Guidelines for Hifz students
Verses from the Qur’an
Verily We revealed the reminder (Qur’an) and We are its guardian. (Al Hijr, ayah no.9)
Alif Lam Meem. This is the book whereof there is no doubt, a guidance unto those who ward off evil. (Al Baqarah, ayah no.1&2)
Falsehood cannot come to it from before nor from behind it. (It is) a revelation from the All-Wise, the owner of All-Praise. (Fussilat, ayah no. 42)
If we had caused this Qur’an to descend upon a mountain, you would have seen it humbled, bent asunder by the fear of Allah. Such similitudes we give mankind so that he may ponder. (Al Hashr, ayah no. 21)
Traditions of the Holy Prophet sallallahu alaihi wasallam
a. Uthman Radiallahu anhu narrates that Rasulullah Sallallahu alaihi wasallam said: “The best amongst you is he who learns the Qur’an and teaches it.” (Bukhari)
b. Abu Saeed Khudri Radiallahu anhu narrates that the prophet of Allah Sallallahu alaihi wasallam said: “Allah says: “If anybody finds no time for my remembrance and for begging favours of Me, because he remains busy with the Holy Qur’an, I shall give him more than what I give all those who beg favours of Me”. The superiority of the word of Allah over all other words is like the superiority of Allah over the entire creation. (Tirmizi)
c. Aisha Radiallahu anha narrates that the prophet of Allah Sallallahu alaihi wasallam once said: “One who is well versed in the Qur’an will be in the company of those angels who are scribes, noble and righteous, and one who falters in reading the Qur’an, and has to exert hard for learning, gets double the reward.” (Bukhari)
d. Abdullah ibn Umar Radiallahu anhu reports that the prophet of Allah Sallallahu alaihi wasallam said: “On the day of judgement, it will be said to the man devoted to the Qur’an, ‘Go on reciting the Qur’an and continue ascending the storeys of paradise and recite in the slow manner you had been reciting in the worldly life. Your final abode will be where you reach at the time you recite the last ayah (verse).” (Ahmed, Tirmizi ,Abu Dawood)
e. Umar ibn Khattab Radiallahu anhu reported that the prophet of Allah Sallallahu alaihi wasallam said: “Undoubtedly through this book Allah exalts some people and abases others.” (Muslim)
f. Ibn Masood Radiallahu anhu reported that the prophet of Allah Sallallahu alaihi wasallam said: “If anyone recites a letter from the Qur’an, he will be credited with one virtue, and a virtue gets a ten-fold reward. I do not say that Alif Lam Mîm is one letter, but Alif is one letter, Lam is one letter and Meem is one letter.” (Tirmizi)
g. Ibn Abbas Radiallahu anhu reported that the prophet of Allah Sallallahu alaihi wasallam said: “He who has nothing of the Holy Qur’an in his heart is like a ruined house.” (Tirmizi)
h. Abu Lubabah Bashir bin Abdul Mundhar Radiallahu anhu reported that the prophet of Allah Sallallahu alaihi wasallam said: “He who does not recite the Qur’an in a melodious voice is not of us.” (Abû Dawûd)
i. Abu Musa Al Ashari Radiallahu anhu reported that the prophet of Allah Sallallahu alaihi wasallam said: “Retain and safeguard the Holy Qur’an in your memory. By the one in whose hands is my life, it (the Qur’an) slips more quicker away from one than a camel from its fetters.” (Bukhari & Muslim)
Narrations regarding our Pious Predeccessors
* Uthman Radiallahu anhu used to fast during the day and spend the whole night in salah apart from getting a little sleep during the first third of the night. It is well known that he used to recite the entire Qur’an in one rakat at a time.
* Qatadah Radiallahu anhu used to recite the whole Qur’an every three nights in the month of Ramadhan but during the last ten nights, he used to finish the whole Qur’an every night.
* Imam Shafi’i Rahmatullah alaihi used to recite the Qur’an about 60 times during the days and nights of Ramadhan.
The Glorious Qur’an
The book which fills every nook
To serve as a suit
For every era of soup
For a group to scoop
From its clear brook
Such a root
Its melody better than a flute
Keeping everyone glued
Its authenticity is such one cannot dispute
Its meaning is food
For a hungry man’s mood.
The Qur’an and its beautiful teachings has flooded the world filling every nook (corner).
It serves as a suit for every era of soup (for every era when man is faced with difficulty, his solutions lie in the Qur’an and Sunnah).
For a group of pious Ulama to scoop (to extract) solutions to the peoples problems from the Qur’an’s teachings which is clearer than a brook (stream).
Such a root, the Qur’an is original and free from any errors.
Its melody is better than a flute, keeping everyone glued, the Qur’an with its beautiful words and meanings, its melodious tune enraptures every true believer.
Its authenticity one can never dispute, its food for a hungry man’s mood, it is guidance for those who seek the truth.
There are three important factors to take into consideration when memorising the Qur’an.
1. The new lesson (also known as sabaq or dars)
2. The previous day’s lesson.
3. Revision (also known as Muraja’ah, dor)
Questions and Answers
Q – What is the best time to memorise the new lesson?
A – The best time to learn the new lesson is when one’s mind is quite relaxed. Generally this is at the time of Fajr (the morning prayer) and after the Magrib salah (the prayer after sunset).
Q – What is the best method to use in memorising one’s new lesson?
A – One of the most effective methods to use in memorising the new lesson is as follows: Before commencing the actual procedure of memorisation, read the new lesson at least three or four times. This will prepare the student mentally for the lesson, as well as give him the crux of the lesson. Secondly, memorise verse by verse (ayah after ayah). Do not precede to the next verse if you have not memorised the previous one properly. Be very observant when memorising the lesson.
Q – How should one memorise a verse which is extremely long eg. Verse 282 of Surah Al-Imran (Chapter on the family of Imran)?
A – If the verse is very long, it is most advisable to memorise it in portions, eg. By memorising small portions of the verse. Once the entire verse has been memorised, one would be capable of reciting it fluently.
Q – Is it advisable for students to memorise their lessons by listening to cassettes?
A – It is advisable for students to listen to their new lesson on cassette then to begin memorising it. However, a more approved method is where the ustadh (teacher) himself recites the new lesson to the student and thereafter the student memorises his lesson.
Q – Are there any special benefits in listening to cassettes by the student?
A – From the many special benefits here are a few:
* Listening to these cassettes creates a greater urge and fervour to learn eg. A student loves to listen to the recital of the Qur’an by Sheikh Abdul Rahman As-Sudais, now by him listening to the recitation, this enhances the desire of learning.
* The student gets more familiar with the method of recital.
* The student tends to remember his lesson for a longer period of time.
NB. The effort of the student is still of utmost importance.
Q – Many students keep mentioning that certain chapters of the Qur’an are extremely difficult to memorise eg. Surah As Saffat. Please advise us.
A – These are merely statements of ignorance. Psychology proves when a person retains such statements and takes them to heart, one is bound to find the lesson difficult to memorise. The clarity of mind plays an extremely important role when memorising a lesson.
Q – Can you enlighten us on the importance of reciting one’s lesson to the teacher before commencing the actual process of memorisation?
A – The importance of reciting the new lesson by the teacher cannot be over emphasized. One is definitely saved from many errors which could arise because of negligence. The student is made aware of any weakness regarding the application of the laws of tajweed etc.
Q – How much of the new lesson should a student learn?
A – This depends mainly on the student himself. The amount varies from 1/3 of a page to 2 pages and more.
NB. Quality is of utmost importance, not quantity.
Thus far most of the questions dealt with the ‘new lesson’ (sabaq). Hereunder follow questions pertaining to the ‘previous day’s lessons’, revision (dor, Muraj’ah) as well as miscellaneous advice and noteworthy points.
Q – Students find great difficulty in remembering their previous day’s lesson. What is the main cause for this?
A – The main cause for students forgetting their previous day’s lesson is negligence.
Hereunder follow some methods which will assist the students. As soon as the student recites his new lesson to the teacher from memory, he must revise the very same lesson instantly at least 4 to 5 times. The very same method should be adopted before one learns one’s revision (i.e. the repetition of the new lesson).
Q – Students tend to make a lot of mistakes when reciting their revision. What is the cause of this?
A – Mistakes are unavoidable. It must be remembered that memorising the Qur’an takes different stages eg. First the student has to memorise the new lesson, revise it etc. It is like a building. The foundation has to be firm. Then only is it possible for the building to stand. Similarly, once the student makes the effort to learn his new lesson (sabaq) correctly, his revision becomes easier.
To decrease the rate of mistakes, the teacher can set a target for the student eg. the student is not permitted to make more than 3 or 4 mistakes in a surah (chapter).
Q – What is the recommended amount of revision that a student should recite daily?
A – The Qur’an consists of 30 parts, it would be highly recommended that every student recites at least one part every day.
Q – How does a student remember those texts/ places in the Qur’an which are very often repeated? (Mutashabihat)
A – One can only remember these places after excessive learning.
Q – Is it necessary for a student to learn from one print of the Qur’an or can he learn from different prints of the Qur’an?
A – It is very important that a student learns from one print of the Qur’an, because the student generally visualises his lessons. Now if he starts learning from different prints, very soon he is going to be confused.
NB. This also leads to a lot of strain on the student’s mind.
Q – Does one learn better by reciting audibly or inaudibily?
A – This depends mainly on the student. Some students prefer to learn aloud whereas others prefer to learn in a low voice. The advantage of reciting aloud is that one tends to read more clearly and will detect any mistake one makes easily.
Arshad Cassim : Dar-al-Qur’an, South Africa
Printed and published by: Madrasah Arabia Islamia, Azaadville, South Africa