HD 4: Is the Qur’an hard to memorise? by Br. “Hifthing”

I was recently introduced to this blog, and this post was really amazing, so I decided to share it here. I took the liberty of highlighting some of the gems. Enjoy!

P.S. I believe the brother is British, so if anyone else felt very uncomfortable with the way “memorise” is spelled, you and I can relax now (phew!).

Is the Qur’an hard to memorise?

I had originally posted some thoughts about this in my entry for Day 7 but I feel so strongly about it that I think it deserves its own post.

So why do people say memorising the Qur’an is hard?

We can look at this in 2 ways:

  1. The Qur’an is hard to memorise

    or

  2. The problem lies within the memoriser.

The Qur’an is hard to memorise.

Allah says in Suratul Qamar, Ayat 17:

و لقد يسرنا القرءان للذكر فهل من مدكر

17. and we have indeed made the Qur’ân easy to understand and remember, Then is there any that will Remember (or receive admonition)?

(repeated many times thereafter)

In addition to this there are the hundreds of thousands of people today, who have memorised the Qur’an, many of whom cannot read or write or lack basic education. It is not realistic to assume that all these people are geniuses! Common to all Huffath is effort and commitment.

It has to be conceded that many Huffath memorised the Qur’an in childhood, when responsibility was a scary tale told to them by their parents and the world was, by and large, a wonderful place. However children do not have the understanding and motivation that adults do and this is a definite advantage.

The problem lies within the memoriser.

This is where I am going to list the “Unlucky Lacks”, off we go! If you are from the Sub-continent then you will have probably heard of ‘Lakhpathi’ (somebody possessing hundreds of thousands). Well if many from this list are applicable to you then consider yourself a ‘Lackpathi’ :P

Lack of natural ability (not applicable for most people)

Lack of motivation

Lack of dedication

Lack of appreciation

Lack of love for the Qur’an

Lack of concentration

Lack of time

Lack of familiarity with Qur’an and Arabic

Lack of support (from friends and family)

Lack of tawfeeq from الله

Lack of sincerity

These ‘lacks’ (and they may be others, feel free to add) are what need to be addressed in an intelligent and well thought out manner. Some are primarily psychological such as appreciation and love. Others, like lack of time, can be tackled physically by surfing the internet less or making time where you thought it was not possible such as in waiting rooms and when a passenger in a car etc…

I suggest that you note these and expand on them, as relevant, with details on how they manifest themselves in your life and possible ways of working around them or removing these barriers altogether. I could do it for you but where would be the fun in that! It requires some thought, the more you put in the more you get.

Weak Spots.

Everybody has weak spots in what they have memorised, it is only natural. Weaknesses are there to be improved on. To avoid one’s memorisation being plagued by these it is necessary to a) memorise well in the first place and b) review thoroughly.

Depending on your occupation and daily life you may or may not need to review the Qur’an intensively. Those who teach the Qur’an and other Islamic sciences will need less revision time due to a greater exposure, and vice versa.

Sometimes weak spots appear due to your psychological condition and other factors like tiredness etc… This should be borne in mind and not be a cause for distress.

People have weak spots that are specific to them. This does not make the Qur’an hard to memorise. Anybody memorising the Qur’an should really, really avoid this defeatist mentality like the plague. There is no ‘hard’ when it comes to the Qur’an. If one finds something hard then the problem is due to other factors; sins, lack of sincerity etc…. unless you really are one of the unfortunate people who الله has given a very limited intellect, in His wisdom, but then I doubt you would actually be reading this :)

Even if it is the case that somebody finds a certain surah/passage hard to memorise we shouldn’t generalise and spread it amongst people as there is a myriad of factors that have influenced that person’s memorisation and the same cannot be applied to all instances of people memorising Qur’an. It may be that الله is testing you and your desire to memorise the Qur’an. There may be character building taking place that otherwise would not.

Factors that lead someone to claim that a surah/passage is hard:

1 )  Time of day memorisation takes place

2 )  Too much food eaten before memorising

3 )  Not enough time spent revising

4 )  High stress/depression levels

5 )  Lack of natural ability

6 )  Little time spent listening to/reading Qur’an

7 )  Poor knowledge of Arabic

8 )  Insincerity

9 )  Deficient method of memorisation and revision

10) No tawfeeq from الله

11) Low physical activity levels

12) Poor dietary habits

Plus others.

As you can see there are just too many variables for us to be able to apply ‘Surah * is hard’ across the board and such statements only serve to give people a bad impression of the Qur’an and encourage laziness and pessimism.

Whilst the opposite is true also, in that saying that Surah * is easy, it is a positive statement and as such should have positive effects which is definitely encouraged. الحمد لله I personally found Suratul Baqarah easy and I think that should be shared so that others are not daunted by its size. A positive psychological outlook is a wondrous thing.

We may tend to glamorise the pursuit of Islamic knowledge and this also needs to be addressed. Let’s be real. Memorising the Qur’an requires hours of daily repetition (memorisation and revision). You will experience frustration, obstacles, tiredness, sore throats etc… You will have to wake up early. You will have to adjust your sleeping habits. You will have to sacrifice watching the latest episode of Lost because you need to revise half a juz for tomorrow. But when was anything worth having, not worth struggling for? Your struggling through these human experiences will bear fruits إن شاء الله and you will begin to taste them once firmly on your way. The sweetest of these fruits you will taste in your prayers إن شاء الله. That is where the glamour is, in the fruits, not in the pursuit.

So to conclude, I put forward that the Qur’an is easy to memorise, all of it. Individuals may find certain suwar to be easier to memorise (previous familiarity, favourite recitation etc…), without detracting from the easiness of the rest of the Qur’an an iota and that is a blessing from الله which He should be thanked for. If your current situation means that you experience memorising to be hard then persevere!

Memorising the Qur’an may take a year or two but it doesn’t end there. Take the Qur’an as a friend. Nobody strikes up an honest friendship with 2 years in mind. The Qur’an is for life and it needs to be viewed as such.

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