The Qur’aan is the kalaam (speech) of Allah and as such, it is the most effective means of seeking divine nearness. Many of us do not know the translation and struggle with keeping our concentration but there are ways in which we can make our tilawat more realistic so that our recitation is not just a rehearsed recitation and actually touches our hearts. Here are a few tips to keep in mind:
1. Reflect & bear in mind the exalted nature of the Qur’aan.
Imam Ghazali (R) has quoted the statement of some elders to the exalted position of the work of Allah Ta’ala: “Each letter of the work of Allah in the lawhe mahfuz (sacred tablet) is more exalted than a fabulous and magnificent mountain like the mount of Caucasus. If all the Angels gather to lift up one letter, they will be unable to do so.”
2. Make istighfaar (repentance) before tilawat. Your state before reciting will affect your state whilst reciting.
3. Renew your imaan by saying: Oh Allah! This is your word. It is haq (the absolute truth), we believe in it.
4. Make duaa thus: Oh Allah! Grant us true ma’rifaat (recognition) and tilawat of the Qur’aan with ikhlaas (sincerity). Mould our lives according to its teachings and grant us its blessings.
5. Recite the Qur’aan with the tongue and make tasdiq (confirm the truth) of its ahkaam (laws) and subject matter with the heart. Reciting with the tongue is a physical tilawat and confirming with the heart is a spiritual tilawat.
[1 – 5 Adapted from Tilawat e Qur’aan by Moulana Wasiyullah (R) (Hadhrat MoulanaAbdullah Kapodri Sahib (db)]
6. Slow down. It’s not a race. Take your time. Give yourself time to ponder over the words of Allah and let them touch your heart. Remember that to make haste is from Shaitaan and also bear in mind that is you rush and make mistakes, you may unknowingly be changing the kalaam of Allah.
“...and recite the Qur’an (aloud) in a slow, (pleasant tone and) style.” (Surah Muzzamil 73:4)
7. Ponder over the reward you are getting.
“Whoever reads a letter from the Book of Allah, he will have a reward, and this reward will be multiplied by ten. I am not saying that ‘Alif, Laam, Meem’ (a combination of letters frequently mentioned in the Holy Quran) is a letter, rather I am saying that ‘Alif’ is a letter, ‘Laam’ is a letter and ‘Meem’ is a letter.” [At-Tirmithi]
Think about it. In Surah Fatihah alone, there are 113 letters (Tafsir ibn Kathir). This means for just the recitation of one Surah, you are gaining 1130 rewards. SubhanAllah! Is it not worth your time to pray with concentration?
8. Pick out key words (e.g. Jannah) and reflect over them in order to create a yearning for closeness to Allah in your heart.
9. Recognise that reciting the Qur’aan is for YOUR benefit. The Qur’aan is a gift and it benefits us and guides us. Allah has no need for the Qur’aan but we need it for our guidance. Imagine our state if He had not revealed it to our Nabi (S)!
10. Listen to the Qiraat of others. Listening to the qiraat of others is not only another way to gain reward, but you can also improve your own recitation by reading along with whoever you listen to. Today, there are many videos available that have qiraat with translation & Arabic text in them, utilize these in a manner which benefits you.
Building a relationship with the Qur’aan is of utmost importance. Through it, we are guided, we gain answers to our troubles and we learn from the Ambiyaa (a.s), lessons that we can use to make our life one that will increase us in the hereafter. It’s a sad fact that most of us check our emails, Twitter, Facebook more than we even touch the Qur’aan and this book that we have we given has just been cast aside. Just taking 5 minutes to read a few lines everyday will go a long way to improving our recitation, not just verbally but also spiritually.
If you have any other tips, feel free to share below! Jazakumuallahu Khairan.