How to Memorize Qur’an
The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) said, “The one who was devoted to the the Qur’an will be told on the Day of Resurrection: ‘Recite and ascend (in ranks) as you used to recite when you were in the world. Your rank will be at the last Ayah you recite”. [Abu Dawud and At-Tirmidhi]
LAST year, when my daughter was born (two months before Ramadan), the first gift my husband and I gave her was a Digital Quran. I used to play it by her side in a very low volume so that only she could hear it. I wanted to familiarize her with the Words of Allah since the beginning so that her bond with Allah SWT gets strengthened and unshakable.
By the Mercy of Allah, that Digital Quran somehow ended up being a source of immensekhair for both the mother and the daughter. I ended up memorizing a portion of Surah Yaseen and 1/4th of the last Juz in the last Ramadan. Some people might say that this is not a very impressive quantity. True, but the most interesting part is that this memorization did not take any great effort from my side. I did it almost effortlessly.
1- Why the Digital Quran?
I know that there are many gadgets available out there. I could have played it on my mobile, TV, or even the laptop. If you want to do it, it’s absolutely OK. But I chose digital Quran for two reasons.
1. No distraction! Subhan Allah, when you have a digital Quran, there will be nothing to distract you. No SMS would land on it. No ping to notify you of the latest post on Facebook. This is a superb gadget as it won’t remind you of an email that you have to answer or Angry Birds or anything else. It would just remind you of the Word of Allah SWT as you hear and look at it.
2. Less dangerous. I bought it for my baby in the first place, so I had to make sure that I am not putting a gadget by her side that emits harmful radiations. Digital Quran is definitely safer, if not the safest gadget.
So I invite you to invest on yourself by buying a Digital Quran. Alternatively, you could use your phone by putting it on “Flight Mode” or your iPad by switching off the WiFi to curb distractions.
2 – Let’s get started!
Everything starts with a plan. So what do you plan to memorize? This depends on your zeal and enthusiasm as well as what you know about your ability to memorize. Remember your goals should be realistic, achievable and trackable. I had two goals for last Ramadan: Last 20 Surahs and Surah Yaseen. I felt this was good enough to challenge me in a healthy yet realistic way.
3 – WRITE it down
I am a huge fan of writing down my goals. I don’t do everything in my head. It’s a sacred place for the love of Allah SWT. So, I love brain dumping. What I did was just that – I took a piece of paper, jotted down all my goals and pasted it right in front of my bed. This was the first thing I saw as I woke up in the morning (healthy reminder) and the last thing I did was filling it up before sleeping. I divided the above mentioned portion into 30 parts (for 30 days of Ramadan) and wrote it down with the dates. Pretty easy, I believe. It helps you live one day at a time, keeps you on track and gives you a sense of achievement.
4 – So, what did I really do?
a – The SECRET technique
Have you ever noticed that the songs you heard a long time ago (say in Jahiliyyah), if you hear them again, are sometimes still fresh in your mind? You never put in any effort to memorize those songs, did you? Did you write down the lyrics and read them aloud 10 times to memorize it? No! You just heard them over and over again and it got imprinted in your nerve cells. The trick is the same for effortlessly memorizing the Quran.
Every day, in the morning I’d set the Digital Quran on repeat for the targeted portion and start my chores (cleaning, taking care of baby, etc.) while keeping my attention on the Surah being played. Memorizing by repeated listening is the easiest task for me. I am confident that it will work for you as well.
b – Create an image
When you are done with your chores and some portion of the Surah has entered your head, open the mus’haf. Recite it from the mus’haf just to create the image in your mind. For the purpose of memorization, it is extremely important to always memorize from the same mus’haf. This helps to create a visual memory of the Surah in your mind. I believe, every Muslim MUST have his/her own personal mus’haf the way we have our personal cell phones and laptops. Close the mus’haf and try to recall the first two ayahs (or more if you have learned it already). I am sure at least two ayahs are ready! Move on to the next step.
c- Recite these ayahs in the Salah
The relationship we have with Quran is reflected in Salah. Reciting new ayahs in Salah help you to
i. Strengthen your relationship with Allah SWT
ii. Maintain khushu’ in Salah
You will not only enjoy your Salah by reciting new verses, you will also start to embed these ayahs deep in your memory. In this way, you get the opportunity to revise your daily memorization several times a day without disturbing your normal routine. Read the translation of these ayahs and think about them as you go about your day. This will make the journey all the more meaningful inshaAllah.
d- Repetition is the key
I’d keep repeating the same activity the entire day. Play the Digital Quran. Go on with my activities (preparing iftar, etc.), keep my ears on the recitation and then open the mus’hafand create the image in my mind. And finally, recite the same ayahs in Salah!
Alhamdulillah, for people who can not dedicate large chunks of time, memorization in this way was not only easy but also a means of getting closer to Allah SWT. It is a very simple process to gradually learn the words of Allah SWT. Just remember to make realistic and achievable goals, write them down, and follow the steps mentioned above. Keep on steadily going further along the road in Ramadan and even after that. You’ll be well on your way to learn the Holy Quran, InshAllah! Happy learning and Ramadan Mubarak!