It just occurred to me that all of my HD posts are stemming from my own mind – so they must only be helping like-minded individuals. So I thought to talk about something that I think I haven’t experienced so far (wa lillahil hamd), but I get the feeling that others out there might have. It is the feeling of just wanting to give up. See, now I’m facing a writer’s block because I can’t say too much about something I can’t remember having felt myself, but I will try to do my best, and I hope that those who have actually felt this can come forward with their experience.
Here are some tips:
1. Never stop making dua. Where your self-motivation and energy fail you, a dua that you once made will kick in and take over where you left off. All of a sudden, without being able to explain it, you will feel motivated to keep going. So never get tired of making dua for your hifdh. Put it in your dua-list (if you don’t have one of these, you need to make one ASAP), say it often, and always be on the look-out for those special times when dua is being accepted.
2. The mind is a powerful tool; you can work it in many different ways. We all face a lapse in our memorization, some more than others. (It probably happens more to those who are not enrolled in a timed program, like myself.) When you find yourself in a lapse, control your thoughts. DON’T think, “I’m taking a break.” DON’T think, “I’m going to stop my memorization until ____.” Each day that passes without you making a move forward, censure yourself and make a firm resolve that tomorrow will be different. Don’t beat yourself up (some people can take that to another level); just acknowledge that you made a mistake and that you don’t want to make it again. I believe this mindset has helped me to move forward. I try not to tell myself that I’m “taking a break,” regardless of the circumstances. Even if it is Finals Week, don’t tell yourself you’re taking a break from your hifdh. You’re just letting shaytan delude you. The truth is, reciting and memorizing Qur’an puts more barakah in your time and makes your day easier, so you never actually need a break.
3. Never miss a day of class. Even if you did 5% of the homework, travel all the way to your teacher just to take the beating. I guarantee you, you will find yourself with motivation you didn’t have before, inshaAllah. Even if this happens countless times, don’t miss class. As much as your teacher is disappointed in you, he or she is also secretly impressed that you keep coming back to them. They see your consistency in attendance as a sign of your commitment. As long as they see that you haven’t given up, they won’t give up on you. Teachers are also greedy for that ajr of helping someone memorize Qur’an. :)
4. Set end dates. Have a date in mind where you would like to finish your hifdh. I will be honest and say that I have had many dates, some more realistic than others, but all have passed without me making the deadline. The last time this happened, I picked a new date and asked someone who intimidates me to help me meet this deadline, inshaAllah. Always have a date in mind. And watch the countdown. If it passes, figure out what went wrong, how you can change it, and PICK A NEW DATE. I have an app on my phone that counts down the days to a certain event. So I titled the event “Hafidhah” and I watch it countdown every day. You can understand that if you don’t even have an end date in mind, you are more likely to face a moment where you think “I’m going to stop” or “I’m taking a break.” On the other hand, if you have an end date, it’s like you can always see the finish line. Let’s do an imagination exercise:
Imagine being in a race. You have been running for miles and you stop to take a breath. You look up and you see in the far distance — the banner that signifies the end of the race. It seems so far away, but at least you can see it. The finish line is in your view, so even if you stopped running for some reason, you have every intention of making it to that finish line. Now imagine you are in the same race, and you stop to take a breath. You look up and all you see is more track. The finish line is not in your view…you walk off the race track, and take a bus home.
5. Let people know that you’re memorizing. Understand this carefully. I’m not telling you to rent a blimp and advertise to your town that you are memorizing. I’m saying, let your family and a few close, trusted friends know about your intention and efforts towards completing your hifdh. Let them know you are memorizing and that you would just like for them to check up on you every once in a while. That way, if you lose some internal motivation, you can have an external push. And find other ways to surround yourself with reminders – like quotes on your wall or refrigerator.
6. If you can’t run, walk. Remember that the point is that you should not give up, but that doesn’t mean you are expected to always keep the same pace. Things happen. So no matter what, keep inching towards your goal. If I feel like I can’t do anything else, I might just lay down and listen to a recitation of what I need to memorize or review. Even small efforts go a long way.
7. Recite Qur’an. Memorizing Qur’an does not mean that you turn your relationship with the Qur’an into a purely academic pursuit. Have a portion of Qur’an that you recite daily – keep yourself connected to Qur’an, always. As long as you have some sort of connection to it, and some source that is strengthening your imaan, you won’t be able to reach a place where you are going to give up.
WaAllahu Ta’aala ‘Alam