It was Ramadan of 2010, after my freshman year of college. After 18 years, I had come to the masjid, willingly, eagerly, without being told. I wanted to change. After many ups and downs in the past years and a spiritual awakening of sorts, I found myself ready to make this Ramadan different from the rest. The imam starts reciting. As we delve deeper and deeper into the Qur’an, I hear the sister beside me start to weep, her body starts shaking besides me. But Why? I didn’t get it. It was just taraweeh. It was just Qur’an, right? Little did I know in that moment, though, that her tears, her shaking, was a crumbling of her heart from the power of God’s words, which at the point I could not understand. But afters seeing her like that, night after night in Ramadan, a fiery passion began to grow. I wanted to break and crumble from the power of the Qur’an, too. I wanted to understand God’s words too. I wanted to be an active listener, an active receiver of His words, too. I wanted to learn and comprehend and transform every time I stood in salah, too.

And so the journey began there. It began with a passion, with a yearning, with a realization that I had spent 18 years of my life doing everything but seeking to learn the one thing that could be the means to my salvation in this world and the next. I found myself begging Allah to help me understand His words, because there was nothing I had heard that was more beautiful. There was nothing that I had read that was more beautiful than it. There was nothing that was more life changing than it.

Almost five years later, I am so humbled and grateful to Allah for opening the doors for me to study His book through Bayyinah Institute’s Dream Program. It truly is a gift that He has given and I pray I am able to appreciate every moment of it and make the most of it. The Qur’an in and of itself is a gift, it’s a huge blessing to us and any opportunity to read it or to study it- whether that be through a local halaqah group or tafseer circle or through programs like Bayyinah etc- it’s truly, truly a blessing and an honor. May Allah make us people of the Qur’an and allow any knowledge that we seek in regards to it, be a means of transformation and betterment of our own selves first and then allow it to transform our communities and societies at large, Ameen.