Faith) - Shaykh al-Islam ibn Taymiyyah
Kitab al Ajrumiyyah
Kitab al Usool fi 'Ilm al-Usool
Kitaab usool al Tafseer al Arab'een an-Nawawiyaah
'Umdat al Ahkaam

then start studying fiqh

Memorize and understand these books, get tapes of scholars who've commented on these books (Sh 'Abd al'Azeez bin Baaz)

Sh Muhammad ibn Uthaymeen
sh Muhammad ibn 'Abd Allah ibn Jibreen

Tafseer
Tayseer al Kareem al Rahmaan fi Tafseer kalaam al Mannaan

Sh 'abd al-Rahmaan ibn Sa'idi
Tafseer Ibn Katheer

Study detailed versions always reviewing what you've learned, noting valuable points, subtle issues, strong and minor issues, solutions to problems and differences between similar rulings in all branches of knowledge. Do not little of anything useful that you learn or any basic principle that you understand instead hasten to note and memorize it.

Let your concern to seek knowledge be uppermost, don't be content with only a little when you're capable of doing more. Do no delay in learning anything you can or be distracted or put off by wistful thinking. If you learn something now - you can learn something else later.

Make the most of your time -- when you're free/busy. Make the most of your youth before you become distracted with false ambitions and desire for worldly possessions. Do not make getting and keeping a lot of books. Share.

Make dua
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Last week several of us sisters who've been studying with a local scholar made presentations on various Islamic topics -- advanced level topics that very little material is available in the English language. We received an invitation by one of the sisters' mothers to come present at her house at a halaqa this weekend. Alhamdu lillah, it was a relatively casual halaqa since everyone knew everyone, basically, but the weight of it was intense -- for all of us I'm sure. We had been entrusted with Islamic knowledge to convey it to others -- people who're there because they're sure we know what we're doing and will present the topics in a fair,accurate manner-- whether that be characteristics of the sahaba, women scholars in Islam, or ethaar (putting others before yourself). However,what if you're not well prepared, or make a mistake,or misquote the Prophet (SAWS), or don't do a topic justice. These are the challenges we face as we become more knowledgable and more people look to us for Islamic knowledge. It's scary -- why? Because a scholar's trial is relatively more severe than the layman. Even more importantly because he is diseminating knowledge on the behalf of Allah (God). If we make an error and a person follows that knowledge -- and others follow him or her -- all the sin of that act comes back to us -- the teachers. One sister said to me, when you make dua/dikr and do something for the sake of Allah you become calm, at peace. And I answered "I don't. I get nervous -- what if I say or do something wrong?!" It's a position of great responsibility. Teaching Islamic knowledge is not something you necessarily want to do, it's something you realize you must do because you have knowledge that others don't.

Knowledge is a responsibility. This is a constant reminder as I move onto my adventures in 'ilm this summer -- as do the rest of us insha allah.
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It is an honor and pleasure to be a student at Orlando's precedental women's conference on Islamic knowledge. A group of about 60 people gathered at a resort in Orlando to study ilm ud-deen (the knowledge of religion) with speakers from North Carolina, Tennessee, and right here in Florida -- Sh. Yahya Ederer, an American revert to Islam and scholar, Sh. Abdul Rahman Chao, a Taiwainese-American student with a Master's in Theology and bachelors from Medina University, Dr. Ali Shehata, a medical doctor and local scholar, as well as several sisters who are studying under him - Sr. Mariam (myself), Sr. Shazma, Sr. Ilaf, Sr. Nadine, Sr. Quratulain, and Sr. Wardah.

Friday night began with a session on A Good Marriage (Intimacy & Conflict Resolution) which is a combined session for brothers and sisters. The following day commenced with a tafseer of Surat ul Mulk after fajr (dawn) prayer, several sessions on the importance of Muslim women to seek knowledge, concept of hayya, laxity and formality in Flannery O' Conner's written works, and lessons from the Tabi'een. Also on Saturday was a mother-daughter tea, and a final Q&A session.

Sunday continued with presentations on superior qualities of young, male sahaba, women scholars in Islam, eethar (putting others before yourself), eating like the Prophet (SAWS), lessons on seeking knowledge from Ibn ul Jawzi, and zuhd.

Sisters was dressed modestly in hijab (headscarves), and loose-fitted clothing including colorful,lacy tunics, purple dresses, pearl white headscarves that were iridescent, and elegant black abayas (dresses) with modest silver sequin. It was a comfortable environment for sisters to learn, ask personal questions, and enjoy recreational time with their beloved sisters. They enjoyed a pancake breakfast, swimming, a tea party, and personal time with their sisters and friends. It was truly a retreat. At the end of it all they left empowered to seek Islamic knowledge, and didn't want to leave.
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