schedules for the hafiz

How can a Ḥāfiẓ make his Qur’ān stronger once memorised? Today I share with you three methods for strengthening what you’ve memorised.

These are for those that have memorised a large portion of the Qur’ān or memorised the entire Qur’ān (the Ḥāfiẓ).

The Akhdari Method

This is a method taught by Shaykh Ibrāhīm al-Akhdarī al-Madanī. Shaykh Ibrāhīm was born in Madīnah al-Munawwarah in 1944 and has held many positions most notably being an Imām for the Haramayn (Masjid al-Haram, Makkah and Masjid al-Nabawī). He spent 9 years at Masjid an-Nabawī (the Prophet’s Mosque).

He decided to make a group among his friends to create a class to memorise the Qur’ān. One of those friends was a Ḥāfiẓ (completely memorised the Qur’ān), and so they asked him to help teach. He wasn’t relatively young himself, he’d been abroad in Italy studying. When he returned to Madīnah, he began memorising with this group until he reached Sūrat-ul-Isrā’. At this point, he met Shaykh Hassan Ibrāhim ash-Shā’ir, the shaykh of the reciters at Masjid an-Nabawī. When he met him, he was asked about his memorisation. Shaykh Hassan asked him to recite and then discovered that he didn’t know Tajweed. Those who assume that Arabs recite correctly should note that it is not the case. Everyone needs to learn and practice. So Shaykh Ibrāhīm ended up going to him the next day to learn Tajweed. After this, he stayed with him and memorised the Qur’ān in the seven narrations.

Shaykh Ibrāhīm al-Akhdarī teaches a method rooted in repetition. He swears by this method to really make your Qur’ān strong after completion. These are three levels:

Level one

Recite the first 3 ajzā’ (pl. of Juz’) for 30 days. Recite each Juz’ loudly, by looking. Move on to the next 3 ajzā’ for 30 days. Then move on to the next 3 ajzā’ and so on. In this way, you’ll complete a khatm (completion) in 10 months.

In total, you would have recited each Juz’ thirty times, and so make a complete recital thirty times.

MonthAmount to do (aloud, looking)From which Juz’?
One3 Juz’1st, 2nd, 3rd
Two3 Juz’4th, 5th, 6th
Three3 Juz’7th, 8th, 9th
Four3 Juz’10th, 11th, 12th
Five3 Juz’13th, 14th, 15th
Six3 Juz’16th, 17th, 18th
Seven3 Juz’19th, 20th, 21st
Eight3 Juz’22nd, 23rd, 24th
Nine3 Juz’25th, 26th, 27th
Ten3 Juz’28th, 29th, 30th

Level Two

Now start another round of completion in the same way (with a set of 3 Juz’) but for 20 days. So you’re repeating a set of 3 daily for 20 days each. This means you will finish in 6.5 months and would have completed 20 complete readings, with each Juz’ 20 times.

Day setsAmount to do (aloud, looking)From which Juz’?
First 20 days3 Juz’1st, 2nd, 3rd
Second 20 days3 Juz’4th, 5th, 6th
Third 20 days3 Juz’7th, 8th, 9th
Fourth 20 days3 Juz’10th, 11th, 12th
Fifth 20 days3 Juz’13th, 14th, 15th
Sixth 20 days3 Juz’16th, 17th, 18th
Seventh 20 days3 Juz’19th, 20th, 21st
Eighth 20 days3 Juz’22nd, 23rd, 24th
Ninth 20 days3 Juz’25th, 26th, 27th
Tenth 20 days3 Juz’28th, 29th, 30th

Level Three

Now start another round of completion in the same way (with a set of 3 Juz’) but for 15 days. This is a period of almost 5 months. You’re doing 15 repeats per Juz’ and so 15 complete readings of the Qur’ān.

Day setsAmount to do (aloud, looking)From which Juz’?
First 15 days3 Juz’1st, 2nd, 3rd
Second 15 days3 Juz’4th, 5th, 6th
Third 15 days3 Juz’7th, 8th, 9th
Fourth 15 days3 Juz’10th, 11th, 12th
Fifth 15 days3 Juz’13th, 14th, 15th
Sixth 15 days3 Juz’16th, 17th, 18th
Seventh 15 days3 Juz’19th, 20th, 21st
Eighth 15 days3 Juz’22nd, 23rd, 24th
Ninth 15 days3 Juz’25th, 26th, 27th
Tenth 15 days3 Juz’28th, 29th, 30th

After going through these levels, you would have done each Juz’ 65 times, and completed 65 complete readings of the Qur’ān. All of this within 1 year and almost 8 months. If you factor in days that you might not be able to do the 3 Juz’ in a day due to unforeseen circumstances, just push the whole process to 2 years.

Is this to be done alongside your regular daily revision?

It’s not clear whether it is or not but remember this method is purely for strengthening your memorization. In my opinion, it should be done alongside a regular daily revision that you do off memory. This should be a minimum of a Juz’.

Akhdarī Based Alternatives

There are two alternative spin-offs to the Akhdarī method.

The first of them is where you will take 3 Juz’ daily but with more rounds of recitation. the second is where you will take 2 Juz’ instead of 3.

Again, you’re reciting out loud by looking.

Alternative One

DaysWhat to reciteJuz’ to recite
13 Juz’1st, 2nd, 3rd
2Next 3 Juz’4th, 5th, 6th
3Next 3 Juz’7th, 8th, 9th
4Next 3 Juz’10th, 11th, 12th
5Next 3 Juz’13th, 14th, 15th
6Next 3 Juz’16th, 17th, 18th
7Next 3 Juz’19th, 20th, 21st
8Next 3 Juz’22nd, 23rd, 24th
9Next 3 Juz’25th, 26th, 27th
10Next 3 Juz’28th, 29th, 30th
DurationRound 1 for 1 month
Round 2 for 3 month
Round 3 for 6 month
Round 4 for 1 year
Round 1 completes 2 khatm
Round 2 completes 6 khatm
Round 3 completes 12 khatm
Round 4 completes 24 khatm

Alternative Two

DaysWhat to reciteJuz’ to recite
12 Juz’1st, 2nd
2Next 2 Juz’3rd, 4th
3Next 2 Juz’5th, 6th
4Next 2 Juz’7th, 8th
5Next 2 Juz’9th, 10th
6Next 2 Juz’11th, 12th
7Next 2 Juz’13th, 14th
8Next 2 Juz’15th, 16th
9Next 2 Juz’17th, 18th
10Next 2 Juz’19th, 20th
11Next 2 Juz’21st, 22nd
12Next 2 Juz’23rd, 24th
13Next 2 Juz’25th, 26th
14Next 2 Juz’27th, 28th
15Next 2 Juz’29th, 30th
DurationRound 1 for 1 month
Round 2 for 3 month
Round 3 for 6 month
Round 4 for 1 year
Round 1 completes 3 khatm
Round 2 completes 9 khatm
Round 3 completes 18 khatm
Round 4 completes 36 khatm

The Shātrī Method

Shaykh Abu Bakr ash-Shātrī suggests another method.

When you’ve memorized the entire Qur’ān, you must have a fixed amount daily. This should be between 1 to 3 ajzā’ daily. You should aim to complete the Qur’ān every 10 days.

Alongside your daily fixed amount, take a portion that you are weak in to look at as well. You should repeat that 7 times (looking and from memory). For example, you’re revising juz’ 1 but you also look at a quarter of Sūrah Hūd 7 times. Repeat it in your salāh (especially at night) as well. The next day, you’re doing the next juz’ for example, and the next quarter of Sūrah Hūd. If you do a quarter alongside the usual daily portion, you create a supplementary revision tool to strengthen everything.

For example:

DayAmount to recite (from memory)Review (looking and off memory)
One1 to 3 Juz’ (whatever you can do)Review 1st quarter of 1st Juz’ 7 times and repeat it in every salāh (or in Qiyām al-Layl / Tahajjud)
Two1 to 3 Juz’Review 2nd quarter of 1st Juz’ 7 times and repeat it in every salāh (or in Qiyām al-Layl / Tahajjud)
Three1 to 3 Juz’Review 3rd quarter of 1st Juz’ 7 times and repeat it in every salāh (or in Qiyām al-Layl / Tahajjud)
Four1 to 3 Juz’Review 4th quarter of 1st Juz’ 7 times and repeat it in every salāh (or in Qiyām al-Layl / Tahajjud)
Five1 to 3 Juz’Review 5th quarter of 1st Juz’ 7 times (or next 2nd Juz’ 1st quarter if you’re using the non-‘Uthmānī) and repeat it in every salāh (or in Qiyām al-Layl / Tahajjud)
Six1 to 3 Juz’Review 6th quarter of 1st Juz’ 7 times (or next 2nd Juz’ 2nd quarter if you’re using the non-‘Uthmānī) and repeat it in every salāh (or in Qiyām al-Layl / Tahajjud)
Seven1 to 3 Juz’Review 7th quarter of 1st Juz’ 7 times (or next 2nd Juz’ 3rd quarter if you’re using the non-‘Uthmānī) and repeat it in every salāh (or in Qiyām al-Layl / Tahajjud)
Eight1 to 3 Juz’Review 8th quarter of 1st Juz’ 7 times (or next 2nd Juz’ 4th quarter if you’re using the non-‘Uthmānī) and repeat it in every salāh (or in Qiyām al-Layl / Tahajjud) …

For the Mutashābihāt, Shaykh Abu Bakr says it is imperative that you know the meanings. For example, Allāh says in Sūrah Āle ‘Imrān:

إِنَّ ٱلَّذِينَ تَوَلَّوْا۟ مِنكُمْ يَوْمَ ٱلْتَقَى ٱلْجَمْعَانِ إِنَّمَا ٱسْتَزَلَّهُمُ ٱلشَّيْطَـٰنُ بِبَعْضِ مَا كَسَبُوا۟ ۖ وَلَقَدْ عَفَا ٱللَّهُ عَنْهُمْ ۗ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ غَفُورٌ حَلِيمٌ
Indeed, those ˹believers˺ who fled on the day when the two armies met were made to slip by Satan because of their misdeeds. But Allah has pardoned them. Surely Allah is All-Forgiving, Most Forbearing. (3:155)

Most people would think it would end with Raheem instead of Haleem. Here it is Haleem because when they were made to slip, Allāh had overlooked them and so Allāh was Forbearing.

The Duraid Method

Duraid shares schedules for those that have completed memorisation or have forgotten a lot of it.

5-week review schedule after you have complete your Hifz

You can find the 5 Week Schedule and find the full table.

30-week schedule for those who have forgotten large portions or more

You can find the 30 Week Schedule and see the full table.

Some notes on this one.

  • You should have a desire to complete a khatm once bi-weekly on a medium paced recitation. Pay attention to pages, letters, words, etc. Familiarise yourself with the pages once again.
  • Listen to the Qur’an more.
  • You’ll find yourself improving year by year.
  • Listen to yourself (if you’re alone).
  • Complete what you know in your salah.
  • Listen to the completed surahs while travelling, in times of leisure and before sleep.
  • Pray for success and opening of your heart!

Here is a video explanation:

The Takrar Method

Another method is to use the Mastery courses used in the Takrar method. For this approach, you will either do 3 or 4 pages daily. This can be done without having a routine alongside it.

What are the recommendations for those that have complete their memorisation goals?

Whether you have memorised the entire Qur’ān or have complete your goal, the following are basic things to keep your Qur’ān strong:

  • Choose a strengthening routine like the above as soon as you finish memorisation
  • Maintain a daily recall session of at least 1 Juz’
  • Maintain your Qur’ān through your salāh
  • Maintain your relationship with a teacher or buddy who you can continue reciting to
  • Build your Arabic knowledge and the meanings of the Qur’ān through further study

May Allāh grant ease and blessing!

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