Here’s my Qur’an story summarised with my tips.
First of all, Alhamdulillah … Alhamdulillah.. Allah has blessed me with this great Amanah (trust) and this great gift.. Alhamdulilah.. And I ask Him humbly to allow me two things: to revise the Qur’an, and to inspire others. May Allah bless you with this great gift. It can be done. All you need is determination and duaa. You don’t even need all the time in the world.
It was a crash-memorization camp, and Alhamdulillah/Masha’Allah I finished in about 2 months and half. Alhamdulillah I was on vacation for part of my memorisation journey, but for the majority I was busy, still going to school (the hospital, 5 days a week). Still having to see patients, still getting in trouble with doctors for slacking off. Although I wasn’t studying, time really was not on my side – but I realised that’s not what’s most important. Many girls in the actual camp finished in 2 months, and the first girl finished in one month. It really is possible!
I was supposed to finish in 2 months exactly – 10 pages a day. Most days I could do this, but on days I couldn’t I would make it up the next day if possible.. which is fine- still worth it. Still, make your goal big.. Reach for the moon and you will land among the stars!
Here’s the general idea:
Here are my humble tips:
- Seek help from Allah.
- Make du’ a. When you reach Juz 7 (Juz is a part, also known as a para/supara).. or 14.. or anything.. and you start to lose motivation- turn to him. They are His words and He alone can teach you them.
- Get a portion done in the morning, especially if you are busy.
- The days where I could manage at least 1-2 pages before noon, made the 10 pages much easier. If I started after noon, it would take longer. #EarlyBirdBarakah
- Cancel Stuff.
- Say No more often. You have to cut back on some things you are used to. It’s just the way it works. Even if you do have time to do other things, you don’t have the energy. Too much non-Qura’n things really takes you away from the mood. If your friends start to get annoyed by how much you are saying no recently – then you are doing it right.
- Find Recitation Coach(es).
- I couldn’t stay with the camp the whole time – so I would recite to my mom, sister, and friends. Try to stick to a couple people but have more than one person. If you need to recite and the person is busy you will get discouraged – so try to have a back-up. I used to even recite on the phone sometimes!
- Memorise and recite DAILY. No days off. None.
- Even if you memorise only page and your goal is to memorise 10. It has to become a habit. Plus, you start one page… then the next page looks easy.. then the next one goes fast..
- Big chunks are easier!
- I used to think memorising one page a time is faster – but actually.. memorising 4-6 pages at a time makes it go faster. Its like your brain gets into “memorisation” mode-and whats you recite to someone else its hard to get back into “memorisation” mode to start again. So if you are doing 10 pages, try to memorise 6.. recite them to your “coach”, then the 4 pages will be easy Insha’Allah. Even memorising all 10 is not that hard!
- Don’t tell too many people at first.
- Because it gets kind of stressful when they keep asking where you reached, how many pages you’ve done, etc. Tell your “coaches” and tell your close friends for motivation and to not lose sight of the goal.
- Free your Mind -more than your time!
- It’s not about how many hours you have a day as much as how much you need to reduce mental clutter. I can get much more done in 2 hours relaxed than in 6 when I am worrying about something. The Qur’an does not enter with chaos. So before you start, make your to-do lists and put them aside, get essential things done, free yourself from worries and commitments. If anything worries you while you are memorising, remember Shaytan doesn’t want you to focus and that the Qur’an will take care of your worries.
- When you are sleepy -do one more.
- I don’t even know why. I guess its just about pushing yourself. But I always felt barakah when I did 1-2 more pages at night when I was getting sleepy rather than giving up.
- Motivate yourself with baby steps.
- Its daunting to be in Surat Al-Baqara and be dreaming of Surat An-Nas. Just keep imagining how happy you will be to be in the next Surah or next few Ajza’ (Parts). When I was in the 13th I would be like: Ya Rabb.. I want to reach 15…the middle. Then in 15- Ya Rabb, I want to reach 20th juz.. the majority. Then in the 20th.. Ya Rabb – till the 25th so almost nothing is left.. Then, Ya Rabb – I have to finish!!
- Use one Mushaf.
- Don’t switch around. I used mine every single day. And I used a pencil to mark around words and underline verses. And post-it notes for the next Juz so I would get excited to reach it. Try to get a standard size Qur’an – too small is hard to memorise from. Too big is hard to hold. Avoid electronic Mushafs- they personally give me headaches and I find take more time. Plus you cant write on them.
- Phone – silent! Far away. I muted almost all notifications.
- Find your memorisation-style.
- My best memorisation technique is sign-language! I look hilarious when I recite something I know well. I memorise it all with hand gestures. It really helped me. I also sometimes would write them out, or write out the beginning of each ayah. Walking also helped because it gave me energy-but only for a few pages at a time. Listening to verses is nice-especially if you have trouble reading, but is time-consuming. But please do this if you can’t read it well because the worst thing you can do is memorise something wrong the first time.
- Divide page into halves or thirds-then glue together.
- Do one ayah, repeat a couple times. Do the next ayah, then repeat it with the one before it. Divide the page in halves or thirds depending on how many verses a page, then try them together at the end.
- When reviewing a large amount, review the BEGINNING of each ayah.
- When you keep repeating an ayah, chances are if you can start it you can finish it. So don’t waste your attention re-reading the whole page. Just test if you know the beginning of each verse (ayah).
- Stay away from sins… but when you mess up- repent and keep going.
- Shaytan will tell you: there’s no point to memorise – you are a sinner. Or will remind you of a sin so that you feel that you can’t memorise. Seek refuge from Allah and keep going. If we were perfect, we wouldn’t need a Holy Book from Allah teaching us how to live our life. You won’t be perfect by the end.
- This is us trying to come closer to Allah as humans. Seek refuge from the shaytan, say Bismillah- and #justkeepmemorising.
- Take breaks after reciting to someone – not after memorising.
- I don’t know if this just worked for me- but I always found it more efficient. And don’t make them long. 10 minutes are a good refresher. More than that and you will lose the “memorisation- mode”
- Find a partner. Or a group!
- Make it a challenge for those around you. Even away from the camp I was motivated thinking of the girls sitting memorising at the camp working towards my same goal.
- Try to stay focused.
- When you take too long on one page because of distractions or daydreaming- it takes extra extra long. Stay focused, finish the page, then take your break.
- Not all ayahs are the same.
- Some ayahs are harder, you will have to find new ways to memorize them or repeat them more. That’s fine.
- Set time goals.
- I used to always have a max goal of half an hour per page. More than that- and I knew I was doing something wrong or not focusing. Sometimes it takes less- which is great! Just don’t lose track of time.
- Make connections.
- Sometimes I would relate one word with one word in the next ayah. It really helps. For example.. an ayah that has my friends name, and the next ayah would remind me of another friend. So I would connect those two words to tie the two ayahs together..
- Look up tough words.
- Sometimes understanding that ONE hard word in the ayah- makes you understand the ENTIRE ayah which helps you understand the page and really helps you memorise. Too much Tafsir while memorising makes it harder- you start to understand it but forget the actual words.
- Tartil later..
- (Tartil: slow, beautified recitation) I suggest that you don’t keep repeating each ayah with full Tartil when memorising- it takes too long if you are aiming for a short time-frame and sometimes you memorise the “sound” and not the actual words. When I would memorise I would repeat them relatively quickly- to not lose energy or focus. (When you are done memorising- enjoy your Tartil.)
- Once you finish, start planning your revision strategy.
- It is not a once and for all thing, and revising is essential! Especially if you finish it in a short time period.
- Ayahs about stories are the easiest! Enjoy them!
A Few Notes:
For all those who asked, I do speak and read Arabic, and I have been Alhamdulillah learning tajwid and Arabic for years. For those who do not speak Arabic or know Tajwid it would be best if you spent some time learning those first so you can memorise it correctly the first time.
Also, I know from all my role models who memorized the Qur’an before me that you must memorise it several times. I realise that I have a lot of revision to do, and May Allah forgive us for our shortcomings, but we really do have to start somewhere..
Hope these help.. I ask of whoever is reading this to please keep me in your Du’as..
May Allah bless you with memorizing the Qur’an and practicing its meanings.. And May the light of the Quran illuminate your path always.
And Allah Knows Best…
This is a repost from Ideal Muslimah written by Bushra Tbakhi (the medical student). Edited by Shamsiya Noorul Quloob (furthered by myself for our audience). Sisters you should check them out!