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Your Invitation to the Divine Banquet

by in Ramadan on 6th April, 2022

Close your eyes for a moment and imagine you were invited to a great dinner, an elaborate, sumptuous spread laid before you by a generous host. The table stretches further than your eyes can see, piled high with all sorts of delights. Every ripe and succulent fruit you can think of is stacked high, from mangos to limes, pomegranates to passion fruit. Delicious drinks sparkle in crystal cups and smells of the finest foods waft through the space. Your favourite cuisines lay before you, heady aromas of spicy meats and fragrant herbs tantalisingly fill the air. It is evidently clear that every dish has been cooked with immense care, attention and love, and it is not just the complex flavours and vibrant ingredients that are worthy of note, everything is presented impeccably. Sweet dishes are topped with sparkling gold leaf, the tablecloth and platters are exquisite, and the candlelight casts a warm glow over the hundred colours. Your host invites you to begin and your mouth waters.

Would you nibble on a grape or two and then head home? Perhaps take a few bites of hot food and then leave? Surely most of us would get comfortable and dig in. I’d make sure I got solid starters, tried a decent portion of every one of the hundreds of the meals before satisfying my sweet tooth thoroughly! I’d sample all the juices and drinks and be wishing I could come back every day.

Abu al-Ahwas reported: Abdullah ibn Mas’ud (RA) said, “Verily, this Qur’an is the banquet of Allah, so take as much of it as you can, for I do not know of anything more bereft of good than a house in which there is nothing from the Book of Allah. Verily, the heart which does not contain anything from the Book of Allah is ruined, like a dilapidated house in which no one lives.”

The Quran is the Banquet from our Lord. You and I are cordially invited

The blessed book of God is a more potent, lofty and bursting with beauty banquet than any we could ever imagine. Every page presents delights and bounties more filling and nourishing than the finest feast. Our companions in attending it are the angels, and our host is the Lord of the Worlds. How can we be stingy with His generosity, or even refuse His invitation altogether? There might be shyness or politeness with a human host, you’d stop eating at a point to preserve your dignity, right? Allah’s banquet on the other hand is infinite, it never runs out, and we can never be full of it. There is no need for moderation with the Quran, we can feast from it to our hearts’ content, with no worries of greed (or indigestion!).

If you wouldn’t stop at a grape at a king’s feast, why stop at an ayah, or a page, or half of the Qur’an at the banquet of the King of Kings? We can all see the utter ridiculousness of refusing the delights of a table spread, set out especially for us, of cutting the perfect feast needlessly short. This applies even more so to the miracle that is our unfathomable scripture.

May He make us insatiably hungry for the wonder that is His book, and may we all be allowed to feast at His blessed banquet endlessly.

A Call-Out from the Heavens

‘And We have certainly made the Qur’an easy for remembrance, so is there any who will remember?’ [Qur’an 54:17]

I read this ayah from surah Qamar and it hit me in a way it hadn’t before. I had been putting off beginning hifdh (memorisation) as it felt intimidating, scary, gargantuan. Perhaps I felt unworthy of it; it was for people more pious than I. Perhaps it was the lazy, sluggish, comfortable rut I was in, and perhaps it was a combination of things. I didn’t really know any other females who had embarked on the journey, and somehow, it had never seemed like the right time for me. Whatever the reason, I had put off beginning and didn’t really give hifdh much thought or reflection. It was a distant dream that I was taking zero steps to realise, refusing to acknowledge that there is never a right time when shaytaan is involved. Then this ayah struck me hard.

I’ve applied for countless things over the years, from work opportunities to creative contests, prize giveaways to company competitions. I see the call-out and if I figure it’s worth my time and effort to apply/enter, I go for it. I’ve spent hours writing applications and filling in forms, often to no avail other than needing to unsubscribe from the annoying emails that follow. I have the same mentality with investment opportunities, if something is able to return a profit on financial input without risk, it’s a no brainer right? Why would anyone pass up on something that will yield them a return?

In this verse Allah tells us that He has purposefully designed the Qur’an in a way that it is easy to memorise and connect with. That in itself is huge when we reflect on it. Who am I to claim that it’s too difficult for me to do, when my most Kind, most Loving Creator proves otherwise? But His warm and merciful invitation doesn’t stop there. He extends a call to us, a challenge of sorts. Who will reach out to take from what He has placed perfectly and easily for us? I felt as if this question was being posed directly to me (which of course it is, to all of us!) after years of hearing it and not taking it in. How could I refuse this opportunity?! How could I reject this potent, beautiful challenge from the Lord of the Worlds?! There is NO prize, victory or investment yield greater than carrying the Qur’an.

Whether you make the niyyah to memorise one page a day, one ayah a week, or one a month, just make the intention. Respond to this call-out from Allah, the only one that echoes through infinity and will elevate you through eternity. There is no deadline, no rush, no competition. Go at your own pace, but be sure to respond. Reflect deeply on this verse and then answer the invitation from the Almighty.

The Palace within your Chest

Anxiety to Serenity. Prison to Palace. Our minds are incredible, awe-inspiring, powerful. Perhaps the most complex organism in the universe, our brains have been given the capacity to create, corrupt, collect, coordinate and much more.

I developed anxiety after traumas years ago, and spent days and often nights locked in endless cycles of worry and crippling fear. I experienced the power of the valleys that are carved in our brains by the rivers of the thoughts we allow to run through them, and how deeply moulded these become over time and repetition. With each anxious thought I allowed to flow, the neural pathways became more embedded and harder to reverse, ultimately locking me inside an invisible prison in my own mind.

Since beginning my hifdh journey, I have tasted the sweetness of beginning to build a palace within. Through choosing in spare moments to carve valleys of Qur’an in my mind, my mental environment has begun to change from turmoil to greater peace. By actively occupying moments with drinking in the Qur’an, there is far less time and energy for harmful worrying and ruminating, and our neural pathways are illuminated with divine light! Our hifdh becomes a perfect and powerful palace inside us, to which we can retreat to rest, recover, be at peace and be with our Lord at any given moment, without another soul knowing it.

I find the power Allah has placed in our brains phenomenal, how through repetition, focus and time, hundreds of pages can be absorbed into the space inside us.

We are all constantly absorbing, whether we know it or not, why not make the intention to absorb and memorise His perfect words? Even if it’s an ayah a month, with meaning and reflected on. May we all have the opportunity to build our perfect Qur’anic palaces. May they dispel all our anxieties, allow us escape from this dark dunya and enter us into the palaces of paradise.

The Qur’an can fill our holes in the most beautiful way, even the holes we barely knew existed. It gives purpose and worth higher than this entire world and all it contains. The most perfect secret, surely carrying and living it is the highest goal attainable. If we have it, we have everything.

The month of the Qur’an is here, what better time to respond to the call, to take your seat at the best banquet, to feast felicitously and to begin building your palace of peace? Let our voices rise to the heavens for the sake of Allah’s pleasure, from this month onwards inshaAllah.



MyQuranSerenity recently embarked on her own Quran hifdh and Arabic voyage. You'll find her on IG: @MyQuranSerenity reflecting about her journey to Allah across the plains of loss, grief, healing and light, through His perfect words.