Today’s post is Part Two of last weeks hifz post. Though this article was lengthy (hence I divided it into two parts), I am sure many will agree, there are many valuable tips and lessons shared, to enhance one’s hifz journey.
“May Almighty Allah facilitate ease and consistency for all those striving to memorize Al Qur’aan. Aameen.”
– Read page before memorizing it (at least 8 times, will make easier)
The initial memorizing process should always start with the continuous recitation of the page from the mushaf (by reading from the Qur’an, not from memory). This can be repeated till one can swiftly read through the words and is familiar with them; some advise the page to be read at least 8 times, some say 11, some say 20…etc, though it should be done at least till one is comfortable with the page. This will drastically reduce the chances of making mistakes/memorizing incorrectly, and will speed up the memorization process, inshaAllah.
– If you do not know meaning/Arabic read translation before/after memorizing (depends if it makes it easier for you or more confusing)
Generally, after continually reading the-page-to-be-memorized from the mushaf (via looking at the page from the Qur’an), it is very useful to get hold of a translation and go over the meanings of the specific verses one by one before starting to memorize. This helps in keeping one concentrated on the verses, helps to realize the subtle differences between similar verses, and greatly helps to organize the sequence of the verses. Though after testing this, one might find this confusing, and not of much help; then that person should refrain from doing this before memorizing, but should do this after memorizing, to at least know what they have memorized (especially if one doesn’t know Arabic well). If you have a teacher, consult him/her first!
– Ask others on how they memorize (to develop your own method)
Most huffaz memorize a new page of the Qur’an in different ways — that is just like the analogy with the fingers, where each finger is connected to the palm of the hand: though the methods (fingers) are different they all end up at the same place (the palm). One person’s method may suit you better than another person’s method, thus inquiring about how people memorize will aid you in developing your own method. This step will most likely give you a head start in your hifz, inshaAllah; just as it is easier to grow plants on a field that has already been plowed, and prepared for growing, than it is to start from scratch.
– You usually develop your own scheme by time (which ever works best for you)
By practice, as well as from inquiry, one will be able to tell which memorization method suits themselves better. Sometimes it will be a combination of others’ methods, or a totally new method; it is best to follow a method that works best for you, though this may take some time and practice to develop.
– Always let someone listen to you (before the teacher does!) esp. with memorization of new pages
When you memorize something you are most likely not going to see your own mistakes (if you do make any) more less even realize that you’re doing a mistake, even though your Qur’an might be right in front of you and your mistake right ‘under your nose’. Thus, it is highly recommended to have someone listen to your page while you recite it to that person from memory, and they follow along from your Qur’an. Some teachers will assign ‘buddies’ to ensure students do this, so they fix any mistakes before it comes to them, where a couple of mistakes may make you ‘fail’ and you have to re-do your lesson (and ‘waste’ a day due to mistakes that could’ve been avoided). So to avoid such a thing and to avoid simple/silly mistakes, one should always ask someone (preferably who is a hafiz) to listen to them before the teacher listens to them, or before going on to other pages.
– Audio cass./CD may help (listen to it before memorizing)
An alternative to reading the page continuously, some listen to the page (from a Qari on tapes/CDs/computer) a multiple number of times, and reads along with the Qari (reciter). Those who learn better from listening can find this very helpful, as it will familiarize the verses and will prevent any possible errors you may have made prior to listening to the Qari. Though for this to be true, one must pick the Qari they will listen to carefully, because you will in general read just like him; you’ll pick up any of his mistakes, and in most cases, his style of recitation also.
– Time of day (morning/sahar when mind is fresh is best)
For some the time of day is a great factor in memorizing. Some prefer memorizing new pages early in the morning, or during the tahajjud/sahar (the last 1/3 of the night, before dawn) time, stating that their mind is ‘fresh and clear’, and ready to memorize. Some say the opposite: that they feel sleepy at that time and prefer the night-time, especially at midnight. And for some the time of day does not matter at all. We all are unique, thus we will differ in our preference of time. However, one should be consistent, and should be able to maneuver their program to fit into one day. Therefore, they may separate a specific time to memorize a new page, but they should also separate adequate time to revise their other page/s. Developing a schedule (and following it) would be best to ensure the equal distribution and good use of time.
– Your ability expands (inshaAllah) as you memorize.
Just as your ability can be developed before hifz, it can be further enhanced while doing hifz. You generally memorize quicker/better by each chapter of the Qur’an, but this progress most recognizably occurs when one has reached the mid-line of their hifz (memorized half of the Quran). Then, especially toward the end, your tongue seems to read on it’s own accord, and with quite ease (you don’t even have to concentrate as hard). At last, even though it took some time or you didn’t notice in the beginning, you truly start to feel that Allah has made the Qur’an easy to remember.