Ayat al-Kursi is the 255th verse of the second chapter of the Quran. In Arabic, this chapter, or surah, is Surat al-Baquarah, which in English means Chapter of the Cow. It is considered one of the most important verses of the Quran and Muslims recite the verse every day at the end of prayer. You don't need to be an Arabic speaker to learn the verse: simply repeat the words and listen to the pronunciation.
Read and listen
Find a source that prints a transliteration of the Arabic into the Roman alphabet, such as the one provided by The Threshold Society, a Muslim Sufi organisation. There are a number of online sources, and for anyone without Internet access, a local library should be able to help. If you live near an Islamic cultural centre, they will most likely be happy to help you find a text and provide an opportunity to hear this verse recited.
Download an audio version of the Ayat al-Kursi. At the start simply listen repeatedly. Get the feel for the sing-song tone and rhythmic approach to recitation. The words gather power and meaning, not just from correct pronunciation but from the feeling you imbue them with. If you recite them as if you are reading something mundane like a recipe, the significance of the words is lost. Once you are acquainted with the sound and rhythm, start memorising the words. Read along with your audio version, keeping the words in front of you. The length of time it takes to commit the words to memory depends on individual aptitude for memorising.
You can also learn on the go. Apps for the Ayat are available at both iTunes and Google Play Store. You can download these for free to your iPad, tablet or mobile phone. YouTube is another learning resource where you can listen to recitations.
Meditate on the meaning
Once you have mastered the Arabic pronunciation and you are able to recite from memory without making errors, it makes sense to really understand what it is you are reciting. Ibn Kamal al-Din at Khilafah website suggests that the verse captures the essence of the divine. You can read a translation of the verse into English and learn why Muslim's believe this prayer offers the ultimate protection against harm and succinctly presents the idea of one God.
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