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Deep Memorization of the Quran: Advice from Madina

Dr Abdul Muhsin Al Qasim, the Imam and Khatib the Prophet Mosque, of the delight of our eyes Messenger of Allah, our beloved master Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) – Masjid al-Nabawiyy.

Deep Memorization of the Quran: Advice from Madina al Munawwarah.

This method is excellent for the strength of memorisation and its solidity (deep-rootedness) and the quick speed of memorisation and quick completing the Qur’an. Note it is not necessarily the case that you MUST use this method, but you MUST try it. You NEED to find your method and own it!

So here we go. Taking the example of Surah al-Jumu’ah:

  1. Read the first verse 20 times
  2. Read the second verse 20 times
  3. Read the third verse 20 times
  4. Read the fourth verse 20 times
  5. Read these (above) four from the beginning to the end, to link them, 20 times.
  6. Read the fifth verse 20 times
  7. Read the sixth verse 20 times
  8. Read the seventh verse 20 times
  9. Read the eighth verse 20 times
  10. Read from the fifth verse to the eighth verse 20 times to consolidate between them
  11. Read from the first verse to the eighth verse 20 times to perfect this page.

You should continue like this for every page of the Qur’an. Persist with it and you will get better and better. As with anything the more you give it, the better you get. The next thing to note is that you should not exceed memorising a certain amount as to not exert yourself. You should not exceed your daily portion above and beyond one eighth of a chapter.

If I wish to memorise a new page tomorrow then how do I do it?

If you wish to memorise another page for the next day, then before you memorise the new page using the method mentioned above, read from the beginning of the page (you memorised yesterday) to the end of the page 20 times so that the previously memorised page becomes solid (in your memory). Then memorise the new page using the method shown.

How do I combine between memorisation and revision?

Do not memorise the Qur’an without revision, (otherwise) if you memorise the Qur’an, page by page until you complete the Qur’an, and you wish to return to what you have memorised you would find that you have forgotten what you had memorised. (You would have forgotten by the time you stopped reading the first pages you had learnt).

The correct way is to combine memorisation with revision. Divide the Qur’an into 3 divisions: every 10 parts (juz) is a division. Then if you memorise one page a day, then you should revise 4 pages a day until you have memorised 10 juz. Then when you have memorised 10 juz, stop for one whole month for revision, everyday revising 8 pages.

And after a month of revision, start memorising the remainder, a page or two, according to your capabilities and revise 8 pages until you complete memorising 20 juz. Then when you have memorised 20 juz, stop the memorisation for 2 whole months for the revision of the 20 juz, everyday revising 8 pages. Then when the 2 months of revision have passed, start with the memorisation, doing one or two pages everyday according to your capability, while revising 8 pages until you complete memorising the entire Qur’an.

When you have completed memorising the entire Qur’an, revise the first 10 juz alone for one month; everyday half a juz. Then you go to the second 10 juz for a month, everyday half a juz and you read 8 pages from the first 10 juz. Then you go to memorizing the last 10 juz for one month, everyday half a juz and 8 pages from the first 10 juz and 8 pages from the second 10 juz.

How do I revise the entire Qur’an when I have completed this (above) revision?

Start with revising the entire Qur’an: everyday 2 parts (juz), repeating them thrice everyday, thereby completing the revision of the entire Qur’an every two weeks. And in this way, during one year you would memorise the entire Qur’an with perfection while you use this method the whole year.

What do I do after one year of memorising the Qur’an?

After a year of perfecting the revision of the Qur’an, then let your “Manzil” (division) of the Qur’an be that of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) until your death. The Qur’an is divided into seven divisions in this way you complete the Qur’an once every seven days.

(Note: there are two terms used, Manzil and Hizb. They both mean portions but will we used in different Qur’an copies. Manzil is used in asian/sub-continental copies whereas Hizb is used in Arab/Uthmani copies. There are 60 Hizb all together but divided into 4 quarters per Hizb. The Manzil method divides each Juz into 4 quaters but divides the Qur’an into 7 divisions).

Ahmad and Abu Dawud narrated from Aws b. Hudhayfa, may Allah be well pleased with him, who said: ‘We came to the Messenger of Allah, prayers and peace be upon him, as part of the delegation of Thaqif.’  He said: ‘The Messenger of Allah, prayers and peace be upon him, would come to us every night after ‘isha and speak to us.’  He said: ‘One night he was late from (coming to see us at) the time he would come to us.’  We said: ‘O Messenger of Allah, you have come to us late tonight.’  He said: ‘I had my portion of the Qur’an to read and I did not want to come until I had finished it.’ 

Aws said: ‘I asked the companions of the Messsenger of Allah, prayers and peace be upon him, about how he divided up his reading of the Qur’an.’  They said: ‘Three, five, seven, nine, eleven, thirteen and the Mufassal.’

Thus, the Prophet, prayers and peace be upon him, would complete the Qur’an weekly. His reading would be as follows:

  • Day 1: Fatiha to Al-‘Imran (three suras)
  • Day 2: Al-Nisa to Al-Anfal (five suras)
  • Day 3: Al-Tawba to Al-Hijr (seven suras)
  • Day 4: Al-Nahl to Al-Nur (nine suras)
  • Day 5: Al-Furqan to Al-Fatir (eleven suras)
  • Day 6: Ya Sin to Al-Fath (thirteen suras)
  • Day 7: Al-Hujurat to Al-Nas (Mufassal)

How do I differentiate between the Mutashabihat (verses that are similar) in the Qur’an?

The best way is that when you come across two similar verses in the Qur’an, then open the Qur’an (Mushaf) to both these verses and look at the difference in the two verses and reflect over it, and set a rule for yourself, and during your memorisation note the difference many times until you have perfected the similarities between the two of them.

Rules and disciplines in memorisation:

  • It is necessary that you do your memorisation with a qualified teacher (so that he may) correct the recitation.
  • Memorise two (sides of a) pages everyday, one after Fajr and one after Asr or Maghrib and in this way you will memorise the entire Qur’an solidly during one year and your memorisation will be perfect, but if you increase in memorisation then that which you memorised will be weak. (based upon 20 page per juz Qur’an / 15 lines)
  • The memorisation should be from Sura Naas to Sura Fatihah because it is easier, and after your memorisation of the Qur’an, your revision should be from Surah Baqarah to Sura Naas.
  • The memorisation should be from one printed copy so it helps the firm-rootedness of memorisation and the quickness of remembering the places of the verses and the ending of pages and the beginning of them.
  • Everyone memorising in the first two years, that which is memorised slips away (he forgets easily that which has been memorised) and this is called “the assembly stage” so do not feel sad that the Qur’an is slipping away from you or your many mistakes. And this is a difficult phase with trials, because Shaytan has a part in stopping you from memorising the Qur’an. So turn down his whisperings and continue memorising because it is a treasure not given to just anyone.

Originally written by: Dr ‘Abdul Muhsin al-Qaasim Imam and Khatib of the Prophets Mosque in Madinah al-Munawwarah.

Edited and updates by: Qari Mubashir Anwar.

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Written by Qari Mubashir Anwar

Qāri Mubashir began reciting the Holy Qur’ān to admiring audiences in public since the tender age of 10. He began memorising the Holy Qur’ān when he was around 12 years old, struggling down the path to successful completion over several years. He eventually completed memorisation in Cairo, Egypt (2006) where he was authorised in recitation. He sought knowledge and counsel from many legendary reciters at the time including the Chief of Reciters Shaykh al-Qāri’ Ahmad Muḥammad ‘Āmir (May Allah grant him mercy) and Shaykh al-Qāri ‘Abdul Rāziq Ṭahā ‘Ali from the Masjid Imam Hussain and Khikhiya Mosque (Cairo). Qāri also studied the Arabic language at with Ustadh Rabi’ in Cairo.

He then began studies in Law (LLB/LPC) at the University of Liverpool and the University of Law. Whilst doing so he also began teaching and studying the Deen. Formally beginning studying the Islamic Sciences (Dars-e-Nizami) in 2007 under the guidance of Shaykh Muhammad Ramadan al-Azhari (Australia), Shaykh Muhammad As'ad Sa'id as-Sagharji (Syria) and other world-renowned scholars gaining Ijāzah in various Islamic sciences, disciplines, and texts. Qāri has always dedicated his time towards educational, social, business and charitable organisations/projects since 2007. He has been teaching Qur'ān, Hifdh, Tajwid, Arabic and Islamic Studies in one way or another for 16 years.

In 2011, he was recognised as being within the most highly creative 6% of the population by a market research agency. He has channeled his creative talents into writing, graphic design and video editing, singing, and teaching. He is the author of “The Promise of Ten” with other books on their way. The founder of How To Memorise The Quran, The Blessed Hub, The Homeless Hub, and is involved in other initiatives and companies within the UK such as TODAYSMYDAY, a creative agency. He was also a founding trustee at The Urban Sanctuary, former Chief Product Officer and now Chief Learning Officer (CLO) and teacher at Quran Academy. Currently, he is also a lecturer in Tajwid at Minhaj College, Manchester and Imam, and Khateeb at Minhaj-ul-Quran Int. Mosque, Manchester.

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