Posts Tagged advice for memorizing quran

HD 6: Stop With the Negative Influence!

Bismillah walhamdulillah

Have you ever dealt with someone who would say things like:

Oh! You’re memorizing that surah next?! That’s awesome, but you know, I remember when I was memorizing it, it was soo difficult!

Or how about this:

Ahh…you’re memorizing Surah X? Yeah, the surah is easy, I just found this page here difficult. *Turns to that page*

What exactly do they think, that by telling you this that it will somehow make things better for you? No, they just end up worrying you. Then when you get to that page or that surah that they were talking about, you have their voice playing in your head.

Rather, we should always give good news and much encouragement to the one who is memorizing. If you feel the urge to “warn” others about how difficult a page is going to be for them, control it. Whatever happened to: “Let him who believes in Allah and the Last Day speak good or remain silent?”

Allah SWT has said that:And We have certainly made the Qur’an easy for remembrance, so is there any who will remember?” Suratul Qamar, ayah 17

He SWT has said this, multiple times in one surah. Are you going to challenge the truthfulness of this ayah with your “warnings?”

One thing I noticed about my teacher, she never told me that something was going to be difficult for me, until after I already experienced that I had trouble memorizing it or something similar to it. Even then, she never actually called it difficult. All she really said was “This ruba here, is going to be so easy for you, by Allah. This other one, it may be slightly more challenging based on the trouble you had reciting a similar ruba.*” (please see footnote).

And when I once made the mistake of being ungrateful (I had recited 2 ruba, and because of my lack of review, they didn’t sink in well. And instead of blaming myself, when she asked me if it was “good” — her way of saying ‘easy’ — I said no) I saw the annoyance on her face. She rolled her eyes slightly (which I never saw her do before) as if to say “Don’t say that.” And then she said “Alhamdulillah.”

I realized why she was annoyed and then I felt so bad…How could I have said that. I sought Allah’s forgiveness and repented, I just pray that it was a sincere repentance.

In short, I would say that 9 times out of 10, it’s better not to say anything (in regard to this particular topic). If you feel like you want to give your friend a “heads up,” maybe you should word it in a more appropriate way like:

You know this page that is coming up? InshaAllah it will be very easy for you, as with every page, if you feel you need to really solidify it, just make sure you give it a few more reps (repetitions). :)

It’s true sometimes there is a page or a set of pages that is slightly more challenging, maybe because the ayaat are similar to each other or another reason. But it does seem, from my limited experience, and Allah knows Best, that the better thing to do is to not initiate this kind of talk, and if someone else experiences slight difficulty, just advise them with good manners. “Remember, the Qur’an is easy to understand and remember. Keep trudging forward, I know you can do it, inshaAllah.”



*My teacher speaks Arabic with very little English, but I translate what she says through the very little Arabic that I understand and through her very helpful gestures, which she utilizes in order to speak to me. May Allah swt bless her and preserve her and protect her. Ameen

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Overcoming Hubut (esp. for memorizers of Qur’an)

Assalaamu ‘alaykum wa Rahmatullah
Dear Friends,

I pray that you are all progressing well with your hifdh – whether it be review or the memorisation of new verses, mashaAllah.
This week, I’m pleased to share with you all an article written on a topic close to the heart of every hifdh student and teacher: It’s about issues regarding the mental block one experiences during the hifdh journey.
Alhamdulillah, one of the best write-ups on the topic thus far – comprehensive, practical and indeed, very insightful!

May your days be blessed with devotion & love for al Qur’aan!


by Sister Fajr (may Allah preserve her)

Hubut (هبوط)

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:

Work overload
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?

Ok, ok…

· 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

If you haven’t already, check out the Fee Qalbee blog!

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HD 2: Rule #1 – Get a Teacher


From here-on HD stands for Hifdh Diaries (not High Definition)

Bismillah walhamdulillah

After attending an Islamic event or halaqah, I like to take the chance to ask the speaker to advise me regarding memorizing Qur’an.

After reading the question out loud, I noticed that, on more than one occassion, the very first piece of advice the speaker gives is: Get a teacher.

(Now, I know I’m calling this Rule #1, but just as a disclaimer: the real “rule#1” is sincerity, because if you lack sincerity in this matter, then your teacher will not avail you.)

After that, the next rule is to find yourself a Qur’an teacher with the following qualities:

  • You want someone who’s Belief System (i.e. Aqeedah) is correct. (Even though you’re not learning deen from them, there is a chance you may learn deen from them and you don’t want to put yourself in danger. If you are doubtful about their Aqeedah but still want to learn Tajweed from them, then be very, very careful. Wallahu Musta’aan).
  • Knowledgeable about the rules of recitation
  • Someone you respect and fear (someone you should be embarrassed to go in front of if you haven’t completed your homework)
  • Reliable and Consistent (You need someone like this because you will sometimes become lazy and inconsistent)
  • Easily accessible (So no Imam from a Masjid in the Middle East…unless you happen to already live nearby)

Some points to keep in mind:

  • Aim for the best teacher, and if you can’t have that one, have the second best, and so on.
  • For sisters, you want to try your hardest to have a sister-teacher. It will be more comfortable, and she can freely look at your face and correct errors that a male teacher might not catch (speaking from experience).
  • After you have a teacher, you need to tell him/her (with good manners) – I’m not always going to be motivated to do this. You have to push me sometimes. There will be days that I don’t want to come, I want you to force me to come.”

And keep in mind that you must meet your teacher half way. He/she shouldn’t have to play tug-of-war with you when trying to get you to memorize or come to the masjid. There needs to be self-motivation involved. If your teacher thinks you’re not a serious student, they can simply give their time and efforts to someone who is more serious.

A few quick tips:

  1. Be on time for your classes. Heck, be early! I know some of you are like “Early?…what’s that?” But trust me, being late for anything in life always leaves a bad impression. Unless it’s happens rarely, when people see that you are late, it sends them the simple message that you don’t care, no matter what flowery excuse you offer. On the other hand, being early shows dedication and seriousness.
  2. Always always complete your lesson. Shuffle your schedule around, run instead of walk, don’t chew your food, just swallow (just kidding). Do whatever you have to in order to make enough time to complete your entire lesson. At the same time, don’t bite off more than you can chew (I mean it figuratively this time.) Like don’t give yourself more work than you can handle.
  3. Do what your teacher says! This is the Golden Rule. When I first started with my teacher, she told me (1) I had to start with Surah Al Baqarah (a wonderful Surah, but one whose length had intimidated me) and (2) I had to write everything that I memorized. So what did I do? Of course, I argued… (not with her, with myself, in my mind, and with trusted individuals). I asked someone of knowledge for advice and this is basically how the conversation went (I’m oversimplifying it):

Me: Asalamu alaykum brother, my teacher wants me to memorize surah al baqarah, but I was memorizing from the back, and I really think I should continue with the Makki surahs, their topics are more in line with what I’m currently studying!

Brother: Do what your teacher says.

Me: …Okay, fine. But she also wants me to write everything I memorize. I heard that that is not helpful and that it just takes time.

Brother: Do what your teacher says.

(He also mentioned that writing aids your hifdh, which I will inshaAllah discuss in another post.)

So I think that drives the point home.




“And We have certainly made the Qur’an easy for remembrance, so is there any who will remember?”

Suratul Qamar, ayah 17


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How to Maintain Memorized Quran ~ 4 Post-Ramadan Quran Routes to Consider

by Muhammad Alshareef

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Ramadan is the month of Quran. Many start the month off with lofty Quran reading and memorization goals, and many hit what they intended DURING Ramadan.

Maintaining consistency after Ramadan, however, is an entirely different story.

The Shaytans are out and about, daily routines start obstructing us once again. And the Quran, “respectfully” returns to our shelves. Sure we feel guilty, but guilt is not the greatest of motivators. You need tried and proven routes to capture your post-Ramadan Quran reading and memorization and review goals. Here are 4 routes to consider:

1. Review the Juz’ (para) that corresponds to the day of the month.

Humans love to be perfectionists. If we missed our reading for today, then we will not be satisfied until we have made it up ADDED TO today’s lesson.

But that doesn’t work when you’ve missed 2-5 days of reading, and you are falling behind. The all or nothing attidude has to be replaced with something else.

Try this: Review the Juz’ (or para, the Quran is divided into 30 Juz/para’s) that corresponds to that day of the month. That way if you miss a day, then skip it. Jump to the Juz’ that corresponds to the day of the month. That way you will always have a fresh mindset and not get stuck in the “I have to be perfect” mode.

2. Reviewing what you have already memorized.

Memorize a selection, and recite it every Salah chance you get for the entire day. I love this route and it’s got to be one of the most effective. Lets say you have 1 Juz’ memorized (equivalent of about 20 pages). Take a page, RE-memorize it, and recite it in your prayers all day long. There are certain Surahs that you know like the back of your hand, like Surat AlFatiha, Qul Huwal Allahu Ahad, for instance. Why do you know them so well? Cause you read them, like, ALL THE TIME. If you use this route I’m talking about here, these new Surahs can become just as strong, in sha Allah.

3. Pray Qiyam with a partner, alternating

This is rather simple, a review technique used by traditional Quran schools. How it works: you get a partner who has similar Quran memorization goals as you do. And you act like an Imam, leading the other person in Sunnah prayer, reading out loud what you have memorized. Your partner corrects you whenever you make a mistake. And once you are done, you switch and your partner then leads that Sunnah prayer.

4. Silent Speed Reading

It has been my experience that if you read silently, you can read much faster. So for example, if you read out loud, it may take you 30 minutes to read a Juz. But if you silent speed read, you can review the same amount of Quran in only 5-7 minutes. This is extremely useful when you need to review memorized material in a “maintenance” type of way.

Whichever route you take, I wish you the joy and happiness of cultivating your understanding and connection to the Quran.

With best wishes to see you succeed at the highest level! – Muhammad Alshareef



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