In the Name of God, the Most Kind, the Kindest
بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
In Ramadan, two things are given paramount importance: fasting and the Quran Sharif. Fasting entails abstaining from food, drink, and sexual intercourse from true dawn until the time of sunset. Allah says in the Quran, “O YOU who have attained to faith! Fasting is ordained for you as it was ordained for those before you so that you might remain conscious of God” (2:183).
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا كُتِبَ عَلَيْكُمُ الصِّيَامُ كَمَا كُتِبَ عَلَى الَّذِينَ مِنْ قَبْلِكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَتَّقُونَ١٨٣
In Islamic mysticism and poetry, those who are conscious of God (or the God-fearing) have often spoken metaphorically of union with the Beloved—their Bride. Soon we’ll be refraining from physical intercourse to engage in another more intimate and far subtler form with the Divine.
In Ramadan, we strive to read the Book of Allah, or do we? Do we long to touch the Quran, to kiss it, to hold it to our breast and pour over each word? It is after all a love letter from our Beloved. How do we want to approach our Bride or Groom? What state do we want to be in? Have we gotten ourselves ready to receive Him or Her? Are we hanging on His every Word?
During the Tarawih prayer, which is an emphasized sunna of Ramadan, the entire Quran is recited. It is also read copiously in homes and listened to as much as possible.
As we open our hearts to the Speech of Allah, as we hear His Words spoken directly to us, entering us, filling us with His Noor, Grace, Love, and Blessings imagine, like the Sufis, that you are standing before your Beloved, you are having an intimate conversation, and what S/he says is penetrating your heart, touching your splendid innermost being, and opening new vistas and horizons of perfection. If you are unable to join the Tarawih prayer in person due to Covid-19, then see if it is available via Livestream.
Or, find a reciter whose voice you love and lose yourself to the Speech of Allah. Give yourself over to Him, and allow the Arabic recitation to bring tears to your eyes, to fill you with hope and fear, to strike a chord, and move you to act in accordance with His Words. Some of the most popular reciters include the late, great Shaykh Husary, Shaykh Mishary, Shaykh Omar Hisham, Shaykh Ismail al-Qadi, and Qaria Asma Huda.
If you are a non-Arabic speaker/reader then you might enjoy a bilingual Quran like The Noble Quran: Word-by-Word Translation & Color Coded Tajweed published by Karya Bestari. Perhaps you’d simply like to get better acquainted with a fine English translation, such as Thomas Cleary’s Essential Quran or Maulana Wahiduddin Khan’s The Quran: A Simple English Translation. If you’re looking for a wide range of traditional Islamic commentaries then The Study Quran is by far the best.
Shaykh ‘Abd al-Qadir al-Jilani, may Allah perfume his resting place, reminds us that among the blessings of the Quran is that the one who reads it and believes in it enjoys right guidance and salvation from the Fire and that these benefits are also passed by extension to our ascendants and descendants as is confirmed by the Hadith Sharif (Sufficient Provision for Seekers of the Path of Truth, 3:60).
May this Ramadan find you in intimate discourse with the Lord of the worlds, may it elevate you, guide you, delight you, and inspire you. May you find yourself drawn to His Words, clinging to His Book, and may it be an intercessor for you, your family, and your dearly departed loved ones.
From one needy of your dua,
Your sister & friend,