Posts Tagged hifdh diaries

HD 12: Traveler with Qur’an – Sh. Fahad Al Kandari

Bismillah walhamdulillah

Looking for motivation for Qur’an memorization?

Are you facing a “bump in the road”?

Are you beginning to doubt yourself?

Are you starting to despair?

Look no further my dear brothers and sisters…

I have deprived you all of this for long enough …

It wasn’t intentional, subhanAllah I would continuously forget though it is not like me to do so. I concluded from that that shaytan really doesn’t want you all to see this…

So dive right in and share with others inshaAllah!



Does everyone remember this video that I posted once?

Blind Child Doesn’t Want To See

Remember how inspirational and mind-blowing that was?

Well, it turns out that this is a short clip… from a larger episode…which is part of a larger series… on Qur’an Memorization called:

Traveler with the Qur’an by Sh. Fahad al Kandari

It’s an amazing, truly amazing and inspirational series. I rarely watch a full-episode, and the rest, I just watch a few minutes here and there, and I am still running on the fuels from that subhanaAllah. The Introduction Theme alone will melt your heart. It will make you cry, feel small, and feel so determined to be from amongst Ahlul-Qur’an inshaaAllah! One thing that this series has done for me, by the mercy of Allah swt, that other Qur’an-help-sources have not, is that it makes you feel so determined that you are willing to discipline your entire life, just so that you can have more time for the Book of Allah aza wa jel.

And you are reminded over and over again:

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

The entire series is in Arabic, but more than 1/3 of it has already been translated into English!

There are 30 episodes full in Arabic here:
Tab >> Uploads

And there are ~11 episodes with English subtitles here:
Tab >> Uploads


If you guys want – you can leave the sister (may Allah preserve her) a comment on her youtube page, telling her how beneficial you have found the series and encouraging her to keep translating, and you didn’t hear that from me. :)

May Allah swt grant us al ikhlaas wal istiqaamah, and protect us from laziness, distractions, and the plots of shaytan, and may He swt make us from amongst those whom He loves. May Allah swt accept this from me and you all.

“Huffadh of the Qur’an ARE Ahlul-Quran…With the Qur’an, is the Love of Allah attained.” – Al Asbab al Mu’eena ‘alal Hifdh

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HD 11: Picking up the Pieces [post-Ramadan]

Bismillah walhamdulillah
Not many people know this, but although I did not endorse stopping memorization during Ramadan, I put my own memorization on halt during the last ten nights.

[an uproar occurs on wordpress]

I had tried to keep up with my memorization homework, but it was much easier said than done. I recall one night, between ishaa and fajr, sitting slumped on the floor, leaning against a chair, and reciting in a barely audible voice. I felt very low on energy. Memorizing during Ramadan was much different than memorizing outside of Ramadan. But I kept going, because I couldn’t bring myself to tell my teacher that I wanted to take a break.

A part of it was because of how difficult it was for me to finally find a new teacher since my old one had left a few months back. I wasn’t just going to let this new one go because of a “lack of energy.” I would travel to her for every appointment. I would recite and ignore the embarrassing cracking in my voice, a mixture of shyness and dehydration. I could tell she was trying to politely ignore it, but it was so bad that I doubted at one point if she even could understand what I was reciting.

But I was finding it all quite difficult and I would remember my own advice: if it is hindering you from completing Qur’an, or in another way, then it is better to pause or to slow it down. My particular method of memorization does not actually give too much room for “slowing down,” (but I could have easily shifted methods, I just really preferred my own). So I ended up calling her one day, to ask for a break, really feeling like I over-estimated what I could handle. In retrospect, I should’ve given more serious thought to memorizing smaller portions, but I felt it was better to just pause and focus on the last ten nights, complete as much recitation of Qur’an as I could, and then give memorizatoin my ‘all’ outside of Ramadan,  inshaa’Allah.

I called her in the afternoon, and after exchanging our salams, I went into explaining what was going on for me and how difficult it had been, and how it was not normal for me to be making so many mistakes in recitation, and so on and so on. It would be safe to say that I was rambling.

Although my teacher’s English is good, it is not her first language, and my rambling probably caught her off-guard. She patiently waited for me to finish, and then kindly informed me that she had no idea what I just said.

“Hold on,” I said.

I quickly went into my contacts list in my phone and began looking for Arab friends of mine. No one was picking up.

Finally, a sister picked up. I quickly explained to her that I wanted her to translate, and then I joined the two calls.

My friend: Fatima is saying that she is finding it difficult to memorize Qur’an, and she would like some help.

Me: Don’t say that! I want to take a break during the last ten days.

My friend: She would like to continue after Ramadan.

My teacher was fine with it, and other than a couple of text messages that I sent to her, I did not get into contact with her until I was ready to return. I had a feeling she was used to people taking “breaks” and never coming back, so I made sure she understood that I was definitely coming back, inshaa’Allah.

Now here I am, trying to pick up the pieces after my “break.” I still felt that I needed it, but it is never easy to just halt memorization completely and then to return to that wonderful routine and be steadfast in it, especially now that my classes at the University have begun.

I’m learning that it is okay to take things slow, as long as you are consistent in it. I was accustomed to memorizing larger amounts than what my teacher was giving me, and I did not hold back from complaining [politely…okay, there was a little whining involved too]. But she calmly explained to me: “A little that you are consistent with is better than doing a lot and then you stop.”

So naturally, I hung my head in shame and agreed.

It will take time, but I am determined and I know that this task that I have in front of me is one that is miraculously easy, so I’m not afraid, and I’m not worried. And come next Ramadan, if Allah swt allows me to reach it, I will try even harder and I will push myself even more, inshaa’Allah.

I am trying to build better and different habits, trying new techniques and experimenting with what works best.

And in regard to setbacks in the process of hifdh, I think all of us have them. Some setbacks will be bigger than others. What distinguishes one person from another is how they respond. Do you let it throw you off course until you can’t imagine going back? Or are you willing to swim against the tide for a little bit, certain that you will surely reach your destination?
You know, everyone has their “tips for memorizing,” although they are all basically saying the same thing.

One of those things that I have noticed that is oft-repeated, in different ways is:

Consistency is key.

(May Allah swt grant us all tawfique. Ameen)

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HD 8: “I used to be a haafidhah”

Bismillah alhamdulillah

What a depressing statement. “I used to be a haafidhah.”

I used to have these surahs memorized. I used to be able to recite this in salah. I used to…but not anymore.

This isn’t something I’m mentioning just to scare people. It’s a reality. A friend of mine attended a Jumuah Khutbah a while back and shared with me some of what she learned. The facts are from what she heard and reported to me, and I edited the quotes to correct for grammar but not meaning.

She mentioned: “Eighty percent of women forget half of what they memorize after they get married.”


She told me the story of a sister who memorized Qur’an from the ages of 10 to 21. That is the prime-time of her memory! She spent over ten years memorizing and reviewing, just think about that! Listen to what she says now…. “I can’t even remember two ayaat in [their correct] order.”


Reflect upon that. You will realize that the way you live your life after marriage is but a reflection of how you were living your life before marriage. If right now, as a single sister, you cannot find time for Qur’an and reviewing is not a priority of yours, then surely things will only get worse once you are responsible for a husband and kids. The people who cannot make time for memorization when they are single, it’s not expected that they will be able to make the time later, even if they want to. Subhanallah, even if they want to.

When married sisters assume that I have a lot of free time just because I am single, I sometimes find it slightly offensive (that’s too strong of a word in this context but) because it is as if there is no such thing as being “busy” outside of marriage. But I know that is not how they mean it. We look at the past through rose-colored glasses. They are looking at their single-life-past, through rose-colored glasses and remembering it as a time of being carefree and without worries and to a certain extent, they are correct. Helping out around the house with your sister and mother is not the same as having someone ‘depend’ on you for their food and clothing. If you had a hard day at school, your mother will understand and let you skip some of your chores. But what about the married sister who is pregnant? There is just not that much leeway in this situation. You can’t take a “break” from being married or pregnant, it doesn’t happen.

Now is all the time you have. Take advantage before you have to look at your past and remember all those hours that you could have devoted to building a relationship with the Qur’an, but rather you let them pass you by, one by one (one nap here, one argument there, one movie here, one novel there).

And review, review, review what you have memorized until you become flawless in it and you feel secure that it has entered your long-term memory. Don’t ever let yourself become someone who says “I used to…”

Some Tips:

1. Actively work to memorize the entire Qur’an before marriage. If you cannot complete it, do as much as you can. The sister said “especially the harder surahs,” but refer to HD 6:Stop with the Negative Influence! for why I do not endorse her statement.

2. Don’t memorize without review. A lot of what we memorize is still sitting in our short-term memory, ready to run away. We need to tie it down with revision.

3. If you are already married, don’t despair. Even you have more free time than you think. Start finding those pockets of free time, and use them! :) There are stories of amazing sisters who have memorized after marriage, after kids, in hard times. We really have no excuse inshaAllah.

4. Have good manners and leave sins. Being a good wife, mother, sister, and daughter all counts as ibaadah. Do not scream at your husband about how he’s “keeping you away from your goals in life.” Treat people well, keep up with all of your duties, and leave sins. All of these things will help you towards your memorization.

And Allah Knows Best

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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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