Archive for the 'Uncategorized' Category

17
Oct
13

Snooty English Majors

I am in the process of revising a short story I wrote for my creative writing workshop.  It’s called “The Revert” and should be out in early 2014 iA!

The way our workshop goes is that we pass out the story to each of our classmates the class meeting before, and then the next class we spend half of the period talking about the person’s story.  We discuss things like what we liked, what we didn’t like, what worked, what didn’t work, what was confusing, and etc.  We are also expected to write a 2-3 page letter to the author/our peer and tell him or her our concerns and feedback about the story.

I would just like for anyone to who hasn’t been through this to imagine spending hours upon hours writing a story, and then having it be torn apart in your presence while you sit there silently taking down notes.  It’s pretty intense, and there is a level of maturity and distance that the author needs to have, met with respect, sincerity, and gentleness by the peers who are discussing the work.

I was reading through the letter responses I got and I came across one that made my jaw drop.  I might have been upset by the tone of my classmate who wrote a critique of my short story, but it was just too hilarious for me to care.

“A few enticing hints of the character’s past are dropped sporadically in between info dumps but ultimately they are all just pebbles drowning in the ocean under the stormy waves of exposition.”

“But quite frankly, the character [in the story] doesn’t care for that stuff and neither do I.”

“…but what little that is there [in the story for me to get] just keeps getting buried over and over again by the avalanches of exposition sent down over the rest of the story.”

The last excerpt could use a little bit of editing, huh? “Avalanches sent down” sounds too awkward, I like “avalanches crashing down over the rest of the story” better, don’t you?

لا حول و لا قوة إلا بالله!!!!!

I guess this is just a not-so-friendly reminder that how you say something makes a bigger difference than what it is you actually say.

Also–I only meet this kind of self-absorbed trope of a classmate in my classes that are listed with the English Department.  These kinds of people are never in my Comparative Literature classes, aH, we are the cool kid club and that is one of the many reasons I chose Comp Lit 😀

P.S.–I can’t wait to share the story with you guys, it’s honestly the most I’ve pushed myself as a fiction writer and I am definitely pushing the envelope with this one.

14
Oct
13

Worshiping Phiraon

As it always is bound to happen–when I have a huge paper or writing assignment due for a class, I always end up blogging! D:

This might be a stretch–but it’s something I thought of recently.

In the Qur’an, Phiraon (“Pharoah” in Arabic; referring to the leader of Egypt that Prophet Moses was sent to) repeatedly claims to be the Lord of Egypt and his subjects. There are moments that highlight his eccentricity, insanity, and uncontrollable anger in the Qur’an, one of the places being Surat TaHa. (If you’d like a break-down which looks deeply at the rhetoric of the Arabic, I advise listening to Nouman Ali Khan’s “Divine Speech” and translation of Surat TaHa available on Bayyinah TV and Shaykh Abdul Nasir Jangda’s Surat TaHa Tafseer series available for free on YouTube.)

The way that he interacts with his cabinet, with his subjects, with Moses and Aaron–these are all so incredibly cruel, calculated, and honestly shocking. I can imagine that when a person came to talk to him, he would expect them to grovel at his feet or approach him in some ridiculous, humiliating manner that would befit his pomp and arrogance.

Tangent–I was listening to a lecture by a Christian youth minister who converted to Islam (Yusha Evans) and he spoke about the way he noticed Jesus and other Christians worshiping in the Bible. There was a phrase that stuck out to him that described their worship–“fall on his face.” When he saw Muslims engaging in prayer, when they kneel down on the ground and put their foreheads on the floor, it clicked for him that this was a preservation of the way that those pious people he had read about before used to worship God. This position in the ritualistic, Islamic prayer is called “sujood” in Arabic.

So I was recently thinking about something–how would Phiraon demand his “slaves” worship him, if he really claimed to be God? And I could imagine the groveling, humiliating version of the Muslim sajdah/sujood, with the person’s whole face pressed into the earth, elbows touching the ground, arms extended as far as they can go, belly touching the ground.

Another tangent–Islamic scholars have reflected on the position of sujood in prayer (salah) and have noted how humbling it is, and many call it the climax of prayer, when a slave of God manifests his relationship to his Master, Creator, and Owner. Putting the most noble part of the human body, your face, on the ground in submission to Him..that’s one of the biggest signs of submission. It is also taught that this position, the position where a person lowers himself the most a human can possibly lower himself, is the position in which he is closest to God. This is a way that God honors His slaves for showing obedience to Him.

Tangent off that last tangent–There are certain guidelines a Muslim follows when he prays that determines how his physical movements should be carried out and what positions his body should be in at different parts of the prayer. The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) taught his followers how to pray. One of the narrations (not sure if it is sound or not) tells a believer to not demean himself by letting his elbows touch the ground by using the analogy of a dog who sits with his forearms and elbows on the ground.

Back to the whole point of this–if Phiraon was claiming the truth when he kept insisting that he was God, then I can’t imagine how horrid it would be to worship him. Even when the believer lowers himself in a gesture of humility, the One True God has instructed him to engage in a form of worship that is not humiliating.

Think about THAT the next time you make sujood 🙂

30
Jul
13

Masjid Policy: Open Doors and Open Hearts

My first day spent inside the masjid office yesterday, and I already saw stuff that I just didn’t expect. It was after the masjid office hours, but I was inside and doing whatever work I needed to do. An older man, probably in his 50s knocked on the door and walked in. He was wearing a leg brace and his clothing was a bit tattered. He came to the desk and said, “I really just need 20 dollars to buy medication for my leg. I really need my medication immediately, I haven’t taken it for 2 days.”

On Saturday, another experience happened where I met a sister who drove for 2 and a half hours with her young son to visit the masjid and speak to the religious director. She had a physical handicap, looked very distressed. She asked me for help in finding the masjid office and I pointed her in the right direction.

My reflection lies in this: The masjid is a hospital. It can be literally, with medical clinics in some Islamic centers or in the case where someone asked for money for medication. But a hospital in other ways, too. A social hospital–find some good company at the masjid. A spiritual hospital–seek a strong connection with God and reformation of your life. And any kind of other hospital we can think of.

A masjid is a place for the broken, and we are all broken in some ways, some of us more than others and some of us more outwardly so. When we turn someone away due to their appearance or condition or situation, what other place will take them in? Sometimes the community can be so snooty and reject people who need healing, and where else does this person have to go?

This is a reminder to myself first and foremost that my heart needs to be kept as open as the masjid’s doors are to every kind of person out there.

Here's the cat that's started coming around the masjid this Ramadan.  This cutie is just looking for some love at the masjid, like everyone else :)

Here’s the cat that’s started coming around the masjid this Ramadan. This cutie is looking for some love at the masjid, just like everyone else 🙂

 

24
Jul
13

Spiritual Handicaps

Ramadan reveals our spiritual handicaps. When this blessed month comes along, we push ourselves to our spiritual limits, using the example of the Prophet (peace be upon him) to make the most of the month. We know that he used to give even more charity, pray at night longer, read more Qur’an, among many other acts.

So we take these acts of worship that the Prophet (S) used to implement or implemented more than normal and we try to follow his example. We try to give more charity. We try to recite the Qur’an more and to connect with it on a deeper level. We try to clean up our character flaws. We try to rectify our relationships and social interactions. We try to do all of these things, and in our efforts we realize that we are falling short and we’re not to the level we want to be.

We realize, I am seriously attached to the life of this world and I can’t dig deep and give as much sadaqah as I should. I don’t know how to read Arabic and I’m tired of having sucky tajweed. I don’t understand Arabic and I can’t stand in another prayer and not know what’s being said. My heart is so caught up with so much bakwas (music, TV, pop culture) that I can’t connect to the Qur’an, I can’t feel it. I don’t have the determination to wake up at night for night prayers. I don’t have enough confidence in my relationship with God to make dua and know that He is listening and will answer it. I only feel a spiritual connection with God through others (others reciting the Qur’an, others leading prayers, etc.) and in communal worship, I can’t experience the same feelings or reach the same level on my own. I have serious anger issues and I can’t control my temper. I use language that I shouldn’t be using, I gossip like mad, and I say things to others that are hurtful and whack. I am lazy and I don’t push myself to my fullest potential. I am a horrible parent, child, spouse, friend, and if it were up to me I would never want to be on the receiving end of that relationship I have with others. I don’t have the discipline to control my desires. My priorities are all wrong and my life is a mess.

And so these are the conclusions we make in Ramadan. This is the wake up call we feel staring us straight in the face. These are the spiritual handicaps that we discover which are keeping us from reaching new heights in our faith. We try our best and make do with what we have, and then Ramadan is over and we might feel like we’ve made a little bit of progress…but then next Ramadan is just around the corner and we struggle with the same spiritual handicaps once again all over again.

I am determined to break that vicious cycle. Let’s take one area of our lives, one spiritual handicap, and focus on improving that this month. And once Ramadan is over, we’re not done. We will continue to work on that specific spiritual handicap throughout the year, so that we go from a wheelchair to crutches to limping to walking to running to flat out sprinting by next Ramadan iA. If I feel like I’m having trouble with having confidence in my dua/prayers to God, I am going to use this month to get a push off the wall and start making strides in my journey to strong and accepted prayers. If I feel like I can’t engage in night prayers, I am going to start waking up this month and keep it up once a week, twice a week for the rest of the year. If I feel like I gossip way too much, I am going to watch what I say and who I am around starting from now, and throughout the year I am only going to get better and better with the words that come out of my mouth.

Here’s to one less spiritual handicap on my list of spiritual handicaps for next Ramadan iA.

 

ICSGV's new facility. One of my favorite places to be during Ramadan. And check out those light fixtures!

ICSGV’s new facility. One of my favorite places to be during Ramadan. And check out those light fixtures!

14
Nov
12

Is #IrvineDivest Redemption for #Irvine11?

On the evening of November 13th, the University of California, Irvine made history by being the first UC to pass, unanimously!, the boycott, divestment, sanctions legislation against the apartheid state of Israel.

Given the history that UCI has in terms of Israel and Palestine, this thought crossed my mind, as I am sure it did for many others.

As Zahra Billoo, activist, attorney and head of CAIR’s Northern California chapter, so eloquently tweeted it

So, let’s ask ourselves this question. Is UCI’s divestment from Israel (BDS) redemption for the reactions to the Irvine 11 protest which happened 3 years earlier?

As a current UCI student, Muslim Student Union member, Irvine 11 campaign worker, and representative voice to the Academic Senate–I say:  NO.

And here’s why.

The Student Body; The Administration

Firstly, ASUCI and Administration are not one in the same entity.  The BDS passing was done by the student government of UCI, Associated Students of UCI (ASUCI), and not the university’s administration.  The Administration officially divesting from Israel on their own accord is so ridiculous, it’s laughable.  Likewise, it was Administration and the UCI PD who arrested the protesting students at the protest which occurred in February of 2010, not ASUCI.

As this momentous event shows us, the rift between the perspective of the student body and the perspective of the Administration is growing regarding activism and Israel/Palestine politics on campus.  Administration’s wishy-washy approach to the Israel-Palestine debate on campus will not suffice the views and the voice of the student body.

The sin committed by Administration cannot be atoned for by ASUCI.  They themselves are responsible for their actions and are the only ones who could ever redeem themselves, which is now too late.

The Implications of the Irvine 11 Protest on Campus and in Orange County

It is impossible to say that the student protest at the Ambassador Michael Oren event was contained to Pacific Ballroom on the UCI campus.  The reactions that the Administration had against the students themselves and the Muslim Student Union as well as its inaction in the face of the District Attorney’s criminal prosecution of these students are all too blaring to ignore and too late to be repaired.

On the individual level for the students who participated in the protest, Administration met them with university disciplinary actions, which are pretty much only known to the staff and students involved.  Punishments and measures taken ranged in severity between the individuals, some who were seen as having a bigger hand in the protest than others.

All of these students were Muslim, and most of these individuals were associated with the Muslim Student Union at UCI.  So here came the hammer on the organization.  Although it denied a role in the protest and distinguished between a group of members acting on their own accord and the organization as a whole, the MSU was penalized.  At first sentenced with a year-long suspension, MSU’s punishment was later reduced to a quarter-long suspension followed by a subsequent 2 year probation.  Just to put it in perspective, MSU at UCI has somewhere between 100-150 active members and offers many services to its members from academic to spiritual, let alone a place of belonging on campus.  All current and future members of UCI who did not have an actual role in the protest underwent sanctions from the university.

To add fuel to the fire, the attitude that Administration had to the protest was highly publicized, creating a campus-wide stigma against anyone who identified with the protest, MSU (and more largely Muslim), or Palestine.   Chancellor Michael Drake sent out emails to the whole campus about what had happened.  In the email he sent the very next day February 8th, Chancellor Drake put the spotlight on the protesters, calling for a campus-wide condemnation of the protest and the 11 individuals.  In an email sent out less than 2 weeks later on February 17, subject title “Values and Civility,” he denounced “the behavior of so many others” as “sinking backward” and called for participation in discussions hosted by those who agreed with the Administration’s official views.   Then, on February 26th, he sent out another email, a “Statement on Recent Events,” equating the racist noose found in Geisel Library at sister-school UCSD to the Ambassador Oren protest.  Chancellor Drake painted both as acts of bigotry and hatred, evoking the UCI “family” by stating, “we are all particularly offended (and astonished) when campus groups behave in ways that are harmful to other members of our community. On our own campus, we have unfortunately seen an increase in inflammatory rhetoric and actions, rather than an increase in problem solving efforts.”  That is a total of 3 emails sent out to the whole campus demonizing the protest and the protesters—but it didn’t stop there.

Administration’s agenda wasn’t only restricted to discrete jabs at the MSU—they came out very vocally against the organization.  As we saw in the Student Affair’s welcoming message sent out the next school year on September 3rd, 2010, it announced the suspension and probation of MSU for all to hear loud and clear.  The damage that this email must have caused on the incoming class particularly is immeasurable.  I can only imagine what it must have meant as incoming freshmen and transfers checked their emails and found this message waiting in their inboxes, separate implications for Muslim and non-Muslim students.  In this email, the Administration makes a point to quell the fears of the UCI campus by ensuring us that the suspension/probation is in addition to the disciplinary action taken against the protesting students. “The sanctions described herein apply to the organization as a whole, and do not address disciplinary processes for individuals in this incident.” As stated, it became clear that MSU had its trip to the guillotine in order to serve as a symbolic example, to “[demonstrate] the University of California Irvine’s commitment to values, principles and tolerance.”  How ironic.

Now moving into the larger Orange County scene, Administration’s attitude was even more publically put on display by Administration’s complete lack of action in the face of the District Attorney’s criminal prosecution against the student protesters.  Administration had already punished these students individually and MSU as a whole at the campus level.  Many, even those who disagreed with the students who protested and supported the Administration’s university discipline, saw this prosecution as thoroughly draconian and unnecessary.  The Administration had the power to shut this case down, but its new found wordlessness left a resounding silence that the District Attorney took as silent approval.  Not only did the prosecution carry on, but the final verdict was that the students were found guilty.  This UCI protest was now displaced off-campus and shoved into the Orange County court room.

The Real Issue

In all of the hoopla that surrounded the Irvine 11, we lost sight of the real issue.  It wasn’t about free speech. the 1st Amendment, and constitutional rights—but that was all we heard about.  The conversation cleverly side-stepped the real issue:  Israel’s systematic oppression of the Palestinian people and our responsibility as students regarding the issue.

So what does this mean for UCI, a hot bed of debate over Israel and Palestine?  Let’s be clear:  the Irvine Divestment is not redemption for the Irvine 11, to each is the accountability for his own action.  It means the students have taken a momentous step forward and the Administration better keep up.  Administration, as a bastion against student activism and pro-Palestinian sentiments, this message is to you from the students.

With BDS and the Irvine Divestment, it’s hard to avoid the topic of Israel/Palestine this time around.  Yes, this is the chance to celebrate student activism and achievement in a period of unforeseen tuition hikes and university cut backs, but it’s much more than that.  Let’s stay focused on the apartheid state of Israel and the suffering Palestinian people, and let us continue to work to bring justice and speak truth to power together as students.

May all of our activism always stay sincere and be accepted.  I pray that UCI has opened the door for many other schools to pass BDS at their own campuses.

17
Oct
12

Make Hajj&Umrah Without Going to Hajj….What?

Assalamualaykum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakatuhu!!

What would you say if I told you that you can make Hajj & Umrah ANY DAY of the year??!!  Now what would you say if the Prophet SAWS told us so? 🙂

From Anas bin Malik, may Allah be pleased with him, who said: “The Messenger of Allah, sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam, said: ‘Whoever prays the morning prayer in congregation then sits remembering Allah until the sun rises, then prays two units of prayer has the reward like that of Hajj and `Umrah.’” He said, “Allah’s Messenger, sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam, said: ‘Complete, complete, complete (i.e. reward)’” (narrated by Tirmidhi).

For WOMEN, this getting the reward for Hajj & Umrah is WAY EASIER. Why? Because women do not have to pray in congregation at the masjid and they can pray from their own homes

So sisters–wake up and set your OWN Fajr salah time (an hour before fajr ends, 30 minutes before, 15 minutes before, however long or short you please) and sit there in a warm blankey and make dua, read Qur’an, or make dhikr until sunrise/shurook time. Wait at least 10 minutes for the sun to rise completely (you can not make salah while the sun is rising or setting) and pray 2 rakah–AND YOU’RE DONE!! iA you will see the rewards for all of your Hajj’s & Umrah’s on the Day of Judgement.  This advice is straight out of Shaykh Yaser Brijas’ mouth from when I took Fiqh of Salah with him, so I am just passing along the message.

Don’t be sad that you’re not at Hajj this year 😦 Be glad that Allah gave you the opportunity to make Hajj and Umrah from the comfort of your local masjid or even your own home and any day of the year that you please, but ESPECIALLY in these first 10 days of Dhul Hijjah!!

Take advantage of the BEST 10 DAYS OF THE YEAR and JOIN THE MILLIONS OF PEOPLE AT HAJJ THIS YEAR by making Hajj & Umrah yourself!! 🙂 Don’t miss out!!

 
So let’s pleaaaaaaaaaaase take advantage of this opportunity 🙂
Reminder to myself first and foremost!
23
Aug
12

Visual-Spacial Imagination, Memory, & the Qur’an

Assalamualaykum!

A belated Eid mubarak to all!  It seems like it’s been a while, alhamdulillah.  I’ve been trying to get back in the groove of things back home, and as we all know Ramadan is an experience in and of itself.  It’s been almost 2 full months since the Dream 2012 batch graduated. It still hasn’t sunk in that I won’t be going back to Dream in a few weeks.  Not a day goes by that I am not reminded of something from Dream, whether something in class that Ustadh said or some aspect of living in Texas or a person or a joke, anything.  Even this cliched term, “not a day goes by…” is not exaggerated enough to capture how many things remind me of Dream on a daily basis, I would say it happens at least every few hours.

And there it is again–memory–something that I’ve been mulling over for a while.  There are some trains of internal thought-conversations that we have in our minds that insist on tempting us and any and every thing we see around us can make us think of them.  A subject I am currently brooding over is the idea of memory.

Why, you ask?

Coming back from Dream, one of my main goals is to kick up my Qur’an memorizing.  I would say that memorizing has been the creature lurking in the shadows this whole time for the past 3-4 years of my life and I am just starting to notice it.  First, it was stumbling into tajweed classes and working on tajweed and reading for a while.  Then, it was going to Dream, where I became adequately adept at being able to understand the language I would need to be memorizing in.  And my most recent experience, memorizing in Ramadan in which I somehow was able to memorize an unimaginable half a juz in 3-4 weeks with the blessings and favor of Allah.

It was at Dream that I started experimenting with my ability to memorize and what it means to sit down and practice memorizing and to become good at it.  During Dream, Ustadh Nouman would make us memorize so many random, bakwas things and it was really frustrating at times.  One of our first memorizing assignments was to give a 2-3 minute introduction speech from memory, (posted here). Regularly throughout the year, we would have to memorize the conversations and short reading passages from our Cambridge and Bayna Yadayk 2 textbooks.  Especially with Bayna Yadayk 2, Ustadh Nouman would walk around among the study groups and tell us that he’s coming back in 10 minutes to test us on a page-long conversation.  Cue insane cramming!  But somehow, we managed to pretty much stumble through them even if it was just 10 minutes later and it becoming normal to me is something that amazed me, and still amazes me.

So this morning as I was trying to warm up my brain for (guess what?) attempting to memorize my half page for today, I happened to come across this TED talk by Joshua Foer called “Feats of Memory Anyone Can Do” and got horribly, but oh so productively, distracted.  (The distraction continues now as I blog about it, which is an added distraction).

In this talk, he speaks about his experiences as a journalist covering the national memory competition and his subsequent interaction with the idea of memory and memorizing and why it’s so important in our lives.  He does an exercise at the beginning of his talk to demonstrate the memorizing theory of “memory palace,” the theory he later explains in his talk and elucidates his opening demo.  *warning, there is a picture with some nudity that he shows, so when you see a picture of a front door, look away before it’s too late!!

One of the main concepts he speaks about, which is also at the crux of the memory palace method, is what he talks about in a study that shows that when people/memory experts are actively engaging their memories, the part of their brain that lit up vs. the control group was the visual-spacial portion.  The whole idea is to find a way to imagine what you’re memorizing so it will be easier to recall.

This Ramadan, I actually tried imaging the Qur’an in a visual-spacial sort of way, like a movie, but not so much for memorizing.  I did that during tarawih to help keep my khushoo/concentration and also to simply enrich my experience of the Qur’an in hopes of being able to taste it.  It’s really easy to do and a fun exercise, and it’s quite built into the language! When Shaykh Yasir Birjas visited the campus, he said that Arabic words are like a picture in your head, and he encouraged us to always find the picture of the word while we were studying.  Ustadh Nouman is actually a huge proponent of this idea–that the Qur’an is like a movie, especially in some parts over the other.  It’s something he also spoke about in his Sunday Qur’an lectures (which can be found on Bayyinah.tv, subscribe today!! Shameless plug 😀 ) in Surat an Nahl, when the people who have taqwa of Allah are asked what Allah revealed to them they respond by saying خيراً, which Ustadh translated as man, it was so good!; whereas on the previous page, the people who are arrogant and disbelieve are asked the same question to which they responded أساطيرُ الأوّلين, legends of old/tales of the ancients.

وَقِيلَ لِلَّذِينَ اتَّقَوْا مَاذَا أَنزَلَ رَبُّكُمْ ۚ قَالُوا خَيْرًا ۗ لِّلَّذِينَ أَحْسَنُوا فِي هَٰذِهِ الدُّنْيَا حَسَنَةٌ ۚ وَلَدَارُ الْآخِرَةِ خَيْرٌ ۚ وَلَنِعْمَ دَارُ الْمُتَّقِينَ

And it will be said to those who feared Allah , “What did your Lord send down?” They will say, “[That which is] good.” For those who do good in this world is good; and the home of the Hereafter is better. And how excellent is the home of the righteous – [16:30]

This ayah is actually really interesting.  It is grammatically weird for the people to respond خيراً (in the nasb state) rather than خيرٌ (in the rafa state.)  Not only is this the default for any sentence and in Arabic in general, ayah 24 of the same surah gives a template for the response, by the arrogant saying إساطيرُ الإوّلين instead of أساطيرَ الأوّلين (this time it is in rafa like it normally would be).  Even if you have no idea what a nasb or a rafa status is (or mansoob or marfoo’), any person who reads Arabic can tell that there is a difference in tashkeel–a fathah versus a damma.

So, why is “khayr” written with a fathah/in nasb state?  It’s as if the people have experienced and tasted the Qur’an, that’s why they’re saying, man, it was so good! They weren’t just saying (cue pompous religious accent) “Allah revealed good–He revealed something good to us”.  They are saying, “What did Allah reveal?!  It’s amazing, haven’t you tasted it?!  Dude, you’ve got to check it out! Seriously!!

From this ayah, I guess we can say that even Allah speaks about people experiencing the Qur’an–not only confined to their visual-spacial imaginations, but also in their lives, by living the Qur’an.

And what does it mean to live the Qur’an?  And why is this so important for me, or anyone else, who is even just thinking about wanting to memorize the whole Qur’an?

One of my goals coming back was to memorize, and this got me grappling with the important question, is it even possible for me to physically memorize?  I think I proved to myself that it is this past year at Dream and also during this Ramadan, but memorizing the Qur’an isn’t like memorizing a list of names in a phone book or the order of a stack of cards, it’s memorizing the words of Allah and memorizing them FOR LIFE.  Even the term “hafidth” / حافظ doesn’t translate as “memorizer,” it translates as a guarder or protector. This means that anyone who has memorized the whole Qur’an is given the title of someone who protects the Qur’an–what an honorable title to hold!  So what does it mean for someone who wants that title?

Memorizing the Qur’an is not only being physically capable to handle it, but also spiritually ready.  The term “memorize by heart” is truly appropriate here.  (It also reminds me of the amazing documentary “Koran By Heart” which is something you should watch if you haven’t yet. You can probably YouTube it.)  Someone whose heart is not ready to hold the weight of the Qur’an will not be ready to memorize it.  We know that it took some of the sahabi years to memorize the Qur’an because they were waiting to let it sink into their hearts and apply it in their lives before moving on to the next verse.  Sins, internal darknesses, matters of character, rectifying our behavior–these are all essential aspects of memorizing the Qur’an which perhaps are things that we overlook.

As much as Dream was the means of me being able to understand Arabic (which has made it way easier for me to memorize long term) and also good memorizing practice since memorizing random things was regularly expected of us, it also stands as the experience which has pushed me spiritually and in terms of my character/adab/akhlaq more than anything I have ever done before.  Maybe Dream turned out to be the thing that would not only get me physically and intellectually ready to memorize, but also spiritually ready.

May Allah prepare our minds and our hearts to hold the Qur’an.

I also pray that there is a TED talk about memorizing the Qur’an soon!!!!

Please keep me in your prayers as I continue to think about starting a serious memorizing regiment.  This is a reminder to myself first and foremost.

Sunrise or a sunset? A time-old question in my life.
Sunrise in Fullerton, CA.




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