Qur'an journaling is a process of interacting with the Qur'an, ayah by ayah to create a relationship with Allah's words and bring them into our life. There are many ways to do this and I like to use the SOAP method.
So what does SOAP stand for?
- Subject / Ayah: Write down the Qur'anic ayah you wish to study that day. Focus on each word as you write it down. I prefer to write the translation of the ayah and pick out Arabic words that I want to understand further if they are new to me.
- Observation: Using any of the prompts below, journal your observations of the ayah.
- What stands out to you in this ayah?
- Are there any new words?
- What is one thing you didn't notice before?
- Is there repetition, contrast, or comparison?
- Look into the context in the tafseer (explanation) and reasons for revelation if available.
- Look into any particular virtues of that ayah or surah and note them down. (Ex.: Reciting Surah Al Mulk provides protection in the grave)
- Application: Now ask yourself how the ayah applies to your own life. What are the takeaways for you? Is there an instruction, encouragement, or warning? What can you change moving forward after learning about this ayah?
- Prayer: Thank Allah Almighty for opening your heart to the Qur'an and ask for increased love for the Qur'an, wisdom, and strength to apply what you learn. Write down specific reminders for du'as / prayers to make that remind you of this ayah.
Why does the SOAP method work for Qur'an study and journaling?
I've found is that it helps you interact with the Qur'an one ayah at a time and it's all about applying Allah's directives in ones life. It's also one that can take as little less time as 10 minutes to write out or as long as you'd like depending on the research you do.
What do you need to start?
To start this process, all you need is your printed guide, a Qur'an, as well as a translation you can easily understand. You can use Quran.com, or my personal favourites - The M.A.S Abdel Haleem Translation by Oxford Press and Mufti Taqi Usmani's Tafseer. To look up the root letters of an Arabic word that is new to me, I use Project Root Word. Also have with you a couple of pens and highlighters -I always use black ink for writing and coloured ink for acronyms or quotes. Get creative and write short quotes in different fonts as your your BIG take-away so they stand out to you as you scan your page.
What are the benefits of Qur'an journaling consistently?
- Expression of your personal connection with the Qur'an and expressing any deeper thoughts in a private writing space.
- Expression of thoughts and reactions towards Allah's words and examples, towards yourself, and others.
- An opportunity to reflect & sort out your experience (past, present, or future) as it relates to the Qur'an.
- Finding themes that emerge which point to personal challenges, resilience or strengths
- Finding self-compassion or compassion for others
- More wise and Allah-centric decision-making going forward
- Seeking Allah's pleasure through giving time and attention to His words.
All the best on your Qur'an journaling journey!