“…Whatever good you store up for yourselves you will find with Allah, better and with a greater reward. Ask Allah for His forgiveness, He is most forgiving, most merciful.” (73:20)
For those of us who do not speak or understand Arabic, we truly lose out on a special kind of connection with the Quran. It’s a real shame. We rely on translations. Which can sometimes become difficult due to the way the beautiful, rich Arabic words are given meaning. Like many Muslims growing up in the non-Arab world, I’ve always struggled with reading the translation of the Quran and really benefitting from it. I remember the first time in my teens reading a Yusuf Ali translation with excitement, only to realise that I didn’t actually understand much of it.
In my early twenties, I discovered Dr Mohsin Khan’s translation and that was a life changer for me. I loved it. But would only read the translation to look up specific ayahs/surahs of interest.
My relationship with the translation Quran took a massive turn when I became a mother. Not because of motherhood, but rather because I was at home, with no work, no friends, no family – weeks and sometimes months would go by and I wouldn’t see anyone I know other than the ameer. I remember speaking to another sister about this. And she told me something that made me want to look at things differently. She told me that although loneliness gives a horrible feeling – it can actually serve as a brilliant reminder of lying in the grave with nothing but our deeds. Sounds very cynical and sinister I know. She wasn’t telling me to think like this, she told me how she often found herself thinking like that. What she said pushed me to put something together so my lonely times were occupied with working on my relationship with Allah. I decided to rebuild my relationship with the Quran, something I had neglected due to the new changes motherhood brought.
I started off a Quran group with some friends, and for the first time started to read the translation alongside the recitation. Through this I found a new love for the Quran and this was only possible due to reading the translation EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.
In our recitation in the Quran group, we reached the end last Ramadan. And in the journey, I learnt so much just by reading the translation. I now look for translations that will help me get closer to Allah’s words. I know this isn’t the best option but for now it helps me.
When I saw this (Translation Quran pictured below) recommended by another sister, I had to get myself a copy. And I’m glad I did. With my friends, I’ve re started the Quran group again, and I’m looking forward to reading this cover to cover.
I also started a recitation journey with my husband. We started this in hope to learn and grow in our love for Allah and the Quran together. We see many couples learn together, we don’t have the resources available right at this moment, so for us, reciting the same ayahs, and then reading the translation, is a great way of making the Quran a point of sincere discussion within our home. And of course, our children see this too, which I’m hoping will helps them realise how important the Quran is within a Muslim household.
I would strongly advocate for anyone who recites the Quran, to read the translation alongside it. It really does make you think, pushes you to really and truly appreciate what the book of Allah holds. Don’t make your recitation monotonous. Bring the words to life. I find reading the translation for about 5-10 ayahs first and then reciting those ayahs has helped my concentration within recitation. Trust me when I say this, doing something like this will make your whole day change. You end up thinking about the ayahs throughout the day. And then lonely moments, busy moments, angry moments and even happy moments can be brought back to a little reality check.
Translation Quran pictured:
The Quran, A new translation by M.A.S. Abdel Haleem by Oxford World’s Classics.