Published in  
August 13, 2020

Why can't I do it?

“Yes, that’s right, you will be asked to recite in the hereafter. There is no saying “I was busy, I didn’t revise, I need time.” You will be asked to recite, and oh hafidh! You will be asked to recite “as you used to recite in this world”. Are you able to recite it thoroughly now? Will you be able to read it until the last verse? It is now for you and me to decide and to ask ourselves “How do I recite the Quran in this world?” (Read the first article of the series before proceeding)

We all know that we should recite more and commit time, energy and effort to the Quran. It fills us with enormous guilt when we are neglectful of the Book of Allah. Yet we don’t feel the drive that used to be there, there isn’t the motivation, and we can’t help but think with frustration: “But… I just cannot recite like before.”
This is unfortunately a very common problem among students of knowledge and learners of the Quran.  Sheikh Shinqitee was once asked: “I used to seek a lot of (Islamic) knowledge, and would stay up late doing so, and I memorized the Book of Allah, but now I find myself lazy in seeking knowledge and not reading much of the Quran. So I would like you to steer me in the right direction, may Allah Reward you Oh Sheikh, for I am in a state of confusion.”

When I first read this, I was surprised because the questioner could have been me. Surely, Shaitan doesn’t allow the path of knowledge and Quran to be a smooth one. We find ourselves after some negligence having hardened hearts; indeed a hard heart is a trial that needs to be combated.

“Then your hearts became hardened after that, being like stones or even harder. For indeed, there are stones from which rivers burst forth, and there are some of them that split open and water comes out, and there are some of them that fall down for fear of Allah. And Allah is not unaware of what you do.[Surah Al Baqarah]

The response of the Sheikh was long and beautiful, however the first two points I find sufficient to make a significant difference:

  1. I advise you to increase in Istighfaar, for by Allah, Allah hasn’t forbidden you this enjoyment and this Mercy that you used to live in, by memorizing His Book and the good you used to live in, except because of sin. So I advise you to increase in Istighfaar. Ibn Taymiyyah رحمه الله used to say: “Issues would become difficult for me, and I would do istighfaar even exceeding thousands of times then Allah would open up doors for me”Verily Allah says: “Why do you not seek forgiveness of Allah that you may receive mercy?” [Surah Al Naml]
  1. Verily your withdrawal from reciting the Quran, is for no other reason than the CLOSING of your heart. And the heart does not close except for reasons, the biggest of which is ignoring the hereafter and focusing on this world. So I advise you to seek ways to open up you heart. Increase in the remembrance of Allah and reciting the Quran even if it is done with effort, pain and difficulty at first. Perhaps you will find difficulty at first, but you will soon find ease. Then Allah will open it more and more until it is greatly opened.

SubhanAllah! Oh such beautiful advice. Try it oh people of the Quran, increase in istighfaar and dhikr, it will soften your heart. And remember the Sheikh’s statement “even if it is done with effort, pain and difficulty.” Yes, after negligence and hardening of hearts, dhikr and reciting the Qur’aan will surely NOT be easy, but Allah is the Controller of our hearts and He is Al Fattaah, the Opener, and He will open up our hearts if we persist in our efforts.

Allah says:

“Then we caused to inherit the Book those We have chosen of Our servants; and among them is he who wrongs himself, and among them is he who is moderate, and among them is he who is foremost in good deeds by permission of Allah. That [inheritance] is what is the great bounty. [Surah Al Faatir]

In this Ayah, Allah talks about those who have inherited His Book and mentions three groups:
1. Of them are some who wrong themselves.
2. Of them are some who follow a middle course.
3. Of them are some who are, by Allah’s leave, foremost in good deeds.
Allah goes on to say “That [inheritance] is what is the great bounty.” May Allah Protect us from being among those who wrong themselves, and make us better than those who follow the middle course and make us of those who by His Leave are foremost in good deeds as that is the Great Bounty.

Lastly, do not forget the power of dua. Ask Allah to open your heart, ask Allah to make His Book easy for you to learn and remember, for verily with Him lies success and to Him Belongs the Power of everything. This blessing that Allah has given you Oh Carrier of the Quran is the hugest Blessing of your life, the biggest Gift. So guard it, preserve it, May Allah Preserve you.

I leave you with three gems for the start of our journey back to the Qur’aan-

  • Istighfaar
  • Dhikr
  • Dua


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