Journey of Learning Tajweed

It all started with an adult student wanting to learn to read the Quran with tajweed, but why settle for one person to learn when maybe a bunch of adults could learn to read the Quran properly; right?

Embarking on the journey of learning tajweed brought about many challenges which were personal, relevant to the group and something that I foresee as relevant to the entire ummah.

What’s Required to Memorize the Quran

First there has to be a drive, a focused determination to want to encourage others to learn the Quran.  This is a very important factor, we cannot become frustrated by peoples lack of enthusiasm or determination, this is definitely not the method to engage and captivate people; mainly because of the detrimental damage that it can have on you.

I collated some hadiths on the benefit of learning the Quran and also gathered the Fiqh of Islamic jurisprudence perspective for not learning the Quran with tajweed, for those of you who may not aware to read the Quran with tajweed is obligatory.  Therefore if a person has not learnt to read the Quran properly and prays Salaah, then their prayer will not be accepted.

This is not a farfetched or bold statement, however there is a ‘loophole’ and that loophole is to become a student of ilm al-tajweed or learning to reading the Quran properly and you will be exempt and your Salaah will be accepted, however this means that you will become a devoted student and will use every spare moment to learn to read the Quran properly.  This should not then take you more than 20 weeks to be more or less on track. 

Filtering Potential Recruits

Recruitment and selection has to be looked upon very much statistically as you would in business, target a 100 people and look for a opt-in or sign up rate of 10% anything above that is a bonus.

I spoke to as many people as I could giving them the benefits and rewards for learning Quran and the loss and at times punishment for not.  I encouraged each and every person to look towards recruiting others, in the end we did get 10 people.

The venue was selected as my house on a Sunday evening for 1 hours.

Now we needed someone to teach us.  I approached a scholar and firstly emphasized that the group that has got together are ‘committed’, it was essential that this clarification was given to him.

Since so many scholars see their time used up for these purposes that they are more than happy to accommodate for, but students do not commit.

Secondly I advised the scholar that we will pay for him to teach us, I know if  I pushed it I could get the lessons for free, but it is our need and we should therefore commit our time, health and wealth to the cause.

The challenge with adult learning is that they have spent so much time out of studies that it is difficult for them to focus.  The lessons nearer the end of the sessions ended up being spent revising in the classroom setting.  You see the scholar asked us to spend 10 minutes a day on revision and practicing but adults found it difficult to do this also.

The final results were what was originally a 20 week course and 1 hour a week ended up to about 35 weeks and 1.5 – 2 hour a week and although most students went through 2/3 of the course 3 people finished to the end.

Lessons we Learned

1) Actively promote the course to as many people as you can, target a 100 people and be happy with an opt in rate of 10 people.

2) Make sure you understand the adult students personal situation and encourage then to commit to the course.  They must understand the gravity of commitment that is needed.

3) Reassure the scholar that the students are committed, however that he can expect some dropout rates.

4) Pay the scholar, this is our need and we should pay for learning.  Also try to find an exceptional scholar who has good skills in learning.  I believe we had this and his teaching method was as important as the knowledge that we gained, he was extremely patient with the students and had good communication skills.

5) Understand how adults learn knowledge, it takes time for them to embrace it again, especially another language.

6) Stay with them.  I had to send regular text messages to the students to make sure that they were learning or giving the daily ’10 minutes’ and update them beforehand about the classes and that they needed to attend.

7) Most important is to ask Allah for the strength to keep you guided and going.

 

Gateway to Learning Quranic Arabic

On the conclusion of the tajweed lessons I had a strong desire to want to learn Arabic language.  When we made consultation with the scholar he had concerns about us committing to the course, we reassured him that we would commit.

After some active recruitment 8 students put themselves forward for the course, which was excellent news; however I was strongly concerned that this would be much tougher than the tajweed and require a much more level of concentration and commitment and consequently would have a higher drop off rate.  Nevertheless we continued.

The course material that the scholar is teaching from is “Gateway to Arabic” by Dr. Imran Hamza Alawiye.  Apparently there are 7 booklets in the series and we intend to cover each one as we go along.  Currently we are into week 2, however the scholar is away in the Path of Allah for 2 weeks which gives us time to revise.

Best Teaching Methods for Students

The most outstanding thing for is that some of the stuff I have covered previously on my own, however it is complete enlightenment when studied with a teacher.  There were things that I had gone over before many times but could not get it, however once the scholar explains this in a sentence or paragraph I totally get; and the feeling was shared also by the rest of the students.  It goes to show that the quality of teacher-student learning methods just cannot be replaced.

There is one of the students who is getting very much exciting and spear heading before all of us, really getting his head down and learning; utilizing every spare moment for revision and studies and that is alongside the rest of his religious duties.

The first booklet will be spread over 12 weeks at about 1/1.5 hours a week, but similar to the tajweed and more intensely there have been number of breakout sessions throughout the weeks; mainly because it isand therefore the scholar has not been teaching in the evening.

Booklets and Cost of Learning

The course is not free and just the 1st booklet is costing $70, one of the brothers consequently dropped out, well that’s my feeling behind it; however if he had made it apparent we would be willing to negotiate free places if someone shows the commitment needed.

Two brothers who attending the tajweed have struggled to keep up and although have mentioned that they want to continue are struggling to keep.

In the finality there will be 3/4 brothers that complete the first booklet and 2/3 that will consequently go on to finish the entire course.  The scholar believes that if we reach the forth booklet we should be able to make good sentences and converse in Arabic and read the Quran with the basic meanings.  And that’s all that matters mainly for me, to read the Quran with meaning would be nothing short of the greatest achievement that I could attain in this lifetime InshAllah.