1. Niyah for Allaah: This is making a sincere intention of memorizing the Qur'an to only gain the pleasure of Allaah 'Azza wa Jall. If this is not your intention, then your whole plan of memorizing fails and there will be no barakah in your memorizing.
2. Start practicing Islam to the best of your ability: It is important to keep an Islamic habit and trying to abstain from sinning. Be in the company of good people who will encourage you to do good practices rather than those who take you away from the path of Allaah 'Azza wa Jall.
Imaam Shafi'ee once complained to his teacher about poor memory, and this was obviously a great concern for the great Imaam of one of the four school of thoughts. Unlike us, we usually complain about the Toronto Raptors or Toronto Maple Leafs losing (I am a Torontonian, so I am using them as an example). The teacher of Imaam Shafi'ee advised him to abstain from sin. So this is indeed a great advice for us to follow as well, since abstaining from sin will eventually make us focus more on the 'ibaadah (worship) rather than the dunyaa (worldy matters).
3. Learning tajweed from someone who has Ijaaza: This is to learn from a teacher who knows how to pronounce the words and vowels correctly in order to recite the Qur'an in its correct manners.
4. Make a habit to memorize every day: Do bit by bit every day, even if it is little as memorize 5 small ayahs from the Qur'an. Do your best to make this a consistent effort, so that you will not fall back on your goals. If you memorize even a small amount day by day, you will be one step closer to the end of bridge insha'allah.
5. Memorize at the early stage of the day: I know this is difficult for a lot of us, especially for me. I must admit, I love snuggling with my nice comfy pillow, however for those who are really determined in memorizing the Book of Allaah, it is best to memorize right after Fajr/ early in the morning when the mind is fresh and when the beautiful Sun is bright.
6. Recite to somebody on consistent basis: Have a friend, family member or a teacher who you can recite to consistently. This is an amazing tip when it comes to reviewing, because you will have someone catch the small mistakes you wont notice while you are reciting the surah from memory.
7. Compete!!: It is best to have a buddy that you can compete with. At times you may feel unmotivated. This is true for a lot of students and due to this reason you may see people actually quitting on their goal. Thats why a little competition wont hurt. Try finding a friend who you know wants to memorize the Qur'an and knows nearly the same amount as you. Both of you can race towards attaining good deeds and keep each other motivated by sharing how much each of you have memorized at the end of the day and how much you reviewed. And Allah says: So hasten towards all that is good. ( 2:148 )
8. Divide relationship of Qur'an into four categories:
New memorization: No matter what, memorize after Fajr, bright and early since this is the best time to do it.
Linking last 7 days memorization: What this means is, that everything you learned in the last seven days, revise it completely. This is essential since it is easy to forget your past lessons if you don't consistently review, and this is believed to be a good methodology for memorizing the Qur'an and keeping up to date with your revision.
GO OVER OLD STUFF: I capitalize this, because this is an important advice to myself. Sometimes you will get lazy to review stuff that you learned so long ago. It is easy to forget your old stuff, and this is really the hardest part when it comes to memorizing the Qur'an. Ask yourself, what is the point of memorizing, when you will forget what you learned in the past. Therefore, try to revise your old juz, or ayaat you memorized from before on a consistent basis during any time of the day, and if you can, do your best to keep it to a minimum of 1/4 – 1/2 Juz insha'allah.
Read what you will memorizing the next day before you go to sleep: I am currently a hifdh student, and this something I added. Personally, I find it easier to memorize when you read what you are going to be memorizing the next day, the night before. I just think it helps because you will have some words and phrases stuck in your mind which helps you to learn the lesson faster.
9. Brain Food and Health: "A daily run, a diet rich in almonds and other healthful foods and a stimulating environment — all may keep aging brain cells in shape, according to research out Monday." (Kathleen Fackelmann, USA TODAY) To increase your memorization capacity, I guess its advisable to eat some almonds and be a little more active (Shoot, I actually have to get off the couch to memorize!!).
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