Healing Power of the Quran
Where there is pain, one can also find healing and growth.
I was forced to look inwards and acknowledge the cause of my condition. The answer was obvious. I had developed a fear of losing loved ones to death. I was going on but breaking down; getting clingy when I needed to let go and aloof where I needed to show affection. It got so bad that at one point, I felt completely shattered and alone even though I was surrounded by many who loved me.
It was at this rock bottom that, recalling my mom’s advice, I turned to the words of Allah. In my pursuit to better understand my faith and derive strength from it, I read the meaning of Surah Yaseen, the chapter from the Quran which is read on someone’s death. It was the first time I was reading the English translation of and thus comprehending the verses I had till now only recited in Arabic, a language I can read but not understand (my native language being hindi/urdu).
Exalted is the one (Allah) in whose hands is the realm of all things, and to that being you will be returned.
For days and months, I kept returning to the last part of this verse, repeating it chant-like to myself. It gave me a sense of inevitability of returning to the “one” and I tried to imbibe this feeling into me. Gradually I began to come to peace with the “untimeliness” of my father’s death. My perspective on his death changed from it being a sudden one to a pre-ordained one, and I began to see it as a transition to a better world.
As I continued this journey into self-healing, with the help of particular verses of the Quran, I began to see the group recitation in a different light: as part closure, and part continuation of a connection with the loved one. And more than that, I began to see it as a joint practice in finding solace in remembrance of Allah. The sounds of verses being read aloud, which I used to find unsettling due to the memory connect, now resonated with meaning.
The recitation was a ritual for me when I did not understand it and now that I did, it was an act of worship.
Shazia Javed is a writer, film-maker and photographer. She is also a mom of two lovely children.