During the month of Ramadan, I fast from reading any fiction. I do not write fiction or write fiction. I do not consume fiction in any form.
Whatever time I have, I read the Quran.
To get through 30 chapters, 600+ pages is not easy in 30 days. But I can read 800+ pages of fiction in a weekend, so why do I struggle with the most important book in my life? I’ve reflected on my relationship with this book.
Reading The Book, the literal word of God is nothing short of miraculous. It has not changed. It is timeless evidence of God.
Today I sat in a masjid with two incredible friends and one of them read aloud. She was trying to help me finish my juz (chapter). Her recitation was so moving. It was a thing of beauty. The three of us cried through the recitation, as she reflected on a particular ayat. I do not think I will ever forget this moment.
In my entire life, I have never had an emotional relationship like that with the Book, and certainly never with other women reading the book. For most of my life I assumed that women read silently, and that there were no women reciters in the world.
I was taught that reading the Quran was a private act, sort of like dhikr or dua. It’s only between you and God.
In my adulthood, I see that the only way for the book to remain a source of guidance is that we actively engage it– every single day. We read it aloud. We think about it. We ask, what does this mean? We do this out loud.
This year, the Qariah app allows me to hear female reciters from around the world. And I sat with a friend in real time — not youtube– to read together.
Hearing my friend’s recitation was one of the most beautiful things I’ve experienced. I’ve had rasmalai cakes, hand-made samosas, ice cream cakes, and the pink-milk — but nothing tastes as sweet as reading and reflecting on what God has said to me in this book. I cannot explain this in words.
I pray that all the generations that follow me will love this book more than any book. Of God, please help us be people of faith.
I pray that you get to experience the sweetness of recitation.