Revising Qur'an

This article comes at a time where I’m feeling annoyed. I’m not good like that because my students have to listen to my rants.

Annoyed at something that I keep seeing time and time again. Way too many of you are making this mistake. Too many of you are ‘lazy’ about your Hifdh revision.

What do I mean by that?

Revising by looking

When I say revising by looking, I mean looking only.

I had two students during the past two or three years that did this. I left them under trust to revise at home. I had to test them. One — to see if they did this. Two — to see how they’ve been doing it. It didn’t take me long to figure out what they were doing. They were simply reading of the Mus’haf. BIG MISTAKE.

Too many of you get complacent. I’ve found that those who tend to do this do so for the following reasons:

  1. They are lazy.
  2. They think it’s revision.
  3. They want a quick route and they don’t want to commit effort and time towards it.
  4. They also think that repeating it by looking will keep it in memory and keep it fresh.

I got news for you. This isn’t the case.

If it were, everyone reciting the Qur’ān daily would have memorised it by now. Yes, it helps with familiarity and some memorisation but it isn’t a long-term effect. The whole point of revision is a movement towards the long term. 

What is revision then?

‘Revision’ or ‘review’ isn’t about repetition. It’s mastery of recitation and Hifdh. This means you need to be testing yourself. If you need to recite by looking do so, but it must be followed with recitation from memory. You have to test yourself.

Revision is designed to keep it in memory through engaging repetition. This means you have addressed your mistakes again and again. Moreso, you have to make revision meaningful. Work on learning the language if you haven’t already done so and engage with the Words of Allāh.

Many are afraid of revision due to these things. Seeking perfection takes time and by Allāh, you have time!

Ultimately none of us are perfect as human beings but we can reach a “type” of perfection with the Qur’ān. That might differ person to person. Seeking perfection is the goal, but one should never be afraid of this. Part of our deen is Ihsān (excellence / spiritual excellence).

The biggest truth in memorising the Qur’an is that it’s for life and revision is part of the game. The quicker you realise that the sooner you’ll avoid these mistakes. The quicker you realise that revision is more than repetition, the sooner you won’t be paralysed by the thought of always forgetting. By default, you need to create a habit of respecting the Qur’ān. There’s no such thing as revision by looking.

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