I am Faraj Hasan. I have been learning Qur’anic recitation since the age of five. In the beginning, my lessons started with my mother, at home. We would reinforce my memory of short surahs as we were cleaning, cooking, riding in the car and other tasks. My mother would recite an ayah from a surah, pause, then expect me to pick-up where she left off. Recalling the fun times I had with this skill set, as an adult learner, I began adoption the same method that I learned from my mother as a child to teach others, in the attempt to gain reward from Allah (SWT). I learned over time that reciting for my mother when she was ill, or upset about something would bring her comfort.
During my childhood I had a number of Quran instructors. Throughout my time overseas in Egypt, Quran was a great part of the school’s curriculum. However, I also had to take individual lessons at home. My mother always told me that my recitation calmed her soul, and that I had a special way of reciting, In addition, I was fortunate to have had one instructor teach recitation when I lived in the United States. When I was 20 years old, I began teaching Quran to the youth at a local masjid, and to some of the elderly in the community.
I used to read while sitting on the balcony of our apartment, which has followed me into adulthood. I still enjoy the energy and tranquilly that I gain reciting on a balcony. Years later it was revealed to me, my neighbors (many non-believers), used to listen to me recite Quran. According to my mother the neighbors were curious to know who was reciting so eloquently. When she revealed it was her son Faraj, those who are Muslims sent beautiful blessings on me and made Duas. The non-believers expressed how beautiful it sounded and looked forward to hearing the recitations. In fact, whenever I did not recite for a period of time, someone would knock on my door to ask me “is everything okay”. I was clueless that my recitation had such an impact on others.
Since the invention of social media, I have decided to share my gift from Allah on the media platform. In order to normalize Quran recitation across the world, with emphasis in the youth, I have created #recitewithme. Eventually this hashtag will develop into a brand. Today, I see more Quranic recitation across all social media platform. It has become my modern day balcony.