How To Balance Student Life With Hifz-ul-Quran

Let me introduce to you the story of Aishah. She is a medical and Islamic sciences student who recently complete her memorisation of the Qur'ān (Hifz-ul-Qur'ān).

Last year, I had an idea to start a newsletter where we could follow the journey of those memorising the Qur'ān. A way for us to gain insights, see how different people face ups and downs in the journey, see how they navigate through their struggles and what decisions they make. This led to The Diary of A Hāfiz where we get the chance to read weekly diaries of those memorising the Qur'ān.

Alhamdulillāh - Aishah is one of those people that had been sharing her weekly hifdh diary and after 36 weeks, she reached her destination. Today, I'll share her diary here and the lessons we can take from them.

Go through it and you'll come to realise there are a few basic ingredients you need to become successful with the grace of Allāh.

The Hifdh Diaries of Aishah

Week 1

  • Background: I started hifdh when I was a child and I've memorised Nisf. I have had numerous breaks while memorising until last month (August) when had a mindset shift and re-started my journey from Juz' 1.
  • Latest Updates: I currently have a teacher for my Hifdh. I'm currently memorizing Surah An-Nisa. I memorized 12 pages ( Surah Al-Imran verse 158 to Surah An-Nisa verse 26) last week and I'm currently on a 4-day break to consolidate the first 4 Juz - which is going well, Alhamdulillah. For my Manzil (revision), AlhamduliLlah, I found an article from your newsletter which will help to consolidate 1 juz per week. (A rub'u per day) so, every 8 days, a Juz will be completed. I just started with that this week (From Juz. 16) and I hope I'll be consistent with it, In Shaa Allah.
  • Struggles: Trying to get a new teacher whenever I change my location is often a whole lot of challenge because getting a good teacher is not easy and online Hifdh isn't my style- it doesn't really work for me. Relying on motivation, so, on my low days, I don't get to do neither Hifdh nor Muraaja'a (which can linger on to monthsss). I don't have a laid down plan for the Muraaja'a of my Manzil. Well, that was until I found your newsletter last week. Alhamdulillah.

Week 2

  • Background: She started hifdh when she was a child and memorised half. But recently started again from Juz' 1.
  • Latest Updates: Alhamdulillah, the Muraaja'a of the first 4 Ajza went well. I memorised 7 pages last week (Suratul Nisaa verse 27 till verse 74). Alhamdulillah. I'll complete the revision of the 15th Juz today. I skipped a day.
  • Struggles: I'm still trying to keep up with reveiwing a rub'u daily. Specifying a time for it is a bit challenging because I have to do my Sabaq and then Sabaqi too.
  • What I've realised: Reading the Tafsir of the memorised verses eases the path to recall and makes one establish a great connection with the Qur'an. Learning my Sabaq properly and repeating it numerous times made the revision a lot easier.

Week 3 & 4

  • 'I memorised 12 pages ( Suratul Nisaa verses 75 to 147), that made a completion of the first 5 Ajzaa. Alhamdulillah. My Muraaja'a wasn't constant for the week because there wasn't a specified time for it. I've been able to work a better schedule for my Muraaja'a. I hope it works out well. Bi idhni Llah. 
  • 'At the beginning of the October, I actually felt like I had less work to do and that was because I hadn't written down my goal and action plan for the month. I did that on Friday and started implementing on Saturday. So far, I've memorised 6 pages( Suratul Nisaa verses 148 to Suratul Maaidah verse 5). I've been able to work out a better schedule for my Muraaja'a and it has been going steadily, Alhamdulillah. I did Juz 30 and Juz 29 with an average of 2 rub'u daily. Also, I went back to Juz 'Amma because it's relatively easier and it will make me accustomed to the Muraaja'a schedule before I get to the challenging Suwar. Bi idhni Llah.'
  • What I've realisedI think one of the things the Qur'an journey has come to instill in us is to recite the Qur'an everyday no matter the circumstance(s). May Allah make it easy.'

Week 5

  • "AlhamduliLlah, the week went well. I was able to memorise 10 pages( Suratul Maaidah verse 6 to 57). Muraaja'a has been going well, Alhamdulillah. I will be done with Juz 28 tomorrow (Tuesday), Bi idhni Llah. I skipped a day though, but I was able to make up for it."

Week 6

  • "AlhamduliLlah, the week went well. I was able to memorise 13 pages( Suratul Maaidah verse 58 to Suratul An'am verse 28). I did the revision of Juz 6 when I completed it. Coupled with my daily portions, I try to go over the current Juz I'm memorizing from the beginning till the last verse memorised (daily) to further strengthen it. I skip it on some days though but the goal is to go back to it even when I falter. I pray Allah makes it easy.
  • Muraaja'a has been going well, Alhamdulillah. So far this month, I've been able to go over Juz 30, 29, and 28 and I'll also be done with Juz 27 in 4 days time, Bi idhni Llah. It's so amazing how consistency pays in the long run, even with how little the portions seemed, I've made a considerable progress, AlhamduliLlah.
  • N:B:- I'm kinda anxious about November because Medical school has gotten busier and I'm worried that I would fall back on my track. I pray Allah makes it easy for me to be consistent and always prioritise my revision and hifdh."

Week 7

  • "AlhamduliLlah, the week went fairly well. I was able to complete the memorisation of Juz 7. I did 11 pages( Suratul An'am verses 28 to 110). Muraaja'a didn't go so well for me. After I completed Juz 27, I wasn't able to proceed. I had a really tight schedule which disrupted my plans. I've created a new goal and action plan for November that would fit my schedule. So, the deal is to do my Revision on weekdays and Hifdh on weekends (I have free time on weekends, AlhamduliLlah) - 6 pages weekly In Shaa Allah. Like I learnt from your articles, quality should always take more preference than quantity, revision is the most important pillar of Hifdh and then, it's okay to go at your own pace no matter how slow. I pray Allah makes it easy, Aaminnn."

Week 8

  • "AlhamduliLlah, the week went well. I started off with my new plan for the month.
  • Hifdh: Started with Juz 8. I memorised 6 pages during the weekend as planned- Suratul An'am verses 111 - 146.
  • Muraaja'a: I wanted to build up the amount I revise from scratch so I started with a Hizb daily. I did the first two Ajza last week and I've started Juz 3 today (Monday). For my Kahf till Naas, I started Juz 26 today(Monday), so a Rub'u daily as usual.
  • What assisted me? - I supplicate to Allah to make it easy for me because no matter how much I plan, only Allah will make it easy. - I divided everything I have to do daily into bits and set different times for them. This makes the portions feel less overwhelming. - I read articles on Qari's blog. They are really amazing and there's so much to learn from each piece. Allahuma Baarik. - I recite the daily portions on my Fard Salaah and Nawaafil also."

Week 9

  • "AlhamduliLlah, the week went well.
  • Hifdh: I memorised 6 pages during the weekend as planned: Suratul An'am verses 147 - Suratul A'araf verse 30.
  • Muraaja'a: I did Juz 3 and Juz 4 last week and I've started Juz 5 today (Monday). For my Kahf till Naas, I'm done with Juz 26 and will start with Juz 25 today. A Rub'u (quarter) daily as usual."

Week 10

  • "AlhamduliLlah, the week went well.
  • Hifdh: I memorised 6 pages during the weekend as planned- Suratul A'araf verses 31 - Suratul A'araf verse 73.
  • Muraaja'a: I've completed the revision of and Juz 5 and 6 last week and I've started Juz 7 on Monday. I found some parts of Suratul Nisa to be a bit weak and I'll work on it, Bi idhni Llah. For my Kahf till Naas, I'm done with Juz 25 and will start with Juz 24 tomorrow. A Rub'u daily as usual."

Week 11

  • "AlhamduliLlah, the week went well. 
  • Hifdh: I memorised 6 pages during the weekend as planned, Suratul A'araf verses 74 and Suratul A'araf verse 130. AlhamduliLlah, I've completed the 8th Juz and I'm currently on the 9th Juz. I also repeated Juz 8 a lot of times during the weekend to make it firm. 
  • Muraaja'a: I did the revision of Juz 7 and 8 and last week. For my Kahf till Naas, I started with Juz 24 last week and I've missed two days. 
  • Challenge: I recently feel overwhelmed about the whole journey and that's affecting my concentration. I hope to get away with the feeling soon."

Week 12

  • "Hifdh: AlhamduliLlah, the week went fairly well. I did my monthly plan right from the first day of the month but I wasn't able to meet my Hifdh target last weekend because I was preparing for some exams. I memorised 1 page (Surat Al A'raf verses 131 - 137). 
  • Revision: AlhamduliLlah. I made sure I didn't miss any aspect of my revision. I've completed the 24th Juz and I've started the 23rd Juz, currently on the 3rd Rub'u. I've also increased the amount I revise daily to 2 Juz. How I pick it daily is 1 Juz from the front, then another from the back. So on Day 1, I had Juz 1 and 30. Day 2, I had Juz 2 and 29 and so on. I do 1 juz in the morning, the second at night and on some days when I'm tired from school, I listen (actively) to the evening portion. I got the idea of listening to the portions from one of Qari's newsletters, May Allah bless him."
  • So, here's my daily revision cycle and the time I set for them:
    - A Juz in the morning, done after Tahajjud. I finish up after Subh at times.
    - A Rub'u- before I observe Tahajjud.
    - 2nd Juz in the evening-after Ishaa.
    - Sabqi: I mostly do this in school whenever there's free time. This plan is easier because I only do revision on weekdays. No Hifdh. AlhamduliLlah, I was able to figure out what's best for my journey. Though, on some days, it can be really challenging but I know nothing good comes easy and the result I'm getting from this (=my Muraaja'a has gotten lots better) is one of my major motivating factors to keep striving."

Week 13

  • "Hifdh: AlhamduliLlah, the week went well but I wasn't able to meet my Hifdh target last weekend because of my exams. 
  • Revision: AlhamduliLlah. My revision was consistent and I've completed the consolidation of the 23rd Juz. I've started the 22nd Juz, currently on the 2nd Ruk'u. Manzil was regular too (2 Juz' daily as usual), likewise my Sabqi. I didn't miss any day. 
  • What I've realised: While I was making this month's plan, I thought I would be able to combine Hifdh + Muraaja'a + My exams but apparently, I couldn't. I felt bad about not doing my Hifdh but I know that if I had done it, it was going to be weak, and having a weak Hifdh is not part of the plan. AlhamduliLlah, now I know how best to plan my Hifdh during exam periods. They will be Hifdh free days, but Muraaja'a will continue."

Week 14

  • "Hifdh: AlhamduliLlah, the week went well and I was able to do my Hifdh. Suratul An'am verses 138 to 170. 
  • Revision: AlhamduliLlah. My revision was consistent and I've completed the consolidation of the 22rd Juz. I've started the 21st Juz today. Manzil was regular too (2 Juz' daily as usual), likewise my Sabqi. I didn't miss any day. AlhamduliLlah."

Week 15

  • "Last week was really a busy one for me. I had a change in my regular schedule and that disrupted my Hifdh plans. 
  • Hifdh: Unfortunately, I didn't do any Hifdh last weekend. I missed it on Saturday, then to pick it up on Sunday was even harder. 
  • Muraaja'a: I did my Muraaja'a for the week but missed 3 days, so, I'm still on the 21st Juz. Hopefully, I'll pick up again today. I didn't do my Manzil and Sabqi too for the past 5 days. The guilt of missing it on a day affects the other days. I know that's not meant to be but I couldn't help it. Bi idhni Llah, I'll pick up from when I stopped today. I just have to because I've been feeling like something is missing from my daily activities and thanks to my accountability partners who kept on sending their daily updates- that served as a reminder that I have to pick up my Hifdh too. I pray Allah makes it easy, Aamin."

Week 16

  • "AlhamduliLlah, I was able to get back on track last week. I would say there have been about 80% improvement. It's a new month and the plan is ready. There are some changes in my academic schedule that were put into consideration while making this month's plan. 
  • Hifdh: Last week, I didn't memorise any new portion. I just started memorising on Monday. I've memorised 2 pages( 172 and 173 of a 15-lined Qur'an). The new plan for my Hifdh is to memorise six days in a week- one page daily on weekdays and two pages on Saturday. Sunday will be for revision of the week's portion. I discovered that memorising on weekends alone might not the best. I unavoidably missed some days last month and that affected me a lot + I want to integrate the Hifdh into my daily activities. 
  • Muraaja'a: AlhamduliLlah, I've completed the consolidation of the last ten Ajza last month( 21 -30). I have 6 Ajza (15 - 20) left for consolidation. I started from Juz 15 yesterday and have done 2 new Rub'u. My plan for the continuous revision of the last ten Ajza is to get another teacher online that I can recite to on selected days of the week- I'm still on the lookout for now. My daily Muraaja'a for now will be 1 Juz daily. I got an idea from a Muraaja'a planner to recite my previous day Muraaja'a on Salaah on the next day. I plan on implementing that this month. In Shaa Allah.”

Week 17

  • "Hifdh: AlhamduliLlah, the new plan is going well. I memorised 7 pages last week ( 172 - 178 of a 15-lined Qur'an). I also revised the 7 pages on Sunday.
  • Muraaja'a: AlhamduliLlah, I'm currently on the 8th Sheet of the 15th Juz. I couldn't keep up with a Rub'u daily, so, I reduced it to 2 pages daily. My daily Muraaja'a has been 1 Juz daily and I recite them on Salah."

Week 18

  • "Hifdh: AlhamduliLlah, the new plan is going well. I memorised 5 pages last week ( 179- 183 of a 15-lined Qur'an). I wasn't able to revise them properly on Sunday but I did about 60%. 
  • Muraaja'a: AlhamduliLlah, I'm currently on the 16th Juz. - My daily Muraaja'a has been 1 Juz daily and I recite them on Salah however I missed 3 days due to some change in environment. This week will be better, Bi idhni Llah.”

Week 19

  • "Last week was kind of stormy for me, if I could say that. I was overwhelmed with my daily schedule coupled with academics and had to re-adjust my schedules. 
  • Hifdh: I was able to memorise 3 pages in total(184- 186 of a 15-lined Qur'an). I hope to get regular now that I've adjusted my schedule, In Shaa Allah.
  • Muraaja'a: I've paused consolidation for now and only focusing on Sabqi and Manzil. My Sabqi is 1 juz away from my daily Sabaq and my Manzil is 1 Juz daily.
    So, here's the new schedule;
    - Manzil:- 1 hour after Tahajjud.
    - Sabaq:- 1 hour after Subh.
    - Sabqi:- I do it along with my daily activities/After Salah.
    - Manzil:- If it's still remaining, I complete it after Ishaa. Then after this, I prep my next day's Sabaq by reciting the whole page 5 times, listening to it, reading the meaning and Tafsir.”

Week 20

  • “Hifdh: AlhamduliLlah, my Hifdh got better last week. I started off with Suratul Taobah last week. I memorised the usual 7 pages last week (187- 193 of a 15-lined Qur'an). I revised them properly on Sunday and read to my teacher later in the evening.
  • Sabqi: Sabqi is going well, it helps to further strengthen my Hifdh and the time I spend on it reduces day by day. AlhamduliLlah.
  • Manzil: My Manzil is still not optimal, but I make sure I do a Juz daily, though some Ajza like Juz 5 and Juz 6 are not as strong as others. I am working on them and I listen to them more frequently.”

Week 21

  • “Hifdh: AlhamduliLlah, my Hifdh was regular last week and I'll be completing the 10th Juz today, AlhamduliLlah. I memorised the usual 7 pages last week (194- 201 of a 15-lined Qur'an) and revised them properly on Sunday. I would be doing a grand revision of the 10th Juz and get tested thereafter, In Shaa Allah.
  • Sabqi: This is going well and is really helping the strength of my Hifdh. AlhamduliLlah.
  • Manzil: My Manzil is not the best yet, but I make sure I do a Juz daily.
    I listen to them more frequently and that also helps. I do listen to Juz 15 - 30 and recite Juz 1- 10 from memory. I just feel like I should repeat Juz 1-10 more because they are the most recently memorised portions. Juz 15-30 are relatively stronger but I still want to be familiar with them, hence the listening. So, practically, I do 2 Juz a day - 1 from memory, 1 by listening.”

Week 22

  • “Hifdh: AlhamduliLlah, my Hifdh was regular last week. I'm now on the 11th Juz and I've completed the memorisation of Suratul Taobah, AlhamduliLlah. I memorised 6 pages last week (202- 207 of a 15-lined Qur'an) but couldn't revise all on Sunday. I would revise the remaining this week, In Shaa Allah.
  • Sabqi: This was constant for the week, AlhamduliLlah.
  • Manzil: My Manzil was 1 Juz daily for 4 days, but I reduced it to a Hizb when I got to Juz 5 because it's a bit weak and due to my imminent exams.
    I still listen to Juz 15-30 according to my daily plan.
  • What's new? I was on Qari's blog on Wednesday and I read the article on revising in Salah. That prompted me to start it again and I decided to begin with Juz 26 - 30 for all my Waajib and Nawaafil Salah. It's going well so far, AlhamduliLlah.”

Week 23

  • “Hifdh: My school exam was last week so I didn't do Sabaq during the weekdays. I started Suratul Yunus during the weekend and memorised the first 4 pages( Pages 208 - 211 of a 15-lined Qur'an).
  • Revision: Throughout the week, I did the revision from the beginning of Juz 10 till the end of Suratul Taobah together with my daily Manzil. However, Manzil was reduced to one Hizb for few days but I'm back to 1 Juz now, AlhamduliLlah.”

Week 24

  • My schedule changed last week because I'm on an academic break and that would continue for the next 2 weeks, Bi idni Llah.
  • Hifdh: My new plan is to memorise 3 pages daily(on weekdays). I memorised a total of 10 pages last week(Pages 212-221 of a 15-lined Qur'an) which makes the completion of the 11th Juz. I consolidated the Juz during the weekend.
  • Sabqi: AlhamduliLlah, it was fair for the week. I missed it for 3 days.
  • Manzil: Mostly 1 Juz daily though I did a Hizb for two days due to improper organisation.
  • What's new?
    Last week, I connected with two sisters for scheduled bi-weekly recitations. Juz 1-10 with a sister, then Juz 21-30 with the other sister. We've started and so far, it's been of great help. May Allah keep us consistent, Aamin.”

Week 25

  • “Hifdh: AlhamduliLlah, I memorised 15 pages last week(Pages 222-236 of a 15-lined Qur'an). I consolidated the portions during the weekend.
  • Sabqi: AlhamduliLlah, it was constant throughout last week.
  • Manzil: I'm gradually increasing my Manzil. So, I'm now at 1 and half Juz daily. From memory.
  • What's new? My bi-weekly recitations are also going well. AlhamduliLlah.”

Week 26

  • “Hifdh: Last week, I completed the Hifdh of Juz 12 and started Juz 13. AlhamduliLlah. I memorised 15 pages(Pages 237-251 of a 15-lined Qur'an) and consolidated the portions during the weekend. I also recited to my teacher.
  • Sabqi: AlhamduliLlah, it was constant throughout last week.
  • Manzil: Still at 1 and half Juz daily. AlhamduliLlah, it was constant.
  • What's new?
    I'm trying to create a plan to repeat my Manzil more during Ramadan i.e. to make them even stronger. I pray Allah makes it easy.”

Week 27

  • "My break is over and I'll be resuming school today. The break was a blessing as I was able to do a lot of revision and did the Hifdh of almost 3 Ajza, liLahi-l -Hamd.
  • Hifdh: I've completed the memorisation of Juz 13. I memorised 10 pages(Pages 252-261 of a 15-lined Qur'an) and consolidated the portions during the weekend. I also recited to my teacher. I'm now a Juz away from completion, AlhamduliLlah.
  • Sabqi: AlhamduliLlah, it was constant throughout last week.
  • Manzil: 1 and half Juz daily. AlhamduliLlah, it was constant and it has gotten way better than I started the break. AlhamduliLlah.
  • What's new?
    My schedule will change for Ramadan but I'm yet to figure out how exactly it will be( I'm still working on it). I'm hoping to memorise the last Juz, do more revision and do a number of Khatams. May Allah preserve us beyond Ramadan and make us benefit from it, Aaminnn.”

Week 28

  • "Update: AlhamduliLlah, Ramadan is finally here - May Allah make us benefit maximally from it, Aamin. I finally have a plan of how I wish to navigate Ramadan and I've started implementing it, AlhamduliLlah.
  • Hifdh: My initial plan was to memorise my last Juz this month but with careful planning and the situation of things, I wouldn't be able to proceed with that because I have to juggle my academics together with Ramadan. However, I plan to memorise Suratul Hijr since it isn't a very long Surah. I'll commence memorisation today, In Shaa Allah.
  • Manzil: I've increased my daily revision to 2 Juz since we're in the month of Qur'an and it's a great opportunity to strengthen my Hifdh and build up on my previous quantity of 1.5 Juz.
  • Sabqi: I've also been going over my latest memorised Juz (Juz 13) as my Sabqi and it's been constant, AlhamduliLlah.
  • What's new? I have a new set of time blocks for carrying out my daily tasks (due to Ramadan) and Bi idhni Llah, I hope to do at least 3 Khatams. May Allah make it easy.”

I asked her to tell me more about the schedule and time blocking, she said:

TIME BLOCKS:

  • "Hifdh:- 15-20 minutes after Tahajjud (it's few verses daily so it won't take so much time).
  • Manzil:- A Juz after Fajr, then the other Juz after Taraawih. Each Juz takes about 45 minutes.
  • Sabqi: I divided it- so, I recite a part of it during Salatul Duha and the rest while observing my Rawaatib.
  • Tilaawah (I aim for at least 3 Ajza daily): 1 Juz after Iftar(before Isha), 1 Juz after Sahur and the last one during school hours ( during lecture breaks/while waiting for lecturers). Each Juz takes an average of 30 minutes.”

SCHEDULE:

  • "After I wake up , I observe Tahajjud, do my Hifdh, eat Sahur, do some Tilaawah, observe Salaatus Subh then do 1 Juz Manzil.
  • After these, I take a short nap then prepare for school (on every weekday) from 8AM till 6PM. After 6PM, I carry out other tasks according to the time block then retire for the day by 10PM.
  • The schedule is almost the same on weekends except that I don't go to school on weekends, so, I have a relatively longer nap and divide the time from 9AM-6PM between my school work, doing more Tilaawah, attending Tadabbur sessions and going for my Hifdh class.”

Week 29 and 30

  • "It has been really challenging getting the necessary things done this Ramadan but I guess what matters most is trying our best to show up as much as we can.
  • What keeps me going?
    Ramadan will be over in few days so I remind myself that I have to maximise every single monent from it.
  • Hifdh:- So far, I have memorised the first three pages of Suratul Hijr.
  • Manzil:- Still at 2 Ajzaa daily though I didn't do up to that for 3 days.
  • Tilaawah:- Alhamdulillah, I have completed 2 Khatams and I'm currently on Juz 20 of the third.”

Week 31

  • "Last week was so erratic for me. I didn't get to accomplish a lot from my tasks.
  • Hifdh:- I didn't memorise additional pages. Just revised the first 3 pages.
  • Manzil:- I did 1 Juz for most of the days.
  • Tilaawah:- This was the only section that went as planned. Alhamdulillah, I have completed 3 Khatams and I'm currently on Juz 24 of the fourth. I hope to complete it before the end of Ramadan.”

Week 32

  • "Latest Updates
    AlhamduliLlah for Ramadan. I wasn't able to achieve my Hifdh goals but I'm so glad I was able to do many Khatams and go over my revision more than once. Ramadan has set the pace, may Allah keep me steadfast on it.
  • Hifdh:- I did the first 3 pages of Suratul Hijr for Ramadan. I'll make another schedule for Shawwal, Bi idhni Llah.
  • Manzil:- I wasn't able to keep up with 2 Ajza daily due to change in location but AlhamduliLlah, I tried to do 1 Juz daily.”

Week 33

  • "Hifdh: AlhamduliLlah, I've completed the memorisation of Suratul Hijr and just started last Surah - Suratun-Nahl. The plan is to memorise 1 page daily till completion, In Shaa Allah.
  • Sabqi: AlhamduliLlah, this was constant for the week.
  • Manzil: My Manzil is back to 1 Juz- I want to try doing each Juz more than once daily + my school exams are fast approaching too, I need to balance properly.”

Week 34

  • "Hifdh: AlhamduliLlah, The plan is going well though I missed a day of memorisation. I memorised pages 267-272 of the 15-lined Mushaf (about 6 pages from Suratun Nahl).
  • Sabqi: AlhamduliLlah, this was constant for the week.
  • Manzil: My Manzil wasn't constant at all. I missed most of the days and that was due to my poor planning and poor time mangement. I'll buckle up this week, Bi idhni Llah.”

Week 35

  • "Hifdh: AlhamduliLlah, I  memorised pages 273-278 of the 15-lined Mushaf (7 pages from Suratun Nahl).
  • Sabqi: AlhamduliLlah, this was constant for the week.
  • Manzil: Better than last week. AlhamduliLlah. Mostly A Juz daily.”

🎉🎉🎉 Week 36 🎉🎉🎉

I received a pleasant surprise from Aishah when she messaged me a few days ago saying:

"AlhamduliLlah, I completed my Hifdh today. I couldn't have done that without your help. It's definite that Allah sent your blog/articles to me when I needed them the most. I'm grateful for your advice and every resource you put into those weekly newsletters. It's like I gain my weekly strength from them. AlhamduliLlah.

May Allah preserve you upon goodness and make the initiative a form of Sadaaqatul Jaariyah for you. May Allah grant your Duas and never set His eyes away from your affairs.”

Her reflections on the journey

"Alhamdulillah, for Allah has aided me in achieving my lifelong dream. I completed my Hifdh last week Saturday and I couldn't believe it, SubhanaLlah. If someone had told me last year that I would achieve this, I wouldn't have given it a thought but Alah gave me what I needed while I was oblivious of it. AlhamduliLlah.

The moment I read the last verse to my teacher, a beautiful feeling enveloped me. I felt like I had increased in my ranks with Allah and felt so grateful to Him. 

I looked back at my journey, how it started and especially how the last ten months had transpired. How making Dua' to Allah, change of mindset, reliance on Allah, consistency, dedication and hardwork has brought me here. 

How I had to navigate the easy days, the challenging days and how I had to show up for my Hifdh and revision no matter what. How I struggled with consistency on some days and how with the help of Allah, I managed to pull myself out of it and move on! And how I make Dua to Allah every single day to ease my affairs and make my dream a reality.

The support of my parents, siblings, friends and my Qur'an buddies really aided me throughout this journey. They are great blessings that Allah sent through my way and I'll forever be grateful. 

I've learnt a life lesson that nothing is impossible for me to achieve. The only obstacle to my goals is myself/my mindset. I've been trying to memorise all these years but I wasn't able to, because I thought I was busy with Medical school and wouldn't have time, may Allah forgive me. Matter of fact, this phase of medical school is supposed to be busier, but with Allah's help, I achieved this. 

Again, the word busy is only relative to what we deem important to us. Can we ever be too busy to eat? Exactly, let's place the Qur'an in a more important place in our hearts and we'll see how Allah will cater for the rest of our needs so beautifully. 

I can't help but appreciate Qari for everything he's done. I came across his blog when I was fervently making Dua to Allah to ease my affairs and grant me all goodness in my Hifdh and I got that and more from Him. I pray that Allah reward him abundantly and ease his affairs, Aamin.

I know this is just the beginning and the relationship with the Qur'an is lifelong. I pray that Allah make me and you from among the people of the Qur'an.”

Aameeen!

What were the methods used and plans for solidification?

For the Hifz method:- I use the 6-4-4-6 method. i:e- I recite each verse 6 times by looking into the Mushaf, then 4 times from memory, then 4 times by looking into the Mushaf, then 6 times from memory. Then I connect the each verses together once I've done more than one verse.

After few hours, I re-memorise this page again using the 3×3 workout. Recite the first verse 3 times by looking then 3 times from memory, then I move on to the second verse. Then after the first 2 verses, I recite both verses 3 times from memory. I continue this way until I get to the end if the page.

This really makes the memorisation solid and makes the revision easy.

Revision:
- Sabqi: I recite the last 20 pages I memorised every day and correct any mistakes that might come up.
- Manzil: I've done as much as 2 Juz daily but I'm now on 1 Juz daily.

Moving forward

I plan to continue the 1 Juz daily revision.

Then for consolidation, I'll do a Juz a week- 4 pages daily, then I'll recite the Juz to my teacher on weekends. I plan to repeat each page at least 15 times before reciting to my teacher.”

What's your full daily schedule?

My schedule isn't constant due to the nature of my different clinical postings. I have a different schedule when I'm on holidays and a different one for weekends. My weekend was typically a full time Hifdh and Muraaja'a. I do very little school stuff during weekends.

I'll share a schedule of what my weekday looked like:

4:00-4:40 AM: Qiyamul Layl
4:41-5:40AM: Manzil
5:41-6:10AM: Subh + Dua
6:11-7:00AM: Sabaq
7:01-7:40AM: Preparation for school.
7:41AM-6:00PM: School/Reading 
6:01- 7:00PM: Rest/Miscellaneous 
7:01-8:00PM: Halqah/Sabqi
8:01-8:20PM: Isha 
8:21-8:50PM: 3×3 workout for the next day's Sabaq.
8:51-10:00PM: Review of the day's activities + Finish up any pending school work.
10:01PM- 4:00AM: Lights out.

How did you balance your studies and hifz?

{ وَلَقَدۡ يَسَّرۡنَا ٱلۡقُرۡءَانَ لِلذِّكۡرِ فَهَلۡ مِن مُّدَّكِرٖ }
[سُورَةُ القَمَرِ: ٢٢]
And We have indeed made the Quran easy to understand and remember, then is there any that will remember (or receive admonition)?
Suratul Qamar verse 22.

1. I reminded myself that Allah (جل وعلا) will make memorisation easy for me once I'm ready to dedicate myself, sacrifice my comfort and give it all it takes. I made Dua to Allah to guide me to the best approach that will aid me in both my Hifdh and academics. 

2. I planned my time and Hifdh schedule meticulously and this made sure I utilised my time properly. I plan monthly and make necessary adjustments weekly and daily.

3. I try not to overwhelm myself with too much from both school and my Hifdh so as to maintain the balance.

4. As a clinical student, there are different clinical postings with different peculiarities. Some are more time consuming than the others and some take up more of the daytime/nighttime than the others. I factor this into my monthly plan and that's the main reason why my schedule isn't constant. It's very flexible so that it can accommodate all these changes. 

5. There was basically no leisure time for me, they were used to accomplish my daily Hifdh and revision goals.

6. I figured out my distractions and detached myself from them. This made my leisure time at least 90% available to me. I was busy with medical school quite alright, but I knew I could do much more with my time if I utilise it judiciously without distractions. My distractions were my social media accounts and I deactivated them all except YouTube and the new Instagram account I created. I used the two of them to read contents and watch videos/podcasts centred on Hifdh. It was on IG that I came across Qari Mubashir's account and in the long run his website, AlhamduliLlah. 

7. Sometimes, my schedule flops up and I'm not able to do most of them in the morning. When this happens, I try to do them in school during any breaks, while waiting for lecturer, going to and returning from school and some few times, I did my revision on ward rounds.

How did you manage to keep things up?

1. First, keeping up wasn't by my power but by Allah's blessing and mercy which He bestows upon whom He wills. I made a lot of Dua because I knew I couldn't do it alone and I need Allah to strengthen me and open my hearts to His words such that I'll be connected to it. 

2. The major push for my Hifdh was the change in mindset I had. My perspective about Hifdh and the reasons for doing it became more personal such that when I skipped some days, I didn't feel complete. It took me years to get to this point and it was a podcast that inspired the change. The speaker said we can't be too busy to eat or sleep and that being busy is relative to what's important to us. That hit me so hard and I prayed to Allah to make it easy for me to prioritise my Hifdh and stop making excuses.

3. It's an agreed opinion that Hifdh should be done under the tutelage of a teacher. My teacher was understanding, he encouraged me to keep going and made Dua for me. He understood my schedule and that made it easy for me to make adjustment(s) when needed. During the challenging days, I remember that I must recite to him and that kept me on track. It's really easy to get off the track without a teacher. May Allah bless him immensely, Aamin.

4. The impact of my family can't be overemphasised. My parents and siblings would always ask about my Hifdh and pray for me. Then, there was a sort of competition between me and my brother about who will complete their Hifdh first and AlhamduliLlah, we are both done now. 

5. I had a thought about my personal reasons for doing Hifdh and wrote them in my Hifdh journal. On my low days, I read them and by the will of Allah, they contributed a great deal in bringing me out of the low mood.

6. When I started medical school, I used to tell myself that I wanted to complete my memorisation before my induction. I had no plan and the fact that I still had 6 years kept deceiving me. In my first 4 years of medical school, I memorised only about 5 Ajza which was way below my capacity. Fast forward to August 2022 when Allah inspired me to undertake this journey again, I made a laid down plan and knew exactly when I wanted to finish - I had daily, weekly and monthly goals that kept me on track. My point is that it's very important to have a realistic plan that you'll work with.

7. I decluttered my environment and made sure almost everything around me reminds me about Hifdh. I posted Hifdh reminders in my room and joined communities whose focus was to provide companionship during this journey. The communities created by Qari were really helpful for me and I strongly recommend it for anyone who needs companionship in their journey. 

8. Accountability is really important. I had friends who were also memorisers of the Qur'an whom I'm accountable to and share my struggles with. My diary shared weekly on Qari's website kept me on my toes and I met accountability partners in Qari's community. We share our daily goals, mark the ones we were able to achieve and the ones we weren't able to do. We hold fortnight meet-ups to discuss challenges and way out. 

9. I have a Hifdh journal where I record my daily, weekly and monthly progress. My journal is very dear to me because it motivates me to do more on days when I don't want to and it gives me the push that I can achieve whatever I want to when I see the achievement of previous months.

10. My Hifdh journey was rocky but I consistently went back to my Hifdh and Muraaja'a even after days of leaving it off. It took me a while, but eventually I realised that the journey isn't going to be smooth and I have to consistently re-embark on the journey to achieve my goal. Consistency is key but that you're consistent doesn't necessarily mean you won't hit any block or face challenges in your Hifdh, it means you're consistent in assessing where you are and looking for a way forward.

11. I consumed a lot of amazing Hifdh content. Qari's blog is so wholesome. I learnt my revision method from his blog and read a lot of motivating Hifdh stories. Shaykh Fahad al-Kandari's videos most especially Musafir ma'al Qur'an and Wisaam al-Quran was really helpful, likewise Hifdhstatus podcast, Ahlul Qur'an podcast and some others. These videos gave me companionship, a change in mindset, motivation and instilled hope in me.

12. I tried as much as possible not to compare my journey to others because our circumstances are different. The most important thing is to focus on personal goals and make necessary improvements. Comparison causes more harm than good.

What are 10 lessons we can learn from this journey?

When analysing the diary and the journey, we come to realise that Aishah had the following foundations for her success:

  1. Mindset shift: Aishah had a mindset shift and restarted her memorisation journey from Juz' 1, showing a strong determination and commitment to memorise the Qur'ān.
  2. Consistency in memorisation: Aishah consistently dedicated time to memorise the Qur'ān, memorising multiple pages each week and progressing through different surahs and juz'.
  3. Effective revision strategy: Aishah recognised the importance of revision and developed a plan to revise one juz' per week, using a rub'u (quarter) per day approach to consolidate her memorisation.
  4. Seeking guidance: Aishah sought guidance from a newsletter and blog articles, learning from experienced individuals and implementing their advice in her memorisation journey.
  5. Reflecting on Tafsir: Aishah realised that reading the Tafsir (exegesis) of the memorised verses helped her in recalling and establishing a deeper connection with the Qur'ān.
  6. Goal setting and action planning: Aishah learned the importance of setting goals and creating action plans to stay organised and motivated in her memorisation efforts.
  7. Supplication and reliance on Allāh: Aishah acknowledged the role of supplication and relying on Allāh for ease and success in her memorisation journey.
  8. Time management: Aishah implemented time blocking and divided her daily tasks into manageable portions, allowing her to allocate specific time slots for different activities, such as hifdh, manzil, sabqi, and tilawah.
  9. Adaptability and flexibility: Aishah adjusted her schedule and plans based on changes in her location, academic commitments, and the demands of Ramadān, demonstrating adaptability and flexibility in maintaining her memorization routine.
  10. Commitment in Ramadan: Aishah viewed Ramadān as an opportunity to maximise her memorisation efforts, setting specific goals and striving to make the most of the blessed month by doing additional khatams and revising the Qur'ān intensively.

These are amongst the many lessons we can take from this journey.

I pray that this motivates you and shows you how things can be realised in your own journey.

May Allāh grant ease and blessing!

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