Memorising and reviewing the Qur’ān can be a challenging task for anyone, let alone for those who are dealing with illness. Illness can drain your energy and make it difficult to concentrate, which can make it difficult to learn and retain new information.
However, with the right approach and mindset, with some careful planning and determination, it is possible to continue your Qur’ān memorisation and review even when you are sick. There are examples and I have shared some incredible stories about those that have managed to memorise the Qur’ān while battling illness or addiction.
So what are some of the most effective strategies that can help you memorise and revise Qur’ān while dealing with illness?
Prioritise your health
The first and most important thing to do when you are sick is to prioritise your health and seek medical attention where necessary. This will ensure that your illness does not worsen. You should also avoid any activities that may worsen your condition and focus on resting and recovering. If you are feeling too unwell to focus on memorising or revising, it is okay to take a break and rest until you are feeling better. Your health should always be your top priority.
Since 2021, I’ve been facing many health challenges but battling cancer was the hardest. I ended up in surgery and after going through that I could hardly talk, focus, or do anything for a prolonged or sustained period. 2022 became a year of low energy levels. For the first time, I could hardly string together pages of the Qur’ān. I couldn’t recite even for 5 minutes. I couldn’t talk even for 10 minutes without feeling like I was about to drop on the floor. During this time, I had to prioritise my own health and so I stopped teaching. Alhamdulillāh, I am now getting back to levels where I have no problem with resuming teaching. I also stopped revising Qur’ān for a period of time. Alhamdulillāh, over time, my energy levels have improved and I can now recite for much longer.
Creating the right environment
Once you are feeling well enough to focus on memorising the Qur’ān, it is important to create a conducive environment. This means finding a quiet and comfortable place to memorise, free from distractions such as noise, screens, or bright lights. When you’re not well, you can easily become prone to feeling annoyed or agitated by distractions and sounds. This is something that I definitely felt when battling cancer and recovering from surgery.
Listening to the Qur’ān becomes a gift
The first thing I do whenever I am unwell is to listen to the Qur’ān as much as possible. You realise how much of a gift it is. You witness His Majesty and Beauty. You witness healing. When you are memorising Qur’ān and you become ill, it can really disrupt your journey. Listening to the Qur’ān through an app or audio recording to help you with your memorisation or revision can make life easier. Just listen to it on repeat.
Set realistic goals
Another important factor in memorising the Qur’ān is setting realistic goals. When you are sick, it is important to set goals that are achievable, given your current condition. This means either the goal is your health itself and focusing on getting better or starting with small goals and gradually increasing the amount of Qur’ān you are trying to memorise as you become more comfortable and confident.
Create a schedule
One of the biggest challenges of memorising and revising the Qur’ān while sick is the lack of motivation and energy. In addition to setting realistic goals so that you’re not overwhelmed, it is also important to establish a regular routine for memorising the Qur’ān. A schedule suited to your current conditions is crucial. This can help you to stay focused and motivated, even when you are feeling unwell. You may need to set aside a specific time each day or a specific day in a week for memorising the Qur’ān, and stick to this routine as much as possible. You may not be able to do it every day and that’s okay. Starting small and then gradually building it will help you to build momentum and make progress even when you are sick.
Engage in interactive activities
When you are sick, you can have a tendency towards doing things in a way that is more fun. So to make things more interesting and engaging, you can try interactive activities such as testing your memorisation through self-testing, quizzes, questions and answers, and flashcards. These activities can help you review and reinforce the Qur’ān you have memorised, and keep you motivated at the same time.
Seek support and motivation
Another important aspect of memorising and revising the Qur’ān while sick is to seek support and motivation from others. This can be in the form of teachers, family members, friends, or online Qur’ān groups. They can encourage and motivate you to continue your Qur’ān memorisation and review, and help you stay focused and on track. You can also share your progress and challenges with them, and seek advice and guidance if needed. Being isolated never helps.
Take regular breaks
It is important to remember that you are sick and your body needs rest and recovery. Taking breaks will give your mind and body a chance to relax and recharge, and prevent you from getting overwhelmed and exhausted. You can also use these breaks to engage in other activities like watching a video for motivation.
Remaining positive and focused
It is important to stay positive and focused on your goals, and not let your illness or other challenges discourage you. Remember that Abu Hurairah (may Allāh be pleased with him) reported that The Prophet (ﷺ) said:
“Nothing afflicts a Muslim of hardship, nor illness, nor anxiety, nor sorrow, nor harm, nor distress, nor even the pricking of a thorn, but that Allah will expiate his sins by it.”Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī 5641, Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim 2573
How do you deal with chronic illness and memorising the Qur’ān?
There are those who are not ill just for a week, a month, or a year, but they are ill for years, and in some cases for life. May Allāh grant them healing! In these situations, it is even harder to memorise the Qur’ān and retain it. It all comes down to what particular condition you are facing. In some cases, memorising the Qur’ān may not be a possibility and in others it could be. For the most part, you have to assess where you stand. Try to do things in smaller amounts, take regular breaks, and look after yourself.
Should you stop memorising?
Ideally you should keep going. Nothing is impossible with Allāh. Do not be afraid of trying and continuing to try even if you can’t retain things. Every action is upon its intention, you will get what you intend. If you intend for Allāh and His Messenger (ﷺ), you will get Allāh and His Messenger (ﷺ). If you intend for the Qur’ān, you will get the Qur’ān even if you don’t see it realised in this world. We also read in a Hadīth from Abu Sa’īd al-Khudrī:
من قرأ القرآن ثم مات قبل أن يستظهره، أتاه ملك فعلمه في قبره فيلقى الله وقد استظهره
“Whoever recites the Qur’ān and then dies before having memorised it, an angel comes to him and teaches it in his grave, so he will meet Allāh having memorised it.” (sources)
However, you can always stop memorising if need be and focus purely on creating a recitation routine and revision. This is perfectly fine.
May Allāh grant us all health and wellbeing!- Like and share!