Memorizing the Quran

From Abdur-Rahman Abdul Khaaliq's "Al-Qawaaid adh-Dhahabiyyah lil-Hifdh il-Quran il-Adheem"


My Brother and Sister Muslim - there is no doubt that you know of excellence of memorising the Quran and the excellence of teaching it. The Messenger of Allaah (sas) said: "The best amongst you is the one who learns the Qur'aan and teaches it."

Presented to you are some rules which will assist in memorising the Qur'aan, may Allaah benefit us by them.

The First Rule: Ikhlaas - (Sincerity)

The purification of ones intention and correcting ones desire is obligatory. It is likewise for making ones concern with and memorisation of the Quran for the s ake of Allaah, the Sublime and Exalted, and for gaining success with His Paradis e and obtaining His pleasure.

Also for obtaining those mighty rewards which are reserved for those who recited the Quran and memorised it. Allaah the Exalted said:

So worship Allaah, making the Deen sincerely for Him. Is it not to Allaah that s incere worship is due? [Zumar 39:2-3]

He also said:

Say: I have been commanded that I worship Allaah making the Deen sincerely for H im. [Zumar 39:11]

And the Messenger of Allaah (sas) said: "Allaah the Exalted said: I am so self-s ufficient that I am in no need of having an associate. Thus, he who does an acti on for someone elses sake as well as Mine will have that action renounced by Me to him whom he associated with Me." [Bukhaaree and Muslim]

Therefore, there is no reward for the one who recited the Quran and memorised it to show off and to be heard of. There is also no doubt that the one who recited the Quran desiring by it the world and seeking some sort of worldy reward for i t is sinful.

The Second Rule: Correction of ones Pronunciation and Recitation

The first step in memorising the Quran after that of Ikhlaas is the obligation o f correcting the pronunciation of the Quran. This does not occur except by liste ning to a good reciter or a precise memoriser of the Quran. The Quran is not lea rned except by acquiring it (from another). Thus, the Messenger (sas) who is the most eloquent of the arabs in speech, took it from Jibreel (as) orally. The Mes senger (sas) himself used to recited the Quran to Jibreel once in every year and in the year that he died he recited it to him twice. [Reported by Bukhaaree]

Likewise, the Messenger taught it to the Companions (ra) orally and those who ca me after them heard it from the Companions and so on for each generation after t hem.

Taking the Quran from a good reciter is obligatory. Likewise, correcting ones re citation firstly and not depending on oneself in its recitation even if one is k nowledgeable of the Arabic language and of its principles, is also obligatory. T his is because in the Quran there are many verses which occur in a way that is o pposed to what is well known in the rules of the Arabic language.

The Third Rule: Specifying a Daily Limit for Memorisation

It is necessary for the one desiring to memorise the Quran that he sets himself a daily limit for memorising. a number of verses for example, perhaps a page or two pages or even an eighth of a juz (one thirtieth of the Quran). So he begins, after he has corrected his recitation and set his daily limit, to learn by freq uent repetition. It is also necessary that this repetition is done melodiously a nd this is so that a person follows the Sunnah firstly and that it the memorisat ion is made firm and strong secondly. Melodious recitation is pleasing to ones h earing and also assists in memorisation. Furthermore, the tongue will always ret urn to a specific tone (of voice) and as a result of this it will become familia r with any mistake whenever the balance in ones recitation and familiar tone bec omes disordered or imbalanced. The reciter will know therefore, that his tongue will not comply with him when he makes a mistake and that if the tone is wrong o r out of tune, his memorisation will return to him.

All of this is because reciting the Quran and beautifying it with ones voice is a matter which has been commanded. It is not permissible to oppose this command due to the saying of the Messenger (sas): "Whoever does not beautify the Quran ( recite it melodiously) he is not of us." [Bukhaaree]

The Fourth Rule: Not Surpassing One's Daily Limit until You Have Perfected its Memorisation.

It is not permissible for the memoriser to move to a new portion of the Quran un til after he has perfected the memorisation of his previous limit. This is so th at whatever he has memorised is firmly established in his mind. There is no doub t that amongst those things which aid the memoriser is his occupation with what he has memorised through the hours of the day and night. This occurs by reciting it in the silent prayers, and if he is the imaam then in the loud prayers. Also in the superogatory prayers (nawaafil) and in the times when one is waiting for the obligatory prayers. By this method the memorisation will become a lot easie r. In this way it is possible for a person to practise it even if he is occupied with other matters and this is because he does not simply sit at a specific tim e for memorising the Quran. Thus the night will not arrive except with those ver ses memorised and firmly established in the mind. And if there is something whic h has occuppied the memoriser during this day, he should not move onto his next portion of the Quran, rather he should continue on the second day with what he h ad started with the day before until the memorisation becomes perfected.

The Fifth Rule: Memorise Using the Same Copy (Mushaf) of the Quran

Among the things which aid the memorisation is that the memoriser should keep fo r himself a specific mushaf (copy of the Quran) which he should never change. Th is is because a person memorises using the sight just as he memorises using the hearing. The script and form of the verses and their places in the mushaf leave an imprint in the mind when they are recited and looked at frequently. If the me moriser was to change his mushaf from which he memorises or if he was to memoris e from a number of different copies the places of the verses would be in differe nt places and also the script may also be different. This makes the memorisation difficult for him. Therefore it is obligatory for the one memorisng the Quran t hat he does so from a single script and mushaf and he should never replace it.

The Sixth Rule: Understanding is the Way to Memorising

Among the things which greatly aid the process of memorisation is understanding the verses that one has memorised and knowing their relationship and link, one t o another. This is why it is necessary for the memoriser to read the tafseer (ex planation) of those verses which he desires to memorise and that he knows their connection, one with another. Also, that he brings this to mind when he is recit ing. This makes it easier for him to memorise the verses. Having said this, it i s also necessary that he does not depend on knowing the meaning of the verses al one in memorising them. Rather the repetition of these verses should be the foun dation. This should be done until the tongue can recite the verses even if the m ind is occupied with other than the meaning of these verses. This is sign that t he verses are firmly established in the mind. As for the one who relies upon the meaning alone then he will forget often and his recitation will be disjointed d ue to his mind being scattered and occupied with other things. This occurs frequ ently, especially when the recitation is long.

The Seventh Rule: Do not move on from a Complete Surah until you have connected the first part of it to the last

After one surah from among the surahs of the Quran has been completed it is desi rable for the memoriser that he does not move onto another surah except after ha ving perfected its memorisation and connecting its first part to its last so tha t his tongue can flow in reciting it, from its beginning to its end. He should b e able to recite it without having to think or go through trouble in remembering the verses. Rather it is a must that the memorisation (and recitation) of these verses is like (flowing) water and that the memoriser recites these verses with out hesitation, even if his mind is occupied with more than one thing, away from m the meaning of these verses. It should be as a person recites Surah Faatihah w ithout any difficulty or having to think about it. This occurs by repeating thes e verses frequently and reciting them often. However the memorisation of every s urah of the Quran will not be like that of Surah Faatihah except rarely but the intent and desire should be to try to make it as such. Therefore, it is necessar y that when a surah is completed it is firmly established in the mind, with its beginning connected to its end and that the memoriser does not move onto another surah until he has memorised it with precision.

The Eighth Rule: Reciting to Others

It is necessary for the memoriser not to depend on himself for his memorisation. Rather he should test his memorisation by reciting the verses or surah in quest ion to somebody else, or he should recite them by following the mushaf. And how excellent this would be if a person had with him a precise memoriser (who would test his memorisation). This is so that the memoriser becomes aware of the possi bility of his being forgetful or confused in his recitation (without knowing it) . Many individuals amongst us who memorise a surah make mistakes and a person ma y not realise that until he looks into the mushaf. Furhtermore, the one who des ires to memorise may not realise by himself at which place he makes an error in his recitation despite the fact that he may be reciting from a mushaf. For this reason making others listen to his recitation of what he has memorised from the Quran is a means of perceiving and knowing these errors and being constantly awa re of them.

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