Roadmap for the Student of Qur’an | Part 3: Practical techniques for Hifdh

Basmalah

Continued from Part 2 which dealt with understanding how your hifdh works. Built on that, this post will now deal with practical techniques for hifdh such as correct review In shaa Allaah.

[Click here for other parts: Part 1, Part 2, Part 4]

There are 4 ‘tools’ that are used for hifdh:

  1. Looking with the eyes
  2. Pronouncing with the mouth
  3. Listening with the ears
  4. Writing down

A combination of at least the first and second or the second and third is mandatory, but all three are best, with the fourth being an additional but very helpful tool too.

The 5 practical pillars of hifdh are:

  1. The Will and Intention to Memorise
  2. Du’aa
  3. Concentration/Focus
  4. Repetition
  5. Correct Review

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There are many methods for hifdh that have been successfully used, but as we mentioned before, one of the most common mistakes students make when memorising, is not reviewing in the right time frame. We will now deal with these “time frames” or “review patterns” according to what has been discovered scientifically, and also according to the practical experience of huffaadh (those who have memorised the Qur’an).

But firstly, one needs to understand the 3 parts to hifdh that any haafidh will be dealing with. These are as follows:

  1. New Memorisation Portion (NMP): the regular new portion a student will memorise daily (ex 1/2 pg for beginner, 1-2 pgs for intermediate, 2-3 pgs for advanced haafidh and/or depending on time available).
  2. Recently Memorised Portion (RMP): any memorised portion that is more than one day old and up to 20 days old.
  3. General Rounds of Review (GRR): general rounds of review of everything memorised in total i.e. new, recent and old memorisation.

3-Part Review Recipes:

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Review Recipe Part 1 (New Memorisation Portion)

Here are the review time frames listed before we go into detail; they are done for each New Memorisation Portion (NMP) of Qur’an which is done in one sitting, and start from as soon as you have finished memorising that portion:

  1. 10 minutes later
  2. 1 hour later
  3. before sleeping
  4. first thing in the morning
  5. 24 hours later (and this will continue for every 24 hours after that, for a fixed number of days depending on the overall amount one is memorising per day; See below under Review Recipe Part 2)

Review Recipe Part 2 (Recently Memorised Portion)

What comes under Recently Memorised Portion (RMP) is anything older than a day up to 10 days old. To calculate exactly how much, depends on the amount of New Memorisation Portion (NMP) one is doing daily. If one is doing 1/2 page of new memorisation daily, then they will in addition to this, review daily the last 5 pages they have memorised and these will be what we term Recently Memorised Portion. If one is doing 1 page daily of new, then they will also review daily the last 10 pages they have memorised. If one is doing 2-3 pages daily, then they will review the last 20 pages they have memorised. The faster you move ahead with new memorisation, the more you would review daily too, of Recently Memorised Portion. Here is a summary:

  1. 1/2 page of NMP = last 5 pages for RMP
  2. 1 page of NMP = last 10 pages fro RMP
  3. 2-3 pages of NMP = last 20 pages of RMP

For example, Ahmad memorises page 1 of the Qur’an in one sitting. To follow the above Recipes for Review he would then take a break, and 10 minutes later he would review page 1 off by heart. Then an hour from then he would review it again off by heart. Then again before sleeping, and then in the morning. From here onwards he would review page 1 every 24 hours minimum for 10 days (this now comes under Review Recipe for Recently Memorised Portion). So the next day he would memorise page 2, and follow the same Recipe for Review for page 2 (1o min later, 1 hour later, before sleeping etc). In addition to page 2, he would also review page 1 once minimum. Then the next day he would memorise page 3 following the Recipe, and in addition to this he would also review pages 1 and 2 once each minimum. And so on.

Review Recipe Part 3 (General Rounds of Review)

General Rounds of Review (GRR) of total memorisation (new, recent and old) must be completed at a minimum of every 2 weeks. To calculate what comes under this category, add together everything you have memorised (no. of pages) whether new, recent or old, and divide by 14 days. This will give you the minimum amount you need to review every day to complete a General Round every 2 weeks. Naturally the more you accumulate of memorisation, the more the GRR daily amount will increase.

So for example, if Ahmad has memorised in total 3 Juz’, this is 60 pages. 60/14 = 4.2 which is just over 4 pages. So along with the amount Ahmed is memorising daily as NMP, and along with what he is reviewing daily as RMP, he will also review 4 1/2 pages as part of the GRR. So every day there are 3 parts to his routine.

In more detail, if Ahmad’s NMP is 1 page, and the total amount of hifdh he has done so far is 3 juz’, then his daily routine will look something like this:

  • He will always start with his NMP which is 1 page (time required: about 30 minutes to an hour)
  • Then he will move onto his RMP which will be the last 10 pages from his NMP (time required: about 30 minutes)
  • Lastly, he will move onto his GRR which is 4 1/2 pages (time required: about 10-15 minutes)
  • In total he will spend about 1.5 hours, and he does not have to do all three in one sitting

The GRR amounts given are the minimum, but the student should keep building up their GRR gradually. Once they finish memorising the whole Qur’an, they should ideally build up a review of 5 juz’ daily. This may seem like a huge amount, but for the haafidh who has been keeping up with the review recipes, it is very light and easy. Each juz’ would only take between 15- 20 minutes. Incorporating review into one’s daily Salaah, especially during the night prayers, is an excellent maintainance method, and indeed one of the reasons we want to memorise the Qur’an in the first place.

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Note…

It is important to note that every individual’s capacity for NMP differs and is dependent on many fluctuating factors such as whether one is a complete beginner in memorisation, or the amount they have done already, or unfamiliar words. By capacity for NMP we mean the amount you can memorise in one sitting without a break. It will take some practice, trial and error, to get an idea of what your capacity is, to learn how to memorise, so bear this in mind and be patient.

In this post we have mainly dealt with correct review techniques as that is usually the most common problem, but stay tuned for more tips and tricks and a break-down of how to actually do your NMP, coming up in our next post In shaa Allaah… Part 4  [Click here for other parts: Part 1, Part 2]

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