I want to go through some practical points that you need to do before starting this journey. We are going to talk about the spiritual prerequisites/preparation in a different episode.
Buy a Copy of Qurʾān
The first thing you should do is have a Mus'haf. The Mus'haf refers to printed copy of Qurʾān. You are going to need to buy a physical Mus'haf that will be yours and yours only. You are going to write notes and other stuffs on it, you are not going to use any other Mus'haf. That is going to help you in ways you cannot imagine.
My recommendation is, and I strongly encourage everyone on this journey, buy Medina Mus'haf from King Fahd Complex in Medina. This is the Mus'haf that has many benefits. I will, in shaa Allāh, write a dedicated article on it. I will try to list down all the benefits in that article. But for now, let's say, this is by far the best Mus'haf to memorize Qurʾān. Not only it will help you recite correctly, it will also help you revise and retain your memorization.
This is a link to it: https://darussalam.com/mushaf-madinah-king-fahad-print-cream-paper/
You do not have to buy from this link specifically, the reason why I am sharing this link is to give you a clear idea of what I am talking about here.
This comes in all sizes, if you can afford buy 2 sizes, a pocket size, and a standard 14x20 size. But if you can't or don't want to, buy the standard size one (same size as the one in the link above).
Buy a Tafseer Book
I have 3 recommendations for the beginners when it comes to tafseer. Buy tafseer in language of your choice, and in shaa Allāh, all of these 3 books would be available in popular languages.
- Tafseer Ahsan al-Bayaan (By Sheikh Salahudeen Yusuf from Pakistan) – This is a very concise tafseer in light of other authentic tafaaseer. An absolute must for any beginner. This tafseer is also printed in Medina (King Fahd Complex) along with Urdu translation. This tafseer is also available on our website in Urdu. link
- Tafseer as-Sa'di (By Sheikh Abdul-Rahmān as-Sa'di from Saudi Arabia) – A beginner level book by this mountain of knowledge. Sheikh Imam As-Sa'di is a teacher of Sheikh Muḥammad bin Salih al-Uthaymin . This book is available in Arabic (original), Urdu (3 volume, translated by Sheikh Salahudeen Yusuf) and English. This is also available on our website in Arabic. link
- Tafseer Ibn Katheer – Another famous tafseer. Although, it might not be suitable for an absolute beginner. But, if you are enjoying your journey and have some spare time, you can benefit from this greatly. Especially, the abridged version in English from Darussalām (under supervision by Sheikh Safiur Rahman Mubarakpuri) is formatted very nicely. It will give you insight, aḥādīth and great explanations. This is also available on our website both in English and Urdu for you to read online. link
Read & Listen Only Authentic
If you are someone who listens to lectures/podcasts on YT or other platforms, be sure to only listen to that which is authentic. This includes not lending your ears to those who are new to the scene. They might have very nice lectures around, but if you do not know who they have studied under or what is their manhaj (methodology), stay away from them. Same goes to the books that you know, is from a person with incorrect aqeedah or the author is unknown altogether.
In this day and age, we have many people who have been surfaced and being portrait as people of knowledge, when, in reality, they have no share of knowledge whatsoever. They might be able to quote Qurʾān or aḥādīth, however that is not the criteria of differentiating right from the wrong. Remember, even Khawarij, Shia and many other deviant sects and individual quote Qurʾān and ḥadīth as their "evidences". The problem lies in their wrong interpretation, that laymen, like you and me, might not be able to identify. Hence why, this principle "take good and leave bad" does not apply to us who do not know good from the bad (i.e, true interpretation from Prophet ﷺ or sahaba thereof and true teachings of Islam).
More on this later, in shaa Allāh.
You are going to observe yourself for a few days and see which time suits you the best for your session. This means, in this time:
- Your brain works the best
- You are free from any worldly attachments including your phone
- Your kids (if you have) are not going to distract you.
Remember, our goal is to not get tired of doing this every single day for years to come. So, this 1 hour is yours, your connection with the Qurʾān and nothing comes in between you and Qurʾān. If you can fully focus for the session hour, you do not have to think about this for the rest of the day, hence you will be able to focus on your worldly matters.
Ok, all this time, I have been saying 1 hour. Ideally, it is going to be 2 half hours. Half hour in the morning and half in the evening. Again, it might vary from person to person, if you are not able to divide your time like that, 1-hour crash session should suffice. Although, you might be absolutely exhausted towards the end, however, with the permission of Allāh, you will get used to it as the time goes by.