Posts Tagged advice for memorizing

HD 7: Tip of the Tongue Phenomenon

In the Psychology of Language, we learned that there is a Phenomenon called the Tip of the Tongue phenomenon. (Similary, deaf people who use sign language have a Tip of the Hand Phenomenon).

This is basically: the failure to retrieve a word from memory, combined with partial recall and the feeling that retrieval is imminent.The phenomenon’s name comes from the saying, “It’s on the tip of my tongue.” [from wikipedia]

Another way of describing it is that you recall the lemma but not the lexeme. That basically means that you can picture some of the letters in your head and you have a vague idea of the pronunciation, but you don’t exactly know what word you want to say.

Another major thing that has to do with TOT is that when you are in this phase, and you are trying to remember that Name or word, you should immediately stop and look it up. Why? Because the longer you stay in that state (of thinking and trying to come up with the word on your own) the more likely you are to go into that state the next time you want to remember that name or word. Amazing, isn’t it?

How is this relevant to us and to memorizing Qur’an?


Have you ever been reciting an ayah, and then in the middle of it, you come to a halt? You have some sort of recollection of the meaning of the next phrase or word, but you can’t remember the exact words. Has this ever happened to you, or to someone who is reciting to you? It very likely has.

According to the findings of the TOT Phenomenon, when this happens, you should not rack your brain trying to figure out what comes next. You should immediately stop and pull out the mushaf to check. If the person who is reciting to you seems to be experiencing a TOT, cut off their “thinking” and tell them what comes next. They are more likely to remember it next time inshaAllah.

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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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