Back then, I never really understood when people say “make the Quran your best friend.” To me, it is just a book. In a language I unfortunately do not understand. And growing up, there were so many taboos (pantang-larang) associated with this one book.
“Ablution is compulsory! (Wajib berwudhu!). Wear your praying garments! (Pakai telekung!). Read only on your praying mat! (Mengaji atas tikar sejadah!). Put it on the top most cupboard! (Letak atas almari paling tinggi!). Do not be in contact with it when you are on vacation!” And I am not talking about the literal vacation.
Thus I wondered, how on earth is one supposed to be in this “madly-in-love” relationship if one is only allowed to see it five times a day, in a position one might not be comfortable with (Duduk bersila masa mengaji!) and one cannot be in contact with it when one is on vacation. Do you know that one is in her worst murderous mood when she is on vacation? Again, I am not talking about the literal vacation.
So yes, I never really understood when some people say “make the Quran your best friend.”
My curiosity towards the concept of turning your Quran into something more than just a holy book began when one of my favourite authors wrote “All the verses in the Quran are like personal love letters from God to us.”  This single statement struck a chord inside me. All this while I thought the sole purpose of completing the recitation of the Quran (mengkhatamkan Quran) was so that we could have a khatm Quran ceremony. It was just one of life’s goals to achieve. “You have to finish reading your Quran before you turn 12!”. And once the ceremony is over, so is our connection with the Quran. We missed out on the chance to bond with our Quran. We missed out on the opportunity to make the Quran as our best friend, the one that will help us get through our trials in life, through sadness and downfalls. The one that will remind us not to forget to thank Allah when something good comes our way or to remind us that we have a purpose in this life, that we were not born or placed on this earth to grow, eat, sleep, work, get married, produce offspring and die peacefully. Because if these are what we are only doing, what differentiates us from the animals then?
A couple of years ago I met two women who changed my entire view on this matter. These two inspiring women taught me and guided me on how to commit myself to a relationship like no other. That it is not too late for me to chase after the Quran and make it my best friend. Just like how you have to know someone to be in love with someone, the same concept is applied in wanting to be in a relationship with your Quran.
Two years and with this relationship growing strong, I have found some tips and tricks that have helped me in learning how to connect with the Quran. My Quran.
10 Easy Steps To Kick-start Your Relationship
(Disclaimer : Tips shared are from a newbie for a newbie who intends on learning how to fall in love with the Quran. Quran here refers to the copy of Quran Translation. The writer acknowledges that there are certain Adab (أدب) / Islamic etiquettes that have to be maintained when dealing with a copy of a proper Quran / kitab / mushaf or مصحف (non-translation).
1. The first step is to go out there and get a decent copy of the translation of the Quran in a language you are most comfortable with : Malay, Indonesian, or even English. Let’s face it, Arabic is not our mother tongue (in Malaysia it is not). If you want to make this relationship work, you have to start with the basic. This can only be done with a copy of a Quran’s translation. Unless you are fluent in Arabic, you will not be able to understand a single thing Allah is trying to tell you in the Quran. It will become something that you read for the sake of completing reading it. Not because you truly want to know what Allah is trying to tell you.
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2. Step 2 is optional but probably one that you are going to love. Get yourself a handbag that will fit your Quran translation. I remembered going to a program in Masjid Al-Mukhlisin, Cheras, where the speaker told us that when women are choosing a bag to buy, they never considered the “Will this bag fit my Quran?” requirement. We usually think and consider whether the bag will fit our purse, our keys, our praying garments, our makeup bag but never the Quran. This being said, it does not mean you now have to chuck away all those bags you currently have and get new ones just because those bags could not fit your Quran. What I am trying to emphasize is not to forget the requirement mentioned above the next time you are out on a quest for a new bag.
3. Step 3 is a continuation from step 2. Guys reading this are probably thinking, “What does buying a bag has anything to do with reading the Quran? That is typical of a girl to use any kind of excuse to justify herself into buying a handbag.” Well, hold your horses guys. The only reason I mentioned step 2 is because in step 3, you are required to bring your Quran with you wherever you go. EVERYWHERE you go, always have your Quran with you. When you go to school, when you go to work, when you are out for leisure purposes, never leave the house without your Quran. Why? Because at any chance you could possibly get, read the Quran. You are waiting for your bus? Read the Quran to kill time. Waiting for your friends at that cafe you love to hang out together? Read the Quran over your favourite cup of mocha. Stuck in a traffic jam on your way to work? Read the Quran.
In movies, there is always a character, a girl who is sitting alone deeply engrossed in her copy of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. There is something somewhat very mysterious about her, as if she is one of a kind. But we rarely see anyone here reading the Quran while waiting for her train at the train station or even when enjoying an afternoon in the park. Be that one-of-a-kind person. Change the “you-can-only-read-your-Quran-privately-in-your-home” culture.
Images courtesy of Google and Tumblr
4 & 5. Go crazy and wild with your Quran. I am talking about sticky notes, highlighters, scribbling on the pages of your Quran with new things you have learned about. There are words of wisdom, motivational quotes so profound it will put that “bowl of soup for the soul” book series to shame. There are Quranic verses that tell you about the rewards of Jannah and the wraths of Jahannam. There are stories for you to take lessons from (the story of Ashab e Kahf from Surah Al-Kahf, chapter 18 and the story of Prophet Yusuf from Surah Yusuf, chapter 12.) There are verses so beautifully composed and rhymed as though it is a poetry written especially by Allah for you that your heart breaks softly when you read it (Surah Ar-Rahman, chapter 55). The list of exciting things you will encounter with the Quran goes on and on. Trust me, it will be one exploration that you will have the most fun with. Go crazy with your Quran. Go wild in exploring your Quran.
For me, my most favourite part of getting to know the Quran is when I stumble upon supplications of the prophet and the believers. Mark them. Try to memorize them. Do not let your Quran be that book kept prim and proper on your bookshelf, the pages pristine white because you fear of writing anything on it.
6. Highlight frequently read phrases to familiarize yourself with the beautiful sayings of the Quran. La tahzan (Don’t be sad = لا تحزنا) or Afala Ta’qilun (Do you not think? = افلا تعقلون) are some of the example of phrases mentioned numerous times in the Quran that you cannot help but notice it. Take note of it so that the next time you see it, you would be able to recognize it and you would get that sense of familiarity and feel as if you are personally connecting with the Quran.
7. Know the benefits of reading the Quran. The more you know about the benefits that you will reap, the more you want to spend time with it. The rewards of reading and reciting the Quran are many. An authentic hadith in At-Tirmidhi states:
Whoever reads a letter from the Book of Allah, he will have a reward. And that reward will be multiplied by ten. I am not saying that “Alif, Laam, Meem” is a letter, rather I am saying that “Alif” is a letter, “laam” is a letter and “meem” is a letter.” So increase your recitation of the Qur’an to gain these merits, and to gain the following merit as well.
In another hadith, ‘Aa’ishah, may Allah be pleased with her, relates that the Prophet Muhammad S.A.W said:
Verily the one who recites the Qur’an beautifully, smoothly, and precisely, he will be in the company of the noble and obedient angels. And as for the one who recites with difficulty, stammering or stumbling through its verses, then he will have TWICE that reward.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]
Apart from that, another advantage of being best buddies with your Quran is that it will become your saviour on the day of judgement. In a hadith narrated by Abu Umamah, he said that he heard Allah’s Messenger S.A.W say:
Recite the Qur’an, for on the Day of Resurrection it will come as an intercessor for those who recite it. [Sahih Muslim Hadith 1757]
8. Personalize your Quran. Qurans nowadays are printed and published in so many different designs and colours. Get one that matches your personality. Pink, red, green, leather bound, hard cover bound. Make some fancy cover for your Quran. I know some will argue by saying it is the act of reading and reciting the Quran that matters, not whether the cover matches your bag or the colour of your hijab. But if these things help motivate you, help get you excited about opening your Quran and reading it, I say “Why not!”. If one could constantly upgrade the accessories of one’s smartphone, what is wrong with doing the same with one’s Quran?
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Image courtesy of Owh so Muslim shop 
9. Take it a step further. If is not merely enough that you upgrade the “external” aspect of your Quran. Enrol yourself in a tafseer class. Learn with teachers and scholars that can deepen your knowledge and understanding about the verses of the Quran. Then take it another step further : Enrol yourself in an Arabic class. It will do you wonders. Often times I get really envious of a person whom upon reading a verse of the Quran, burst into tears because he or she actually understands what was being read. He or she knows how terrifying Jahannam is and how beautiful Jannah is described. Unfortunately, the rest of us do not have the same effect and we could only blame it on our lack of proficiency in Arabic.
10. The final tip : Istiqamah. To be steadfast. Strive to always be in the company of the Quran. Strive to read the Quran every single day. Treat the habit as though it is a supplement, a vitamin to nourish your soul (a sister I know calls it her Vitamin Q). Start small. For the beginners, start by reading a page each day and keep adding as you feel you are spiritually progressing. It is not about finishing the race (to complete the reading of the Quran). It is about enjoying the journey at your own pace. To feel how the verses of the Quran will change you.
So there you go. I really hope you benefit from these ten tips as much as I have. Also a point to always remember is to never stop making du’a to Allah to help ease your journey with the Quran. I ask Allah to enter the Quran into our hearts and to let us turn to the Quran before anything else. I also ask Allah to make you and I amongst those who “speak” the Quran. I am reminded of what Ustadh Nouman Ali Khan once said in his lecture, “Before you want Quran to be your companion on Judgement Day, you have to first be its companion here in this life.”
So my question to you now is : Are you ready to be in this special relationship?
The Girl with The Pink Quran
 5 Tahun 5 Bulan by Hlovate
 Magnetic Quran Markers by OSM Shop at http://owhsomuslim.com/osmshop/osm-magnets/112-Quran-markers.html
 Youtube lecture : The Quran – Your Companion on The Day of Judgement http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Za1buqwXQo