12 Jun Our Family Mus-haf : A Spiritual Heirloom
Earlier this year, a group of friends & I met up with our children at a nearby park. We were a culturally diverse crowd, from as far afield as the Fuji Islands, Yugoslavia & Sweden. As the topic of discussion turned to cultural & family heirlooms, we learnt of a delightful array of unique, valuable possessions passed down from generation to generation.
Later that evening, I ruminated over the concept of family heirlooms: How does a muslim family distinguish & celebrate their spiritual heirlooms?
A few months later & eight thousand kilometres away, I think that i’ve finally found the answer – or atleast a part of it.
This morning, I subconsciously reached out for a mus-haf. As I looked at this copy of the Qur’aan, I smiled to myself & fond memories came flooding back to me. I sat down & paged through its well-thumbed pages. Four generations have read from this mus-haf & while there are so many other copies of the Qur’aan in our family home, this particular mus-haf has always been a firm family favourite.
Our family mus-haf turns 30 this yearJ It’s been a part of our home & lives for more than 25 years. It’s seen my sisters & I through different stages on our journeys with the Qur’aan : practising to recognise the Arabic alphabet, learning to read its precious words, aspiring to memorise its powerful content & yearning to live its divine message.
Yes, we could’ve used the many newer, glossier copies or I could share with you more about much older family heirlooms, but this mus-haf…is special! There’s something about it that makes it so special, so endearing to all of us. It’s the mus-haf which my mom reads daily & my dad won’t read from any other mus-haf but this.
As I turn the pages, I feel as though I am living the journey of learning the Qur’aan, through the eyes, mind & heart of my sisters. I see their pencil markings & footnotes & homework instructions – and I recognise mine, too. I reflect over how the methods of teaching have evolved over the past two decades… I fondly remember the stern, yet kind teacher who insisted on the highest standards of tajweed – for which I am eternally grateful- , I recall milestones & events that synchronised with the memorisation of a certain surah & the meticulous notes that accompanied the desire to perfect the fluency of tilaawah …the special memories of learning the beautiful words, through ease, difficulty & the victory of achievement…its elusive secrets as its reciters trembled with fear of the Fire, rejoiced with anticipation of the Gardens & fled towards the powerful embrace of the Most merciful…all the while nursing our spiritual hopes, dreams & aspirations…SubhaanAllah!
As my son begins reading his Qur’aan lesson, I ask myself: Will this be a spiritual family heirloom that he will pass on? Will it be as valuable, precious & important to him, as it is to us? Will a fifth generation respect & honour this mus-haf, with constant recitation & regular use? Or will it fall into an abyss of forgetfulness & heedlessness?
But beyond this, I wonder: Will the Qur’aan intercede for our family? Will it be a proof for us, or against us? Will this mus-haf request Allah Ta’aala to beautify its family of readers? Will our parents be given crowns of light & glory to wear on The Day of Qiyaamah? Or will we be questioned for the insincerity with which we may have, at times, accidentally recited its words? Or rushed to complete a surah? Or held the mus-haf with incomplete wudhoo?
Then I remind myself of a most beautiful hadeeth, narrated by Abu Dharr (radiyallahu ‘anhu), & I’m inspired by the blessings of Allah’s Mercies! Rasoolulah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: “You cannot draw closer to Allah with anything as much as you would with that which comes from Him, namely the Qur’aan.” [Al-Haakim]
For, the more a person recites the Qur’aan, the closer he draws to Allah… When one draws close to Allah, a unique feeling grows in the heart,that hopefully, leads to its reformation. Humility then develops and the eyes readily flows with tears…This is something that Allah loves!
Many scholars strongly advocate using only one mus-haf when memorising the Qur’aan, as it assists in relaying & then strengthening the mental image (or mental picture) of the aayats memorised. But I have seen with many a student that, using the same mus-haf for hifdh has proven to be extremely successful. Yes, its primary benefit is the consistency of text & image that aids in memorisation, but I have no doubt that the sentimental value of a student’s particular mus-haf plays a significant role in subtly motivating & silently inspiring the memoriser.
~So, do you have a family mus-haf? Has it played a role in your memorisation of Qur’aan? Share your story with me & let other Qur’aan memorisers be inspired by YOUR spiritual heirloom!~