Archive for category Seeking Knowledge
My teacher has five children, alhamdulillah. Her concern over them is great, especially in regards to their hifdh of Qur’an. She brought them here from Egypt, and their quality of memorization has gone downhill from there. Keep in mind, them on their ‘bad’ days is probably you and I on our ‘good’ days, but hey. She tried finding them a teacher here, but because these Western teachers are used to Western students, they were basically not qualified to work with Ua’s born and bred Egyptian children. (Ever notice how many qurra of the Qur’an are from Egypt?) So they recite to a shaykh over skype, and let me tell you: if that shaykh could reach through the computer and give them a light beating every once in a while, I think he would…
So the other day, during one of my classes with her, Ua asks me to grab her phone from behind me, and she shows me this video.
My mouth literally fell open. “Take all of my kids and give me one of these!” Ua said to me.
I have been watching this video repeatedly since that session, to gain inspiration from Qari Najm Ath-Thaaqib, may Allah swt preserve him. This is what perfection, excellence, ihsaan looks like. I’ll also confess that in trying a new Visualization technique (learned from book about success), I have started visualizing that I am Qari Najm Ath-Thaaqib. Sounds weird I know. But it might work, the results have yet to come in.
This is a really inspirational series:
Although Hifdh is not the main focus of this show, it makes you grow in love and appreciation of the Qur’an, which facilitates hifdh for sure. I haven’t watched all of the episodes myself, but be sure to check out the 3rd episode of Br. Daniel from Bath, UK. My jaw dropped at what they mentioned at the end of the episode. Enjoy!
Note: It appears that there are some instruments used in some of the background anasheed. I am sure it took place without the shaykh’s knowledge. Use caution and don’t let it stop you from benefitting and sharing inshaAllah.
My nonMuslim classmates are impressed with my memory. (All praise is due to Allah swt for what I have, but I have to be honest and mention that they have low standards for what is impressive). Some of them might even think something is wrong with the way that I remember details about events or things that they said – details they don’t even remember. But really, Allah swt blessed each of us with a powerful mind with great potential for reasoning and understanding and even memorizing. And while some people are given a greater gift than others, anyone can develop these gifts. Some of my classmates waste this potential by exposing their mind to toxic substances like drugs and alcohol. But toxic substances also exist in the form of time-wasting activities (social media, anyone?), temptations, unrestrained anger, and more, which many of us are not free from. May Allah swt protect us. When we come across stories like the ones below, we shouldn’t think, “This is nice… but impossible for me.” These stories are meant to show you possibilities for you.
A discussion regarding the powerful ability to memorise of the Shanāqitah tribe of Mauritania, with Sh. Muhammad Hassan ad-Dido ash-Shinqeeti.
The presenter mentions that Sh. Hasan ad-Dido memorised the entire Qur’ān in two years, between the age of 5-7. The Shaykh replied that in reality this isn’t such a short period of time and then mentions some mind blowing examples:
- One of his great grandfathers memorised the entire Qur’ān, along with its Tafsīr by al-Jalālayn by simply LISTENING to it once.
- His mothers uncle memorised 3 (out of the 4) volumes of al-Qāmūs (an Arabic dictionary) by al-Fayrūz Abādi in less than 1 month!
- One judge who the Shaykh knew memorised the Muwattā of Imām Mālik, whilst he was very senior in age (passed 80 years). The manner in which he’d memorise was that he’d ask one of his students to dictate to him ahādīth before he slept. The next night, he would essentially repeat what he heard the night before!
- The Shaykh mentioned that there is a 17 year old boy currently studying at his institute who has memorised 28000 lines of poetry, whilst another Moroccan boy memorised the Qur’ān, and various other texts including Bulūgh al-Marām, `Umdat ‘l-Ahkām etc despite being blind.
When the host asked him, who actually takes care and pays attention to children memorising like this, he replied: the mothers! (he himself memorised under the tutelage of his mothers aunt, his aunt and of course his own mother).
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
Posted by: The Ideal Muslimah January 15, 2014 in
Here’s my quran story summarized with my tips.
First of all, alhamdulilah … alhamdulilah.. Allah has blessed me with this great Amanah (trust) and this great gift.. Alhamdulilah.. And I ask Him humbly to allow me two things: to revise the quran, and to inspire others. May Allah bless you with this great gift. It can be done. All you need is determination and duaa. You don’t even need all the time in the world.
It was a crash-memorization camp, and alhamdulilah/mashallah I finished in about 2 months and half. Alhamdulilah I was on vacation for part of my memorization journey, but for the majority I was busy, still going to school (the hospital, 5 days a week). Still having to see patients, still getting in trouble with doctors for slacking off. Although I wasn’t studying, time really was not on my side- but I realized that’s not what’s most important. Many girls in the actual camp finished in 2 months, and the first girl finished in one month. It really is possible!
I was supposed to finish in 2 months exactly- 10 pages a day. Most days I could do this, but on days I couldn’t I would make it up the next day if possible.. which is fine- still worth it. Still, make your goal big.. Reach for the moon and you will land among the stars!
Here is a general idea:
How long to finish
Nice if you have a month off, and can use your time only for Quran
Very feasible- long enough to finish, short enough not to lose motivation
2 months and 3 weeks
Nice if you have semi-work load.
Worth it if you have a good one hour a day.
20 months (1 yr, 8 mo)
Here are my humble tips:
- Seek Allah’s help. Make duaa. When you reach Juzu 7.. or 14.. or anything.. and you start to lose motivation- turn to him. They are His words and He alone can teach you them.
- Get a portion done in the morning, especially if you are busy. The days where I could manage at least 1-2 pages before noon, made the 10 pages much easier. If I started after noon, it would take longer. #EarlyBirdBarakeh
- Cancel Stuff. Say No more often. You have to cut back on some things you are used to. Its just the way it works. Even if you do have time to do other things, you don’t have the energy. Too much non-quran things really takes you away from the mood. If your friends start to get annoyed by how much you are saying no recently- then you are doing it right.
- Find Recitation Coach(es). I couldn’t stay with the camp the whole time- so I would recite to my mom, sister, and friends. Try to stick to a couple people but have more than one person. If you need to recite and the person is busy you will get discouraged- so try to have a back-up. I used to even recite on the phone sometimes!
- Memorize and recite DAILY. No days off. None. Even if you memorize only page and your goal is to memorize 10. It has to become a habit. Plus, you start one page… then the next page looks easy.. then the next one goes fast..
- Big chunks are easier! I used to think memorizing one page a time is faster- but actually.. memorizing 4-6 pages at a time makes it go faster. Its like your brain gets into “memorization” mode-and whats you recite to someone else its hard to get back into “memorization” mode to start again. So if you are doing 10 pages, try to memorize 6.. recite them to your “coach”, then the 4 pages will be easy inshallah. Even memorizing all 10 is not that hard!
- Don’t tell too many people at first. Because it gets kind of stressful when they keep asking where you reached, how many pages you’ve done, etc. Tell your “coaches” and tell your close friends for motivation and to not lose sight of the goal.
- Free your Mind-more than your time! It’s not about how many hours you have a day as much as how much you need to reduce mental clutter. I can get much more done in 2 hours relaxed than in 6 when I am worrying about something. The Quran does not enter with chaos. So before you start, make your to-do lists and put them aside, get essential things done, free yourself from worries and commitments. If anything worries you while you are memorizing, remember Shaytan doesn’t want you to focus and that the Quran will take care of your worries.
- When you are sleepy-do one more. I don’t even know why. I guess its just about pushing yourself. But I always felt barakeh when I did 1-2 more pages at night when I was getting sleepy rather than giving up.
- 10.Motivate yourself with baby steps. Its daunting to be in Surat AlBaqara and be dreaming of Surat AlNaas. Just keep imagining how happy you will be to be in the next surah or next few juzu2s. When I was in the 13th I would be like: ya rab.. I want to reach 15…the middle. Then in 15- Ya rab, I want to reach 20th juzu2.. the majority. Then in the 20th.. Ya rab- till the 25th so almost nothing is left.. Then, ya rab- I have to finish!!
- Use one Mushaaf . Don’t switch around. I used mine every single day. And I used a pencil to mark around words and underline ayahs. And post-it notes for the next juzu2 so I would get excited to reach it. Try to get a standard size quran- too small is hard to memorize from. Too big is hard to hold. Avoid electronic Mushafs- they personally give me headaches and I find take more time. Plus you cant write on them.
- Phone- silent. Far away. I muted almost all notifications.
- Find your memorization-style. My best memorization technique is sign- language! I look hilarious when I recite something I know well. I memorize it all with hand gestures. It really helped me. I also sometimes would write them out, or write out the beginning of each ayah. Walking also helped because it gave me energy-but only for a few pages at a time. Listening to ayahs is nice-especially if you have trouble reading- but is time-consuming. But please do this if you can’t read it well because the worst thing you can do is memorize something wrong the first time.
- Divide page into halves or thirds-then glue together. Do one ayah, repeat a couple times. Do the next ayah, then repeat it with the one before it. Divide the page in halves or thirds depending on how many ayahs a page, then try them together at the end.
- When reviewing a large amount, review the BEGINNING of each ayah. When you keep repeating an ayah, chances are if you can start it you can finish it. So don’t waste your attention re-reading the whole page. Just test if you know the beginning of each ayah.
- Stay away from sins… but when you mess up- repent and keep going.
Shaytan will tell you: there’s no point to memorize- you are a sinner. Or will remind you of a sin so that you feel that you can’t memorize. Seek refuge from Allah and keep going. If we were perfect, we wouldn’t need a Holy Book from Allah teaching us how to live our life. You won’t be perfect by the end.
This is us trying to come closer to Allah as humans. Seek refuge from the shaytan, say Bismillah- and #justkeepmemorizing.
- Take breaks after reciting to someone- not after memorizing. I don’t know if this just worked for me- but I always found it more efficient. And don’t make them long. 10 minutes are a good refresher. More than that and you will lose the “memorization- mode”
- Find a partner. Or a group! Make it a challenge for those around you. Even away from the camp I was motivated thinking of the girls sitting memorizing at the camp working towards my same goal.
- Try to stay focused. When you take too long on one page because of distractions or daydreaming- it takes extra extra long. Stay focused, finish the page, then take your break.
- Not all ayahs are the same. Some ayahs are harder, you will have to find new ways to memorize them or repeat them more. That’s fine.
- Set time goals. I used to always have a max goal of half an hour per page. More than that- and I knew I was doing something wrong or not focusing. Sometimes it takes less- which is great! Just don’t lose track of time.
- Make connections. Sometimes I would relate one word with one word in the next ayah. It really helps. For example.. an ayah that has my friends name, and the next ayah would remind me of another friend. So I would connect those two words to tie the two ayahs together..
- Look up tough words. Sometimes understanding that ONE hard word in the ayah- makes you understand the ENTIRE ayah which helps you understand the page and really helps you memorize. Too much tafseer while memorizing makes it harder- you start to understand it but forget the actual words.
- Tarteel later.. (Tarteel: slow, beautified recitation) I suggest that you don’t keep repeating each ayah with full tarteel when memorizing- it takes too long if you are aiming for a short time-frame and sometimes you memorize the “sound” and not the actual words. When I would memorize I would repeat them relatively quickly- to not lose energy or focus. (When you are done memorizing- enjoy your tarteel.)
- Once you finish, start planning your revision strategy. It is not a once and for all thing, and revising is essential! Especially if you finish it in a short time period.
- Ayahs about stories are the easiest! Enjoy them!
A few Notes:
For all those who asked, I do speak and read Arabic, and I have been alhamdulilah learning tajweed and Arabic for years. For those who do not speak Arabic or know Tajweed it would be best if you spent some time learning those first so you can memorize it correctly the first time.
Also, I know from all my role models who memorized the Quran before me that you must memorize it several times. I realize that I have a lot of revision to do, and May Allah forgive us for our shortcomings, but we really do have to start somewhere..
Hope these help.. I ask of whoever is reading this to please keep me in your Du’aas..
May Allah bless you with memorizing the Quran and practicing its meanings.. And May the light of the Quran illuminate your path always.
And Allah Knows Best…
Bushra Tbakhi is a medical student in her final year. She loves writing.
Edited by Shamsiya Noorul Quloob ♦
My friend and I memorize using the page-by-page method (see HD 14 for more details), and she advised me with the following, but it works for other methods of memorizing as well.
I used to recite the page about 15 times before committing it to memory. Then I would recite it about 5 more times without looking at the page. This would total ~20 reps. If I came back to the page a day later, I could recite it by heart after 15 minutes of review. This made me realize that I needed 15 more minutes of Memorization time. Then my friend mentioned that she was advised to do more reps when memorizing. She told me to do 50/100 reps of a page. It is a goal I am slowly working towards inshaAllah, so here is how it is going so far:
Now I do at least 26 reps for almost every page. It’s only 6 more reps, but it has made so much of a difference. When I come back to it days later, it is easy to recall to memory. On top of this, I don’t move my eyes from the page for many of these reps, especially the beginning ones [before I can recite it without looking] and the ones at the end [after I can recite it without looking]. Sometimes, out of habit, I begin to move my eyes away and fill in the blanks from my memory, but staring at the page while reciting has been better so far because this way, you will commit a picture of the page to memory, as well. Before this, I always had a vague picture of what the page looked like, but now with the constant looking, it has not only made the picture clearer but the picture lasts for a long time. I came back to a page once, (maybe after a week without review), and without looking at it I was able to recite almost the entire thing without mistakes because I remembered what the page looked like. Whenever my tongue was approaching the end of an ayah, my mind would show me the first few words of the next ayah.
In short, just increase the reps (whatever else you need to do can most likely wait 15 minutes). It is better to let the ayaat become ingrained in the beginning, rather than letting them sit on top of your minds like a piece of paper that is blown away by the slightest of winds.
Pinning it down in the beginning will provide the following benefits:
1. Confidence. It will increase you in confidence and make it easier for you to memorize subsequent pages. When your mind knows that everything you have memorized before is very murky, this lowers your morale.
2. Review Time. It will save you time on review.
3. Salah. It will make it easier for you to recite these ayaat in Salah. I have a theory that many memorizers of Qur’an still recite the same few verses or short surahs in their salawaat, because they don’t feel confident enough to recite anything else, although they may have many ajzaa’ of the Qur’an memorized. If we don’t benefit from Qur’an in our Salah, where else are we expecting to benefit from it?
4. Sincerity. It will make you feel better about your hifdh in general because the murky memorization does seem to have some insincerity associated with it, waAllahu Alam. But think about it, isn’t there something wrong with jumping to the next page when you know full well that you have almost forgotten the page before that? Let’s not turn Hifdh into a simple numbers game.
“Looking at the page”
This simply means keeping your eyes fixed on the page and on every word while you are reciting it aloud and doing your reps. It also helps to use a pen or your finger to point. If this is what you already do, keep it up. I didn’t — I used to purposely look away [often] to see if I could fill in the blanks. Even though I could, I never really got a solid picture of the page. Shaykh Fahd al Kendari (see HD 12 Traveler with Qur’an) recommends the following:
After you have memorized the page, recite it 15 more times while staring at the page. It will become glued to your mind and you’ll never forget it inshaAllah.
Also, by keeping your gaze fixed on the page and/or following along with a pointer, you are incorporating more senses (hearing and seeing), and this is supposed to be better for learning.
“All the reps in one sitting?”
I hardly ever memorize a page in ‘one sitting’ if this means that I sit and don’t get up. I memorize with the Pomodoro technique (see HD 14), so I recite for 15 minutes, take a break, and then recite again and so on. I may do my complete reps over a day or two, or more depending on how pressed I am for time and other factors. Even when I’ve done it all within a day, however, I did get up during the process and take a break when I felt like I needed it. Then I went back to doing the reps until I memorized the page.
Another technique that is really helpful is reciting the page 10 times shortly before bed. I noticed that when I do this, it is super easy to memorize that page the next day alhamdulillah.
“I wanna be a haafidha too!”
Inspirational Stories of Quraa and Huffadh of Qur’an
[Note: There are pictures in the pdf book, just lower your gaze and no one has to get hurt… no, but seriously ]
Safwan ibn ‘Assal al-Muradi (radhiallahu `anhu) said:
‘I came to the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) and said, ‘O Messenger of Allah! I came to seek knowledge.’
So he (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) said, ‘Welcome O’ seeker of knowledge! Indeed the Angels come to the seeker of knowledge and lower their wings for him. Then they climb each on top of the other until they reach the lower heaven, out of love for that which he seeks.’
– Hadith Hasan, reported by al-Hakim, al-Tabarani and Ibn ‘Abd al-Barr in his Jami’
The first thing he mentioned was how the angels are the companions of the seeker of knowledge, because the reality is: this is a path of difficulty, requiring firm aspirations and determination – and hence true companions become a rarity.
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]
I have posted this before, but I decided I would like to re-post it and add it to my hifdh diaries inshaAllah, so please read (or re-read) the following piece on overcoming Hubut by Sr. Fajr (taken from Fee Qalbee blog)
by Sister Fajr (may Allah preserve her)
This Qur’an, as much as it is the Gift of Allah which He gives to whom He wishes, it is also the test of Allah for many of us. If we’ve made a sincere decision to memorise the Qur’an, this Book which took 23 years to come down to Earth… we also need to realize that it’s not really going to be one simple, easy, straightforward road from the moment of ‘Azm (resolve) to the day of khatm (completion). It is the case that we’ll face many obstacles on the way, and one obstacle which is not always spoken about is a particular one which I call: Hubut – هبوط (an Arabic term meaning ‘diminution, lack of motivation, laxity, mental blocks, laziness, weakness, slackness’ – you get the idea)
In the course of your Hifdh, watch out for the ‘Hubut’ moments. Those days when you can’t seem to memorise anything, you have a mental block & your motivation feels like it’s just faced the firing squad. Yep, you know what I’m talking about… it’s a strange phenomenon faced by everyone but for the student memorizing Qur’an these ‘down moments’ are public enemy no.1, they can really mess you up and throw you off-course if you don’t know how to deal with them. Some students face major moments of ‘futur’ (laxity) and as a result; they abandon memorisation entirely and never reach their goal of Hifdh al-Qur’an (even though they have memorised over half the Qur’an done). Yeah, it happens.
It’s a frustrating period of time which makes a person sad, disheartened and feel like they’ll never achieve anything. So the one who used to memorise 2 pages a day is reduced to memorizing only a few verses, the one who used to wake up earlier than crows finds himself in hibernation and the one who used to make time for Hifdh despite his busy schedule can no longer be bothered with things.
So why does it happen and when does it happen?
Well, I guess that’s one for the psychologists to answer but in general, these moments can occur randomly and for different reasons. As a student you’ll have always been told to steer clear of sins (the wise advice of Wakee’) and this is because sins bring about these moments of hubut faster and more frequently than anything else – and once you begin to suffer from it, it creates the perfect atmosphere for one to abandon and forget the Qur’an. It’s a major tool of Shaytan which he uses to mislead the slaves of Allah from becoming constant in good deeds (watch him enter hubut into all your ‘ibadat). But sometimes in a person’s attempts of avoiding sin, they fall into the other ‘less known’ causes of hubut:
Long periods of not listening to or reciting Qur’an
Emotions running high or low/emotional instability (such as anger, over-excitement, depression, mood-swings, giddiness etc).
Thinking too much
Eating/sleeping too much
Not finding a companion to work with or a teacher to assist you
Too much empty time
Receiving too much criticism from others
For sisters, you may notice hubut near the times of your menstrual cycle and hence you face mental blocks either before, during or after your period.
So what do we do?
Good question, my friend!
But a better question is: ‘What would you do if you were on your way somewhere important and something blocked your road?’ Or ‘What if you were going home from university or work but as you come to the tube station, the Underground folks tell you that the Northern Line has been suspended’ (doesn’t that always happen?) and your route home has now been affected. What do you do?
Your answers would probably include things like:
– Avoid the blockage
– Get around it or move it out of your way somehow
– Find a different route
– Wait a while for things to clear
– Don’t rely on London’s Transport! J
Please, Fajr… something more detailed?
· First thing first: When you’ve hit your moment of ‘hubut’, it’s important that you do not end up doing the dreaded, which is: stopping your Hifdh altogether. You can decrease your portion if necessary, but never halt it. Instead, to make up for things, try to increase your listening of Qur’an so have your Surah playing in your iPod or cassette player, around the house, in the car, on your way to work etc. If you are familiar with your hubut and know that it’ll only last a few hours or a day, then maybe take a break from Hifdh for that time period and do something different until your laxity passes by.
· If your moment of hubut is due to something physical (e.g. you’re tired, hungry, or stressed etc) then you need to satisfy this first and overcome it. So sleep well, eat well, relax, and maybe get a massage and do some stretches if your menstrual cycle has made you feel like a hippo stuck in mud lol.
· Stay away from anything which will lower your spirits or demotivate you – be it junk food (this is crime I say), loneliness, laziness, boredom, lack of support, friends/family who may criticize your efforts (be kind and patient with them but take a break as well) basically whatever does not float your boat and gets you down.
· Having some organisation in your life is like having salt and vinegar in your fish and chips. Really, it does wonders to be tidy, neat and organised – and it actually leads you to become more organised and focused at mind. With Hifdh of Qur’an, you need space. That means physical space (periods of solitude to contemplate and memorise) as well as giving yourself mental ‘space’ – if you overwhelm your brain with a hundred ‘things to-do’ and stick-it notes that are scattered in your mind, you just won’t find the focus, motivation or time for Hifdh.
. Routines are the best! You may enjoy living in the fast lane and being like a spontaneous person, but sometimes you need those ‘mundane’ routines in life. Think of them as ‘Thawabit’ – constants that hold you down whenever you feel like you’re about to fall off the road. If for example, you have a regular routine of coming home from work, showering, eating and then sitting down for half an hour to memorise half a page, then when you’re hit by hubut one day, you will naturally still be composed and find it easier to continue with that routine compared to someone who has no routine for their Hifdh – and were you to miss that daily half an hour of Hifdh, you will actually feel weird like something is missing! (Well, it is.)
· Stay active. Have workout sessions where you physically exercise your body, and depending on how fit you are, I would recommend doing rigorous exercise at least two or three times a week – it’ll make you more alert, creates a sense of passion/ambition in life, keeps things like depression, laziness and tiredness at bay and guess what? It’s a sharp sword against hubut and futur.
· Have a deadline, always. Set one deadline for overall Hifdh (e.g. by July 2010) and have another deadline for every commencing week and month etc. Make sure you write these deadlines in different places – on your work desk, in kitchen, as a reminder on your phone, or if you’re a typical Londoner have it engraved on the front of your oyster card! This way, whenever you are faced with hubut, you still have a focus and something to work towards, no matter what.
And the list goes on… Seriously, books can be written on this topic.
A point to note: If you look back at the pre-mentioned causes of hubut, you’ll notice a common factor… they are mainly causes which preoccupy and affect one’s heart. Hence, to avoid hubut, avoid anything which affects the healthy state of your heart, e.g. having too much attachment to this world.
Realise that through the course of memorising Qur’an you will be undergoing a form of training whereby you attain characteristics of a believer insha’Allah – e.g. firm and correct belief, patience, zuhd, gratitude, contemplation, determination, courage, humbleness, you gain good judgement, sound mind, kindness & ease in character (riqqa), and so on bi’ithnillah.
So it’s a training period to see you through life… and naturally any form of training will consist of testing moments or obstacles and hence hubut (as much as it’s an annoying and frustrating occurrence) it actually serves a purpose in the long run – so don’t be disheartened and definitely do not give up J
I ask Allah to keep us and our resolves firm. May He protect us from the downfalls and pitfalls upon this path. Amin