Memorise The Quran Like An Archer

The life of the one memorising the Qur’ān is a long road of discipline. Discipline is a key component of your success. Archery is something that you can benefit from immensely. When I first shared this through Instagram, one of the members of the community agreed:

“Alhamdulillah, I took up archery with an intention to help me with my hifz. Alhamdulillah weeks after taking up archery, I managed to complete the Juz that I was stuck at for 5 years! If people were to ask me, I would definitely recommend archery side-by-side hifz :)”

Why is archery relevant to your Hifz?

Archery is a way of discipline and a defence of the truth. The Arab community that the Prophet ﷺ was sent to, were a people of martial arts. They engaged in wrestling, swords, archery, horse riding, swimming, and long and short spears. The Prophet ﷺ likewise engaged in these disciplines and competition.

There are many Hadīth on archery with some compilations of up to 40 hadith. The blessed Prophet ﷺ said: “Any action which is void of the remembrance of Allāh is of no use (lahw) except for four actions: (a) Walking between two targets, ie. practising with a bow and arrow/spear. (b) Training one’s horse. (c) Playing with one’s wife. (d) Learning how to swim. (Sunan Nasai, Hadith: 8940 and Tabarani, Hadith: 1785)

In a Sahīh Hadīth we see:

أَلَا إِنَّ الْقُوَّةَ الرَّمْيُ، أَلَا إِنَّ الْقُوَّةَ الرَّمْيُ، أَلَا إِنَّ الْقُوَّةَ الرَّمْيُ

…‘Indeed, strength is in archery. Indeed, strength is in archery. Indeed, strength is in archery.’ (Sahīh Muslim, 1917 – 167).

The strength of archery is in how it shapes the mind. It brings balance to the mind and sharpens the human intellect. Wrestling tempers anger, riding horses tempers desire, and swimming connects to the spirit (something the Prophet ﷺ perfected as child in the wells of Abu Najjar).

Archery is about how to become one with the target. Pure focus and maskless. The noble companions would practice consistently. Imām al-Bukhārī said he never missed the bullseye whenever he shot and it is said that he missed once to declare perfection being only with Allāh. This is reflected in his precision with Hadīth. Imām ash-Shāfi’ī could write his name with his arrows with incredible precision.

Luqman Quilliam says it well when he says:

“The sahaba were relentless in their practice of archery, firing bow after bow for hours on end, perfecting their marksmanship, and drilling the same movement into their body and mind until they entered a state of being one with the target (the self).”

The Prophet ﷺ said that “Whoever walks between two targets will have a reward for every step that he takes.” [at-Tabarani]. To walk the space between the targets is to be as though in the midst of paradise, a reward even greater than to journey to a masjid.”

“In our modern age, in which pleasure abounds and every second of life must be continuously filled with amusement and diversion, our nights lit ceaselessly by the eerie glow of an electronic device, we have been transformed into voracious dopamine addicts, incessantly jonesing for another hit of heedless distraction. The result has been widespread misery and despair, as all our technological innovation inevitably leaves us feeling hollow inside. A cure for the e-depression that ails us is a return to physical hardiness and the rugged activities of the sunnah. The Prophet ﷺ said, “Whenever depression takes root in any one of you, then one but needs to take to one’s bow, such that through it one’s depression is abated.” [As-Saghir at-Tabarani, with different wording: “There is no harm for any of you to take up your bow when you are overtaken by care, and thereby do away with your worries.”] Those who seek the antidote to modernity should follow suit and simply take to the bow.”

Your Hifz is much the same.

The effects are beyond the tongue. The effects beyond the Mus’haf you hold. It takes dedicated lifelong efforts. Anyone who does archery will tell you, that it takes a lifetime to be a master. It’s not as simple as holding and letting go.

Take a leaf from this.

Set a target and be at one with it ?

You have 24 slots to spend and build your future with. These are the 24 hours you have every day. How many hours will you commit to your journey?

Commit to the Qur’ān ?

Plan your allocated targets into a calendar and secure them. How many days will you commit to your journey? 90, 180, 270, 360?

Be precise! ?

What are your intentions? _________________

What are your learning strengths? _______________

What are your weaknesses? _______________

What is the position of your Tajweed? ____________

Ask yourself all the necessary questions and be clear with them.

Be disciplined! ?

You won’t always hit the target or find your fit. Nor will every day be easy. Take your time. Have a teacher, buddy and community. Can you repeat one ayah 1,000 times and not move to the next one? That is discipline. This is a key ingredient.

Focus and reflect ?

Allowing your mind to stray will mean a stray arrow will follow. 

Learn to channel your focus through breathing techniques, visualisation, and optimising your environment. Take time out to review the results and your memorised portions.

Try archery ?

There are many benefits including:

  1. Gain ajr and revive a sunnah
  2. Builds strength 
  3. Sharpens the mind
  4. Reduces depression, worry and anxiety
  5. Teaches discipline 
  6. Develops focus and concentration
  7. Builds patience 
  8. Develops attention to detail 
  9. Builds persistence
  10. Builds confidence and responsibility

May Allāh facilitate ease and success in our journey.

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