What if you could use the Fātihah as a model for memorising the Qur’ān?
This question gave birth to the ‘Ummul-Qur’ān’ method.
Another name for the Fātihah is Ummul-Qur’ān literally meaning the Mother of the Qur’ān.
We all memorise the Fātihah and we know it better than any Sūrah (chapter).
It’s approximately 5 lines, 1 page, 7 verses (āyāt), 25 words, and 139 letters. We recite it between 17 to 48 plus times daily through our salāh (the five daily prayers).
The method I share with you today aligns itself with the divinely guided approach to this Sūrah.
For instance, it is said that revelation came down on an average of 5 verses at a time. This Sūrah has 5 lines (for the most part). Other figures as a base include 7 āyāt or 25 words. Memorising 25 words at a time would mean you could memorise the entire Qur’ān in just over 8 years.
Let’s take a look.
The Memorisation Process
Doing 5 lines a day would make for an approximate 6 year plan for the entire Qur’ān.
Using 5 lines a day as a basis:
- Read over translation and read/listen to Tafseer.
- Listen to the 5 lines a minimum of 17 times or up to 48 times before going to sleep.
- Start memorising at Fajr (or your own preference) and go throughout the day by taking a line per salāh. Or do it all in one sitting rather than spaced out.
- Repeat line 1, a minimum of 17 times (or up to 48) by looking.
- Then repeat line 1 without looking a minimum of 17 times (or up to 48).
- Now do line 2 in the same way, looking and then without looking.
- Now combine both lines, a minimum of 17 times or up to 48 times without looking.
- Repeat the same process until you get to the end of line 5. So go to line 3, then combine with lines 1 and 2. After this, go to line 4 and then combine with the rest. Then go to line 5 and then combine with the rest.
- Repeat all of them together a minimum of 17 times or up to 48 times.
- Then without looking, a minimum of 17 times or up to 48 times.
What if you don’t want to do 5 lines at a time?
If you choose to memorise 7 āyāt you will take the same approach āyah by āyah. If you choose to memorise 25 words at a time, you should memorise 5 words at a time using the same approach. You can, if you wanted, take a page as an approach too. In that case, you can go line by line, āyah by āyah or a group of āyah linked by meaning, or the entire page.
What makes this method different to any other?
Not very much.
The main take away from this method is the approach it takes using numbers of repetition.
The hypothesis of it is that because the Fātihah is the most repeated and most known Sūrah, there’s an example we can take from it. It has something that we can apply across the entire Qur’ān. So it uses the number of times we repeat the Sūrah a day into account. It takes the number of lines the Sūrah has into account and it takes the number of āyāt and words the Sūrah has into account.
The Revision Process
- Review and repeat yesterday’s a minimum of 5 times looking, and 17 times or more (48) without looking. If you need to look, do it when required once or twice.
- Review and repeat previous a minimum of 1-5 times without looking.
- Say you reach 20 pages (a Juz’ in the 15 lines Mus’haf), you would repeat page 19 a minimum of 5 times and 17 times without looking. The rest of the pages you will do a minimum of 1-5 times without looking. Do this until 2 Juz’ are complete.
- Now review and repeat a minimum of 1 Juz’ daily, a minimum of 1 time without looking while maintaining the current Juz’ being memorised in the same way you did the others.
This is an interesting approach that has been used successfully. Every method has a core base around repetition. Each of them will differ in approach to repetition.
Some of us can’t memorise with 5, 17, 40 and need more.
What is important is quality and ability paired with using your strengths. Time though can be really restrictive depending upon your situation. Your strengths might mean you need more time, but you don’t have it. So what do you do?
Do the bare minimum.
May Allāh facilitate ease and increase our efforts upon sincerity and love.