Sunday, January 4, 2015

Advice/Tips on Memorizing the Quran for Sisters

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

All praise is due to Allah the Most High who says in the Noble Revelation,

  ولقد يسرنا القران للذكر فهل من مدكر

 "And we have indeed made the Quran easy to understand and remember, then is there any that will remember?" [Surah Qamar ayah 17]

And peace and blessings be upon the Final Messenger, Muhammad ibn Abdullah, Abul Qaasim, who said,

خيركم من تعلم القران وعلمه

"The best among you are those who learn the Quran and teach it." [Sahih al Bukhari from the hadeeth of Uthman ibn Affan]

Learning the Quran is a great virtue and very important for the Muslim. The salaf used to teach their children to read and memorize the Quran from an early age. However, the most important and hardest task for us as Muslims is to act on this glorious Quran and to live by, not to memorize it. In this day and age, you find many Muslims memorize the Quran and parents seem to make this an obligation upon their children, but what is most important and more necessary is to ACT on this Quran. This is what has been neglected.The sahabah were a typical people who understand "la ilaha illa Allah" not just as mere words but to mean "you dedicate your life to Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala!" The sahabah understood the Quran as knowledge and action.

They shook the thrones of Rome and Persia by sticking to their contract with Allah the Most High,  by adhering to this Quran. Allah the Most High raised their status with this Quran because they recited it, prayed with it and implemented it. And there are others whom Allah has brought low because of their abandoning this Quran. Umar ibn al Khattab narrated that the Prophet (sala allahu alayhi wa sallam) said,

إن الله يرفع بهذا الكتاب أقواماً ويضع به آخرين

 "Indeed, Allah raises some people (in status) because of this Book and brings others low because of it." [Sahih, Sunan Ibn Majah]

Today the ummah is in need of the Quran. The Quran is the guiding source for the Muslim/ah.The Quran is filled with ahkaam (rulings), qisas (stories, of prophets and of bad individuals, like the nations of old, 'aad, thamuud,  and tyrants like firawn and haaman) and it also contains mawa'id (reminders).

The people of knowledge have said, "memorizing the Quran is a fadheela (virtue, a good deed) but acting upon it is fareedha (obligatory; whether you memorize the Quran or not)."

Memorizing the Quran is a beautiful and magnificent task, it is not like anything else. This is in fact the first step in seeking knowledge. The scholars would not learn anything else whether it was fiqh or aqeedah until they had learnt and memorized the Quran. If a person came to seek knowledge and study under a certain shaykh, that shaykh would ask him if he memorized the Quran, if he replied in the negative, the scholar would tell him to first memorize the Quran!

The most important and basic tips needed from the student of the Quran:

1. Sincerity. Make your intention solely for the sake of Allah first and foremost. Why are you doing this? What is your motive and goal? It must be to please your creator because this will allow you to gain much rewards and Allah will also help you in this journey.

Allah swt says: وما أمروا إلا ليعبدوا الله مخلصين له الدين حنفاء

"And they were not commanded but to serve Allah, being sincere to Him in obedience..." [Surah al Bayyinah ayah 5]

The Messenger of Allah (sws) said, انما الأعمال بالنيات وانما لكل امْرِئٍ ما نوى

Meaning, "Verily actions are (judged) by intentions, so each man will have what he intended."[ agreed upon]

Therefore, my sister whether you are a mother, wife, daughter, or grandmother, make sure you have ikhlaas (sincerity) in this endeavor and know that true guidance and tawfeeq are from Allah alone. Anyone can memorize the Quran if they have this key element of ikhlaas (doing it for the sake of Allah).

2. Duaa. Make lots of duaa to Allah as you learn the Quran. Do not think it is hard or difficult to do so when you have other duties such as being a wife and mother or working or attending school. Duaa makes a huge difference in everything. Allah wants us to ask of Him, the servant should not shy away from this.

Didn't Allah says,

 وإذا سألك عبادي عني فاني قريب

 "And when My servants ask you concerning Me - Indeed, I am near." [Surah al Baqarah ayah 186]

And didn't The Most Merciful also say,

وقال ربكم ادعوني استجب لكم

"And your lord says, "Call upon Me; I will respond to you!" [Surah al Ghaafir ayah 60]

So, do not fear or lose hope sister! Even if memorizing the Quran takes you many years, remember it will be worth it if you were sincere and constantly made duaa to Allah to make it easy for you. Imagine the rewards!

3. Make the Quran your best friend. Dear sister, make the Quran your number one companion. Let it always accompany you and do not let a day go by without sitting down with it and reciting its noble verses. It is important to understand what you are carrying with you sister. This Quran is not just a book. It is the words of Allah azza wa Jall. DO not abandon this Quran. Love it, understand it, recite it, and follow it. If you can't recite it as you like, listen to it being recited thus getting your ears used to it. Learn its meaning and ponder upon its ayaat. The Quran is not difficult to understand! It is only difficult for those whom Allah has placed a seal over their hearts!

أفلا يتدبرون القران أم على قلوب اقفالها

"Then do they not reflect upon the Quran, or are there locks upon their hearts." [Surah Muhammad ayah 24]

Remember the one who abandons reading the Quran and living by it is a big loser. Allah will make such a person's life miserable. Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala says

ومن أعرض عن ذكري فإن له معيشةً ضنكا

"And whoever turns away from My remembrance -, indeed, he will have a depressed life.." [Surah Taha ayah 124]

The Quran is the greatest form of dhikr (remembrance of Allah). Allah has called it such as well. This Quran, Allah told His Messenger (sala allahu alayhi wa sallam) to rule and judge the people with.  This Quran separates between those on the truth and those on falsehood. With it, the believers are guided. Allah ta'ala says,

إن هذا القرآن يهدي للتي هي أقوام ويبشر المؤمنين الذين يعملون الصالحات أن لهم أجرا كبيرا

"Indeed, this Quran guides to that which is most suitable and gives good tidings to the believers who do righteous deeds that they will have a great reward. " [Surah al Isra ayah 10]

When Muslims abandoned the Quran that is when Allah inflicted humiliation upon  them and allowed their enemies to gain power over them.  The key to true success and victory both in this world and the next can ONLY be through following this Quran.

So sister, make sure you follow the Quran and do not contradict it, make sure you recite the Quran in your home for the devils do not enter a house in which the Quran is recited; in fact, they flee from this house. Play the Quran from your radio, cd player, computer, or phone. Let the blessings flow about the house. This is good for you and your family. The house in which there is no Quran recited is like a graveyard! We need to recite the Quran in order to keep our homes alive!

4. Read Everyday! Make yourself a schedule! Don't let a day go by without reading your hizb (portion) of the Quran! This is really helpful, not in just attaining the rewards (In sha Allah!) but in getting your tongue used to the Quran as well. The more you read correctly, the more easy it becomes to memorize the Quran.

Another very important and necessary thing for memorizing the Quran is to MAKE YOURSELF A SCHEDULE. This is very much needed. Without a Quran schedule to review and memorize, you will find a hard time actually memorizing the Quran. Look at yourself and make yourself a suitable Quran schedule that you can stick to and keep up with. This will always keep you on track!

How we memorize the Quran varies from person to person. One person may be working full time, another may be attending school full time, and one person may be a mother of 4. Therefore, our schedules and how we memorize may vary. But what is important is that you do have a schedule to memorize the Quran.

5. Listen to the Quran! Sometimes you may not have the time to read the Quran as long as you want especially if you are cooking, cleaning,  or driving here and there (running errands) so in these situations, make it a good effort to play the Quran whether from your phone , computer, or cd player. Bring the blessings into your home and also get your ears used to the Quran.  Sometimes you can memorize an entire surah just from hearing it again and again. Umm Hishaam bint al Harith (ra) said she memorized Surah al Qaaf from the mouth of the Messenger of Allah because he would recite it in the khutbah every Jumah. [reported by Imam Muslim, Abu Dawud, and An-Nasai)

6. Learn Tajweed! This is extremely important! Allah ta'ala says,

ورتل القران ترتيلا

 "And recite the Quran in a slow( pleasant tone) style." [Surah al Muzzamil ayah 4]

Tajweed is important. We should make it an effort to recite the Quran in the way it was revealed to the Messenger of Allah (sala allahu alayhi wa sallam)! We should try our best to pronounce the huroof correctly and to learn the different ahkaam of tajweed. One of the greatest blessings of Allah is when you find yourself reciting the book of Allah in a correct manner. Compare this to when you first started learning and you will appreciate alot. Before, you did not know what idghaam or ikhfaa was and now you know what is madd and the types of madd and the ahkaam of the noon alsaakinah so praise Allah the Most High for your accomplishments and continue to learn and practice dear sister!

 Listen to good Quran reciters whose recitation is clear like Shaykhs; Mahmood al Husary, Al Minshawi, Abdullah Basfar, Ali al Hudhayfi, etc.

7. IMPORTANT: Make sure you have a Quran teacher!! It is absolutely necessary and important that you have a Quran teacher when learning to read and memorizing the Quran. You can not do this on your own. You need guidance in this great task. Each one of our great scholars started seeking knowledge by first memorizing the Quran, and when they were memorizing, they did so with a teacher. A teacher may notice what you would not; therefore, its important to have your mistakes corrected.

Sisters! Please try your best to find a female Quran teacher if possible. This is better and much easier. It is complicated to have a male teacher unless you are in a situation where you absolutely must have a male teacher(there are no female teachers around). You will feel more comfortable learning with a shaykha when it comes to the Quran and you will not have to worry about beautifying your voice( in fact feel free to do so!)

8. Review Review Review! Make sure you do not let a day go by without reviewing what you have memorized. If you do not review, you slowly lose what you learned! When you pray whether its a fardh or sunnah, recite what you have memorized whether it is a page, half a page, or 5 ayaat! This helps you to keep the Quran in memory.

The best time to review is before fajr, after fajr, and at night before you sleep. Anytime is good to review the Quran but the main thing is to make sure you review your Quran in a suitable time for you. When your kids are asleep, when you are done with house chores, and so on. If you are memorizing 3 pages of a surah, repeat the ayaat 10 times at least and always recite from the beginning of the surah and not the new page, this is so that you do not forget the previous ayaat.

9. Have a Quran companion! One of the best things about memorizing the Quran is knowing that you are not alone! If you are studying with a group, make sure that you and a sister from the group memorize and review together. This is a great form of encouragement. She will push you to not be lazy and to review what you must and you will remind her likewise.

**These are just some basic tips and advices and I am sure there are more but these are the main ones that should keep you going in sha Allah! May Allah make memorizing the Quran and acting upon it easy and a blessing for us!