I was never really fond of Quran when I was young or as a child either. I guess no one really is and the reason I am telling you this is because we are so busy presenting ourselves as the perfect people that we forget to put some spotlight on the place where we come from. How my life is today is not what it was like a decade ago or if I speak very precisely it was not close to what it is now what it was two years ago. I was a very absorbed in my own life and in my own thoughts kind of a person which I still am today but a better version you can say. I am now a bit more observant and kind if not much empathetic and compassionate. But that did not happen overnight; something within me had to change before it could change my outward life.
I had never read Quran with translation and frankly when I first did it was just not meant to be at that time because it was not the right time and also because it was not with the right intention as now I believe everything has his perfect time to come to you and happen to you and also because I did not had the right intention as I started reading it to impress people and I have no shame in accepting it that it was foolish of me and ignorant as well. So when the intention was not pure my actions never complimented it.
A cousin of mine had completed reading the Quran with the translation and he handed me over a new one to read it so I can start my own journey. I started reading it when I was in university but I hardly made it to the 2nd chapter and then it just vanished out of my life because I was so busy telling other people that I am reading it and I have completed the 1st chapter’s translation and bla bla. I was so busy showing off that I missed what it had to say to me and trust me I did not even get 1% of the Quran’s wisdom that I have gained now because my intention weren’t correct.
The other thing was I could never relate to Quran. I am a huge book lover, reading is in my genes but to read Quran was just not my thing at that time. I felt so disconnected and it seemed so boring that I couldn’t even think about reading it. I would always assume what could be new in it, isn’t it always talking about the heaven and the hell, the haram and halal (the forbidden and allowed), the hell fire and the rivers of paradise. What could be so exciting to read in those total 30 chapters if this is all it is discussing? I am not saying someone brainwashed me and put these concepts into my mind. It was just the mindset I had thinking what could be new because nobody told me it was way more than just defining halal and haram or drawing comparisons between Jannah and Jahanum for the believers and nonbelievers.
So when I was done taking pride in myself that oh I’m so good, I’m reading Quran and I know things, it had somehow slipped from my sight without me even realizing it and now I know why it slipped because my intention was not right. I was doing it to please people and become good in their eyes instead of doing it for the one to whom all our actions should be directed towards. I was doing it for people and not for Allah.
Wrong intentions → Wrong actions → Wrong outcomes.
As the years have passed my life has changed and my religious vanity has taken a back seat if not thrown out of the window. I have realized whatever you do in your life with the wrong intention won’t last long. When you do things to please people and look up to them for validation you are like riding a horse in a field with the intention to be appreciated for your swimming skills so no matter how good you ride your horse or how fast your horse runs you will never be appreciated or acknowledged for your good swimming talent because your mind set is wrong, you are looking at a wrong place for validation projecting all your efforts in the wrong direction. For you to be appreciated for your swimming you have to be in the swimming pool and not in the field. The Quran you read and the prayers you offer are supposed to be done for Allah solely as he deserves your Ibadah and for your own self to purify you and your heart, nobody needs your religiousness except you and your Ibadah and Niyat (intention) is only going to be beneficial for you on Judgment day but when that’s not the case for you no matter how hard you try to keep doing it one day you feel worn out and exhausted not having the feel or connection or even admiration to do it anymore. That’s when you know you were doing it all wrong.
But that does not mean that you should be hopeless because you did it for the wrong reasons. We need to know ourselves and understand ourselves by making mistakes so we come to terms with our short comings and our weaknesses our temptations and our cravings and then when our intentions are set right our actions will come to us so naturally that we won’t be tiring ourselves out and thinking Oh my god I have to do this, why do I have to do this? It will become your lifestyle in such a seemingly effortless way that you couldn’t even imagine your life without it.
Now I don’t have to force myself to read Quran to reach the finish line. My heart reminds me of it. My soul asks me to feed it and I take baby steps not thinking about when I will reach the end, because there is no end to it. When I’ll finish In Shaa Allah I will start over again because Quran is that deep ocean whose pearls cannot be collected or even touched in just one dive.