During one of his seminar about the Sciences of the Qur'an, sh. Yasir Qadhi shared with us some practical steps that helped him memorize the Qur'an during his teenage years.
Realize it's a spiritual AND physical project. It's a miracle and blessing from Allāh subḥānahu wa ta'āla that you're able to absorb the Qur'an. If you want to take advantage of this blessing, you should be in a position to receive it and therefore strive physically to achieve it and strive spiritually to get the maximum benefit.
1. Sincerity. The first matter you have to pay attention to is your intention (if you intend good you will get good). Make sure that the intention you are making is only for the sake of Allāh SWT, to seek His Pleasure so that inshā'Allāh, with His Mercy, we will be rewarded in the Aakhirah. It is not to show off in front of others that you have memorized a lot. Sincerity is not a one time factor rather it's a continual battle that you always have to renew.
2. Consistency . The more frequently you memorize, the easier it becomes. It is very essential to be consistent, and not to skip even one day. There is no Week-end in worship. The bare minimum that one should memorize is at least 3 lines, 5 is more ideal. If you are consistent, inshā'Allāh, you will be able to be huffadh in 5-6 years
3. Timing. The first thing you should do in the day is memorize – even do so before your breakfast, because this is your spiritual breakfast. The best time to memorize is right after Fajr. . (sh. Yasir used to take one hour to memorize a page in the beginning, and eventually came down to 15-20 minutes)
4. Atmosphere. Have a secluded place to go to and memorize in a place that is quiet. You just can't memorize properly with distractions, so turn off all your devices (like cell phones)
5. Familiarity: start at the same time, at the same place and use the same mushaf every day. You need to have your own copy of the Mushaf (the Madani Mushaf is highly recommended), it will later become so dear to you.
6. No Magic trick: repeat, repeat, repeat, over and over again. It is just repetitive recitation and/or listening that will help to memorize.
7. Memorize with the meaning: read the translation before you start and try to match the Arabic words with their meanings
8. Surround yourself with recitation: listen to the Qur'an. Before you start memorize, listen to what you are about to memorize. Sh. Husary is highly recommended (see here the best resources to help you memorize)
9. Find a recitation buddy: get a friend, a family member or someone you know who will listen to your recitation every day. Ideally, get someone who is also memorizing to create a peer pressure system.
10. Recite daily in your ṣalāh what you have memorized. If you forget one portion, you will immediately rush towards the Qur'an and correct your mistake and you will never do this mistake again.
11. Triple daily dose:
a) New memorization at your assigned time of the day
b) Revision of the previous 7 days, just before you start the new memorization: This is because the fastest thing you forget is the new memorization. And doing so, will also build the connector between the old ones and the new portion you are going to memorize. Plus, it will be a good warm up for the brain when you recall from your memory and recite, before you go into the real exercise of doing the new memorization.
c) At a later/another time of the day, revise those before the recent 7 days. The bare minimum should be 4-5 pages.
12. Do not jump around. Be consistent. Don't try to go to another surah if you find it difficult and stick to the order. That way, you will have the satisfaction of having completed a juz rather than leaving some portions here and there.
13. The three chunks. Start from the back. Shorter surahs will bring you a big boost. You should divide the memorization of the Qur'an in three parts:
a) Juz 28, 29, 30 or just Juz 29, 30
b) Surah Al-Kahf till Juz 28
c) Surah Al-Baqara to Surah Al-Kahf
(JazakAllah Kheir to those who shared their notes from the class)