Step 19 | Reciting to Another Haafidh of the Qur’aan

Reciting to Another Haafidh of the Qur’aan

The one memorizing the Qur’aan should not depend upon memorizing by himself without the need for a teacher. He/She must recite what they have memorized to another person who has perfected the memorization of the Qur’aan, or to someone who listens to their recitation while looking at the Qur’aan, especially when that person is one who has perfected the tajweed of the Qur’aan.

This is important so that the teacher (the Haafidh upon whom the memorized portion is being recited) can correct the mistakes, if there is any, or in case the memorizer forgets while reciting and perhaps repeats unconsciously without paying attention to what they are reciting. Many times when a memorizer of the Qur’aan makes mistakes in their memorization and if they do not recite unto someone else, they will not know they memorized it wrong. He/She may not even notice the mistake even when they look in the mushaf as they memorize or review. This happens because our recitation from memory often precedes the attention we pay to the pages of the mushaf when looking in it. So, someone may sincerely intend to identify their error in hifdh but may be unable to identify it on their own.

Reciting to another person is a fundamental pillar of memorizing and perfecting the memorization. It would be unfortunate if we think we can do it alone, put in all the effort and time, only to realize that we made mistakes in our memorization. Not only will it ruin our morale, it will be very difficult to correct such mistakes if we have stored it in our memory. Reciting to a teacher, someone who knows the Qur’aan by heart and has perfected its tajweed, is a means to ensure we do not fall into this error. It is also a means to ensure we always pay attention to what we memorize and recite.

 

Sneak peek: Step 20 | Avoiding Exaggeration in Recitation

The source and main material used in preparing the contents of this blog is the book, Ways of teaching the noble Qur’aan and memorizing it by Abu Abdrahman, Jamal ibn Ibrahim AlQirsh (طرائق تدريس القرآن الكريم وحفظه).

Step 18 | Organized Daily Memorization Portion

Organized Daily Memorization Portion

Assigning a daily memorization portion that is not too much, or too little for the person memorizing is better than an intermittent memorization schedule.

Maintain a set number of verses, quarter page, half page, or fixed number of lines that you will memorize daily. Memorizing a few lines per day and being consistent with it is better than planning to memorize a page a day, but not fulfilling it, making the memorization intermittent. A’isha (may Allah be pleased with her) reported that Allah’s Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said:

“The most beloved acts to Allah are those which are done continuously, even if they are little,” (Agreed upon).

Consistency in memorization, by maintaining a small daily fixed portion, is more important than memorizing a lot in broken chunks. Consistency helps in the continuation and ease of memorization. It also helps to eliminate boredom and maintain the desire to continue the memorization until completion bi ithniLLAH.

 

Sneak peek: Step 19 | Reciting to Another Haafidh of the Qur’aan. 

The source and main material used in preparing the contents of this blog is the book, Ways of teaching the noble Qur’aan and memorizing it by Abu Abdrahman, Jamal ibn Ibrahim AlQirsh (طرائق تدريس القرآن الكريم وحفظه).

Step 17 | Maintaining Due Obedience and Abstaining from Sins

Maintaining Due Obedience and Abstaining from Sins

Sins have a significant impact on the morale of a person and it leads to a loss of vigor, confuses the person and robs him/her of their grace. Almighty Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) said: ”Allah puts forward the example of a township that dwelt secure and well- content: its provision comes to it in abundance from everywhere, but it denied the favors of Allah (with ungratefulness). So Allah made it taste famine and fear because of that which they used to do.” [Al- Nahl: 112].

The removal of the blessings of security, safety, and peace of mind, and replacing them with the punishment of fear and hunger was the result of committing sins and denying the bounties of Allah upon them. So how is it possible to memorize the Quran without the grace of safety, security, and peace of mind?

Imam Ash- Shafi’I (May Allah have mercy on him) said:

“I complained to Waq’i about my poor memorization,

So, he advised me to quit sinning,

And he said that Allah’s light is a bounty (blessing/favor),

And that Allah’s Bounty is not granted to the disobedient.”

Waq’i bin Al-Jarrah told Ali bin Khashram, “O son! I swear by Allah, I have not found a solution to the ills of memorization better than quitting disobedience”.

Disobedience and committing sins causes hardness of the heart. Allah (Subhanahu wa ta’ala) says:

“So for their breaking of the covenant, We cursed them and made their hearts hard. They distort words from their [proper] usages and have forgotten a portion of that of which they were reminded,” [Al-Maidah: 13].

Sufyan bin Uyaynah was asked:

“Is man robbed of religious knowledge when he commits sins?” He answered: “Didn’t you listen to Allah’s verse- and he mentioned the verse: “So for their breaking of the covenant, We cursed them and made their hearts hard,”

One of the most important things for the memorizers of the noble Quran to do is to be proactive about doing things that increase the eeman because these acts of piety are the means of safety for the people of the Quran. These acts, that increase eeman, are the greatest causes of benefiting from the hifz, and keeping them highly motivated to memorize the Quran. Allah (Subhanahu wa ta’aala) says:

“Say, ‘It is, for those who believe, a guidance and a cure.’ And those who do not believe- in their ears is deafness, and it is, upon them, blindness. Those are being called from a distant place.” [Fussilat: 44].
That means: Say it is for those who are guided by it to the path of truth and wisdom, and the straight way. And those guided by it, use it as a cure for all doubts in their hearts. It is also for them, a cure for all bodily ailments and heart diseases; because it (the Qur’aan) restrains its companion from bad manners and the ugliest deeds, and it urges them towards sincere repentance that washes away sins, and cures the hearts.

{And those who do not believe} in the Qur’aan {in their ears is deafness}: that is: Deafness from hearing it and understanding its meaning, {and it is, upon them, blindness} that is: they do not see the wisdom in it and they are not guided by it. {Those are being called from a distant place}, that is: They are being called to believe and to have faith, but they do not respond (meaning: they are those who do not believe in the Qur’aan and who do not benefit from its guidance, and who don’t see by its light, because they blocked the doors of guidance upon their own selves, by rejecting the Qur’aan.)

May Allah protect us from being from amongst the losers, aameen.

 

Sneak peek: Step 18 | Organized Daily Memorization Portion

The source and main material used in preparing the contents of this blog is the book, Ways of teaching the noble Qur’aan and memorizing it by Abu Abdrahman, Jamal ibn Ibrahim AlQirsh (طرائق تدريس القرآن الكريم وحفظه).

Step 16 | Concentrating When Looking at the Mushaf

Concentrating When Looking at the Mushaf

Focusing on the verses, their positions on the page, and the entire page when memorizing helps to create an imprint of the page in the brain of the person memorizing it. This makes it possible for the memorizer to imagine the verses that he has already memorized and he can recall them quickly. As the memorizer recites, he/she hears him/herself and is able to reflect on the imprinted page or image of the verse they are reciting concurrently. With practice, the imprinted verses or pages can be as vivid as any other clear image in the memory of the memorizer.

The verses might be associated with a certain situation, or the beginning of a story, or a particular expression. Reading the meaning to distinguish which groups of verses belong together is another way to help improve the retention ability of the memorizer. Step 15 as you may recall was about sticking to one copy of the mushaf when memorizing. This step 16, however, is particularly about paying close attention to the pages or the verses for the sole purpose of retaining the image of the page in the memory. They go hand in hand. It will be impossible to maintain an imprint of the mushaf page in the mind if one keeps switching around between different copies of the Qur’aan.

Focusing on the verses as one memorizes and being able to retain the imprint of the verses or the page entails continuously looking at the memorized portion as you repeat the portion multiple times. Even after memorizing the said portion, the memorizer must make a habit of reviewing the portion while looking at the page. Reciting and reading the Qur’aan so as to consolidate what has already been memorized is pertinent to not forgetting the order and positions of the verses on the pages of the Qur’aan

 

Sneak peek: Step 17 | Maintaining Due Obedience and Abstaining from Sins

The source and main material used in preparing the contents of this blog is the book, Ways of teaching the noble Qur’aan and memorizing it by Abu Abdrahman, Jamal ibn Ibrahim AlQirsh (طرائق تدريس القرآن الكريم وحفظه).

Step 15 | Sticking to One Copy of The Mushaf

Sticking to One Copy of The Mushaf (Maintaining a single version of the Qur’aan)

We humans memorize with our sight, just as we memorize with our hearing. Using one Mushaf helps us to get accustomed to the mental images of the pages, as well as the location of verses and their position on the pages of the noble Qur’aan. These images are printed on the mind as long as the person reads and looks at the same copy/version of the Qur’aan.

Version here means the type of print, and / or script of the Qur’aan. For instance, the Madeenah Mushaf is known to be exactly the same all over the world, but the Qatari print although very similar to it and having 15 lines per page also, is different from it in certain portions. Some prints of the noble Qur’aan make provision for the different types of recitation, others use different types of script (most commonly the Urdu script) and Allah knows best.

Every time we change the copy we are using, or even worse, change to a version/script of the noble Qur’aan that is alien to what we are used to, our memorization will be weakened. Recalling the verses from memory will be daunting and sometimes, can be impossible. This is because we will not have a fixed image (in our memory) of the page being recalled. Our memory of it will be scattered and haphazard, due to the change in mental impression. We get accustomed to whatever copy we use, the page order, the verse position, the hizb markings and so on. If we memorize from various versions of Qur’aan where the position of verses varies, we will find it difficult to memorize.

Scholars advise their students to have their own copy of the noble Qur’aan, and that they should not change it so as not to disturb their minds due to the differences in the page order and so on.

May Allah make this easy for us to stick to.

 Sneak peek: Step 16 | Concentrating when looking at the Quran

The source and main material used in preparing the contents of this blog is the book, Ways of teaching the noble Qur’aan and memorizing it by Abu Abdrahman, Jamal ibn Ibrahim AlQirsh (طرائق تدريس القرآن الكريم وحفظه).

Step 14 | Correcting The Pronunciation and The Recitation/Reading

Correcting The Pronunciation and The Recitation/Reading

The Qur’aan is learnt only by receiving verbal instruction and transmission. Indeed, the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) learnt the Qur’aan orally from Jibril (may peace be upon him). The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) used to recite the Qur’aan to Jibril once every year in the month of Ramadan, and he recited the Qur’aan twice in the year that he passed away.

The companions (may Allah be pleased with them) learnt the Qur’aan verbally from the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) and so did the generations of Muslims after them.

This is a distinct attribute of the Qur’aan. It is not like the rest of the revealed books because it has the special nature of being recited, as Almighty Allah says:

“وَإِنَّكَ لَتُلَقَّى ٱلۡقُرۡءَانَ مِن لَّدُنۡ حَكِيمٍ عَلِيمٍ”

“And most surely you are made to receive the Qur’aan from the All Wise, the All Knowing.”

              (“receive” in this ayah means to receive verbally, in recitation form) [An-Naml 6]

Therefore, anyone who memorizes, or is in the process of memorizing the noble Qur’aan should be careful about learning it orally from a proficient reciter and teacher before memorizing the verses. This is so that we do not establish our memorization upon on a weak foundation or with poor tajweed and recitation techniques. Once we memorize a verse in the wrong manner, it becomes difficult to correct the wrong and to relearn it.

The only way to recite properly and correctly is by learning it verbally. A common method these days is to listen to prominent reciters of the Qur’aan and to imitate them. This is very good, however it only solves half of the problem. We will still be left with the other half, which is reciting back to someone who is well versed enough to correct the mistakes we make. We cannot learn it without the help of a teacher, and we should invest our time and effort in finding a good/qualified teacher to learn from.

Many adults are hesitant about this step because they are either arrogant and do not want to learn from someone else, especially if the teacher is younger than they are, or because they feel they are too old to be making mistakes in the presence of a teacher. We have to drop this arrogance and make pleasing Allah our priority. If we always remind ourselves that pleasing Allah is the reason we are memorizing the noble Qur’aan, we will be able to look beyond all the barriers we human beings have put up against improving ourselves in this aspect of our deen.

This is also a reason why it is important for us to make our children learn and memorize the Qur’aan while they are still young. They learn faster and learn better by imitation. They are not afflicted with the issues that prevent adults from learning the Qur’aan. Once they learn it correctly, they will build a solid foundation that will last bi ithniLLAH.

We ask Allah to make us humble enough to understand the need for this fundamental step in memorizing the Qur’aan, and to put it into practice.

Sneak peek: Step 15 | Sticking to One Copy of The Mushaf.

The source and main material used in preparing the contents of this blog is the book, Ways of teaching the noble Qur’aan and memorizing it by Abu Abdrahman, Jamal ibn Ibrahim AlQirsh (طرائق تدريس القرآن الكريم وحفظه).

Step 13 | Choosing The Most Suitable Time

Choosing The Most Suitable Time

There are particular time blocks that we can be mindful about, and consciously take advantage of as we engage in the memorization of the noble Qur’aan. Some of these times are:

  • When we find ourselves actively engaged in what we are doing, or especially engaged in what we are memorizing,
  • When we are successful in keeping the mind free of things that keep the mind busy and all forms of distractions,
  • When we are in full awareness of what we are reading,
  • When we are able to concentrate the most,
  • When we are most attentive and able to ward off drowsiness as we memorize.

Paying close attention to our daily activities and how we perform them will help us identify chunks of beneficial time that we tend to waste during each day. These time blocks occur most often during holidays and weekends when we have less to worry about and we are relaxed.

As Muslims, we must get in the habit of managing our time effectively, and using our time wisely overall. This is especially important when we are memorizing the noble Qur’aan. If we are able to identify time blocks such as those mentioned above, we will be able to allocate the list of things we are to do, based on what level of attention or focus they require, and the times of the day that we find ourselves experiencing the different levels of attention and alertness.

Some of the main benefits of distributing our time are:

  • Renewing activity and vigor,
  • Staying away from fatigue and boredom,
  • Establishing a routine,
  • Getting used to the rituals without being exhausted,
  • Having the strong-will for diligence,
  • And being mindful of wasting time in useless activities.

So, we should try to organize our time and distribute it well throughout the day and night. We should also prepare a schedule and determine the most suitable time for memorization throughout the week. If we are sincere about this step and establish a routine for the memorization of the noble Qur’aan, we will someday achieve our goal by the Will of Allah.

Sneak peek: Step 14 | Correcting the pronunciation and the Recitation/Reading.

The source and main material used in preparing the contents of this blog is the book, Ways of teaching the noble Qur’aan and memorizing it by Abu Abdrahman, Jamal ibn Ibrahim AlQirsh (طرائق تدريس القرآن الكريم وحفظه).

Step 12 | Taking Advantage of The Golden Age of Memorization

Taking Advantage of The Golden Age of Memorization

Studies prove the importance of taking advantage of the golden years of childhood from the age of five to twenty three on average. Mankind during these years especially have a distinctive ability to memorize.

It is by the tawfeeq of Allah that a man would take advantage of these golden years and not waste them by procrastinating and delaying, thinking that they have their whole lives ahead of them. These golden years are an opportunity that is rarely restored in old age.

The benefits of memorizing during this stage in life are the lack of familial or monetary concerns and responsibilities for the young person. Without the aforementioned worries, they have plenty of free time and clear minds because of their young age and lack of commitment toward family or other responsibilities, and this contributes significantly to their ability to complete the memorization of the noble Qur’aan, by the Will of Allah.

This is an advice especially to parents of young children. We should not look at them as babies until they reach the age where they ask you to stop embarrassing them in front of their peers. Children that are born during these days of technology and smart gadgets are quickly exposed to a lot more than the older generation were at the same ages. These gadgets whether we agree or not, makes them think differently than the older generation did as young children. They get absorbed into the cycle of being fed information without any effort on their part. This unlimited flow of information and distractions unfortunately occupies their minds from a young age. They end up being robbed of their most prized asset, a clear and carefree mind which is pertinent to the memorization of Qur’aan.

As a Qur’aan teacher myself, I have witnessed dozens of times, students being mentally engaged in other activities while sitting in my presence (when they are supposed to be memorizing the Qur’aan). When you call their attention, sometimes they are startled from the sudden interruption in their train of thoughts. At other times, for the slightly older students (tweens and teens), asking them to memorize the Qur’aan is like asking them to hold on to red hot coal. They have developed an aversion for anything that will keep them occupied and away from their smart gadgets.

We should only use these tools in a beneficial manner and not as a means of keeping the children occupied. We should not be the ones to fill their minds with distractions and otherwise non-beneficial information. We should not work against ourselves by robbing our own children of the most important asset they possess, a clear mind. We should fear Allah in the way  raise our children, and get them to memorize the Qur’aan before they too grow up and wish you (the parent) had made them do it when they were young.

We ask Allah to make our deeds sincerely for His sake alone, and to enable us to raise children that will remain for us after our death as a source of continuing good deeds, aameen.

 

Sneak peek: Step 13 | Choosing the most suitable time.

The source and main material used in preparing the contents of this blog is the book, Ways of teaching the noble Qur’aan and memorizing it by Abu Abdrahman, Jamal ibn Ibrahim AlQirsh (طرائق تدريس القرآن الكريم وحفظه).

 

Step 11 | Paying Close Attention to Verses with Similarities

Paying Close Attention to Verses with Similarities

The Qur’aan contains verses that are similar in meaning, in words and in verses, the Almighty Allah said:

“Allah has sent down the best statement, a Book (this Qur’aan), its parts resembling each other in goodness and truth, oft-repeated. The skins of those who fear their Lord shiver from it (when they recite it or hear it). Then their skin and their heart soften to the remembrance of Allah. That is the guidance of Allah. He Guides there with whomever He pleases and whomever Allah sends astray, for him there is no guide” [Surah Az-Zumar Vs.23]

If the Holy Quran contains nearly six thousand verses and a little more, there are about two thousand similar verses in general that match, or differ in a single letter, or in a single word or two, or more. It is incumbent upon the reader of the noble Qur’aan to pay special attention to the similar verses, especially those that are almost identical.

An example of similar verses in the same surah:

Allah says in Al- Baqarah Vs. 144:

وَحَيۡثُ مَا كُنتُمۡ فَوَلُّواْ وُجُوهَكُمۡ شَطۡرَهُۥۗ وَإِنَّ ٱلَّذِينَ أُوتُواْ ٱلۡكِتَٰبَ لَيَعۡلَمُونَ أَنَّهُ ٱلۡحَقُّ مِن رَّبِّهِمۡۗ

And Allah says also in Al- Baqarah Vs. 150:

وَمِنۡ حَيۡثُ خَرَجۡتَ فَوَلِّ وَجۡهَكَ شَطۡرَ ٱلۡمَسۡجِدِ ٱلۡحَرَامِۚ وَحَيۡثُ مَا كُنتُمۡ فَوَلُّواْ وُجُوهَكُمۡ شَطۡرَهُۥ لِئَلَّا يَكُونَ لِلنَّاسِ عَلَيۡكُمۡ حُجَّةٌ إِلَّا ٱلَّذِينَ ظَلَمُواْ مِنۡهُمۡ فَلَا تَخۡشَوۡهُمۡ وَٱخۡشَوۡنِي

Note the repetition of the potion of the verse:

وَحَيۡثُ مَا كُنتُمۡ فَوَلُّواْ وُجُوهَكُمۡ شَطۡرَهُ

Following the above portion in the first ayah is an emphatic statement

وَإِنَّ ٱلَّذِينَ أُوتُواْ ٱلۡكِتَٰبَ

and in the second ayah, an explanatory statement

لِئَلَّا يَكُونَ لِلنَّاسِ عَلَيۡكُمۡ حُجَّةٌ

An example of similarities between chapters is seen in Surahs Al- Infitaar and At- Takwir, wherein there is a repetition of the same portion of a verse in the form:

عَلِمَتۡ نَفۡسٞ مَّآ

In Surah At- Takwir Vs. 14, Allah says:

 عَلِمَتۡ نَفۡسٞ مَّآ أَحۡضَرَتۡ

and in Surah Al- Infitaar Vs. 5, Allah says:

عَلِمَتۡ نَفۡسٞ مَّا قَدَّمَتۡ وَأَخَّرَتۡ

The addition in At- Takwir is: {what he has brought (of good and evil}, and in Al- Infitaar: {what he has sent forward and (what he has) left behind}.

In conclusion of this step, paying close attention to similar phrases or verses is pertinent to perfecting the memorization. Some people may complain about not understanding the Arabic Language, they may want to use this as an excuse not to be mindful of this very important step. We should remember that Allah has made it easy for us to read these words, He alone is capable of making it easy for us to learn the language as well. If we strive hard, with the correct intention for the sake of Allah, we can do all that we as humans deem impossible, regardless of our age.

In the meantime, all that is required of us is to be mindful of what comes after the similar phrases. Not mixing them up can be said to be the epitome of perfection in the memorization of the noble Qur’aan.

We ask Allah for steadfastness and the ability to perfect this step, aameen.

 

Sneak peek: Step 12 | Taking advantage of the golden age of memorization.

The source and main material used in preparing the contents of this blog is the book, Ways of teaching the noble Qur’aan and memorizing it by Abu Abdrahman, Jamal ibn Ibrahim AlQirsh (طرائق تدريس القرآن الكريم وحفظه).

Step 10 | Perpetual Listening, Reviewing, and Recitation.

 

Perpetual Listening, Reviewing, and Recitation.

One who memorizes the noble Qur’aan should have a minimum portion that he/she will recite on a daily basis. The ideal is to recite one juz “part” once a day at the least, and you can recite at the most, ten juz a day for the Prophet(peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, ‘He who recites the Qur’aan in less than three (days), does not understand it.’  [Abu Dawood]

This indicates the Prophet’s (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) keenness on advising us against rushing while reciting the noble Qur’aan as this has a negative impact on the recitation, comprehension, and reflection on the the recited verses. When the comprehension and reflection  are lost due to hastiness, it defeats the main purpose of the revelation of the noble Qur’aan.

The messenger of Allah (PBUH) said: “The parable of one who memorizes the noble Qur’aan by heart is like the parable of an owner of a hobbled camel. If he remains vigilant, he will retain it, and if he neglects it, it will go away.”

This is a reference to how easy it is to forget, and to loose whatever one has memorized. A commitment to a schedule that includes ongoing revision, recitation, reading with understanding, memorization, and a continuous care and protection for all of the above, makes the memorization very strong and last long.

“Be mindful of your efforts and do not be like the one who walks many miles to a stream only to fetch water from the stream and pour it into a basket made out of woven straw” (Hidayah).

 

Sneak peek: Step 11 | Paying Close Attention to Verses with Similarities.

The source and main material used in preparing the content of this blog is the book, Ways of teaching the noble Qur’aan and memorizing it by Abu Abdrahman, Jamal ibn Ibrahim AlQirsh (طرائق تدريس القرآن الكريم وحفظه).