Couple of years back, on the first day of Ramadan, Abu Yusra read out a Facebook status to me. It read something like this: 30 Day Surah Mulk Challenge – memorise an ayah a day in Ramadan and you can memorise the whole surah by the end of the month.
That year I was suffering from severe pregnancy sickness and so I didn’t have a very fruitful Ramadan. Abu Yusra on the other hand took up the Surah Mulk challenge full heartedly with a dedication I’ve never seen before. It was truly admirable. And alhamdhulillah by the end of Ramadan that year, he had memorised the whole surah.
Fast forward two years, and I felt like doing the same thing – because I saw how my husband was able to recite it in the car, sitting at home without having to pick up a mus’haf. I wanted to do the same. There is no denying in the reward/protection this surah offers the believers as the following hadiths state:
The Prophet (saw) said:
“Verily, there is a chapter is the Quran which contains thirty ayat that will intercede on behalf of its reciter until he is forgiven. (It is) ‘Blessed be He in Whose Hand is the Dominion’ ” (Ahmad)
The Prophet (saw) said:
“There is a chapter in the Quran that will argue on behalf of its reciter until it causes him to enter into Paradise. (It is) ‘Blessed be He in Whose Hand is the Dominion’ ” (Tirmidhi)
Before I write the next bit, I do want to add a disclaimer, that, no, I don’t sit at home and run various Quran groups on whatsApp 🙂 (as some of my blogposts may suggest). It’s just something I use with a few close friends and family to build more love for the Quran in my life. And yes, I will advocate for this way of learning for those like me who may not have access to Quran classes or can’t attend for various reasons.
Three of my cousins and I all decided last Ramadan (2014) that we would memorise surah Mulk. We planned to memorise an ayah a day throughout the month of Ramadan (30 ayahs = 30 days). We used a similar style to the Quran Challenge – this time using one thumps up for reciting an ayah, and two thumps up for memorising an ayah.
It started off really well, we all got to 10/12 ayahs without much effort. But afterwards it got hard. We were struggling. Just like we all have a mid Ramadan dip – we had a memorising dip too. But we carried on alhamdhulillah. By the end of Ramadan, from what I remember one of us had memorised 20+ ayahs and the rest of the group had reached ayah 15. So we hadn’t done as well as Abu Yusra had a few years back, but it was still very good.
We carried on with it for a few months, with a struggle. We didn’t forget about it – but with the end of the Ramadan buzz, our enthusiasm had sort of come to an end too. One night, while I held the mus’haf trying to memorise an ayah, it hit me that before I know it will be Ramadan again. And that made me feel a bit ashamed of my incomplete challenge. I told myself that night, that no matter what, I had to memorise the remaining ayahs soon.
By then I had reached 22 ayahs. So it wasn’t long to go, but anyone familiar with the surah will know the end ayahs are very similar which makes it more difficult to memorise. I’m not sure exactly how long it took me, but it couldn’t have been more than 6 weeks, I with the guidance of Allah memorised all 30 ayahs with which my heart felt a lovely relief.
It’s been a few months now, and since that lovely day, (I remember it was a Friday) I’ve been reciting this surah from memory almost every night. Sometimes I recite it when putting my daughter to sleep, or tidying bits away or just before I get to bed.
I’ve always struggled with memorising surahs, even as a child it used to take me longer than others to memorise something. So this journey has helped me learn that things can change. It’s provided me with confidence to try and memorise more.
I share this now, as we have just over 60 days left until Ramadan 2015 starts, and if you want to, you too can take up the 30 Day Challenge (sounds like some fitness regime doesn’t it?! 😐). The lovely journey of learning Surah Mulk has now allowed me to take up more ‘memorisation projects.’ And over breakfast this morning, Abu Yusra and I were discussing the surahs we’d like to memorise this year and we prayed for Allah to reward the brother who had originally suggested the idea on Facebook.
Memorising Quran carries a reward that we all know about. How lovely it feels, when we come across a hadith that talks about the ranks of the one who recites Quran. Right at that moment, do you not wish you were able to recite the whole Quran? I do.
It’s never too late to add to the list of surahs you know by heart inshaAllah. So even though my Mulk project didn’t go to plan, it pushed me to complete it and alhamdhulillah for that moment.
The Prophet (saw) said:
“It will be said to the companion of the Quran: ‘Read and elevate (through the levels of Paradise) and beautify your voice as you did when you were in the worldly life! For verily, your position in Paradise will be at the last verse you recite!’ ”
(Abu Daawood & At-Tirmidhi)