By Dr. Yahya al-Ghouthani, Jeddah (world leading Quranic recitation authority)
Translated by Abu Muqatil – may Allah be forgiving to him and his parents
In light of the principles which have passed us by in the previous section, I say to whoever wants to memorize a page from the Noble Quran from any chapter that I hope that you will stay with me so we can read the following steps together at ease paving the way to apply it precisely.
1. Obtain a good mus-haf
Try to obtain a good copy of the Quran whose size is according to your need and never ever replace it so that you will be strong in memorising the parts of the pages and the lines. The mus-haf al-huffaaz (the memorisers’ codex) [i.e. the text of the popular green edition from Madina written by the world famous calligrapher, Ta Ha Uthman] is preferred which starts with the verse at the start of the page and finishes with the last verse, and it is divided up well, whereby the Quran being thirty juz` (parts), every juz` has 20 pages and every page has 25 lines. The King Fahd organization in Medina al-Munawwarah has built a printer for this copy and I advice getting it as it is the most accurate contemporary print.
2. Set the scene
Setting the scene for memorization according to the following:-
i. Self-composure – Have the correct intention in mind and a desire for reward from Allah
ii. Wudoo` (ablution) and complete purity – Do not take the easy option of those who give a fatwa (legal edict) for its opposite as that goes against what befits high regard of the Speech of Allah and good manners with it.
iii. Comfortable setting – Sitting in a place where you feel at ease, and there is no more sacred place than the mosque.
iv. Free of distractions – It is preferred that it is a place without many pictures, carvings, decorations and distractions. The more enclosed the place is – with all due regards to fresh air – the better, compared with open space, trees and gardens. Even if some may differ with me, but I say this based upon experience not from abstract thinking. The atmosphere for light reading is different from the atmosphere for focused memorization, as wide spaces, sceneries and trees distract the mind and focus. Whatever is suitable for light reading is not needed for genuine work and focus, as mentioned in rule 4.
v. Face the Qibla – (direction of prayer towards Mecca) and sit in a state of submission, tranquillity and respect.
3. “Warm up”
Begin the “warm up” process (for want of a better expression). It is the preparation where you read a few pages of the Quran before starting the memorization process, whether from memory or looking.
Recite nicely, listening to yourself without haste or delay.
This is a fundamental component in preparing the self. You will find many successful memorization teachers do not allow the student to memorize before getting them to revise the previous session and letting the sheikh hear. This is to prepare him psychologically and spiritually for memorization, whilst the student may be totally unaware of the teacher’s aim.
4. Be controlled in recitation
Beware of your voice’s beauty from distracting you at this point. The sweetness of your tone encompasses you in the atmosphere of chanting. So you start thinking that you’re so-and-so, the famous reciter, then you assume his persona and start to recite with deliberation and perfecting the letters. You repeat it and recite it again like some of the reciters. Perhaps it all goes over the top and you bring out a microphone and recording equipment. Time will pass by whilst you are unaware, and you become like that young man who really wanted to memorize the Quran but every time he sat down to memorize he opened the Quran at 7-rah Y-suf and began to chant it until the time passed him by and he memorized absolutely nothing.
5. “Feel that urge…”
About 10-15 minutes of the warm up exercise and personal preparation you will feel a strong desire in yourself to memorize, with that it is possible for you to start with a new page you want to memorize.
Here begins an important stage, you really have to doubly focus on the verses. Imagine that your eye is a camera lens, and that you want to film the page with sound and image. Be careful not to shake the camera.
Open your eyes well. Free your mind from any distraction. Read by looking at the first verse at the top of the page in an audible voice with tajw5d [the correct rules of recitation]. Read correctly with concentration. Lets use an as example His statement, the Most High:
سيقول السفهاء من الناس ما ولاهم عن قبلتهم التي كانوا عليها قل لله المشرق والمغرب يهدي من يشاء إلى صراط مستقيم
The fools among the people will say, “What has turned them from their prayer direction to which they were used to face in prayer.” Say, “To Allah belong both, east and the west. He guides whom He wills to a Straight Way.” [2:142]
Read three or more times until your mind takes it all in, then close your eyes and picture in your mind the places of the words and read them. If you succeed in reading them completely without any mistake, don’t get excited but instead repeat two, three or five times.
Then open your eyes a second time. Read the same verse from the book to confirm the correctness of your memorization. If you are certain that you’ve memorized it correctly, don’t get excited. Instead close your eyes and read another time. With this you have chiselled in your mind an engraving that is impossible to disappear with the permission of Allah, the Most High. Try the steps carefully, you will definitely find this approach sound.
Note: During the process of recall and repetition, be careful not to divert your gaze to the things around you such as written notices distributed upon walls, posters, artwork, or décor. Do not follow a whirling fan. Do not be concerned about the type of furniture or coverings you’re sitting on. Be careful of excessively looking out of the windows, perhaps your eyes will chance upon something that will not please you, or perhaps you will be distracted by the scene of people in the street, or the scene of cars as happens to students during their revision for their exams. One of them stands at the window with the excuse of getting fresh air, then there he takes a census of cars based upon make and model, and in this manner time passes him and is wasted whilst he hasn’t benefited a single thing.
You have no business with these distractions, my brother. You have put yourself forward as someone from the people of the Quran and from its memorizers, and that requires motivation, perseverance, focus and an absence of distractions.
9. Next verse
After that move to the verse immediately following it:
…وكذلك جعلناكم أمة وسطا
Thus we have made you a middle nation…[2:143]
and begin with the same steps we outlined with the previous verse. If you think the verse is long, then divide it into several parts corresponding to correct and sound stops and normal meanings. Then repeat and repeat many times until it is engraved deeply in your memory.
10. Connection process
Begin now with the connection process which I mentioned in the eighth rule of memorization. That is by opening the book and focusing on the last part of the first verse – for example – إلى صراط مستقيم …and read it with an audible voice then connect it quickly without any stop with the first part of the second verse وكذلك جعلناكم أمة وسطا. Repeat this process many times but no less than five times.
After reading these steps – if you like them – begin implementing them straight away and record in a special notebook the date of beginning memorization. Contact someone you love and trust, and then tell them that you have found a technique in memorizing the Quran that you began applying today, so that you can be someone who guides to good.
One of the benefits of contacting someone like this is that it will be an encouragement for you in memorization and continuation, as it reflects an increased conviction in oneself with what you’ve read.
This is what is confirmed in psychology, if a person does something and he convinces someone else about it, then it is like taking a firm stance without retracting from it and his behaviour increases his conviction in what he does.
It is possible to summarize this method in the following steps:-
1. Personal composure
2. Warm up
Result = a strong memorization with the best method.
Source: Kayfa Tahfaz al-Qur`aan al-Kareem (“How to Memorise the Noble Quran”)