1. Sincere Intention
It is very important for a person who wishes to memorise the Holy Qur’an to get his intention right. This means that a person should aim to please Allah Almighty by learning the Holy Qur’an by heart. Having any other intention, such as being called a Hafiz, or getting a job in teaching the Holy Qur’an etc, will bring no reward whatsoever.
2. Master Correct Reading and Recitation
Before embarking on the journey to become a Hafiz (a person who has memorised the whole Qur’an), a person must learn how to read the Holy Qur’an properly. This can be achieved only by learning directly from a good reciter and a teacher of the Holy Qur’an. A person must master Tajweed rules before trying to become a Hafiz.
This has been the tradition of Muslims from the golden century of the Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) till today. The companions learned to recite the Holy Qur’an directly from the Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa sallam), even though they were Arabs and the Holy Qur’an is Arabic.
3. Set a Daily Target
It is of utmost importance for a Hifz student to set a daily target, e.g. 1 page, ½ page, 2 pages etc. When starting to learn, the student should repeat the words loudly, clearly and in a melodious way. It is also a very technique to split a long Aayah (verse) into different parts and learn each part separately and join them together later. The student should be mindful of applying Tajweed rules when repeating and reciting and should not haste when learning. Reciting loudly and melodiously will help a person identify his own mistakes when memorising.
4. Do not Start the New Target without Mastering the Previous Target
A Hifz student should not rush to start the next target, without properly learning the previous target. One effective method is to recite every now and then after learning the target. Reciting during the times before and after Salah, in Nafl Salah, and on the way to and from the masjid etc. – all these steps should help the student master the target.
If, for some reason, the student is unable to learn the daily target properly, he should not proceed to the next day’s target immediately, without first mastering the previous day’s target.
5. Maintain reciting from the Same Qur’anic Script
A very, very useful tip that a Hifz student should follow is to recite from the same Qur’anic script regularly. For example, if a student is learning from a 15-line Indian script, he should try to recite from this script regularly. The reason is that when a person adheres to the same script, he will be able to visualise the locations of various words, verses etc. within a page. This, undoubtedly, will strengthen his Hifz.
6. Understanding Makes it Easier to Memorise
Sometimes understanding the meaning of a verse makes memorisation easier. For students of non-Arab background, it may sound challenging. But having a reliable translation or Tafseer (interpretation) of the Holy Qur’an should come into assistance in this regard. However, a word of warning. The student should not solely rely on understanding the meaning, as it often may create more confusion in one’s memorisation. The best way still remains the method of reciting repeatedly.
7. Don’t Begin a New Surah or Juz without Mastering the Previous One
As soon as a student completes memorisation of one Surah or Juz, he should not begin the new one, without first mastering the previous one. By mastering, it is meant that the student should be able to recite it with the same fluency as he recites Surah Fatihah.
8. Regularly Reciting to Somebody else
Having memorised any portion of the Holy Qur’an, it is important to recite it to somebody else; especially, someone who is also a Hafiz. This will help identify one’s own mistakes and rectify them. A student of Hifz must never rely solely on his own judgement. If a Hafiz is not available, the student should at least recite to somebody who can recite the Holy Qur’an properly by looking.
9. Regular Revision of the Memorised Portions
The Holy Qur’an stays in a person’s memory as long as the person keeps revising regularly. Like any other type of knowledge, it is very easy to forget if one does not endeavour to retain one’s memorised portions from the Holy Qur’an. The Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) said: "Keep on reciting the Qur'an; because, by Him in Whose Hand my life is, the Qur'an runs away (is forgotten) faster than camels from their tying ropes."[Bukhari]
10. Paying Extra Attention to Similar Verses (Mutashaabihaat)
Out of over 6,000 verses in the Holy Qur’an, around 2,000 verses are similar to each other. Some of them are fully identical and are repeated in various places in the Holy Qur’an. Others have the first half/third/quarter similar or vice versa. Sometimes two words from one verse, which are similar in another verse, may take a student from one end of the Holy Qur’an to the other.
Therefore, it is very important for a student of Hifz to pay extra attention to similar verses; preferably, having a separate notebook to write them down and revising them regularly.
Imam & Khateeb, Masjid Taqwa
Kyrwicks Lane, Birmingham
28th Sha’ban 1441
المختصر المفيد عن كتاب العزيز المجيد (ثقافة قرآنية)، سعاد بنت إسماعيل، دار ابن حزم