Archive for December, 2011

HD 1: Why Hifdh Diaries?


Bismillah Alhamdulillah

Why am I keeping an online Hifdh Diary?

To start off, one little-known fact about this blog is that, although it started off as something meant to help those who visited it, it quickly became just a way for me to organize articles and lectures that I had read/watched/listened to, etc. I used it as a safe place to keep all of these things, so that I could return and easily sift through the blog to find what I needed. So, it was primarily for myself, but I realized that whatever was benefiting me, could also benefit others, if they only exposed themselves to it, i.e. if they only read it.

These Hifdh Diaries are similar (something primarily for me, that can also benefit others insha Allah)– however, I am publicizing something that I usually privatize. Allow me to explain. I generally do not like to comment much on my journey towards completing my hifdh of the Qur’an. Furthermore, I don’t like to tell people what I’ve memorized because of a fear of them becoming amazed (they are too easily amazed, because trust me, I have a long way to go, wa billah it-tawfeeq) and a fear of my own arrogance and insincerity.

However, I am hoping that due to the fact that I remain anonymous (except to a few people, who I can count on one hand) I will be able to share things of benefit, so that this small effort may one day help someone else in their journey to the completion of hifdh of the Qur’an.

And the very first thing that I would like to share is: you should have your own Hifdh diary. Just go out and buy a fresh, new notebook (I love the smell of a crisp, new notebook!) and use it for tracking your hifdh and review. Since you should be memorizing and reviewing every single day, you should also be writing in this book every single day.

As usual, I should not advise you towards something that I do not care to fulfill so alhamdu lillah, I also have my own book. Actually I’ve had a few books (lol) but now I have only one that I will use for memorization/review purposes only.

I split it into about 2 sections.

(1) In the front, I track myself. (2) And in the back I do my Qur’an homework (this involves writing everything that I am newly memorizing, and more).

In the Tracking Section:

You need a chart, and the columns are as follows:

  • Date: This includes the Day of the Week and the Month/Date/Year
  • Memorized: How many lines memorized, which specific surah and ayaat, how much time it took, when did you memorize (can include specific timings, or just the general time of day)
  • Reviewed: Which pages did you review, when did you review it, how long did it take?

Other options:

  • How much time you feel like you wasted that day in total
  • How many hours you slept, how many naps you took
  • How difficult it was for you to memorize a certain page, and what the reason behind it may be. For example, page 31 was one of my most difficult pages, not because the ayaat are difficult, for truly they are easy ayaat. It was simply because of a sin that I had committed. That was what was keeping me from that sacred knowledge.
  • You can also track your eating habits (eating healthy vs. fried foods)
  • Whether or not you were fasting when you memorized/reviewed
  • How lazy you’ve been feeling, the list goes on.

You can also jot down little reminders and anything that motivates you to memorize. Maybe you met a really inspiring person, record the experience in your Hifdh Diary and re-visit it when you are feeling low on motivation.

Take note of when you become lazy and what it’s usually preceded by. For example, I noticed that when I became lazy towards memorizing Qur’an, it was usually because of 1 of the following 3 reasons:

  1. When I feel like it’s becoming difficult for me.
  2. When I feel guilty (thinking that I may have wronged someone or committed a sin)
  3. When I feel arrogant (like “Whew! I’m awesome, I think I’ll take a break.”…It disgusts (I know it’s a strong word, but it does) me to even type it but it happens and I hope this will be a warning to others. Don’t be offended, but you’re not that awesome, and neither am I.)

You can also track the pages of Tafsir that you’ve read. It was recommended to me, by another memorizer, to read 30 pages a day. If you feel like you can do more and benefit/retain it, then do that.

In short, track yourself. It’s always good to get things down on paper, because as a memorizer of Qur’an, you should already realize, your memory is not as strong and perfect as you think, therefore, whenever we can, we should write things down. Another benefit of this is that you get to see your progress and this is one of the best encouragements. This is the type of encouragement that no one else can give you/tell you about, you see it for yourself. And if you ever become low on motivation, remind yourself of how much you are progressing, and how quickly that can un-do itself if you allow it to.

That’s it for now. Happy Memorizing!

“And We have certainly made the Qur’an easy for remembrance, so is there any who will remember?”

Suratul Qamar, ayah 17

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“Maybe they’re ALL not praying!”

The other day my sister and I attended a baby shower for a friend, may Allah swt grant her a righteous daughter. We got there around 3:30pm, or later. Come maghrib time, I started to wonder when we’re going to pray, and if I should go make wudoo’ now.

I wait… and wait…

I look up and see one of my friends standing far away. She meets my gaze and gestures to me, raising her hands and placing them on her chest, mouthing the words “pray.” So I understood: it’s time to pray, they’re going to pray in jam’aah, hurry! I rush to get up and make wudoo’, since I have to make it after the time of salah (that’s not for everyone, just for me, I have a bit of a condition). I walk quickly to the bathroom and get ready to make wudoo. I didn’t lock the door, because I knew there were only females and because I was only making wudoo, so I didn’t think it was worth it to bolt the door. An older lady walked in, looking very apologetic. “Ana asfaa, I’m sorry!”

“It’s okay,” I explained to her my reason for not locking the door so she would understand that it was intentional and that she didn’t have to be sorry.

“Do you have to use it?” I asked her. “Yes…” she answered.

So I said okay, and I left. I waited outside.

Finally, I got my chance to make wudoo. I completed it and walked back to my sister, sitting at the table. We both got up to try to find the sisters who were praying. We walked through the crowd of girls and found 3 sisters at the end of all of it, all three of them praying separately. We tried to make room to pray near them by moving some shoes around, but we eventually decided to pray somewhere else.

So we walked all the way back to the back, grabbed some napkins to lay on the dirty floor, and stood feet-to-feet, shoulder-to-shoulder. I lead the prayer, and since it was maghrib, I recited out-loud…in the first rak’ah, at least. It was so loud in the room, I could barely hear myself recite, and I was sure my sister was having trouble hearing me recite, as well. In the second rak’ah, I became so distracted, I didn’t even remember to recite out-loud, until I was towards the end of Al-Fatihah. I went down to sujood and I felt a lollipop, that was flung by a child, land next to my face. I could smell its flavor, and I remember being very thankful that it didn’t hit my face. My sister and I finished praying, and then we laughed about the lollipop.

We went back to our seats, only to find that, apart from one sister we saw, no one was getting up to pray. They seemed to be right where we left them. I felt a mixture of disappointment and annoyance, but I was careful to say anything about it in front of my sister. My sister asked, “How come no one else is praying?” I don’t remember what I mumbled back.

She must have thought about it on her own for a little while and then she came to a conclusion. “Maybe they’re ALL Not praying!” Indicating that they were all on their monthly cycles.

There are about 50 guests in the room. Yeah…I really don’t think that’s it…, I thought to myself.

She continued, “No really, maybe some of them are on their first day, some are on their second day, it could happen.” As skeptical as I was, I couldn’t help but be amazed at how she had been so quick to make a legitimate excuse for them, rather than assuming the worst, as I found myself doing. Subhanallah, what a humbling experience.

To further emphasize the error of my ways — the only person I made an excuse for, when I didn’t see her praying, was the righteous pregnant sister (the one they threw the baby shower for). She was the only one for whom I said, “She’s probably not praying [because of her monthly cycle].” My sister pointed out that that makes no sense, since she has no more monthly cycles. Oh yeah, my bad.

And after this whole incident, I thought it was amazing that as much as we think we’ve stopped assuming things about people and judging them without knowledge, we [or rather, I] still find ourselves doing it.

May Allah swt protect us from this, and may He remove from us every trace of arrogance, for it truly ruins the good that is inside of you.

Remember that it is the sincere and humble person, the one who truly assumes the best of her sisters, that will be the most successful at steering them away from destruction, bi’ithnillah.

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Avoid Judging Others Based on Their Pasts

Awesome video & Contains a beautiful inspiration for Qur’an memorizers towards the end, it’ll make you feel like a loser, yay! (lol if that makes no sense, think about it, it’ll make sense)

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Man From Jannah

Beware of Evil Jealousy…

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Fighting for Jannah

This video is dedicated to all of those sisters who love me fillah — truly for the sake of Allah.

May Allah swt reward you for every time you criticized me for His sake, desiring the best for me in this world and the hereafter. May Allah swt reward you for every time you told me to stop wasting my time, and to be more productive. May Allah swt reward you for being patient with my harms. May Allah reward you for wanting for me, what you want for yourself.

May Allah subhanahu wa ta’alaa reward you with Jannatul Firdous al ‘a’laa, and may we reunite there. <3 Allahumma Ameen

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Qualities of a Hafidh


“Come in”, Shaykh Haroon Baqai said.

I walked in slowly, shaking from head to toe. I had only applied for the Hifzh School a few days ago, and now I found myself entering his office for a scheduled interview. Alhamdulillah, it went smooth and after answering a few questions and memorizing an Ayah from Surah Saad and reciting it to him, the interview came to a close and I quickly sprinted out of the office in relief.

By the grace of Allah, I was accepted.

For the next few years, I went through an indescribable experience with a close knit of friends. It was truly a time that clearly solidified my identity and clarified for me my purpose in life. In light of these  experiences, I have observed that there are certain qualities that are essential in one’s quest to memorize the Book of Allah:


A Hafidh:

H– Has a good intention at all times.

“Actions are (judged) by intentions, so each man will have what he intended.” (Bukhari and Muslim).

Jannah is promised for the one who memorizes and acts upon the Qur’an. Crowns and coats of light are promised for the parents of those that memorized the Qur’an. In order to attain these high honors, one must make sure that their sole intention is to please Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) and that their primary aim becomes Jannah. A lot of attractions and temptations will come in the way, but it’s important to sidestep them for Jannah, the highest attraction of all.

A – Always remembers Allah

“The people of the Qur’an are the people of Allah and His special servants.” (An-Nisa’i, Ibn Majah, and Al-Hakim with a Hasan chain)

Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) holds the people of the Qur’an in special regard and they become equated, perhaps synonymous, with the people of Allah, as shown in the aforementioned Hadith. One of the many names of the Qur’an is Dhikr, a remembrance and reminder, and therefore, it’s essential that we remember Allah through our recitation and memorization of this Divine Book.

When I was getting close to finishing my Hifdh (memorization), I tripled my efforts and kept on reading and memorizing throughout the day and night, taking breaks only for eating and sleeping. SubhanAllah, I sincerely felt at that moment that the Qur’an was speaking directly to me; it was as if the events in the Qur’an were taking place right in front of me, and I found myself dually anticipating and trembling when Jannah and Jahannam were mentioned. It was a state of mind that heavily drained me physically, but it was one of the best times of my life as I felt very connected with the book of Allah.

F – Finds himself in the company of good Friends and with the support of his Family.

“A person is likely to follow the faith of his friend, so look whom you befriend.” (reported by Abu Dawood & Tirmidhee).

The first time that I seriously thought of dedicating myself to memorizing the entire Qur’an was actually during an Arabic class. I had a friend in that class with whom I had some serious rivalry; we used to compete in essay competitions, debate tournaments, science fairs, and various other activities and Alhamdulillah, one year he would win first and the other year I would win first, and this continued for several years. So when he slipped in to the teacher, “Y’know, I think I might join the Hifzh School this summer”, I immediately exclaimed, “Yeah, I’m actually gonna do the same too Insha’Allah” without a second’s thought. Only later did I fully realize that I had committed myself to a long journey in a split second, and that was due to a close friend. Alhamdulillah, to this day, we lead Taraweeh together in Masaajid during Ramadan, teach alongside at a weekend Qur’an school, and play on the same soccer team. It takes good friends to inspire you and push you to accomplish greater levels of achievement than you ever thought possible.

In addition to good friends, it’s very necessary to garner the support of your family. After I had suddenly committed myself to memorize the Qur’an, I sought to get the support of my family.

“Ammi, can I join Hifzh School?”, I eagerly asked.

“No. It’ll be too much work for you”.

Hmph. For me, I had to memorize the Qur’an because my friend was doing it (talk about positive peer pressure!) and because I had grown up hearing the various rewards of a Hafidh. My mother also wanted me to memorize the Qur’an but she also knew the amount of struggles that we’d have to go through, and she wanted to make sure I was firm in my decision.

“Please? Please? Pleeeeease?”, I begged her.

I guess that was enough for her.

“Fine. But I’m warning you; there’s a lot of work involved.”

Try explaining that to a 12-year-old.  I just excitedly nodded and dashed out, whooping loudly.

My mom turned out to be correct; it was a lot of work, but she was there for me every step of the way. Once she was on board with the idea, she was the one that used to test me on my homework, the one that had to politely decline dinner party invitations on my family’s behalf whenever I’d have a lot of homework or upcoming exams, and the one that was always there whenever I needed her. My father did no less; he used to have to drive 15 miles each way to work, but that doubled as we moved to a house near the Masjid. It used to be only about 20 minutes to drive to work, but it was now taking him almost 2-3 hours each way, but he never complained and made these sacrifice for the sake of Allah (May Allah reward them both with Jannatul Firdaus. Ameen).  Get your family to support you, and the path towards memorizing the Qur’an will become much smoother.

I – Is Involved in the community.

“Be pious scholars of the Lord because of what you have taught of the Scripture and because of what you have studied. (Surah Aali Imran, Ayah 79)”

It takes a village to raise a child. Because of this, and because we have an obligation to help those that have raised us, it is important for all of us to give back to our communities. When you start reciting and memorizing the Qur’an, you will realize that your mission is to be a Khaleefah, one who concerns himself with providing help and support to all those around him, on this Earth. What better way to help others than to share the beauty of the Qur’an? The Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wa sallam) said, ““The best of you are the ones who learn the Qur’an and teach it to others” (Al-Bukhari). If we hope to attain the highest ranks of Paradise and to be among the best, it’s important that we follow the necessary steps in order to achieve that high honor.

D – Distinguishes himself with exemplary Discipline.

“O you who believe! Obey God and obey the Messenger, and those entrusted with authority over you” (Surah Nisa, Ayah 59).

This must be the biggest excuse that I always hear when one shies away from devoting themselves to memorizing the Qur’an: “I don’t think I have the proper discipline. I don’t know how I’m going to memorize and also homeschool. I don’t have any support so it’s basically impossible.” The answer to this, and a huge chunk of our problems for that matter, is that we simply have to work on our discipline. Why do you think we go through more than 16 years of school? It’s because we don’t have the discipline to learn ourselves and we need all these years to merely gain an introduction, otherwise known as a Bachelor’s, in that respective field of study.

When I was first taking my college entrance exam, I was surprised that the exam, as well as the SAT, only comprises of three sections: Critical Reading, Mathematics, and Writing. I felt very sad as I realized that all those people that went to 12+ years of elementary, middle, and high school, spent all that time for just these three concepts. Sure, they may have taken high school classes in biology, physics, social sciences, humanities, calculus, and much more, but they were going to have to retake that material all over again for the next couple of years. If somebody went to school for that many years just to learn mathematics, reading, and writing, then the sad truth is, all of those years were wasted. One can easily accomplish much more, and all of this is possible with discipline. The difference between an A student and a F student, even in the secular academic field, is discipline; teachers recommend 3-4 hours of study for every hour that one is in school, and it is mainly those that are disciplined and abide by these guidelines that turn out to fare well in the class.

A great example of someone who had exemplary discipline while memorizing the Qur’an is none other than AbdulBasit Khan, a fellow MYM writer. We were classmates in Al-Huda School for a year and two years later, he started memorizing the Qur’an from home, while I began in the local Hifzh School. It was hard enough for us that were memorizing in a school setting, but Masha’Allah, he was able to memorize the whole Qur’an from home. He used to memorize at least two pages per day (his small ‘break’ on weekends consisted of memorizing one page), and on Sundays mornings, he used to recite what he memorized for the week to Br. Karim, a teacher of ours and a local Imam at that time. Alhamdulillah, Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) blessed him with a lot of Ajr, and after memorizing the Qur’an and immersing himself with studying knowledge with a high level of discipline and dedication, he became the youngest Imam in the DC Metro Area, leading the congregation of PGMA at the age of 17 Masha’Allah. The giants of our Ummah also accomplished great feats in their early years, many memorizing the Qur’an and several thousand Ahadith before even becoming an adult, because they were focused and had great discipline on their part.

I firmly believe that every single Muslim has the potential to memorize the Qur’an. However, it is only those with discipline that will actually memorize the Qur’an.

H – Holds the Qur’an to be a part of their life.

“It will be said to the companion of the Qur’aan: Recite and rise in status, recite as you used to recite in the world, for your status will be at the last verse that you recite.” (Classified as Saheeh by al-Albaani in al-Silsilah al-Saheehah, 5/218, no. 2240)

Aisha (radhiAllahu anha) reported that the Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wa sallam)’s character was that of the Qur’an; he fully lived out the commandments and teachings of the Qur’an. It is our role to follow in his footsteps and to also try making our characters that of the Qur’an. I once received one of those chain emails, and the title was like, “What were to happen if you treated the Qur’an like your cell phone?” and then went to describe how we’d always carry it with us and check it everyday. The fact that this was taken off of a Christian Bible site is besides the point; it should make all of us think on what is our relationship with the Qur’an. Rasulullah (salAllahu alayhi wa sallam) said,

““The Qur’an is an intercessor, something given permission to intercede, and it is rightfully believed in. Whoever puts it in front of him, it will lead him to Paradise; whoever puts it behind him, it will steer him to the Hellfire.” [An authentic hadith found in At-Tabaraanee, on the authority of ‘Abdullaah ibn Mas’ood]“

Out of the six billion people in the world, only one and a half billion people were chosen to be Muslim. Out of that billion and a half, there are only millions that know how to fluently read the Qur’an. Out of those millions, there are only a select few that were destined to become Huffadh, to become protectors of the Qur’an. Will you make it your mission to be among the best?

I pray that Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) accepts our good deeds, makes us among the Huffadh, and destines our final dwelling to be in the company of the Prophets in Jannatul Firdaus. Ameen…

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Umar RA said, “We were the beginning [the heads] of this Ummah, and perhaps a man from the best of the Companions of Allah’s Messenger and the most righteous amongst them could maintain only one chapter of the Qur’an or there abouts. For the Qur’an was weighty upon them, and they were given knowledge of it or action based on it. But the last of this Ummah will find the Qur’an light [and easy] – the child and the non-Arab will recite it, without possessing any knowledge about it.”

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Awesome Series on the Seerah!

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