What is Quran journaling?
Quran journaling is the process of reflection when you read the Quran but you take the time to pen your thoughts down and think about its meanings.
What are the benefits of Quran journaling?
There are a lot of benefits of Quran journaling.
Enhances critical thinking
Research has shown that journaling has had a positive impact in making connections between ideas and promoting critical thinking. Similarly, if we really want to understand the meaning of the Quran, it would be best to reflect the meaning of it and express our thoughts in a journal.
Quran journaling: Expressing yourself
On a softer note, journaling has also allowed people to express themselves freely in a safe space. In addition to being a creative outlet, journaling also hones one’s writing skills.
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Encourage you to read and understand more by reflection
Setting time to pen your thoughts about the Quran would also encourage you to read the Quran more and reflect upon its meaning. It could be much more engaging than just reading the Quran without thinking about the meaning.
For instance, think of how the lessons in the Quran applies in our daily life. You can also ponder about something you have experienced before.
By engaging in reflection, it prevents us from forgetting that the Quran is evergreen, never outdated and always applicable especially in this modern life.
Remember the message of the Quran better
Another benefit of Quran journaling is that it helps us to remember lessons in the Quran better.
If we reflect and write about it, we are forced to think and connect the dots as opposed to just reading it. This concept is similar to the effective way of studying. When you are trying to study a subject, one of the best ways is to try to internalize it and even talk about it to someone.
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Understand the meaning more deeply
Similar to Quran journaling, writing down your thoughts, reflections on paper will better help you to understand the Quran’s message.
Spiritual consistency and istiqomah
When we remember and understand the message of the Quran better, it will encourage us to establish spiritual consistency or also known as istiqomah.
By having a journal specifically about our lessons of the Quran, we can always refer back to our notes and it can remind us to be grateful. At the same time, it can help us to remind us of our spiritual goals and keep us on the right track.
A journal can be in a form of a book or on an online platform such as a blog. It really depends on which platform feels most comfortable to you.
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Who should do Quran journaling?
Anyone who is able to read the Quran and who seeks to want to better understand the Quran can start journaling. Therefore, Muslim adults and youth (including kids that can already express their thoughts and ideas) should try Quran journaling to connect themselves spiritually. This could also be a healthy form of meditation.
How to start Quran journaling?
Choose a platform
Decide on whether you would like to use a book or a digital platform like a blog. Naturally, writing in a book and away from the laptop might make you focus better.
If you prefer a book, pick a lovely, hardcover book so that it will keep its shape throughout the years. This will help the book to last long so you can refer to the reflections as years go by.
Set aside a time to read and write
Allocate specific days and times when you would like to read the Quran and start journaling. By being specific on which days you would like to do your Quran journaling, you’d be more likely to be motivated to achieve your goal.
If you have just started to read the meaning of the Quran, it is normal to not understand its meaning directly. Therefore, write down your thoughts and questions.
Reflect on the tafseer (meaning of the Quran)
Sometimes, reading the tafseer the first time might seem a little confusing. You might not understand the meaning right away.
My father would always say that it’s okay if you don’t understand it the first time. It would normally take several times to understand something so profound. And you will sometimes find that it might give you a different but more significant meaning as you grow older.
One very widely used English translation of the Quran is by Abdullah Yusuf Ali.
Questions to ask when reflecting on the Quran
When doing reflections of the Quran, there are some questions that you can ask yourselves such as:
- What does this mean to me?
- What examples or situations today illustrate the message of the ayah?
- You can also choose the ayah of the day and mark it as your favourite or the one that resonates with you the most.
Of course, you can ask more specific questions as you go along. Each surah and each section is different and therefore, your reflections will be different too.
Seek consultation from experienced teachers
Apart from doing your own reflection, you could also refer to hadeeth and different scholars or Ustaz/Ustazahs on the matter.
Youth Programmes on Islam
There are also programmes that discuss the teachings of Islam including the origins and development of Islamic civilization. Programmes such as the Hikma Fellowship Programme is a programme conducted by the Raja Zarith Sofiah Centre for Advanced Studies on Islam, Science and Civilization (CASIS). They often hold physical programmes but also hold their Saturday Night Lectures that you can view online.
Online Discussions on the Quran (Ladies only)
The Quran Room is an initiative started by sister Nor Shafira. Ladies read the Quran at 8 pm daily. They also share their reflections on Instagram.
Online Journaling App.
The Qalby app is a lifestyle app for the Muslim community that provides Islamic essentials, classes, and lifestyle content-based. They also have an e-journal for users to express themselves. That way, you can still pen down your reflections when you go to an event if you forget to bring pen and paper.
Quran Journaling = Spiritual Journaling
As journaling about the Quran is also a spiritual journey, you can include du’a or supplication of the Prophets, Imams, and quotes by Muslim scholars. Reading stories of the Prophet and his Companions as well as the Hadeeth can also help you to strengthen your spirituality.
I hope you find this post about Quran journaling helpful. Let me know if you have other interesting ways to do Quran journaling. Leave a comment in the comment section below!