We all know Ramadan is the month of the Quran and we all want to make the Quran the centre of our time in Ramadan, but somewhere in the chaos of being mothers, we’ve lost that touch, that special bond, one that we crave.
Some of us plan to spend time with the Quran and some of us feel lost about how we would go about it. Some of us are excited and some of us are scared. All of this is normal; these are feelings of real people.
I’ve put a list together of Quran related goals mums can set for themselves, goals that will help them take steps closer to the book that was revealed in Ramadan. The list is a bit of a mix, it includes goals for the heart that may already be attached to the Quran and goals for the heart that needs extra or new attachment.
Completing recitation of the whole Quran
Now, this is the most obvious Quran goal, the one encouraged by all, and the one that thousands take part in every year; a goal that I haven’t been able to complete or even plan to undertake in the last five years (due to motherhood.) This carries a great reward, it is something the sahaba used to do and the Prophet (saw) is known to have spent time revising the Quran with jibreel (as) in Ramadan.
Memorise a surah
This can be a long or a short surah; it could be one from Juz amma or it could be the whole of surah Baqarah (my friend did the latter last year – may Allah accept it from her). By having memorisation goals in Ramadan, you acquaint yourself with the words of Allah continuously – you have an urgent need to look at your mus’haf, you rush your chores so you can test yourself. Your lips start uttering the verses you memorise voluntarily even when you don’t realise. You can do the Surah Mulk challenge or try memorising the first ten and last ten verses of Surah Al Kahf. Think about what you’d like to achieve in terms of memorisation and set yourself up for it.
Read/Listen to tafsir of surahs you recite in your daily salah
This is something that most of us can do with very little effort, especially the listening part. There are amazing resources out there, available for free, spend time learning about the words you recite in salah, so your relationship with the Quran and your salah changes for the better.
Completely immerse yourself in surah al Fatihah
Although this sounds like an easy or simple task, it will be a game changer for the soul that embarks with this goal. It is the surah we repeat in every rakah of our salah, it is the surah the Prophet (saw) called “The greatest surah”, when we recite this in salah, Allah converse with us directly, and many, many other reasons why we should immerse ourselves with this surah. (ref) Learn about it in a way you never have before. I’m sure 30 days will fall short in the amount of things we can know about this magnificent surah.
Teach your child(ren) a new surah.
Teaching Quran carries great weight. Imagine being rewarded for the words your child recites because you taught your child the words of Allah. In teaching others quran, we end up repeating the verses several times – do this with the intention of pleasing Allah and your reward will inshaAllah be more; not only will you recite but another little soul will be reciting alongside you, because of you!
Find duas in the Quran you don’t know and memorise them
The Quran is filled with duas of prophets and pious people, people Allah loved. Why not learn these duas. What better way to ask from Allah than with the words He has shared with us. I find great comfort in learning a new dua, especially when its association is with a prophet, it provides me with solace to know this was an accepted dua, it was something uttered thousands of years ago, and I have the ability to utter them too.
Reflect on the last two verses of surah Al Hashr
I know many sisters learn the 99 names of Allah during Ramadan. It’s a heart-soothing thing to do. The verses at the end of surah al Hashr include of some of the names of Allah, the verses have something very soul comforting about them. Recite them, read about them, think about what they mean to you and reflect on how they make you feel.
Start reciting 5 ayahs a day
How can I make a list of Quran related goals and not mention my most advocated social media speech – yes, you probably already know this one. You recite five verses every day. You start with surah Fatihah on day one. You recite it and then read the translation. On day two, you start surah Baqarah and recite five verses with translation, on day three you move to the next five verses. You do this every single day. You take a break when you’re not praying but get back to where you left off when you resume salah. You continue with this after Ramadan ends and complete a whole recitation of the Quran by doing this. It can take years, but guess what? It means you’ve spent every day of those years reciting from the Quran and reading translation too – when was the last time you did that? So, although a snail-paced goal, remembering the Prophet (saw) said:
“for the best deeds are those done regularly even if they are few.”
you happily become a tortoise, slowly, gradually falling in love with the Quran.
Choose favourite surah
Choose one surah you love and dedicate your whole Ramadan to it. I know, I know, this is a difficult one, how to choose when there are so many favourites? But do this, and you’ll give yourself time to learn about a surah you’ve always loved but never had the time to know about it fully. Maybe Surah Yusuf or Maryam – whichever one you choose, find your resources beforehand, save them and then completely sink into its words and meanings.
If you’re blessed to attend Taraweeh salah at the masjid, then read/listen to tafsir of the parts of the Quran that will be recited that night, during the day. It will help you focus and bring about a deeper connection with what you hear when standing in congregation.
Share Quran stories
Find stories from the Quran, read them, understand them and then share them with your family. You can do this over iftar or suhoor. You can do this whilst putting the kids to bed. Make it short and reflective. Ask your family what they think of the story, how it makes them feel, what they learnt from it. Bonding over the lessons Allah teaches us through stories is something your children will cherish all their lives and it will set them up for a loving relationship with the Book of Allah. Stories can include; Musa (as) as a baby, Yusuf (as) and his brothers, people of the cave, Suleiman (as) and the ants, Story of the elephants. There are just so many to engage our minds with.
Now I hear you ask, when am I meant to do all this when I’m wiping bottoms and noses, cleaning the floor a dozen times a day and fasting in the long hot days?
Firstly, you make intention, you then make dua to Allah to put baraqah into your time and health.
Swap some of your social media time for the Quran. So if you tend to browse online, check statuses on Facebook and pictures on Instagram, then for the month of Ramadan, consciously try and cut some of that time down, exchange it for some time with your mus’haf. And the best time to get into the habit of it all is NOW! So when Ramadan is here, you won’t “suffer” from social media withdrawal symptoms.
Get some simple activities planned for the kids; colouring, Play-doh, Lego, cardboard boxes – anything you know that will keep them seated in one places for 30 minutes. Sit next to them, they play, you recite. Tell them what you’re doing, make sure they know that it’s for Ramadan, tell them if they’re a 24 month old or a seven year old, believe me, when we make eye contact and tell our children something is important for us, they appreciate it.
Get yourself a Ramadan buddy, this could be your sister, your husband, your mother, your father or brother, a friend, a neighbour. Someone you briefly discuss your goals with, you both then kindly help account each other, not in a pointing finger kind of way, but a more supporting, encouraging way.
If the weather is nice, plan a trip to the park, take your mus’haf with you and a picnic for the kids, let the kids tire themselves out whilst you get a moment to recite. This actually works really well especially for memorisation. For memorisation, you’re not required to have your head in your mus’haf continuously, so it works well to keep an eye on the kids and also learn new verses. If you have a garden, then do the same there.
If you a have napping age children, use 20 minutes of their nap time in the day to spend with the Quran. That will be your most connected, distraction free time. It doesn’t even have to be 20 minutes, it can be 5 or 10 minutes.
Speak to your husband or other family members about your Quran goals, get support from them. Don’t shy away from asking for help, if that means five minutes away from the kids on a Sunday morning, get that help. It could be that person’s good deed in Ramadan to help you.
Use your child’s bedtime to catch of on your recitation. This is a perfect time to recite surahs you know from memory. Add it to their bed time routine and this will slowly help them see that not only are they required to recite Quran before bed, but mum does it too.
If you have a child friendly, women friendly masjid, go there, take toys and books with you and recite in the house of Allah. There’s something soul nourishing about it, it doesn’t have to be for hours, it can be for 8-10 minutes, but it will make you feel renewed.
Recite in the car, either by following a Qari or from memory. This is also good for memorisation and revision. Sometimes we don’t have to find extra time to give to the Quran but add the Quran to our existing chores and duties – I think that’s the most realistic way for mums.
Make good use of technology. Use YouTube and other apps to help you with your Quran goals.
As mothers, most of us don’t have dedicated Quran teachers, most of us have to make time for ourselves, we have to make it happen otherwise no one else will. Think of your days, think of how you can change things around, swap bits around to give yourself an extra two minutes with your mus’haf. Don’t recite the Quran as a blind chore – recite in a way that changes you, so that the words come out of your mus’haf and stay with you even after Ramadan.
Sometimes it isn’t about meeting big, fat goals, sometimes it’s about assessing the real relationship we have with the Quran, the one that lives in our heart. It is within us to make the Quran the life of our lives..
“If you want to rectify your heart, or want to see betterment in your child or companion – or whoever it is for that matter, then direct them to places where the Qur’an is recited and direct them to be in the company of the Qur’an. Allah will then cause them to become better, whether they are willing to it or not.”
Imam ash-Shafi, in: ḥilyat al-awliya’ 9/123.
This post is to help those sisters who would love their Ramadan to consist of a bit more Quran than usual, this post isn’t suggesting that every other good deed should be put on hold for the above, it is written in the hope that it allows sisters with ideas in ways they can build their relationship with the words of Allah.