Wednesday, March 14, 2007


If you had/have me on your blogroll, then please replace 'Musings of a Muslim Mouse' with!!!!! This goes especially for most of you on my blogroll! :P

Saturday, March 10, 2007

I’m Moving!

I was going to title this post ‘fond farewells’, but I realized that it’s not a farewell at all… okay, you’re probably wondering what’s going on, so I’ll cut to the crux of the matter.

Here’s the deal: brother Amad of Musings of a Muslim Mind came up with the idea for a group blog, composed and maintained by several fellow Muslim bloggers – myself; sister Ruth Nasrullah from The Straight Path; brother Omar from Lota Enterprises; a newbie blogger, brother Ahmad alFarsi; and, of course, brother Amad himself.

In addition to we 5 who form the editorial staff, guest writers will include Sheikh Yasir Qadhi from al-Maghrib Institute and Sheikh Tawfique Chaudhury from al-Kawthar Academy (amongst others).

Cool, huh?!

Anyway, our new blog is at - Discourses in the Intellectual Traditions, Political Situation, and Social Ethics of Muslim Life.
(Don’t you just love the long title? :P)

So, what does this all mean?

Well, it means that from now on, I’ll be posting over at MuslimMatters instead of my little mousehole here… and while I’m going to miss this place (especially the still-new template and my little Muslim mousey pic!) I’ll still be around. I’m not quite sure whether I’m going to totally abandon my cozy corner here – I might post little things such as bits of creative writing, art, and anything else that strikes my fancy but doesn’t quite fit on MuslimMatters – so check up every once in a while, insha’Allah.

So… yeah. Please go over to MuslimMatters, read the welcome message (as soon as I write and post it, that is!), and check out our other posts! And, of course, please do leave comments!

Before I finally go from here, I’d like to borrow a page from brother Amad’s book and ask you all to please just leave a general review of me and my blog… while reading my musings and mutterings, what sort of impression did you have of me? What do my strong suits seem to be, and what are my failings and weaknesses, the stuff that I ought to improve upon?

I’d just like to say how wonderful it’s been to run this blog… it’s only been up for a few months, really – since July/August… but though it started off pretty slowly I managed to round myself up a few regular readers – al-Hamdulillaah! :)

And so now I shall betake myself off… to write the welcome message and then terrorize my little brother into thinking that he’s got the chickenpox too! :P :D

Your little sister in Islam,


Thursday, March 01, 2007

Qur'an: Reading & Recitation Without Knowledge or Understanding

Umm Reem mentioned something that I've been meaning to write about for a while now.

It's about teaching kids how to read and memorize Qur'an, yet without any knowledge or understanding of what they're reading/reciting.
I think most of us born into Muslim families will understand it the most - especially non-Arabs.

From an early age, my parents taught me how to read and memorize the Qur'an... because my father studied at an Islamic university, he learned how to read and recite with proper Tajweed, which he then taught me (without telling me the rules and stuff, though - but hey, at least I know a little bit!)- al-Hamdulillaah.
But once I could read and recite, that was it. I wasn't taught Arabic, I wasn't taught the meanings of that which I was reading, nothing. Yet they placed - and continue to place - great importance in spending a lot of time reading and reciting the Qur'an. Which is great, and I understand why.

However, I find it extremely frustrating that I have no understanding of what I'm reading. A couple years ago I started taking Arabic classes at our Islamic centre, but because the teachers were volunteers and it was only once a week, not much progress was made. I've learnt some basic grammar and a few words and phrases, but that's it... certainly not enough to even begin to comprehend the Qur'an.

When my father opened up the Madrasah here, I found that the other kids had the same issue...
actually, worse, because those who could read didn't know how to read with Tajweed, and then there are those who can't read at all (which is where I come in... I help them learn how to read and recite with Tajweed, what little I know).
Yet none of them - not even the Arab kids - understand what they're reading. For them, it's just... words. They know it's the Qur'an, they know it's importance and everything, but it still doesn't mean anything, y'know? And then when they make mistakes in their reading or reciting they don't realize the importance of getting it perfectly right, because they don't know that by a simple slip of the tongue they've just twisted the whole meaning of the aayah...

I really think that this is something that needs to be addressed; a problem which hinders understanding the meanings of the Qur'an, which in turn has a very negative effect on our Imaan - for how can we strengthen our faith if we don't even know what God is saying to us in our holy book?

Since this is a personal problem of mine, I know what the effects of this ignorance are... and I'm worried that the other kids at the Madrasah will end up feeling the way I did when I was younger: that reading the Qur'an is useless because it's just a bunch of words that I don't understand.

Al-Hamdulillaah, I know better now... but still, that feeling of frustration is still there when I read or recite the Qur'an and, aside from a couple words, I don't know what the message Allah is conveying to me is. Even reading English translations of the meaning of the Qur'an aren't good enough; it doesn't have the same effect on the heart.

I've brought the issue up with my parents, but they've pretty much brushed me off - they think it's more important to learn how to read perfectly, and to learn it quickly; than it is to take the time to understand, even if it takes longer to accomplish the goal of perfect reading. But quality is better than quantity (or speed of learning as opposed to practical application of learning)!

I'm finding this really frustrating... I'm concerned about myself and the other kids, but my parents just don't seem to get it - which I don't get, because they know how important this issue is, how understanding what you're reading is more way more important than reading a lot without understanding. I mean, they went through it themselves! They grew up in typical Desi households; they only began learning Arabic and then understanding and comprehending the Qur'an later in life - my father at the university, my mom through Arabic classes she attended while my dad was gone during the day at school.

So why won't they try to change things for the better with my brothers and I, and the students
at the Madrasah?!

Argh... yet another example of how parents/adults in general should know something, or do know something, but don't act on that knowledge themselves!!!!! But I guess that's another blog post altogether... *Grimaces*

Your little sister in Islam,