How To Be Consistent With Quran Memorisation (Hifz)

We all know that consistency is key yet it is something we all struggled with. How can I be consistent with Hifdh? This is the question we all ask ourselves. You may have Googled “How to be consistent” and got overwhelmed with different thoughts and ideas. Often these ideas are all the same and come down to the same fundamental arguments.

There’s no one answer but the root is to always understand yourself.

In this article, I’ll share some of my thoughts on how you can be consistent in your Qur’ān memorisation.

Think smaller than usual

Much of the advice you’ll read about is already within our own tradition. One of these is the advice to do things on a smaller scale and establish tiny habits. To be realistic, start small and not over-commit. By focusing on the basics, smaller things eventually lead to bigger things.

The beloved Prophet (ﷺ) said, “The most beloved of deeds to Allāh are those that are most consistent, even it is small.” (al-Bukhārī)

He said (ﷺ) “Take up good deeds only as much as you are able..” (Ibn Mājah)

Internalise your reasoning behind hifz

Whenever anyone does something, they need to have a reason in mind. They need to know where they are going and why. That reasoning is what makes them perform the action and become consistent in doing so. The “why” is so strong that they always find a way to do what they want to do. Let passion and intention be your drive. What are your underlying motives? Your focus should be on quality. Quality takes dedication. Live for the long term, not a quick win.

If you need to write your “why”, write it. Place your list along your bedside and see it once before going to sleep and waking until it sets in. Your subconscious mind will begin to cement it.

You can even write your reasons for “why not.” A list of things that would happen if you didn’t do the task. The consequences of not doing your hifz. What will you be missing out on?

Set Qur’ān and hadīth reminders throughout the day to support your motivation and discipline.

Making some sacrifices

When you really want something, you have to almost always give up other things in order to get it. Our problem often is that we don’t want to give up our comfort zones. We want everything in an instant, non-tolerant way.

As an adult, you’ll have studies, family, work and other commitments. You can’t say that I want to memorise the Qur’ān and become one of the Companions of the Qur’ān without being a companion! You can’t say, ‘O, I have to go out with my friends’, ‘I have to go to the restaurant’, ‘I have to go to the wedding’ or whatever it is. It is a process of give and take. How are you using time?

Have accountability systems in place

This is really important and is the reason that we need people around us in order to do good and keep consistent in it. In our time, it is harder to do good by yourself. There are too many distractions and tools that Shaytan has deployed that have captured our hearts and minds.

The first thing is getting a teacher who can keep you in check and create a regularity for you. You can do it on your own if you want, but you will find consistency to be a constant issue.

If you can’t get a teacher, get hold of a buddy or partner with someone else that is local or online that you can work with.

You can also tell a trusted friend to keep you accountable (set punishments/rewards).

Think less, do more

Understand that you won’t be motivated all the time and that’s ok. That is normal. You want to focus on starting and doing something – don’t analyse. This means to fall in love with the process, the struggles and bits of progress.

There’s a Punjabi proverb that I heard recently that says, “Get into thinking, (then) man is a goner!”

It’s said that Napoleon said, “Take time to deliberate, but when the time for action has arrived, stop thinking and go in.”

This reminds me of the hadīth: التَّأَنِّي مِنَ اللَّهِ وَالْعَجَلَةُ مِنَ الشَّيْطَانِ
That “deliberation is from Allāh, and being hasty is from shaytān.” (al-Bayhaqi)

Routine is king

Speak to anyone that has been consistent and they will tell you that they mastered a routine. A continued routine is difficult to achieve when there’s no motivation but routine can take only around 2 weeks to fully set in. There are exceptions too. Not everyone has a routine but they work differently. You have to figure out what type of personality you have.

Schedule priorities, make a routine, batch/block time for your to-do’s, plan the day around hifz, keep a journal, commit a time(s) and place, just one small goal. So learn to say no to things. Prioritise your hifz!

If you have a set time, make it sacred. Always show up.

Habit stacking can help routine

If you can’t create a schedule for yourself, a good starting point is to use a habit stack.

Your brain builds a strong network of neurons to support your current behaviours. The more you do something, the stronger and more efficient the connection becomes.

You probably have very strong habits and connections that you take for granted each day. For example, your brain is probably very efficient at remembering to brush your teeth or to open the blinds when the sun rises … or thousands of other daily habits. You can take advantage of these strong connections to build new habits.

How?

When it comes to building new habits, you can use the connectedness of behaviour to your advantage. One of the best ways to build a new habit is to identify a current habit you already do each day and then stack your new behaviour on top. This is called habit stacking.

Rather than pairing your new habit with a particular time and location, you pair it with a current habit. This method, which was created by BJ Fogg as part of his Tiny Habits program, can be used to design an obvious cue for nearly any habit.

The habit stacking formula is:

After/Before [CURRENT HABIT], I will [NEW HABIT].

Other things to think about

  • Smiling more is said to create more willpower
  • Increasing in gratitude will grant you an increase
  • Increasing in Salawāt (durood) can grant openings
  • Eating good home food (avoid take-outs)
  • Getting good sleep and rest ensures you have energy
  • Make sure your health is checked regularly – a lack of nutrition, minerals, and vitamins can lead to you not being able to do things
  • Understand yourself better and shape things around that understanding
  • Remove distractions

These are some of the important elements that are needed to be consistent. Start with the intentions and motives. Then your passions. Then your nature (are you spontaneous? Do you move with your emotions?)

Then look at what you need to do – which is often getting support in the form of a group, buddy or teacher.

Sometimes it’s just tweaking your timings.
Sometimes it’s just a matter of simplifying your process.

Start today.

May Allāh facilitate ease and blessing!

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