My husband comes one afternoon from the Masjid, and says to me “Today, I re-memorized such and such part from the Qur’an”. Normally I’d then take the mushaf and ask him to recite to me while I check. This time I decided to do otherwise. It was a part I was meant to revise after ages myself; from the list of long Surahs I had memorized and then forgotten without reciting in prayer or often.
So I started with the first verse and asked him if that was the beginning of the surah. I tried to mumble the second verse and I almost made it. Then with a lot of forceful pushing of memory I made it to the next and also remembered how the process mentioned in the second verse repeated in the next verse so the verse itself repeated. Then… I found something interesting in the pattern of how i remembered the verse.
I kept describing the scenario that comes in the next verse to him in english and with a lot of effort slowly slowly remembered, word by word, the verse.
Just like you try to remember an old movie you watched a long time ago, it felt like I was trying to recollect a scene I had pictured when I learnt it before and that helped me so much I actually made it to the end of the Surah without looking at the Mushaf! Alhamdulillah.
I was able to tell him ‘this is the message behind the next verse right?’ Even before I was able to recollect the exact verse. ‘Then this happens to the man, right…?’ and thats how before I knew, I was able to recollect an entire Surah that I had not touched for a long long time and had really forgotten it so much so that when I tried in prayer just a few days before this incident, I couldn’t remember anything at all!
Here are some action points I’ve been able to take from this incident:
- Let the Qur’an speak:
See what message each verse is telling you. And don’t move ahead until you connect with each word of each verse. Don’t just memorize. Take time to internalise. This could be in the form of understanding whats being said, or connecting the dots. And most importantly, applying it in life. Also, reading it in prayer.While in tafsir class, I realized how beautifully the Qur’an is intricate with rich imagery, meanings and themes that flow into one another. In some places, I noticed how beautifully the chosen words of Allah are, when they keep rhyming at the end of the verse, until the scenario changes! Even letters are chosen so carefully, some surahs end with bouncing letters entirely (for example) or until a particular description is done. Why has Allah SWT used this word and not that? Why does this verse end with this name of Allah and not that? Why did Allah SWT mention this here when the same word is used in an antonymous context in another verse? Ask. Keep asking questions, find answers. Until you can envision an entire Surah in your head, and not forget a single verse as you revise/memorize. This not only helps to quench our souls thirst for Allah’s magnificent words, but also deeply etches what we memorize into our hearts, like a carving on stone. (ofcourse revision included, revision gets easier bi ithnillah)
Take notes of your thoughts and lessons, as you do this. Because when or if those days come when your connection with the Qur’an is weak, these notes will help like gold!
- A few chunks a day:
I had memorized the above, in parts of 5 verses per day during Ramadan nights. Its rare when you remember the exact time you memorized something long ago right? Focusing on those 5 verses, what they were saying and then repeating them again and again till they got solidified, helped me now! Without making me totally blank.When we do a little everyday, we tend to never give up, and it also get more clearly etched. Getting little done but very well done is always better than getting much done, to be forgotten or confusing soon. A few consistent chunks, is also more rewarding as Allah SWT loves those deeds that are few, but consistent. [Hadith]
- The Qur’an requires your attention:
And dedication, In every way. From your constant discipline in learning it, respect to it and in your commitment to it. Humility in receiving it, to sincerity in learning it. Every time an evil thought like backbiting, or not fixing my hijab coz ‘meh…just a worker’ comes to my mind, I feel afraid that I might lose a part of the Quran in me. This fear of losing the Quran helps to remain steadfast during the day, and vice versa!! Meaning to say, it requires our attention every single minute of the day, and not just when the time you’ve alloted or your hifdh/tafsir/tajwid class time comes.
One thing I have practically learnt in life, is that even if we aren’t Qur’an students, even if we don’t excel in Quranic Arabic, when we are constant every single day in connecting to the Quran; be it just reciting it even, it aids in developing a deeper connection to it. Slowly it opens its secrets to us, and our understanding deepens, and our thirst for understanding more increases, bi ithnillah.
So if you’re at the beginners stage, wondering how do people do it? Take the Mushaf now, keep your sincerity intact, and make yourself an oath or something to connect to the Quran in your own way, every single day. 🙂 It will make a world’s difference!
- Help of Allah:
Needless to say, nothing is possible without the help of Allah, and nothing is impossible with his help, and indeed, His help is always near. 🙂 Dua. Dua. Dua. And I cannot stress enough on this point.
May Allah SWT make us all… Living examples of the Qur’an. Ameen.