Book Review : The Crowning Venture by Hafiza Saadia Mian, MD

The Crowning Venture :
Inspiration From Women Who Have Memorized The Quran

I am giving 10 stars to the title of the book!! And the cover as well. It’s sooo nice, MasyaAllah Tabarakallah.

Crowning and Venture.

Crowning. When talking or thinking about memorizing the Quran and being a Hafiz or Hafiza, I’ll be instantly reminded of the hadith that says “Whoever recites the Quran and acts according to what it contains, God will adorn his parents with a crown on The Day of Judgement.”

Thinking of this hadith always makes me try to imagine the unimaginable. The Crowning Day for a person whose heart and brain filled with and devoted to the Quran in his or her life. A day more grandiose than a graduation, more glorious than a wedding, more royale than a coronation, most magnificent than any celebration could have ever been held in the dunya. How unimaginably beautiful it is, and this book is talking about the exclusive journey. And it used a zealous word “Venture” that means more like a risky or daring journey.

Well, the author can just put the title as “The Muslimah Journey of Memorizing the Quran” or “The Tips and Motivation to Memorize Quran for Women.” Or anything straight forward. But this selection of title is so moving and meaningful, I’m totally sold!       

Even the cover, it puts a crown with flowers on an emerald green background making it looks so sweet yet classy, and it’s matte touch of paper material. Credits to the graphic designer. What a great job!

Okay, enough with the obsession. I gotta proceed with the content review because it’s also as good as the cover itself!

REVIEW (5/5 STAR)

The book is a stories collection of several women who embarked on the journey of memorizing the Quran, including the author herself. She interviewed more than 12 women to share their own experiences and challenges which are all so inspiring and humbling at the same time. Everyone has their own personal methods and tips that’s different from each other and it’s very useful for us to apply in finding our own rhythm.

She also corrected common misconceptions that many people have on this idea of memorizing the Quran especially for women. The wrong opinions like,

~ memorizing the Quran is only for leading the Taraweeh,

~ women shouldn’t be or shouldn’t have to be memorizing the Quran because we don’t lead prayers

~ also that one’s going to be sinful if they memorized the Quran and then forgets it, so it’s better to not memorize the Quran at all. Something like saying “Better not start it or you’ll be in trouble.”

~ and many others

Such fallacies are baseless, and the author clarified them nicely in her writings. I honestly never had such thoughts in mind, because all I know is memorizing the Quran is definitely good. But maybe some people or many out there do. This book is a good reference to correct our misunderstandings and erase any doubts we ever had hidden silently in our hearts when it comes to this pure endeavor.

I definitely recommend this book for everyone, ladies especially, to read because it’s something I would say as a treasure. Depending on our surroundings but as an average person like me, I don’t have many close individuals (or none?) which I can talk to about this topic. And even if we knew a person who is a Hafiza, I don’t think they’ll be sharing all the personal things they felt about the journey. Some things are very personal and overwhelming, and some might be about the fear of bragging that they really would protect themselves from. This is a great effort by the author that may Allah grant barakah in the work and everyone involved.

 Allahumma baarik.

FINISHED THE BOOK HAPPY

Such a wonderful feeling. I finished the book with a sense of happiness in me knowing that……..wait.

The book was purposely to inspire the readers to also embark on the journey of Quran memorization just like the fellow Hafizas did. Or at least to plant the intention in our hearts. Hence of course that was also my expectation when I picked the book to be in my read-list; for inspirations that one day insyaAllah I’ll also put myself in the journey as well. I’ll want to be on the road to Hafiza as well.

Yes, I gained that in the end, but it is even more vitalizing to feel, like I said, a sense of happiness in me knowing that hey… little did I know, “I am actually, already in the journey of memorizing the Quran myself!”

Err…how could that be? Ok, that sounds funny haha but let me share…

BEGINNING THE JOURNEY

When it comes to memorizing the Quran, we always have this thought in mind that it’s about reciting and restoring an ayah after ayah, repeating, and repeating. That’s the common idea. But there are actually many prerequisites that we have to pay attention to either before or while going aboard. Those requirements are like learning the Arabic language, mastering the tajweed (the correct pronunciation) and also tafseer. In fact they said, even if they’ve already started the programme but the tajweed is still not fine, they’re advised to hold their memorization and work on the tajweed first. They also have to know what the chapters are about, the sirah behind them, etc.

And so I feel like.. oh if that’s the case, aren’t those already what I’ve been doing all these while?

I have always been a reader myself. Since a few years ago, my reading diet has slowly shifted from English non-fiction to more religious materials and I got more and more attached. From motivational stuff to Islamic motivational to spiritual, I stumbled upon more intellectual knowledge though in vague understanding. And every Islamic knowledge is engaged to the Quran and hadith. That’s when I feel the more I read the more I realized how much I don’t know, and I see how abundant the Quran that I’ve been reciting all these while is something with so much gems and wisdoms in it. There’s really a lot to learn and understand. From there comes the urge for me to start learning Islamic knowledge more seriously instead of just reading and listening, you got what I mean?

And with the Quran, my mother has always been a reminder for us siblings to always improve ourselves in our recitation. She always said to us to not rely only on what she taught us in our childhood during our first round of khatam. We always need to relearn the tajweed and correct our makhraj.

Overall what I’m saying is, the relationship with the Quran and our religion is always a work-in-progress. And all these efforts combined can be considered as the beginning of the Quran memorization journey. No matter how little connection one has with the Quran, the path to Hafiza is always open and welcoming if we have the desire to be one.

And that says I am already on the path of my own crowning venture! Alhamdullilah. Reading this book makes me feel so inclusive. That’s the difference I felt with this particular motivational book compared to the others.

A REALISTIC GOAL

Even if it sounds unrealistic. Haha.. Of course, being an average woman that doesn’t look like a religious Muslimah, it’s commonly illogical for the person to say that she wants to memorize the Quran. It’s a typical mindset. I had that too.

But something opened up my eyes one day when I watched an online convention with the topic of Becoming People of the Quran, the speaker said something like it’s good that parents nowadays have this consciousness to expose their kids to the Quran from their tender age. Numerous are sending the little ones to Tahfiz centre and all that, in hope that the children will come out and become the people of Quran. It shows that they’re aware of the goodness and the reward of it, unlike years before where most parents were kinda skeptical thinking of the future of Tahfiz children.

However, he said, the ironic is that many of the parents don’t read the Quran, don’t study the Quran, don’t memorize anything but they want their kids to be doing those things. And the phrase that gave me a pang of shame was when he said, “How could you want it for them, but you don’t want it for yourself?” Ahhaa moment. It sounds to me like, “Oh you wished to be crowned, right.. but you’re just trying to get it the shortcut way, huh?” Lol, that’s just how I felt.

This is not like the last piece of cake that a mother would let go for the kids and nothing left for her anymore. Allah s.w.t is The Most Rich, He is offering the crowning reward for everyone who bothers to take it and the access to it is only; the Book. Take the Book and we can already start our journey, at any starting age. The offer is for everyone even if he is illiterate. The eligibility level is so low, everyone can take the opportunity so if one knows that he can get it firsthand, why does he choose to wait to get it through someone else? We can hope, but the children can’t even guarantee anything.

A DIFFERENT KIND OF PURSUIT

We have to understand that, this is not like any other pursuits in life. Any good things that we want to do, we’re still reminded to perform istikharah to know whether it is the right path to take on. But now, is it correct if I say we have to perform istikharah to know whether we should memorize the Quran or not? It doesn’t make sense at all! Rightt…

Like of course we should. It is not actually an option, though it’s not from the pillars. The paths might vary that yes it requires consideration and decision making. But first, we have to want it. The book talks a lot about a genuine intention and pure hearts as the virtue. Because this is the words of Allah we’re talking about. Allah is The One who’s going to select who amongst the servants that will be the carrier of His words. The whole Book, or parts of it. We only need to raise our hands up sincerely in hope that Allah s.w.t will pick us, and do the rest. To guide us, to show us the way, to make it easy for us out of our busy schedules. It’s all His wills.

A LIFETIME ENDEAVOR

Truth is, there’s really nothing to prove in this life because the real success is in the Hereafter. This memorization is not like an achievement to be conquered, it’s a lifetime endeavor. It’s something that we will always be doing once we started, until we take the last breath. I love it when it says, “When you memorize the Quran, you carry it in your heart, and it is always there as an active participant in every interaction.” Another says, “It takes care of everything.” MasyaAllah.

I can go on and on and on talking about this. I have a lot more to write but let’s just end here and start memorizing an ayah or two. Too many gems from the book that I’d slot in my other posts, InsyaAllah.

The Crowning Venture, an inspiration.

As ever,
SALZY

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