HD 8: “I used to be a haafidhah”

Bismillah alhamdulillah

What a depressing statement. “I used to be a haafidhah.”

I used to have these surahs memorized. I used to be able to recite this in salah. I used to…but not anymore.

This isn’t something I’m mentioning just to scare people. It’s a reality. A friend of mine attended a Jumuah Khutbah a while back and shared with me some of what she learned. The facts are from what she heard and reported to me, and I edited the quotes to correct for grammar but not meaning.

She mentioned: “Eighty percent of women forget half of what they memorize after they get married.”


She told me the story of a sister who memorized Qur’an from the ages of 10 to 21. That is the prime-time of her memory! She spent over ten years memorizing and reviewing, just think about that! Listen to what she says now…. “I can’t even remember two ayaat in [their correct] order.”


Reflect upon that. You will realize that the way you live your life after marriage is but a reflection of how you were living your life before marriage. If right now, as a single sister, you cannot find time for Qur’an and reviewing is not a priority of yours, then surely things will only get worse once you are responsible for a husband and kids. The people who cannot make time for memorization when they are single, it’s not expected that they will be able to make the time later, even if they want to. Subhanallah, even if they want to.

When married sisters assume that I have a lot of free time just because I am single, I sometimes find it slightly offensive (that’s too strong of a word in this context but) because it is as if there is no such thing as being “busy” outside of marriage. But I know that is not how they mean it. We look at the past through rose-colored glasses. They are looking at their single-life-past, through rose-colored glasses and remembering it as a time of being carefree and without worries and to a certain extent, they are correct. Helping out around the house with your sister and mother is not the same as having someone ‘depend’ on you for their food and clothing. If you had a hard day at school, your mother will understand and let you skip some of your chores. But what about the married sister who is pregnant? There is just not that much leeway in this situation. You can’t take a “break” from being married or pregnant, it doesn’t happen.

Now is all the time you have. Take advantage before you have to look at your past and remember all those hours that you could have devoted to building a relationship with the Qur’an, but rather you let them pass you by, one by one (one nap here, one argument there, one movie here, one novel there).

And review, review, review what you have memorized until you become flawless in it and you feel secure that it has entered your long-term memory. Don’t ever let yourself become someone who says “I used to…”

Some Tips:

1. Actively work to memorize the entire Qur’an before marriage. If you cannot complete it, do as much as you can. The sister said “especially the harder surahs,” but refer to HD 6:Stop with the Negative Influence! for why I do not endorse her statement.

2. Don’t memorize without review. A lot of what we memorize is still sitting in our short-term memory, ready to run away. We need to tie it down with revision.

3. If you are already married, don’t despair. Even you have more free time than you think. Start finding those pockets of free time, and use them! :) There are stories of amazing sisters who have memorized after marriage, after kids, in hard times. We really have no excuse inshaAllah.

4. Have good manners and leave sins. Being a good wife, mother, sister, and daughter all counts as ibaadah. Do not scream at your husband about how he’s “keeping you away from your goals in life.” Treat people well, keep up with all of your duties, and leave sins. All of these things will help you towards your memorization.

And Allah Knows Best

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  1. #1 by Umm Sulaym on March 12, 2012 - 1:57 am

    Asalamoalaykum Dearest Sister,

    Mashaa’Allah each post I read of yours seems wiser and wiser. May Allah SWT grant you and me wisdom.Ameen.

    I used to get offended too when married sisters used to say that you have a lot of time on your hands because you’re single etc. which I felt was a false statement. The fact of the matter is you’re never going to have time. You have to make time. And like you said to a certain extent it’s true regarding the married sisters but I can swear by Allah SWT it is a major excuse Muslim women use. They justify their lack of time management by blaming it on their marital duties. I can say that the frequency and the quality of your Hifdz will definitely change after marriage but sisters who are doing it sincerely for His Pleasure and who did not initially began just to ‘pass time’ in their single life, actually excel. It all boils down to one’s sincerity. As soon as your Hifdz is getting weak, know that your sincerity is messed up. However, if your sincerity is intact, you’ll be surprised how Allah SWT aids you. The probability of success and all the outcomes of one’s aims lies within one’s heart.

    May Allah SWT make us among those who memorize and recite Quraan day and night and give its proper Haqq.Ameen.

    I’m enjoying your HD posts. Makes me feel that I’m not alone, walhamdolilah because in all honesty, loneliness in a path to khayr can sometimes become a huge impediment to one’s success. BarakAllahu feeki…may Allah SWT find you a companion of Quraan.Ameen.

    Lots of love and many duaas,

  2. #2 by Na on March 28, 2012 - 6:59 pm

    Just stumbled across this blog and just wanted to say JazakAllahul khair for such a motivating post mashaAllah :)

  3. #3 by Rayhaanah on April 24, 2012 - 8:30 am

    Assalamu ‘alaykum wa Rahmatullah,
    mashaALLAH! A beautiful, wise post.
    I would love for the Fee Qalbee blog readers to benefit from this advise, too.
    May we post your article with a web-link to your blog and full acknowledgement to this fantastic post, please ?
    Look forward to hearing from you soon inshaAllah,

    • #4 by ommalmuqarraboon on April 25, 2012 - 1:43 pm

      walaykumasalam wa rahmatullah sister,

      Jazakiallahu khair… I’ll be completely honest, I found it strange each time this post was commented on and referred to positively because I did not think that it was well-written. But I will not turn down an opportunity to benefit others and gain reward iA, so if you feel it can be of benefit to others, tafadalee.

      I only have one request- if you look above you’ll see a comment made by Umm Sulaym. I consider that comment’s largest paragraph to be vital to understanding this post, thus I would like it to be included in the posting, if possible. :) Really hope it is not too much trouble sis.

      jazakiallahu khair, wasalmualaykum :)

  4. #5 by Rayhaanah on April 27, 2012 - 10:52 am

    Assalaamu ‘alaykum wa Rahmatullah,

    Baarakillahu feeki,
    yes sure, Umm Sulaym’s comment holds much wisdom and i will certainly include it.
    Greatly appreciated ukhti fillah!
    jazakiallahu Khairan:)

  5. #6 by Shireen on May 26, 2016 - 3:24 am

    Jazakallahu khairan katheera for these wonderful tips. I am a part time engineer/ homemaker/ mom with tweens/ wife struggling to juggle everything with my hifz. I am doing miniscule portions, it’s taken me 3 years to do about 6 juz. Your blog is so inspiring, in sha Allah, I will try to do more after Ramadan. I was targeting my fiftieth birthday as my deadline, which is about 13 years away ‘). But I think I am going to revise that deadline now. May Allah bless you always. Ameen. Love all the way from. India

  6. #7 by khaltoummibraheem on December 26, 2016 - 8:53 pm

    No marriage is NOT an excuse not to do ibadah ! But taking care of the house is also part of worship! The quran should not be neglected because of house work, but the house should neither be neglected! If you just keep memorizing and prioritice it is not hard, it may not be with the same pase as you used to but as long as you hold on to the quran, that is the most important, not how fast you are! (Unless you are slow becausw you dont even read or try) alhamdulillah i’ve always memorized while being married, even though My husband doesent even know how to read arabic. It have gone really slowly with no support and 2 babys but what matters to me is that i have tried and kept prioritizing the quran.

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