H11. THE STORY OF UMM ZAYD:

​This is the story of a married sister by the name Umm Zayd who despite the responsibilities of housework, looking after children and tending to her husband’s needs, managed to memorise the entire Qur’aan under unique circumstances. I will briefly narrate her story to you in the hope that it will instil within you the encouragement and drive to achieve similar to what she did.


Umm Zayd doesn’t mention when she started her journey towards memorising the Qur’aan but she mentions how she felt the task would be unattainable and extremely difficult. She says she never dreamt in her wildest dreams that she would ever complete memorising the entire Qur’aan. When she first started to memorise, she began with Soorah al-Baqarah and Aali-‘Imraan, thinking they would be the hardest and take the longest. Her memorisation of these two chapters was extremely prolonged and lasted 7 years.

During one Ramadhaan, her husband told her that he would be spending the last fifteen remaining days performing I’tikaaf (seclusion) in the Haram (Makkah). This was difficult for Umm Zayd as she would be left alone with her four sons and they lived in a remote place, far away from family and friends, and the few neighbours she had did not mingle and preferred to keep to themselves. So when the time came for her husband to travel, she says, “I raised my hands to the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful and supplicated with a supplication of one in distress and tears poured from me, O My Lord, You are the Most Merciful of those who show mercy. Grant me righteous companions who are more virtuous than me so that I may (strive to) be like them and so that they may be for me the best of companions.” 

So Allaah answered her du’aa quickly. Whilst sitting in front of her computer one day, she came across an online academy for memorisers of the Qur’aan and at the time she did not realise that her entering this website was the answer to her supplication but she says she entered the website in a state of sadness and when she left, she was in a completely different state to that which she was when she entered. She met through this online academy the best of sisters who inspired her with their striving to reach this noble goal. She says, “There were sisters there who had memorised the Qur’aan in three days and (here) I was, in seven years I haven’t managed to memorise anything other than two chapters!” So Allaah removed Umm Zayd’s sadness and replaced it with a new found spirit and she said to herself, this Ramadhaan will be different from previous ones. She decided she would strive her utmost to complete memorising the Qur’aan in the last ten blessed days.

Umm Zayd reminded herself of the various ahaadeeth speaking of the virtues and rewards of the memorisers of the Qur’aan, those who are the best of mankind and who have gained the pleasure of Allaah and His abundant blessings! She wrote all these things down and placed them with her mushaf, which was to be her close companion on this journey.

She performed wudhoo (ablution), sat down and opened the mushaf. She began by placing her trust in Allaah and repeating out loudly the verse from the Qur’aan, ‘And We have indeed made the Qur’aan easy to understand and remember, then is there any that will remember (or receive admonition)?’ (Soorah al-Qamar 54:17). She set herself a target of memorising one page in ten minutes and so she memorised, page after page and each time she completed one page, Umm Zayd supplicated to Allaah to make firm her memorisation and said, “O My Lord, I commit to you what you have taught me so guard it for me.” She began to memorise from the time of Dhuhaa up until 2.30pm in the afternoon. She took a short break and returned to memorising up until close to the time of ‘Ishaa prayer. By the end of the day, she had memorised three juz!! Glory be to Allaah who grants these great blessings but unfortunately we do not know how to show due gratitude!

After six days, she had completed memorising twelve juz and started to contemplate whether she should continue memorising or review what she had covered so far. She sought the advice of the sisters she met via the online academy and they encouraged her to continue memorising. She looked forward to the return of her husband and for ‘Eed day to come, when she will have two joys; the joy of completing the fast of Ramadhaan and the joy of completing her memorisation.

But Allaah brought upon her trials to test her resolve and the sincerity of her intention; was she going to give in to the tests or would she continue to achieve her goal? On one particular day, she only managed to memorise two pages, not because she was unable to do so but because she became extremely busied by many things. Amongst them were that all her four sons fell ill with an extreme fever and she was awakened throughout the hours of the night tending to them, especially her youngest child who wept profusely. Then by the Will of Allaah, Umm Zayd herself fell ill but she did not stop memorising. She strove to do as much as she could until Allaah cured them all and kept saying to herself, “I will complete it soon InshaaAllaah.”

Their remained for her only ten juz to memorise and by the grace of Allaah, she memorised them quickly and easily. On the final day, she woke up that morning having dreamt a beautiful dream that this would be the day she completed memorising the Qur’aan and she was filled with immense joy. She had three juz remaining and by now, she was able to memorise an entire page in five to eight minutes. At 9pm that night, she completed her memorisation and she tells of how she was overcome with strange feelings and emotions, the like of which she had never experienced before, nor could she describe to the readers in words.

When she read the final verse, she threw herself onto the ground and prostrated a prostration of thankfulness, weeping out of happiness that she was finally carrying the Qur’aan in her chest. She thanked Allaah for granting her the ability to do so before death approached her and she hurried to share this happiness with her husband.

At the end of her account, she gives some final words of advice saying, “I am a woman like any other woman. I have a husband and children and they study in select schools known for their demanding curriculums and teaching methods. I memorised the Qur’aan without neglecting any of my duties and responsibilities, I put my children and (helping them with) their education first, and always hastened to do what would please my husband without falling short in giving him his rights and always fulfilled my obligations completely. And to Allaah is all Praise. O you mothers! By Allaah! Do not ever make excuses for your not memorising the Qur’aan. So how about those young girls who are not married and do not have such responsibilities upon them?

She goes on to say, “When I thought that Soorah al-Baqarah and Aali ‘Imraan would be hard to memorise and take a long time, Allaah gave me that which I thought, for my memorisation of these two chapters was extremely prolonged. It took 7 years because I did not have good thoughts but when I placed my trust in Allaah and thought well of Him, and said I will memorise the entire Qur’aan in a short space of time, Allaah honoured me with the memorisation of His Book and made it easy for me….O you who wishes to memorise the Qur’aan! Place your trust in Allaah and be true and sincere and have good thoughts about Allaah that He will direct and facilitate that for you, for By Allaah, you will find that (you will reach that goal) quickly.”

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