Readers: In Their Own Words is a series in which we pose four questions to some of Wardah's top readers. These are their answers:
Salaam! Could you introduce yourself?
بِسْـــــــــمِ اَللّهِ الرّحْمن الرّحيم
السَّلاَمُ عَلَيْكُمْ وَرَحْمَةُ اللهِ وَبَرَكَاتُهُ
Alhamdulilah. Grateful to Allah swt to be granted this opportunity - to spread the habit of loving to read. My name is Suryati and I go by my IG name: iamsofia.azzahra
A little about my humble self. I have been a civil servant for the past 22 years and I work shifts. I live with my husband, mother, and cat. Besides the love for books, I also love to go for runs, swim, and I love to travel. I am currently in my last year of Diploma in Islamic Studies at Ar-Raudhah Mosque. Alhamdulilah.
What motivates you to read regularly?
The Quran says “by time, mankind is in loss.” I don't want the blessings of what Allah gave us (i.e free time) to go to waste. Therefore I feel the need to structure my time. And I try to use my time productively. Having a time table helps too.
Do you have a specific reading method?
I try to have 1 to 1.5 hours of solid reading time every day. Insya Allah. Usually it is before I go to bed or in the morning. I read books and, at the same time, extract what inspires me or gems from the books. Either by writing it down in my note books, or underlining it, or tagging it to denote its importance. I also have articles saved from Yaqeen Institute in my handphone and I read them while on the train to & from work.
Amongst all the books you've read, what are 3 titles you find yourself recommending to others all the time, and why?
1) Listening to the Quran: Insights, Commands and Guidance for Our Life, by Khalid Baig
I find that this book compliments Sh. Dr. Yasir Qadhi's Ramadhan 2020 Lecture (The Message of The Quran in 30 Lessons), which is available on Youtube.
These are not meant to replace any commentary or tafsir but what it does is that it helps us to start somewhere with the Quran. The lectures itself provides an overview, a birds-eye view, a summary, a condensed presentation of the message of the Quran.
Reading it together with this book serves as a catalyst to jumpstart us to ponder & contemplate about some important Quranic messages thereby making the listening more rewarding, more enriching, and more beneficial for our individual and collective lives. Such reflection is important for developing a strong personal relationship with the Quran. However, the entire Quran is equally important and obviously we need to read the Quran cover to cover. May Allah ease.
2) Allah Loves, by Omar Suleiman
This book explores who and what Allah loves, so that we may become better people who are deserving of Allah's infinite love.
I have this habit of listening to Sh. Dr. Omar Suleiman's lectures on Youtube or his Live Sessions and extracting it word for word into my notebooks. It is tedious but what he says is easy to fathom and inspiring. And so when the book was published i could not be more happier.
Reading this book helps me to remind myself that Allah loves us, and is with us every step of the way in our lives. That whatever good that we do, we are guided & rewarded. And that every bad thing that we do, Allah is ever ready to accept our repentance.
3) With the Heart in Mind: The Moral and Emotional Intelligence of the Prophet ﷺ , by Mikael Ahmed Smith
We see the reality of ‘aql in the Quran and Sunnah, and its perfect manifestation in the life of Prophet Muhammad (S). How he managed his own emotions in positive ways, communicated effectively, empathized with others, overcame challenges and defused conflict.
In these ends of times, and more so important in this covid-19 pandemic, this book helps you to understand, de-stress, use, and manage your own emotions in positive ways. It also helps you to connect with your feelings, turn intention into action and apply that knowledge to your life.
At times it is the need to learn how to overcome stress in the moment, and in your relationships, in order to remain emotionally aware. This book is a keeper, Masya Allah.
والله أعلم بالصواب