quran981. Before you touch it, check your heart.

The key to really benefiting from the Qur’aan is to check your heart first, before you even touch Allaah's book. Ask yourself, honestly, why you are reading it. Is it to just get some information and to let it drift away from you later?

Remember that the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) was described by his wife as a "walking Qur'aan": in other words, he didn't just read and recite the Qur’aan, he lived it.

2. Do your Wudhoo’ (ablution).

Doing your Wudhoo’ is good physical and mental preparation to remind you you're not reading just another book. You are about to interact with God, so being clean should be a priority when communicating with Him.

3. Start with reading only 5 minutes everyday.

Too often, we think we should read Qur’aan for at least one whole hour. If you aren't in the habit of reading regularly, this is too much. Start off with just five minutes daily. If you took care of step one, Insha Allaah (God willing), you will notice that those five minutes will become ten, then half an hour, then an hour, and maybe even more!

4. Make sure you understand what you've read.

Five minutes of reading the Qur'aan in Arabic is good, but you need to understand what you're reading. Make sure you have a good translation of the Qur'aan in the language you understand best. Always try to read the translation of what you've read that day.

5. Remember, the Qur'aan is more interactive than a CD.

In an age of "interactive" CD-ROMs and computer programs, a number of people think books are passive and boring. But the Qur'aan is not like that. Remember that when you read Qur'aan, you are interacting with Allaah. He is talking to you, so pay attention.

6. Don't just read, listen too.

There are now many audio cassettes and CDs of the Qur'aan, a number of them with translations as well. This is great to put on your walkman or your car's CD or stereo as you drive to and from work. Use this in addition to your daily Qur'aan reading, not as a replacement for it.

7. Make Du’aa (supplication).

Ask Allaah to guide you when you read the Qur’aan. Your aim is to sincerely, for the love of Allaah, interact with Him by reading, understanding and applying His blessed words.