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Posts from the ‘Time Management’ Category

17
Apr

Step by Step – Step 2: Some suggestions for reading the translation of the Quran

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Assalamu Alaikum

 In Step 1, I mentioned that one of the problems that we have today is that many Muslims can’t understand the Quran and haven’t read it from cover to cover.

I then proceeded to bore you with my life story.

In this step, I’m going to suggest a practical plan as to how you can ACTUALLY do it.

Important note: I’m assuming that the reader is a native English speaker. If not, it would obviously be better for you to read the translation in your own language.

I haven’t much clue about other languages, just the following:

1) The Quran has been translated into many languages. However, some of these are by non-Muslims who hate Islam, so one needs to be careful.

2) As far as I know, a good authentic site to get the translation in different languages is : http://www.islamhouse.com/

3) Darussalam (the company, not the city in Tanzania – someone already had this misunderstanding today) has translations in many different languages.

4) I heard that there was a very nice translation in Urdu called “Ahsanul Bayan”. It’s published by Darussalam.

5) The abridgment of Tafsir in Kathir is available in French. It’s also published by Darussalam.

[And no, I’m not an Urdu or a French speaker, although I know a bit of both.]

Before I continue, I would like to point out something very, very important. There is a difference between reciting the Quran (i.e. the Arabic text) and reading its translation.

One of the rights of the Quran is to recite it so we have to fulfill this right.

Understanding the Quran is another right, so reading the translation will aid us towards fulfilling this right.

[Here’s a series I wrote on the rights of the Quran (I just realised that I hadn’t completed it!): Parts 1, 2 and 3.]

So, what would I suggest to an English speaker?

Basic Plan:

1) Decide whether you want to start with the Saheeh International translation or the Muhsin Khan one. I would suggest starting with the Muhsin Khan one and getting the one volume abridged version.

I wouldn’t advise starting with the word to word translation just yet.

2) Get yourself a copy of the translation of the Quran along with the Arabic text

3) Decide how many ayaat (verses) you are going to recite every day.

4) Each day, recite at least that many ayaat and then proceed to read the translation of each ayah (verse). [Start from Surah Al-Fatihah.]

If you have difficulty reciting and can’t get hold of a teacher at the moment, you can try to listen to the audio first for each ayah and then repeat after the reciter. This site has recitation as well as translation: http://tanzil.net/

5) Do this each and EVERY day until you finish reciting the Quran (i.e. you finish Surah An-Nas).

If you go to bed and remember that you forgot to recite the Quran, then my advice is to hop out, do wudhu and recite the required portion. This will train you to recite the Quran daily.

If you miss a day, then you might miss another day and so on, so you shouldn’t miss a single day.

6) Choose the other translation (e.g. if you chose Saheeh, move over to Mushin Khan) and then repeat steps 3-5 all over again.

If you wish, you may use both translations at once. It’s up to you. There are quite a few sites with the translations but they don’t have the accompanying notes, which is why it’s better to get the hard copy.

Intermediate Plan:

1) Follow Steps 1-5 of the Basic Plan.

2) In addition to this, decide if you want to finish reading the translation at a faster pace.

If so, choose one translation (preferably the Saheeh one) for using with your recitation. Depending on how easy you find it to recite, this one could take quite some time.

Choose the other one (preferable the Muhsin Khan one) and read the translation. This time you don’t have to recite it because you’re already doing that when you read the other translation so you can read through this one faster and take it with you wherever you go.

In both the above cases, I would advise you to take notes about whatever questions or thoughts you might have. [Read more about keeping a Quran Journal.]

3) If you are not a reader, and prefer to listen (apart from the translation that you are reading whilst reciting), choose a good translation and then listen to it in your car, iPod, etc as often as you can until you finish the whole thing.

This site (scroll to the bottom) contains many Quran recitations along with the translations: http://quranicaudio.com/

[The “fabulous” one that I referred to in Part 1 is the 3rd last one: Shuraim and Sudais with Aslam Athar.]

You can listen to one set and then proceed to listen to another.

Advanced Plan:

[It includes all of the above mentioned things.]

1) Recite whilst reading the translation (I recommend the Saheeh translation for this) .

2) Read the second translation (I recommend the Muhsin Khan one for this).

3) Listen to a third (I recommend the Pickthall “fabulous” one mentioned above for this.)

You’ll be doing all of the above in the same time period. This way, you’ll be really surrounded with the Quran.

4) If you want to be very brave, you can also read the word to word translation but I really don’t advise it until you’ve read the translation at least once. [I’ve mentioned many word to word translations in this post.]

Remember, don’t stop until you’ve finished reciting the translation until the end.

Insha-Allah, I hope that the post was clear.

What do you think? Is the plan helpful?

Perhaps you have another technique? If so, please share, baarakallahu feekum.

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26
Jul

A Pictorial Summary of some of the things that we might need to bid farewell to during Ramadan…

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Assalamu Alaikum.

So, let’s say:

Oops. Wrong Language.

One more time then.

Let’s say:

To what, you ask?

Well, to:

And to:

And to:

[That Reese peanut butter chocolate is really tasty.]

And to:

[Actually, we could ditch this one permanently. I think all the husbands will celebrate and so will all the poor people who can get this money as charity.]

That’s all we need to leave, you ask?

Erm no. This was just a summary. You can find all our resolutions here.

[Oh and here’s my memorable rant from last year.]

11
Jul

What are five things that you hope to achieve by the end of…

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Assalamu Alaikum.

…..Shawwal?

You thought I was going to say “Ramadan”, didn’t you?

Why did I say Shawwal? Well, because many of us stop functioning after Ramadan because we make the mistake of only thinking of the goals that we want to achieve by the end of this month.

And then our iman (faith) takes a dive in Shawwal.

So, in order to avoid that, I thought it might be better if we included Shabaan and Shawwal in the picture.

Okay, let’s take this step by step:

1) Think about what five goals you HAVE to achieve by the end of Shawwal.

– Why make goals? If you don’t, the days will pass you by with you getting absolutely nowhere.

– Why five? Well, more than that would make your head spin. [You could do more if you wish.]

– Please don’t reply to this post and tell me (and the rest of the world) what your goals are. I think too often we share our personal goals with the whole wide world. Sometimes, that can rob us of our sincerity.

– Think of the hereafter consequences of what would happen if you don’t achieve those goals.

2) Be sure to WRITE down the goals.

Please don’t use your iPad for this purpose.

Take a pen and paper and do it the old fashioned way. It feels so much better.

Trust me.

3) Please be precise when you write down the goals.

For example, don’t say “I wanna be a good Muslim.” You could say: I will memorise the last two juz of the Quran, for example. Or I will start dawah project X and set up a website for it.

4) Write down the steps that you need to take to get to those goals.

For example, if you want to memorise the last 2 juz of the Quran, you have about 80 days left so how many ayaat (verses) do you need to study per day?

Do you have a Quran teacher? If not, can you join a class?

What time of the day will you do your memorisation?

How much will you achieve by the end of Shabaan and by the end of Ramadan?

5) Start right away.

Many people just groan when I say these things to them and wail “Oh we’re too busy for this” or “We can’t be this organised.”

Just a question for these types of people: Have you achieved any of your goals in the past 3 years? If not, then don’t you think you need to change the way that you do things?

6) Look at this paper (the one where your goals are written) as much as you can.

You know, subhan Allah, I read this on a kaafir website and I was like “Huh?”

And then I realised that all my goals were on my dua list, and whenever I looked at my dua list, I would get REALLY motivated. So I realised that while we may know our goals, we sometimes tend to put them at the back of our mind.

Being reminded of them will motivate us to reach them.

7) Keep checking your progress.

You know, 5 and 7 are the toughest ones to do but they’re the ones that we HAVE to do.

8) Ask Allah for His help.

We can’t do anything without His help and guidance.

So what are we all waiting for? Let’s get started!

3
Jul

What is the one thing that…

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Assalamu Alaikum.

…YOU need to do in Shabaan in order to have a great Ramadan?

Now, you might say “Oh, there are so many things!”

Well, there might be but what is the most important thing?

For me, I’d say: I need to improve my health and fitness.

Once I do that, I’ll have more energy to do all the ibaadah (worship) that I want to do.

What about you?

Think hard, decide and then make sure you focus on that issue for the next month, insha-Allah.

The reason I said “one” thing is because many people might try to focus on many different things as they only have a month to go, and they might end up going nowhere.

Of course, if you want to focus on more than one thing, that’s fine, but prioritise them so that the most important thing is always done.

29
Jun

A Ramadan Planner designed to your specifications…

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Assalamu Alaikum.

“Ahaa, finally my perfect Ramadan planner!”

Wait.

Read the whole post before jumping to any conclusions…

So, let me start with my story.

I had been in search of the “perfect” planner, not for Ramadan but for the whole year. I had found many nice ones but they didn’t have everything that I wanted.

Each time I came across a nice time management program or an excellent paper planner, there was always the inevitable story of how the creator of the planner had been in search of the perfect planner and had then ended up designing their own planner – which of course was “perfect”, because it was designed to his/her own specifications.

Of course, these individuals then attempted to sell or share (for free) their “perfect” planners to others.

I guess I’m not the smartest person in the world because it took me years to finally put 2 and 2 together: If I wanted the “perfect” planner, I would have to design my own.

And that’s what I did, alhamdulillah.

Now, you might be saying “Oh so you’re going to share your perfect planner with us??”

Of course not. It’s my planner therefore it’s suited to MY specifications.

If you want a perfect planner, you need to make your own. It’s simple. Just open up an excel sheet and start working.

That’s what I did and now I have a nice, beautiful daily planner and a nice, beautiful monthly planner, both of them designed according to my tastes.

[What about my Ramadan planner, you ask? Well, I’m just going to take my daily planner and adjust it for Ramadan, insha-Allah.]

So, don’t sit and search for the perfect planner because you’re probably not going to find it.

Just design it yourself.

15
Apr

Lecture: Making every second count

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Assalamu Alaikum.

One of you asked for more lectures of time management so here goes…

[Reminder: I’m still waiting for feedback from those of you who have not gotten around to it yet.]

Here’s a lecture to remind us of the importance of each SECOND.

Making Every Second Count by Dr. Bilal Philips (Download)