At 11:35 p.m. a melodious sound caught me by surprise and lured me from my own desire of brief solitary. After a long day of selfless teaching my only desire was that I have a few moments of time to myself. I could tell from the tranquility of the sound that I was hearing the Quran. I could not discern if Ibrafall, my husband, had fallen asleep listening to an Islamic lecture again or if the sound was from someone in our home.
My perplexed state stemmed from the fact that I was tired and I couldn't figure out if the voice I heard was female or male. Normally when the Quran is played it is recited by a male. The voice I heard was youthful, felt innocent and sounded like a female. It was the familiarity of the voice, despite all of my efforts to ignore the tune and enjoy a few moments of free time, that pushed me to get up off of my welcoming couch.
As I walked through our living room, the pure sweetness of the sound continued to call me. The closer I got, the more my heart swam with excitement. I was suddenly glad that I had put my computer away and drifted through the dining room toward the melody. Upon reaching the hallway, I could immediately tell that the sound was coming from our daughters' room. I hung a right.
Although lured and calmed by the sound, it began to set in that it was 11:45 p.m., and at that point I became annoyed. Memories of my, "If you're the last one to lay down turn off the light!" mantra began to replay through my mind. I couldn't even begin to count how many times had I lectured my girls about the importance of going to sleep on time and making sure the light was turned off.
Here it was, almost tomorrow and not only was the light still on, but now it became clear that, yes I was hearing the sweet sound of the Quran and yes, a child was still up.
Once I reached the door, I realized that it was our middle child, Jannah who was reciting Quran. I would have never guessed it was her. Her recitation was slow, clear and loud enough for me to hear it all the way from her bedroom to our living room.
Tonight, she recited slowly and meticulously while she normally recites Quran extremely fast. As a matter of fact, after she completed her recitation for this year's Quran competition, the judges looked as if they had whiplash. Throughout the school year, I constantly worried that she did not participate in class enough. I've been told that when she does decide to speak, she speaks low and her peers and teachers have a difficult time hearing her. But on this late night, here she was, all alone reciting Quran just as we always wanted her to. My heart melted and I was in complete awe.
When she noticed me standing in the doorway she just smiled. I said goodnight and flipped the light off. Without missing a beat she simply continued her recitation. I slid down the wall, sat down outside of her door and just listened.
Her beautiful recitation, transported me to a few hours after she was born. My husband, who helped me deliver her, had not long finished storing her umbilical cord to be buried later. Jannah was born in the wee hours of the morning and now the bright early morning sun streamed through our bedroom windows. Ibrafall wanted to check on us and see how we were doing. I told him he did not need to check on Jannah because I had been listening to her hum for several hours. I had never heard a newborn child hum and truth be told, you can still catch Jannah humming to herself on any given day.
Jannah is our second child and we were grateful to have carried her full term because she was the first child born directly after we had a miscarriage. My pregnancy with her was problem free and Jannah was peacefully delivered at home, in our bathtub, by my husband and me, while my mother prayed outside of the bathroom door.
I'm not sure if there is any correlation, but Jannah is the first child I had after accepting Islam. I read Quran for the very first time while pregnant with her and, against the advice of some, I even fasted the month of Ramadan while pregnant with her. I began to memorize and study Quran all while pregnant with Jannah. Jannah, was calm and tranquil those first moments after she was born and anyone who knows her knows she is still a calm and peaceful child, for the most part.
As I sat outside of Jannah's door and listened to her captivating recitation, I was reminded that from her first few hours on this Earth she has existed in peace and hummed to a tune of her own. Essentially, she has always been content with herself and intent on doing things at her own time. Throughout this past school year, I found myself running behind Jannah trying to get her to study Quran more, memorize more and practice more. I thought about how many times I have told Jannah, "Your teacher said you have to recite slower and you have to speak up." That night Jannah was doing everything her teacher and I have asked her to do. Of course, I am not trained to hear small tajweed mistakes, but at that moment my knowledge of Quran didn't matter.
I was humbled to tears that night as I listened to Jannah. Her voluntary recitation emphasized that when it really gets down to it, all that matters is the true relationship she establishes with Allah (swt). What Jannah does in the darkest hours of the night, when no teacher is watching and I am no longer there to push her is what matters most. It is what Jannah and the rest of us do when we are alone that matters. We came here alone. We will leave here alone and will stand before Allah/ God (swt) alone.
We are supposed to recite Quran for the pleasure of Allah and for the sake of our own souls. When Jannah began to learn to read Quran she wrote inside of her tajweed book that she loved the Quran. At five, she told me she wanted to memorize the Quran. InshaAllah this will come true one day. As a parent, I often times find myself losing sight of the purpose of my daily struggles. I want things to be perfect now and forget that we are laying a foundation for greatness. This experience reminded me that most of what Ibrafall and I strive to instill in our children is preparing them for a future we can't even imagine and for people we may never meet. If Jannah continues to love Quran, recite Quran for the sake of Allah (swt), live by the Quran and will pass it on to the next generations, I will be forever pleased as a mother.