Interview with Qari Sohaib Ahmed Mir Mohammadi - World-renowned Qari and Islamic scholar.
He has also written several books on Islamic values and code. He is the founder of The Quran College and Islamic Training Institute in Phool Nagar and at present serving as the Principal at the institute where he teaches Quran and Hadeeth Sciences, Tafseer, Qirat, the Arabic language and also supervises courses being held at girls' campus.
How was your childhood? Were you a naughty child?
Both my parents belonged to practicing families. In fact, all the men of our locality were my father's students, and all the women came to my mother to study Islam and the Quran. From our early childhood days, ever since we became conscious of ourselves, we were advised not to go outside and play with the kids in the street. We were only allowed to go outside to pray in the Masjid with our father, who kept us away from the reach of other kids. We learned from our parents' cautious upbringing. At times, they did not even allow us to go to weddings and extravagant functions, because they could not let their Tarbiyah be ruined by the outside rowdiness and disturbances.
Where and how did you discover your potential to study in the field of Quran?
My father was a Hafiz-e-Quran himself and my entire family was involved in the service of Quran. My elder brother did his specialization, M Phil, from Madinah University. His recording was done in Al-Fahd complex and on Saudi radio. He was also an Imam. He had the highest degree of Sanad in Pakistan (Sanad is a chain of Sheikhs, who taught correct way of recitation, leading back to Rasulullaah). I started my Quran recitation and Hifz from home, along with my school studies. When my brother returned from Saudi Arabia, I completed my Quran Hifz under him.
Who was your role model while you were growing up?
In childhood, our thinking is limited. I couldn't sleep, until I heard Sheikh Abdul Basit's or Sheikh Siddiq al Minshawi's Tilawat at night. Then I had my elder brother before me. Besides him, Allama Ehsan Elahi Zaheer was a renowned scholar in those days, and I was impressed, how Allah (swt) had made him a skillful and persuasive debater in the field of argumentative reasoning.
What should we do to strengthen our bond with the Quran?
Step one is for the parents to make sincere Dua to the Rabb (swt).
Whoever wants to connect to the Quran should believe strongly that the Rabb (swt) will never let the efforts of a person, who is connected to His Book, go to waste. He/she must put their efforts in listening to the Quran as well as reciting it. Once a person has gained understanding of the Book, then the love of Allah's (swt) words will fill their heart and the satisfaction, peace and happiness a person feels is beyond words. Once a person excels in following the manners taught by Quran, turning back will become unappealing.
How do you manage to take time out for your family in your busy schedule?
Alhumdulillah, my family is also practicing and has high Islamic morals. The basis for my marriage and selection of spouse was Deen and Quran recitation. When I am not teaching or giving talks, I am looking after my family's affairs, and my nighttime is for my family. In the beginning, we settled this and Alhumdulillah they understood and cooperated so that all our affairs flow in an organized routine.
Here I would like to mention something from Imam Ibn Taymiyah.
Once he wrote a letter to his mother saying that he was away from her because of his affairs, to which his mother replied: "Son, I am not sad about us being apart, as I want you to be selflessly committed to the Deen and serve the people of Deen. I will complain if you are apart from me and not doing anything for the Deen."
My dear and respected mother is also busy making the same Dua for me.
What should the youth of today do to improve the current situation of our Ummah?
To improve the current scenario of our Ummah, three steps have to be taken:
1. Turn towards Quranic teaching. We must revert and turn back towards Quran's teachings in a way that we apply them and absorb them in our own lives, instead of only studying it for the sake of Dawah.
2. Downtrodden nations never rise until their morals and behaviors are uplifted. There cannot be any change, until we learn to tolerate.
3. All our leaders should be our role models and give their nation a straight path to follow.
Nations are not uplifted by display of appearances, but by ideologies.
Making great architectures and houses will not uplift the status of those living in the house; rather, it is the higher moral values that uplift their standard.
We should focus more on ethical values and good conduct of our youth, if we want our Ummah to become strong.
What is your institute's vision for the future?
The mission of our institute has always been to recite and understand the Quran in the most beautiful and pleasing manner, to absorb it in our lives with Ihsan and excellence and spread it to the ends of the world with merit and virtue. Without Tarbiyah (growth and self-development) and Tazkiyah (purification of heart and soul), a person cannot be functional and competent. To make our efforts fruitful and to realize our dream to rectify and reform ourselves, our family and our society with the help of Quranic teachings we have to do our Tarbiyah and Tazkiyah.
What message would you like to give to families?
My message to families is to enfold themselves in the fear of Allah (swt) and not to break ties of kinship over petty issues. Instead, learn to tolerate. Expand yourself with the view to create reform and rectify the situation and bring good from bad. Don't get emotional and cut your family off. Think of your children as an Amanah from Allah (swt) and give them good Tarbiyah. Think of children as the key to your success and the success of the entire society, once they grow up to be pious and virtuous. If they will become role models and leaders of our Ummah, they will become a blessing from Allah (swt) and embellish and adorn the society as well.
What is your message for today's youth?
If the youngsters of today are able to do three things in their youth, then with Allah's (swt) Rahmah, the entire Ummah can benefit from them:
1. Research and learn from the stories of the youth mentioned in the Holy Quran, like the story of the People of the Cave and stories narrated in the Hadeeths of Prophet Muhammad (sa) of youth that will be under the shade of Allah (swt) on the Day of Judgement. Make them your role models and try to live like them.
2. Look beyond the slogans of the west and mannerism of common people to see how you can build this Ummah.
3. Youth cannot make their efforts useful, until they learn to respect their parents, teachers and elders.
Hiba is extremely thankful to Qari Sohaib for his valuable insight.
Interview by Isam Hanif Majeed and transcribed by Rahila Abdul Aziz