The Ibrahimi Method For Memorising The Quran

This method for memorising the Qur’ān comes from Shaykh Ibrahim as-Saq’ūb which is why I have named it the Ibrahimi method. Hundreds upon hundreds of students have completed the memorisation of the Qur’ān using this method.

The following is according to what the shaykh himself has conveyed.

The eventual result of this method is that a person can recite the Qur’ān without looking at the Mus’haf (copy of the Qur’ān) and not feeling the need to refer to the Mus’haf. If you ask someone that has used it, how long has it been since you’ve opened the Qur’ān, they will respond with a number of years.

The method isn’t radically different to others and isn’t something completely unique. It follows a particular system.

The method is based on three pillars that we see across any method:

  1. Repetition (at-Takrār)
  2. Linking [or Connection] (ar-Rabt)
  3. Revision (al-Murāja’ah)

Pillar one: Repetition (Takrār)

Step one

Determine how much you can and will commit to memorise on a daily basis. This can be a page or two for example. The assumption is that you’ll do a page and we are on day one of our memorisation. The Qur’ān of choice is the 15-lined Qur’ān where every Juz’ has 20 pages.

Step two

Listen to what you intend to memorise first with the voice of an expert and recommended reciter such as:

  • Muhammad Khalil al-Husari
  • Muhammad Siddiq al-Minshawi
  • Ibrahim al-Akhdar
  • Muhammad al-Hudhayfi
  • Muhammad Ayyub

Anyone that is known for their precision, Tajweed and sound recitation. [The above list are just examples and is not limited to these individuals].

Note: The recitations that you should listen to should be those that are recorded in studios rather than those from the daily prayers or the Tarāwīh. This is because studio recitations are usually more precise and done under the supervision and scrutiny of a committee of qualified reciters.

You can use any app for this purpose.

Shaykh Ibrahim didn’t mention a specific amount of times to listen but it would be useful for you to figure out what works well for you. The minimum should be 2-10 times. The aim of listening should be to gain clarity over how to recite properly and become familiar with the words. It’s also a good practice to make a routine to listen to the entire Qur’ān as a matter of regular completion to continually gain familiarity.

I will add that, it’s even better to have your recitation checked before memorising it to ensure that you are reciting it free from any mistakes.

Step three

After listening to the portion you will start memorising. You must start from the beginning of the page and stop at the first āyah on the next page (so that you can connect the pages). You can memorise in any way you like.

Your aim needs to be to reach perfection in memorisation. The difference between perfection and imperfection is that you don’t feel uncomfortable, uneasy, and as if you don’t know properly. If you’ve memorised the page like you’ve taken a photo, sometimes a photo still needs to be edited to make it perfect.

A good way to know this is by observing two things:

  • You can recite the page fast without stutter or pause
  • You can recite the page 5 times without looking without any mistakes

Step four

For this reason, after you’ve memorised, you need to close the Qur’ān and repeat the page 40 times. At first, this might be difficult to do, so take incremental steps – go from 10 to 20, then 20 to 30, and then finally to 40.

Others suggest repeating it 50 times. al-Hassan b. Abi Bakr an-Nisapuri used to say that you do not reach memorisation until you repeat something 50 times. Yahya b. Ma’ī used to say that we do not know of any Hadīth that we didn’t write and listen to 50 times.

Do what you find to work well.

A man once complained to al-Hāfiz Abū Mas’ūd b. al-Furāt ar-Rāzī (d. 258 AH/872 CE) that he was forgetting Hadīth. So he said, “Which one of you returns to memorise one Hadīth 500 times?” (i.e. are you making the efforts like we did, 500 times?)

40 times is nothing in comparison but with some effort, it is something that can be done and should be done if you want to reap the fruit. These 40 repetitions come after having memorised the page with perfection. With this, you will have completed day one.

Note that repetition is from memory, aloud, and can be done across multiple sessions if needed.

Step five

Now you are on your second day and you will memorise the next page in the same way as you did yesterday. So memorise the page connecting it to the start of the next page and then repeat it 40 times from memory.

Step six

You will now revise the page from yesterday repeating that 5 times. When you are on the third day, you will memorise the new page and repeat it 40 times, then you will repeat the second day’s page, 5 times. What will you do with the first page? You will repeat that once.

So what you’re beginning to do is repeat the day’s portion 40 times, yesterdays 5 times and then the rest once. So let’s say you reach the 20th page (the end of the Juz’). Here you will memorise the 20th page and then repeat it 40 times. Then repeat page 19, you will repeat 5 times and then page 1 to 18, you will repeat once.

Remember, every review and repetition is to be done without looking.

Pillar two: Connection (ar-Rabt)

You can call this linking or your recent memorisation. This is your revision of the last 20 pages and should be done daily once. So let’s say you have memorised 3 ajzā’ (pages 1 till 61). You will be revising:

Day 1The first Juz’ as revision, your connection will be the 3rd Juz’
Day 2The second Juz’ as revision, your connection will be the 3rd Juz’

When you’ve memorised more (from page 62) your connection will likewise change to being from page 42 to 62.

This is all based on memorising one page, if you’re memorising two pages, then the number should be 40 pages a day. Everything will adjust according to how much you memorise.

Pillar three: Revision (al-Murāja’ah)

The revision will only begin once you’ve reached 2 Juz’ in memorisation. So from pages 1 to 41, you need to repeat everything from the beginning on a daily basis (as explained above). So you’re doing the 40 times for the new page, then 5 times for the one yesterday, and repeat everything else once.

Once you reach 2 Juz’, you will divide this out into two days so that you are alternating. Basically do a Juz’ daily.

When you reach 8 ajzā’, divide it into four days. This means you will be doing 2 Juz’ a day till you reach half of the Qur’ān. The more you memorise the more you increase the days. When you reach the second half of the Qur’ān, start to do 3 ajzā’ a day.

If you cannot reach this level due to any constraints, then keep the routine of doing 1 Juz’ daily.

Everything is from memory.

Resources

There’s a really cool calculator that was made in Saudi that figures out a full plan for your memorisation for you based on this method. The problem is that it isn’t accessible to everyone, because it’s all in Arabic.

It’s called the Itqaan. It’s designed for students in the program but it can be helpful for anyone wanting to create a plan for themselves. They have tweaked the above method in a few ways (especially for revision). They say:

  1. Listen to the new page 3 times before memorising to make sure you have no mistakes
  2. Recite the page 3 times with visualisation in mind
  3. Memorise the page, verse, or line until you know it perfectly
  4. Perfection means to recite the page 5 times without error, hesitation, pauses or doubts. If you note anything like this, then repeat it again 5 times.
  5. Now repeat the memorised portion 40 times without looking, aloud, in one or two sessions, provided that the first of them is immediately after you’ve memorised it perfectly.
  6. Repeat yesterday’s 5 times before memorising the new portion.
  7. Connecting (minor revision): you memorise and repeat everything until you’ve reached 4 ajzā’, then separate connecting and revision. So you’ve memorised 4 Juz’, your connection should be all of it daily. When you’ve done more than 4 Juz’, your connection should be the recent 20 pages (if memorising a page, if you’re doing two pages then it should be the last 30 pages).
  8. Common revision (major revision): the student reviews his memorisation that has been repeated and connected, after leaving the connection, and the amount of the daily revision will vary according to the total memorisation, so that it is not less than two Juz’, and not more than four Juz’, according to the following:
    • Total memorised: 4 Juz’ or less then revise everything daily
    • Total memorised: 4-10 Juz’ then revise 2 Juz’ daily
    • Total memorised: 10-15 Juz’ then revise 2.5 Juz’ daily
    • Total memorised: 15-20 Juz’ then revise 3 Juz’ daily
    • Total memorised: 20-25 Juz’ then revise 3.5 Juz’ daily
    • Total memorised: 25-30 Juz’ then revise 4 Juz’ daily
  9. You have to remain committed to the connecting and revision without any holidays.

The above is the memorisation track but then there is also another track that suggests you do listening once, recite the page 3 times without error, and repeat the page 30 times after memorising it. Recite your connection until you reach 5 Juz’ instead of 4, and then spilt from the 5th Juz’ doing the last 20 days (39 pages). This is the path or track of consolidation.

When you go on this link, you’ll find a form.

  1. First enter your name (الاسم الثلاثي)
  2. Now choose your gender (الجنس). The first one (default selector) is male and the next one is female.
  3. Now you choose what track you want. Leave it as it is.
  4. Now select how many pages you want to memorise (0.5, 1, or 2).
  5. Now select what days you want to start. The options say today, tomorrow, or custom. Go on custom (the last one). Below this, you see date selection options select the second box (Miladi) and then click on the date box to open the calendar and select a date. If you wanted, you can just leave it at today.
  6. Now you have to select a day that you will revise the entire week’s portions (no new memorisation on this day). The options start on Sunday and end on Saturday. Select accordingly. I’ll go on Monday.
  7. Now you have to select the number of days you’ll be memorising (minimum 4). Options start from Friday to Saturday. You will notice, that the day you selected for weekly revision is blocked out.
  8. Now you have to choose what you want to do. The options are – none, by Juz’, by Surah, by pages. Depending on what you select, you will need to choose the options that appear. Select the second option, by Juz’. Then select the first option in the first box, then select the last option in the next.
  9. Now they want to know what order are you doing Hifz in, front to back, or back to front. If you’re doing from the back then select the second box.
  10. Now you select what you want to do for consolidation. You can keep the next part as it is and then select the same options as number 8 above.

You can now download a plan. A page should come up where you can download a spreadsheet or a pdf, as well as view your plan.

If anyone is interested in building something in English, please contact me.

Allāh grant blessing!

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