How to Memorize the Qur’an (Part II)
Read Part I >>HERE<<
PERFECTING THE JUZ
Each time the student completes one juz’, he / she should take the next day “off” of their usual daily assignments and perfect that juz’. He / she should do so by reviewing the juz’ 3 times in the same day. (One time would be replacing the time allotted for NMA, the other replaces the allotted RMV time, and the last replaces the Review time). While reviewing, all mistakes must be marked, counted, and noted each time. The last time, the student should be sure to recite the juz’ to a teacher to make sure he / she does not have any mistakes. By the third time, the student should not have a single mistake in that juz’. If they do, they should again repeat that juz’ three times the next day.
Alternatively, if the student feels that the juz’ they completed has quite a few mistakes, he can perfect half that juz’ on the first day, by repeating it 3-5 times (i.e. however many times required to perfect it). Then, the next day, he can perfect the second half of the juz’.
After perfecting that juz’ in this way, he / she may move on to memorizing the next juz’.
Lost and Found: Regaining past juz’s that one forgot
Often times, when a person has had a long break due to travelling or other circumstances, and has failed to maintain what they have previously memorized, it can become “lost”. Or, before a person starts a system such as this one, he / she may have juz’s they have memorized previously that somehow seemed to have faded away. What should one do in such situations?
If the juz’s are completely lost, meaning, the person would have to rememorize a page or two of it a day in order to regain it, they should just “pretend” they have never memorized it, and start from scratch, or from what they know.
However, if the person has nearly forgotten it, they can regain it, inshaa’ Allaah, with strengthm using the system based on the one described above for memorization.
That person should take 5 pages of that soorah or juz’, or 3 pages minimum, and treat them like NMA. That is, they are to review them perfectly. The next day, he takes the next 3-5 pages. Each day, he review that soorah from the beginning if the soorah is long (20 or more pages). If it is shorter, then he should review the last 20 pages that he has reviewed. That is, he actually treats the 3-5 pages he has reviewed as new memorization, and reviews the last 20 pages as “RMV”.
Meanwhile, he / she should do a regular juz’ of review from the back (or front) until where they have reached.
So, for example, lets assume a person had once memorized Soorat al- Baqarah and Soorat Aali- ‘Imraan and has maintained Baqarah but forgot Aali ‘Imraan. He should review the first 3-5 pages of Aali- ‘Imraan, putting them in place of NMA.
Meanwhile, he reviews ½ a juz’ to one juz’ of Baqarah that day. The next day, hes does the next 3-5 pages of Aali-‘Imraan as NMA, then does Aali-‘Imraan from the beginning until that point as RMV. Additionally, he reviews the next ½ juz’ or one juz’ of Baqarah. And so on. When he exceeds 20 pages of Aali’Imraan, he should only do the last 20 pages as RMV, and not do Aali’-Imraan from the beginning.
This is also useful for people who have memorized very large portions of the Qur’aan, or even for those who have completed the Qur’aan, and are having a hard time regaining it. If they simply review what they can each day, by the time they reach the end of what they know, they would have nearly forgotten what they have reviewed at the beginning of their “round”. Whereas, doing it in this way, will allow it to stick and will also not allow the old juz’s to be lost. For people who have memorized large portions, it should be noted that before embarking on review in this way, he / she should determine which juz’s are weak and which are strong. If they can review ½ a juz’ or one juz’ in half an hour, they can count it from the strong juz’s and simply do them as “Review”. If it takes them half an hour to accomplish less than that, they should treat it as NMA, taking 5 pages a day (or 3, if it is very weak). Additionally, they must neglect to their 20-page RMV or their so-called “NMA”.
However, we must note that once a person starts to memorize the Qur’aan according to the system described in this book, he should beware of the habit of stopping and restarting. First of all, he / she should not stop unless dire circumstances arise, like family emergencies or sickness. Also, travelling naturally throws a person off schedule. In such cases, the person should at least maintain their daily revision of one juz’, so that they do not lose what they have memorized. Neglecting this matter is one of the greatest causes of delay in hifzh and often times, of leaving the hifzh altogether!
Joy and Gratitude
If Allaah graces the student to complete the entire Qur’aan, he should realise that this is one of the greatest blessings of Allaah on him, and hence, consider it the greatest (or one of the greatest) days in his life of this world. Allaah has told us that blessings such as these, which are from the mercy and grace of Allaah, are greater than all the belongings of the dunyaa. He said,
قُلْ بِفَضْلِ اللّهِ وَبِرَحْمَتِهِ فَبِذَلِكَ فَلْيَفْرَحُواْ هُوَ خَيْرٌ مِّمَّا يَجْمَعُونَ
“Say: In the Bounty of Allaah and in His Mercy, therein let them rejoice, for that is better than all (the worldly possessions) they collect.”
Hence, he should thank Allaah in heart, speech, and action. In heart, he must genuinely recognize that it is not due to his efforts that he completed, but due to Allaah’s grace and tawfeeq for him. For, truly, other may be exerting more efforts than him and yet, they may still not have completed the Qur’aan. He should therefore remove the slightest bit of ‘ujb (self admiration) from his heart. Also, in terms of the heart, he should recheck and purify his intentions, making it sincerely for the sake of Allaah. In order to help preserve his sincerity, he should only inform the closest people to him or in circumstances where his knowing the Qur’aanic qualifications is beneficial, such as when teaching others or applying to teach, etc. In terms of gratitude by speech, he should thank and praise Allaah, preferably making two sajdahs of shukr (prostrations of gratitude), as the Prophet (s) did when something great happened. In action, he should use this blessing in a way which pleases Allaah. That is, he should continue studying the Qur’aan, as we will mention shortly, and strive to act on it, feeling the burden of responsibility in this regard. He should remember that his religion and character must now be refined since he is now a carrier of Allaah’s book. Furthermore, he should use this blessing to help others. Often times, people complete the Qur’aan and fall into one of two traps: they stop reviewing or studying the Qur’aan in general, on a daily basis, feeling that their job is “finished”. Or, they keep this blessing to themselves, simply worrying about their review, without reaching out to teach others from what Allaah has taught them.
So, in a sense, he should realize that the struggle for the Qur’aan is not actually finished, but perhaps just beginning! He must now strengthen and consolidate what he has memorized and continue from there. In order to motivate himself, he should be around other huffazh, who are at a higher level than himself, such as those with ijaazahs, those with all the qiraa’ahs (modes of recitation), and those who complete review of the entire Qur’aan weekly or even sooner, with a minimal amount of mistakes.
Furthermore, if the student does not have a qualified teacher at this point, he must now find one. Practically speaking, the haafizh should now take the steps that will be outlined below.
If he has memorized Qur’aan according to the above system, or a similar one, wherein his Qur’aanic memorization is relatively strong, and he can review at least one juz’ a day, without much of a problem, he should move on to the Consolidating Khatmah. If he has large gaps in his hifzh, having lost juz’s from here and there, he should first follow the steps in the section entitled “Lost and Found”, mentioned earlier, before moving on to this step.
The Consoldating Khatmah (Round)
This khatmah is on order for the student to strengthen and consolidate his memorization of the Qur’aan. Beginning with Soorat al- Baqarah, he “re-memorizes” 5 pages daily, perfecting them and properly reciting them, such that he has no mistakes of ½ mistakes. Then, he should recite these pages to his teacher immediately. The next day, he does the next 5 pages and recites them to his teacher. After the student recites his 5 pages to the teacher, he must review (on his own) what he has consolidated on the previous days. Once he completes 3 juz’s of consolidation (5 pages a day), he should review 3 juz’s daily, in order, of what he previously consolidated, along with his new 5 pages for the day. This pattern should continue every day until he completes the entire Qur’aan. This is referred to as the Consolidating Khatmah. The student needs approximately 140 days, that is, around four and a half months, to complete this khatmah.
Then, after completing the first Consolidating Khatmah, he should begin a second khatmah, in which he “re-memorized”, repeats and perfects an entire juz’ daily, instead of 5 pages, and then recites the juz’ to his teacher that same day, without any mistakes. In addition to this juz’, he should review three juz’s each day from the beginning until the point he has reached in his consolidation process. Upon completion, he proceeds to perfecting three juz’s (instead of one) daily, then five, then seven, then ten. That is, he continues, until he can recite ten juz’s daily without any mistakes of ½ mistakes, and without needing to review or prepare before them before reciting them to the teacher. In addition, one should note that, once he reached the process of perfecting three or more juz’s a day; he does not need to do any additional round of revision beside that.
If the person is unable to see his teacher daily, he should make a daily phone appointment to recite to the teacher. When he has to recite five, seven of ten juz’s to the teacher, he can do so by dividing the recitation time into two or more portions of time. For example, he can call his teacher in the morning and evening, or for a shorter time, after each prayer, etc.
The Khatmah of Ijaazah
After exerting his effort to improve his recitation and memorization, the student who as completed memorizing the Qur’aan is encouraged to perfect and beautify his recitation by seeking a chain (of teachers) tracing back to the Prophet (s). In order to do so, he must strive to find a competent teacher possessing a high level of proficiency, as well as ijaazah with a chain tracing back to the Prophet (s). Upon finding him, he should recite the whole Qur’aan to him from memory, with accuracy and a precise application of all Tajweed rules. Once he completes this, and the teacher ascertains that he is qualified and deserving to carry this great trust and responsibility, i.e. the ijaazah, he will certify him. This certificate will then allow him to recite and teach others Qur’aan wherever he goes, and will grant him the authority to certify others.
Sadly, some people become unenthusiastic and lazy after they have attained the ijaazah, perceiving that they have reached their ultimate goal. However, this is far from being the case. The reality is that it is only the beginning of the road to learning and teaching Qur’aan. The ijaazah is no way means that a person has become perfect in Tajweed or other Qur’aanic sciences. He still must expand in knowledge of Tajweed, as well as seek to learn the ten recitations. Not to mention studying the Tafseer, vocabulary, and Arabic grammar of the Qur’aan, as well as other matters related to the sciences of the Qur’aan. In other words, the ijaazah should not stop him from continuing his quest for Qur’aanic knowledge and continuing to knock on the doors of the scholars and teachers.
In this regard, Sa’eed ibn Jubayr, may Allaah have mercy on him, said, “A person continues to be a scholar for as long as he continues learning. Yet, once he leaves (the quest for) knowledge and feels that he is no longer in need and that what he has is sufficient, then he becomes as ignorant as one can possibly be.”
Furthermore, after the student is blessed by attaining the ijaazah, he must then give his portion of “zakaah” (obligatory charity) from this knowledge. And the “zakaah” of knowledge consists of teaching it to others. So, just as he sat with his teachers and scholars to acquire this knowledge, he must sit to teach others knowledge of the Qur’aan. Upon doing so, he will be encompassed in the statement of the Prophet (s): “The best of you is he who learns the Qur’aan and teaches it.“