Thursday, January 8, 2015

How I Learn to Read Arabic and Al-Qur'an


Here's another sharing of how I learn to read.

My experience of learning to read jawi/arabic letters and the Qur'an is rather different than learning to read Malay and English.

In Malaysia. kids normally started reading Al-Qur'an by reading Iqra' (book 1 to 6) followed by Muqaddam (consist of surahs from juz 30 of the Qur'an) and then Al-Qur'an.

Because jawi is a traditional writing of Malay, we also learn jawi during childhood. I don't remember I started reading jawi since kindergarten or primary school, but yeah, it was around that age. In primary school, the deeniyah (religious) subjects are taught in jawi, so I indirectly learn to improve jawi reading from there. I also learned the Arabic language there, so my Arabic reading also improved. but yeah, my Arabic proficiency was bad because I didn't like memorizing vocabularies..

Now I could only remember some of the Arabic words and simple sentences. uhuhuhu. My Arabic language proficiency has declined since I finished school. I only practice Arabic in my prayers and in Qur'an reading. hm hm.

I think this is how my Iqra' looked like
Moving on to reading Al-Qur'an;
As a first step towards learning to read Al-Qur'an, like other kids, I started by reading Iqra'. I learned Iqra' since kindergarten, in Tadika Cahaya Iman. However, I never finished the whole Iqra'. I guess I wasn't as passionate as when I read Malay. From reading Iqra', I also learned to read jawi a bit. Hence, I could read jawi and some arabic words (duh, they're the same letters).

I don't remember why I didn't finish the whole Iqra', maybe because I was too slow or because I always skipped going to kindergarten. Although my ability to read jawi and Arabic is limited, I could still memorize some duas, recitations in prayer and short surahs in the muqaddam because we recite it every day in kindergarten and it continued when I enrolled to the primary school, SRIH.

At SRIH, I straight away read muqaddam because we had to memorize surahs from the muqaddam. Fortunately, I could already read the short surahs at the back because I had been reading them during kindergarten.

During Ramadhan, there was always tadarus for kids and teenagers at our neighbourhood's mosque, Masjid Jamek BBU. Mama was one of the mosque's committee (still is), so she brought all my siblings to the tadarus session. I can't remember very well, but I think I got grouped with those who read muqaddam. But one day, I wanted to be in the same group with my older sisters who could already read the Al-Qur'an. That was my first time reading surahs other than in juz 30. I was around 7 or 8.

I was very excited that I got to read new surah from Al-Qur'an, not from Muqaddam. Because I was in the Al-Qur'an group, they started tadarus from the beginning of the Qur'an, which is Surah Al-Fatihah, followed by Surah Al-Baqarah. I was excited looking at the long verses. I heard to people reading the verses and check the verses in the Qur'an I held. Then, it was my turn to read the Qur'an.

Since it was the first time I read new surah, I read veeeeery slowly, recognizing each letters in the words. My groupmates had to patiently wait for me to finish reading the verses. My big sister who sat beside me (I think it was Uswah) corrected my reading a lot of time, patiently. I think I sweated because I wanted to finish reciting the verses quickly but it was hard. Because I read too slowly, Mama asked me to read only two verses when it was my turn. Huahua.

I think it was because of the tadarus that I grew interest to improve my reading of the Qur'an. I envied people who could read the Qur'an smoothly and quickly. I wanted to be as good as them.

During the end of Ramadhan, there was a 'Majlis Khatam Al-Qur'an', like a closing ceremony for the tadarus programme. The participants of the tadarus got duit raya and a new Al-Qur'an.
I really liked my new Al-Qur'an, so I immediately wrote my name on the first page when I got home.
Since then, I began to read Al-Qur'an as a daily routine after performing maghrib prayer (but I do skip sometimes, hehe). Mama is my teacher and Abah also sometimes corrected me when he's near.
I started reading by myself when....I can't remember when.. but maybe when I was in standard 4 or 5? at around 10 to 11 years old.

The tadarus programme was an annual thing (because Ramadhan used to be during our school breaks), so every year, I would join the tadarus. After form one, Ramadhan started to be during our school days, so we stopped joining the tadarus at masjid. During my last year of joining tadarus, I got a new Al-Qur'an with translations. Just as what I need to enroll secondary school.

Alhamdulillah from the tadarus programme and making reading Qur'an a daily routine, my Qur'an reading got better. I also improved in tajwid as we learned tajwid in school and there were ustaz and ustazah to check and correct our reading. But it was only in secondary school that I really became cautious on tajwid in reading the Qur'an. Hence, it was in secondary school that my Qur'an reading got more proper.

Alhamdulillah now I could read the Qur'an well. yeayy. but of course, there are still a lot of things to be learned. There are still tajwid rules to master and surahs to memorize. gulp.

 May Allah implant love towards Al-Qur'an in our hearts,
and may we got to be in the Quranic generation. Yoshh!

*sambil berdebar di dalam hati, layakkah aku? oohhh.. takpe kita berusaha je.

This is how I learn to read Arabic and Al-Qur'an.
to summarize,
Age 6: Read Iqra' (not finished)
Age 7: Read Muqaddam (not finished)
Age 7-8: Read Al-Qur'an
Age 10-11: Learn tajwid
Age 13-14: Become conscious of reading with tajwid

Yeahh, it's  a looong journey of learning to read Qur'an properly. May Allah count and bless the effort. wuwu.
It's hard to be istiqamah in learning to read Al-Qur'an. During the early times, I was quite ambivalent towards reading it. Ye lah, iman goes up and down.
but,,, may this heart always be close to Al-Qur'an.

That's all.

Salam :)

P/S: All pictures in this post aren't mine. Those are results from Google Image search.

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