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Chapter 1: At Speed

Setting: Houston, Texas, Family’s new backyard, Wednesday, Summer 2011, first week of Ramadan (3rd day)

Characters: Ibrahim (now 6), Khadija, and Amna (now 3)

“Ammi, there are six pages between me and Ya Sin,” says Ibrahim, looking down into his mushaf.

“You six,” pipes in Amna, who’s also seated at my side.

“I am not six pages,” is Ibrahim’s response.

“You six,” repeats Amna, her tiny features forming a fighting face.

“No, I am not,” sounds out Ibrahim slowly, increasingly frustrated.

“Just a minute, both of you, please,” I say stretching out my arms to keep them from coming to blows. “You’re right Ibrahim, you are not six pages, and you are also right, Amna, he is six. So how about rather than arguing about all of this, we try to channel some of our energy into memorizing?”

“Ammi, I really don’t think I can do this,” responds Ibrahim, shaking his head. “It’s just too long. It’s like four Surah An Nabas lined up. You never did that when you were my age; how am I supposed to now?”

“You’re right. I was definitely not on Surah Ya Sin with my teacher when I was six, but I do remember hearing my Daadi recite, and I vaguely remember her trying to teach me . . . what if we take it one ayah at a time?” I say, then continuing, “and finish when we finish.”

“What is that supposed to mean?” asks Ibrahim.

“Supposed to mean?” mimics Amna, nodding her head.

“There’s no due date. No expiry. We just start learning, and let Allah Subhanahu wa-ta‘ala do the heavy lifting, like we did all throughout Juz ‘Amma.”

“Ammi, I really don’t understand you. No expiry date, so not like the milk? And what do you mean by ‘heavy lifting’?” follows up Ibrahim, his dark brown eyes opening wide.

“We take our time, baita, and we hope and pray that Allah in His infinite mercy will help us. Anyway, 83 ayaat are actually not that many. Technically, it’s less than two Surah An Naziats if you think of it that way.  And you remember that beautiful hadith on our bookmarks?”

“The one about running?” Ibrahim asks.

“Yes,” I say smiling, and then read out from my bookmark. “I am as My servant thinks I am. I am with him when he makes mention of Me. If he makes mention of Me to himself, I make mention of him to Myself; and if he makes mention of Me in an assembly, I make mention of him in an assembly better than it. And if he draws near to Me an arm’s length, I draw near to him a fathom’s length. And if he comes to Me walking, I go to him at speed.”

“I speed,” responds Amna. In her customary way, she gets up and starts running in between the porch pillars, which accent part of our new backyard.

“And I go faster,” says Ibrahim, leaping up and starting to chase after his sister.

Copyright © 2015 by Mindworks Publishing

Sequel to A Qur’aanic Odyssey: Towards Juz ‘Amma

For more of this great story visit www.mindworksbooks.com!Ya Sin: a hifdh journey in America

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