Part 1 — The Journey:
54:17 told me two things. 1.) The Qur’an has been made easy and accessible. 2.) But you have to really want it, to have access to it’s ease.
I really wanted it.
At first the journey was really hard. I was having a hard time understanding anything. I also kept hitting a lot of educational roadblocks due to a lack of correct resources. Emotionally it was also extremely difficult, as I had to lose connections with a lot of people.
Keeping my head high and wiping my tears, I trusted Allah and kept moving. Not soon after I had set out on my journey, I began noticing the rewards of my trust on Allah. Every time I would hit a roadblock I would immediately discover an alternative approach that was far better. I remember once in my journey, I was getting very tired by flipping through various Arabic dictionaries. This frustration reached the point where I was about to cry. At that low point Allah showed me a website that showed like 7 different dictionary results for the specified roots. This divine help was a regular occurrence in my journey. (Eventually I was also granted the ability to go to Hajj, which we won’t go in-depth on this page.)
I guess what I’m trying to say is that, anybody who really really wants to learn the Qur’an will receive divine help. This is guaranteed. You just have to really really really want it.
I completed the 4-month challenge. How was it?
Part 2 — The Change:
In all honesty, I am left eternally speechless. There is not one definitive way to explain the amount of change that I have experienced in the past few months. That being said, a concluding speech is still required, and I will try my best to speak somethings about the entire experience. *Takes deep breath*
One last clarification needs to be made before I begin: It is the fact that there is no end to the Qur’an or it’s study. It is by it’s nature an eternal source. Now let’s start:
I am 20 years old. For the past 19 years the only thing I had known/learned about God was whatever I had learned from various middle-men. By middle-men, I’m to the fact that there was always someone else who was talking on behalf of God/Allah/The Ultimate Being/The Highest. This is what that looks like visually:
God/Allah —> Middle Man —> Me.
Ofcourse, there is nothing wrong with the middle-men phenomenon. Since these middle-men have always been the most qualified people. But the problem was simply that since I had never, even a little, heard the Author of the Universe speak directly, I always just had to somehow trust what these middle-men were saying. But you see, that wasn’t not enough for me. It didn’t feel right. I wanted to hear Allah speak. I wanted to finally know what He has to say. I wanted to feel His presence of , by the way He said what He said. I didn’t want to just simply hear summaries and explanations about what He said. I wanted to hear Allah speak directly. I wanted to experience this:
Allah <---> Me … & nothing in between.
And there was only one way to do this: The Qur’an. Which happens to be the literal Word of Allah. Which means that when I recite the Qur’an, I am vocalizing the literal words of Allah. And by doing so, my whole body is in fact vibrating in the presence of his words. For the majority of my life, these words were just sounds, rhymes, and rhythms. Yet after this Q54A17 Project, this has all changed.
I started reading the Qur’an and here are somethings I discovered:
The Qur’an is an extremely tacit experience. (Search up Tacit Knowledge vs Explicit Knowledge) Which means, the Qur’an has to be felt. Here are some examples of what I mean:
– Like any speech there is a style/tone that adds a layer of meaning on top of what the speaker is saying. Once I started reading the Qur’an, I started looking for that layer of meaning. And I found a tone so incredibly merciful that mere words cannot describe it. This is one of those extremely tacit experiences that mere words cannot define. It’s the equivalent of describing the rainbow to someone who is blind.
– Every speech has themes. Themes are what tie contents together. Without understanding the theme of any speech, things will not fit in and therefore seem out of context. I discovered upon my reading of the Qur’an that it’s themes are THE most relevant, updated, and comprehensive themes in regards to human existence. Notice how I keep this vague, because I want you to feel this.
– EVERYTHING IS CONNECTED TO EVERYTHING IN THE QUR’AN. It doesn’t follow an order that normal presentations do. I noticed this immediately in my journey. The Qur’an seemed to jump from one place to another without warning sometimes. But after getting used to this, I realized this was not random at all. It was another theme all together. You see, a verse will get a complimentary verse explaining the topic better in some completely different surah/chapter. A seed is placed some places, and it grows somewhere else. This forces you to read on. And you eventually find it. This is marvelous, due to the fact that in this way you cannot separate a piece of the Qur’an from the Qur’an. Since everything is so intricately placed and connected, cutting even one string off and removing it from the masterpiece will disconnect ALL the strings, and it will no longer be the Qur’an.
These tacit experiences can only be experienced in an hands-on environment. Yes, they can be described, but not experienced until you choose to actually feel them for yourself. And this experience is essential in the life of thos who choose to call themselves “Muslim”. Because simply put: A human beings is in a relationship with Allah. And like any relationship, the demands and the feel of the relationship need to be understood for there be a thriving or even stable relationship. If I do not feel what Allah is saying to me, there is not a force in this world that convince me. I can go to scholar after scholar after scholar asking him about topics such as bank interests, drugs, and murder. But until I hear what The Source is saying and how it is saying it, I will not truly understand.
I also discovered that the Qur’an is the ultimate curriculum. See #Iqralife for examples. Since the Qur’an is ultimate truth, all forms of truth connect with the Qur’an. This was hit me hard because throughout my whole life the Qur’an was something very academic. And by that I mean, the Qur’an was always portrayed to me as something that had no practical relevance, and a text that consisted of only theoretical interest. Only when I dived deep into this unlimited ocean of truth, did I realize that I was terribly wrong. Not only was the Qur’an complimentary to human life, it is the definition of human experience. Only after diving into the Qur’an did I realize that there is no life without the Qur’an.
The stories of prophets became medicine for my life. No matter what struggle I was going through, I could somehow connect it with some prophetic story. The healing effect was even more profound once I figured out that the Teacher of the prophets was also my Teacher. Blending the lessons of all the prophets gives us a formula for balance.
My perception underwent the biggest change. From the ground to the stars, I have to started to notice the divine signatures of the Almighty. I have literally started noticing elements in the physical and mental realms matching verses from the Qur’an. This automatic ability has resulted in a synthesis of Qur’an and life. Which in short, means I’m finally living. I’m finally alive.
The Challenge Conclusion : I’m finally alive