Why You Should Do Hifdh
As Allaah Subhaanahu wa ta`Aalaa tells us in the Qur’aan, we have been created to worship Him (alone). As such, our every action should be done seeking to earn His Pleasure. You should know that the Qur’aan is the Speech of Allaah and that it was retained in the hearts and memories of those whom you should seek to emulate; namely, our Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu `alayhi was-sallam), his companions and the pious predecessors. There are many aayaat and ahaadeeth which highlight the importance of learning the Qur’aan, reciting it, acting according to it, and reflecting on its meanings.
From the Qur’aan:
اللَّهُ نَزَّلَ أَحْسَنَ الْحَدِيثِ كِتَاباً مُّتَشَابِهاً مَّثَانِيَ تَقْشَعِرُّ مِنْهُ جُلُودُ الَّذِينَ يَخْشَوْنَ رَبَّهُمْ ثُمَّ تَلِينُ جُلُودُهُمْ وَقُلُوبُهُمْ إِلَى ذِكْرِ اللَّهِ ذَلِكَ هُدَى اللَّهِ يَهْدِي بِهِ مَنْ يَشَاءُ وَمَن يُضْلِلْ اللَّهُ فَمَا لَهُ مِنْ هَادٍ
Allaah has sent down the best statement, a Book (this Qur’aan), its parts resembling each other in goodness and truth, oft-repeated. The skins of those who fear their Lord shiver from it (when they recite it or hear it). Then their skin and their heart soften to the remembrance of Allaah. That is the guidance of Allaah. He Guides therewith whom He pleases and whomever Allaah sends astray, for him there is no guide. (Surah Az-Zumar 39:23)
إِنَّمَا الْمُؤْمِنُونَ الَّذِينَ إِذَا ذُكِرَ اللَّهُ وَجِلَتْ قُلُوبُهُمْ وَإِذَا تُلِيَتْ عَلَيْهِمْ آيَاتُهُ زَادَتْهُمْ إِيمَاناً وَعَلَى رَبِّهِمْ يَتَوَكَّلُونَ
The believers are only those who, when Allaah is mentioned, feel a fear in their hearts and when His Verses (this Qur’aan) are recited unto them, they (i.e. the Verses) increase their Faith; and they put their trust in their Lord (Alone); (Al-Anfal 8:2)
يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ قَدْ جَاءتْكُم مَّوْعِظَةٌ مِّن رَّبِّكُمْ وَشِفَاء لِّمَا فِي الصُّدُورِ وَهُدًى وَرَحْمَةٌ لِّلْمُؤْمِنِينَ
O mankind! There has come to you a good advice from your Lord (i.e. the Qur’aan, ordering all that is good and forbidding all that is evil), and a healing for that (disease of ignorance, doubt, hypocrisy and differences, etc.) in your breasts, – a guidance and a mercy (explaining lawful and unlawful things, etc.) for the believers. (Yunus 10:57)
وَلَقَدْ يَسَّرْنَا الْقُرْآنَ لِلذِّكْرِ فَهَلْ مِن مُّدَّكِرٍ
And We have indeed made the Qur’aan easy to understand and remember, then is there any that will remember (or receive admonition)? (Al-Qamar 54:17)
From the Ahaadeeth:
The Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلّم said, “Keep on reciting the Qur’aan, for, by Him in Whose Hand my life is, Qur’aan runs away (is forgotten) faster than camels that are released from their tying ropes.” [Al-Bukhaaree, Book of the Virtues of the Qur’aan]
An-Nawwas bin Sam`an (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: I heard the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) saying, “The Qur’aan and its people who applied it, will be brought on the Day of Resurrection preceded with Soorah Al-Baqarah and Soorah Aal-`Imraan arguing on behalf of those who applied them.” [Muslim]
The Prophet (Sallallahu `alayhi was-sallam) said: “Whoever reads one letter of the Book of Allaah will have one hasanah (reward) for doing so, and every hasanah will be multiplied by 10. I do not say that ‘alif, laam, meem’ is one letter, but ‘alif’ is a letter, ‘laam’ is a letter and ‘meem’ is a letter.’” [at-Tirmidhee – classed as hasan]
`Abdullah bin `Amr bin Al-`Aas (May Allaah be pleased with them) reported: The Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam) said, “The one who was devoted to the Qur’aan 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 Aayah you recite.’” [Abu Dawud and At-Tirmidhi].
‘Aa’ishah (May Allaah be pleased with her) relates that the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam) said: “Verily the one who recites the Qur’aan beautifully, smoothly, and precisely, will be in the company of the noble and obedient angels. As for the one who recites with difficulty, stammering or stumbling through its verses, then for him is two rewards.” [Al-Bukhaaree and Muslim]
When you understand the importance and merits of reading and memorizing the Qur’aan, you will be motivated to achieve your goal of memorizing the Words of Allaah. Indeed it is the way of the companions and the way of the Salaf of this Ummah.
The Importance of Tajweed
Striving to recite the Qur’aan with correct pronunciation is an obligation upon each and every one of us. The science of tajweed is very noble as this is the way that Jibreel (`alayhis-salaam) taught the Qur’aan to our Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu `alayhi was-sallam), and the way that he taught it to his companions. Those who are skilled in the recitation of the Qur`aan have been given a high status as they will have the reward of being in the company of the obedient and noble angels (Bukhaaree and Muslim). For this reason, you should learn to read the lesson (suwar/aayaat) that you are memorizing with proper tajweed. You can listen to a skilled Qaari (recitor) in order to learn the correct pronunciation. This can also aid non-Arabic speakers to ascertain places where one can stop. It should be noted however that this advice is not intended for one to be unnatural in his recitation by trying to be ‘another recitor’. Additionally, if you are able to recite to a qualified teacher, the problem of memorizing with tajweed errors would be avoided inshaa’Allaah, and you would not be ignorant of the correct pronunciation which you could then work to implement and apply to your new hifdh lessons and recitation.
How to Memorize & How Much to Memorize
As Muslims who are sincerely striving to please Allaah, hifdh of Qur’aan should be a part of our daily lives. We are all at different levels of knowledge of Arabic and the Qur’aan, so one person’s daily portion may vary from another’s. The guidelines of Al-Haafidhoon wal-Hafidhaat program are that you memorize at least one aayah per day. However, students who are proficient in Arabic and Tajweed are encouraged and expected to do more. The important thing is that you specify a daily portion and do not decrease from it. Decreasing from your daily set portion means that the Shaytaan is whispering and then you will start claiming laziness. If you are able to participate in a Hifdh class and/or have a study partner with whom you compete, it will keep you motivated and consistent.
You should also keep a chart so that you can remind yourself how much you do on a daily basis and it would also enable you to see the days when you lapsed in your daily portion.
Having a set daily portion allows you to set a target goal for your completion of hifdhul-Qur’aan. If you are consistent in memorizing one line each day, you will complete the entire Qur’aan in 24 years. Whatever you set for your daily portion, you will find that when you persevere with it, it will become easier and easier for you to increase upon it, by Allaah’s Mercy.
A program to memorize the Qur’aan in 2.5 years
One model program (ideal for one who is proficient) is to complete hifdh of the entire Qur’aan in 2.5 years by memorizing one page daily, half after Salaatul-Fajr and half in the evening (spending approximately one hour in each sitting). You should also spend twenty minutes reviewing five pages before the current page being memorized daily, as well as stick to what you have memorized and recite it in your salaah. No matter what your level, it will serve best to memorize after Fajr or early in the morning when the brain is soft and fresh.
If the aayah is long, you should break it up into smaller sections for the purpose of memorizing it and then say the entire aayah several times by connecting the parts as well as applying the correct stops. Reading a tafseer or translation is recommended as it would aid you in sequencing the aayaat. For example, you may know an aayah well but are unable to recollect which aayah comes after it; by knowing what Allaah is speaking about this would aid in sequencing the aayaat in your memory.
Ways to Retain What Has Been Memorized
There are some simple techniques you can apply to help you retain what you have memorized. First and foremost you must ask Allaah to help you and be confident that He answers your du’aa. You should use your time spent for memorizing wisely, and remember that reciting Qur’aan is a superb way to remember your Rabb. When you want to do hifdh, try to sit in the same place each time – a place that is free from distractions and people walking hither and thither. Read from the same Mushaf each time so that you may have a mental picture of the words on the page that you have memorized. Whether you use tapes, CD’s, iPods or the computer, ensure that you listen as well as read and these would aid in making your hifdh well rooted. It is important to pay attention to those aayaat which resemble one another. Ideally, the teacher who you choose should remind you of the similar aayaat when you recite your hifdh to him/her. For example, if you arrive at aayah 61 in Soorah Al-Baqarah and then when reading Aali `Imraan you come to aayah 21 or 112, you should be able to cite the semblance in the words. If the teacher does not point out the mutaashaabihaat (resembling verses), then you should try to read some books which deal with this subject matter. It is also recommended that you read your hifdh in your salaah as it would aid in reinforcing what you have memorized. Ideally you should memorize with the verses flowing smoothly in your memory. If there is problem sequencing the aayaat, then you should spend some more time reviewing and Inshaa’Allaah the little hiccups will be ironed out with more and more reviews.
How to Review and How Often to Review
In the model program mentioned above, it was advised to review five pages before memorizing one page. Whether you are memorizing one page a day or one aayah a day, it is essential that you review a portion of your hifdh every day. The review is an indispensable component of your hifdh program that makes the verses flow smoothly in your memory and effortlessly from your tongue. A particularly effective method of reviewing is to recite your hifdh in the Tahajjud prayer. You can have the Mushaf open and set in a place where you can glance at it so that if you stumble on a word, you may look at it on the page. You can do this in all your voluntary prayers repeating the portion in each raka’h until it flows smoothly.
These were some benefits gleaned from several books that deal with memorizing the Qur’aan as well as personal advices received from our hifdh and tajweed teachers. You may find the books listed under Our Sources. We hope it will benefit you. And Allaah Ta`Aalaa knows best.
In preparation for the hereafter.