My name is Maryam, I am 17 years old and reside in India. I am currently studying Qur’ān with Qāri’ Mubashir and in this piece, I intend to share with you my experience so far. Before I go any further, I would like to express my sincere and heartfelt gratitude to Qāri’, for all his support, time, and most importantly his patience, without him, this would have been impossible. May Allāh bless him abundantly and protect him. Āmeen.
I recently read ‘Promise of Ten’ authored by Qāri’ Mubashir wherein he shares his journey of memorising the Qur’ān. It did inspire me a lot, and gave me a kick start to begin my memorisation. The main reason why I am documenting my journey is to serve as a means of hope to reassure you that memorisation can be done at home and not everyone requires going to a madrassah to cater to the need of memorisation. May Allāh forgive me for elements of show-off, if any.
The Initial Steps
It all began in 2017 where I was born and raised — Saudi Arabia. It’s been 3 years since we moved to India and I had an intention to memorise the Qur’ān ever since I moved. It never materialised due to a lack of guidance, and there was nothing to keep me going. I finally gave up on this.
One fine day I messaged Qāri’ on Instagram out of the blue around the last week of September 2019 wherein I conversed about my want of beginning the memorisation of Qur’ān. Also how I was facing such and such a dilemma over memorising or understanding the Qur’ān. The discussion moved from Instagram to emails. He helped me with many issues over email. He solved a dilemma that I had. However, to my surprise, he agreed to teach me despite having a busy schedule and I can’t thank him enough no matter what I do. I had my first class of Tajwīd in early October. I completed Tajwīd within a month or so. After that, he had me take a VARK test (you can google it) to help me figure out how I should memorise. The results showed that I was more of an aural person which meant that I learn or memorise best through listening. Then I was made to do a Qur’ān memorisation litmus test. You can find details regarding the litmus test. In the test, I memorised 10 lines of ayahs 11 and 12 (a page) from Surah al-Nisā’ in an hour for this purpose. Following this, I also studied a Qur’ān memorisation course with Qāri’ which helped build a foundation for me. I learnt all the principles of memorising and so much more. After all of this, I finally began memorising the 30th juz’ in late November 2019. Alhamdulillāh, I completed memorising the juz’ in early February 2020. The entire process involved a lot and I spent days, weeks and months getting into the actual process of memorisation. I went tweaked the initial method given to me by Qāri’, as advised, until I found something that worked. I’ve learnt that the process is full of continual learning.
The Set of Intentions
To be honest, I had beyond multiple intentions and plans for it. Like the majority of us, I got carried away with this. I wanted to memorise the Qur’ān in about 6 months initially, and then I wanted to memorise it in a year or consider alternatives. Qāri’ asked me what my goal was and I learnt this was incorrect. Rushing things would cause greater harm than benefit, and I will end up forgetting what I had memorised. Qāri’ explained to me that in the process of memorisation what matters more is revision. Memorising is all about how much you retain and that is only possible through revision. Quality matters, not quantity. We are all aware of the hadith on intentions as well but one of the things I learned from my memorisation course was that we can have multiple intentions for this task. Among them, you have a core set, and one of the ways you maintain sincerity with them is to keep a diary of intentions or a note of intentions in your mus’haf.
Contacting Qāri’ came as a result of a lot of du’ās I was making and the fact that he actually replied was in itself a blessing. I was beyond surprised. There have been ups and downs, however. Qāri’ had mentioned these will come and we have to prepare and learn how to deal with them. For example, there have been days when I memorised in an hour and there were days when I actually memorised a page in a few minutes (recitations on loop). In contrast, there were days when I wanted to give up on this altogether (because this was something I wasn’t trained or used to do, I wasn’t in a habit of). I also remember getting upset linking the diseases of the brain to my situation whenever I forgot the ayāt. During the days when we aren’t supposed to be praying — that would hold me back from revision in Tahajjud and in order to overcome this, I used to listen to the recitation of whatever I had memorised which would eventually strengthen the parts I haven’t been perfect with.
The first set of surahs went on smoothly as I began. I already knew 5–10 chapters from the last part of the 30th. So the actual memorisation really began when I made it to the lengthier surahs like Bayyinah etc. Honestly, it was only at this point that I came up with a method that could work for me. The best modification I found to what I already was doing was to walk and memorise the ayahs. This helped me retain the ayahs a lot better. Listening, of course, was also an important factor for me to be able to retain the ayahs for a longer period of time. This was consolidated by writing the ayahs down. I have found the best times for me to memorise have been after Maghrib or before Tahajjud. I review everything after Fajr and in Tahajjud prayers. I know when I work best and have more energy and this varies according to each individual.
The Most Essential Element is Repetition
Apart from walking and memorising the actual process is repeating. Everyone agrees that in order to memorise something and shift it into our long term memory we have to engage in repetition. Do this by looking first and then without. You have to find your number. There’s no set formula. So if you repeat once, thrice, and more, do it as you require. Not by how many times someone else did so.
The Road Ahead
Now that I have memorised Juz’ 30 I always end up having a hard time choosing between the surahs I want to recite in my prayers. Qāri’s suggestion is to recite all of them in order according to a cycle that I can easily manage. I also plan to listen to juz’ 30 more often, so that I don’t end up forgetting it.
If there is something that I would want to improve on is to work on my anxiety levels while reciting the portions to Qāri’. This anxiety makes me forget even the portions that I memorised well and had written down. Qāri’ tends to keep me on my toes often. At times I am randomly tested from anywhere in the Juz’ by Qāri’. This also sends my anxiety levels up the roof. Any tips from anyone would be helpful.
What I Have Loved So Far
Listening to recitations. I got addicted to listening to recitations to such an extent that I wasn’t able to fall asleep without having the recitations played on loop. This has in return played a major role in making my actual memorisation process easier.
My Heartfelt Advice to the One Who Aspires to Commit the Qur’ān to Memory
My advice to anyone reading this who aspires to memorise or is still facing a dilemma upon whether they should memorise the Qur’ān now or later in life would be to start it now!! Because you don’t have control over your lives. You don’t know what tomorrow brings. No matter how busy, no matter how much you memorise every day, no matter how old you are. The beginning is always hard, and when you proceed ahead you eventually get into a habit of memorisation, you eventually begin to love it. Be it just an Ayah a Day. And you will realise that this is something your heart has been yearning for and you would thank yourself for what you’ve put forth. And most importantly you begin to see the blessings that the Qur’ān brings into your lives and you begin to LIVE. If you are in distress and are looking for solace, then trust me this is the best investment you are ever going to make for yourself.
I ask Allāh to grant us the tawfīq and guide us in the best of ways.