Someone asked how to revise Qur’ān. How do you revise Qur’ān quickly? I have already shared many methods, tips, and tricks for you concerning Hifz revision.
Recently, I was doing some searching and going through my notes and found a list that I saved. It was a list of revision methods that was put together by someone at an institute for Qur’ān memorisation in Buraydah, Saudi Arabia around 15 years ago. I wanted to share some of them and add some to it.
The list illustrates how many ways there are to approach revision.
I pray this will prove useful.
1. A daily routine to revise before your prayer (salāh)
I’ve shared a method on how to revise before and after salāh. This approach is slightly different.
You commit to praying every salāh at a certain time and place. For those who are able to, this would be with the congregational prayers at the mosque. You’ll walk it to the prayer every time. Before every salāh, you need to have a set amount to revise. On your way, while walking to the prayer, you will revise.
Having a routine, and a clear system is essential for revision.
2. Revise after dhuhr, memorise after ‘Ishā’
The method shared here was as follows:
- Recite a page from the Qur’ān and then listen to it. [memorisation]
- After finishing, do the same again to solidify.
- After finishing, listen to the pages for revision.
- If there are mistakes throughout the process, correct the mistakes at that moment by repeating them correctly.
This method wasn’t too clear to me but it’s just listening to your memorisation throughout the day. This can be beneficial for those who struggle with time.
3. The best revision method is through the prayers
Seek help and prayer for facilitation and ease, then recite what you memorised in your prayer. You can read more about how to revise in your salāh. It helps to increase contemplation and elevate your prayers. It helps to solidify your memorisation.
يَـٰٓأَيُّهَا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوا۟ ٱسْتَعِينُوا۟ بِٱلصَّبْرِ وَٱلصَّلَوٰةِ
O, believers! Always seek comfort (help from Me) through patience and prayer. (2:153)
4. Repetition: The Mauritanian way
The Qur’ān can slip away from us very easily unless we repeat it.
It’s not something that’s seen just for the memorisation of the Qur’ān, but also when memorising Hadīth or various Islamic texts.
Abū Masʿūd Aḥmad ibn al-Furāt al-Rāzī,
Used to repeat every ḥadīth 500 times. A man once said to him; ‘I [continuously] forget the narrations that I have memorised!’ ‘Upon you is to revise every single narration 500 times.’ said Abū Masʿūd. “Who is able to do that!’ [complained] the man. Abū Masʿūd replied; “And that is why you people [are not able] to memorise”. (adh-Dhahabī, Shams al-Dīn Muḥammad, Tahdhīb al-Tahdhīb (1/58)).
Abū Bakr al-Abharī al-Mālikī said,
“I read IbnʿAbd al-Ḥākīm’s Mukhtaṣar 500 times, al-Asadīyah 75 times, al-Muwaṭṭá and al-Mabsūṭa 30 times and Ibn al-Barqī’s Mukhtaṣar 70 times.” (al-Qāḍī Iyāḍ, Abū al-Faḍl, Taqrīb al-Masālik (1/427)).
Ibn Kathīr said,
“Abū Bakr al-Anṣārī would recount any issue from a lesson that was asked without having to revise or review the issue. This was possibly due to the fact that in the early stages of his pursuit in seeking knowledge he would repeat every lesson 400 times..” (Ibn Kathīr, Ismāʻīl ibn ʻUmar , al-Bidāyah wa al-Nihāyah (12/227)).
Yaḥyá ibn Maʿīn said,
“We wont know a ḥadīth [by heart] unless we write it down or listen to it 50 times.” (Ibn ʻAsākir, ʻAlī ibn al-Ḥasan, Tārīkh ad-Dimashq (14/65)).
Abū Isḥāq al-Shīrāzī said:
“I used to repeat every issue of qiyās 1000 times, once I finished, I would do the same with the next issue. I would likewise repeat every lesson 1000 times.” (Subkī, Tāj al-Dīn, Ṭabaqāt al-Shāfi ʼIyah al-Kubrā (4/115)).
used to repeat his lesson 50 times.” (adh-Dhahabī, Shams al-Dīn Muḥammad, Siyar Aʻlām an-Nubalāʼ (23/115)).
“I read ar-Risāla 500 times and I would find a new benefit every time I read it.” (an-Nawawī, Yaḥyá ibn Saraf, Tahdhīb al-Asmā (1/59)).
Abū Ishāq ash-Shirāzī:
used to repeat a lesson 100 times and if he was eating resins, he would [only] revise a lesson 70 times.” (al-Jawzī, Abū al-Faraj ʻAbd al-Raḥmān, al-Ḥath ‘alaḤifz al-‘Ilm (p.43)).
al-Ḥaṣan ibn Abī Bakr an-Naysābūrī said;
“The jurist does not put something to memory until he repeats [the issue] 50 times.” (al-Jawzī, Abū al-Faraj ʻAbd al-Raḥmān, al-Ḥath ‘alaḤifz al-‘Ilm (p.43)).
“al-Ḥaṣan narrated that a jurist repeated a lesson in his house so much so that an old woman in the house said to him: ‘Oh God, [even] I have memorised it.” So he asked her to repeat it and so she did. After a few days, he said to her: ‘Old woman, repeat that lesson’ “I have not memorised it.’ she replied, he said: ”I repeat the lesson lest i’m inflicted with what has afflicted you. (al-Jawzī, Abū al-Faraj ʻAbd al-Raḥmān, al-Ḥath ‘ala Ḥifẓ al-‘Ilm (p.44))
A brief look at a Mauritanian method for memorisation
- Write or read the text to someone until you are able to read it perfectly.
- Read the text 300 times from memory, whilst occasionally referring back to check if you have accidentally missed anything.
- Return back to the text and read it 200 times as per point number 2, this time it is not necessarily to read upon someone.
- Finally, read the text again from memory 200 times.
- Read the text that you had memorised previously 150 times from memory before starting a new text.
- Apply the same method as day one on the new text.
- Read the day 1’s text 50 times from memory.
- Read day 2’s text 150 times from memory before starting a new text.
- Read day 2’s text 50 times from memory.
- Read day 3’s text 150 times from memory before starting a new text.
You can read more about the Mauritanian method in more detail.
5. The Friday Method (Weekly)
This is called the Friday method because it’s the day to revise your entire week of memorisation. So let’s say you begin memorisation on a Saturday, the week will look like this:
- Saturday: 1 page
- Sunday: 1 page + yesterdays
- Monday: 1 page + last two days
- Tuesday: 1 page + last three days
- Wednesday: 1 page + last four days
- Thursday: 1 page + last 5 days
- Friday: revise all six pages.
In a month you have 24 pages memorised and on the last Friday, you’ll revise them all. Then test yourself.
6. Group revision
Group revision is a method that is used by many people and circles. I’ve seen it used in Morocco, Sudan, and Somalia. The basic premise is to have a group of 2-3+ people that have all memorised the same portions to revise together. How?
There are three ways:
- You take turns to recite an āyah by āyah from memory. Person A starts and then person B does the next āyah, and you carry on till you finish.
- You recite a portion from memory āyah by āyah and the group members repeat after you (āyah by āyah) until you finish. Then the next person carries on in the same way.
- You recite an āyah, then the next person recites the same āyah plus the next, and then the next person needs to recite both āyāt plus the next one. In this way, everyone gets to listen and recite as if they are putting a building together brick by brick.
7. The shuffling method
This is when you shift between lines, āyāt, pages/sides or surah when revising Qur’ān between looking and not looking (from memory).
This is a balanced way. It’s suited for those of you that struggle with time and need to make revision more approachable, where possible.
For example, you are revising a Juz’ (20 pages) –
- on day one, you recite the odd pages by looking (1, 3, 5, 7 etc) and the rest of them without looking.
- on day two, you recite the even pages without looking (1, 3, 5, 7 etc) and the rest of them by looking.
In this way, you shuffle or shift between whatever you have been memorising. This ensures that you can revise everything in a way where you get to recite everything by looking and without looking.
You can read more about the shuffling method.
8. Bulk revision at Fajr or after
This is another popular method. People use the free time they have in the early hours for revision and so they don’t need to think about it throughout the day. It’s bulk for a reason. Get much as much revision as you can but the revision has to be qualitative. It doesn’t matter how much you do as an exact figure. You just keep going within a certain time frame. You could revise a quarter, a half, a Juz, two, three or five Ajzā’ – it doesn’t matter.
9. Once a month
You make a khatam once a month by revising one Juz’ a day. That Juz can be revised in one sitting or it can split into 2, 4 or 8 sessions throughout a day.
10. Read out aloud, pointing and looking inside and then read from memory
This is another method I came across. It uses more senses which can help you remember something even better. By using your sense of touch (pointing), visual, and auditory senses you can memorise better. What you do here is simple. Pick an amount you wish to memorise and start reading out aloud, not looking anywhere else, having your finger on each line and you go along. Then recite it from memory. Each time you get stuck or make a mistake can you note it down or the one listening to you can do it.
11. Reading 1-3 Juz daily by looking and one Juz by heart
It can be done before you sleep and/or after Fajr. You can even combine audio with it. You basically do 1 to 3 Juz by looking – this doesn’t mean you simply read it so quickly and you’re done. No skim reading. Read it properly. Then do one of them by heart or another by heart. Here is an example:
Day 1 – Juz 1, 2 and 3 by looking. Juz 1 by heart.
Day 2 – Juz 2, 3 and 4 by looking. Juz 2 by heart.
Day 3 – Juz 3, 4 and 5 by looking. Juz 3 by heart.
Day 4 – Juz 4, 5, and 6 by looking. Juz 4 by heart.
Day 5 – Juz 5, 6, and 7 by looking. Juz 5 by heart.
Day 6 – Juz 6, 7 and 8 by looking. Juz 6 by heart.
Day 7 – Juz 7, 8 and 9 by looking. Juz 7 by heart.
Day 8 – Juz 8, 9 and 10 by looking. Juz 8 by heart.
Day 9 – Juz 9, 10 and 11 by looking. Juz 9 by heart.
Day 10 – Juz 10, 11 and 12 by looking. Juz 10 by heart.
This is a sound method. It ensures you get a good cycle of repetition.
12. One Juz a month by looking then one by heart
Similar to the last but you only do one. It might look like this:
Day 1 – Juz 2 by looking. Juz 1 by heart.
Day 2 – Juz 3 by looking. Juz 2 by heart.
Day 3 – Juz 4 by looking. Juz 3 by heart.
Day 4 – Juz 5 by looking. Juz 4 by heart.
Day 5 – Juz 6 by looking. Juz 5 by heart.
Day 6 – Juz 7 by looking. Juz 6 by heart.
Day 7 – Juz 8 by looking. Juz 7 by heart.
Day 8 – Juz 9 by looking. Juz 8 by heart.
Day 9 – Juz 10 by looking. Juz 9 by heart.
Day 10 – Juz 11 by looking. Juz 10 by heart.
13. A Page a Day Per Juz
This is a method that I mentioned previously (Ottoman Method) but it’s effective for those that don’t have much time. You revise a page per Juz every day. You can create various plans for this, it’s very flexible. Here is an example:
Day 1 – 1st page of Juz 1-30
Day 2 – 2nd page of Juz 1-30
Day 3 – 3rd page of Juz 1-30
Day 4 – 4th page of Juz 1-30
Day 5 – 5th page of Juz 1-30
Day 6 – 6th page of Juz 1-30
Day 7 – 7th page of Juz 1-30
Day 8 – 8th page of Juz 1-30
Day 9 – 9th page of Juz 1-30
Day 10 – 10th page of Juz 1-30
and so on till day 30. You would do a Qur’ān every month.
You can change it of course. You can do a couple of Juz a day or a couple of pages per day, for example:
Day 1 – 1st page of Juz 1-5
Day 2 – 2nd page of Juz 1-5
Day 3 – 3rd page of Juz 1-5
Day 1 – 2 pages of Juz 1-5
Day 2 – next 2 pages of Juz 1-5
Day 3 – next 2 pages of Juz 1-5.
14. The Rule of Five (weekly cycle)
You make moves in five. “Whoever recites five, never forgets” is a popular saying amongst scholars, especially in Egypt and Syria. The reason for this is their personal experience and the experience of their teachers. The average number of verses that were revealed at a time was 5 over 23 years of revelation. Sayyidunā Imām ‘Alī (may Allāh be pleased with him) is attributed to have said, “Whoever memorises five at a time will never forget it” (source to be found).
When we speak of the rule of five in revision, we mean to create a cycle of five. You cover everything you know within 5-to-6 days. The key is to build up to it. Although this is one method, you can do anything for your own cycle but a week is ideal as a minimum. Let’s say for example you’ve memorised half of the 30th, you’ll revise 2 pages daily (or a set number of surah). Every 5 days, you’ll begin from the first 2 pages again. That’s a full cycle. If you’ve memorised more, say 3 juz’, then you’ll begin revising half a juz’ (10 pages) daily. You can add to it slowly as you increase your memorisation.
A weekly cycle progression will look like:
|Memorised (by Juz’)||Revise (daily)|
|6||24 pages (Juz’ + quarter)|
|30||5 Juz’ (6 days)|
15. Revise a quarter daily and a quick review of 2 Juz’
What you do here is to revise a quarter daily (from memory or both by looking and off memory). After this, you recite 2 Juz’ by looking (but I would suggest you do a shuffle).
16. Recite 2 Juz’ a day and repeat 1 Juz’ every day for two weeks
This is based on a two-week cycle. Recite 2 Juz’ a day so that you’re finished in two weeks. This can be done by looking. You will also repeat 1 Juz’ every day from memory. This can be the same Juz’ each day or it can be one after the other.
17. Recite one Juz’ per half of the Qur’ān
If you’ve memorised the Qur’ān, you can revise by doing Juz’ 1 and Juz’ 15, then Juz’ 2 and Juz’ 16 and so and so forth. This ensures a shorter cycle.
18. Follow the 20 x 1 x 1 method
After you memorise your portion from the Qur’ān, whatever method you adopt, then repeat it 20 times in a row. Then repeat it again after an hour once and then once again before going to sleep. The next day and during the rest of the week, repeat your portions 20 times a day at intervals, such as repeating 5 times after each prayer. The next week we take a new portion and treat it the same way. Once you finish a Juz’, repeat it 15-20 times.
19. Listening and reciting
The method here is to listen to the Qur’ān and whilst doing so, you must recite with it out loud. Be faster than the reciter you’re listening to. Anticipate and find your mistakes. But here’s the challenge, you can’t always listen to all of it. You should listen to a page and recite with it and then pause it, and now recite the page yourself. Alternatively, you can listen to one page and then you must recite the next page without listening. In this way, you can alternate between listening and reciting yourself. The next time, you go to this Juz’ or portion again, you can do it the other way around. You can also pause randomly, in the middle of an āyah, or at the end of an āyah, and you must continue yourself. This is a method suited to those that have focus issues and those who are on the move, or short of time.
20. Revise by dividing everything out across the day
This starts by reciting some of your revision before going to sleep. When waking up, you do some more. Then try to divide a few pages across different times in the day.
A lot to think about and try here. Much of it can be adapted and changed to meet your own circumstances. Ultimately, you need to find a system that works for you in terms of consistency. For example, if you’re able to maintain a Juz’ a day then do that.
There are many other revision methods that you can read about on the site.
May Allāh make it easier for you!6 - Like and share!