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Understanding what is Qur’an journaling

Shakirah Hunter

The buzz word on the street is Qur’an journaling. Some are extremely afraid, the worry that we might be making Tafseer of the Qur’an on our own. Or interpreting the Qur’an without any solid knowledge. These fears are valid fears and come from a place of not understanding the intent behind the name. The name “Qur’an journaling” is quite deceiving in that it makes one think that it is a new fancy concept. When, the focus is simply to make one spend more time with the kalam of Allah. To understand this better, let us look at what is journaling.

What is Journaling and what are the benefits of journaling?

Journaling is the time one takes to write down your thoughts and to focus your mind. Across the world this is usually done with a focus of developing gratitude. So, you find that people ‘gratitude-journal’ meaning that they write down the little things that they are grateful for daily, in order to life of appreciation. Other people do general journaling, wherein they write down their daily routines, goals or to do lists. In taking that time to sit down and reflect on their lives – the focus is the slowing down of the chaos that can be our daily lives. The focus is to use the great ni’mah of writing and putting down to paper all that we have going on to create a sense of peace and tranquility. Alhamdulillah the great favor of writing allows us to remove our worried minds from our daily worries and to move this information from the emotional brain to the logical brain. The act of writing it down develops a sense of control and understanding, it allows us so to say to organize our minds.

What is Qur’an journaling?

As our lives seem to get busier and busier, our focus is to carve out time to contemplate the words of Allah. Allah Ta’ala says in His Holy Qur’an: “Do they not ponder over the Quran? Or are their locks upon their hearts?”

Allah Ta’ala has made the Qur’an a book that serves to make us ponder, to make us reflect, to push us from our slumber and understand the reality of this world and our true life of the Aakhirah. As we look at the life of the Prophet (s) and the Sahaba (ra) they would cry and sob as they recited the Qur’an. The Qur’an affected them deeply as they understood the deep messages within the words of Allah. They would spend hours and hours reciting the Qur’an in sheer humility at its magnificent words. And we who are extremely fluent in the recitation of the Qur’an are somehow unable to find tears. We recite without allowing the Qur’an to pass through our minds and then to affect our hearts. In learning to recite the Qur’an without understanding the meaning we have created a massive rift in our connection with the words of Allah Ta’ala. How can we ponder that which we do not understand? How can we be affected if we do not take the time to stop, to pause our busy lives and then reflect on the words of Allah.

Qura’n journaling is simply the time we take to write out the meaning of the word that Allah has placed in the Qur’an so that we form an attachment to the meaning of the words of Allah. One does not focus on the tafseer , or writing any interpretation. Just the focus of the meaning and the great message from Allah within that word.

For example, if you sat down and wrote the ayah: “Without a doubt Allah is with the patient ones”. You would write down the Arabic in a beautiful manner, as you recited this ayah and contemplated the intense beauty and the promise of Allah evident in these words. Then you begin to reflect on your life and find all the little moments that Allah has always been there for you in your most trying times. Every trial you write it down and you contemplate the manner in which Allah is with those who undergo trials and test. Your only focus is to create a deep connection to the words of Allah. If you are a writer, then you write- If you are a person who prefers to talk then you speak about the impact of these words in your life. If you are a thinker – you stop and contemplate the words of Allah.

Qur’an journaling is heavily marketed term for something that most of us already do – it is simply the act of pausing and taking the time to connect to the words of Allah Subhaanahu Wa Ta’ala.


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