With the Name of Allah, the extremely Merciful at this very moment, and the extremely Merciful at all times
Allah repeats in Surah Al-Qamar, Chapter 54 verse 32:
“And We have certainly made the Qur’an easy for remembrance, so is there any who will remember?”
Here are 6 more tips towards starting and maintaining the journey of memorizing the Qur’an:
1.) Memorize the Qur’an with meaning
Nowadays, the trend is to finish the memorization of the Arabic portion of the Qur’an as quickly as possible at the expense of taking the time and understanding the meaning of what is recited. This has major consequences since the memorizer of Qur’an is bound to abide by what he has has memorized.
Memorizing with meaning allows us to catch ourselves when we venture from one similar part of the Qur’an to another because our mind tells us: “Wait a minute, that sequence of verses doesn’t seem right.” (i.e. reciting a verse from one Prophet’s story in another Prophet’s). This allows us to go back and correct our mistake or help us to jog our memory when we forget. Other benefits include allowing us to ponder and apply what we learn and teach it to others. And if we were to seriously sit down and study with meaning, we would be able to pick up basics of the Arabic language that would facilitate understanding other passages of the Qur’an.
Perhaps the most underrated form of worship in terms of help is to make dua’ to Allah. This dua’ shouldn’t be limited to once before you memorize, but should be made all of the time. A consistent dua’ shows that we are sincere in our endeavor to memorize the Qur’an. It also shows that we are serious in getting the job done.
Thus, one should make dua’ before he begins his lesson, during his lesson, after his lesson, during the prostration in his prayer, during the middle of the night, and other recommended times.
However, we shouldn’t limit ourselves by making dua’ by ourselves. Ask your parents, family, and friends to make dua’ that Allah help you on this journey. At the same time, make dua’ for your friends who are with you on this journey that Allah may make the journey easy for them as well. This communal responsibility to bringing goodness to everyone is reinforced by the following hadith:
Abu Dharr reported that Allah’s Messenger (saw) said: “There is no believing servant who supplicates for his brother behind his back (in his absence) that the Angels do not say: The same be for you too.” (Sahih Muslim Chapter 22 Book 35 #6588)
3.) Ask experts for advice
When you have consulted Allah through dua’, consult the people who have already completed the task. Ask local huffadh (people who have memorized the Qur’an) for their tips, advice, procedures, review methods, etc. Of course, the best option would be to go to a Sheikh or take someone as a teacher, but it never hurts to add more points of view that may help you in perfecting your memorization.
4.) Enjoy the journey
A common trap new memorizers fall into is biting off more than they can chew. It happened to me, and it has happened to countless others. Since the Qur’an is easy to remember, a temptation arises that leads many of us to calculate how long it will take us to memorize a page, a chapter, and eventually, the entire Qur’an.
While it’s good to have the end goal as completing the Qur’an, do not be in haste in completing it. While we should compete with each other in goodness and memorizing, we should not do so at the expense of forgetting what we memorize, memorizing inefficiently just to get to the next Surah, or not implementing what we memorize. It was related in the Muwatta of Imam Malik that it took Abdullah ibn Umar (ra) 8 years to complete the memorization of Surah Al-Baqarah. In other words, it took him 8 years to implement what he memorized- a few verses at a time.
Memorizing the entire Qur’an is not the end of the journey, it is only the beginning in a life of contemplation on what one has memorized.
5.) Review, Review, Review
Not keeping up with old memorization is a recipe for disaster. We mentioned the importance of review in part 2 and reinforced it with a hadith from the Prophet (saw). However, because of its sheer importance, it must be stated again: review, and when you are done reviewing, review again. Most of all, never leave off reviewing in favor of taking a new memorization.
A good way to review is to recite new memorization in optional prayers. This allows us to increase our optional prayers while at the same time give us the confidence to recite the memorized portion from memory.
6.) Never give up
There will be times you will forget, be frustrated, and feel like you can’t do it. In those difficult times, remember that you can! Recovering weak portions is easier than you think. Sit down and revisit them, because memorizing a portion for the second time will be faster and will be reinforced stronger in your memory until it becomes the same to you as Surah Al-Ikhlas.
When those difficult times arise, remember this hadith:
‘Aishah (ra) reported Allah’s Messenger (saw) (as saying): “One who is proficient in the Qur’an is associated with the noble, upright, recording angels; and he who falters in it, and finds it difficult for him, will have a double reward.” (Sahih Muslim Chapter 128 Book 4 #1745).
Part 4 will be the last part in this series inshaAllah!