In the recent weeks, I have faced some difficulties in my journey towards becoming a hafidhah. Being faced with tests such as my sister being seriously ill, coupled with my dwindling motivation, I have fallen behind, not only in my memorisation itself, but in my revision, the key to making the Qur’an strong in one’s heart.
Yet a few weeks ago, I was watching a series of programmes on memorisation of the Qur’an across the globe. One particular episode focussed on a young boy called Mu’adh, who couldn’t have been more than fifteen years old. It was this young boy who would soon inspire me to not only continue on in my struggle to complete the Qur’an, but give me the motivation to strive to become a better slave of the Almighty (SWT).
Mu’adh was Egyptian and had managed to complete memorisation of the entire Qur’an. For a teenage boy, reaching such a lofty goal so early on is an immense achievement in and of itself, and makes my own efforts look feeble. Yet this boy had an extra obstacle in his way: he was blind.
As the interviewer asked Mu’adh a series of questions, I became increasingly amazed at his articulate responses. In order to learn and memorise correctly, Mu’adh had had to travel a long distance to his teacher. Although happy to do so alone, despite being unable to see, his father feared for him and so had accompanied him. Not only did the youngster travel three times a week, he used to exert himself in his memorisation so that his teacher would give him extra lessons. He related that sometimes he would never even get the chance to play. I thought to myself how the majority of young boys have to be coaxed into learning, let alone asking for extra lessons!
Sometimes the boy’s teacher would stop him from memorising more than one verse in one lesson, so that he would fully understand the powerful and deep meanings that the verse contained. Despite the long journeys he made, Mu’adh was not put off; he had evidently benefited from his study of the Qur’an and implemented it, masha Allah.
Mu’adh went on to thank Allah (SWT) for a gift that He had bestowed upon him. What gift, you may wonder? The gift of memorising? The gift of not wasting his time as a young boy? No. In his own words, “He took my sight from me, subhanAllah, and I praise Allah and thank Allah for His mercy.”
Allahu akbar. It was at this point that my eyes started to fill with tears. My own self, faced with minor hardships in comparison to this boy, had been struggling to memorise and revise daily. Yet this boy, despite being blind, had been blessed with such zeal to learn and memorise the Qur’an that he had strived, struggled and succeeded in his endeavours, by the will and aid of Allah (SWT). Furthermore, his patience was truly inspiring, since he was genuinely content that his sight had been taken away from him.
When asked whether he ever got upset when amongst his friends due to being blind, Mu’adh explained that only when he was younger had he felt like this. Yet when he had matured, his Lord had given him the understanding of His decree, so he had become content and satisfied.
This reminded me of the response a true believer should have towards tests and hardship, as the Prophet (SAW) said: “Amazing is the affair of the believer, verily all of his affairs are good and this is for no one except the believer. If something of goods befalls him he is grateful and that is good for him. If something of harm befalls him he is patient and that is good for him” (Muslim).
Possessing deep insight into the true worth of this life, Mu’adh told the interviewer that he never hoped for his sight to be returned to him. When asked why, Mu’adh, with emotion in his voice, replied: “So hopefully, I might have a case in front of Allah (SWT) on the Day of Judgement, so that He may lighten a portion of the punishment for me…”
His words enraptured my soul, and I felt my heart shaking from the reminder. Yet the young boy’s words of eloquence continued: “when I stand in front of Him, afraid and shaking, and He asks me ‘What did you do with this Qur’an?’ Perhaps Allah may make things easy on me. And Allah enters into His Mercy whomsoever He wills….”
It was at this point that the interviewer, and those around him, including Mu’adh’s father, started crying. The boy, with tears in his own eyes, told the interviewer that Allah (SWT) had gifted him with the Qur’an. It was clear that although his eyes were unable to see, his heart was able to see clearly, as Allah (SWT) had blessed him with great wisdom and patience.
The boy then quoted the following saying of Ibn ul-Qayyim: “Allah does not close a door to His slave, out of wisdom, except that He opens two others for him.”
How true, I thought to myself, and it reminded me of the verse in which Allah (SWT) tells us that He will make a way out for someone who has taqwa of Him.
With the end of the clip in sight, I had heard more than enough to stir my senses and bring me back to reality. Of course, my path towards completing the Qur’an was not going to be easy. Had I really thought that I would be able to sail through with ease at all times?
Furthermore, the story of Mu’adh reminded me that the carrier of the Qur’an should be recognised by his actions, not the certificate he receives on completing the Qur’an. Our Lord did not reveal the Qur’an just to be memorised. Each verse contains precious gems, so it is upon us to strive to implement the lessons before moving on in our memorisation, just as the Companions used to do. In fact, it was narrated that the Companions would not memorise more than ten verses until they had understood them fully and implemented them. I was far from this, and had a great deal to improve upon.
Yet, the example of the boy also made me realise that no matter what excuses we bring forward, if we really want to become from the preservers of the Qur’an, insha Allah, we can. So hardships, other responsibilities and whatever life throws at us cannot prevent us from completing the Qur’an, as long as we have sincere intentions and ask Allah (SWT) for aid. Unlike the young boy, we can see the Qur’an and do not even need to travel to learn the Qur’an. Yes, our time may be more strained, and the way will no doubt be difficult, yet even if it takes us ten years to complete the Qur’an, we can, by the permission of Allah (SWT), become preservers of the Qur’an too.
Ummu Abdir-Rahmaan is a freelance writer, based in the UK. She hopes to give inspiration and encouragement to fellow believers through writing about the heart-softeners.