Memorising Quran is a journey for the best of people to embark on. Indeed as the prophet peace be upon him said: ‘The best of you are those who learn the Quran and teach it to others’.
Memorising the Quran is an expression of deep love to the guidance that Allah mercifully sent to His honourable creation. It is a conscious intent to let it guide the hearts, thoughts and lives. It is the first step towards seeking higher Islamic knowledge, which the righteous Salaf took upon themselves at a very young age before seeking any other knowledge.
Let us begin by clarifying what memorising or Hifz of the Quran is. It is strictly the ability to recite the entire Quran (from beginning to end and any Surah or Section of it) from memory, smoothly and with accurate articulation of sounds and words, without any reference to the text.
The method you choose to follow when embarking on memorising is as important as the teacher, the time and dedication. Follow a good method and you will in shaa Allah see yourself meeting your ultimate goal. Follow a wrong method, and no dedication, time or money will help.
The article below illustrates a method for memorising the Quran which is described by Sheikh Ibraheem bin Muhammed AlSa’qqoub (a Quran memorisation coach) as one which the righteous Salaf followed and which is tried and tested in several Mosques and by hundreds of successful Hufaz in Saudi Arabia.
Agree with your teacher on where you wish to begin memorising from, i.e. the beginning or the end of the Quran.
Then, select the section you wish to memorise. Be realistic, it is better that you focus on a small section and are able to strengthen your memorisation of it adequately (as will be described) than rush a large chunk without giving it the time it requires to be reinforced in your memory.
Then, recite this section in front of a qualified teacher to rule out any mispronunciations, poor articulation or negligence of Tajweed rules on your part.
2. Warm up
Focus your mind and sight on the section you wish to memorise, recite it thoroughly from the Mushaf as many times as you need (2+ times).
Then practice reading the section without looking at the Mushaf. If you are stuck, take a glance at the page. Keep practising and taking brief glances until you are able to recite the section without glancing at the page.
Once you are able to recite the section without looking at the Mushaf, repeat it 40 times (without the Mushaf). If you find this too challenging train yourself by repeating the section 20 times, then 30 times until you are able to repeat 40 times. This resource makes this stage easier for children and young people.
Always include the 1st Ayah of the following section in your memorisation. This will help your mind build connections between the sections.
The following day take a new section and repeat it 40 times. What will you do with the section you memorised yesterday? you should repeat that 5 times.
The following day take another new section and repeat it 40 times. Repeat the previous section 5 times and the first section once.
Keep doing this until you have memorised two Juzz.
Once you have reached this point (memorised 2 Juzz) split them into two. This way you will be revising one Juzz a day.
Mon- Juzz 1
Tues- Juzz 2
Wed- Juzz 1
Thurs- Juzz 2
Fri- Juzz 1
Sat- Juzz 2
Sun- Juzz 1
Keep repeating this cycle of revision. Revision should be without a Mushaf (the Quran Book).
In the meantime, maintain memorisation of new sections. Hence your time should be split between memorisation of a new section and revision.
Once you have completed another Juzz, add it to the cycle. Divide the total number of Juzz you have adequately memorised into 2. The total is the duration of your revision cycle.
For example, if you memorised 6 Juzz, divide this by 2. The total duration of your revision cycle is three days
Mon- Juzz 1 & 2
Tues- Juzz 3 & 4
Wed- Juzz 5 & 6
Thurs- Juzz 1 & 2
Fri- Juzz 3 & 4
Sat- Juzz 5 & 6
This element may seem similar to the ‘Revise’ element above because it requires you to revise something you have memorised. The difference is that this section is not part of the Revision cycle. It should be allocated a separate time.
It is where you revise the latest 20 pages you memorised just once. Every time you complete a page, you drop the oldest page.
It lies in a middle ground between short-term memory and long-term memory and aids the transference of new knowledge from short-term to long-term.
Based on this your typical Hifz time should comprise:
- Time for memorising a new section and repeating it 40 times (no Mushaf)
- Time for reciting the last 20 pages you memorised once (no Mushaf)
- Time for for revision cycle
Having a teacher will no doubt help you be more organised and on track. It is highly recommended that you begin this journey with a teacher.
7. Dedication and patience
Additionally, you should make a timetable for yourself and stick to it. Choose the number of days and hours you will dedicate to memorisation and plan the location in advance.
Never cut down on or belittle the time you give to the Quran and remember that the more you repeat, the more it will last with you and you will perfect memorisation of it.