For many of us, it’s not possible to memorize every day and so we struggle when we try to. Do you struggle to be consistent with your Qur’ān memorization? Do you struggle on a daily basis? So is it possible to memorise without doing it every day? Yes, it’s possible.

This post is about how you can navigate a world where you can’t do ḥifẓ every single day. Everyone has a different situation. Maybe you’re:

  • inconsistent
  • more spontaneous in nature
  • studying
  • on a 9-5 job
  • on night shifts
  • on an alternating work shift pattern
  • busy with commitments and have limited time
  • ~25/30 days available for holidays in a year
  • only have weekends

We all have commitments. With all these struggles, we struggle to be consistent. Are there any solutions? There are a few examples I will share that might help spark ideas for your own journey.

It’s about making the most of what time you do have. In fact, we can make time if we really want it. There are some examples to learn from. These methods have worked for those who struggle to memorise, and are in a constant spiral of starting and stopping. The first thing to do is to take action.

Use the weekends

A brother used the weekends to memorise the Qur’ān. This led to further blessings. He would review it during the weekdays. He memorised the Qur’ān in 5 years by doing it this way. There are 52 weeks, 52 weekends, and normally 104 weekend days (according to the gregorian calendar). Minus out some days for a buffer and you can go down to 99-100 days. Let’s call it 500 days in total over 5 years. This meant the brother should have been doing an average of around 120 pages or 6 ajzā’ a year. So almost 2.5 pages every weekend. In reality, the brother would do different amounts on the weekends. You don’t and won’t feel the same all the time. What you’re memorising will also feel easier at times, and harder at other times. His target was a quarter of a Juz’ or quarter of a hizb (maqra’). Then review during the week.

If you can use the weekends and block out time dedicated towards memorisation, you too can memorise just like this brother did.

How could you go about doing this?

I would suggest that you first be clear and honest with yourself as to your capacity on the weekends. Think about:

  • how many hours you can spare and commit to
  • where you can go to do the memorisation (a distraction-free environment is ideal)
  • how much you can realistically memorise (you may want to plan ahead, with a rough approximate year target – “I want to memorise it in 7 years which means I would need to memorise at least 1.5 pages every weekend”)
  • if can you get someone to keep you accountable
  • if you can get a teacher to listen to you every weekend
  • if you can get a buddy or group to support you

Let’s assume Sat/Sun is your weekend. We have a 30-day month and there are 5 weekends. It doesn’t factor in any public holidays (so you can add them on). A page means one side, and two pages mean two sides, etc. A weekend schedule for the first 30 days might look like this:

DaysWhat to memoriseWhat to review
Friday/SaturdayMin. 12 lines (15-lined Qur’ān)No review
Saturday/SundayMin. 12 lines (a total min. of 1.5 pages)Yesterdays
MondayNo memorisationReview the 1.5 pages
TuesdayNo memorisationReview the 1.5 pages
WednesdayNo memorisationReview the 1.5 pages
ThursdayNo memorisationReview the 1.5 pages
FridayNo memorisationReview the 1.5 pages
SaturdayMin. 12 lines (15-lined Qur’ān)No review
SundayMin. 12 lines (a total min. of 1.5 pages)Review yesterdays
MondayNo memorisationReview everything (3 pages)
TuesdayNo memorisationReview everything
WednesdayNo memorisationReview everything
ThursdayNo memorisationReview everything
FridayNo memorisationReview everything
SaturdayMin. 12 lines (15-lined Qur’ān)No review
SundayMin. 12 lines (a total min. of 1.5 pages)Review yesterdays
MondayNo memorisationReview everything
TuesdayNo memorisationReview everything
WednesdayNo memorisationReview everything
ThursdayNo memorisationReview everything
FridayNo memorisationReview everything
SaturdayMin. 12 lines (15-lined Qur’ān)No review
SundayMin. 12 lines (a total min. of 1.5 pages)Review yesterdays
MondayNo memorisationReview everything (6 pages)
TuesdayNo memorisationReview everything
WednesdayNo memorisationReview everything
ThursdayNo memorisationReview everything
FridayNo memorisationReview everything
SaturdayMin. 12 lines (15-lined Qur’ān)No review
SundayMin. 12 lines (a total min. of 1.5 pages)Review yesterdays

This system allows you to strengthen your memorisation very well over time. As you progress, you’ll start to grow the amount you’ve memorised and so the review will increase. You can make adjustments to meet any struggles or challenges you may face.

How can review be made easier over time? What can you do when you finish a Juz’ or more? Have a basic rule in place. For example, you need to review everything that you’ve memorised in 10-weekdays. That would look like this:

Juz’ memorisedAmount to review by pages each weekday
-1Every page
12 pages a day (over 10 weekdays)
24 pages
36 pages
48 pages
510 pages
612 pages
714 pages
816 pages
918 pages
1020 pages
11A Juz’
12 till endYou can remain with a Juz’ a day

What might a weekend look like? It’s entirely up to you. You can:

  • dedicate half a day or a day (Fajr to ‘Asr, Fajr to ‘Ishā’ with necessary breaks)
  • dedicate a full morning (Fajr to Dhuhr)
  • dedicate a full evening (Maghrib till late night)
  • use a staycation (book out a weekend break somewhere to focus on this)
  • spend time in the masjid

Use a seasonal approach

A brother that struggled time after time. He kept starting and stopping. He was determined to get it done. He was a family man and he couldn’t get time in without struggling. So he shifted to memorising the Qur’ān for only a few months a year. He made use of the summer months and vacations just to memorise. He used the rest of the year to review it. So every year, he would memorise in a specific block set time and for the rest of the year, he would review it all. He completed his memorisation in 9 years! That’s just over 3 Juz’ a year. So if you dedicated 3 months a year, that’s 1 Juz’ a month. If you dedicate 2 months a year, that’s 1.5 Juz’ a month. If you dedicate 1 month a year, that’s 1 Juz’ every 10 days.

It might not be possible for many of us to take time out for a few months each year. Have a think about what you can do instead that can be combined. So essentially combining:

  • any time off work
  • weekends
  • public holidays (bank holidays, Christmas, Easter, etc)
  • specific times of the day (morning-specific routine, or an evening-night routine)
  • making use of blocks of time: travel, commutes, winter-specific (long nights), summer-specific (long days), workouts, exercise, etc

Using spaced repetition

A brother memorised Qur’ān in 10 years by memorising and reviewing in multiple, spread-out sessions. So reading on day 1, then day 3, then day 5, 8, 12, 18, 27, 41, 62, 93, 140, 210, 315 etc. This uses the principles of spaced repetition to memorise, typically by using an app like Anki. I am currently in the process of writing my thoughts on this particular method. In shā’ Allāh, the deep dive will be available soon.

Anything is possible

Mā shā’ Allāh, these brothers are always an example for me. They made a commitment to specific times that weren’t overwhelming for them. It worked for them. Alhamdulillāh.

Think about what you could do practically to implement something like this if you’re struggling. These are ideas to help you inspire your own plan and design. By default, we have the idea of us having to memorize/ revise on a daily basis. While this is highly recommended and is the expected path – it’s not easy for everyone. Many of us are involved in other activities most of the time but we try our best to make time for ḥifẓ. Some days we just can’t seem to find that time or we can’t get ourselves to do it. The examples we’ve looked at provide hope. We can do it. We can go on. There is no ‘right’ way. As long as we’re determined to do the best we can and give it exactly that, we can achieve it with the Will of Allāh and His Divine Permission and Assistance.

May Allāh open our hearts!

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