So you want to memorize – better yet, retain the Qu’ran? Alhamdulillah! This week, AQL offers some tips to get you started:
- Make a solid commitmentDo not begin by intending to memorize one or two ajaza, make intention to retain the entire Qu’ran. Although this may seem daunting, in Surah Al-Qamar, ayah 55: Allah (swt) says: “And we have certainly made the Qur’an easy for remembrance, so is there anyone who will remember?”
Remember that Allah (swt) has promised to make the Qur’an easy to read and remember—all you have to do is the make commitment and follow through on it. Appreciate that you are making a commitment to turn your body into a vessel for Allah’s words. Contemplate the greatness of such an undertaking and dive in.
Once you have made a commitment between yourself and Allah (swt) let everyone around you know that you will have to forego some commitments temporarily—your time is refocused on a greater cause. Becoming a hafidh is a consuming project and it will demand many lifestyle changes.
- Prime your brainPrime your brain by verbalizing to yourself that you are going to memorize the Qur’an. Take in as much Qur’an as possible, whether through listening to recitation or reciting yourself. The more you read, the more you will become familiar with words, ayahs, ajaza.
Before you begin a lesson, clear and focus your mind, face a corner and/or Qibla, make dua, and ask Allah (swt) to make this easier for you. Make sure you are starting with the right intentions (i.e., to please Allah and be a preserver of His Book, rather than to show off to others).
Set aside a special time and place to complete your lesson. Earlier in the day is usually better than late at night for retaining the lesson more easily. Make sure you are focused on the task at hand—don’t multitask, answer emails and texts, or check Facebook in the middle of your lesson. We all know how many distractions there are around us at any given time. Give your memorization time the same respect, honor, and concentration that you would give your salah or making a special dua.
- Develop the right habitsBecoming a hafidh is more than just about memorizing the Qur’an. Just as doctors take the Hippocratic Oath and Supreme Court Justices are sworn in, hufadh must make the very serious intention to elevate their character, attitude, and spirituality before and during, and after their journey.
You must develop certain habits of the hufadh, such as waking up early and going to bed early. Organizing, compartmentalizing, and prioritizing your time is equally important. Don’t take shortcuts. If your lesson is to read a page seven times—then do it. If you have to write out a page three times, then don’t second guess why your teacher has asked you to do this. Remember, you are not just memorizing but seeking to retain the Qur’an. Make the learning solid for a lifetime.
You need an adequate amount of sleep as well as proper nutrition (no more junk food!). Once you recognize the undertaking, visualize the Qur’an as entering into your body as something you consume. Therefore, the energy that is going to fuel your body to memorize Qur’an should be similarly wholesome in nature.
- Find an in-person teacherWhile there are many online resources today for learning to read and recite Qur’an, the human element remains essential. It is wonderful to benefit from today’s technology by using sites that help you memorize by repeating the same ayahs or apps that allow you to review your lesson wherever you are.
However, it is imperative that you have an in-person teacher to oversee, guide, and correct your recitation and memorization. It is very difficult to embark on memorization all by yourself. Moreover, you need someone to listen to your daily lesson to ensure you do not have errors or incorrect memorization. Finally, a teacher or mentor will provide inspiration, motivation, and help you build a plan for each step of your journey.
- Treat your journey as an ibaadah rather than workIf you treat the act of memorizing the Qur’an as a burden entirely on your own shoulders, you will treat this journey as work. It will be difficult, unsatisfying, and frustrating – after all, this is 611 pages we’re talking about! However, if you treat this journey as ibaadah, or worship, insha’Allah, it will become infinitely easier!
Allah has given us the Quran as a treasure, part of the Al-Kawthar (abundant bounty) He bestowed on the Muslim Ummah. Our Lord has guaranteed for us that the Quran will never change nor will it be lost. Once you have committed yourself to becoming a hafidh Quran, know that Allah will guarantee its outcome to you.