The memorisation of the blind is extraordinary.
Dr Yahyā bin ‘Abd al Razzāq al-Ghawthānī when speaking about the method of memorisation that the blind use says:
The sense of sight is a great bounty from Allāh. Those who have been deprived of this blessing are often granted by Allāh a strong discernment, special faculties, and bright intelligence. Generally, the blind’s memorisation is faster than others. They have many methods of memorisation, however, I will only state the most famous of them:
- The blind person regardless of his age will need a competent Hāfidh/Hāfidhah (and thereby reciter) who is aware of the foundational pillars concerning memorisation. This can be a person who has eyesight or can be blind himself. In fact, it would be better to have a blind instructor as he/she will have the necessary experience.
- If you cannot find competent Hāfidh/Hāfidhah, don’t worry, you can rely on a companion whose recitation is correct or use audio.
- (If you do have) a companion should be generous, loving, of service and mindful (of your needs). Always cautious not to hurt the blind companion, intending his efforts to be sincerely for the sake of Allāh.
- He should choose a calm, peaceful and isolated place which is distant from noise.
- (The method to adopt would be to) dictate the Qur’ān verse by verse, reciting the verse in front of them, correctly and loudly, then ask them to repeat it once, twice, and thrice until fully memorised.
- Dictate the verses that follow until the end of the page. Now you have to tie the verses together and listen to the whole page.
- The amount to memorise depends on the blind person’s ability and the teacher/companions available time.
- The blind person would need to make great efforts in daily revision. If he/she forgets a particular word, don’t worry, keep it in mind and ask the teacher/companion in the next session. In this way, the word would be engraved in his mind. However, nowadays the role of the audio is indispensable, especially in the absence of a companion.
I want to share with you three stories.
I want you to remember these three stories the next time you find yourself battling with your thoughts and your Hifz.
Hafiz Hasan Fadel from Syria
In his earliest memories, darkness was normality for Hasan Fadel, a 29-year-old Syrian from the village of Hassarjah in rural Idlib. As an infant, he thought everyone around him was blind like him. It was the lack of fear and hesitation in the voices of his siblings as they moved around his family home that alerted him to the fact that he was not the same. “It was unlike what I was feeling and, little by little, I learned that I am different, that I do not have the most important sense a person can have – which is sight,” he says. It was the small things associated with his disability that made him most self-conscious as a child, such as his parents asking one of his brothers to answer the door instead of him. That combined with the bullying he suffered at the hands of children in the neighbourhood made him reclusive, rarely leaving the safety of home except with his family.
Hasan has been blind since shortly after his birth and his mother blames the impairment on a damaged optic nerve that became apparent soon after the delivery. The young boy would not respond to visual stimuli and has remained in that state since.
Despite his visual impairment, Hasan’s family say he was an eager student with a “thirst for knowledge”, learning to read braille by the time he was six. Even though finances were tight and the family could not afford everything required to help Hasan through his studies, the young man excelled through high school. His dreams of graduating, however, were brought to a halt by the outbreak of the Syrian civil war.
The fighting soon arrived at Hasan’s doorstep and he, along with his family, were forced to flee when Syrian government planes began to bombard his village. When rebel fighters took over the city of Idlib in 2015, the family moved there, renting a house near a mosque. The sound of the Quran’s verses audible from the mosque during government bombardment of the city became a comfort to Hasan. The verses he heard during the violence helped him overcome the trauma associated with war. “I felt relaxed and reassured when I would hear the Quran and repeat its verses,” he says. He decided then to learn the Muslim holy book, which has 6,346 verses, by heart.
Hasan joined classes at his local mosque aimed at memorising the Quran but unlike other students, who could read, he relied solely on his ability to listen to and memorise what his instructor was saying. His teachers said they were taken aback by Hasan’s prodigious ability to remember the verses and chapters he was hearing. The young man needed only to listen to a page once or twice, before he had made it stick in his memory. Within a year, he had memorised the entire book.
Hasan can often be seen walking around the streets of Idlib, carrying a recorder and bluetooth speaker, which he uses to listen to the Quran and practise his recitations. His achievement has been transformational not only at a spiritual level, but also in the way people treat him. “The local residents used to look at me with pity and as someone who has special needs,” he says. “That was something that bothered me a lot and had a psychological impact on me.” As news of his feat spread, Hasan noticed that people were beginning to change their behaviour around him, becoming less condescending.
Inspiring. Look at how he behaved, how he was treated, and above all the impact of the Qur’ān. May Allāh bless him, bless Syria, and us all.
What is your excuse?
The two blind sisters from Gaza
This is the story of two blind sisters who memorised the Qur’ān with authorisation.
They live with their family including a brother who has autism and is also blind since birth. No matter how hard life has been for them in the Gaza Strip, they keep defying the odds.
They start memorising with their father, listening and repeating, and then using the audio of Dr Ayman Suwayd and Muhammad Siddiq al-Minshawi.
They memorised 5 ajzā’ just by listening. They were both little girls at this point (4 to 5 years old).
Hifz was difficult and so eventually they learnt Braille and got a Qur’ān to match. They were energised by trying to prove people wrong who would say: “You can’t do anything, you’re blind!”
They started reciting and memorising throughout the house. They found it really hard but they kept at it. They’d keep reviewing with their dad.
In this way they memorised and today they continue to manage further studies and have gained high scores.
They’ve taught us all a lesson.
Despite facing financial, social, and environmental challenges as well as having no sight since birth, they continue to use what they have: the blessing of sound, intellect, and speech.
Today, they’re leading and inspiring women aged just 24 and 18 years old.
Hafiz Ahmet Sarikaya, Turkey
One day, he called an Imām at 01:30 am at night, full of energy, asking the Imām if he could recite Qur’ān to him.
The Imām said, “Do you know what time it is? It’s 1:30!”
Ahmet asked, “Day or night?”
The Imām said, “Night”
Ahmet’s response hit the heart. He said, “My teacher, it’s always night for me.”
He said that because he is blind.
Ahmet Sarikaya was born blind but he says: “Allāh has illuminated my sight through the Qur’ān and I am completely overjoyed by it. So why should others feel sad for me?”
His mother says that when he was just a few months old, he used to love to listen to the Qur’ān. Ahmet says: “We’d sit next to the Shaykh and he would recite to us to help us memorise the Qur’ān.”
The teacher would repeat the verses on the page three times and before he could recite it a fourth time, Ahmet would have completely memorised the page. It took him 10 minutes to memorise a page of the Qur’ān!
But there was an issue. No one wanted to teach him. They saw that he was blind. A lost cause. It would be too difficult to teach him. Rejection after rejection. Yet Ahmet never gave in.
He travelled 3 hours away from his hometown to memorise in another city.
Allāh had plans for him.
He returned home 9 months later having completely memorised the Qur’ān at the age of 9. He learnt through listening and he says that listening is superior to sight:
“There are millions who memorise the Qur’ān yet do not know Arabic. Yet I am blind, unable to see the world around me. Despite this, I memorised the Qur’ān. Such that the Qur’ān is closer to me than my own name.”
Wow. A truly blessed and inspiring individual. He spends his life with the Qur’ān and you can listen to his beautiful recitations on YouTube.
I hope this has inspired you to keep going.
May Allāh grant blessing with love and beauty!- Like and share!