17 Ramadan. Nuzul Quran. The day when the first revelation of the Quran was sent down to Muhammad pbuh through angel Gabriel. Just one word from Allah to him, which set the ball rolling into his prophethood. It said IQRA! It means READ! Muhammad was illiterate. He shivered and cried out “I can’t read!” IQRA! It said again. More frightened this time, he cried louder with ” I can’t read!” and then the revelation went on IQRA bismirabbikal lazhi Halaq — Read! In the name of thy Lord and Cherisher!
That first verse was sent down to Prophet Muhammad, not far away from where I was sitting down just now during my khataman Quran. It was surreal for me, to be near the mountain where he sat in solitude, escaping from the dark ages practices of ignorant Makkah, on the night it came down on, more than 1400 years later. Read. The message was simple. Read. Seek knowledge. Never remain ignorant for ignorance will never get one out of the dark tunnels of life. Read widely and extensively and read to find our way to our Creator.
And in the spirit of reading, Alhamdulillah I achieved what I have never ever managed to achieve in my entire life, ie to khatam Quran in Ramadan. Challenging one another to do good is highly encouraged in Islam and year in and year out, my husband and I always try to challenge each other to khatam in Ramadan. I never made it. He always did, and I have to grouchily admit defeat that he khatams a few times a year too, which makes my low self-esteem in this area even lower :p. but this Ramadan, I tell myself it will be different. I will push myself to khatam by or before 17 Ramadan so that the rest of Ramadan I can focus on studying the translations and tafsir to understand the Quran better. I have also downloaded Tafsir podcasts by Shaykh Nouman Ali Khan from Bayyinah Institute in UK, to listen to the explanations of each chapter, beginning with Surah Baqarah ie The Heifer.
I made it just now after asar and I was gleeful, thinking, heh I beat you this time. The last I heard, he had not yet reached chapter 30 — the last chapter of the Quran. At 5.30pm I smsed him saying that I am done! He said he was back at the hotel and he was done ie he khatamed at 4.45pm just now. Chet! Kalah lagiiii.
Nevermindlah. Will try again. Just you wait. Meanwhile, it’s off to tafsir books I go.