Some may have found it strange that I am able to write so many posts on Hifdh and give so many different advices and tips, but not once mention how exactly I memorize Qur’an. I won’t say anymore about that, otherwise this is going to turn into a short story. So let’s get straight to the point:
I can’t tell you how I memorize, without telling you what my average day looks like. The problem here, however, is there isn’t really an “average” day. These are the categories of days that I have:
A. Campus-Classes-In-Session- WEEKDAY
C. Break-From-Campus-Classes-TAKBIR (lol, no but seriously)
When I first started writing this post, I was in category C. Problem is, that “break” only lasted about 10 days. So that’s long gone. If I post this today, I am in category B. The main difference between A and B is that my mornings are shorter during A. Truth be told, I can still memorize in the mornings of A if I were to push myself, but with fajr, morning adhkar, and last minute things, I barely make it in time for class.
Another thing to keep in mind: my teacher splits my homework up into (1) New pages that I need to memorize – this can be anything from 2-5 depending on how she’s feeling, just kidding (lol), depending on how I’ve been doing, and (2) Review of older surahs – this can be anything from 10-40 pages, really depending on circumstances. I’ll write more on this later inshaAllah.
I also can’t give a step by step list this time, because I don’t really follow a rigid schedule in terms of my hifdh (and in this case, rigidity is a good thing, so it is what I aim for), but I can give you a general overview (things that I usually do, not always and not all at the same time, I do experiment, and I might have mentioned somethings that I’ve tried just a few times, but liked) and inshaAllah this will help push others and myself towards something better. So keep in mind that it differs according to the “category” of the days, but in general this is my hifdh:
1. The Beginning. Alhamdulillah I begin my days with fajr and morning adhkar. If your day doesn’t begin like this, what are you doing memorizing the Qur’an? Just kidding – wait, no, I’m not kidding actually.
2. Staying Awake. I have a cup of tea. Yes, I kind of “need” it at this point, it does keep me from falling asleep. I also just try to be very aware of what kinds of things hinder me from staying up after fajr and what kinds of things can help, and try to implement those as well. I agree that the best time to memorize Qur’an is after fajr, and if not then, then at least in the morning, and definitely before the house starts its hustle and bustle. So this is the reason I am mentioning all these different things I do in the morning, because this is my favorite time to memorize. I shall write another post on memorizing in the morning vs. night inshaAllah.
3. Just Whetting my Appetite. I pull out my mushaf and turn to the new page. I memorize page by page. More on this later inshaAllah. Anyway, I turn to the new page and recite it a few times, from start to beginning. About three times is good. I also read through the translation so I can see how the ayaat connect. Then I go on quran.com and to the “word to word” tab. I punch in the surah and ayah (which is the first ayah on my new page) and begin to go over each word one by one, stopping at any new words or unfamiliar conjugations. If I feel like there is a word I don’t quite know, I will write the translation on top of it, in pencil. I do this until I reach the end of the page. Then I’ll recite it a couple more times, paying attention to those words so I can see the ayaat connect more easily.
4. Pomodoro is the Way to Go. I set my alarm for 15 minutes. I sit alone in a quiet place. I put my phone on airplane mode or at least on silent.
5. Start With Review. The first thing I do is I actually go to the 1/2/3 or more pages that I’ve memorized previously. I review those until I can recite them by heart without mistakes. I often use the recorder on my phone to recite and check myself. Beginning this way (with a review) is a good way to make your hifdh very solid and increase your confidence before you go to the new portion.
6. Repitition, Repitition. Then I memorize the new page. Like I said, I memorize page by page. I recite the entire page as if it is a single ayah, and I do that until I’ve memorized it. I’ve been memorizing like this for over a year, and I don’t plan on returning to the ayah-by-ayah method that I used to use previously. In the beginning, it was difficult to do the page-by-page and I would split it into halves. Then I would do about 20 reps per page to memorize it. Pretty soon, it was cut down to more than half alhamdulillah. My memorization became more solid using this method, walillahil hamd. For more info, please watch this video.
Keep in mind my alarm is still set. Until it goes off, I am reviewing and memorizing non-stop. No breaks. As soon as it goes off, I complete the page (I don’t stop in the middle) and go on a break. Then I take a break for about 5 minutes and do something different like tasbeeh or read “Causes that Aid in Memorization of Qur’an,” or another quick imaan booster, use the rest room, or have a light snack, etc. Another thing I should mention is that I drink lots of water when I am memorizing. I keep a jug next to me and fill it up when it empties.
7. Review in Doha. This whole process is quite quick alhamdulillah. In total, it is about an hour I’d say from step 3 to 6. I keep repeating the page until I really feel like I’ve got it. Then I pray Doha. I recite the page in Doha.
8 Scheduled Review. Sometimes in the morning and sometimes throughout the day, I schedule portions of time for review of the older surahs that my teacher assigned.
9. Reciting the New. During the day, I take breaks from my work and recite Qur’an. If my teacher gives me 4 or 5 pages for that week, I make sure to just recite those pages as often as I can, so that when the day comes to memorize them, it is quicker and smoother on my tongue. I recite what I memorized as well as what I have yet to memorize. It makes for a very relaxing break from work.
10. Buddy System at Night. My whole day goes by, and I recite to a friend at night. This is excellent review of the page that I memorized that morning, which by then was hours and hours ago. I mostly just recite my new portion to her, and sometimes older portions.
11. The Small Moments That Count. When I am walking to school, I either review Qur’an from the mushaf or listen to audio of the Qur’an. During my breaks from class, which are about 10 minutes, I recite the pages that are assigned to me that week. And whenever I cannot really recite (like when I am working in the kitchen) I put the Quran on and listen to it.
12. The Gloves Come Off. I go to my shaykha on Saturdays. So Saturday morning, I lock myself up in my hifdh-room (for about 3 hours) and review that week’s portion and any remaining review I had left. Then I recite to my teacher, benefit immensely from her company alhamdulillah, and go home for another week.
Here are the ways in which I would like to improve my current schedule:
1. Divide More Evenly. Divide the review portions (of the older surahs) more evenly so that I am reviewing a little each day, and I can increase my capacity on days when I am more free, rather than reviewing the bulk of it on the “free days” and very little on the other days of the week (especially Category A days). Not sure if that made sense to anyone but me.
2. Time Management. Manage my time better so that I can memorize a new page every day inshaAllah, especially during Category A days, which so far have been most challenging.
3. Review in Salah. Definitely, definitely review more in my salah. This is one thing that its a bit ridiculous how much I am not doing it, considering I know full well how helpful it is. So I am glad I can see this in print, because I intend to do this more inshaAllah. I was thinking of having a one-page minimum for review in one rak’ah, and half a page minimum for when I am more pressed for time inshaAllah.
Again, my schedule is not where I would like for it to be, but alhamdulillah I am moving forward and I wanted to share it in case anyone else can benefit inshaAllah.
I will probably edit this as more things occur to me, and will definitely have more posts on hifdh inshaAllah. I never wrote about my own journey in such a detailed way before and it’s taking a lot of self-control to not mention everything all at once. So until next time, wasalamualaykum wrwb.
[Please make dua that Allah swt accept these efforts and that He swt bless all of those who are struggling to memorize His Book. May He swt make us Ahl ul Quran. Ameen]