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Gatherings of the Qur’an

Shakirah Hunter

There is a famous incident wherein the Holy Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم was commanded by Allah Ta’ala to sit down with a group of people who had gathered together to listen to the Kalam of Allah Ta’ala.

Allah mentions this command to His Beloved Habeeb صلى الله عليه وسلم in Surah Al Kahf :

 { وَٱصۡبِرۡ نَفۡسَكَ مَعَ ٱلَّذِینَ یَدۡعُونَ رَبَّهُم بِٱلۡغَدَوٰةِ وَٱلۡعَشِیِّ یُرِیدُونَ وَجۡهَهُۥۖ وَلَا تَعۡدُ عَیۡنَاكَ عَنۡهُمۡ تُرِیدُ زِینَةَ ٱلۡحَیَوٰةِ ٱلدُّنۡیَاۖ وَلَا تُطِعۡ مَنۡ أَغۡفَلۡنَا قَلۡبَهُۥ عَن ذِكۡرِنَا وَٱتَّبَعَ هَوَىٰهُ وَكَانَ أَمۡرُهُۥ فُرُطࣰا }

[Surah Al-Kahf: 28]

And keep thy soul content with those who call on their Lord morning and evening, seeking His Face; and let not thine eyes pass beyond them, seeking the pomp and glitter of this Life; no obey any whose heart We have permitted to neglect the remembrance of Us, one who follows his own desires, whose case has gone beyond all bounds.

This weekend I was truly blessed as I had been searching for an environment of the Qur’an for a while. As soon as I saw the advert for the annual Qira’at program at Madrassah Mueenul Islam in Zakarriya Park , I was ecstatic. Allah had answered my Dua. Although I read Qur’an daily and I teach it via an online platform – there is something heart-rendingly beautiful to hear the Kalaam of Allah with hundreds of others ,all there for the same purpose. I took my baby along and subhaanallah I was surprised to see the amount of mums who attended with their children. The children fussed and tried wriggling away from their mothers , and yet the mothers were all prepared. They had a seemingly endless supply of snacks, toys and funny faces to keep their kids occupied. I could see the fatigue of motherhood in their eyes. Yet they were all there, willing to do whatever it took to spend time in the company of the Qur’an.

We listened in awe as a young girl recited in a voice that shook the room and then the beautiful simplicity of two young girls completing their journey of memorizing the entire Qur’an. We listened in awe as the young women completed their recitation of the Qur’an thrice in the riwaayat of Hafs and the entire room stilled as the words of Allah permeated the air.

My soul felt revitalized, and I rushed back home to pick up my son. I had left him earlier afraid that being a toddler he might make a huge ruckus. But seeing those mums, the determination in their eyes, and the complete desire to be in the company of the Qur’an motivated me. That evening we were treated to a night that will forever be one etched in my heart. A qira’ah program was held at the Maraisberg Musjid. Rushing back from the female Qira’ah program, I got all the kids of the family excited. They quickly put on their kurtas, and we left. We drove into the sounds of the Qur’an filling the streets. The entire area was cordoned off and we entered at the female entrance.

My son was in his element. He raced from section to section and spoke to every person. He sat close to the speakers and listened for a little then raced off and made a whole lot of noise and came back repeatedly. I was extremely worried that he would disturb the others, but as all the children ran around making a huge noise, crying, and squabbling over toys. I could feel the genuine excitement of being in the house of Allah. I sat there with my little three-month-old and the words of Allah poured over me. Alternating between running after my toddler and racing back to hold her- I wondered at the why. Why did it feel so different? Why would people be prepared to sit for hours to with noisy kids and tired babies?

I read Qur’an daily, I listen to Qur’an daily. But that rahma that descends as you sit with many others listening to the words of Allah, fills you. It heals you. We sat for hours just listening and making duas for own children to be blessed by the ability to read and listen to the Kalam of Allah.

It is truly in the gardens of the Qur’an that one finds total rest. People had travelled form the East of the city, from almost two to three hours away to listen to the Kalam of Allah. Taking the kids along seemed crazy, they definitely troubled us- but it was so worth it. May Allah allow our children to grow up in gatherings that ignite the love of His words and may we all value the gatherings of the Qur’an. Ameen

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