We all have our favorite things in life: favorite foods, drinks, clothes, sports teams, cars, books, and the list could go on forever. These favorites of ours usually come to define us. They are what we love talking to people about and researching on the internet. They are what we put on our Facebook page and the first things we tell people when we've just met them. We also have our Islamic favorites: our favorite supplications, lecturers, mosques, and Islamic causes, among many others. While this is all very good, one question many of us can't really answer is: what is your favorite Sura?
Not being able to name your favorite Sura of the Holy Qur'an is not a big deal, but it does point to a larger issue of the Qur'an not being an integral part of our lives. Many of us take time out during our day to watch hour-long lectures and Islamic movies and shows. These are all indeed great ways to spend our time, but it seems these lectures and videos have in a way replaced our consistent reading and pondering of the Qur'an, which is one of the main ways Islam was propagated in the first place. This article is not going to go into the importance of the Qur'an because we all know of its significance – we always hear about it in those lectures we listen to after all. This article will just give some simple ways to incorporate the reading and listening of the Qur'an into our everyday activities. In Chapter 99 of the Qur'an, Sura Zilzaal, Allah says that on the Day of Judgment we will see every atom of good that we have done in our lives. I could not think of a better atom of good we can do in our daily lives than reading a few verses of the Qur'an and pondering over them.
It is not going out on a limb to say that as far as reciting and memorizing the Qur'an goes, the Shia community in America is not exactly at the head of the class. While we do have our share of great reciters and memorizers of the Qur'an, our brothers and sisters in other schools of thought put a much greater emphasis as a community in correctly reciting and retaining verses of the Qur'an. It is sad to say that there are many Shias in the community, even leaders of the community, who do not know how to recite the Qur'an and do not care to learn to do so. I'm sure this is also saddening to our Awaited Imam (may Allah hasten his reappearance), whose grandfather Imam Ali ibn Abu Talib (peace be upon him) is considered the living, breathing Qur'an.
One easy way we can incorporate the recitation of the Qur'an into our daily lives is by using something we already use: our radio. Many of us have mp3 players we can listen to on the go or by hooking it up to our car radio. Listening to the Qur'an daily is as easy as downloading our favorite reciter and listening to it for a few minutes during our daily commute. This is a great way to get familiar with the correct recitation of the Qur'an and it is simply a blessing for our ears to be able to listen to the words of Allah every day. A good website to easily download the entire Qur'an from is QuranicAudio.com. Another easy way to make the Qur'an a part of our lives is to use our free time to listen or recite a few verses. Instead of cruising the web aimlessly, click on over to sites like QuranExplorer.com or Tanzil.net, which will allow you to follow along with the Arabic or English text with one of many reciters of the Qur'an.
Finally, a proactive way to increase our attachment to the Qur'an is to set aside a specific time of every day to simply sit down, read, and – most importantly – ponder over the words of Qur'an. Most of us read a short supplication of some sort after our daily prayers. It is easy to make a habit of just taking five minutes more to read a few verses of the Qur'an and to think about them and how we can incorporate them into our lives. According to our scholars, it is highly recommended to recite the Qur'an after our prayers, especially after the morning prayer.
During his speech after Hajj, the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him and his progeny) put the official stamp on the Guardianship of Ali ibn Abu Talib and named him the successor after him. The Prophet also mentioned the words which became known as Hadith al-Thaqalayn: "Verily, I am leaving behind two weighty things (Thaqalayn) among you: the Book of God (Kitabullahi) and my kindred (Itrati), my household (Ahlul Bayt), for indeed, the two will never separate until they come back to me by the Pond (of alKawthar on the Day of Judgment)." We should all do our best to make both the Qur'an and the Ahlul Bayt essential parts of our daily lives, never losing sight of the fact that we need both in order to reach Allah.