Many people have asked me how to Quran journal. My top advice is to just start. Gather your Quran, a reliable tafsir (book explaining the meaning of the Quran), a book to write in and a pen. That's it. Of course, you can be creative and watercolour, draw, colour and decorate your pages, if you like to but that is optional.
The tafsir that I mainly go with is Tafsir Ibn Kathir and this is available online. You could buy other little books with tafsir on a surah only or you could listen to the tafsirs of Imam Omar Suleiman (search google) or from the Bayyinah Institute. There are many others.
I think the thing that people are afraid of is to make a mistake. There is no right or wrong way of doing Quran journaling. The only thing you have to do is make a distinction between interpreting the Quran and reflecting on the meaning of the Quran. We're not interpreting the meaning, we leave that to the scholars. This is why we use the scholars tafsir. We follow their interpretations and only reflect on it and how we can apply it to our life.
As Muslims, how can we expect to apply the Quran to our life if we don't know what it says (because we don't read it) or we don't understand what Allah is telling us (because we don't read the tafsir) and we don't make a conscious effort to apply it (because we don't take time to reflect)?
Allah tells us in the Quran how to have good morals and manners and how to behave well. The Prophet (s) expounded and expanded on these. Within the tafsirs the scholars have used the hadith to explain the meanings of the Quran. If we're not reading the Quran and the tafsir then we're missing out on what Islam requires of us.
If you want your children to have good morals, manners and behaviours then you need to teach them to attach to the Quran. But before you do that, you need to attach yourself to the Quran. Remember children do what they see.
So how do you Quran journal? Follow these 4 steps:
1. Select a surah or an ayah. If you select a surah then do it ayah by ayah each day. Read it and write it in your journal or book.
2. Find the tafsir for that ayah and read it. Write down the important points of the tafsir.
3. Now reflect on what it means. Ask questions such as these: Have you been able to do what the Quran says? Why/why not? What's holding you back or have you seen the benefits? Is it something you already know and do? How can you make it even better? Or is it something new? Write them down.
4. Finally, think about how you can put it into (better) practice. What action do you need to take to apply it to your life? Write it down. This is your goal to try and implement it.
5. This 5th step is optional and that is to decorate your journal. You can get really creative here!
Click here to see the journaling on Luqman's Advice to his son.
If you want to start journaling, try the ayats from Luqman's Advice. If you don't know where to start, use this journal, it's full of the types of questions based on the tafsirs to get to thinking. It's a good template to get you started.
This journal is for both children and adults to use. Luqman's advice is applicable to everyone. When adults journal about it, it's for personal development as you try to improve or correct your behaviour. When children journal, they will learn how to behave in the correct Islamic manner.
The tafsir used for this journal are:
- Tafsir Ibn Kathir,
- The Advice of Luqman the Wise to His Son (Ash-Shaykh Al-Allamah Rabi Ibn Hadi Al-Madkhali) and
- The Wise Counsel of Luqman (Shaikh Abdul Razzaq Ibn Abdul-Muhsin al-Badr)
If you've like to get the whole journal covering all the ayats the click here.