You might ask yourself, where do you start to memorise from? Where do you go from there?
There are many routes to memorisation. There’s no right and wrong. I’ll take you through some of the most popular routes here.
Route 1: A to Z
Once you are fluent in reciting the Qur’ān you begin memorisation. This is usually from the start to the end. Juz 1 till the end of the Qur’ān.
The benefit of learning in this way is that the beginning chapters are longer and often harder. This is especially the case for beginners. It means that you would deal with the harder and larger āyāt head-on, and so it’s a daunting route for many people.
Also when these are learned first you’re forced to develop your memorisation technique as quickly as possible. The greatest benefit might be that you’ll have a greater chance of revising them more. So making them stronger before going onto the smaller sections.
Route 2: Z to A
This is more common than the A to Z according to my knowledge. You start from the back and work your way to the first Juz’.
This has the benefit of memorising the short verses and small chapters first. These are memorised faster and can be recited regularly in your salāh/namāz. Another benefit is that you get used to learning the chapter orders early on. Moving from chapter to chapter, and dealing with every kind of verse. A popular reason for choosing this method is to gauge dedication, to see the effectiveness of methods, and your ability to memorise. Another reason might be so that you can begin to lead the prayers and so immediately get prepared for that.
Route 3: Z to A with last Juz’ first, then to the first Juz’
This is the same as the previous route but with a key difference. As soon you have memorised the 30th, you move on to the 1st Juz’. This is the most common method in the subcontinent. This is the way I memorised. The benefits are a combination of the first two routes which gives this route popularity.
Some people vary it by memorising half of the 30th Juz’ and then half of sūrah al-Baqarah, then returning to memorise the 30th and carry on from there.
Route 4: The best goes first
You memorise the well-known chapters first and get into a routine. Thereafter you memorise the rest of the Qur’ān. This is usually in the following order:
- Surah al-Fātiha
- 30th Juz
- 29th Juz or specific to Surah al-Mulk
- Surah al-Yā sīn
- Surah ar Rahmān
- Surah al-Wāqi’ah
- Surah as Sajdāh
- Surah al-Kahf
- Surah al-Jumu’āh
Route 5: Mufassal first
This route dictates that you memorise the short and medium chapters first called the Mufassal chapters. These are within the final division (Manzil/Hizb) of the Qur’ān. They consist of three sections:
- Tiwal Mufassal (From Surah al-Hujurāt to Surah al-Buruj)
- Awsat Mufassal (From Surah al-Buruj to the end of Surah al-Bayyināh)
- Qisār Mufassal (From Surah al-Bayyināh to the final Surah al-Nās)
This means those that do this method complete the 30th, 29th, 28th, 27th, and the 26th ajzā’ first. After this, they move on to the 1st Juz’.
Route 6: A page a day keeps the memory in stay
This route is smart. Real smart. It is the least popular route but one of the most effective. This method has flexibility but is difficult to pull off. It’s popular in Uzbekistan, Bosnia, and Turkey. This is what you do:
You memorise either from the 30th to the 1st or from the 1st to the 30th. Either way, you memorise a page a day from each Juz. So let’s say you’re working from the back…
Day 1: Memorise page 1 or the final page of Juz 1 or 30.
Day 2: Memorise page 1 or the final page of Juz 2 or 29.
Day 3: Memorise page 1 or the final page of Juz 3 or 28.
Day 4: Memorise page 1 or the final page of Juz 4 or 27.
Day 5: Memorise page 1 or the final page of Juz 5 or 26.
And so on.
This method is amazing but it requires strong dedication. It has the benefit of strong memorisation because you are combining the new with the old.
Other notable routes
- Memorise your favourite sūrahs first, then adopt a straight line either from the start or the back.
- Memorise the last 5 ajzā’ first and then start from the first.
- Memorise the first 5 sūrah and then start from the 30th.
- Start with Sūrah Yūsuf and then go to the 30th. This is a fringe opinion based on one teachers experience believed to make your memorisation easier and stronger.
How do you choose the one that’s best for you?
Everyone feels a pull to one or the other. When you’re confused it’s best to follow what your teacher recommends. In the absence of a teacher, ask a hāfiz. But since you’re here – I’ll tell you. Everyone will recommend what their teachers recommended them. Likewise, I would recommend the 30th first regardless of what you do.