After learning about how you can approach Ḥifẓ in Ramadān and preparing for the Tarāwīh, it’s time to learn about revision methods. Whether you’re going to be leading the Tarāwīh or not, these are some quick tips for you to consider.
Are you going to be leading the Tarāwīh? Are you going to be reading the Tarāwīh at home? Maybe you want to use the prayer for revision. Are you going to be revising throughout the month? Whatever it is that you’re doing, it is essential that you plan it out beforehand. How do you want to go about revising? Think about:
- Will Ramadān be 29 or 30 days this year? Those of you who follow observatory data will know this in advance but those who follow local sightings can usually add an extra day.
- Quantity: Are you looking to do one khatm or more? Are you going to be doing the entire Qur’ān?
- Quality: Are you looking to revise with more effort in certain places or work on mistakes? Or a focus on more reflection?
- Divide out the number of pages, āyāt, or sūrah you would need to do on a daily basis. Think about the time slots.
- Think about what would need to be true for you to successfully action your plan. What are things you would need to sacrifice? What are the things that you can work around? etc.
Have a Ḥifẓ buddy at hand!
After planning, having a teacher or a buddy that can listen to you, is the best possible start you can have for your review. This will allow you to recognise mistakes that you may not pick up yourself.
Revise a paragraph at a time
Take a rukū’ at a time. The rukū’ is a paragraph subdivision. It’s marked with a (ع) that has a number in the middle, top, and bottom. There are 558 rukū’ in the non-Uthmānī mus’haf. If you do 20 rak’āt in the Tarāwīh, you can take 20 rukū’ to review daily. Review each of them through repetition and study, combine them all, and practice in your prayers.
Revise a page at a time
While there isn’t an equivalent of the paragraph system in the ‘Uthmānī script, there is the added advantage that there are 20 pages per Juz’. You may want to recite a page per rak’āt instead of the rukū’. Review by reciting, repeating, and studying the page and combine and then go ahead and test yourself.
Revise a quarter at a time
Taking a quarter at a time can be done instead of a page or rukū’. There are four quarters in the non-‘Uthmāni script is marked by:
- ar-rub’ (ربع)
- an-nisf (نصف)
- ath-thalāthah (ثلاثة)
- the final one is the end of juz’
The quarter system for the ‘Uthmānī script is inside a hizb division. A hizb is a half of a Juz’, and each half is subdivided into 4 quarters called a maqra’. This means in total there are 8 quarters.
So you can take a quarter as a whole and repeat it all. When you move on to the next, combine it with the previous quarter.
Make sure you pay attention to starts and stops
The most challenging part can be remembering where you were after performing the rest of the rakāt. Make sure you factor this into your review process especially if you take a page approach.
The 10 x 10 approach
Assuming Ramadān will be 30 days, another approach is to look at the month as three units of ten. While we’ve all heard of the division of the days of mercy, the days of forgiveness, and the days of freedom from the fire, we may not have heard of a revision system aligned to this.
For this approach, you take 10 ajzā’ (pl. of juz’) per 10 days but you create a stack of revision. You want to be doing this from memory. If certain juz’ are weak, repeat those at least 5 times throughout the day to your limits. Do the same if certain pages are weak. It looks something like this:
First 10 days
Middle 10 days
Last 10 days
You can do all three in the last 10 days too, so on day 21, you would look to include Juz’ 1 + 11 + 21.
10×10 on an individual Juz’, page, or sūrah approach
You can also do a 10×10 approach on a page or sūrah level, so let’s say you were revising Surah an-Nūr and al-Furqān. You will divide the pages by 10 daily. Or at a smaller level āyāt across using 10 x 10. So, for example, on day one, you’re doing the first 10 pages or the first 10 āyāt. Repeat them as many times as possible from memory. The next day you do the next 10 and revisit the last days. Once you’ve it all, revisit the whole Juz’ at the end.
You can explore other ideas in the revision methods library.
Allāh grant blessing.