How to Connect to the Qur’an this Ramadan
It has been said that whilst the primary purpose of fasting is to gain taqwā, the purpose of Ramaḍān is to connect with the Qur’ān. Indeed, Ramaḍān is the month of the Qur’ān. We know from the authentic Sunnah that every Ramaḍān, in the best month of the year, the best of mankind, the Messenger of Allah ﷺ would revise the Qur’ān, the best of words, with the best of angels, Jibrīl (‘alayhis salām).
Here are 10 practical ways you can connect to the Qur’ān in this blessed month:
1. Recite as much Qur’ān as you can.
Try to complete at least one khatmah/khatam of the Qur’ān. However, if you managed to complete one last year, aim to increase your khatmah by one and complete two this year. This may seem ambitious, but make du‘ā’ to Allah (subḥānahū wa ta‘ālā) to help you accomplish this as du‘ā’ makes the impossible possible. The charts here are an excellent guide to help you to plan your daily recitation in order to achieve your goals.
2. Read the tafsīr of a chosen sūrah.
Pick a sūrah or a collection of sūrahs, and then read or listen to the tafsīr (explanation) of these sūrahs. Focus on them in this month. English translations of tafsīr works, some of which are available online include: Tafsīr al-Jalālayn, Tafsīr Ibn Kathīr, Ma‘āriful-Qur’ān, In the Shade of the Qur‘ān, and Tafsīr al-Sa‘dī.
3. Ponder and reflect on the Qur’ān (tadabbur).
Recitation of the Qur’ān is not enough. Allah (subḥānahū wa ta‘ālā) tells us: “This is a blessed Book which We revealed to you, that they may reflect upon its verses, and those with understanding may take heed.” (38:29)
Reflecting upon the Qur’ān entails thinking over the meaning and the purpose behind an āyah: what is Allah (subḥānahū wa ta‘ālā) asking me to do here? Deep thinking and reflection allow us to develop a deeper connection with the Qur’ān and will catalyse us to act upon the Qur’ān inshā’Allah.
Suggestion: Qur’ān Journaling (i.e. jotting down thoughts and reflections) may be a useful means for staying consistent with tadabbur.
4. Listen to the Qur’ān.
Although there is more reward in reciting the Qur’ān, listen to it when you are not able to recite it. The benefits of listening to the Qur’ān are (though not limited to): improving your tajwīd, aiding your memorisation and providing you with the chance to absorb the beauty of the Qur’ān. Here are a collection of long and short recitation clips which you may listen to.
Suggestion: download your favourite clips to avoid the inescapable YouTube adverts or alternatively, use an ad-free Qur’ān app.
5. Choose a story from the Qur’ān and share it with your families and friends.
The Qur’ān is full of stories which are filled with deep wisdom. Choose a story from the Qur’ān which inspires you and share this story with your families, friends and children. From the talking ant to the golden cow; from the baby which spoke to the snake which turned into a stick; make the Qur’ān a part of your families’ lives.
6. Select 30 du‘ās from the Qur’ān and focus on one each day.
Select one Qur‘ānic du‘ā’ for each day of the month and repeat this du‘ā’ throughout the entire day. Choose as many moments as possible from the special times in which du‘ā’ is accepted to make this du‘ā’.
Suggestion: reflect on the background of each du‘ā’ and learn the translation of the du‘ā’.
7. Memorise as much as you can.
Fix an amount to memorise every day. Even if you do two lines a day, with consistency you will have memorised 60 lines by the end of the month inshā’Allāh.
Just imagine that you are in the hereafter and you are being told: “Read, ascend, and recite slowly and distinctly as you used to recite in the world…” (Abū Dāwūd) and depending on how much you’ve memorised, that is where you will have to stop. The more you’ve memorised, the higher you will be able to go. Aim high this Ramaḍān!
8. Interact with what you recite.
In your night prayers, interact with the āyāt you are reciting like the Messenger of Allah ﷺ did. When you come across an ayah of mercy, stop and supplicate to Allah. When you come across an āyah of punishment, stop and ask for Allah’s protection.
9. Vary what you read in Ṣalāh.
Rather than sticking to what you always read, try to vary between the different sūrahs you have memorized. This will help you to perform Ṣalāh with more khushū’ (humility and concentration) and you will start to feel the sweetness of Ṣalāh.
10. Implement the Qur’ān in your life.
Allah (subḥānahū wa ta‘ālā) has described specific qualities that we should embody as believers: these are the People of the Qur’ān. To help you become such people of the Qur’ān, who are the chosen people of Allah, here is a selected list of Qur’ānic qualities.
a) Select one of the qualities from the list and make it your focus for this month.
b) Reflect on the related āyāt (which are in the pdf document).
c) Work on developing the quality consistently throughout Ramaḍān, so that it becomes a part of you and lives on in you beyond Ramaḍān.
Suggestion: write down this quality on a piece of paper and stick it on your fridge or somewhere where you are likely to see it every day to remind yourself.
May Allāh make us from the People of the Qur’ān.