Monday, May 4, 2009

Tips to memorize the Qur'an (Let's become the carriers of the Qur'an)

Memorizing the Qur'an should be one of the goals of a Muslim. Each and every one of us should have this deep desire to become a haafidh and work towards it inshAllah. This is irrespective of our age. It is a wrong notion to think that one can memorize the Qur'an only at a very young age. It is true that it could be easier when one is young, and for that, inshAllah, we should encourage young children, whether your siblings or kids, to memorize the Qur'an. As for us, come up with a plan, and start immediately, without procrastination, without further delay, and with isthiqama (steadfastness).

Let's not come with reasons such as we do not have enough time, or we do not have a good memory power. We have to fit this noble project into our schedule, as the virtues and bounties that comes with are numerous, and inshAllah, if done with Ikhlaas, then Allah will reward us in both the worlds. And, about lack of memory, yeah it could be true if one had to memorize any other text of science or poetry, but not for the Qur'an. We should have a firm belief and understanding that it is the Power of The Kalam (speech) of Allah that enables anybody on the face of earth, who desires to memorize it, shall be able to. We should concentrate on doing our part, and Allah will make it more and more easy as we go along further. Allah says in the Qur'an to Our Prophet Sallallahu alaihiwassalam:

سَنُقْرِئُكَ فَلاَ تَنسَى

We shall make you recite, so you shall not forget. (Surah Al-A'laa: 6)

Which other book in the world has been memorized by people, word to word, verse to verse, exactly with the same intonations that our Prophet recited, to whom Allah SWT had revealed it so! Which other book is read so repeatedly and the reciter never gets bored of it, unless Shaytan overpowers him- and the more it is recited, the more beautiful it is, and the reciter is in more awe than ever! SubhanAllah, this is one of the many miracles of the Qur'an. No matter what some enemies of Allah and His Dheen do (like burning of the copies of Qur'an etc), there are many thousands of people (even non-muslims) on the other hand, who learn and understand the Qur'an. Even disbelievers like Abu Jahl, Al-Waleed Al-Mughirah were addicted to its beauty, and would go and listen to the recitation of The Prophet hidden in the darkness of the night. SubhanAllah.

Imagine that more of us become carriers of the Qur'an, the guidance to our life. Surely, the status of our Ummah would rise, due to the establishment of stronger connection to The Words of Allah Azza Wajal. So, this is our duty as a muslim, it is a collective duty of the Muslims that more of us learn, understand and memorize this book. This will help us in boosting the level of eman more than we can imagine.

SubhanAllah, isn't it the priveledge of our Ummah that no other nation before us enjoyed, that we actually have the words of Our Lord preserved, that Allah has made the understanding and learning it easy upon the person who strives towards it?! So, shouldn't we show gratitude to Allah for this blessing!


Here are some very beneficial tips that Sheikh Yasir Qadhi shared with us, on how to memorize the Qur'an (some of them are my opinions depending upon what works for me, as Sheikh is a man, and sometimes, for women, things work slightly differently, especially if you are a wife and mother):

1. The First and Foremost, Sincereity and Ikhlaas: The Niyyah that we are making sincere effort only for the sake of Allah SWT, only to seek His Pleasure so that inshAllah, with His Mercy, we will be rewarded in the Aakhirah. And that it is not to show off in front of others that we have memorized a lot.

2. Consistency: The more frequently we memorize, the easier it becomes to memorize. To this, I testify. SubhanAllah, this is a miracle, no doubt.

It is very essential to be consistent, and not to skip even one day. Our brain, soul and mind needs consistent feeding to work more efficiently and with ease. It is just like how machines need constant lubrication and care, and the machines that is not used more often, starts to rust. And the car that is not used more often, starts to give problems. Taking a break can slow down the process, as our brain is programmed in such a way that it needs new raw materials in order to make strong the older ones. And if we do skip a day, then Shaytan squeezes himself through and tries to discourage you the next day, and then ultimately, it comes to a complet halt. The bare minimum that one should memorize is atleast 3 lines, five is more ideal. If we continue in this way, inshAllah, we will be able to be huffadh in 5-6 years. SubhanAllah- isn't that so inspiring?! It really feels easy when we think of it this way.

3. Timing: Early morning after Fajr Salah is the ideal time, as Allah has blessed the morning hours the most. This, I am sure, all of us agree upon, that it is the morning hours that we are able to get most work done. And even to study, it is the ideal time, as your mind is free from other thoughts since your day is just beginning. Whereas, in a later time of the day, there is more chance that your subconscious mind is preoccupied with other thoughts like who you would have met, the dialogue that took place, the food you had was yummy, and other things that you would have done.

Personally, I feel that even if this time of the day doesn't work out for us, we can dedicate some other time- just that we will have to work harder and longer- Wa Allahu A'lam. And if it usually does, and for some reason, we miss it one day, we should make some time in the later part of the day, and still keep up with the consistent flow. It is more important that we do not skip a day.

4. Atmosphere: We should try our best to avoid all kinds of distractions like phone calls, children, munching on some nuts or crackers during this time. This again takes us back to the previous point where the morning hours are the best, since there is less distraction at that time.

5. Familiarity: This is more of a psychological advantage. So use the same Mushaf, listen to the same recitation, sit to learn in the same place and same time. This way, the brain will relate better. Like for example: the advantage of using the same Mushaf is, the part of the brain that is responsible for vision records it, and we will be able to remember this stored vision where a particular word comes, where a new ayah begins etc.

6. There are no tricks or short-cuts. It is just repititive recitation and/or listening that will help to memorize.

7. Understand what you memorize: Read the translation before one starts, correlate some words. We do not have to necessarily try to learn the entire tafseer, but we need to have some idea. Tafseer should be learnt at a different time so that we can achieve this goal of becoming Huffadh in a shorter time. And then when inshAllah, that happenes, we can learn more deeply into the Tafseer of the Qur'an.

8. Surround oneself with recitation: Keep listening to what one is currently memorizing.

9. Find a memorizing buddy: This will be a huge encouragement for each other, and this will add a psychological pressure that we have to recite to each other what we learnt.

10. Recite daily in Salah, and at all times that you can, what you have memorized most recently.

11. The triple daily dose of the Qur'an:
a) New memorization at your assigned time of the day
b) Revision of the previous 7 days, just before you start the new memorization: This is because the fastest thing you forget is the new memorization. And doing so, will also build the connector between the old ones and the new portion you are going to memorize. Plus, it will be a good warm up for the brain when you recall from your memory and recite, before you go into the real exercise of doing the new memorization.
c) At a later/another time of the day, revise those before the recent 7 days. The bare minimum should be 4-5 pages.

12. Do not jump around: When we feel a particular surah is tough, do not go to another. Stick to the order. That way, you will have the satisfaction of having completed a juz rather than leaving unmemorized portions here and there.

13. The three chunks:
a) Juz 28, 29, 30 or just Juz 29, 30
b) Surah Al-Kahf till Juz 28
c) Surah Al-Baqara to Surah Al-Kahf

I feel that after the last 2-3 Juz, we should start from Al-Baqara as the ayahs are much easier to learn, since there are Madani verses (verses and surahs revealed after the Hijrah of The Prophet Sallallahu alaihiwassalam and the Sahaba Radhiyallahu anhum- Makki verses are more poetic and SubhanAllah, very beautiful, and a little more complex, I feel. The Verses are shorter and so, more powerful), and hence, more eloquent, and it flows automatically and with more ease. And it is from Surah Al-Baqara where we start to read our Khatm-al-Qur'an from, and so we are more familiar with it.

InshAllah, I hope that we all benefit from these tips, and Allah SWT makes this a sadaqathul jaariah for Sheikh Yasir Qadhi, and all Shuyookh who would have inspired many to make a memorization plan, and myself for writing this here. And I hope that we all stick to this most important project till we finish inshAllah, with determination, consistency and increased Taqwa. Let's dream of the day when we will recite from Surah Al-Fathiha to Surah An-Naas, without looking into the Mus'haf, InshAllahu Ta'ala.....Aameen, aameen, Thumma aameen...


  1. Masha Allah excellent capture of Sheikh Yasir Qadhi's tips on memorizing .. May ALLAH SWT help us to adhere to these tips and have us reflect on his Kalaam in the process .. May Allah SWT make our intentions pure and we seek his refuge from the Sharr and Shayateen .. Aameen ..

  2. Masha Allah, very good advices.

    A systematic arrangement will lead everybody to a success in all of his/her activities.

    This is the same for memorizing Quran.

    I pray the Almighty to bestowed his mercy to the author of this article. May Allah give her health and long life in order to fulfill her desires ambitions for the sake of Islam.

    Nujum Riyadh

  3. MashaAllah...Thaqabalallah...May Allah the Almighty help all in fulfilling this noble target..aameen...May Allah bestow his choicest blessings on umm hibathain & her family...

  4. jazakumAllah khayr for the duahs

  5. Masha Allah very good article.May ALLAH SWT help us to adhere to these tips and have us reflect on his Kalaam in the process........

  6. alhamdulillah. please make dua for those trying to memorize Quran that Allah swt keep their intention pure and grant them success and protect them from what He dislikes. ameen.

    jazakAllah khair

  7. very well put...May Allah bless you for this..

  8. May Allah bless you for this, it has pursuaded me further to memorize the Quran (which i will inshallah) first, i fell into the misconception that you can only memorize it if you're a yong child, but now i have grown out of that misconception.