As always, I’ve been experimenting with an idea. In this case, modelling a memory technique designed to optimise learning. I’ve asked the question of whether it can be used to develop a technique to help us memorise or revise the Qur’ān.
Whether you consider yourself to have great memory or struggle to retain things, it’s always worth looking out for techniques that will help you remember better. That’s why I I’ve shared so many of them with you: like shuffling or the letter grid!
The system I’ve been testing takes inspiration from flashcards and spaced repetition. Yes, I’ve previously mentioned how you can use flashcards, particularly for Hifz mistakes. But, the following system has many benefits.
Inspired By The Leitner System
It’s based on a method developed by a German psychologist called The Leitner System. There’s a lot about it online and many great resources, if you want to learn more. But I’ll give you a brief summary:
The Leitner System follows a structured process that promotes active recall and reinforces learning at optimal intervals. Here’s a breakdown of the key steps:
- Create Your Flashcards: Begin by creating well-crafted flashcards that encapsulate important information, concepts, or questions relevant to your purpose.
- Box Organisation: Set up a series of labeled boxes or compartments, starting with Box 1 as the initial level of learning.
- Initial Review: Start your study session by reviewing the flashcards in Box 1. Test your knowledge by attempting to recall the answers or information associated with each card.
- Correct Responses: If you answer a flashcard correctly, promote it to the next box. For instance, move it from Box 1 to Box 2.
- Incorrect Responses: In case you answer a flashcard incorrectly, demote it back to Box 1. This allows for additional review and reinforcement of the material.
- Review Frequency: As you progress, the Leitner System adjusts the review frequency based on the placement of the flashcards in each box. Cards in lower-numbered boxes require more frequent review, while those in higher-numbered boxes need less frequent review.
- Mastery and Progression: Continuously test your knowledge and promote flashcards to higher-numbered boxes as you gain mastery over the content. This signifies your progress and indicates which concepts require further attention.
The Leitner System offers several advantages:
- Efficient Learning: By reviewing flashcards at optimal intervals, the system maximises learning efficiency, allowing you to retain information in the long term.
- Active Recall: The process of actively recalling information from memory strengthens neural pathways, enhancing your ability to retrieve knowledge.
- Spaced Repetition: The spaced repetition approach reinforces learning by strategically spacing out review sessions to optimise memory retention.
- Targeted Review: The system prioritises your attention on challenging flashcards or weak spots, ensuring focused review on areas that require additional reinforcement.
Implementing the Leitner System Effectively For Your Hifz
The beauty of the Leitner System is that it is highly customisable and comes in all sorts of different ways. You can create your own system and have as many boxes as you want (some are complicated with 12 boxes).
It’s creative in that it’s almost like a game. If you make mistakes, you’ll have to move that particular card, page, or portion across to another box.
But how can it apply to our Hifz?
The system that I have experimented with is in the image above (you can get the template for yourself below). It can be tweaked but I’ve found it to be very interesting and highly customisable. Here’s how it works:
There are 5 boxes
- Qur’ān Every Day
- Qur’ān Every Two Days
- Qur’ān Once A Week
- Qur’ān Bi-Weekly
- Qur’ān Monthly (Test)
Box 1: Qur’ān Every Day
This is where you are memorising your new portion and revising your recent memorisation portions of whatever quantity you have set.
So if this was a physical box, you’d see your Mus-haf in here, your new page, or your current Juz’. I’ve brainstormed multiple ways this could potentially work physically but it can get very complicated (one of the downsides of the Leitner System at scale).
How long would things remain here? As long as required. The aim is to reach perfection. The way I look at it is the box 1 is essentially everything new and most recent. They are prone to forgetfulness.
Box 2: Qur’ān Every Two Days
This is when pages start to move out of your every day recitation and start to be recited every other day. These are the pages that you perfected in the first box and have become your past revision. You should repeat the Juz’ or pages that are here every two days, if you make a mistake, they should move back to being recited every day. If you are consistently getting it right (three weeks), they can move to box 3.
Box 3: Qur’ān Once A Week
So the well refined pages moved from being recited daily to every other day, and now they move to being recited once a week. Again, if you make a mistake, it should move back to every two days. If you don’t make mistakes consistently (three weeks), it should move to box 4.
Box 4: Qur’ān Bi-Weekly
You get the idea. Now the well refined pages moved from being recited daily to every other day, to once a week, and now bi-weekly. Again, if you make a mistake, it should move back to box 3. If you don’t make mistakes consistently (three weeks), it should move to box 5.
Box 5: Qur’ān Monthly (Test)
This is the place to reach. This is where you should give yourself a test and recite the portions once a month. You should include random testing too. If you make a mistake, the page or portion will go back a step.
The basic rule: If you make a mistake, you go back a level, if you get it right thrice, you go up a level.
This is the basically the method!
What are the best use cases?
It can work well for those who only want to focus:
- only on improving mistakes (so each card can be mistakes where you have random organised pages)
- only on testing your memorisation (so random recall testing)
- on revision of your recent and past memorisation
- only on memorisation and recent memorisation
- on memorisation and revision
How about the approach – should it be per page, per rukū’, per Juz’, per hizb, rub’ or what?
This is something for you to decide. In my observations, a page approach was best with a clear labelling system on the Juz’ any other relevant information.
If you have any further questions, experiences, or ideas on this, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
Here’s the template the the Murāja’ah Board
The Murāja’ah Board
Get Your Free Template!
Use this template to track your Murāja’ah (revision) as instructed by Qāri’ Mubashir. Remember this board and system is customisable and you can make it entirely yours. This board uses the example of Juz’ ‘Amma.
This is a Notion template. Just click duplicate at the top to get it.