Posts Tagged memorizing quran

HD 10: Memorizing during Ramadan

Bismillah walhamdulillah

Ramadan Muabarak!

I know it has been quite some days now since Ramadan has started, but I wanted to wait before I posted this because I wanted to really try it out myself first.

Initially, I saw absolutely no reason to stop memorizing during Ramadan, or even to cut down the slightest bit. After a few days of trying it out, I came to a few realizations, the main one being that memorizing during Ramadan is in fact different from memorizing outside of Ramadan, but this is the practical advice I have for myself and for all of you, inshaaAllah.
Disclaimer: It is a bit lengthy but please read it until the end inshaAllah. Also, these are just suggestions that I’ve tried and also heard from others. And please keep in mind while reading that there are many different parts and levels to memorizing, and that’s one of the main points of this particular post.


How Can I Memorize This Ramadan?
Some of you might have this question right now: Should I continue memorizing Qur’an during Ramadan?

But a better question is, why shouldn’t you continue? If it is not impeding on any of your obligations, decreasing the quality of your worship, or making it difficult to recite Qur’an and complete it (as many times as you want) during the month, then I don’t think there is any reason to halt your memorization. And this is my own opinion.

Granted it may be a bit more difficult to memorize during Ramadan, it’s not impossible. Their are many hours in a day, and Ramadan is a month full of barakah, so we should take advantage of that. At the same time, we can’t ignore the fact that we are fasting for most of the day, so where do we go from there?

I do not know the timings of the fast in other countries, but based on the timings in the West, here is an easy way you can achieve a memorization schedule:

Since the nights are very short, and the days are long, you can spend most of your nights awake, maybe getting in one sleep cycle (which lasts about 1.5 hours). This leaves you with plenty of time to memorize Qur’an for an hour,  and do other types of worship. You are able to eat and drink at this time, so you can have some tea and water to keep you awake and hydrated, and a light snack to keep your stomach satisfied until suhoor. You really want to keep yourself hydrated because if you are dehydrated, you will be low on energy and you won’t be able to hold your breath for long (which will make it difficult to memorize, or at least it does for me). If you feel very tired, you should sleep for a little while to get your energy back up. You may also want to use this time to do a few minutes of exercise if you feel up to it, because exercise will keep your energy levels up and help you to be alert while you are memorizing, praying, reciting, and more. And if not exercise, at least do some stretches, as this will relax your muscles. You would be surprised at how much you need a good stretch after a long day. Keep in mind that you will stay awake until shurooq (sunrise), even if you sleep before fajr, so this is another hour and a half after Fajr for you to take advantage of the fact that you are not hungry or thirsty, and the time is very blessed. So if you feel too tired at night and/or after tarawih to stay awake and memorize, the time after Fajr is a really good time for you to memorize. After that, you can sleep inshaaAllah, just don’t oversleep. Finally, the time right after dhuhr is also a good time, since you’re not quite starving yet, so you take advantage of that energy.

(Note: It is not recommended to recite the Qur’an if one is being overcome by sleep. If you feel weak in energy, pause the memorization, because you may be over-exerting yourself.)

This can work relatively well with some discipline, but you have to know that there will be days when you will be too tired to sit and memorize for an hour even during the night. So if that happens, take the portion you usually memorize, and make it into smaller portions, and memorize a few of those smaller portions. If you usually memorize a page, try half a page, or one-third of the page, etc. You will still feel like you are moving forward. You can also memorize a little after every salah, even if it’s a few short ayaat. If you can’t do that, then at least review previously memorized pages.

If You Cannot Bring Yourself to Memorize

If you cannot bring yourself to memorize, but you find review to be light and easy upon you, then take part in some hardcore reviewing sessions. This means reviewing a whole juz or more, per day. The Imams who lead tarawih prayer have to do this every day. You can do this by sitting and reciting the juz quietly, and/or by reviewing an entire juz in your salah throughout the day. One of my teachers recommended reciting 2 ruba’ (approximately 5 pages) per rak’ah in order to make for good review. (You can of course alter this to suit you, inshaaAllah, I recommend at least 1 page per rak’ah). This will not only be good review, but it will increase your khushoo’ in your salah, and when you say “Allahu akbar” and “subhaana Rabbi al ‘Adheem,” you will marvel at the power of Allah swt, that He allowed you, of all people, to memorize His Book. And when you say “Rabbanaa lakal Hamd,” you will be thinking of the gratitude that you need to show Him swt for choosing you to be amongst the few.

A Must-Have: Teacher

One thing that I should mention is that unless you have someone pushing you (i.e. a teacher that you fear) your chances of memorizing this Ramadan may not be high. The reason for this is that you will keep telling yourself that it is too difficult to do in the month of Ramadan, and that as soon as Ramadan ends, you’ll get back on track. I speak from experience when I say this. I have not memorized in any Ramadan of my life, prior to this one. And the one thing that all of my previous Ramadans (that’s not a word, is it?) had in common was that I did not have a teacher during those months. So if you already have a teacher, this is all going to be relatively easy inshaAllah. You will feel a greater push to memorize. If not however, my personal recommendation would be to focus on reciting the Qur’an and reviewing previously memorized pages in your salah and outside of salah, and after Ramadan, find yourself a teacher inshaaAllah.

Memorizing during Ramadan is Not Too Difficult

For those who feel this way:  if memorizing during Ramadan were too difficult or incorrect, our teachers would not allow us to do it, or would at least advise against it. I noticed, however, that my teacher did not say anything like “since it is Ramadan, I’m not sure if you want to keep memorizing new pages?” The assumption is made that I will make time for this in my Ramadan schedule. Allah swt gave us so many hours in our day in order to do what we need to do. It is up to us to divide our time accordingly in order to accomplish our goals. People think just because Ramadan is here, that their “time-wasting” habits will disappear. That’s not true. if you don’t make an effort, they’ll not only not-disappear, but they’ll re-appear in really ugly ways, like surfing the net for hours and hours in order to make the fast go by…faster. (No pun intended.)

Another thing that is very easy to do is to just listen attentively to a recitation of the Qur’an. It can be something you’ve already memorized, or something new that you have not yet memorized. The Qur’an is so miraculously easy to memorize that even listening to a surah once before in your life will facilitate your memory when it comes time to memorize that surah. Similarly, even reciting a page once the night before, will make it much easier to memorize the page the next day. So if you become a net-surfer during Ramadan, then do yourself a favor and put on a nice recitation and follow along with that instead.

Take-home points:

  • The Main take-home point is that those of us who want to memorize will make a way to do that, no matter what, and those of us who do not want to memorize, will make a way to not-do that, no matter what. We don’t always have to look at the situation, sometimes we just have to look at the person.
  • Don’t think of Ramadan as a “challenge” to your hifdh. No, remember why you are memorizing. This is all for the Pleasure of Allah, seeking His Face. Have that goal in mind, and keep moving towards it, where ever you are, whatever your circumstances.
  • Push yourself, but know your limits (physically and spiritually). You don’t have to go all out, doing everything at full speed all at once, only to come crashing down in a few days. Take it easy and take it slow for now, enjoy the month, and connect with Allah swt, and just memorize as much as you can — that’s as much as you can, so only you know how much that is.
  • There are so many different levels to this. Just experiment and find the level that works best for you during this month. And it’s okay to alternate (between levels that are difficult and those that are very easy) and to take a break. You can take it easy, but don’t take it lazy.
  • If and when you do memorize, do it with ihsaan. That means, try to really reflect on the verses and implement them in your life. Don’t let it become a robotic habit that has no effect on your imaan. This is the month of the Qur’an and you should be feeling huge effects on your heart and soul from the constant exposure to the Book of Allah. If you’re not feeling that, just examine your imaan and sincerity.
  • This is the month of Qur’an, just keep repeating that to yourself until it sinks in.

And Allah Knows Best



Qur’an gathered in a single vessel…

It is narrated from ‘Isma ibn Malik (radhiallahu `anhu) that the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) said:

‘If the Qur’an is gathered into a single vessel (i.e. the heart), Allah will never burn it in the Fire.’

[Reported by al-Bayhaqi, declared Hasan by al-Albani]

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Even if you have to re-memorize!

A mistake that many make in trying to memorize the Quran is that they begin with fervor, and then when theyve memorized a juz or two, they stop memorizing new surahs to review the ones that they have already completed. Don’t review at the expense of memorizing, make the time for your review separate, and if you only have time for one, then keep memorizing until you complete the Quran. Even if you have to re-memorize it again, undoubtedly the second time will be easier– Shaykh Waleed Idris AlManeesi. #thisonehadmelikewhoa!

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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 4: Is the Qur’an hard to memorise? by Br. “Hifthing”

I was recently introduced to this blog, and this post was really amazing, so I decided to share it here. I took the liberty of highlighting some of the gems. Enjoy!

P.S. I believe the brother is British, so if anyone else felt very uncomfortable with the way “memorise” is spelled, you and I can relax now (phew!).

Is the Qur’an hard to memorise?

I had originally posted some thoughts about this in my entry for Day 7 but I feel so strongly about it that I think it deserves its own post.

So why do people say memorising the Qur’an is hard?

We can look at this in 2 ways:

  1. The Qur’an is hard to memorise


  2. The problem lies within the memoriser.

The Qur’an is hard to memorise.

Allah says in Suratul Qamar, Ayat 17:

و لقد يسرنا القرءان للذكر فهل من مدكر

17. and we have indeed made the Qur’ân easy to understand and remember, Then is there any that will Remember (or receive admonition)?

(repeated many times thereafter)

In addition to this there are the hundreds of thousands of people today, who have memorised the Qur’an, many of whom cannot read or write or lack basic education. It is not realistic to assume that all these people are geniuses! Common to all Huffath is effort and commitment.

It has to be conceded that many Huffath memorised the Qur’an in childhood, when responsibility was a scary tale told to them by their parents and the world was, by and large, a wonderful place. However children do not have the understanding and motivation that adults do and this is a definite advantage.

The problem lies within the memoriser.

This is where I am going to list the “Unlucky Lacks”, off we go! If you are from the Sub-continent then you will have probably heard of ‘Lakhpathi’ (somebody possessing hundreds of thousands). Well if many from this list are applicable to you then consider yourself a ‘Lackpathi’ :P

Lack of natural ability (not applicable for most people)

Lack of motivation

Lack of dedication

Lack of appreciation

Lack of love for the Qur’an

Lack of concentration

Lack of time

Lack of familiarity with Qur’an and Arabic

Lack of support (from friends and family)

Lack of tawfeeq from الله

Lack of sincerity

These ‘lacks’ (and they may be others, feel free to add) are what need to be addressed in an intelligent and well thought out manner. Some are primarily psychological such as appreciation and love. Others, like lack of time, can be tackled physically by surfing the internet less or making time where you thought it was not possible such as in waiting rooms and when a passenger in a car etc…

I suggest that you note these and expand on them, as relevant, with details on how they manifest themselves in your life and possible ways of working around them or removing these barriers altogether. I could do it for you but where would be the fun in that! It requires some thought, the more you put in the more you get.

Weak Spots.

Everybody has weak spots in what they have memorised, it is only natural. Weaknesses are there to be improved on. To avoid one’s memorisation being plagued by these it is necessary to a) memorise well in the first place and b) review thoroughly.

Depending on your occupation and daily life you may or may not need to review the Qur’an intensively. Those who teach the Qur’an and other Islamic sciences will need less revision time due to a greater exposure, and vice versa.

Sometimes weak spots appear due to your psychological condition and other factors like tiredness etc… This should be borne in mind and not be a cause for distress.

People have weak spots that are specific to them. This does not make the Qur’an hard to memorise. Anybody memorising the Qur’an should really, really avoid this defeatist mentality like the plague. There is no ‘hard’ when it comes to the Qur’an. If one finds something hard then the problem is due to other factors; sins, lack of sincerity etc…. unless you really are one of the unfortunate people who الله has given a very limited intellect, in His wisdom, but then I doubt you would actually be reading this :)

Even if it is the case that somebody finds a certain surah/passage hard to memorise we shouldn’t generalise and spread it amongst people as there is a myriad of factors that have influenced that person’s memorisation and the same cannot be applied to all instances of people memorising Qur’an. It may be that الله is testing you and your desire to memorise the Qur’an. There may be character building taking place that otherwise would not.

Factors that lead someone to claim that a surah/passage is hard:

1 )  Time of day memorisation takes place

2 )  Too much food eaten before memorising

3 )  Not enough time spent revising

4 )  High stress/depression levels

5 )  Lack of natural ability

6 )  Little time spent listening to/reading Qur’an

7 )  Poor knowledge of Arabic

8 )  Insincerity

9 )  Deficient method of memorisation and revision

10) No tawfeeq from الله

11) Low physical activity levels

12) Poor dietary habits

Plus others.

As you can see there are just too many variables for us to be able to apply ‘Surah * is hard’ across the board and such statements only serve to give people a bad impression of the Qur’an and encourage laziness and pessimism.

Whilst the opposite is true also, in that saying that Surah * is easy, it is a positive statement and as such should have positive effects which is definitely encouraged. الحمد لله I personally found Suratul Baqarah easy and I think that should be shared so that others are not daunted by its size. A positive psychological outlook is a wondrous thing.

We may tend to glamorise the pursuit of Islamic knowledge and this also needs to be addressed. Let’s be real. Memorising the Qur’an requires hours of daily repetition (memorisation and revision). You will experience frustration, obstacles, tiredness, sore throats etc… You will have to wake up early. You will have to adjust your sleeping habits. You will have to sacrifice watching the latest episode of Lost because you need to revise half a juz for tomorrow. But when was anything worth having, not worth struggling for? Your struggling through these human experiences will bear fruits إن شاء الله and you will begin to taste them once firmly on your way. The sweetest of these fruits you will taste in your prayers إن شاء الله. That is where the glamour is, in the fruits, not in the pursuit.

So to conclude, I put forward that the Qur’an is easy to memorise, all of it. Individuals may find certain suwar to be easier to memorise (previous familiarity, favourite recitation etc…), without detracting from the easiness of the rest of the Qur’an an iota and that is a blessing from الله which He should be thanked for. If your current situation means that you experience memorising to be hard then persevere!

Memorising the Qur’an may take a year or two but it doesn’t end there. Take the Qur’an as a friend. Nobody strikes up an honest friendship with 2 years in mind. The Qur’an is for life and it needs to be viewed as such.

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HD 1: Why Hifdh Diaries?


Bismillah Alhamdulillah

Why am I keeping an online Hifdh Diary?

To start off, one little-known fact about this blog is that, although it started off as something meant to help those who visited it, it quickly became just a way for me to organize articles and lectures that I had read/watched/listened to, etc. I used it as a safe place to keep all of these things, so that I could return and easily sift through the blog to find what I needed. So, it was primarily for myself, but I realized that whatever was benefiting me, could also benefit others, if they only exposed themselves to it, i.e. if they only read it.

These Hifdh Diaries are similar (something primarily for me, that can also benefit others insha Allah)– however, I am publicizing something that I usually privatize. Allow me to explain. I generally do not like to comment much on my journey towards completing my hifdh of the Qur’an. Furthermore, I don’t like to tell people what I’ve memorized because of a fear of them becoming amazed (they are too easily amazed, because trust me, I have a long way to go, wa billah it-tawfeeq) and a fear of my own arrogance and insincerity.

However, I am hoping that due to the fact that I remain anonymous (except to a few people, who I can count on one hand) I will be able to share things of benefit, so that this small effort may one day help someone else in their journey to the completion of hifdh of the Qur’an.

And the very first thing that I would like to share is: you should have your own Hifdh diary. Just go out and buy a fresh, new notebook (I love the smell of a crisp, new notebook!) and use it for tracking your hifdh and review. Since you should be memorizing and reviewing every single day, you should also be writing in this book every single day.

As usual, I should not advise you towards something that I do not care to fulfill so alhamdu lillah, I also have my own book. Actually I’ve had a few books (lol) but now I have only one that I will use for memorization/review purposes only.

I split it into about 2 sections.

(1) In the front, I track myself. (2) And in the back I do my Qur’an homework (this involves writing everything that I am newly memorizing, and more).

In the Tracking Section:

You need a chart, and the columns are as follows:

  • Date: This includes the Day of the Week and the Month/Date/Year
  • Memorized: How many lines memorized, which specific surah and ayaat, how much time it took, when did you memorize (can include specific timings, or just the general time of day)
  • Reviewed: Which pages did you review, when did you review it, how long did it take?

Other options:

  • How much time you feel like you wasted that day in total
  • How many hours you slept, how many naps you took
  • How difficult it was for you to memorize a certain page, and what the reason behind it may be. For example, page 31 was one of my most difficult pages, not because the ayaat are difficult, for truly they are easy ayaat. It was simply because of a sin that I had committed. That was what was keeping me from that sacred knowledge.
  • You can also track your eating habits (eating healthy vs. fried foods)
  • Whether or not you were fasting when you memorized/reviewed
  • How lazy you’ve been feeling, the list goes on.

You can also jot down little reminders and anything that motivates you to memorize. Maybe you met a really inspiring person, record the experience in your Hifdh Diary and re-visit it when you are feeling low on motivation.

Take note of when you become lazy and what it’s usually preceded by. For example, I noticed that when I became lazy towards memorizing Qur’an, it was usually because of 1 of the following 3 reasons:

  1. When I feel like it’s becoming difficult for me.
  2. When I feel guilty (thinking that I may have wronged someone or committed a sin)
  3. When I feel arrogant (like “Whew! I’m awesome, I think I’ll take a break.”…It disgusts (I know it’s a strong word, but it does) me to even type it but it happens and I hope this will be a warning to others. Don’t be offended, but you’re not that awesome, and neither am I.)

You can also track the pages of Tafsir that you’ve read. It was recommended to me, by another memorizer, to read 30 pages a day. If you feel like you can do more and benefit/retain it, then do that.

In short, track yourself. It’s always good to get things down on paper, because as a memorizer of Qur’an, you should already realize, your memory is not as strong and perfect as you think, therefore, whenever we can, we should write things down. Another benefit of this is that you get to see your progress and this is one of the best encouragements. This is the type of encouragement that no one else can give you/tell you about, you see it for yourself. And if you ever become low on motivation, remind yourself of how much you are progressing, and how quickly that can un-do itself if you allow it to.

That’s it for now. Happy Memorizing!

“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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Encouragement to seek knowledge during breaks from work and school

This summer we have so much free time and we should make sure to use it all for the sake of Allah, how shameful is the affair of the person who spends his summer watching reruns of “Friends” or some reality shows, or playing video games… and how honorable is the affair of a person who spends his summer coming closer to the Most Honorable (SWT), learning the way of His Messenger (SAW), memorizing His (SWT) book, softening his own heart, illuminating his own face; just as the Messenger (SAW) said, “May Allah illuminate the person who hears my sayings and retains it, and conveys it as he heard it…”

Scholars in different areas have different methods of studying, not all methods are alike. For example, search this blog for the post titled Methods of Memorization in Mauritania.”

SubhanAllah, hearing and reading about the way of the Scholars, the things they did and how far they reach, you would feel as if we’re fighting for coins (in terms of ajr), while they’re taking all the ajr in caravans.

One of the study methods of the scholars is as such: Lets start the day at Fajr. Between the times of Fajr and Dhuhr, during this time they would study the books of the scholars as well as Hadith. Between Dhuhr and Isha’ would be the time for reviewing Qura’n [in our case, memorizing and reviewing :( ]. Between Isha’ and Fajr, this would be a time for some sleep as well as Qiyam ul layl. (this is all generally speaking, for example there is athkar al masa’ wasabah, as well as taking a nap after dhuhr, etc)

Thats it, very simple but very effective. As Shiekh Bakr Abu Zaid (RA) as well as others say, learn the deen before the responsibilities of life hit you. Sadly, many of us did not take heed to this. Many of us are not so free to have our whole days set up for learning what we should already know, but still, we have some free time and we should use this free time to achieve this goal and among us are some who do not have too many responsibilities to bear. Take and use the free time you have now before it leaves you, May Allah increase us in knowledge and guidance.

Just like a man who stands on a mountaintop looking onto the horizon, he says “The road is indeed very long”, he traverses through the road but before he knows it he cannot even see the mountain that he stood on anymore. Similarly, Dont look onto the summer and say “The road is indeed very long, the time I have is abundant”, then a time comes where you look back at the summer…Not even able to see it anymore.

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Golden Advice for Qur’an Memorizors – Islamic Poetry

A blind sheikh, hafidhahullah, wrote this beautiful short poetry and recites it in a very nice way.

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