One of South Africa’s best female Qur’an reciters, Aisha Jakhura, encouraged young people to pursue Hifz. It calls for major sacrifice, but the rewards are greater, she told Nabeelah Shaikh.
To accomplish memorising the Holy Qur’an by the age of 13 is no easy feat, but Aisha Jakhura succeeded in becoming a Haafidha despite her hectic schoolwork.
Now 18-years-old, she’s one of South Africa’s best female Qur’an reciters.
Aisha from Durban was recently placed first in the full Qur’an category at the National Qur’an Memorisation Competition held in Laudium, Tshwane. Aisha completed her matric at Al-Falaah College in Durban last year.
She began her Hifz journey back in 2013, at the tender age of just 9. By November 2017, at age 13, she completed memorising the Qur’an.
“My father is a Haafidh, and various other family members of mine are also Hufaadh. When you see people around you who are on this path, it also motivates you to follow this path too. This has always been something that I have wanted to do. It’s what motivated me to pursue my Hifz,” she added.
Besides this, hearing about the different virtues of being a Haafidha, also motivated her to take on this journey. Aisha said the journey was not an easy one, and there were moments when she felt like giving up.
“I was doing Hifz while being in school, and during my journey, I told my parents that I don’t want to do it anymore, I want to stop because it’s too hectic. But they motivated me to keep going. Had it not been for Allah Ta’ala’s fazal and my parents not guiding me, I don’t think I would have completed my journey. So, Alhamdulillah, I am very grateful for this. It has been a big blessing for me,” said added.
Aisha said she had to work on finding a good balance while pursuing her Hifz.
“It’s very difficult with school, and I see others do it too. but you have to plan yourself and use your time well. If you don’t create a structure, it will become very overwhelming, and you won’t be able to cope. So essentially, I would suggest for people who are doing their Hifz, and school together, to learn early in the mornings, attend school and then do your homework. Following a structure, and having a routine helps you to juggle many things.”
When she was placed first at the National Qur’an Memorisation competition, Aisha said she was shocked.
“It was my first time participating. It was a well organised event. It was a once in a lifetime opportunity for me. I couldn’t attend the event personally because I was overseas at the time, but they allowed me to participate online virtually.”
She says lots of planning went into it. “I told myself that I’m doing this solely for the pleasure of Allah and this is something I’m doing for Allah’s kalam, so my intention has to be pure. I then started preparing, revising, practicing the various juz’ from the beginning. The parts where I made mistakes, I put little sticky notes there, so I can refer to it and see where my mistakes are. Afterwards I requested for my grandmother to test me. That really helped me to prepare for the main competition. I wasn’t expecting to win at all. And when I heard my name being called, I was stunned. Alhamdulillah, I was very grateful. I told myself, this isn’t my own doing, this isn’t for myself, this is Allah Ta’ala’s blessing upon me,” said Aisha.
Aisha said one of the ways that Allah Ta’ala has chosen to protect his Kalam, is by making people memorise his Kalam.
“He chooses people who will memorise and preserve his Kalam. And Allah says he will protect the Qur’an, so if the Qur’an is in your heart, Allah Ta’ala will obviously protect that person.”
She encourages all young Muslims to pursue Hifz.
“I would encourage every young Muslim out there, to please undertake this journey but keep in mind that it will require sacrifice and lots of effort. It is a difficult journey, but the rewards are far greater. It takes a lot of work, a lot of sacrifice. With success, and for everything difficult, you have to put in the sacrifice, the effort and the hours, sweat and blood. It’s a lot of hard work. But that shouldn’t put you off because this is one of the most amazing journeys that you will tread,” said Aisha who says she now plans to increase her knowledge of the holy Qur’an while also pursuing her academic studies.”