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Monthly Archives: Agustus 2014

Analyze your time — Your key to productivity

An old friend of mine once said to me, “There’s a myth that’s going around these days, the myth says: If you can manage your time, you can do anything!”. Four years from hearing this advice, I don’t believe it’s a myth anymore.

We all hear about time management and it’s importance, and people shout at us from time to time that we should time manage properly, but rarely do we hear a concise methodology of how to time manage!

In order to understand how to time manage, you firstly need to understand what time management is about. Time management is not about managing your time, because technically, you cannot manage something you have no control over! (Can you stop, start time?!) – Time management is simply managing yourself in a way that makes use of the time sphere we’re in. So how exactly do we that?

Peter Drucker, author of the famous book “The Effective Executive” (Highly recommended reading)), recommends three steps to managing your time, and he actually calls the chapter that deals with this: “Know thy time”:

  1. Analyze your time.
  2. Cut back unproductive demands.
  3. Aim to complete tasks in large chunks of time.

So let’s get into more details of how to follow the above three steps (adding the usual ProductiveMuslim Islamic twist to it ;)).

Analyze your time:

Record your time over a course of at least a week. I’ll be honest here, it’ll take a strong stomach to realise how much time we waste in a course of a week. But being truthful to oneself is the first step to remedy. There are 2 ways to record your time:

  1. Keep a diary with you recording what you do each hour
  2. Ask your friend/flat-mate/spouse to analyze your time, (as we tend to be nice to ourselves when we record our own time, and end up ‘cheating’)

Cut back unproductive demands:

Hopefully, after recording our time, a sad realization would dawn upon us, and that is, there’s a lot we can cut down from. e.g. do we really need to spend that hour in the cafe in the morning, or is it just better to make some coffee at home and read e-mails at the same time? Do we really need to spend 2 hour everyday just flicking through TV channels or internet sites or can we cut down from that time? (Note: please please don’t cut back from time for Allah! Some people in order to ‘save’ time, will not go to the mosque to pray for example, that’s not an unproductive demand to cut down on, that’s an essential demand which we better keep, so please don’t touch the religious stuff, we’re already guilty of not giving enough time to them, let’s not use this excuse to make it worse!

Aim to complete tasks in large chunks of time:

Isn’t it annoying when you are working on something so hard and you got really into it (sometimes called being in ‘The Zone’) to be interrupted by a phone call or an e-mail alert or text?! This third tip basically says that you should try to block time off in large chunks of time, (some people suggest that 90 minutes is the maximum they can concentrate at one time, but that’s 90 minutes of uninterrupted time). This technique will help you achieve much more by doing less, simply because you’re more focused at one task at a time. Doing one task in one hour, will end up taking you 4 hours if you are interrupted every 10-15 minutes. To help you block your time, refer to our Daily Taskinator.

Use Your Pencil to Read the Qur’an with Reflection

ProductiveMuslim-Use-Your-Pencil-to-Read-the-Quran-With-Reflection-600

 

Are you constantly seeking a better relationship with the Qur’an but feel frustrated with the huge tafsir books and your tight schedule? You’re not alone.

Well, let’s start this off with a confession. I have always found it hard to keep a daily wird of reciting Qur’an (the part of the Qur’an one reads or assigns to him/herself daily). Sometimes I would get my spirits up and commit, but that would last for a couple of weeks only. I used to come up with a whole lot of excuses: You’re a medical student. You have exams. You’ve had a long day today. Tomorrow is a long day, you need to go to sleep.

At the times when I used to commit, what usually made me stop was that the quality of my wird was not satisfying enough to me. Every once in a while I would be touched by a verse, but most of the time I would merely recite – without understanding, or more accurately, without trying to understand.

This has come to an end. Alhamdulillah, now I am committed to reciting a wird and my wird has become more of a daily spiritual ‘experience’ to me; I wouldn’t want to miss that. Here’s what I did and what you can do too, In sha Allah:

  • Focus less on quantity, more on quality: I committed myself to reciting a minimum of one page, but whenever I feel like more I’ll do more. I won’t repeat my mistake of setting a minimum of one juz’ per night from the start.
  • Double up: I read my wird in the morning and then recite the same verses while praying qiyam. Somehow, repeating the same verses twice a day helped me reflect and ponder on them better.
  • Draw stars: Here is where the pencil magic kicks in! I drew asterisks in the margins of my mus’haf to mark the verses that touched me, whether I applied them to my own life or simply enjoyed their meaning or figurative language. The next time I read those verses, their effect on me was much deeper and reflecting on them (or sometimes just being fascinated by them) was much easier! Furthermore, whenever I reached the same page again, I would add more stars. So the page that started with having one star ended up with three or four; the verses that move my heart have now doubled at least, Alhamdulillah!
  • Look for themes and patterns: Sometimes a certain surah mentions a lot of blessings, for example, or one of Allah’s Most Beautiful Names or attributes are repeated many times. I believe this is done to draw our attention to a certain theme so that we will read all the verses in the context of that theme. Sometimes I find themes for the whole surah and sometimes for a page or a group of verses. Whatever it is, I note it down (blessings, Ash-Shakur, etc) in one or two words in the upper margin of the page.
  • Reflect on word usage: Do you know that feeling you get while reading a piece of literature when you just wonder: why did the writer use this word here? And why not that word? Well, when reading literature you could end up over-analysing to no avail. However, with the Holy Qur’an, it’s IMPOSSIBLE. Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) says in the first verse of Surat Hud: “Alif, Lam, Ra. [This is] a Book whose verses are perfected and then presented in detail from [one who is] Wise and Acquainted” [Qur’an: Chapter 11, Verse 1]. Perfected! So always take a few moments to think: Why did Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) say “Hakeem” and “Khabeer” here? Why “Wadud” there? Why does this verse say Mu’mineen (believers) and that one say Muttaqeen (those who fear Allah)? The more you think, the more you’ll find answers In sha Allah. Tafsir also helps a lot with this mission. I try to remind myself of what I’ve reached with just a few words in pencil in the lower margin of the page.
  • Read tafsir: For the daily wird I use Al-Tafsir Al-Muyassar which is technically the paraphrasing of the verses into simpler language. When I have time to dig deeper I go for bigger books and online lectures. For my daily dose of tafsir, I use the desktop version of Ayat. It comes in really handy!
  • Make dua: This has become a cliche from overuse, yet we rarely use it correctly! When we make dua, we tend to ask for good grades, more money and ease after hardship. If we pray for guidance and increase in knowledge of the Qur’an just as insistingly, Allah The Most Generous shall never turn us down, In sha Allah.

I sincerely hope these seven simple yet powerful tips will help boost your reflection of the Holy Qur’an In sha Allah, as they did for me.

What other tips and tricks do you use to help you reflect on the Qur’an while reading it or listening to it? Please share them below!

 

 

37 SIMPLE WAYS TO MAKE YOUR YOUTH MORE REWARDING

Muslim-Youth

Do you always dream of the years ahead when you will hit your first million, memorise the Qur’an, or break some world record? Or perhaps you jump, to a few months ahead – getting published, married or launching an online business.

Whatever your big dream is, you know what I’m talking about, right?

The reality is that tomorrow may never come. And those dreams may remain just as they are – Dreams!!! So while it is OK to dream, you need to wake up and build rewarding habits that will aid you towards your goals.

Seek opportunities with your youthful zeal and energy. And there are many of such opportunities in youth, as our beloved Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) advised: Utilise your Youth before Old Age.

Since new habits take time and consistency, make it a priority so you can capitalize on your youth. Use it for practice upon practice. Don’t take your youth for granted.

Let’s get started with some simple actions…

1. Avoid Complaining. This world is far from perfect and you can’t always have what you want. Rather than dwell on what is wrong, focus on the good and be thankful for every blessing of your youth. And remember, this life is a test.

”We test you by good and by evil as a trial” [Q21; V35]

 

2. Shun Ignorance. You can’t worship Allah with incorrect knowledge. If you know Allah, then you can worship Him as He deserves. Seeking knowledge of Allah, the Almighty and Majestic is therefore compulsory on you. Ignorance is not an excuse

”And know that there is none that is rightfully worshipped except Allah…” [Q47; V19]

 

3. Make the Qur’an your daily manual. Be consistent with reciting a fixed amount of Qur’an daily. Read, reflect and make sure you act upon what you read.Do not be among those who forget to read or reflect.

This is the Book (the Qur’an) whereof there is no doubt, a guidance to those who are Al-Muttaqun [The pious and righteous persons who fear Allah much]” [Q2.V2]

4. Uphold the Sunnah. Learn about Prophet Muhammad ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him); emulate his manners, respect him, obey him and teach others about him. Love his family and companions and stay far away from all that he has prohibited. Do not say – It is ONLY sunnah.

”Say if you love Allah, then follow me: Allah will love you and forgive your sins. Verily, Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.” [Q3.V31]

5. Keep good company. Stay with those who remind you of Allah and the Hereafter. Seek companionship of people who bring out the best in you and stay away from toxic individuals – including the haters and complain bags.

”Friends on that day will be enemies of each other, except the righteous” [Q43: V67]

6. Focus on the positive. Keep your intention, thoughts and words positive. And leave your affairs to Allah. It reduces negative stress levels and will keep you on the right track towards your goals.

Certainly, Allah loves those who put their trust (in Him)” [Q3.V159]

7. Take a daily step towards your goals. Break down your goals and do one simple action each day so as not to get overwhelmed. Don’t worry about perfecting things. Just make sure you maintain consistency as you progress

8. Set yourself up for some accountability. Get a buddy or a mentor to check up on your milestones as you try to achieve big goals. And let there be some consequence for negligence.

9. Follow up a good deed with another good one. Think of the day when you will receive your book of deeds either in the right or left hand, depending on your deeds. Then make that choice with even the tiniest deed.

Abu Dharr relates that the Holy Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) said: “Do not disdain doing the least good, even greeting your brother with a cheerful face” (Muslim).

10. Smile. It is Sunnah; it is also charity and makes you look good and feel good. Smile before your teeth fall out.

11. Listen. Aim to truly listen to others before you open your mouth to speak. Good listening is a gift you can share with others. It fosters understanding and cooperation.

12. Call someone to Islam. It can be a neighbour, colleague or classmate. Tell others about Tawhid – Oneness of Allah and the Message of His Final Prophet

Call unto the way of your Lord with wisdom and goodly exhortation” [Q16:V126]

13. Show gratitude for even the simplest act. Learn to say ‘thank you’ for every simple act or favour upon you. Be generous with your appreciation for every kind act.

14. Spread Salaam. Always give greetings of peace or reply when greeted first with what is better.

15. Give Charity. Give away something you have not used for a while. It is likely you won’t miss it, someone’s life will be changed and you will also get a reward.

16. Forgive. People may hurt you with their words, actions or inactions. Similarly, some ugly memories may linger which pierce through the heart and feel just like yesterday. But still forgive and move on.

Learn to forgive and forbear. Do you not desire that Allah should forgive you?” [Q24: V22]

17. See no evil, hear no evil. Your body and senses are a blessing from your Creator. Use them only for good and for what will be pleasing to Him. Preserve your mind and body.

”The ear, the eye and the heart shall all be called to account” [Q17:V36]

18. Volunteer. Share an invaluable part of yourself – whether it’s a skill, knowledge or time. Be among those who bring benefit to others. And remember that sharing is caring.

19. Never stop learning because life never stops teaching. And be consistent with the supplication;

”My Lord! Increase me in knowledge.” [Q20:V114]

20. Accept mistakes and failures. Making mistakes is human. Do not allow this to paralyze your life. Make sure you take lessons from hem.

21. Check yourself. The mirror does not lie, does it? Use your inner conscience as a mirror and guide to check yourself and bring yourself to account as no other person can.

22. Stay awake after Fajr and do something beneficial – writing, listening to a lecture, reading the Qur’an or book of Tafsir. Utilise the blessings of the morning time and jumpstart your day with an active brain.

23. Make sincere du’a for someone in his/her absence. It could be for a friend who is childless or a colleague seeking to know about the purpose of creation or a neighbour who is going through a financial crisis. You will be rewarded with a blessed response, ‘And same to you’.

24. Keep your tongue moist with the remembrance of Allah. Engage in Dhikr of Allah with your tongue and presence of heart. Sheikh al -Islam Ibn Taimiyyah  said, ”The remembrance of Allah is like water to the fish. What would happen to the fish if it were separated from the water?”

25. Keep in touch. Call, send an email or SMS to a family member you have not been in touch with for a long time. Be pleasant. You will rekindle a blessed relationship and strengthen the ties of kinship.

26. Honor your parents. Whatever the generational gap, be patient with your parents. Treat them with excellence and show them love as you would want to be loved by your children. Ask Allah to guide them and to grant them the best station in Paradise.

27. Make a budget. Take a close look at your earnings and spending; are they in sync? Can you reduce your debt, save more or give more in charity? Draft a plan today and stick with it.

28. Keep silent. Button those lips if you have nothing good to say. Say NO to backbiting and gossip. Avoid the traps of he said- , she said-

29. Apologize when wrong. Saying sorry makes you stronger not weaker.

30. Watch what you eat. Make sure your diet is healthy and permissible. And do not overeat. Your body is anamanah. You will be questioned about it. Use your diet to fuel your worship.

31. Go Offline. Stay offline for one day or at least most of one day. Check yourself, renew your intentions and think of ways to boost your faith. Terrified of falling behind on updates? Don’t worry, there will always be newer updates.

32. Pray Tahajjud. Wake up in the last part of the night and pray at least two units of prayers. It gives you a chance to have your duas answered and sins forgiven. Don’t miss out!

In a Hadith Qudsi, Allah says, ”Is there anyone asking of Me that I may give them? Is there anyone asking forgiveness that I may forgive them?”

33. Ask Allah. It is easy to ask close friends and family members for some of our needs without remembering to ask the One who provides for all our families and friends. What do you need right now? Ask Him.

”Your Lord has said: Call on Me: I will respond to you”. [Q40:V61]

34. Practice what you preach. Have you ever been asked by a 5 year old, ‘why do you say don’t shout at your little brother, but you are shouting yourself?’ If you can’t live by your words, mind what you demand or expect of others. Be the model you want to see.

35. Get active. Take a walk or bring that skipping rope out and get moving. Don’t wait to get to a gym for an ultimate fitness plan. Become active and keep your body healthy and fit.

36. Enjoy good decent jokes. You may have that special uncle or friend who keeps a growing collection of jokes and pulls out some new ones each time you get together or wirelessly. Lol! It’s OK to laugh it off without breaking the roof.  

37. Relax. Take some time off to unwind and put your feet up. Don’t work 24/7 or run the risk of getting low on your physical and mental energy. You deserve some rest; your body has rights over you.

Innovative Way to Memorize the Quran (3)

We receive several queries about memorizing the Holy Quran and the difficulties that many suffer from when they start memorizing the Book of Allah. Thus, we find them quitting memorizing after a while….

questions, and assure that the perfect way for memorizing is to rely on Allah with a truthful heart and good faith and Allah will choose the suitable way for you.

Is this way considered the perfect?

For every man, there is a way that he is used to. I have asked one of those who had memorized the Quran about how he did that and he promptly told me if he does not have someone reading in front of him, he cannot memorize anything.  There is someone else who memorizes by picturing the verses in his memory by opening the Quran and staring at for a long time. There is also a third person who is used to memorize the Quran by repeating. He repeats the verse hundred times until he memorizes it… and so each has a way he used to, but what is the perfect way?

You must not think there is only one way or your way is the best because you are used to. You need to try the other ways and benefit from them. I am introducing through these lessons to my brother readers audio- memorizing way through listening to recorded recited Quran. This way has advantages that we have mentioned some of them. The important one is that it does not require a teacher, a place or time, but an open way.

At the beginning, some readers may not be familiar to this way; nonetheless, after some time they will feel great pleasure and sweetness. In fact, they will interact with listening to the Quran until they find themselves weeping from Allah-fearing whenever they listened to the Quran.

Does memorizing the Quran way need a teacher or a sheikh?

I can tell you beloved brother about my experience in memorizing which was without a teacher.  I was depending on listening to the Quran only and that made the memorizing process easy. By doing so, I was not bound by a definite date or place for memorizing, but all times and places were open. This helped me to utilize every minute of my time.

However, there is a belief among many or all scholars emphasizing the necessity of the presence of a teacher for memorizing, and you cannot memorize anything without a teacher. Besides, you cannot master the rules of recital if there is not someone to listen to you and correct them for you.

I say this is half correct. It is correct that a believer is in need of a good example and someone to correct his mistakes. It is not correct that I make all my dependence on the teacher. If it is easy to find a teacher who keeps by heart the Book of Allah Almighty that will be a good thing, but if the circumstances of the one who wants to memorize the Quran are not suitable to follow Quran classes, should he quit the Quran and forget?

Thus, you can depend on yourself and Allah first in memorizing and trying imitating what you listen to on cassettes and even trying to record your voice while reciting the Quran. Then, you listen to it and try find out your mistakes by yourself.

Then, whenever you avail a suitable chance to meet a memorizing teacher, you may show him what you have memorized and ask him to correct your recital mistakes.  However, language mistakes must not happen, because when you listen to a reciter from a cassette, you are listening to a correct reciting. You should listen very carefully and pick every sound vibration and try to echo it.  Here forth, we realize the meaning of Almighty saying, “When the Qur’an is read, listen to it with attention, and hold your peace: that ye may receive Mercy.” [ Al-A’raf: The Heights: 204]   You must check and think of every letter the reader pronounce. It is preferable to utilize all your feelings and interact with the Quran and its concepts.

How can Neuro Linguistic Programming help in memorizing the Quran?

We may make use of the sciences of this age and utilize what has western scholars have discovered to serve the Book of Allah Almighty.  They use concentration and self control to succeed in collecting money and fame, and we use the concentration power in understanding, memorizing the Quran, success in pleasing Allah almighty and collecting good deeds!

Neuro Linguistic Programming experts confirm the importance of insistence on achieving the goal which should be part of your life and give all your time to get it. You beloved brother, you can make the Quran your goal in this World and the Hereafter.

Imagine yourself that you have memorized the Quran; you will live your life with the Book of Allah Almighty.  It is the healing, medicine, reassurance and power. Imagine that you will meet with Allah Almighty and you keep His Words, isn’t it that a great thing…. And thus you can program your brain and life for memorizing the Book of Allah Almighty.

What are the books that are useful in memorizing the Quran?

The books that are available now are ways and experiences suggested by its owners for easing memorization.  However, there is no book that makes you memorize, but it is your will and sincerity which are more important than any book.

Advice

  1. Try to memorize every day even if it is little of the Quran but do not desert the Quran
  2. Read what you have memorized in prayer, and repeat that and you will find joy when your prayer is longer
  3. Try to think of the memorized verses meanings before you go to bed, and when you get up, because the subconscious at these two times is connected to the brain. Your dreams while sleeping will transform into beautiful dreams and you will see yourself reciting the Quran, is there anything more wonderful than that?!
  4. Believe strongly that you can memorize the Quran, and you will keep it by heart if Allah permits.

Innovative Way to Memorize the Quran (2)

There are some questions that we have received after the first lesson from this educational series, and we should answer them before showing the second lesson in memorizing the Quran.….

From these questions: How can the recited Quran be listened to? Should we listen to a whole Surah several times a day? And what are the suitable times for listening to the Quran?

How can the recited Quran be listened to? 

You should know my brother believers that all times are suitable for listening to the Quran. The believer mentions Allah in all times, standing, sitting, lying down on his side, before going to bed, at awakening, when at work, when walking  on the street and when are among friends and family.  The believer mentions Allah in all times and so listening to the Quran does not have a specific time.  However, those who want to memorize should listen to recited Quran whenever it is possible.  Almighty says, “Men who celebrate the praises of Allah, standing, sitting, and lying down on their sides” [Al- ‘Imran: The Family of ‘Imran: 191]

Should we listen to a whole Surah several times a day? 

I prefer to repeat listening to the same Surah several times every day until its words become familiar to the listener. For example, if you want to memorize An-Naml (The Ant) Surah, you have to listen to this Surah in a voice of one of those who recite it for several times in a period of several days.  Then, the memorization process will be very easy after that.  I have followed that and it was fruitful. I have memorized the Quran without exerting any great effort because I was listening to the Quran.

What is the perfect time to memorize the whole Quran?

We should know that the Great Apostle (pbuh) memorized the Quran in 23 years!!! The period the Quran was revealed. From the Prophet sayings, there is no specific time for memorization, but my brother reader, you can memorize what may Allah avails for you from His Book and you determine firmly to complete memorization.

Do not feel disinterested if suitable circumstances were not available. You only need to ask Allah Almighty to furnish you the suitable circumstances and He may answer your supplication.  You may be able to memorize in a month and it may take years, but I think the right period for who likes to set a time table is one year or two years.

Finally, the left question is around my experience in memorizing the Quran and how much time did it take me to keep by heart the Book of Allah Almighty?  In fact, I did not think at all during my memorization process of time or how much I memorized.  However, my concern was pleasing Allah Almighty, and I was always saying I need the big rewards and proximity to Allah Almighty.  I used to know that a believer may memorize “Say: He is Allah, the One and Only” Surah and he will be at the top in front of Allah because of his devotion and sincerity with Allah. This is what makes the believer the best memorizer of Allah’s Book because Allah will assist him to memorize.

But, whoever memorizes the Quran to boast and gain a certificate to show to people, his rewards will be little even if he memorized the whole Quran.  Maybe, all of us know about the man who will be used to fuel Hell on the Day of Resurrection, a man who kept the Quran by heart and read it to be called a reader, a man who takes pride in memorizing in front of people and not for the sake of Allah. This person got his rewards in this World and does have anything in the Hereafter.

Therefore, I always say dear brother and sister: Little memorization with sincerity is much better than much without devotion.

How should I memorize a Surah from the Quran?

The new way depends on three stages:

  1. Listening to recited Quran stage
  2. Stage of  understanding, managing and deep-thinking of the speech we heard
  3. Stage of  establishing memorization from the Book

Listening to recited Quran stage

We have mentioned in the first lesson of this educational series the importance of listening to the Quran. It has a great impact in long-period memorization. This way is not new or innovative, but it was the way if our Master, the Prophet (pbuh).

The Great Apostle (pbuh) was memorizing the Quran by listening to Gabriel (pbuh); therefore, the first stage is listening and repeating this process.

Stage of understanding, managing and deep-thinking of the speech we heard

The second stage is very important in easing the memorization process and making it enjoyable and interesting.  When you consider the verses you have heard and understand them carefully, that will consolidate these verses in your memory for a longer period and you will discover new things in the indications of the verses.

Stage of establishing memorization from the Book

The third stage is establishing memorization from the Book.  After, we have listened to the Surah many times, it has become familiar to us, and we have understood its words from availed explanations or asking scholars. Let us now read this as follows:

  1. Reading this Surah as whole three or four times.
  2. Divide this Surah into portions and each portion includes several verses according the linguistic meaning and the connections between the portions with each other.
  3. Read the first portion several times until you complete memorizing it, next, read also the second portion several times until you memorize, then, read the third and repeat it many times until you feel that you have memorized it.
  4. Now, you have to connect these portions, you read the first and the second portions several times until you memorize them. Then, read the third and the fourth portions till you memorize them.
  5. Then, you read the four portions together, memorize and establish them.
  6. Finally, we move to the fifth portion and so on until we complete memorizing the Surah.

A practical example from Surah An-Naml (The Ant)

  1. First stage: As aforementioned, we have to listen to Surah An-Naml every day several times.
  2. Second stage: We try to understand every word in this Surah.
  3. Third stage: We establish memorization from the Book.

Now, we will live in the introduction of Surah An-Naml.  This Surah was named the Ant because it was the only Surah in the Quran in which the ants were mentioned.  Before you know how to memorize this Surah you need to know the story of our Master Solomon (pbuh) in this Surah in an easy manner.

The story of Solomon (pbuh)

There was among Solomon’s soldiers a bird named “The Hoopoe”.  This bird disappeared by traveling far away. Solomon (pbuh) came to ask about it and he did not find it. He said: he will punish it severely because it went without his permission unless it comes back with news or true important information.

Soon, the Hoopoe came back and showed in front of Solomon (pbuh) and said: I knew new things you do not know O’ King.  King Solomon said: What is this new information which I do not know?

The Hoopoe said: I went to Sheba, and I found there people who prostrate to the sun and do not believe in Allah. They have a queen with a great throne decorated with gold, silver, and jewels. The Hoopoe continued saying that those infidels do not prostrate to Allah Almighty who knows the secrets of skies, the earth and everything.

Solomon (pbuh) said: we will consider what you have said, but you have to go back with a letter to them.  In this letter, I will call them to believe in Allah Almighty and quit worshipping the sun.

The Hoopoe went to Sheba carrying King Solomon’s (pbuh) letter. When it arrived to the queen palace, it dropped the letter near it.  A soldier came, took the message and handed to the queen. The queen summoned her ministers and told them: I received a letter from King Solomon, a noble letter starting with, “In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.” And required us to submit to the true religion and quit worshiping our god, the sun. What shall I do?

The ministers said: We are strong and King Solomon cannot conquer us.  The queen replied:  This king is very strong and he can conquer us. When kings enter a country, they destroy it and humiliate its people.  Therefore, I think we send him a gift because it may convince him and stop attacking us.

The queen sent a gift of jewels, gold and very precious things.  But the Hoopoe had heard the queen’s words, went back to Solomon, and told him that: The queen is sending you a gift.

When the gift arrived to Solomon, he did not accept it and said: Do you give me money? Allah has given me things much better than what you have.  You rejoice the gift while I do not rejoice other than the gift of Allah, His generosity and mercy.

Then, he said: Go back to them. We will bring them an army that they will not be able to meet.   We will dispel them in disgrace.  The soldiers went back with the gift to their queen and told her with what happened. They said: That King Solomon will send us soldiers to dispel us from our country. What do you order us to do? And how to behave in this situation?

This queen was wise and very smart. She realized that this king was not like other kings. He did not covet money, but he called for faith in Allah free of charge and without pay.  Therefore he had to be sincere; I would go and talk to him.

The queen went with some of her soldiers to King Solomon (pbuh).  Then, Solomon (pbuh) had met with his ministers and men.  The counsel included some sprite of jinn whom Allah had made them subservient and that was a grant which Allah gave it to Solomon and no one after him.

Solomon told them: I want from you to bring me the throne of this queen, because they will come in submission to the true religion. Who can bring this throne before they come? A sprite of jinn said: I can bring you this throne before you leave this counsel? I am strong, reliable and obedient to you O King.

Then, one of the believers who had been given knowledge from Him and who used to read the Psalms, Solomon and David’s Book that was revealed by Allah and from which he learned a lot said: I can bring you this throne within the twinkling of an eye!!! Then, this good man brought the throne from Sheba.  No sooner had Solomon (pbuh) close his eyes when he saw the throne in front of him.  He hurried to thank Allah Almighty for all of the blessings given by. This is the true believer whenever is blessed, he hastened to thank Allah Almighty for this grace.

After that, Solomon (pbuh) said to his soldiers: Take this throne and transform some things in it so that the Queen of Sheba when she comes, she cannot recognize. We want to be assured whether she can recognize her throne or not.  They transformed the throne. This shows that Allah always tests the believer to see if that has a negative impact on his faith or his faith will increase.

When Balqis, Queen of Sheba came into Solomon Kingdom and met King Solomon (pbuh), he took her and showed her the throne which was her. He asked her: Is this your throne? Sheba Queen said: I do not know, but it looks like the throne I posses and it resembles it a lot.

Balqis was astonished by this scene and asked a lot about the secret of the existence of this throne. However, she was impressed by King Solomon and how he brought her throne from Sheba or how he could make one alike!!!

Despite that, she tried to declare her submission to the true religion, but she hesitated because she was a disbeliever and was prostrating to the sun and this what had stopped her from believing in Allah Almighty. Our Master Solomon (pbuh) realized that.

Thus, King Solomon (pbuh) took her to a lofty building with a great arena made of glass. She said this is a lake of water! But Solomon (pbuh) told her that this is a palace paved smooth by transparent glass. Allah has made subservient who can make for him this antiques and wonders.

Here and in this situation, Balqis, the Queen, stood convinced and declared embracing Islam in front of Solomon (pbuh) who was glad for this happy ending for a woman who was a disbeliever!!

Practical Example

Now let us write the first portion of this Surah (from verse 1 to 44) and we divide into portions as follows:

The first portion: Introduction of Surah and a talk about the Quran

In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful. These are verses of the Qur’an,-a book that makes (things) clear; 2. A guide: and glad tidings for the believers,- 3. Those who establish regular prayers and give in regular charity, and also have (full) assurance of the hereafter. 4. As to those who believe not in the Hereafter, We have made their deeds pleasing in their eyes; and so they wander about in distraction. 5. Such are they for whom a grievous Penalty is (waiting); and in the Hereafter theirs will be the greatest loss.6. As to thee, the Qur’an is bestowed upon thee from the presence of one who is wise and all-knowing.

The second portion: Story of Moses (pbuh)

7. Behold! Moses said to his family: “I perceive a fire; soon will I bring you from there some information, or I will bring you a burning brand to light our fuel, that ye may warn yourselves.  8. But when he came to the (fire), a voice was heard: “Blessed are those in the fire and those around: and glory to Allah, the Lord of the worlds.  9. “O Moses! verily, I am Allah, the exalted in might, the wise!…. 10. “Now do thou throw thy rod!” But when he saw it moving (of its own accord)as if it had been a snake, he turned back in retreat, and retraced not his steps: “O Moses!” (it was said), “Fear not: truly, in My presence, those called as apostles have no fear,-  11. “But if any have done wrong and have thereafter substituted good to take the place of evil, truly, I am Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.  12. “Now put thy hand into thy bosom, and it will come forth white without stain (or harm): (these are) among the nine Signs (thou wilt take) to Pharaoh and his people: for they are a people rebellious in transgression.”  13. But when Our Signs came to them, that should have opened their eyes, they said: “This is sorcery manifest!” 14. And they rejected those Signs in iniquity and arrogance, though their souls were convinced thereof: so see what was the end of those who acted corruptly!

The third portion: Story of Solomon (pbuh) and the ants

15. We gave (in the past) knowledge to David and Solomon: And they both said: “Praise be to Allah, Who has favoured us above many of his servants who believe!” 16. And Solomon was David’s heir. He said: “O ye people! We have been taught the speech of birds, and on us has been bestowed (a little) of all things: this is indeed Grace manifest (from Allah.)”  17. And before Solomon were marshalled his hosts,- of Jinns and men and birds, and they were all kept in order and ranks.  18. At length, when they came to a (lowly) valley of ants, one of the ants said: “O ye ants, get into your habitations, lest Solomon and his hosts crush you (under foot) without knowing it.”  19. So he smiled, amused at her speech; and he said: “O my Lord! so order me that I may be grateful for Thy favours, which thou hast bestowed on me and on my parents, and that I may work the righteousness that will please Thee: And admit me, by Thy Grace, to the ranks of Thy righteous Servants.”

The fourth portion: Solomon (pbuh) and birds

  1. And he took a muster of the Birds; and he said: “Why is it I see not the Hoopoe? Or is he among the absentees?  21. “I will certainly punish him with a severe penalty, or execute him, unless he bring me a clear reason (for absence).”   22. But the Hoopoe tarried not far: he (came up and) said: “I have compassed (territory) which thou hast not compassed, and I have come to thee from Saba with tidings true.  23. “I found (there) a woman ruling over them and provided with every requisite; and she has a magnificent throne.  24. “I found her and her people worshipping the sun besides Allah. Satan has made their deeds seem pleasing in their eyes, and has kept them away from the Path,- so they receive no  uidance,- 25. “(Kept them away from the Path), that they should not worship Allah, Who brings to light what is hidden in the heavens and the earth, and knows what ye hide and what ye reveal.  26. “(Allah)!- there is no god but He!- Lord of the Throne Supreme!”  27. (Solomon) said: “Soon shall we see whether thou hast told the truth or lied!  28. “Go thou, with this letter of mine, and deliver it to them: then draw back from them, and (wait to) see what answer they return”…

The fifth portion: Solomon (pbuh) and Queen Balqis

29. (The queen) said: “Ye chiefs! here is delivered to me – a letter worthy of respect.  30. “It is from Solomon, and is (as follows): ‘In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful:  31. “‘Be ye not arrogant against me, but come to me in submission (to the true Religion).'”  32. She said: “Ye chiefs! advise me in (this) my affair: no affair have I decided except in your presence.”  33. They said: “We are endued with strength, and given to vehement war: but the command is with thee; so consider what thou wilt command.” 34. She said: “Kings, when they enter a country, despoil it, and make the noblest of its people its meanest thus do they behave.  35. “But I am going to send him a present, and (wait) to see with what (answer) return (my) ambassadors.”

The sixth portion: Solomon (pbuh) and the throne

36. Now when (the embassy) came to Solomon, he said: “Will ye give me abundance in wealth? But that which Allah has given me is better than that which He has given you! Nay it is ye who rejoice in your gift! 37. “Go back to them, and be sure we shall come to them with such hosts as they will never be able to meet: We shall expel them from there in disgrace, and they will feel humbled (indeed).”  38. He said (to his own men): “Ye chiefs! which of you can bring me her throne before they come to me in submission?”  39. Said an ‘Ifrit, of the Jinns: “I will bring it to thee before thou rise from thy council: indeed I have full strength for the purpose, and may be trusted.” 40. Said one who had knowledge of the Book: “I will bring it to thee within the twinkling of an eye!” Then when (Solomon) saw it placed firmly before him, he said: “This is by the Grace of my Lord!- to test me whether I am grateful or ungrateful! and if any is grateful, truly his gratitude is (a gain) for his own soul; but if any is ungrateful, truly my Lord is Free of all Needs, Supreme in Honour !” 41. He said: “Transform her throne out of all recognition by her: let us see whether she is guided (to the truth) or is one of those who receive no guidance.”

The seventh portion: The end of the Story

42. So when she arrived, she was asked, “Is this thy throne?” She said, “It was just like this; and knowledge was bestowed on us in advance of this, and we have submitted to Allah (in Islam).”  43. And he diverted her from the worship of others besides Allah. for she was (sprung) of a people that had no faith.  44. She was asked to enter the lofty Palace: but when she saw it, she thought it was a lake of water, and she (tucked up her skirts), uncovering her legs. He said: “This is but a palace paved smooth with slabs of glass.” She said: “O my Lord! I have indeed wronged my soul: I do (now) submit (in Islam), with Solomon, to the Lord of the Worlds.”

The reader may follow the above steps to memorize the portions one after another, then joining and memorizing every two portions, and so on we treat the rest of the Surahs.

Golden advices

  1. Choose your best times to memorize the Quran; do not put this project on the margin of your life. The Quran won’t give anything unless you give it everything.
  2. You should know that the biggest mission of the Noble Prophet (pbuh) was memorizing the Quran and spread it to his people. The best thing you can do is memorizing the Quran.  Therefore, the Prophet (pbuh) said: (The best of you is the one who learned the Quran and taught it). You should intend to memorize the Quran and teach it to others.
  3. Try to read any study or article related to the Quran such as the studies of the miracles of the Quran.  This process will strengthen your relations with the Quran,
  4. Try always to search the meaning of any word you hear and you do not understand its meaning from an explanation, an Internet site or asking a scholar. Because this process will increase your information account greatly with time.

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By: Abduldaem Al-Kaheel

  1. kaheel7.com/eng
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