I think I did this last year too; I kept talking about my goals without actually laying out what those goals are. This post is more to give context to the rest of my posts than anything else.
The reading goals:
1. Complete reading the entire Arabic Qur’an by the end of the month. I am still a little bit unsure about this one, but as I said a couple of days ago, I did it last year so why not do it again this year? It is the month of the Qur’an after all.
2. Complete the entire Companions of the Prophet book. I’m not too worried about this. 30 days. 30 chapters, and each chapter is only about 15 pages and reads pretty quickly. So far I am really happy with this one. It’s pretty interesting and I am learning a lot.
3. This one is new. Re-memorize the 30th juz of the Qur’an. Back when I was 11, I had the entire 30th chapter of the Qur’an memorized. Since then, unfortunately I forgot a lot of it. Right now I probably only have a little less than half of that retained. Following Eid last year, every night I would read half of the 30th juz; the first half one night, the second half the next. That lasted probably only for a couple of months. Since then I have been reading the second half pretty regularly(thought not every day like I had intended) and have re-memorized a couple more surahs.
This month I really want to try to get the rest of it back. Reading the entire juz a day in addition to all of my other reading goals is a bit much, so I’ve decided that every night, I will read half of the 30th juz, alternating each night between first half and second half. I am hoping that the repetition will help bring the words back to me. Hey, if I can memorize entire Korean songs by listening and singing them over and over again, I can definitely do it with Arabic surahs inshaAllah.
The “fasting” goals: In addition to the food and drink, abstain from listening to music of any kind and watching TV, movies, and online videos. Of course if the song or videos is Islamic or instructional, that’s an exception. I have been doing this for the past two years, and it is a struggle every year, but I am committed to these goals. These are things that, as one speaker very appropriately put it, “can be outwardly permissible but are distractions from our inward journey.” I love music, but I need to put it all on hold to try to really take advantage of my time this month that I can dedicate to worship and good deeds.
I need to get back to my deen, my religion, and become less attached to this world. I had a little scary moment yesterday thinking about how quick and unpredictable this life could be and realized that I am way too attached to this world. InshaAllah, with the help of God and without my distractions, I can re-center myself.
*Quote of the Day*
Today I read about someone I had never heard of before, and that is Suhayb Ar-Rumi. He was born in an Arab family, but was raised as a slave in the Byzantine Empire. Eventually, he escaped and moved to Mecca and became one of the first Muslims. Even though his chapter was short, I am glad his story was included in this book. Even if his ethnicity was Arab, he was raised by the Byzantines. He adds diversity to the stories.
My quote today isn’t exactly as profound as other quotes I’ve shared, but I found a personal connection to this one. During the Hijrah, when all of the Muslims fled the persecution in Mecca and sought refuge in Medina, Suhayb found motivation to keep pushing forward through the Prophet (S).
“On his way to Madinah, whenever he felt tired, the thought of meeting the Prophet sustained him and he proceeded with increased determination” (Hamid 36).
I read that and was immediately filled with a longing to have lived in the time of the Prophet (S). Of course, life was incredibly difficult back then, but just imagine going on a journey with Prophet Muhammad (S) himself waiting for you at the end.
I realized after reading this that in a way, we can all think of our journeys like that. If we push through this life and persevere while maintaining La ilaha illallah Muhammad ar-rasulallah and live by the Qur’an, inshaAllah we can be united with the Prophet (S) in Jannah. May God allow us to meet Rasulallah (S) in Jannah. Ameen.