1. Virtues of reciting the Quran
Bint-e-Niyaz Attariyyah, Year 5 Student, Jami’ah-tul-Madinah, Rahim Yar Khan
The vast virtues of the Holy Quran are beyond the grasp of human minds. This divine speech is unparalleled in its eloquent, beauty, and powerful style which resonates with the nature of man. A brimming source of guidance, mercy, and blessings, its composition is a confluence of wisdom and wonder. Its richness delights the reader time and time again and its sanctity is such that that looking at it, touching it, reciting it, and listening to it are all acts of worship.
Reciting a single letter of this noble speech is rewarded with ten deeds. Teaching it is a means of attaining countless virtues, blessings, and rewards. Just as the virtues of learning and reciting the Quran and the merits of teaching it are detailed in several Hadith:
1. ‘The best from among you is the one who learns the Quran and teaches it to others,’ (Bukhari, vol. 3, p. 410, Hadith 5027). Sayyiduna Abu Abdur-Rahman Al-Salami رَضِىَ الـلّٰـهُ عَـنْهُ would teach the Quran and say, ‘It is this Hadith which made me sit here,’ (Fayd-ul-Qadeer, vol. 3, p. 418, under the Hadith 3983).
2. ‘Whosoever learnt the Quran, taught it, and acted upon that which is within it, the Quran will intercede for him and take him into Paradise,’ (Mu’jam-e-Kabeer, vol. 10, p. 198, Hadith 10450).
3. ‘Whosoever taught one verse of the Quran, he will receive double the reward of the one who learned it,’
4. ‘Whoever teaches a single verse of the Quran, he will receive reward when that verse is recited,’ (Jam’-ul-Jawami’, vol. 7, p. 209, Hadith 22455-22456).
From the aforementioned Hadith we learn the learning and teaching the Quran is a lofty actions. These acts are recompensed with tremendous rewards, and the one who teaches the Quran is worthy of intercession and Paradise. In short, teaching the Quran is a source of perpetual reward, and undoubtedly, every Muslim seeks reward, intercession, and Paradise. Therefore, in order to become worthy of these virtues, spread the teachings of the Quran, learn it, teach it to others, and propagate its blessings.
2. Accepted fasts
Bint-e-Shah Nawaz Attariyyah, Year 4, Jami’ah-tul-Madinah, Wah Cantt
The Beloved Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم said, ‘Many people fast yet do not gain anything from fasting except hunger, and there are many who stand [worshipping] at night but do not gain anything except remaining awake,’ (Ibn-e-Majah, vol. 2, p. 320, Hadith 1690).
What is fasting?
According to the Shari’ah, fasting means to abstain from eating, drinking, and physical relations from dawn till sunset, with the intention of worship. (Fatawa Hindiyyah, vol. 1, p. 194)
The pleasure of Allah Almighty is the sole purpose of every act of worship. However, for as long as an worship is not accepted, one will not attain the pleasure of Allah Almighty. Fasting is a superior form of worship, and it is necessary to pay attention to certain matters so that it is accepted.
Refraining from sin
The Beloved Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم said, ‘Fasting is a shield as long as it is not torn.’ It was asked, ‘Which tears it?’ He صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم replied, ‘Lying or backbiting,’ (Mu’jam Awsat, vol. 3, p. 264, Hadith 4536).
Avoiding indecent speech
The Noble Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم said, ‘Fasting is not mere abstinence from eating and drinking; fasting is to abstain from inappropriate and indecent speech,’ (Mustadrak, vol. 2, p. 67, Hadith 1611).
Having a good intention
The Beloved Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم said, ‘Whosoever keeps the fast of Ramadan out of faith and gaining reward, his previous sins will be forgiven,’ (Bukhari, vol. 1, p. 658, Hadith 2009).
* Avoid sins and engage in worship.
* Refrain from every matter which ruins the essence of the fast.
* Observe I’tikaf.
* Prostrate abundantly.
* Perform Zikr and recite Salat ‘Alan Nabi in abundance.
* Give charity and treat people kindly.
* Improve your character and learn and teach religious knowledge.
* Learn and teach the Quran.
* Avoid backbiting, lying, tale-telling, envy, pride, ostentation, egotism, love for fame, breaking promises, and oppression.
Only accepted fasts have a transformative impact on us. Think to yourself: If my fast is full of sins, then what will Lord’s judgement be regarding it when it is presented in His Court. My actions should be such that my Beloved is pleased with me; my actions should not be such that my Beloved is displeased with me. We have the choice to decide whether we want to present blemished fasts in Allah’s court or fasts that are radiant.
3. How to study
Bint-e-Shamshad Husayn Madaniyyah (Karachi)
Here are some essential tips to help you with your studies:
1. Study for the sake of Allah Almighty.
2. Always begin your lesson, reading, or other learning activity with praise of Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ and Salat upon the Beloved Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم because he warned, ‘Whosoever does not praise Allah Almighty or send Salat upon me before a righteous work, it will not have blessings. (Kanz-ul-Ummal, vol. 1, p. 279, Hadith 2507)
3. Sit facing the Qiblah while studying. (Ilm-o-Hikmat kay 125 Madani Phool, p. 74, summarised)
4. The best time for revision is just before dawn.
5. Choose a peaceful place where you will not be disturbed or distracted.
6. Rushing or revising when you’re worried about something will reduce your productivity and make you prone to errors.
7. Do not strain your eyes by reading under dim lighting, overly bright lighting, whilst walking, or in a moving car. None of this is healthy for your mind or body.
8. Position yourself so that the main source of light is either directly above or behind you without casting a shadow on your reading material.
9. Taking regular breaks will ensure that your mind is fresh throughout long periods of studying.
10. Keep a pencil or pen close by when reading a book and mark anything particularly useful or interesting.
11. Do not skip over something you don’t understand. Check it and if still unsure, ask someone.
12. Do not read with your eyes only, read it with your tongue, as it is easier to remember like this.
13. Regularly exercise your eyes and neck to avoid strain and pain.
14. Be prepared to read materials multiple times to thoroughly grasp the content.
15. A famous adage states, ‘اَلسَّبَقُ حَرْفٌ وَالتَّکْرَارُ اَلْفٌ’ ‘If the lesson is a single letter, the repetition should be a thousand times.’
May Allah Almighty grant us the ability to implement these tips! آمين