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Hifz-ul Quran :: Memorizing the Quran (Expanded Part 5)

January 18, 2010

6. While doing hifz

– Patience, patience, patience

As one diligently starts their first page, and finishes, then does the same thing the next day, and the next, and the next, and the next, and the next… for a year, or (usually) more, you might find yourself asking: “Is this ever going to end?” or, even worse, sometimes “What was I thinking?!”

“…O ye who believe! Seek help with patient perseverance and prayer; for God is with those who patiently persevere…” (Surat-ul Baqarah, Verse 153)

The memorization does end, though with a continuous effort on your part. The continuous character of your effort depends a lot on patience, which in turn proves how much you really want to do hifz. Just like any other type of education, hifz requires time; though unlike many other types of education, hifz deserves the time spent on it.

Another way to find patience in one’s self is to think of all the huffaz before you; they are proof to the fact that hifz really does end (if you really start doubting!). Each day passed while doing hifz is a ‘plus’, since each day passed is another day spent with the Qur’an, and another step closer to finishing your hifz, inshaAllah.

– Tawakkal ‘alaAllah: putting your trust in Allah (also remember it is a matter of naseeb)

“…Am I going to remember all these verses? Am I going to mess up? Am I going to fail again?” Are all typical questions that boggle the mind of a hafiz while/before/after memorizing. Sometimes just thinking about these types of questions will distract you to the point of making you ‘mess up’. Though, one must remember, even down to the last page, that Allah alone gives success. No matter how hard you try, or how little, it will be up to Allah to decide the outcome of your hifz, how well you read your pages, and everything else in between. Therefore, we must put our trust in Him, for He is the best to be trusted.

“…If God helps you, none can overcome you: If He forsakes you, who is there, after that, that can help you? In God, then, let believers put their trust…” (Surat-u Aali `Imraan, Verse 160)

– Follow the sunnah (hygiene esp. teeth, noon fiesta, tahajjud would be great…etc)

Following the sunnah of Rasulullah should be done by every Muslim, though in hifz it plays an essential role in developing a daily schedule that will give the best results. The sunan hold a special meaning for huffaz during their hifz: Waking up for tahajjud means revising pages (and making those hardcore supplications!), noon fiesta means refreshing mind, not eating too much guarantees not falling asleep while studying, sleeping right after Isha prayer ensures a wake mind to the following day of memorization, using a miswaak or toothbrush means showing mercy on your teacher (or who ever is going to listen to you)…etc. One should incorporate as many sunnahs as they can into their life (and especially schedule while doing hifz), for they will see results blessed with barakah, as well as extra deeds inshaAllah. Following the sunnah during hifz also aids in applying the sunnah to our daily lives after hifz, where we have practiced it for so long, that the sunnah starts to become habit inshaAllah.

– Eat halal & do halal (Allah makes it easier)

If we want to do a good deed, our means to achieve this good should be equally good as well. Considering hifz as a good thing, what we eat, what we drink, what we use in order to attain hifz should all be good a.k.a. halal. In order for our deeds to be accepted, it is very important to follow the ‘rules’. If we worship Allah and ask from his mercy with a stomach full of haram and haram thoughts in mind, it is more likely that we would earn Allah’s anger (rather than His mercy). If that doesn’t scare us already, it is also very well known that doing/eating haram is stated as a cause to forgetfulness:

A famous anecdote is reported from Imam Shafi’i (), where he relates his conversation with his teacher Wak’i saying:

I complained to Waki’ about my bad memory
‘Abandon sins’, he instructed me
For memory is a bounty from Allah
and a bounty of Allah is not bestowed upon the sinner.

Thus, we should always turn away from haram means, and turn to halal means, so as to anticipate Allah’s mercy & bounty upon us.

– Concentration and environment

Concentration plays a vital role while memorizing, where it can determine how fast and well you memorize. It is best to study in an environment that is suited for you to be able to be focused on your hifz, and has the least distractions. Noise/sound, presence of others, events, people, neighbors, parents, light/dark, ideas, plans for future…etc. can all be distractive to some and not to others. If your home does not provide such an environment where you can concentrate, then seeking other places (if you are able) for your hifz would be best.

– Use time wisely (Don’t waste it)

For one who is doing hifz, their first priority should be their hifz (of course after all faraaidh/obligatory deeds). While considering doing something besides their studies, they should approach this with concern over their hifz; how will it affect your hifz; will it be beneficial or be detrimental? This can be thought in terms of daily things (i.e. visiting a friend), or in general terms (i.e. starting college). The best for one who is doing hifz is to ‘worry’ about their hifz first; all other things should follow after it and be planned according to it, if one truly desires the optimum success possible.

– Ask for dua’s (from everyone; your mom, dad, teacher…)

The importance of dua cannot be overly emphasized. Though we may make dua for ourselves while doing hifz, we should ask for others (especially parents!) to make dua for us as well; for each du`a is a blessing for the one who makes it as well:

“Verily your Lord is the One modest and Generous, and when His servant raises his hands to Him in supplication, He is diffident (in some wordings, shy or hesitant) from returning them empty.” (Ahmad, Abu Dawood, and Tirmidhi)

– Make dua for others who are doing hifz (remember the angels: “the same on you”)

From giving emphasis to the care of relatives and neighbors, to praying shoulder to shoulder in congregation, we are constantly reminded that Islam calls for us to leave our narcissistic natures. We are to think for others as we think about ourselves, and to wish for them as we do for our own. This should principally be the way in hifz as well. A simple example: When struggling with a page one should remind ourselves of our Muslim brethren and think of others who might also be on that very same page and are facing the same difficulty. At such an instant, we should pray to Allah to help them as well as our selves, for Allah’s Messenger informs us that:

“The dua of a Muslim for his brother in his absence (i.e. the person is not present and is not aware that you are making dua for him) is answered. An angel is appointed to be at his side. Every time that he prays for some good for his brother, the angel says: “Ameen. And may the same be granted to you.” (Muslim)

– Choose your friends (friendships where both are beneficial to each other during hifz)

Whether you are doing hifz at home, or at an institution, you must be careful when making friends with others. The people we choose to associate with will in any circumstance (this be hifz or not) have an affect on us: either a positive affect, or a negative one. Our friendships may preoccupy our thoughts, they may determine how we spend our time, they may determine our emotional states, they may…etc. and how much they affect us will depend on our approach and acceptance. When doing something as important as hifz one should choose to associate with those who will be beneficial to their studies, and not those who will only be a distraction. The preferred way is to make friendships where you both benefit from each other during hifz, especially if this person is doing hifz as well.

– Remember your enemy: Shaitaan (Seek refuge in Allah)

They say that Shaitaan sits at the beginning, at the middle, and at the end of the path of one who does hifz, which really means that he’s constantly searching for moments/ways to sneak up on you and make you ‘slip’. Someone doing hifz is a perfect ‘target’, and there are so many ways to ‘get at them’, because the process of hifz takes a longer period of time, and depends on many factors. Why would Shaitaan go to someone who already has slipped? Of course, he’s going to seek others.

Ibn Abbas, may Allah protect his soul, said that the Prophet, peace and blessings upon his noble soul, said one day to Iblees: “How many of your beloved are from my Ummah?”

He (Iblees) said: “Ten groups: The tyrannical leader; the arrogant; the wealthy one who is not concerned about how he earns his wealth, nor how he spends it; a religious scholar who supports the leader in his tyranny; the treacherous trader (in business); the one who monopolizes a commodity in order to drive up the price; the adulterer; the one who deals in interest; the miser who doesn’t care from where he has accumulated his wealth; and the drunkard.”

Then he, peace and blessings upon his noble soul, said: “How many enemies do you have from my Ummah?”

He (Iblees) said: “Twenty groups: You Muhammad…I hate you; the scholar who acts on his knowledge; the memorizer of Quran if he acts on what is in it; the one who calls for the five prayers and he loves the poor, downtrodden and the orphans; the one possessing a merciful heart; the one who humbles himself before the truth; a young person who grows up obeying Allah; the one who eats the halaal; two young people who love each other for the sake of Allah; the one who strives to make prayer in congregation; the one who prays at night while the people are asleep; the one who holds himself back from haraam; the one who gives sincere advise to the Muslim brothers with no ulterior motive; the one who remains in a constant state of Wudu’u; the generous one; the one possessing good character; the one who confirms the truth of what Allah has guaranteed him; the one who does good to chaste widows; and the one who prepares for death.” [“The Chapter of Tens” by Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani, translated by Imam Zaid Shakir]

When the smallest things start to distract you (“why won’t that fly go away?!”), you start to develop acute senses (“…falammaa fasala… hey… why does the fan make so much noise?” *get’s up to close it then notices the dust on the shelves, and then starts searching for a cloth to dust…*), you start to think of things you normally never consider (“hmm… I wonder what the neighbors are up to?”), you miss doing things you really never do (“ufff… I wish I could just sleep all day”)…etc. remember that these are mostly waswasa (whisperings) from Shaitaan. In such cases one should remember that Shaitaan is an avowed enemy, and should seek refuge in Allah from him.

– Don’t forget to sleep/chill (refresh)

We must remember that we are not machines; our mind and body need breaks so we may be ‘recharged’ and refreshed. Sleeping at night, giving adequate breaks between pages and certain times, eating set courses without skipping a meal, taking a walk…etc. are more beneficial than pressuring ourselves to study when we really do need a break. Some students will avoid these necessities saying that it takes up their time, when in reality it will make the process easier, though it is hard to realize it at the moment. We must fulfill such needs of our body so we can make the best use of it, for our body is our ‘ship’ that will carry us in the ‘sea’ of hifz.

– No music/TV is best (takes up too much time/preoccupies the mind)

Though we may not be involved in other activities besides our studies during hifz, watching TV/listening to music may create an environment where one feels mentally involved – our mind is usually preoccupied with what we have watched/listened, sometimes to the point where we have trouble concentrating and remaining focused (apart from the great probability that we might be watching/listening to not-so-halal things). The safest step is to avoid TV/music, as to minimize any possible distractions, especially during hifz (for those who don’t do so anyway *thumbsup*).

In the case where what we watch and what we listen to is haram, this will most definitely assure Allah’s anger, where we can be sure to face difficulty in our life (and afterlife), as well as studies. How can one let their ears hear haram, their eyes see haram, their hearts desiring the haram…while at the same time listening and gazing upon the Qur’an?…

– Don’t eat too much, or too little (makes sleepy – need energy)

Finding a balance in what we eat (and it’s quantity) will also be essential to our studies; if we eat too much we will feel sleepy, and if we eat too little we might not supply our selves with sufficient energy needed for our studies. Our intention while eating should be to properly serve Allah, where then eating would become `ibadah inshaAllah.

– Dried grapes, nuts, sweets, honey, fruits are advised

The eating of a certain number of dried grapes and honey are advised to strengthen ones ability to memorize, sweets are advised to provide a ‘quick burst of energy’, while fruits are advised due to their nature; where they make you feel full, are ‘light’, and do not make you sleepy in contrast to eating ‘heavy’ foods such as meat, greasy foods and the like. The goal is to eat those which make you feel re-energized, not overwhelmed.

– Don’t compare yourself to others (you are you)

Judging your progress should not be made by using others as your ‘meter’: if another person who is doing hifz falls short on their studies, this doesn’t necessarily mean you have progressed, or when that person excels in their studies this doesn’t mean that you have necessarily fallen behind. It may be the case where you really are just going at the same pace. Thus using others as a meter is usually misleading; only you can be your own meter.

In some cases, you may hear of people completing hifz in a few months, or someone finishing in as long as 10 years. One should not feel depressed or impressed at their own pace in such circumstances, but should be thankful to Allah for what they have been blessed with so far, and should avoid comparing themselves with others. `Ali is not `Umar, as `Aisha is not Fatima; we are who Allah has chosen us to be, and we should know ourselves and do our best to our own ability that He has blessed us with.

– Avoid telling others your doings in hifz (Nazar: Evil Eye)

Informing others of our doings/progress in hifz is a very delicate matter. We are informed that the Beloved of Allah seeked refuge in Allah against nazar, commonly known as the ‘evil eye’. Hifz, especially to those who know anything about it, can be a very trying deed, though it is Allah who gives it only to whom He wills. Thus, a Muslim should attribute the deed of ‘hifz’ first and foremost to Allah.

This being said one must include that the safest step is to avoid nazar, as well as riya (showing off) whenever possible. One should only talk about their doings in hifz if there is a clear benefit in doing so (asking their advice, seeking their help, encouraging others…etc.), and to the right person. Though we should remember that a Muslim is encouraged to say “mashaAllah” when they see/hear something that pleases them.

– An institution is best for hifz (has a set program; more sense of order/importance)

Finding/developing/setting up the perfect environment for hifz can be very difficult. However, to go to an institution that has been specifically made to suite the study of hifz is much more convenient and reliable. Trying to transform your house into a school is not only difficult but usually impossible when there are others that live with you as well. One cannot over-look the rights of other family members, and oblige them to comply with your ways. This could even be a sort of oppression for them, which should not be the case they associate with hifz.

In an institution (in most cases), everything is set up so that your only worry is your hifz, which is usually more than enough for one who is doing hifz to be concerned about. It has a set and tested program, which will give you more of a sense of order and importance that is much needed to suite the continuous nature of hifz. A place that ensures discipline is best, where each day is made use of to its full extent, and so is your ability, inshaAllah. Just as a farmer and a certain piece of land can determine the crops to come, the institution we go to can be a factor in determining the “quality” of our hifz as well.

– Respect/follow/recognize teacher (he/she knows you best)

It is best to have your memorized pages listened to by a former hafiz, if available. If not then someone who is well versed with the Qur’an should be seeked. Your contact with this teacher/listener should be well scheduled and orderly if you are not in an institution. However, if one is in an institution there will be teachers that will always be available at the set class time, and in some institutions these teachers are available at all times. This is another ‘plus’ to attending an institution.

How well you obey your teacher is synonymous with how well you do in your hifz. The person who listens to your memorized pages knows your pages (and its quality) better than you do, thus knows what is best for your hifz. The pace they advise you to follow, and any other thing they tell you to do will always be for your benefit; whether you follow what they say or shoot yourself in the foot is up to you. One should be thankful to Allah for their hifz teacher, and should do their best to benefit from them and their experience.

– Never give up (be strong)

It is very important to be persistent during hifz; one should avoid ‘empty days’ in which they do not do their daily work/memorize their page(s). The more ‘slack time’ in between hifz, is the more time you will spend later on trying to revise and strengthen your hifz. In cases when the ‘going gets tough’ one should try the best they can, and at least progress in some degree; if they needed to prepare 5 pages, they should at least do 3, if they were supposed to do 10, they should at least try to do 6…etc. A little dars/class done is better than none. Thus, one should never give up on their studies, but should aim to complete at least a part of it. This type of determination usually helps in the end of the day when you realize that you really can do the left over 3-4 pages. Though, either way your priority is to never be at the same level a day — each day should bring some form of progress in your hifz; just as the Beloved cautioned us that one day should not be equal to the other in a Muslim’s life.

Source
 

 

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3 Comments
  1. Mrs Asad permalink
    October 19, 2010 9:25 am

    JazakhAllah for this page. May Allah reward you immensely. I am mother of a boy studying Hifz. I was very anxious and worried about him. This page has given me suooprt and guidance. Plz make Du’a for him. May Allah subhanatallah help him always.

  2. Yusuf permalink
    April 3, 2011 3:50 pm

    Jazzakallah, you prety much covered most of the main tips; however they are a few that I will like you all to consider:

    Listen to the Quran from a Qariah alll the time no matter what your doing – for example I listen to my sabaq when I’m doing my coledge work

    Whenever you are walking (e.g. to coledge) or you are doing pretty much any activety – e.g. eating – ALWAYS RICTE PREVIOUS THE QURAN – recite previous Juz that you’ve already learnt – so you don’t forget them and that they remain strong.

    Before memorizing a new Sabq – read it enough times with looking untill you can read it flulnatley through looking. Thereafter, read one time with llooking (to avoid mistakes) then read without looking one time (to strength it) – keep and doing this untill you can read the page easily and fluntly without looking then move to the next page and do the same, after you have done this do the same but with both pages now. If you keep and doing this then your memorization will be very strong.

  3. March 19, 2013 12:11 pm

    JazaakAllahu khairan!!

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