As I write this, Ramadan is approaching insha Allah Ta’ala and I want to give you a gift this Ramadan. Think of it as an early Eid present. My gift for you is the exact process I go through in order to set and achieve my Quran goals every Ramadan.
I didn’t always have a successful time when it came to my Quran studies. In fact, since I started practicing Islam, my first few Ramadan were so un-successful Quran-wise, that I almost gave up on the Quran altogether!
The Ramadan I Gave Up On the Quran
It was a few years back – I was in my first year of studying Arabic seriously at university, but was nowhere near the point where I could understand the Quran. I was so motivated that year and so excited to actually be studying Arabic full time, I decided to make the most of Ramadan.
I met together with a friend who lived with me in our halls of residence, and we decided we were going to have an amazing Ramadan (bi’ithnillah).
The plan was simple…
We were going to meet up after suhoor and fajr every day in my room or his and we were going to read one entire Juz of the Quran. Since there were two of us, we figured that would increase our accountability and we could motivate each other. And, because neither of us was particularly good at reciting the Quran, we decided to enlist the help of Imam Shatiri via CD.
For the first time in my life, I was excited because I thought I was about to actually complete the Quran during Ramadan.
But Allah had other plans for us…
The first day we did it, and we both felt great about it, despite missing my 9 AM Arabic lecture. The second day, we were still on track but both showing signs of fatigue – but we were determined to push through it. By the fifth day, we were both dreading each other’s phone call, and we had that awkward conversation of “You know, I don’t think it’s a good idea for us to do it today, but maybe we can catch up tomorrow…”
By the end of Ramadan, we hadn’t even come close. In fact, the longer Ramadan went on, the more I kept changing my targets, and missing them. The truth was, I had ‘failed’, miserably. Towards the end of the month I decided to just let this year go, and hope to do better next year. I was so upset, incorrectly asking myself why it was made to be so difficult.
I now realise the Quran was never ‘difficult’, and in fact is ‘Divinely‘easy – it was my plan that was ineffective for me.
When life doesn’t go according to your plans, here’s a great question to ask yourself: “What is the most valuable lesson I can learn from this, that will save me from making much bigger mistakes in the future?”
After some reflection, and training, I later realised where I went wrong. Now Alhamdulillah I’ve mastered a system I use with all my personal Quran Coaching clients to help them create plans that actually work in the build up to Ramadan.
Exactly How To Set and Achieve Your Quran Goals This Ramadan!
Get your notepad out and brainstorm answers to each of these questions:
1. What can you learn from previous Ramadans’ mistakes that will help you succeed insha Allah in future Ramadans?
Your past is not your future. Brainstorm three to five ways you can improve on your past efforts.
2. Ideally, what would you like to achieve with the Quran during Ramadan?
Recognise that you may not be ready to achieve this ideal target this Ramadan and commit to taking steps and improving yourself over the next year, so that if you can’t do it this Ramadan, insha Allah you can do it the next one (if you’re still alive).
3. What are the ideal and minimum time targets for you for each day of Ramadan?
I like to think of Ramadan as having 2 types of productive Quran time: passive audio listening time versus sitting and studying the Quran time.
Take a look at your calendar right now and mark off the dates of Ramadan. Now ask yourself:
a. When during the day is the best time for me to recite?
b. Will I have more time on weekends than weekdays?
c. Which healthy weekly/daily commitments am I willing to cut out during Ramadan? Cutting TV time, friend time, etc could free up your time.
d. How much time will you ideally, comfortably have each day for the Quran? (e.g. 1 – 2 hours)
e. And if you don’t make that ideal target, what will be the bare minimum you think you can comfortably do each day? (e.g. 15-30 minutes).
f. When can I use ‘NET’ time – ‘No Extra Time’ e.g. whilst sitting on the train to work or whilst going out for my daily walk you can listen to the audio.
4. Where are you at right now in your Quran studies? E.g. Fluency, English, Tajweed, Memorization, etc… .
5. Of all the areas of Quran study, which is the most important for you to improve on during this Ramadan to set yourself up for a great year with the Quran?
For some people, the best use of Ramadan may be learn to understand the entire Quran in Arabic. That way, for the rest of the year, they can connect more deeply with the Quran. For others it may be improving tajweed and fluency of recitation, so that for the rest of the year they can read 2 pages each day in Arabic and English to feel that constant connection.
For others, the best use of this month may be to simply learn how to recite the Arabic script so they can go on to achieve all their other Quran goals. There are many more options than just these, and each individual has to decide for him/herself what is most important to improve this Ramadan.
6. Use these practical Quran strategies with the suggested time-frames, and decide which one suits your abilities, free time and goals.
The great news is, wherever you are in your Quran studies, you’re not alone! In this article are some great resources that students and Islamic organizations have recommended to help you achieve some of your Quran goals inshaAllah.
For loads more advice, tips and strategies to achieve your Quran goals, visit www.quranforbusypeople.com and enjoy the free articles, live webinar invitations & videos.
About the Author:
Mamoon Yusaf studied BA Politcs and Arabic at SOAS University, and has a real passion in reading the Quran and making this possible for his students. Check out his website Quranforbusypeople.com
He is also a NLP Coach, helping his clients focus on the power of their minds in achieving their life goals… such as learning Arabic!