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7 Tips From Hafizas That Will Help You Memorise the Qur’an 

by in Soul on 15th December, 2022

“And We have certainly made the Qur’an easy for remembrance, so is there any who will remember?” Qur’an (54:17)

Apart from the last three Surahs in the Qur’an, I was never taught to memorise any further when I was younger. Once I had finished reading the Qur’an from start to finish, that was it. It was only when I was in my twenties at university that I started memorising with a friend. We met once a week to practise and sent each other voice notes on Whatsapp with our progress. Having an accountability partner made it enjoyable, in addition to our mutual commitment. Our friendship blossomed in a way that I had not experienced before, all for the sake of Allah. As life passed by, we moved to different cities, took on new jobs and subsequently my memorisation stopped.

During lockdown, now in my thirties, I started taking online Tajweed classes. My Qur’an teacher encouraged me to memorise again, but I felt too old and was apprehensive to start all over again. With the encouragement and support of my teacher, I began. Although I am at the very start of my Hifz (memorising the Qur’an by heart) journey, I no longer see my age as a barrier, nor other factors such as working full-time and being married. Although with added responsibility in later life, it does mean I have to prioritise my time wisely. We tend to make excuses in our head that we don’t have time because of the hyper busy world we live in, but it’s not that we don’t have time. Time is all that we have, what matters is what we prioritise. The Qur’an is a beautiful lifelong adventure, and the process of memorising and understanding it is where spiritual growth happens. It’s not about racing to the end. 

A source of inspiration on my Hifz journey was reading ‘The Crowning Venture’ by Hafiẓa Saadia Mian. Saadia interviews different Muslim women who have memorised the Qur’an. Their real-life accounts serve as a reminder that with a pure heart, anyone from any background or age can do it. Hafiẓas are the hidden gems in our communities that we don’t celebrate or hear about enough. Each Hafiza talks about their unique journey with the Qur’an, the barriers they faced and practical steps that kept them going. The stories range in ages, lifestyles and responsibilities and I think anybody can relate to one story or another in it. I would highly recommend grabbing a copy and to find comfort in knowing that many other incredible women have walked this path. 

I interviewed two Muslim women on different paths of the Hifz journey – one who is currently memorising the Qur’an and one who has completed her memorisation. 

Amany’s journey started when she was growing up in Egypt. She memorised the last three Juz (chapters) of Qur’an, as it is the tradition in Egypt but stopped as an adult. She is 48 now, a mother of three and works as a researcher at a university in London. During lockdown, Amany suddenly realised she had free time at home and wanted to get back on track with her Hifz journey. She found having a teacher extremely valuable, and preferred  group online classes with people at a similar level as it was more engaging, as opposed to one on one classes. Her teacher would recite a page to the class each week, give Tafsir on the verses they would memorise, then students could ask any questions on the verses and had a week to memorise the page. 

After a year, Amany’s teacher was no longer available and she found it hard to motivate herself. She found another friend, who could also read the Qur’an with proper tajweed, to memorise with. Having a committed friend was of great help for Amany to continue her memorisation. She also started using an app called Tarteel, which she found useful for testing and helped her with memorisation. 

It took Amina Mujela-Botic over 10 years to memorise the Qur’an, and she completed it in January 2022. Born in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Amina graduated from the Faculty of Islamic Studies in Sarajevo. She is currently married and works at Jannah Institute as the student affairs coordinator and copywriter. Her Hifz journey started in high school, when her friend Zekijja motivated her to start this journey. But it wasn’t always easy. Amina was scared of starting her Hifz journey, due to fear of being labelled someone who started and then forgot the words of Allah. She had imagined she would have to look and act in a certain way to be crowned a Hafiza. 

Everything came back to her intention. When she first started memorising the Qur’an, it was to make her parents proud and happy on the day of judgement. She saw Hifz as an opportunity to finally repay them for everything they had done for her in this life. As time passed, her intentions transformed. Amina became more focused on herself and realised that the words of Allah could not enter her heart as long as she was memorising them for someone else. It was at this point that her journey with the Qur’an became much more personal and connected. 

Obstacles We May Encounter While Memorising the Qur’an

One of the most common misunderstandings is that memorising is only for the young or for men. While it definitely helps to start at a younger age, it should not deter you from starting later on in life. Age or gender is not a factor in doing good deeds. Memorising the Qur’an is never about others, it is purely about our relationship with Allah and strengthening that bond, regardless of age or gender. 

Another significant barrier many people experience is the fear of forgetting the Qur’an. People stop other people from memorising the Qur’an by telling them, “if you forget, it’s a worse sin.” Instilling fear into others who are trying to do a good deed can be extremely debilitating. One of the struggles Amany faced when memorising  was how much one ended up forgetting. Amany suggested when reciting new ayahs, to always recite the preceding ones along with it. 

Her teacher told her that, “forgetting makes it part of worship because it’s not about where you reach with your Hifz, it’s about how much you engage with the Qur’an. Allah has made it that way so that when you forget, you engage with it more, and you are immensely rewarded for your efforts.” 

One of the messages repeated throughout the ‘Crowning Venture’ is that memorising the Qur’an is a lifelong commitment; you never stop. You memorise, understand the meaning, recite, review and repeat. Don’t be afraid of what others will say or think, just start and keep going. Our life circumstances can change and it might mean we end up forgetting some Surahs. It’s not that we stop caring about our journey with the Qur’an, Allah knows what is in every heart. But we must get back on track as soon as we can. 

For Amina, prioritising was a huge roadblock for her. She loved to be an active member of the Muslim community. She started to teach the Qur’an, lead projects in the community, all whilst being a full-time student. However, because of all of her commitments, her connection with the Qur’an suffered. Once she started prioritising the Qur’an change followed, and Allah allowed her to finalise her memorisation. 

Practical Tips To Help You Memorise the Qur’an

1. Intentions and Dua

The Prophet said, “Actions are according to intentions.” (An-Nawawi) Our intentions are the basis of everything we do. When starting the journey of memorisation, having a clear intention is vital, not only at the beginning, but throughout the process. Let us never underestimate the power of dua. As my Qur’an teacher told me, “Ultimately, the Qur’an is a gift from Allah and so to be gifted with it, we have to ask Allah. He is the only one who can give it to us.” 

2. Be Consistent 

Amina gave plentiful advice to encourage other women to start their Hifz journey but this one stood out to me: “The Qur’an is jealous if you don’t give it your prime time. Find the most suitable time in a day when you can relax and focus on studying and memorisation. Everyone is different, and it is important that you don’t overburden yourself with it. Qur’an memorisation is a process, it is not a light meal that you order in a fast-food restaurant. It is rather a meal that you prepare, ferment, check and work on regularly, and then the results slowly come in. Don’t burden yourself with quantity, the quality of the memorisation is much more important.”

3. Get a Teacher

If you don’t have a teacher, get one. There are so many Qur’an teachers out there, ideally it is better if you can find one in your local community that you can physically meet. If this is not an option, there are abundant teachers online who can teach you around your schedule. The importance of having a teacher is not only to hold you accountable towards your goals, but most importantly to correct your tajweed and recitation. 

4. Method to Memorising 

A method to memorising the Qur’an that my teacher taught me was to listen to an ayah by a reciter whose tajweed is correct. I follow Muhammad Siddiq Al Minshawi because he recites in a slower pace that I can follow. There is also the Qariah app, the first female reciter app, which I also enjoy listening to. Listen to the ayah multiple times while looking at it, then repeat along with the reciter until you feel confident with it. Then take away the reciter and repeat the ayah by looking, and then finally from memory. Keep repeating this method for each ayah and then you can join them until you’ve completed a whole page. 

5. Surround yourself with people of the Qur’an 

Another tip from my Qur’an teacher was when facing barriers, or when you feel like you’ve slowed down or you’ve lost motivation. It’s imperative that you keep yourself surrounded by people who are also memorising, or who have memorised the Qur’an. This could even be on a whatsapp group, if you don’t have anyone locally around you. It’s a real motivator when you see other people doing it. Always keep yourself surrounded by people of the Qur’an, if you want to further yourself and you really want to succeed. 

6. Focus on Yourself 

Use this time to focus on your inner self. Delve deeper into the verses you are memorising and allow it to become a transformative experience. Serene, one of the ḥafiẓat’s in the ‘Crowning Venture’ mentions how memorising the Qur’an requires character building, being judgemental about others will only slow down your journey. I loved this part because our nafs can get in the way, it’s a daily reminder to look at the condition of our own hearts. 

7. Understand the meaning 

Reading the translation of the verses you are memorising will help with memorisation. I use Abdel Haleem’s translation as I find it the easiest to read for a modern audience. There are also plenty of tafsir classes available to add greater depth to our knowledge of the surahs we are memorising. 

As women, at every stage of our lives we are preoccupied and busy. We devote our earlier years to studying and our careers, then to marriage and children, but in the process we often neglect our spiritual growth. As we get older, we owe it to ourselves to invest in our spiritual growth. The aim is to get closer to Allah, that the Qur’an benefits us directly first, then we can share it with families and community. Very few things will truly keep us grounded in this dunya, and the Qur’an is one of them.

Abdallah b. ‘Amr b. al-As (RA) stated that the Prophet () said, “To the person with the Qur’an, it is said, ‘Recite and ascend! Recite measuredly just as you used to recite in the world! Your station will be at the last verse you recite.” (At-Tirmidhi)

Sara Chaudhry

Sara Chaudhry

Sara Chaudhry is a London-based journalist working in current affairs. You can follow more of her work on: Twitter: @_SaraChaudhry Instagram: @sara_chaudhry