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Hifz-ul Quran :: Memorizing the Quran (Expanded Part 4)

January 18, 2010

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5. Memorization tips

– Ask Allah to make it easy for you (du`a is gold)

Since everything is in Allah’s hands, we can only turn to Him and ask Him to help us. A person who is doing hifz should continually ask Allah to make the Qur’an easy for him/her to memorize, retain, and apply to one’s life. As Allah says:

“…When My servants ask you concerning Me, I am indeed close (to them): I listen to the prayer of every suppliant when he calls on Me: Let them also, with a will, Listen to My call, and believe in Me: That they may walk in the right way…” (Surat-ul Baqarah, Verse 186).

You must have the proper conviction (yaqeen) that your success is up to Allah alone.

– Use 1 same copy of Qur’an (is best) and always handle with wudhu, respect and love.

The act of memorization takes place with the combination of many elements, such as hearing and seeing. The letters become familiar to a person by their position on the page, by it’s relative position to other words, and by many other ways, though we may not be very conscious of them. The particular print/script, colors, font size, grammatical punctuation, stops within verses… etc. may differ from one Qur’an to another, as well. To avoid confusion in this matter, it is advised to stick to the one same Qur’an while doing hifz. This is also good for keeping track/recording of mistakes made (to mark them lightly with a pencil) because if you don’t know your mistakes, you won’t be able to correct them.

In addition, your Qur’an should be your companion (especially during hifz), as you will also be spending your day with it more than any other person or object. Thus, one must always handle it with care, love, and respect (i.e. adab & wudhu). As such, one must constantly remind themselves that this book is not any ordinary book, but is a book from Allah, that contains His words, which is a blessing and guidance for us all.

– Study with a clock (time is silver; keep track of it while working on page)

To make the best use of time, one must keep track of it; technically speaking for hifz, there should be a balance in the distribution of time for each page. Therefore, you must not spend unnecessary time on one page, then not have enough time for the other pages. While studying one usually forgets about the time, though having a clock in the place of study can prevent such a case. Your hifz is dependant on how well you make use of your time. Using a clock is also helpful in setting goals for your speed; where you tell yourself you’re aiming at 30 minutes for a page, and by time, you will be able to lower your time per page, inshaAllah.

– Memorize “firmly” (make it the best you can)

When we memorize a new page, we must memorize it in a way that when we read it from memory we are “confident” of what we read – we shouldn’t excessively stop here and there, mix/jump the verses, add/delete words…etc. which usually shows that we haven’t memorized our page as strong as we should have. When memorizing a new page one must try to do it to perfection, at least to the best of their ability. If it isn’t strong, it will be very hard to revise the page later on when you return to it. Especially if we have mistakes, because it is harder to fix what one has memorized, where in some cases fixing mistakes is even harder than it was to memorize the page in the first place. Finally, if we memorize the pages/verses/words of the Qur’an as best as we can, it will be easy for us to retain it, and harder to forget, inshaAllah.

– Study in a volume enough for yourself to hear (ear helps in memorizing)

The act of memorization takes place with the combination of many elements, such as hearing and seeing. We can especially see this to be true when it comes to songs – we all can probably still sing songs we heard in our childhood. The Qur’an has its own “rhythm” that appeals to the ear (and heart…), which makes it easier to ‘pick up’ and memorize. Though, of course, we need to hear ourselves for this to occur, so we should read in a volume at least enough for ourselves to hear (make sure not to bother others if you’re memorizing in the same room!). This will most definitely speed-up the memorization process, inshaAllah.

– Don’t sway back and forth, though is very tempting (it’s actually against the sunnah)

With the rhythmic tone of the Qur’an one is tempted to physically keep up with this tone i.e. to sway back and forth. Some take this to the extra step, where entering upon a room full of huffaz (plural of ‘hafiz’) studying can actually be scary for the first time visitor! Some claim this to help them memorize and/or see this as a sign of ikhlaas (sincerity), because it seems as if one is deeply engrossed in the Qur’an, though the sunnah suggests otherwise.

– Do not speed (*try* to read with tarteel; the slower the stronger)

While memorizing one might find it easy to read through the verses quickly; though this shouldn’t be too quick:

“…and recite the Qur’an in slow, measured rhythmic tones.” (Surat-ul Muzzammil, Verse 4)

One should be able to understand what you are reading, and actually be able to follow it. It is also commonly known that when one recites very quickly, they have trouble reading in a slow pace, because they often jump words, or don’t emphasis them; but to read slowly one has to really know the letters, and the specific vowel sounds of the letters. Thus if one memorizes in the style of tarteel recitation, their hifz will be stronger, and they won’t have to rush through the verses (because they really aren’t too sure about them).

– Don’t ask someone if a page is hard/easy (psyche: ‘it is easy’)

Our initial mindset while starting something new will always affect the outcome of this new activity, and can be a mirror to the results of this activity. If we start something with the mindset that “it is hard”, we will be biased in feeling it to be hard, but if we start it with the approach that “it is easy”, it really does become easy. This applies to hifz as well; if you start a new page by thinking that it is hard (even if the page is really easy) you won’t be able to help but believe yourself.

More often, this negative opinion usually comes from a swift glance onto the page (“Oh noo… look at those long words… the font size seems to have drastically shrunk!”) or from the opinions of other’s who have already memorized that page (“Sis, that was the hardest page ever!”). It is best to stay away from judging pages by a glance and/or the opinions of others. That’s why one should always start a new page with much du`a, and the thought that “it is easy; Allah has made it easy, and will inshaAllah make it easier for me to memorize.”

– Read page before memorizing it (at least 8 times, will make easier)

The initial memorizing process should always start with the continuous recitation of the page from the mushaf (by reading from the Qur’an, not from memory). This can be repeated till one can swiftly read through the words and is familiar with them; some advise the page to be read at least 8 times, some say 11, some say 20…etc, though it should be done at least till one is comfortable with the page. This will drastically reduce the chances of making mistakes/memorizing incorrectly, and will speed up the memorization process, inshaAllah.

– If you do not know meaning/Arabic read translation before/after memorizing (depends if it makes it easier for you or more confusing)

Generally, after continually reading the-page-to-be-memorized from the mushaf (via looking at the page from the Qur’an), it is very useful to get hold of a translation and go over the meanings of the specific verses one by one before starting to memorize. This helps in keeping one concentrated on the verses, helps to realize the subtle differences between similar verses, and greatly helps to organize the sequence of the verses. Though after testing this, one might find this confusing, and not of much help; then that person should refrain from doing this before memorizing, but should do this after memorizing, to at least know what they have memorized (especially if one doesn’t know Arabic well). If you have a teacher, consult him/her first!

– Ask others on how they memorize (to develop your own method)

Most huffaz memorize a new page of the Qur’an in different ways — that is just like the analogy with the fingers, where each finger is connected to the palm of the hand: though the methods (fingers) are different they all end up at the same place (the palm). One person’s method may suit you better than another person’s method, thus inquiring about how people memorize will aid you in developing your own method. This step will most likely give you a head start in your hifz, inshaAllah; just as it is easier to grow plants on a field that has already been plowed, and prepared for growing, than it is to start from scratch.

– You usually develop your own scheme by time (which ever works best for you)

By practice, as well as from inquiry, one will be able to tell which memorization method suits themselves better. Sometimes it will be a combination of others’ methods, or a totally new method; it is best to follow a method that works best for you, though this may take some time and practice to develop.

– Always let someone listen to you (before the teacher does!) esp. with memorization of new pages

When you memorize something you are most likely not going to see your own mistakes (if you do make any) more less even realize that you’re doing a mistake, even though your Qur’an might be right in front of you and your mistake right ‘under your nose’. Thus, it is highly recommended to have someone listen to your page while you recite it to that person from memory, and they follow along from your Qur’an. Some teachers will assign ‘buddies’ to ensure students do this, so they fix any mistakes before it comes to them, where a couple of mistakes may make you ‘fail’ and you have to re-do your lesson (and ‘waste’ a day due to mistakes that could’ve been avoided). So to avoid such a thing and to avoid simple/silly mistakes, one should always ask someone (preferably who is a hafiz) to listen to them before the teacher listens to them, or before going on to other pages.

– Audio cass./CD may help (listen to it before memorizing)

An alternative to reading the page continuously, some listen to the page (from a Qari on tapes/CDs/computer) a multiple number of times, and reads along with the Qari (reciter). Those who learn better from listening can find this very helpful, as it will familiarize the verses and will prevent any possible errors you may have made prior to listening to the Qari. Though for this to be true, one must pick the Qari they will listen to carefully, because you will in general read just like him; you’ll pick up any of his mistakes, and in most cases, his style of recitation also.

– Time of day (morning/sahar when mind is fresh is best)

For some the time of day is a great factor in memorizing. Some prefer memorizing new pages early in the morning, or during the tahajjud/sahar (the last 1/3 of the night, before dawn) time, stating that their mind is ‘fresh and clear’, and ready to memorize. Some say the opposite: that they feel sleepy at that time and prefer the night-time, especially at midnight. And for some the time of day does not matter at all. We all are unique, thus we will differ in our preference of time. However, one should be consistent, and should be able to maneuver their program to fit into one day. Therefore, they may separate a specific time to memorize a new page, but they should also separate adequate time to revise their other page/s. Developing a schedule (and following it) would be best to ensure the equal distribution and good use of time.

– Your ability expands (inshaAllah) as you memorize.

Just as your ability can be developed before hifz, it can be further enhanced while doing hifz. You generally memorize quicker/better by each chapter of the Qur’an, but this progress most recognizably occurs when one has reached the mid-line of their hifz (memorized half of the Quran). Then, especially toward the end, your tongue seems to read on it’s own accord, and with quite ease (you don’t even have to concentrate as hard). At last, even though it took some time or you didn’t notice in the beginning, you truly start to feel that Allah has made the Qur’an easy to remember.

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One Comment
  1. Moad permalink
    June 3, 2012 5:01 am

    JazakAllah
    Kul Lu khair

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