Memorize the Quran with these guidelines

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Congratulations! You’ve taken the first step to start memorizing the Quran; you’ve decided! Making the intention to memorize Quran is an extremely noble and lofty goal. The next question is, how do I do it?! Follow these steps to kickstart your journey to becoming a haafizah.

1: Intention

Ask yourself the following:
      Why am I memorizing?
      What do I hope to gain?
      Do I expect recognition from others?
      Do I hope to be paid for my efforts?

The most crucial ingredient when it comes to memorizing the Quran is having the correct intention.  Your sole purpose for embarking on this journey should be to attain the pleasure Allaahsubḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He), draw closer to Him, and attain the great rewards He has promised for the haafizah. Because this is an act of worship, your aim should not be for fame or any monetary benefit. It’s important to continuously renew  and guard your intention throughout the entire journey. Ayoob As-sakhtiyani would say “Purifying the intention is harder than all other actions for those who act.[1]” 

On the day of judgement, one of the first to be judged is a scholar and reciter of Quran who will claim to have learnt and taught it for Allaah’s sake. And Allaah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) will say, “‘You have lied – you did but study [religious] knowledge that it might be said [of you]: He is learned. And you recited the Quran that it might be said [of you]: He is a reciter. And so it was said.’ Then he will be ordered to be dragged along on his face until he is cast into Hell-fire.”(Muslim)

Stick to the advice of Abdullah ibn Masood, radiyallahu ‘anhuma, and all will go well inshaallah.

“Do not learn knowledge for three reasons: to amaze and confound the foolish, to argue with the learned and to make people’s faces turn towards you. Rather, seek what is with Allaah with your hearts and actions, since only that will remain and whatever is besides it will go.[2]

2. Set strategic and long term goals

Setting short and long term goals will help you organize as well as give you a sense of accountability as you work towards deadlines. Give yourself a reasonable time limit to complete the Quran. Ask yourself the following:

How many verses or pages will I memorize per day? Be realistic and reasonable. No amount is too small. You can always adjust your target as time goes.

How long will it take me to complete one juzz/para (1/30th of Quran)? There are 20 pages in a juzz, if using the Othmani script. If you commit to half a page a day, you should’ll finish a juzz every 40 days.

How many ajzaa (plural of juzz) can I memorize in a year at this rate? At half a page a day you can memorize 9 juzz a year.

By what year will I be a haafiza? At this rate it will take you 3 years and 4 months to complete the Quran. Add a few weeks or month to account for days you weren’t able to meet your goal and set a celebration date.

Write this deadline somewhere near your study area in large print. Example: “By the First of Ramadan 1438, I will be a haafizah”. Encourage your spouse and children to do the same and set up family meetings to discuss how far along each person is to meeting their goal and if any adjustments need to be made. You’ll be teaching your children valuable skills through this.

3. Dua 

Dua is the most powerful tool to achieving your goal as Allaah is sure to answer!

وَقَالَ رَبُّڪُمُ ٱدۡعُونِىٓ أَسۡتَجِبۡ لَكُمۡۚ

And your Lord said: “Invoke Me, I will respond to your (invocation). [Ghafir:60] 

Allaah has promised to help you reach your goals. So ask and trust in Him!

وَمَن يَتَوَكَّلۡ عَلَى ٱللَّهِ فَهُوَ حَسۡبُهُ ۥۤ‌ۚ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ بَـٰلِغُ أَمۡرِهِ

And whosoever puts his trust in Allah, then He will suffice him. Verily, Allah will accomplish his purpose. [At-Talaq:3]

Continuously ask Allaah to make your journey easy and to help you reach your goal. Take advantage of the times mentioned in the sunnah that dua is sure to be answered, such as during rain, in prostration, last 3rd of the night, or the hour before maghrib on Fridays.

4. Consistency

When I say consistency, I mean consistency in everything directly related to memorizing.

a. Use the same mushaf (copy of Quran) everyday. Don’t look in or review from any other mushaf expect yours, especially if the print is different. Looking at other prints can interfer with your visual memory and make verses seem out of place, thus confusing you.

b. Memorize at the same time everyday. Select a time you know you could commit 30mins to 1 hour without distruptions. For some it’s after fajr, others it’s at noon while the kids are out or napping, and some might find the best time to be at night. Whatever time fits your schedule best, commit to it!  Treat it like a class you can’t miss. This way you’ll organize your routine to ensure you are free for memorizing at that time. But if you don’t have a specified time slot, then memorization  is left on stand by. Believe me, you’ll find that the days you don’t memorize will be more than the days you do.

c. Memorize the same amount every day. This will help you start memorizing with purpose and focus. It will also help you measure how close you are to achieving you goal.

d. Memorize in the same place in the same room wearing the same clothes everyday. It will help you get in the zone and improve your concentration. Be sure to choose a spot with minimal distractions. The only things in reach should be what you need to memorize, namely your mushaf, reading glasses, and reciter software (with no other apps or browsers open!).

e. Memorize everyday! It’s important to memorize daily to establish consistency. It takes 30 days of the same task to make something a habit. Don’t fall off track by missing a day. If there’s a day you can’t memorize, then at least review or read over the next lesson even if for a short time. Also, don’t pile it up and plan to do double when you miss a day. Simply stick to your daily target. Remember you’ve already considered missed days when you set your celebration date.

5. Method

Use a Quran memorization software such as Quran Explorer, or Tanzil.net, or the KSU Quran portal. These softwares are great for memorizing because they allow you to select and repeat ayahs. They also have a list of famous Quran reciters to choose from. When memorizing it’s best to stick with mujjawad recitations where the recitation is slow, clear, and tajweed rules implemented. It will help you with pronunciation. Try Shaykhs Khalil Al-Hosori, Ibrahim Al-Akhdar, Abdullah Basfar, Ali Al-Hudaifi, and Abdul-Basit. Avoid memorizing with fast reciters. They’re great for listening, but won’t help you with pronunciation and tajweed.

Select a method that works best for your learning style. You can use the ayah by ayah method where you memorise each ayah individually while connecting the previous one. Or you may prefer listening and repeating the entire portion you intend to memorize until you’ve memorized it all. Soon enough you’ll know what works best for you.

For more details on how to make the most of these methods check out brother Nihal Khan’s tips over at Muslim Matters.

6. Review Review Review

Memorization is easy. The challenging part is keeping what you memorize. That’s why it’s important to review daily! Always review the last 5 lessons before starting the new lesson. During the day, recite your new lessons in your sunnah prayers, while doing house chores, while in the car/bus/train, while breastfeeding, and pretty much all the time. Listening also helps strengthen what you’ve memorized.

There you have it. Clear guidelines to help you succeed on this the amazing journey. Document your journey here, and share with us any tips, advices, or recommendations you may have.  There are tons of moms who would love to hear your experience. You never know who might be inspiring!

Footnotes
[1] Collected by Shaykh Husayn al-‘Awaa’ishah from ‘Ihyaa’ ‘Uloom ud-Deen’ of al-Ghazaali, ‘Mukhtasar Minhaaj ul-Qaasideen’ of Ibn Qudaamah and ‘az-Zuhd’of ‘Abdullaah Ibn al-Mubaarak
[2]ibid

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