Alhamdulillah; unlimited thanks and praises are due to Allah; for the blessings of Islam and Qur’an. May His Peace and Blessings be upon the teacher of Islam and Qur’an; Habibi Muhammad, his family members, his companions, those who practise Islam, and the lovers of Al-Qur’an, at all times.
Alhamdulillah, and congratulations to you, for the 5 pages you have memorized, so far. These five pages will be our foundation to build on, to the next level, insha Allah. However, before we proceed to the next level of memorizing the Qur’an, I would like you to make sure that, you can read those five pages at one time, by heart. Only then, you may proceed, to the next level.
Many of us have read “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People”, by Steven Covey. We read it with great interest and excitement, with the hope to become “highly effective”. After all, we are yet to be “highly effective”, in anyway. The reason is, either we have forgotten, or the book (unlikely) did not indicate to us that; in order to be a “Highly Effective” person, one needs to put in endless effort, and be disciplined.
How long did Steven Covey take to come out with that book (The 7 Habits…)? As at now, I have no idea, but, if we can assume that he took “only” 2 years to do so, we have to imagine that, the book (The 7 Habits…) became his bible, his newspapers, his notes, his dreams and nightmares. That’s passion, hardworking and determination! He sacrificed everything (at a point of time) to achieve one thing; The 7 Habits…, would you then, sacrifice nothing to achieve everything; Al-Qur’an?
What applies to The 7 Habits (which I’m yet to read… shhh.. don’t tell anybody!) is applicable to The Best Presentation Skills by Iain Ewing. It is also applicable to the so many “Teach Yourself XXX in 24 Hours”; “How to do/get XXX in 3 Days”; and the list never ends.
What applies to all the above, also applies to “How to Memorize the Qur’an in 10 Years, Regardless of Age and Profession?” For the information of those who don’t know what “How to Memorize the Qur’an in 10 Years…” is, you are reading Part 2 of “How to Memorize the Qur’an in 10 Years, Regardless of Age and Profession?”
There is no magic in this method. All it requires is great interest, passion, prioritizing it over other habits, hardworking, continuity and discipline. Of course; above all, there should be a genuine intention; Iklhas! Don’t say, “I’m yet to dream to become a Hafiz.” Start to dream, as success starts with a dream. If you are already dreaming; to you I say: Most dreams never come true. So, take an action today, to make your dream come true, insha Allah.
Are you ready for the challenge?! Here we go…
Before we memorize any new verse(s)
This part was touched and discussed in Part 1, but I would like to highlight it here, once again, due to its importance, as far as reading Al-Qur’an or memorizing it is concerned.
Learning Al-Qur’an is one of (if not the only) knowledge(s) that require(s) a direct teacher coaching. This is because reading Al-Qur’an is best done verbally (that’s why it’s called “Qur’an”), and mistakes related to reading it, can only be corrected in the physical presence of a teacher. The first and the best teacher of the Qur’an, Rasulullah himself s.a.w., received the Qur’an from Jibril a.s. verbally. And he s.a.w. taught it (the Qur’an) to the sahabah verbally. Likewise, the companions too, taught the Tabi’een the Qur’an, verbally, down to us.
What I want to say is that, we have to ensure that, we know how to read the verses we memorize correctly. We need to learn to do so, if we don’t know. We can arrange with a Qur’an teacher, who can listen to our recitation, and help us correct our mistakes, should there be any, before we memorize them. We can even do that over the phone with an advance arrangement between us and the Qur’an teacher. “A Qur’an teacher” here, refers to anyone, whom you believe they know the Qur’an better than you do. They may be your spouse, your parent or child, your brother or sister, your same gender friend, your same gender neighbour, or the imam of your local mosque.
It’s important that we are able to pronounce the letters (harf/huruf) of the verses, which we are memorizing, correctly. For example, we should be able to differentiate between د and ت, and between ذ and ز, and between س and ث. We should also be able to know the significance of ص and س, the obvious difference between فَعَلْنَا and فَعَلَيْنَا, and so forth. Don’t pronounce المُسْتَقِيم as you would do for المُصْتَقِيم or الـمُسْتَكِيم. Identifying the letter and differentiating its characteristics have to be verbally and visually combined. You know عَلَيْهِمْ. So don’t read it like أَلَيْهِم. The former exists, but the latter doesn’t. Same goes to أَنْعَمْتَ and أَنْأَمْتَ; as well as عَلَيْهِم and عَلَيْحِم.
When to; what is the best time of the day, to memorize Al-Qur’an?
This is a common question. A question you will hear every other day. But surprisingly, the answer is not as simple as we may think; as life gets more complex.
Everyone will tell you this: The best time to memorize Al-Qur’an is when one’s mind is free from thoughts, troubles and problems; and distractions. I, too, will tell you the same thing. But, the reality today is that, this kind of time (free from thoughts) is almost impossible to be found nowadays. Do you switch off your phone when you go to bed? Even if you don’t, do you leave it, at least, in the living room? The answer is clearly: no. I don’t either. Today, even children at the age of five, are engaged with iPhone(s) and iPad(s), most of the time. If that is the case, then, we should less expect the time, in which one can have a mind, free from thoughts, troubles and distractions.
Today, everybody is busy. But the question is; what are we actually engaged with? Are we engaged with things, which we are certain of their importance and meaningfulness? Do we spend our time, in a way, that helps us, to become useful and reliable individuals, to our families, communities, nations, and mankind? Or do we allow ourselves to be invaded through entertainment of any kind?
Therefore, the best time to memorize Al-Qur’an is anytime, other than the times, in which we are supposed to carry out our duties, responsibilities and obligations, i.e. obligatory prayers, responsibilities we are tasked with, and are paid for, obligations towards our parents and family. We should not run away from carrying out our amanah(s), for the sake of memorizing Al-Qur’an. And our Amanah(s), in the other hand, shouldn’t be the barrier for us, from becoming Huffaz (Hafizs).
However, since we will be memorizing a few verses, at any time we sit to memorize, and we are expected to be able to do that in 30 minutes, if we are focused, please allow me to suggest that you do it, in the early hours of the morning; an hour before Fajr time (azan). Let’s hit two (or 10 if possible!) birds with one stone. These are some of the benefits of memorizing Al-Qur’an at this particular time (before Fajr prayers):
- Your du’a at that time is ‘mustajab’, as Allah Himself gets closest to His creatures (those awake and praying).
- We won’t miss our witr prayers anymore, insha Allah.
- The mind is (at that time) likely to be clear and less engaged.
- The body is fresh and energetic (if one is able to take shower).
- One is able to pray Subuh on time.
- One will be a productive Muslim any day, in which they are able to wake up before Fajr, for memorizing Al-Qur’an, or any other ibadah, insha Allah.
You must know this!
Whenever we sit to memorize a Surah or a few verses, regardless of time and place, we need to do this: focus! The more we focus, the better the verses stick in our memory. Focus enables one to visualize the wordings of the verses and pages easier and hence, recall faster.
Where there’s no focus, a lot of time goes wasted, and (almost) nothing is achieved. Where we have focus, little time is spent, for a greater achievement, insha Allah.
If you are to forget everything you read in this article(s), please make it a point, not to forget this; focus. Focus will be helpful to us, not only in Qur’an reading and memorization; it will also come along with us, in our solat, and our everyday endeavors, insha Allah.
How to; how to memorize when we sit to?
I believe, by now, you are certain of how to memorize the Qur’an. This is because, the three weeks we spent memorizing the 13 Surahs (5 pages), have helped us to develop a new habit; reading Al-Qur’an on daily basis, and repeating a Surah or a few verses for 40 times or more. We have also developed the habit of reading Al-Qur’an in different places and situations, i.e. in the mosque, at home, in the street, in the bus, in the train, at the bus stop, at the train station, in the queue and etc. The discipline we have developed, so far, is: “How to memorize Al-Qur’an…” If this (the discipline) really happened, then one can notice some changes in routines; now, you read Al-Qur’an with more confidence and passion, I guess, no matter how little the number of Surahs you have memorized so far, and most importantly, you have prioritized Al-Quran over many things in your life. You are now related, bonded, or let me say, you are in love, with Al-Qur’an Al-Kareem. This is how to memorize Al-Qur’an. And this is all it needs to start memorizing Al-Qur’an, effectively.
Even so, below are the remaining steps of how to memorize Al-Qur’an:
- Now, we have the foundation (5 pages each), and it’s time to build it up. I know you have revised them before coming to read this article. Aren’t you? I don’t want to ask you, to go and do so, before reading on. Why? Because we need to prioritize our Qur’an over all habits. Remember?
- Let’s make it a point to re-read (muraja’ah) 5 pages a day, one time, before we start with our new memorization. That “5 pages” should always be the most recent 5 pages we have memorized. If we are not able to focus, while revising them, and for that, we make lots of mistakes, it will be a good idea to spend our day mastering those 5 pages, rather than going further, to memorize new lines (or Surah(s). We don’t want to build a house on ice. Do we?
- Today, as well as on every memorizing day (5 days a week), we will be memorizing only 3 lines, a day. “Lines” doesn’t mean verses. It rather means written lines in a page of the standard copies of Al-Qur’an in our hands toady.
- It’s important to get all the 3 lines memorized together, in one session of the first round of memorization. If we need 15 times to do so, it means, we are going to repeat them together, for 15 times, or according to our ability and capacity, until they are memorized. You need 30 minutes approximately, to do this.
- Remember, only after this, we will start with the “40 times or more” session, insha Allah.
- As we memorize only 3 lines a day, we may come to a situation, where we are memorizing 2 or 3 lines of a verse, whereby the following line, which is not part of today’s memorization, is connected with the 3 lines, which we are memorizing. The solution is: if the remaining part of the verse, which we are memorizing, is quarter a line, or half a line, we can add it to today’s portion of memorization. In that case, we will be memorizing more than 3 lines. I hope you won’t mind. However, if you find it troublesome, you may leave it; and add it to the next portion of memorization, insha Allah. This is why part of our muraja’ah (revision) strategy is to revise the most recent 5 pages, which will include the immediate 3 lines, which we are going to memorize, for the day, and which, when we continue to memorize, will be connected, automatically.
- Maintain memorizing in the ascending form. This means, we are not going to memorize from Surah Al-Baqarah, for now, maybe for the entire period of our memorization journey. Instead, we will be memorizing the last 5 Juz’, first. The last 5 juz’ are: Juz’ number 30, 29, 28, 27 and 26.
- After memorizing the last 5 Juz’, you have the option to continue memorizing upwards. Alternatively, you may continue to memorize, but starting from Surah Al-Baqarah, this time, downwards. I personally prefer the former.
Why is it better to start with the last 5 juz’?
It’s always recommended that, we start any structured project with the easy parts, and build up to the difficult level, followed by the most difficult, as we progress.
Imagine, you have started with Surah Al-Baqarah for instance, after a year of hardworking, you will be having 52 memorized pages (based on our method, here). How many Surahs are they? Three! Only 3?! Oh, yes; Al-Fatiha, Al-Baqarah and 3 pages from Aali Imran. Very discouraging. Isn’t it?
On the other hand, you started memorizing from below. After a year of disciplined habit, you have successfully memorized 52 pages. That will be from Surah Al-Naas (P. 604) up to Surah Al-Saff (P. 551), plus Surah Al-Fatihah (P. 1). How many Surahs are they? 54!
Allahu Akbar! Almost half the number of Surahs in the Qur’an is down (memorized). That’s not true, though. But you are, in a way or another, psychologically motivated, excited and encouraged to finish the mission.
Here are some of the advantages:
- The Surahs in the last 5 juz’ are familiar to most of us.
- They are short Surahs.
- Their verses are shorter.
- They are, therefore, easier to be memorized.
- They are easy to be revised (muraja’ah) on the go.
- Mistakes made in them are easy to be corrected, for beginners.
The road map
There are 6236 verses in the version of Qur’an in our hands, based on the ‘Riwayah’ (narration) of Hafs. I mean, there are 604 pages in the copies of ‘Mushaf Al-Huffaz’. The term “Mushaf Al-Huffaz” is used to refer to the copies of Qur’an in which each page starts with a beginning of a verse and ends (a page) with the end of a verse. An average page in ‘Mushaf Al-Huffaz’ consists of 15 lines. The term (Mushaf Al-Huffaz) means, “The Qur’an of the Hafizs”. I guess you have already obtained your personal copy of Al-Qur’an, for this lifetime mission. Haven’t you?
|Pages to revise a day||5 pages (the most recent)|
|Lines to Memorize a day||3 lines (or one short Surah)|
|Days to memorize per week||5 days|
|Days to revise per week||2 days|
|Lines to memorize per week||15 lines|
|Pages to memorize per week||1 Page|
|Pages to memorize per month||4 pages|
|Weeks in a Year||52 weeks|
|Pages to Memorize a Year||52 Pages|
|Juz’ to memorize a Year||Almost 3 Juz’|
The road map; Year 1
The Chinese philosopher, Lao-Tzu said, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step”. I’m glad, you have already begun with the first step, three weeks ago. Alhamdulillah.
The above table is meant for our Year 1 period of memorization, although it may also be applicable for the subsequent years. The only difference is that, in Year 2, you can increase the number of lines, in a way that, at the end of the year (Year 2), you will get the minimum of 60 pages, in Year 2 alone.
You still remember; we only move on, to memorize new verse(s) or Surah, after the current and previous ones are concrete. The “previous ones” refers to the most recent 5 pages. Correct? The same thing applies here.
Let’s assume this; today is your first anniversary of starting to memorize the Qur’an. 52 pages (almost 3 Juz’) are genuinely in your heart and mind. How do you feel? You feel good; excited; and great! Right? Would you like to lose that, for anything? The answer is surely; NO. Therefore, don’t let these 52 pages go. Don’t let the sacrifice you made for the past 365 days go for waste. If you need some time to refresh them, before you proceed, please do so. And you may proceed, only when you are confident and certain with them (the pages). The day you resume memorizing will mark the beginning of Year 2, insha Allah.
The road map; Year 2
Alhamudulillah; you are here, in Year 2 of memorizing the Qur’an, with high hope and confidence to finish in 10 years, insha Allah. “Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going”. That was said by Jim Rohn. And I say, discipline is what makes good habits real.
All the steps we applied in Year 1, will be applied this year, too, insha Allah. This year, if you are comfortable with your progress in Year 1, you may add one line or half a line to your daily new memorizations. In that case, 3 lines become 3.5 lines, 4 lines, 4.5 lines or 5 lines.
The road map; Year 3
Alhamdulillah. Today marks the 3rd anniversary since you started memorizing Al-Qur’an. You have successfully memorized the minimum of 104 pages, a few pages away from 6 complete Juz’. Congratulations! Remember the effort you put in, just to achieve this. Don’t let that effort go wasted. Therefore, let’s not start to build castles in the skies; and let’s instead continue building them on the ground.
Back on track; repeat the hardworking you went through, in Year 1 and Year 2 accordingly, with difference; you can increase the number of lines, in a way that, at the end of the year (Year 3), you will get the minimum of 60 pages, for Year 3 alone. So, assuming you have already achieved 104 pages, from Year 1 and Year 2 combined, by the end of this year, you will achieve 164 pages, insha Allah.
The road map; Year 4-10
You are almost there. 3 years ago, you were thinking of how to start. Your entire wish was to memorize one Juz. Today, by Allah’s will, you have gone that far. Today, you are certain that; with Allah’s permission and guidance, you are about to achieve one of the greatest achievement a Muslim can achieve, spiritually. Enough of reading (my article)! Go and accomplish the mission! Allahu Hafiz
Wait…! As you go, keep moving. Don’t stop. Don’t give up. There will come some times that you will feel bored or perhaps wanting to give up. You may then, need to review your objectives, behind your ambition to memorizing Al-Qur’an.
Make sure you don’t stop, for Sayyidah ‘Aishah r.a. related the following:
سُئِلَ النَّبِيُّ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ: أَيُّ الأَعْمَالِ أَحَبُّ إِلَى اللَّهِ؟ قَالَ أَدْوَمُهَا، وَإِنْ قَلَّ
It means, “The Messenger s.a.w. was asked, “Which deeds are most beloved to Allah?” He said: The most constant, even if it’s little.” [Al-Bukhari]
The “40 times or more” concept… the logic
Take a foolscap (A4 size) paper, fold it into two; get a pencil and a ballpoint pen. Use the pencil to write, or draw anything on the right side of the paper, and use the ballpoint pen to write or draw the same thing (or anything else), on the left side of the paper. Now, look at both sides (right and left) of the paper. Which part do you think will fade easily or can be eradicated easily? The answer is: the right side, where pencil was used. This means, the left side is unlikely to be erased easily, even if water is poured on it.
The right side of the paper represents your initial stage of memorizing any page or any new set of verses. Remember; you may need 10 to 15 or more times, to get this part done. And the left side represents the “40 times or more” concept in the process of your memorization.
An artist uses a pencil to draft their drawing. They only apply colours to them, after correcting any mistakes, and after fine-tuning some parts of the design. They only exhibit their drawing after they have applied paintings on them. This means, you can only present your memorization comfortably, after you have repeated it for 40 times (or more!), to get it stick in your memory.
You may try to read a page or a set of verses, 10-15 times, to memorize it. Thereafter, try to read the same thing, by heart, in your solat. What happens? You won’t know until you try and experience it J
Please note that, the “40 times or more” repetition is only applicable to our new memorization, i.e. the 3 lines or the short Surah, which we are working on, for the day.
Although we are certain of the importance of the “40 times of more” concept, one may feel bored until they are motivated. Therefore, I find it necessary, to remind myself, and anyone who adopts this method, of the rewards awaiting Qur’an readers. Always remember that, every word you read or repeat, I mean every letter you read or repeat, you are granted 10 rewards. Guess, how many rewards will you be granted, when you repeat a Surah or a set of verses, for 40 times, or more?
Rasulullah s.a.w. said, in a Hadeeth narrated by Ibn Mas’oud r.a., and reported by Al-Tirmidzi:
مَنْ قَرَأَ حَرْفاً مِنْ كِتَابِ اللهِ فَلَهُ حَسَنَةٌ، وَالحَسَنَةُ بِعَشْرِ أَمْثَالِهَا، لاَ أَقُولُ ”الم“ حَرْفٌ، وَلَكِنْ ”أَلِفٌ“ حَرْفٌ، وَ”لاَمٌ“ حَرْفٌ، وَ”مِيمٌ“ حَرْفٌ
It means, “Whoever reads a letter from the book of Allah is rewarded, and each reward is multiplied by ten. I am not saying “Alif Lam Meem” is a letter, but “Alif” is a letter, “Lam” is a letter, and “Meem” is a letter.”
The Dos and Don’ts for a Hafiz
Memorizing Al-Qur’an is one of the greatest honour a Muslim can achieve. And for one to receive and appreciate an honour, he must prepare himself honourably. In order to achieve that, a Hafiz has to observe the following, as possible:
Be Allah-conscious; fear Allah
Allah has advised us, in Surah Al-Nisaa, 4:131, to fear and observe Him at all times. An advice He advised the people of the scripture before us. He says:
وَلِلَّـهِ مَا فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَمَا فِي الأَرْضِ، وَلَقَدْ وَصَّيْنَا الَّذِينَ أُوتُوا الكِتَابَ مِن قَبْلِكُمْ وَإِيَّاكُمْ أَنِ اتَّقُوا اللَّـهَ
It means, “And to Allah belongs whatever is in the heavens, and whatever is on the earth. And We have instructed those who were given the Scripture before you, and yourselves, to fear Allah…”
And Rasulullah s.a.w., also, advised the great companion, Mu’aadh Ibn Jabal, r.a. when he sent him to Yemen, he said to him:
يَا مُعَاذ: اِتَّقِ اللَّهَ حَيْثُ مَا كُنْتَ، وَأَتْبِعِ السَّيِّئَةَ الحَسَنَةَ؛ تَمْحُهَا، وَخَالِقِ النَّاسَ بِخُلُقٍ حَسَن
It means, “O Mu’aadh, fear Allah wherever you are, and follow up a bad deed with a good one; it will wipe it out, and treat people in a kind manner.” [Al-Tirmizhi].
With regards to the rewards we attain when we fear Allah and refrain from ‘ma’siah’ (disobedience), Allah says:
وَاتَّقُوا اللَّـهَ، وَيُعَلِّمُكُمُ اللَّـهُ
It means, “And fear Allah, and Allah [will] teach[es] you”. We all know that, memorizing Al-Qur’an is the door to the kingdom of knowledge. So don’t opt yourself out.
Allah s.w.t. also says in Surah Al-Talaaq, 65:2-3:
وَمَن يَتَّقِ اللَّـهَ يَجْعَل لَّهُ مَخْرَجًا * وَيَرْزُقْهُ مِنْ حَيْثُ لا يَحْتَسِبُ
It means, “And whoever fears Allah – He will make for him a way out. And will provide for him from where he does not expect…”
Carry out good deeds
The basic objective of human existence is to represent Allah on His earth, and to carry out good deeds with the intension of ibadah. Therefore, being kind is a good deed, being generous is another good deed, being respectful is a good manner; going the “extra mile” is another good thing to do. Giving out sadaqah (not zakat, which is obligatory) is something very important in every society, let alone the Muslim community. The obligatory deeds are not what I mean here, because one will answer for them if they fail to carry them out.
إِنَّ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَعَمِلُوا الصَّالِحَاتِ سَيَجْعَلُ لَهُمُ الرَّحْمَـٰنُ وُدًّا
It means, ” The Lord of Mercy will bestow affection upon those who believe and perform righteous deeds.” [Surah Maryam, 19:96].
وَمَن يَعْمَلْ مِنَ الصَّالِحَاتِ وَهُوَ مُؤْمِنٌ فَلَا يَخَافُ ظُلْمًا وَلا هَضْمًا
It means, “…but he who does good works, being a believer, shall fear no harm nor any injustice.” [Surah Taha, 20:112].
Let’s be Halal-conscious
One of the most important things a Muslim, and a Hafiz in particular, should prioritize, is ensuring that anything we consume is Halal. “Halal” here is not referring to the “No pork… No lard” perception. That’s common sense! “Halal” here is anything permissible and non-prohibited in Islam. Thus, one has to make sure their earnings are earned righteously. Don’t put your hand on others belongings without their permission. Don’t take others for granted. Your provision (rizq/rizki) is already been prepared for you. All you need is to put in the effort, and go for it. Most importantly, go for it righteously; don’t cheat; don’t lie; don’t discriminate; don’t be advantageous, nor abusive; and your earnings will be blessed for you and your family.
Rasulullah says in a Hadeeth, narrated by Ka’b Ibn ‘Ujrah r.a., related by Imam Al-Tirmidhi, and authenticated by Shaikh Al-Albaani:
لا يَرْبُو لَحْمٌ نَبَتَ مِنْ سُحْتٍ إِلَّا كَانَتْ النَّارُ أَوْلَى بِهِ
It means, “No flesh grown from unlawful earning, unless it deserves the Hell fire more.”
The Heaven lies beneath the feet of (our) mothers
One of the manners treasured and valued by Islam, which surely entitles one for the pleasure of Allah, is honouring one’s parents. We must ensure the happiness of our parents, with mothers given priority over fathers, though. Showing obedience is one, let alone humility and sympathy. Rasulullah s.a.w. rejected one of his companions who wanted to join him for Jihad. Instead, he ordered him to go back and serve the needs of his mother; as the heaven lies beneath her feet.
Let’s watch our words
Nothing has hurt man as much as the tongue has done. Nothing has created separation and violence among people, as much as the tongue did. Nothing has created ‘fitnah’ as much as the tongue has created. The tongue is known to be a weak and very sensitive organ, yet the sharpest and most harmful.
The only way one can control their tongue is to be able to control their emotion and observe Allah. This is where they can choose to refrain from uttering words that can be considered undesirable to men of wisdom.
Someone who is busy with Qur’an should have enough to engage them from backbiting. Until today, I’m yet to meet someone, so far, in my life, who does not backlash others. Not even the closest person to me is safe; and the closest person to me is myself. Lutfak… Yaa Allah! (Your Mercy… O Allah!)
We can watch our food, too
In order to go healthy, and be more productive Muslims, we should consider taking care of our food. In other words, we have to be moderate in what we consume. So, we eat only when we need to, not because the food is available. If we are able to control our desire towards food, we are likely to be able to control our desire towards sex, and will that cut down on us, lots of social and moral problems. Problems that may include the desire to control, the desire to cheat, the desire to oppress, the desire to kill, the desire to break laws and etc. This is why, we are more disciplined and Allah-conscious in the month of Ramadhan, or when one is fasting.
Rasulullah has given us guidelines with regards to how to moderate, in our consumption of food, when he said, in a Hadeeth reported by Imam Ahmad and Al-Tirmidhi:
مَا مَلأَ آدَمِيٌّ وِعَاءً شَرًّا مِنْ بَطْنٍ؛ بِحَسْبِ ابْنِ آدَمَ أُكُلاتٌ يُقِمْنَ صُلْبَهُ؛ فَإِنْ كَانَ لا مَحَالَةَ فَثُلُثٌ لِطَعَامِهِ، وَثُلُثٌ لِشَرَابِهِ، وَثُلُثٌ لِنَفَسِهِ
It means, “The son of Adam does not fill any vessel worse than his stomach. It is enough for the son of Adam to eat a few mouthfuls to keep him going, but if he must (fill his stomach), then one third for his food, one third for his drink and one third for air.”
If we are able to practise this teaching of Rasulullah s.a.w., it will lead one to have a healthy, and light and active body, for a lifestyle that will save us a lot of pains and regrets, in our elderly age. The lighter one’s body is, the easier ibadah becomes, for them, and obviously, the lesser they sleep, insha Allah.
Maintain your wudhu (ablution), as possible
‘Wudhu’ brightens one’s face, cleanses their heart, and puts them in a spiritual spotlight. It may not be convenient to take ‘wudhu’ 15 times a day (the number of times one may go to the gents/ladies), though. But this is what makes those who are wudhu-conscious special.
Besides its spiritual effect, ‘wudhu’ has physical effectiveness on one’s health. That’s why; when one is sleepy, they wash their face. When they are stressed, they wash their face. And when they are tired, they feel refreshed after washing. Also, one won’t take ‘wudhu’ until they have cleaned themselves inside out.
What about… Hygiene?
Nothing tops Al-Qur’an. Nothing is as clean and pure as Al-Qur’an is. The Qur’an is a clean content, no doubt. Therefore, one’s brain should be a clean container for that content. And their body must be a clean carrier for the brain which contains the Qur’an. So, it’s important for the Hafiz to be mindful, with regards to cleanliness, physically and spiritually. Physically by been hygienic and spiritually by maintaining ‘wudhu’, as possible. Taking bath (or shower) doesn’t necessarily mean ‘wudhu’.
Rasulullah s.a.w. is our role model in hygiene. He ensured that he used his ‘siwak’ before entering the house, so to avoid any bad smell, been smelt from him. He wore perfume at all times, although his natural sweat smelt perfume. Shouldn’t we learn from what he did, to teach us, when he himself, didn’t need it? He also advised us to ensure our nails are always clipped and clean; our hair and beard are neat and combed; and even the unseen corners of our bodies are equally taking care of. SubhanAllah!
Carrying out righteous deeds, although requires lots of effort being put in, is not as challenging as avoiding sins and refraining from them. All kinds of sins are visually tempting, and man is created weak. As much as sins are visually tempting, refraining from (committing) them is equally rewarding.
إِنَّ النَّفْسَ لأَمَّارَةٌ بِالسُّوءِ إِلَّا مَا رَحِمَ رَبِّي
It means, “man’s very soul incites him to evil, unless my Lord bestows His mercy”. [Surah Yousuf, 12:53]. So, what are the don’ts?
Can I mention music?
The “hard truth” today, is to say the right thing about bad things, or bad habits. These bad things are topped by music, unfortunately. I can imagine you, reading this line with shock and surprize. No wonder; this is ‘Akhir zaman’ (end of time).
Let’s answer these two questions:
- Where will you find music effortlessly?
- Where is the expected place to find Al-Qur’an easily?
Those two questions were general. Now, I have a specific question for you:
- What do you want your heart to be like? Do you want it to be like a music hub or Qur’an hub?
It’s important for us to notice that, music and Qur’an do not get along in one heart, unless either of them overcomes the other. It’s either music overcomes Al-Qur’an, or Al-Qur’an overcomes music. We all know that; Ma’siah (disobedience to Allah) is very tempting, and ‘ibadah is very challenging.
If you are in the train, and spot someone, who are deeply engaged and amused with their music (be it reggae, funky, rock, rap, hip-pop, k-pop, j-pop, or whatever), to the extent that, they shake themselves (dance). Would you blame them for that? Most likely, no. Simply because, it’s understood that, this is the side-effect of music.
Likewise, you shouldn’t blame someone, who refers to verses from Al-Qur’an, or listens to the Qur’an, and instead of jumping and dancing, they seem calm and humble.
It’s sad to see in the mosques today; when the imam gets stuck, nobody is able to remind him. Why? It’s because Qur’an is involved. But when a songster starts to sing, everyone continues the song for them; and sing along. SubhanAllah!
Not only that, some of who claim that, Al-Qur’an is difficult, and is not in their native language(s), do memorize songs from languages, which they don’t understand at all, i.e. Korean, Japanese and the American English.
I think, it’s about time that our Muslim organizations conduct “Don’t forget the Qur’an” stage, for our youth.
I didn’t say music if from Iblis. That’s supposed to be understood. What I’m rather saying is, Al-Qur’an is the word of Allah. Would you mix the word of Allah with something that is favourite to Iblis, in your heart?
Avoid hasad (jealousy)
In order for our Qur’an to be genuine, it’s very important that, we purify our hearts from jealousy. What is yours will never miss you, and what is not meant for you, won’t come to you. If you take it unlawfully, you may pay the price miserably. Self contentment is one of the powerful tools a Hafiz is given. So practise to achieve it. And don’t allow jealousy to invade and occupy your heart.
The only factor that prevented the Jews to accept Rasulullah and Islam, until today, is jealousy, and not ignorance. Jealousy is also one of the main factors that cause some Muslims; unfortunately, to turn to black magic (sihr), just to see the downfall of fellow Muslims. Astaghfirullah!
Slow suicide; smoking
You have tried 1000 times to quit smoking, but reverted back to smoking, because you couldn’t control your desire. However, anytime you are having an important meeting, you will make sure no bad smell (of cigarette) can be smelt on you. If that’s the case, we should not forget that whenever, at any time and any point we read the Qur’an, we are in the company (meeting with) of Allah s.w.t. Therefore, Allah is the best One we should ensure He does not smell, the smell of cigarette on us. Also, Allah is with us at all times, even when we are not reading Al-Qur’an.
The above describes those who show respect for themselves and the people they deal with, or the people around them.
What saddens is, when some [Muslim] smokers go against all values and etiquettes to smoke in the public transports, lifts, toilets and the worst, in the mosques premises.
If we are advised by Rasulullah s.a.w., not to consume onions and garlics (which are good for our health), before going to the mosque anytime, sooner after that, I don’t see why then, we can cover ourselves, with the smoke of cigarette (which is harmful to our health, and to the health of others, too) when reading Al-Qur’an, or entering the mosque?
Let’s put it this way; the Government of your country has banned cigarette and smoking nationwide, indoors and outdoors. Violation of this law will subject the offender to prosecution. Would you smoke, now onwards? Certainly, someone else would, but you are not the one. Are you?
Allah commands us no to kill ourselves, in Surah Al-Baqarah, 2:195:
وَلَا تُلْقُوا بِأَيْدِيكُمْ إِلَى التَّهْلُكَةِ ۛ وَأَحْسِنُوا ۛ إِنَّ اللَّـهَ يُحِبُّ الْمُحْسِنِينَ
It means, “…and do not throw [yourselves] with your [own] hands into destruction. And do good; indeed, Allah loves the doers of good.”
He also orders us; not to kill ourselves, in Surah Al-Nisaa, 4:29, as He is the Most Merciful to us:
وَلا تَقْتُلُوا أَنفُسَكُمْ، إِنَّ اللَّهَ كَانَ بِكُمْ رَحِيمًا
It means, “And do not kill yourselves [or one another]. Indeed, Allah is to you ever Merciful.
Ok.. It’s time for homework; Family Bonding!
Now that you know the “how to”, let’s seize the opportunity to create family bonding. To make it clear, this is the time for homework.. o.O!
- Let’s assume that you are the only one in your family adopting this method. Seek the help of your family members, and their understanding, beforehand.
- On either of the 2 days of your muraja’ah (revision) days, bring them together, each of them holding their Qur’an, and you read your revision, by heart. When you get stuck, one person will signal to you, that you have made a mistake. Try to correct them on your own. After the 3rd failure attempt, someone can then, remind you.
- If there are two of you, in your family, who have adopted this, then, your time spent can be more exciting with your family, following the above method. But when one of you is reading, it will be good for the other to follow with his Qur’an closed, although, all the rest of the family members have their Qur’an open.
- That’s all… for today
Until we meet again, in Part 3 and the final part of “How to Memorize Al-Qur’an in 10 years, Regardless of Age and Profession?”, I leave you, in the Guaranteed Protection of Allah, and I say “Ameen” to your dua’s.
Allah knows best.
Allahu Hafiz J
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