Almost every Muslim wishes to memorise the Quran and many have embarked upon the journey of doing so, yet a number among them do this task rather haphazardly, which leads to difficulty in the process of memorisation as well as increasing their chances of forgetting what they have memorised. In view of the great need of ensuring the successful memorisation of the Quran, some practical steps toward efficient memorisation and avoiding setbacks are stated in this article:
1. The Same Copy
Use the same Mus-haf (copy) when you read the Quran and stick to it so that you may become familiar with it and know the sites of various verses and how to find them quickly when you revise what you have memorised.
Try to find a knowledgeable reader, such as a Shaykh (scholar) who is well versed in the rules of Tajweed (correct recitation). Start reading to him what you intend to memorise beforehand so that he may correct any wrong pronunciation.
Read and memorise the Quran within a group rather than individually. Members of groups help each other in correcting mistakes and thus make the task easier. Prophet Muhammad sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam (may Allah exalt his mention) said: "Whenever a group congregates in one of the houses of Allah (i.e., Mosques) to recite the Book of Allah (Quran) and study it, peace and mercy will descend upon them, the angels will surround them and Allah will mention them to those with Him (i.e., the angels)." [Muslim]
Repeat what you have memorised to yourself frequently, and the best way to do this is during the prayers.
Learn the basic rules of Tajweed before you start memorising and try to apply these rules while memorising. Allah Says in the Quran (what means): "… And recite the Quran with measured recitation." [Quran 73:4]
Supplicate to Allah to help you in memorising what you have read of the Quran. Many Hadeeths (Prophetic narrations) point to how this is to be done.
7. Sequence of Chapters
Begin memorising the Quran from the last section (Juz') and work backwards, as the verses in the last section are shorter and more familiar.
8. Audio Cassette
Listening to an audio cassette of the Quran will assist you in memorising what you have read and make it easier for you to know the right pronunciation and intonation; however, you must choose a reader who is well known for being skilled, so that you can memorise the Quran correctly.
Try to read the Quran in a quiet location and stick to this if you can, as this will put you in the right mood to memorise the Quran and keep you away from any distractions. An example of such a place is the Masjid (Mosque).
Make reading and memorising the Quran a daily activity and allocate a special time devoted to this purpose. Try to choose a suitable time when you are fresh and not tired. The best time is at dawn, as Allah Says (what means): "…Indeed, the recitation [of the Quran] at dawn is ever witnessed" [Quran 17:78] and that is after the Fajr (dawn) prayer. Avoid reading and memorising in the late evenings when you come back from work tired and sleepy, as it will be difficult for you to concentrate at that time.
Try to understand the meaning of what you memorise, as this will assist further memorisation and enable you to act upon what you read.
Always review what you have memorised and make this a regular habit; otherwise you will tend to forget what you have memorised after a while. It is advisable to review the whole Quran every thirty days. Prophet Muhammad sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam said: "Take care of the Quran (by memorising it). I swear by the One in whose Hand is my soul that it is easier to slip away from you than the camels from their shackles." [Al-Bukhari & Muslim]
Encouragement of your household, particularly the children, will help them to compete with each other, particularly if you also reward them with gifts. Memorising the Quran at an early age is very rewarding as the ability to register and recall knowledge and information is quicker and easier then than in later years. Also, when you get older, your responsibilities increase and you might find it difficult to find enough time to achieve your goals.
You should be sincere to Allah and make your intention to seek the reward from Him before beginning memorising the Quran. You should feel that the Quran is there to guide mankind to good. Allah Says in the Quran (which means): "This is the Book about which there is no doubt, a guidance for those conscious of Allah." [Quran 2:2]
One should also realise the great reward of reading and studying the Quran, and there are many Hadeeths which emphasise this point. Not only are the Muslims who read the Quran rewarded, but those who listen to it are as well; Allah Says (what means): "So when the Quran is recited, then listen to it and pay attention that you may receive mercy." [Quran 7:204]
Reading and memorising the Quran is not difficult, and this fact was stated clearly in the Quranic verse (which means): "And We [i.e. Allah] have certainly made the Quran easy for remembrance, so is there any who will remember?" [Quran 54:17]
15. Avoid Ostentation
After memorising the Quran, avoid showing off and arrogance. Being given the ability to memorise the Quran is a blessing from Allah, and people might become proud of themselves to have accomplished this task. Some people might then want everybody to know of their achievement and thus be admired. This is a kind of Shirk (associating others with Allah in worship) which is a dangerous and punishable act. One should be thankful to Allah as it is He who made it easy for him to memorise and understand the Quran.
Try to read with a reasonably loud voice and listen to your reading. Avoid reading silently - this will also help you to overcome laziness and tiredness.
17. Set an Amount to Read and Memorise
Set a certain amount of verses to read and memorise from the Quran at every session. Start with a small amount and then increase gradually. Do not be driven by your enthusiasm as this will shortly wear out. It is more important to persevere in memorising, no matter how small the amount is.
Once you have memorised the Quran, endeavour to acquire its manners, apply it in your life and act upon it, as this obligation is more emphasised on those who know it by heart.