The Quran Is A Siren

A forecast was made for Wednesday for severe scattered thunderstorms. So about the only preparation for that on my part was to explicitly decide not to head out with the kids that day. And honestly I have to get out of the house at least once every day, otherwise the cabin fever sets in. New town. No friends. Everything is still so new so my highlight is going out and getting lost. Lost until I’m just tired and want to go back to this new artificial structure I call home. Four sided brick home. And it is a beautiful home, alhamdulillah. Just … it will take time to settle in.

Thus I sent the man out to get a gallon of milk as we were running low. And that night was a little restless for me for no other reason but all the cleaning I had to do that day. Thunderstorms. No big deal. It’s really romantic weather. Cozy up with the kids and relax. When I finally hit the sack, I don’t think I was asleep for more than two hours when I awoke to blazing-ridiculously-loud-obnoxious-scary-scary sirens. First I thought they were in my head in the form of a head ache, but then I was able to convince myself otherwise. I woke up. Opened the front door. Looked up and down the street. Nothing. No rain. No wind. No bombers in the sky. I was serious. Were we being attacked? What on earth was that noise. At 4 am? And why was there no one else peering out their doorways like myself. My husband slept on as did my two small children. While I just paced back and forth from room to room trying to figure out what on Earth was that siren for.

Then it hit me. If it was a storm or an attack, avoid the windows. So like a crazy person, I started to dodge the windows, 4 am, while my family slept on. Yes me. A sleep-deprived-tired-crazy person was on all fours crawling around trying to make it back to my kids’ room. Then. The real freak-out set on. After asking my husband for the third time to explain the siren, I just had to put myself into action. I ran upstairs, opened a few boxes in what seemed like few seconds. Whipped out a few comforters and muscled them along with some floor cushions and man-handled them down the basement. Not exactly down. I threw them down like the end of the world was coming. And then I woke my husband for the fourth time.

“I don’t care if you want to sleep here but grab one kid, I’ll grab the other, I prepared the basement for us to sleep. Help me.”

My old man would just roll over and mumble something incoherent. But this man understood the quiver in my voice. We grabbed the sleeping kids and took them down. And it was not two minutes before the sirens were silenced by howling wind. So loud and ferocious, I could feel the brick house tremble. And I grabbed my kids until the sweat beaded up on their foreheads. I grabbed them and every time I felt my eyes shut I opened them wide for fear that this was my last view of those kids I sacrificed everything I love for. I remembered that baby that was found in a field in the last storm. She was rushed to the hospital and no one could identify her. That’s because her entire family died in their house, and this baby was grabbed by the wind and thrown out the window like a paper plane. To Allah we belong and to Allah we return. However He decrees.

I prayed to Allah. Not like the last time I had a virus and throwing up. I had prayed then that I promised to change if He helped me. There was no help but HIS. I prayed even more fervently. I’m not ready to die. I have to fix all the wrong that I have done. My book. My hisaab was in terrible shape. Please give me time to fill it with khayr instead of all the sins upon sins that were whirling around in my brain howling and attacking my person. I could not hear anything but smell all the sins that were sickening me to my stomach. The last ayat I had studied was staring me in the face.

2:266
Sahih International

Would one of you like to have a garden of palm trees and grapevines underneath which rivers flow in which he has from every fruit? But he is afflicted with old age and has weak offspring, and it is hit by a whirlwind containing fire and is burned. Thus does Allah make clear to you [His] verses that you might give thought. {Al Baqarah 2:266]

إعصَارُُ فِيهِ نَار Not a tornado of wind. But a tornado of fire. Even the three little piggies could not withstand this. Think about it. Brick house  = oven. Think pizza. Think scorching smoke that will burn your sense of smell forever.  I could almost say I was nauseous with fear. True fear. Life/death. Sickness/health. I facebooked that I was scared. And someone responded, hurry and take cover, tornadoes spotted in KY. Download weather app on phone. I texted the only 502 number I had in my phone, and they replied that they too were taking shelter in the bathroom. I told her that I loved her and that she was my sister for replying to me in need and that I prayed that when this was all over we could be real friends.

When it was all over, about all we could account for was a pile of leaves about three feet high in our drive. It was confirmed that two tornadoes touched down that early morning, caused quite a lot of damage, but only people living in trailers and insecure homes were damaged. No none died. Well. A man died in Georgia when he took shelter in a shed, as the storm reached them later that afternoon. He was the piggy that made his house of sticks. That afternoon when we were supposed to be having scattered thunderstorms. And my road…the road that was eerily quiet and gloomy only a few hours earlier, looked like nature had just about thrown up all over the place. I asked friends around about their night and they had no idea there were even sirens.

And then I waited. I waited fervently that my friends in the central time zone wake up so I could warn them. I called my friend. I said,

THE QURAN IS A SIREN…WE NEED TO CHANGE AND TAKE COVER RIGHT NOW. RIGHT NOW. RIGHT THIS MINUTE.

Are you ok?

NO I’M NOT OKAY. WE THINK WE CAN JUST SIT BACK AND LEISURELY READ THIS BOOK? ARE YOU KIDDING. THIS IS NOT A FIRESIDE READ. THIS IS A LOUD SIREN THAT SAYS THIS IS YOUR CHANCE. TAKE IT OR LEAVE IT. TAKE COVER RIGHT NOW?

What is wrong with you. What happened?

DUDE. WE HAVE A TORNADO IN OUR LAPS. THAT’S WHAT HAPPENED. THAT’S WHAT IS HAPPENING. CAN’T YOU SEE?

Girl. Figure yourself out. What happened?

DON’T YOU KNOW..WE HAD A TORNADO LAST NIGHT IN KENTUCKY. BUT ALL I COULD THINK ABOUT WAS THAT THIS QURAN ..LOOK. BANI ISRAEEL. WARNED FOR YEARS AND YEARS. BUT THEY DIDN’T HAVE A SIREN TO WARN THEM WHEN THEY WERE TESTED AND TRIED. THAT’S WHAT WE THINK. BUT THEY DID. THEY HAD THEIR SCRIPTURES. IT’S A SIREN. ITS WAILING. TAKE COVER. GRAB YOUR BELOVED ONES. GRAB THE WEAK ONES. TAKE COVER AND PROTECT YOURSELF. IF YOU SLEEP ON AND IGNORE IT, YOU MIGHT BE DESTROYED. AND NO ONE IS GOING TO TAKE PITY ON YOU BECAUSE YOU IGNORED THE SIREN. YOU WERE WARNED.

Wow. That’s deep.

THINK ABOUT IT. WHAT IS A SIREN. OBVIOUSLY I WENT CRAZY WHEN IT HAPPENED. I COULDN’T THINK STRAIGHT.COMMON SENSE TELLS YOU THAT THIS SIREN IS FOR A TORNADO. HOW MANY TORNADO WARNINGS HAVE I LIVED THROUGH. DUH! BUT YET I WAS LOOKING AT THE SKY WONDERING IF WE WERE BEING ATTACKED. COMMON SENSE TELLS YOU THAT GO TO THE LOWEST LEVEL AWAY FROM WINDOWS. BUT I PACED BACK AND FORTH TRYING TO FIGURE OUT WHY OTHER PEOPLE WERE’NT REACTING. THIS IS NOT THE TIME TO WONDER WHY AREN’T OTHERS RESPONDING TO THE WARNING. THIS QURAN IS A WARNING FOR YOU AND ME AND WHOEVER HEARS IT. AND THEN YOU HELP AND RESPOND TO THOSE THAT NEED HELP RESPONDING TO IT. THE ONES THAT ARE SLEEPING ON, DENYING THE RELEVANCE OF THE QURAN IN THEIR LIVES. THE ONES WHO ARE YOUNG, OLD, WEAK, POOR, THAT NEED TO BE ENCOURAGED AND HELPED IN UNDERSTANDING. DON’T YOU GET IT?

Girl. You crazy..but I really like that..you are right.

Of course I’m right. Allah warned me. On Wednesday, January 30, 2013 at 4:12 am.

And that is exactly what happened. A few days back, two tornadoes touched ground in Kentucky and Indiana. They were less than a mile wide, and most of the state got the effects of the tornado in the form of high winds. Ummahs past had no siren as such. But their fear was just as real. And their tornadoes demolished entire lands and generations…not just a small footprint. Time and time again we have been warned to take heed from their lessons. They are no different than us. And what about our own lesson. Our lesson that encompasses their many lessons. The lesson we are sluggish to study. The lesson we assume we already know. The lesson we know but don’t act upon. And the lesson we know but don’t share with those that don’t know. What cover have we taken to prepare for the siren that is sitting on our shelves? What preparation have we made to be truly ready for the day in which there is no doubt. A thunderstorms in mid afternoon versus a tornado four o’clock in the morning..there is doubt when and where. But we have no doubt that yawm al qiyaamah is coming. Allah says in Quran 2:254:

2:254
Sahih International

O you who have believed, spend from that which We have provided for you before there comes a Day in which there is no exchange and no friendship and no intercession. And the disbelievers – they are the wrongdoers. [Al Baqarah 2:254]

…before a day comes when there will be no bargaining….just like me..I wont have another chance to beg Allah that if You give me another chance, I’ll change. No bargaining. Will we be standing ready to meet our Lord and Creator eagerly? Or will we be running around, making excuses, and wondering about who will help us  on a day when there will be no help? No basement level with no windows. No shelter. If we do doubt such a day, then we need to really check what other warning we need. The signs are everywhere. Open your eyes. Take cover. Don’t sleep on. While you are alive and able.

[Guest post written by Javeria, a dear friend who is also on the ‘Quran train’.] Jazakillah khair Javeria.

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13 thoughts on “The Quran Is A Siren

  1. Subhanallah, this really struck my heart. Jazakallahu khayran sisters Javeria and Juli. After having read your previous posts,I too want to jump on the Quran train. If possible, could you please help me by answering some of my questions related to the course?

    I speak Urdu at home but am terrible at reading and writing it. I’m wondering whether to join the Urdu one or English one. I guess dr. Farhat won’t be teaching the English one? I also wanted to get an idea if this course will be doable with a baby around. I have a 7 month old baby. Jazakallahu khayran.

    • Joyce, Yeah it is! I’m glad the sister agreed to share it 🙂

      Zari,
      I know sisters with your language circumstance and they end up taking the English one. No, Dr farhat is not teaching the English one but her daughter, Taimiyah Zubayr is, though starting this year I believe, she no longer teaches the Taleem Quran course,but she focuses on teaching Hadeeth. I’m taking that class too, it’s live on Friday mornings. It’s amazing subhanAllah. The course that I took, sr Taimiyah did the word analysis, amazing mashaaAllah.

      However, even if you take the English one , you can still listen to a lot of Dr Farhat’s lectures in Urdu, and that’s where I miss out, bec I don’t understand Urdu 😦 but you get both inshaaAllah.

      As for with a baby. I have one classmate (and I’m sure there are more ppl with similar situations) who when we started out, had a 6 mth old baby and some other kids, and she finished the course mashaaAllah. So I would say (not knowing your other circumstances) that yes, it is doable inshaaAllah, but you may want to look into the type of course.

      They have the full time Taleem course – 22 months mon-thur , 6 hrs per day
      they have the part time morning and part time evening
      the part time evening was what i took, and the new one will inshaaAllah start in Sep 2013. that is wed, thur about 4 hrs per day. (this new one they do only 3 hours) time is 5:30-9:30 pm EST
      they also have weekend ones once a week, i think 4 hrs per day
      they also have e correspondence course where you have acess to the lectures and you have to do one lesson per week min (4 hours lecture) but you can do this at your own pace, and you will still be assessed orally and written.

      There are options for these too whether you want to be a registered student or just a listener (no exams etc and no certificate)…let me give you the link

      http://www.alhudaonlinecourses.com/

      The taleem is the full course, we learn the whole Quran, word analysis, tafser, seerah, fiqh of all the 5 pillars, tajweed (though i wld say if you’re looking to really work on tajweed, take a spefic tajweed course outside of this course)

      the other courses, fehm and saut are somewhat more briefer than the taleem. The taleem as far as I know are the most in depth compared to the the fehm and saut al quran.

      do let me know if you have any other questions. If I cannot answer them I can always refer you to the ppl who can answer them inshaaAllah!

      May Allah increase you in tawfeeq to learn His book! Ameen!

      waiyyaki

      • Sis Zari,

        Here is what the course in charge of the Quran Certificate English course (starting Sep 2013) said:

        1) if she understands Urdu then she can take either course, Urdu or English
        Urdu courses only requirement is to understand Urdu – as books, assignments and group is available in English
        Her issue in choosing will only be time & day as she can choose either one 🙂

        2) the new evening course will not have all the fiqh subjects, only Tajweed translation and tafseer/word analysis
        So the tittle of ‘taleem’ has not been given to it, and it will be a shorter class, only 3 hours each class.

  2. Sister Juli, thank you so so so much and jazakallahu khayran for the detailed reply. Sep. 2013 is so far away 😦 I already feel like i’ve wasted a lot of time. The correspondence course sounds good to me, I”ll look into that. I’d love to do the full taleem course but 6 hours a day… I don’t know if i’ll be able to manage.

    Do you think I can join the Hadith course now? Jazakallahu khayran!

    • waiyyaki
      lol, there will be a ramadan course too inshaaaAllah..so if you maybe want to do that before the sep one, that wld be a nice ‘hook’ too. that was how I started actually. I attended the ramadan course, and then just got hooked and then signed up for the taleem course 🙂

      for the correspondence course, the upside is you get to control your own time when you listen to the lectures , downside is you are on yr own, so if you are a strong disciplined individual who works best alone, then this is good for you, otherwise, it may be hard to maintain.

      so you can also decide whether you want a ‘live’ fixed, timed setting where you are sitting with other students virtually attending the class or you prefer to do it on yr own but have to have some sort of support system to make sure you stick with it till the end. the hadith course, yes inshaaaallah it is still enrollable I believe. : )

  3. Sister Juli, I went to the new courses link on the link you sent… Looks like the Urdu courses are beginning in Feb, so happy alhamdulillah! After reading your reply I realized that while I appreciate the flexibility that the correspondence course offers, I know i’d be more motivated to keep up if i’m live with a group and with some strict timings. I liked reading about your experience as part of a group too.. So instead of a full time course, I’m planning to pick up either the certificate course or the TUQ course that runs two days of the week. I don’t think i’ll be able to order the books online, if I can get all the TUQ books here at the local huda chapter, I’ll do that or use my mom’s juz set (someone gifted her) and only do the certificate course. Did you order the books online?

    I looked at the Hadith course and saw that it started in July last year! That means i’ll have a lot of catching up to do… I’m thinking i’ll do the fiqh al quloob course beginning in march instead. (I know I’m being a little over-enthusiastic! It’s just that i’ve been craving some structure in my life/learning hence the excitement). Jazakallahu khayran once again. If you have any tips from your experience with the evening course, please do share 🙂 May Allah ta’ala bless you and your family (5 kids masha’allah! I’m overwhelmed with just 1!) and make us companions in jannatulfirdaus

    • alhamdulillah!! I’m excited for you too and I know the feeling! 😀 i did order the books online but when i took notes in the book i cldn’t find enough space (due more to my style of notetaking), so i switched to taking notes on the computer since i type faster than i write and my handwriting is horrible. i can share with you my notes so you can see how i do it. other sisters do it differently …i can ask a coursemate if she is willing to share hers so you can see different ways of doing it on the computer. My daughter now uses my juz books and she takes notes in them. In the beginning she wld staple lined papers in them so she wld have more space but it got too much of a hassle and she just makes use of the space in the book now. oh you have a local al huda chapter where you are? nice!!!!
      yeah, when you have 2 kids or more, they keep each other company so they cling less to yuo 😉 hint for you to get another one to make it ‘easier’ lol.
      tips for evening course…hmm….i know i plan and schedule my days and weeks a lot. I wldn’t let anything come in the way of class. Even when we travel, i’d arrange to attend class and so we’re kind of used to this whenever we travel. since i also homeschool, i wld shceuld teaching my kids on other days more and lessen the teachng/instructing on days that I have class. I wld also take naps before my class so that i wld be fresh and alert for the 4 hoursof class. I hate it when i am i nclass and am sleepy. so i practically make those class days very strict in that i don’t let anyone interupt me. sometimes when you stay home ppl think you are not doing anything so they just drop by anytime, so i do end up telling ppl that wed and thur evenings or hours before are off limits. basically i do everything i can to make sure those class times are not disturbed.
      with cooking, i’ve had to schedule my cooking too. there were years when i told the kids not to let the food finish bec i won’t be able to cook them on my class days. and as they grew, they learned to make simple food so at times they wld cook if food is finiehd and i can’t cook. it gets hectic at dinner time but alhamdulillah 😀
      in class when i have holes in my notes, i’d fill them up right away that week so that it doesnt pile up. If I miss class and have to listen to a recording, i make sure to do that before that week ends so it doesn’t pile up. the key is not to let things pile up on you bec once it does, you might get overwhelmed, and do things with less quality and then get demotivated. I notice that that’s how ppl end up dropping out bec they can’t take the load anymore.
      with tests and assginments, for me, the due day is always tues, but i usually study and finish them on the weekend bec i homeschool, so on the weekdays it’s for the kids. So little planning and scheduling like that that really depends on your own individual circumstances.
      bec word analysis is the most fascinating part for me, i realize that i absorb most of them in class, during the lecture so that when it comes to studying, it is slightly easier. i’m bad at translation thuogh 😛 but the word analysis, i make a visual image in my mind and so it’s easier for me to remember. my notes, after i’m done with every juz, i print them and kinko them. i have all well almost all, i still hv to kinko juz 30 on my shelf right now, ready for me to refer to for review 🙂 alhamdulillah
      and trust me as a mother, inshaaAllah you will hv the ability to instill the love of Quran in your children as yuo are learning. I wanted to write a post abuot this, but havent gotten to it yet 😛
      yuo’re lucky to be able to learn from Dr farhat herself mashaaAllah!!
      let me know if you have any more questions. I’d be happy to help !!
      May Allah help you and bless this journey ameen!!!

  4. It’s really very sweet of you to give me such detailed replies…. Jazakallahu khayran katheeran. I’m going to save these tips! I did want to ask you one more question… the Quran certificate course is 6 hours a week (3 per day) and the TUQ is 8 hours a week (4 in 2 days)… I just wanted to get your opinion of which to take. 2 additional hours reallly doesn’t make that much of a difference but the cert. Course timings are slightly better… Is the addiutional content in the TUQ (fiqh, sunnah etc.) worth it? Also, how long are group sessions and are they included in these 6/8 hours mentioned on the site? Sorry to keep troubling you… I hope these are the last of my questions. The cert. Course starts tomorrow so I need to decide quickly 🙂

    Will be back to reply to your tips tomorrow insha’allah, baby is teething and keeping me awake.

    • this is the reply from the Quran certificate course in charge :
      yes the subjects are totally worth it as all details are not given in the Quran and we need the sunnah to clarify them, but the subjects can be done later on through flex course if you dont want to do them right now…

      groups will be once a week outside of class time for that course as far as i know, it will be good to email the course directly to get exact info 🙂

  5. Once again, jazakallahu khayran. I finally decided to go with the shorter course because the timings were more suitable but I do feel a little bad that I’m not going for the full course. Insha’allah will make it up after this.

    I’m in Hyderabad, India and we have around 2-3 Al Huda chapters in the city that started some 3-4 years ago. It’s amazing how Ustadha’s work is spreading so far and wide, alhamdulillah.

    Thank you once again for all your tips. About the kids, well, I guess it’ll be a couple of years till this one has company insha’allah 🙂 Till then it’s only me she can bug. Lucklily for now I”m staying with my parents (husband is on project abroad) so I don’t have to worry too much about her or the cooking. I do think I should plan to complete my homework a few days earlier just like you said because I’m a big procrastinator.

    My course starts in 5 hours and while I had already completed the first juz on my own, half of my notes are on the computer and the other half somewhere else. I’d love to see how you and your coursemate took notes on the computer because I have the exact same problem: I’m a fast typist whose lost the habit of writing down things on pen and paper. I also prefer the computer because it’ll make my notes searchable. Please share if you can. My email address is wordsandlettersATgmailDOTcom.

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