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How to Memorize the Qur’an and Not Forget it!

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Ramadan Mubarak to everyone! I hope your fasts and prayers are accepted by The Almighty. I feel there can’t be a better time for this post than in Ramadan. This is the method I used to memorize in Qur’an back in hifdh school. I used this technique to memorize the Qur’an, alhamdulillah. And until now, I feel it’s the reason I’ve been leading tarāwīḥ for close to five years now, alhamdulillah.

Memorizing Qur’an

It’s important to understand that this process is broken into 3 categories:

1) new lesson,

2) new memorization,

3) old memorization.


I’ll give a brief intro to each category and then show you how to properly memorize within each fold. It’s important to understand that memorizing Qur’an for the long-term is a process which takes close to a month. Once you memorize an ayah, it won’t be solid until you repeat it a number of times until it enters the deeper part of your brain.


New Lesson

This is where you will be memorizing from scratch. If you are serious about memorizing, you’ll need to follow these tips exactly as they are written below.

1)    Read the page 10 times while looking in from the top.

2)    Read the first ayah on the page 10 times while looking in.

3)    Now read the same verse 10 times without looking at it, until you can recite it without any mistakes.

4)    Begin connecting the ayahs. Recite the first and second ayah together without looking in and without mistakes.

5)    Keep connecting the ayaat on the page. Each time you connect a new ayah, go back to the top of the page and read till the ayah you’ve memorized.

6)    When you reach the last ayah, you should recite the whole page from the top without looking and without any mistakes.

7)    Recite the page from memory to someone. You should have zero mistakes.

8)    You can repeat the above steps as needed to have a perfect page memorized.


New Memorization

This is the amount of Qur’an which you’ve memorized in the last 30 days. Take this part seriously, it’ll determine if the ayaat you memorized will be solid for your life or not. (Retaining/reviewing Quran is a 25 day process. After those 25 days, reviewing once a month will suffice. This will lead to the ‘old memorization’ which we’ll speak about).

1)    Whatever you review in this section, you MUST recite it to someone who has either memorized the ayaat or is well-versed in reading the Qur’an.

2)    If you’ve memorized five pages in the last five days, you must recite them to yourself until you don’t make any errors. Then go recite it to a teacher.

3)    From this point on, whatever you memorize, it MUST be read daily. When I say read, it means reviewed to yourself without mistakes AND recited to someone else.

4)    If for some reason you didn’t review your ‘new memorization’ for the day, then don’t memorize new ayaat. You’re pouring water into a cup w/ a hole. Each day you don’t review the ‘new memorization,’ you’re making the hole in your cup bigger and bigger until you won’t remember anything! (If you did not review a page for seven days consecutively, go back to the ‘new lesson’ and re-memorize the page).

5)    I sound somewhat redundant here, because I can’t lay anymore importance on how much you need to review the ‘new memorization.’ It’ll make/break your hifdh.

6)    If you memorize a page a day, you’ll finish a juz in 20 days. After these twenty days, take five extra days to review the whole juz with someone proficient.

7)    The juz you’ve memorized will now be considered part of your ‘old memorization.’


Old Memorization

This is anything you’ve reviewed for at least twenty-five days consecutively. The amount you review depends on how much Qur’an you’ve memorized. Once you’ve memorized the Qur’an (which I pray is soon for all of you seeking to memorize it), new lessons and new memorizations will come to a halt, and you’ll be left with the old memorization. This will continue for the left of our lives till death does us part.

1)    Daily review
  1. Between 1-3 juz, you should review five pages daily.
  2. Between 4-7 juz you should review 10 pages (which equals half the juz) daily.
  3. Between 7-15 juz, you should review 20 pages (which equals one juz) daily.
  4. Between 15-20 juz, you should review 30 pages(which equals 1.5 juz) daily.
  5. Between 20-30 juz, you should review 60 pages (which equals 2 juz) daily.

2) Read the juz to yourself then recite to a teacher/hafidh.

This process will continue for the rest of your life.

3)    In the ‘old memorization,’ you should not get more than four mistakes, or four stutters in a juz.

A mistake classifies as reading something incorrectly and not being able to correct it. A stutter classifies reading something incorrectly, being sent back a few ayahs to correct it, and finally reading it correctly. At the same time, you should be make more than one mistake or one stutter for every five pages you read.

Concluding remarks

  • When I found a verse to be hard, I would look into the mushaf and write it somewhere. At times I would also listen to recitations to ease the memorization for me (I recommend Sh. Husary). Sometimes looking in and repeating it won’t make the verse stick, so do whatever it takes to memorize it!
  • If you falter somewhat in the old memorization, it’s ok. Just don’t miss two to three days at once. Reading Qur’an is a lifetime endeavor.
  • Reviewing is more important than memorizing.
  • Focus on perfecting your ‘new lesson’ and ‘new memorization.’
  • If you feel some part isn’t strong, give preference to reviewing that part rather than memorizing something new.
  • Read something EVERYDAY. Not only should we do this as students of hifdh, but it should be our habit as Muslims. I’m saying, don’t say “I’ve memorized an x amount of Qur’an today, so no need to read and reflect.” Take out some time to read and reflect on a few verses daily.


This is the optimal method which I found easy for myself to memorize. It was formulated in my fourteen-year-old mind as a Qur’an student who found it hard to memorize Allah’s book. I asked Allah’s help, and I feel this method was his answer.

I hope Allah facilitates the memorization of His book for you all, and blesses you with a positively unforgettable Ramadan where you achieve all the goals of your lives.


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Nihal Ahmad Khan is currently a student of Islamic Law and Theology at Nadwatul 'Ulama in Lucknow, India. He was born and raised in New Jersey and holds a bachelor's degree in Psychology and a minor in Business from Montclair State University and a diploma in Arabic from Bayyinah Institute's Dream Program. He began memorizing the Qur’an at Darul Uloom New York and finished at the age of seventeen at the Saut al-Furqan Academy in Teaneck, New Jersey. He went on to lead taraweeh every year since then. Along with his education, Nihal has worked in various capacities in the Muslim community as an assistant Imam, youth director, and a Muslim Chaplain at correctional facilities and social service organizations. Nihal is also an MA candidate in Islamic Studies from the Hartford Seminary in Connecticut.



  1. Avatar

    Bint Nuh

    July 30, 2012 at 6:10 AM

    JazakAllah khair for this practical guide. This is really helpful!

    Just one question.

    Regarding old memoristion, are you recommending that we recite from all those portions daily? Making it just over 5 juz to review daily?

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      July 30, 2012 at 7:22 AM


      To review old memorization, it depends on how much Quran you’ve memorized. Just follow the tips as I outlined them above.

      I hope that helps.

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        October 10, 2013 at 8:06 AM

        nehal bhai, i am doing hifz every day only one huor in the night, because i am working too, sir tell me how can i get memories fast

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        abdulhalim kheir hassan

        November 16, 2014 at 8:09 AM

        JAZAKALLAHU KHAYR YAA AKHIY .ISMII abdulhalim from zanzibar-tanzania. my email or facebook: abdelhaleem

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        February 21, 2015 at 5:22 AM

        salam brothers i am memorizing alquran and found this some links that tell of memorising it in a 2 month or 2 and half is this possible and if yes can that person be able to recall what he memorised without looking at the quran? ( for me memorising means you can be able to recall all of if necessairy at any moment ) thanks link 1 ( ) link 2 ( )

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        September 5, 2015 at 12:31 PM

        How shall I memaris the Quran in a week with no tajweed mistakes when I just beacame a muslim

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        September 25, 2015 at 3:33 PM

        i have done 24 juz and i want to finsh fast and i want to get all the juz that i have done proper strong and not weak, can you please give me some ideas jzk i am 14 years old from england

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        January 23, 2016 at 7:11 PM

        Thank you for the links, (especially the first one) brother abdoulrahman! It really helps!!!

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        August 30, 2016 at 4:30 PM


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      August 3, 2014 at 12:08 PM


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        Sister halima

        January 4, 2016 at 4:37 AM

        This information is actually very helpful and I am 13 and nearly finished the Quran and I never no ticed but I was using this way of hifd all along.

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      February 7, 2016 at 5:31 PM

      Brother, I think you misinterpreted. I think he was trying to say that you should revise according to how much you’ve already memorised e.g. If I’ve memorised 2 juz I would be in category 1-3, and so should do 5 pages of revision.
      Hope this helps Inshaallah!

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      May 18, 2016 at 9:54 AM

      It’s not about how you memorizing but your purpose to memorizing ?

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    July 30, 2012 at 6:41 AM

    Jazakallah Khair brother, for this detailed guide…May Allah preserve your hifdh and continue to help you…Ameen.

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    July 30, 2012 at 1:04 PM

    Salam Alaikum akhi I have a few very important questions for you! Since you’ve studied Arabic at the bayyinah institute, and have also completed hifz, I think you’re the best person to answer my questions, please help…

    I’m learning Arabic right now since I don’t have the option to go to Bayyinah institute and due to various reasons. I really want to memorise Qur’an now but I don’t feel like I’m religious enough to memorise Qur’an. Lately, I really want to, but I just think if I was a better Muslim, then it’d be better to memorise I don’t think a bad Muslim like me should be memorising.

    My question to you is – should a normal lay-person Muslim be memorising Qur’an? I pray salah and do the basics but I’m no scholar

    Should I be focussing on my Arabic language studies (which I’m doing to understand Qur’an – I have completed Medinah book 1 and I use 5/6 different books to study the language not just the Medinah series) or should I be focussing on hifz?

    My tajweed isn’t particularly good either. Should I work on my tajweed and fix that. I don’t have any teachers in my area to work on my tajweed – any tips for home tajweed studies?

    Once tajweed is at an acceptable level, then should I start hifz? I don’t want to do hifz with bad tajweed as I’ll have to rememorise everything with correct tajweed, and I would be making many mistakes which are not allowed in recitation.

    Or should I be doing all 3 simultaneously? Wouldn’t hifz with not very good tajweed, be a bad idea? What do you think?

    I will be continuing with my Arabic studies (I study an hour of Arabic a day – and br. Nouman said it’s very important to study Arabic and I want to be able to understand ayahs like he can) I also try to listen to Bayyinah’s tafseer, it helps me understand words in Qur’an too. I believe, if I really put my mind to it and disregarded socialisation etc, then I could study Arabic, study tajweed and still memorise Qur’an with your schedule, but only if I really, really wanted it.

    Will this above schedule that you’ve listed, work for a full-time student, or a full-time mum or someone who works full-time?

    I am willing to put the time in. I have been thinking about this for a while now.


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      Asiah K

      July 30, 2012 at 10:47 PM

      Until he replies I wanted to encourage u. Of course u as any type of Muslim can memorize. But I would say find a teacher and perfect ur tajweed first because tajweed is part of hifdh. Look online for tajweed teachers. Try wiziq or other online teaching sites and get a one one tutor. Or ask around in masjids or on forums. I am currently a full time mom doing hifdh with a teacher through Skype. I also study Arabic as well from home. Allah made his dern for everyone. Not just ppl who can attend Bayyinah. Assalaamu alaikum

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        July 31, 2012 at 7:13 AM

        Jazakallah, I’ll do all three simultaneously :) I’m a full time student, but if a full time mom can do it, I’m sure it can be done. Thanks again

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          Haroon Siyech

          August 28, 2012 at 6:33 PM

          Salam Sister

          I was once at a Dawah table where a person to whom we were giving Dawah was convinced that Islam was the truth. But he was hesitating from taking the Shahada because he felt “he wasn’t good enough”. Alhamdullilah after persisting for a a little while longer he gladly accepted and took the Shahada. Allah SWT guides whom he wishes and thus the person was able to overcome his feelings of inadequacy.

          The pre condition for memorising the Quran is not that you need to be at such and such level of imaan or taqwaa to do it – rather it is a means to raise your imaan or taqwaa and draw closer to Allah SWT. In reality the feeling of “I amen’t good enough” is one of Shaitan’s famous tricks and we need to be vigilant against it.

          As a person who is attempting to memorise the Quran myself I would say few important things that you need to begin with are

          1) Sincerity and Dua – Sincerity is strengthened by du’a and the knowledge of reward.. I’m sure you know the benefits of memorising the Quran but it wouldn’t hurt to go through them just to boost you. Keep making du’a to Allah SWT to make easy this task for you.

          2) A Plan – To begin with assess how much you can memorise per day, how much time can you spend, are you a owl or a lark, are there any times in the day where you are travelling etc when you can revise the Quran. Once you have this spend some time making up goals. There is a great article on goal setting by iPersonal which you can use.

          3) Keeping it Simple – Often we tend to get carried away by our enthusiasm. From personal experience I can say that it is best to start simple and add on to it rather than starting too many things at once. Start with one activity, gain some consistency and go on to the next. Remember its quality over quantity.

          4) Find a buddy – Whether its going to the gym or memorising the Quran its easier with a friend. If you don’t know any body who wants to memorise the Quran encourage some one in your family or friends to memorise. Ajr Jackpot!! Like others have mentioned find a teacher so that you are accountable to someone in terms of goals/timings etc.

          5) Get your hands on a translation – while there is no substitute to knowing classical arabic, reading a translation when you memorise definitely helps

          Finally getting past the inertia – The first few days/weeks are the hardest. Sincerity is measured by consistency. Be consistent in overcoming laziness and lack of motivation in the initial periods and Allah SWT will reward you with the ability to do more.

          The real intention in memorising the Quran is to develop a relation with the Book of Allah SWT. This relation is more blessed then any other relationship because we know from the Hadith Qudsi, the more we attempt to draw closer to Allah SWT, the more He SWT comes closer to us.

          InshaAllah I hope these tips help you and others who are trying to memorise the Quran.

          I pray that Allah SWT makes it easy for you and me to memorise the Quran. Ameen

          Wallahu Tha’ala A’lam.

      • Avatar


        August 4, 2016 at 9:20 PM

        By sheikh uthman for tajweed teachers online

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      July 31, 2012 at 4:14 AM


      I recommend memorizing the Quran no matter what one’s level of faith/knowledge may be at. If one’s faith is low, memorizing will be of benefit to help in that cause.

      For tajweed, check out As Sr. Asiah said, seek out a teacher. With the internet, there are so many options alhamdulillah.

      This schedule works for anyone in any position. Just follow the tips for however much Quran you’d like to memorize.

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      January 21, 2013 at 8:31 AM

      Assalamualaikum wrwb . I have recently started with online classes for Quranic Arabic and tajweed and trying to hifz also. These is the link for Tajweed classes i am refering to. But i do have an arabic teacher.
      I hope it helps. May Allah help everyone and accept their effort.

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      Malik Storm

      September 8, 2013 at 6:46 AM

      You can do tajweed lessons here: .

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      July 21, 2015 at 3:13 PM

      it would be great if you first complete Tajweed before memorizing Quran. I myself doing the same. i am taking online lectures and its almost my 3rd month now. i have MAshaAllah completed half of Juzz Amma Alhamdulillah. Tajweed really helps in memorizing the Quran because you can pronounce each letter with its correct pronunciation. May Allah SWT help us in learning his Book…

    • Avatar

      Sahil Khan

      May 15, 2016 at 9:22 PM

      Wa alaikum assalam nihal khan…Jazak Allahu Khairan

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    Asiah K

    July 30, 2012 at 10:41 PM

    Jazakum Allahu khair Nihal. I found this so beneficial. And it is exactly what I needed right now. May Allah preserve you always ameen. Salaams

    • Avatar


      July 31, 2012 at 4:15 AM

      Ws Asiah,

      Good to hear, alhamdulillah. Keep me in your prayers :).

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    Umm Hurairah

    August 6, 2012 at 8:45 AM

    Brother Nihal, jazakumullaahu khairan for this really helpful article. I have a question – if you start with the first ayah on the page, memorize, then go on to the second, then connect and so on, isn’t the top of the page stronger than the latter part (since you would keep going back to connect it)? How would one make the rest of the page strong? Would that be done during review? Or would you connect with these ayaat when commencing the following page?

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      August 7, 2012 at 7:24 AM


      Once you keep reviewing the page as new memorization, it’ll iron out iA

  7. Avatar


    August 7, 2012 at 2:15 PM

    Assalamu alaikum. Is there any way I can post this on my blog? I’ll give a link back to this page inshaAllah..

    • Avatar


      August 7, 2012 at 9:13 PM

      Go for it.

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      Sahil Khan

      May 15, 2016 at 9:23 PM

      Wa alaikumassalam

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    August 14, 2012 at 2:58 PM

    Let’s say if I memorized first ten Juz already. You said
    Between 1-3 juz, you should review five pages daily.

    Between 4-7 juz you should review 10 pages (which equals half the juz) daily.Between 7-15 juz, you should review 20 pages (which equals one juz) daily.

    So everyday I should review: 5 pages of 1st, 2nd and 3rd = 15 pages.
    10 pages of 4th, 5th, 6th & 7th = 40 pages ( 2 Juz)
    Then 8th, 9th, 10th = 3 Juz
    So my everyday review of old memorization = Approx 6 Juz which is quite difficult when you add 1 page of new lesson and recent memorization for me.

    Am I understanding it correctly ? or is it like :
    Day 1 – 1st 5 pages of Juz 1
    Day 2 – next 5 pages of Juz 1 and so on ?

    • Avatar


      January 6, 2014 at 11:05 PM

      I think what he means is, if you’ve memorized between 1 and 3 Juz, then you should review 5 pages daily (from the OLD memorization; remember: the new has to be recited EVERY DAY). It doesn’t mean 5 pages from each Juz, but 5 pages total.

      Once you’ve memorized 4 Juz, then start reviewing/reciting 10 pages daily (which is half a Juz). You continue the 10 page routine until you have 7 Juz.

      Then once you’ve memorized 7 Juz, you start reviewing/reciting 20 pages, or a whole Juz from the old memorization every day. You keep this up until you hit 15 Juz.

      And so on as the routine is detailed. Basically, it seems that what you’re trying to do is review/recite from the old memorization at least once every two weeks/15 days.

      • Avatar


        January 6, 2014 at 11:08 PM

        to clarify…what you’re trying to do is review/recite EVERYTHING from the old memorization at least once within a 2 week period, and this cycle repeats itself.

  9. Avatar

    Nadeem Ramjan

    August 16, 2012 at 12:47 PM

    JazakAllah khayr for sharing this brother man

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      September 10, 2012 at 2:14 AM

      anytime ma dude.

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    August 24, 2012 at 7:12 PM

    Jazaakum Allah Khairan! Do you have any specific advice for how to recover large portions (juz’ or more) that you’ve forgotten and want to rememorize? Should you treat it as old, new, etc? Thanks.

    • Avatar


      August 24, 2012 at 7:41 PM

      I think I should clarify. What i meant is, should I first re-memorize all that I had memorized previously, like a review (make sure I know it, etc.) AND THEN continue to what I never memorized, OR: should I just treat the old memorized part as new and do it continuously as though I had never memorized it? Thanks.

  11. Avatar


    August 25, 2012 at 12:53 AM

    LONG & SHORT AYAHSWhat if an ayah is more than one line long, would we memorize the whole ayah at once, or still memorize it line by line? And if an ayah is very short, e.g., three ayahs per line, would we do the whole line or just one ayah at a time? Thanks.

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    October 28, 2012 at 10:36 AM

    Assalamualakum. Jazakallah brother for the tips.
    I am not clear with your tips on new memorization and old memorization category.
    Can you explain the way you have done for new lesson category.
    When we are reviewing new memorization how many times we should review and in what way to ourselves as well as to the teacher.

    • Avatar

      Malik Azeez

      July 17, 2013 at 7:23 PM

      I would also like an explanation.

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      Sahil Khan

      May 15, 2016 at 9:28 PM

      Wa alaikumassalam

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    October 29, 2012 at 2:50 PM


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    Umm Hurairah

    November 20, 2012 at 2:03 PM

    When reviewing pages, do you review backwards? For example, if you have memorized the first 10 pages, do you review 9-1 or 1-9?

    Do you review by reading and repeating from memory or only from memory?

    Do you review at a separate time of day or at the same time as memorizing?

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    umm sakinah

    November 27, 2012 at 1:45 PM

    Jazakallahu khairan

    I wanted to know how do you review you new memorised pages, could you give details…

    Also reading juz a day etc. do you just read from mushaf?
    Could you give more details on both, how you review newly memorised pages and older memorised pages (25 days +)

    • Avatar

      Malik Azeez

      July 17, 2013 at 7:36 PM

      Could this be a sample lesson?
      Memorize a page.
      Read the 5 ( or whatever the daily review said) more pages along with it that I have learned in the last 30 days.
      Read 10 pages of old memorization.

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    December 11, 2012 at 8:57 PM

    Can you explain this please?
    1) Read the page 10 times while looking in from the top.

    2) Read the first āyah on the page 10 times while looking in.

    3) Now read the same verse 10 times without looking at it, until you can recite it without any mistakes.

    4) Begin connecting the ayahs. Recite the first and second āyah together without looking in and without mistakes.

    5) Keep connecting the ayaat on the page. Each time you connect a new āyah, go back to the top of the page and read till the āyah you’ve memorized.

    6) When you reach the last āyah, you should recite the whole page from the top without looking and without any mistakes.

    7) Recite the page from memory to someone. You should have zero mistakes.

    8) You can repeat the above steps as needed to have a perfect page memorized.

  17. Avatar

    Ahmed Abdullahi

    December 22, 2012 at 10:36 PM


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    Quran tutor

    January 2, 2013 at 12:29 AM

    Alhumdulillah, these were some good points outlined by our brother. I too advise the same to my students. The only difference is that i ask my students to revise at least half juz daily right from the start, along with the new lesson. Plus i also take one full day for revision of old lessons.

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    January 2, 2013 at 5:51 PM

    Alhumdulillahhank I found your lessons Thank you very much.

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    kool aid

    January 23, 2013 at 8:15 PM

    Thank u I used the same lesson and it did work. I am 14 years old i am trying to finish with the quran anytime soon. I am half way there. I am trying to finish it this year. Make duaa for me

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    January 29, 2013 at 3:25 AM

    All those who are interested read this passage ( that i found on the internet) thoroughly for it may become of benefit to you.

    So, this technique was taught by the Algerian Shaykh Zakariya al-Siddiqi who teaches at the Institute of Human Sciences in France is one of the foremost scholars of Quran. He memorised it by the age of 9 and dedicated his life to studying and teaching it, and he once told us the story of one of his friends. His friend was an engineering student, who was a ‘Fresher’ about to embark on a 5 year degree. Let’s call him Ahmed…

    Ahmed was an intelligent student who Followed one of the oft-forgotten Sunnah’s of Success…
    He woke up earlier than most people. In fact, he woke up on time to get to the Mosque to pray Fajr every day. When he got home from the mosque, instead of busying himself with the internet or watching television, he spent the first few minutes of each day memorising the Quran. Ahmed made a firm commitment to memorise the Quran, but instead of rushing in and trying to memorise one or two pages each day (like his friends who gave up before long), he confined himself to learning 5 lines per day. This worked out to be about 20-30 minutes per day for him. In order to overcome the initial unfamiliarity with the new verses, he spent the first few minutes each day actually writing out the 5 lines of that day onto a small sheet of paper. He spent the next few minutes reciting them over and over, and then attempted to memorise them.

    As Ahmed went about his day, he often found that he had a few chunks of time – several minutes each. During these times, such as waiting for the bus, or waiting for a teacher to turn up to a class, Ahmed would try to remember the 5 lines from that morning. To aid his memory, he kept the sheet that he wrote out that morning folded in his pocket, and would pull it out if he was struggling.

    To further support his memory, every prayer he prayed that day, he would recite the same 5 verses of Quran that he learned that morning. In each raka’, he would alternate between the 5 lines from that day, and the 5 lines he learned the day before.

    And remember… With the Uthmani script of the Quran, there are exactly 15 lines per page. So, by the end of the week, Ahmed had not only memorised 2 whole pages of the Quran, but he had written them out in full, too… a very blessed act if ever there was one.

    On the weekend, Ahmed would visit a local scholar of Quran recitation, and would revise with him the 2 pages he had just memorised, and have a go at the 2 pages he would be working on the following week. This way, he was certain to learn the Quran with accurate tajweed and beautiful recitation.

    There was one other secret to Ahmed’s success. Once a week, on a weekend evening (usually on a Friday night), Ahmed would wake up in the middle of the night, and pray Tahajjud. During his special Tahajjud prayer, Ahmed would recite the whole two pages he had learned that week, and consolidate them. At this point, the Shaykh mentioned that perhaps one of the reasons so few people manage to wake up and do this special prayer, which is highly recommended by the Quran and by our beloved Prophet (saw), is that we don’t have anything to recite. We have so little Quran memorised that there’s no fun or enjoyment in the challenge of waking up for Tahajjud.

    You can imagine Ahmed’s excitement and feeling of achievement and success 3 months after he started, when he had memorised the entire 1st Juz! It’s not just the feeling of success and empowerment that Quran gave him, but also the deep connection with Allah (SWT) he felt every single day.

    You can only imagine how proud he must have felt of himself, when upon graduation Ahmed not only received a 1st class degree in engineering (he was 3rd in his class), but he had also officially memorised the entire Quran. Shaykh Zakariya pointed out a final lesson from this blessed brother. The biggest achievement he made was not to memorise the Quran. The biggest achievement he made was to be deeply connected with the Quran every single day for 5 years. That connection with Allah (SWT) is what made Ahmed so special. That deep link with the Creator is what keeps life in perspective and is what helped Ahmed to keep on track with the little weekly targets he set for himself. One can only imagine what happened to Ahmed’s levels of personal fulfillment, iman and taqwa, as he went back every single day to develop this ritual of ihsan (spiritual excellence). Each day he woke up for Fajr and wrote out another 5 lines of Quran, his self-esteem and self-confidence soared…

    • Avatar

      Umm Mu'adh Al Amin

      June 6, 2013 at 4:38 PM

      SubhaanAllaah I was just remembering this story, may Allaah make it easy for us to memorise Qur’aan, In shaa Allaah Aameen!

    • Avatar

      February 6, 2014 at 12:05 PM

      JazakAllah for sharing such an encouraging story

  22. Pingback: Traveler With the Quran: Teaching | In the Pursuit of Writing

  23. Avatar

    Muhammed Irfan Khan

    February 15, 2013 at 8:55 AM

    Assalamualaikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuhu Everyone,
    May the zeal and passion of memorising/memorizing the Quran be instilled in all of us,Ameen.
    There is an Online Quran Memorisation Academy ( which facilitates Quran Memorisation classes Online. The Academy operates from Madinah and the teachers are certified and experienced in Quran Memorisation and Tajweed Rules of the Quran. The Academy caters to people of all age groups, you can also register for some demo classes to experience the classroom learning at the Academy.
    I hope this is beneficial for all of those who would want to memorise the Quran or learn to recite the Quran with Tajweed, Ameen.

  24. Avatar

    Sameer Sheikh Atique

    March 4, 2013 at 12:14 PM

    asalamualikum I do hifz in suffren ny and so far i know 4 and half juz and this was very helpful i did 25 lines in 1 hour!

    • Avatar


      March 6, 2013 at 5:52 PM

      Good to know Sameer :).

      I’m actually a DUNY student as well. I was there for almost 3 yrs. Nice to know you read MM! Take care!


  25. Avatar

    Online Quran Academy

    March 24, 2013 at 7:23 PM

    Assalamualaikum, Nice advise given here. Alhumdulillah, i am done with my 30th Juz and currently about to finish my 29th juz inshallah. Hopefully by coming month end. I am doing my hifz through an online academy run from the noble city of Al Madinah Al Munawwara, KSA (i put its url in homepage section of this comment). Service is good, atleast i am satisfied. My fellow partner in class is a 8 year old kid. Mashallah he is very fast and much ahead of me. I hope to memorize Quran before i reach 30 years of age!

    Make dua for me plz…

    • Avatar

      ahmed zahrani

      March 24, 2013 at 7:34 PM

      Mashallah..nice to know your progress. I want start my hifdh, but want either a tutor to come my house or have something like online. You said the link to quran academy service is in homepage…i did not get that part?…where did you say the link is?? Let me also check out the service inshallah. Barakallah feek.

      • Avatar


        July 8, 2013 at 7:58 AM

        @ahmed zahrani and all others
        salam . I recently started my hifz and am looking for an online hifz buddy to keep the spirit up… if anyone wants to team up please contact me at PS. i’ve already done 3 juzz alhamdulilAllah although i wasnt following the strict pattern above and therefore they’re not at the tip of my tongue. am therefore, currently revising them over n over again to solidify in my head and apply the above strict routine to the rest of the Quran inshAllah.
        knowing a hifz buddy online in the same boat will boost our spirits and inshAllah develop bit of health competition as well. this can lead to much more punctuality in this amazing task..

  26. Avatar

    Umm Mu'adh Al Amin

    June 6, 2013 at 4:41 PM

    Jazaak Allaahu kheyra ya Akhi, 7ayyak Allaah. Aameen.

  27. Avatar


    July 15, 2013 at 11:05 AM

    Asalamu alaikum….alhamdullila….by seeing ur idea….

    May Allah preserve u always Ameen…..

  28. Avatar


    July 18, 2013 at 11:01 PM

    i want to memorize quran in saudi arabia

  29. Avatar


    July 18, 2013 at 11:04 PM

    assalam u alikum
    help me in to memorize qquran in madina and i m from pakistan

  30. Avatar

    Omar Jibraeel

    November 4, 2013 at 6:29 PM

    Jazaak Allahu Khairan, brother for this tips.

  31. Pingback: Memorize the Quran. Start with these guidelines | Umm Empowered

  32. Avatar


    November 19, 2013 at 4:24 PM

    To clear this up, I am not Muslim, but Catholic. I have a great respect for all peoples–especially Muslims. (There are a lot of Christians that really dislike Muslims and think all of you are horrible, evil terrorists–I don’t think so) Anyway I was thinking on memorizing my Bible and to my understanding you Muslims like to have your Qur’an memorized–so I figured, why not do what they do to memorize the Bible? I find your ideas/instructions to be very helpful. Thank you, God Bless!

    • Avatar

      Nihal Khan

      November 20, 2013 at 1:16 AM

      Hi Katherine,

      I’m flattered by your kindness! Thank you so much! I pray that God guides you to His path. May your heart find tranquility in the truth.

  33. Avatar

    zoya saeed

    November 27, 2013 at 10:06 AM

    what should we do if we learn 4 paras of quran without qirat?give suggestion for that .please.

    • Avatar

      zoya saeed

      November 27, 2013 at 10:07 AM

      for improving it and continuing it.

  34. Avatar

    Umm Hamza

    December 2, 2013 at 9:02 PM

    JazakAllah for this site. Also do you know of, they teach Madinah book and Maaliki fiqh in prisons by phone call and correspondence. Also the Sheikh from provides free edication sometimes ot inmates (he has a prerecorded 2 year self paced arabic program), if you contact him o nthe site (his name is Mufti Yusuf Mullan). has all the free DVDs and downloadable copyright-free madinah books as well as the conversation books that go along with the book and MP3 files of each lesson read in Arabic with English right after.

    I found your article some months back and am making a board game for my son based on your advice. Please let me know if you would like a copy to add to your site htat might help other parents
    The first square says READ PAGE 10X.
    The next 10 squares say 1X, 2X,3X,4X etc. (i.e. he has a “game piece” and he moves it forward one square for each page he reads of Quran.). After it has a square that says 10 mins break w/ timer (i.e. he puts 10 mins on a timer and takes a break). The next square says Read Ayah 10 times and then the next 10 squares also have numbers, 1X, 2X, 3X, 4X etc all the way to 10. Then it says: Read Ayah (without looking) 10X followed by 10 numbered squares. He keeps moving his game piece/ token until he gets to the nect square that says: If you have mistakes return to=> Read Ayah 10X (without looking). If no mistakes, move to the next square.

    Next square says: read ayah with previous ayah 5X followed by 5 numbered squares. Then it says, if you have a mistake return to=>

    etc, etc. Would you be interested in receiving a PDF of this “game” for parents to help the =ir children with a visual of your advice?

    Also I recommend parents “play the game” also daily so their kids see it as not a chore imposed on them, btu a family endeavor. And also to play the game with teh child a few days in a row so that the child understands the way the board works (even if it seems simple to us!) make sure they find it super easy then go. Also protector sheets or lamination can make it more solid.

    My son is 8.5 but most days he only reads page 10X once in the day, the other times in the same day if he uses the board he will read the page a few times only then focus on the Ayaats he is learning (if it’s on same page that he read 10X earlier in the day).

    • Avatar

      Monir Sider

      December 16, 2013 at 3:32 AM

      Assalamu Alaikum Wa Ramatu Allah Wa Barakatuh I would like to get that game please send me the link you can goto our website and email me from there Insha Allah (God Willing) sounds very interesting and May Allah Subanaha Wa Tala Reward you for sharing this.

      Jazak Allah Khairn

    • Avatar

      Monir Sider

      December 16, 2013 at 3:34 AM

      here the website Masha Allah La Hawa Wa Quata Illa Billa (What Allah Will, Their Is No Power Or Might Except With Allah)

      Monir Sharif Sider

    • Avatar


      July 18, 2016 at 9:52 PM

      Assalamualaikum WaRahmatullahi WaBarakatuhu Umm Hamza!

      Subhan’Allah for your efforts, i don’t know if its too late to ask you for a copy of the board game to help my child in her memorization.

      JazakAllah Khair
      Umme-Hamzah :)

  35. Avatar

    Muntakim Abdal (@muntakimabdal)

    February 24, 2014 at 7:39 PM

    May Allah reward you brother, for there are so many out there who don’t know about the middle catergory. I pray Allah keeps the Quran in your heart and let it be a shining light for you here and in the Afterlife.

    • Avatar


      April 16, 2014 at 6:14 PM

      Ameen, Jazakallahu Khair!

  36. Avatar


    April 20, 2014 at 10:01 AM

    Assalamualaikum brother, I really want to memorize Quran. But I dont learn arabic, so it makes me difficult to memorize..what should I do, learn arabic first or just start right way with the hafazan? Right now I’m studying mbbs

  37. Avatar

    Memorize Quran Online

    May 25, 2014 at 9:06 AM

    Very Good and practical way of learning is explain by the Brother!
    Thanks. JazakaAllah.

  38. Avatar


    May 27, 2014 at 9:28 PM

    jazakallah brothe

  39. Pingback: How to memorize the Quran and not forget it! | IslamsTruePath

  40. Avatar


    July 3, 2014 at 7:08 PM

    Aasalaamu Alaikum,

    For those who have memorized more than 20 juz’, do you recommend 2 juz’ daily or 3? I just wanted to clarify because it says 60 pages, but then says that that’s equal to 2 juz’.

    Jazaak Allaahu khairan!

  41. Avatar


    August 24, 2014 at 6:41 PM

    iam 11 year old who wants to memorize the holy quran .iam in 17 juz but these methods its a bit hard for me

  42. Avatar


    August 24, 2014 at 6:57 PM

    inshallah i would like an answer pls

  43. Pingback: Memorize the Quran with these guidelines

  44. Avatar

    Riaz Syed

    November 24, 2014 at 10:07 AM

    First of all duaas for the brother who shared this sacred knowledge. May Allah keep your hifz strong, preserve you and use you further for His cause. This is one of the best ways of memorizing Quran and keeping the hifz life long. Nothing comes without hard work. My honest advice is that since Hifz is a great investment and a life term commitment, it is best when you acquire a decent Tajweed of Quran before you fully get into the Hifz.
    Because, doing hifz with an awkward tajweed would make it difficult to correct the tajweed/hifz again later.

  45. Avatar


    December 20, 2014 at 12:14 PM

    Selam brother, I have a quick question. So I memorize 2 pages a day for 25 days. So if I follow your steps my new lesson each day is the 2 pages and my new memorization is the 50 pages per month. My question is each day do I review all of the pages I memorized for those consecutive days or do I follow the old memorization and just review 5 or 10 or however many pages in accordance to number juz memorized?

    Thank you

  46. Avatar

    Qari Abdullah

    January 5, 2015 at 1:12 PM

    Thank you (Jazakallah Khair) it’s a great article.

  47. Pingback: How My Homeschooling Children (And Their Lazy Father) Maintain Their Qur’an Memorisation | Ukashah: A Monologue

  48. Avatar


    March 25, 2015 at 8:36 AM

    Assalamu aliakum. i am nizam i want to learn quran so please help me

  49. Avatar


    March 31, 2015 at 4:19 AM

    this is soo helpful..thankyou so much
    i’ve been memorizing since i was young but i kinda lost track after a while
    i finished memorizing 11 juz but forgot most of it ..Do you suggest i start memorizing from scratch or do i continue and try reviewing what i’ve finished???
    Thankyou in Advance, Jazakallah Khair

  50. Avatar

    Harris C

    April 29, 2015 at 7:26 PM

    How do you fix your old memorization? Can you please help me?

  51. Avatar


    June 7, 2015 at 6:53 PM

    jzk for the tips

  52. Pingback: Some Resources To Help With Hifz | Aweslimah

  53. Avatar


    July 27, 2015 at 7:03 PM

    thank you very much

  54. Pingback: Comment on How to Memorize the Qur’an and Not Forget it! by Asad | Souqhub | Blog

  55. Avatar


    October 26, 2015 at 9:48 AM

    thanks very much for sharing this awesomely informative piece of knowledge with us.

  56. Avatar


    January 8, 2016 at 1:10 PM

    Assalamualakum. Jazakallah brother for the tips you present. you helped me a lot

  57. Avatar

    Iisaa Alade Adeniyi

    January 10, 2016 at 5:20 PM

    January 10, 2016
    Jazakumullaahu khayran

  58. Avatar

    Abdul Azeez

    January 16, 2016 at 3:44 AM

    Assalam Alaikum Warahmthullahi vabarakathu Jazak Allah kairan for sharing very good information……

  59. Avatar


    January 20, 2016 at 6:07 AM

    wow, I am really glad reading it and thankful to you guys, i just shared it on my facebook, I know lots of people out struggling for it, this really helpful for all of us.

  60. Avatar


    January 23, 2016 at 7:09 PM

    Very helpful!! Jazak’allah for making this!

  61. Avatar

    Mohammad Ramzan Hossain

    February 11, 2016 at 12:47 AM

    Pls give me a site from where I can learn tajweed free through one to one communication by Skype

  62. Avatar


    March 5, 2016 at 5:15 AM

    Masha Allah this is very good information I think we all have to find that way that works for us and stick to it for life

  63. Avatar

    عيسى عبدالله لدا

    March 17, 2016 at 4:59 AM

    جزاك الله بالجنة، it’s really helpful, thanks a lot

  64. Avatar

    Saminu aminu al afasy

    April 6, 2016 at 6:53 PM

    Jazakamillahu khair

  65. Avatar

    Muhammad Abdi

    April 17, 2016 at 8:17 AM

    Allahu khairan , alhamdulillah i have already memorized the holy quran $ review it closely to 5 times besides that I hv also prciptted many taraaweeh BT the problem I hv now z that I don’t review it-so brthrs $ sztrs pray for me

  66. Avatar


    June 17, 2016 at 7:49 AM

    I also started menorising the Quran 10 days back
    I have a question

    If a person is doing Quran memorising course and if he dies before completing the course , what will the reward be for him?

  67. Avatar


    June 25, 2016 at 1:47 PM

    I have meomorized 5 juzzu’s according to thajweed. Due to my studies I couldn’t continue to go to madarasa. I would like to know people who complete 30 juzzu’s are only hafiz or people who are incomplete meomorizing 30 juzzu’s can be called hafiz ?

  68. Avatar


    June 28, 2016 at 2:55 AM

    I will follow with all the steps insha allah

  69. Avatar

    Asif Azziz

    July 15, 2016 at 12:05 PM

    Why bother it’s a travesty of a book. Not worth the paper it’s printed on ……apostated when I saw the light.

  70. Avatar

    isah faruk

    August 17, 2016 at 4:00 AM

    Assalamualaikum brothers and sisters… I also started memorizing not quite long…. I use to memorize 1page daily.. how long will it take me to memorize complete qur’an in sha Allah?????? Looking forward to see ur reply

    • Avatar


      September 28, 2016 at 3:08 PM

      Maybe 2 years brother try 2 pages and on weekends 3-4 pages to finsh in months

  71. Avatar


    August 19, 2016 at 9:38 AM

    I wish i had seen this earlier. They are amazing tips that will In Sha Allah help people learn and memorize the Quran easily. Thank you for posting these amazing tips.

  72. Avatar


    September 28, 2016 at 3:05 PM

    Asc im in somalia and want to learn the Quaran fluently and memorize it all without no mistakes please help me accomplish my dream

  73. Avatar

    firdous hashi

    October 25, 2016 at 12:06 PM

    jazakalu khaiyran akhi this helped me a lot

  74. Avatar


    October 31, 2016 at 8:50 AM

    Everybody also should read this article Memorizing the Quran in just one month

  75. Avatar


    November 27, 2016 at 2:43 PM

    Assalamu alaykum

    My blog I just started I am memorizing Quran so if you get a chance check it out and let me know what you think in sha Allah. I am trying to encourage every muslim whether born or revert to memorize Quraan. So that we can get blessing from it and be among ones that Allah loves most

    I am a sister who is memorizing Quraan. alhamdulillah

    I am promoting taking as much as much time as you need. I am not in to rushing to hurry to memorize because the goal we want is to retain what we have done and not forget. Because what is the point of memoizing if you will forget which forgetting Quraan with out a valid reason is a sin in islam .

    • Avatar


      November 27, 2016 at 2:47 PM

      Because in the time of the Companions of the Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him

      It too Abdullah Ibn Umar 14 years to memorize. Thats because he too a few ayaats at a time learn them implement them in his daily life deen before going on to the next. Now days you have our generation seems like we are in a rush and for what. I know many who memorized fast and forgot what they learned because soon after the finished they never reviewed. they thought that was it, and it was not. So its like all that hard work for nothing .

  76. Avatar

    Muhammad Bilal

    November 30, 2016 at 2:05 AM

    what if i have not done my 15 juz by following this method? like ihavnt read my old i have not been doing since long, and the last 10 juz i havnt seen since long bt m confident after reading anything twice, thrice it gets again fresh in my mind, what you recommend should i continue doing new lesson or first make tha old memorisation firm and then start with this method.
    Jazak Allah

  77. Avatar

    Memorize Quran Online

    February 14, 2017 at 4:20 AM

    I Found one of the best teacher in Egypt and He is available online on the website I suggest you to go with him and his institute.

  78. Avatar

    Sadman Samee

    April 7, 2017 at 12:15 AM

    An excellent collection of resource for Memorizing quran. List of ways to memorize quran, inspiration and various resources to assist memorize quran.


  79. Avatar

    muslim dakwah

    September 15, 2017 at 6:40 PM

    jazakallah khairan katsiran, thanks for the tips.

  80. Avatar


    February 6, 2018 at 6:23 PM

    Jazakallah, I’ll do all three simultaneously :) I’m a full time student, but if a full time mom can do it, I’m sure it can be done. Thanks again

  81. Avatar

    Muhammad Irfan

    June 3, 2018 at 8:12 AM

    jazakallah, very nice tips for memorization the Holy Quran. Quran Memorization is the dream of every Muslim but due to the busy life, it is not possible for everyone. But I refer to all of you the best website of an Online Quran Memorization Academy. QuranHost is an Online Quran Academy and it offers many Online Quran courses for kids and adults. Courses:
    1- Reading Quran for beginners Online
    2- Learning Quran with tajweed Online
    3- Quran Memorization Online
    4- Arabic Language
    5- Basic Islamic Educations.
    for details visit:

  82. Avatar

    Ibn Furak

    July 20, 2018 at 6:54 PM

    60 pages is 3 ajzaa’. You wrote 2.

  83. Avatar


    October 31, 2018 at 7:43 PM

    May Allah bless you and your family! What a great article. I can’t believe all these years I didn’t google “How not to forget Quran.” This is such great advice, I’ll be sure to apply soon. I feel like previously I would put so much emphasis on memorizing the Quran, and meanwhile not pick up the Quran more consistently and thus forget whatever I would memorize soon enough. That’s why the past couple of years, I’ve been focusing on reading Quran everyday. My hope is when I finally get to memorizing, it’ll be easier!

  84. Avatar


    March 19, 2019 at 12:37 AM

    Jazaka Allaho khairan. Thank you so much! I will try following your steps inshallah!

  85. Avatar


    June 22, 2019 at 6:48 AM

    Nice article admin thanks for share your atricle keep share your knowledge here are some best and good islamic course online learn Quran i found kindly review and reply me

  86. Avatar


    September 6, 2019 at 6:56 AM

    Mashaa Allah very informative article, the techniques are very useful to memorize the Quran for the whole. This is sadqa e jariya. May Allah bless you all for helping people.

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He Catches Me When I Fall: A Journey To Tawakkul

Tawakkul- a leaf falling
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While discussing an emotionally-heavy issue, my therapist brought up the point that in life we can reach a point of acceptance in regards to our difficult issues: “It sounds cliche, but there’s no other way to say it: it is what it is.”

Okay, I thought, as I listened. Acceptance. Yes, I can do this eventually. She went on to add: “It is what it is, and I know that everything will be okay.””

Tears had already been flowing, but by this point, full-blown sobs started. “I…can’t….seem…to ever…believe that.” There. I had said it. I had faked being confident and accepting, even to myself. I had faked the whole, “I have these health problems, but I am so together” type of vibe that I had been putting out for years.

Maybe it was the hormones of a third pregnancy, confronting the realities of life with multiple chronic diseases, family problems, or perhaps a midlife crisis: but at that moment, I did not feel deep in my heart with true conviction that everything would be okay.

That conversation led me to reflect on the concept of tawakkul in the following weeks and months. What did it mean to have true trust in Allah? And why was it that for years I smiled and said, “Alhamdulillah, I’m coping just fine!” when in reality, the harsh truth was that I felt like I had not an ounce of tawakkul?

I had led myself to believe that denying my grief and slapping a smile on was tawakkul. I was being outwardly cheerful — I even made jokes about my life with Multiple Sclerosis — and I liked to think I was functioning all right. Until I wasn’t.

You see, the body doesn’t lie. You can tell all the lies you want to with your tongue, but after some time, the body will let you know that it’s holding oceans of grief, unshed tears, and unhealed traumas. And that period of my life is a tale for another time.

The short story is that things came to a head and I suddenly felt utterly overwhelmed and terrified daily about my future with a potentially disabling disease, while being diagnosed with a second major chronic illness, all while caring for a newborn along with my other children. Panic attacks and severe anxiety ensued. When I realized that I didn’t have true tawakkul, I had to reflect and find my way again.

I thought about Yaqub (Jacob). I thought long and hard about his grief: “Yaa asafaa ‘alaa Yusuf!” “Oh, how great is my grief for Joseph!”

He wept until he was blind. And yet, he constantly asserted, “Wallahul-Musta’aan”: “Allah is the one whose help is sought.” And he believed.

Oh, how did he believe. His sons laughed and called him an old fool for grieving over a son lost for decades. He then lost another dear son, Binyamin. And yet he said, “Perhaps it will be that my Lord will bring them to me altogether.”

There is no sin in grief Click To Tweet

So my first realization was that there was no sin in the grief. I could indeed trust Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) while feeling a sorrow so profound that it ripped me apart at times. “The heart grieves and the eyes weep, but the tongue does not say that except which pleases its Lord. Oh, Ibrahim, we are gravely saddened by your passing.” These are the words of our Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) for a lost infant son, said with tears pouring down his blessed face, ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him).

I thought of the Year of Grief, Aamul-Huzn, when he, Allah’s peace be upon him, lost the woman who was the love of his life and the mother of his children; as well as an uncle who was like a father. The year was named after his grief! And here I was denying myself this human emotion because it somehow felt like a betrayal of true sabr?

Tawakkul, tawakkul, where are you? I searched for how I could feel it, truly feel it.Click To Tweet

Through years of introspection and then therapy, I realized that I had a personality that centered around control. I expressed this in various ways from trying to manage my siblings (curse of the firstborn), to trying to manage my childbirth and health. If I only did the “right” things, then I could have the perfect, “natural” birth and the perfect picture of health.

When I was diagnosed with a chronic disease, these illusions started to crack. And yet even then, I thought that if I did the right things, took the right supplements and alternative remedies and medications, that I wouldn’t have trouble with my MS.

See, when you think you control things and you attempt to micromanage everything, you’ve already lost tawakkul. You’ve taken the role of controlling the outcome upon yourself when in reality, your Lord is in control. It took a difficult time when I felt I was spiraling out of control for me to truly realize that I was not the master of my outcomes. Certainly, I would “tie my camel” and take my precautions, but then it was a matter of letting go.

At some point, I envisioned my experience of tawakkul as a free-fall. You know those trust exercises that you do at summer camps or company retreats? You fall back into the arms of someone and relinquish any control over your muscles. You are supposed to be limp and fully trust your partner to catch you.

I did this once with a youth group. After they fell–some gracefully and trusting, some not — I told them: “This is the example of tawakkul. Some of you didn’t trust and you tried to break your fall but some of you completely let go and let your partner catch you. Life will throw you down, it will hit you over and over, and you will fall–but He, subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He), will be there to break your fall.”

I am falling. There is a degree of terror and sadness in the fall. But that point when through the pain and tears I can say, “It is what it is, and no matter what, everything will be okay”, that right there is the tranquility that comes from tawakkul.

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The Day I Die | Imam Omar Suleiman

Janazah, funeral, legacy, Omar Suleiman, Edhi
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Imam Ahmad Ibn Hanbal (may Allah be pleased with him) in the midst of the torture he endured at the hands of his oppressors used to say: baynana wa baynahum aljanaa’iz, which means, “the difference between us and them will show in our funerals.” The man who instigated the ideological deviation that led to his torture was an appointed judge named Ahmad Ibn Abi Du’ad.

At the moment of Imam Ahmad Ibn Hanbal making those remarks, it appeared Imam Ahmad would die disgraced in a dungeon but Ahmad Ibn Abi Du’ad would have a state funeral with thousands of mourners. Instead, Imam Ahmad persevered through his struggle, was embraced by the people, and honored by Allah with the biggest Janazah ever known to the Arabs with millions of people pouring in from all over. Ahmad Ibn Abu Du’ad was cast aside and buried without anyone attending his janazah out of revulsion.

Now sometimes righteous people do die in isolation, and wicked people are given grand exits. There are people like Uthman Ibn Affan (may Allah be pleased with him) who was murdered by the people of fitnah, then buried at night far away from the people out of fear of the large numbers that would’ve poured out to his janazah and potentially mobilized against his oppressors. But it may be that Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) inspired Imam Ahmad with the vision to see his victory in this life before the next. To elaborate a bit on his statement though, allow me to reflect:

A wise man once said to me,

“Always put your funeral in front of you, and work backwards in constructing your life accordingly.” 

With the deaths of righteous people, that advice always advances to the front of my thoughts. When a person passes away, typically only good things will be said of them. But it’s important to pay attention to 2 aspects about those good things being said:

1. Is there congruence in the particular good quality being attested to about the deceased.

2. Are those good qualities being attested to actually truly of the deceased. 

The first one deals with consistency of character, the second one with sincerity of intention which is only known by the Creator and His servant. In regards to the first one, take our sister Hodan Nalayeh (may Allah have mercy on her) who was murdered tragically last week in a terrorist attack in Somalia. Everyone that spoke of her said practically the same thing about how she interacted with them and/or benefitted them. There is complete harmony with all of the testimonies about her. And in that case we all become the witnesses of our sister on the day of judgment, testifying to her good character.

For many that pass away, neither the deceased nor the community fully appreciates the way they benefitted others until that day. It was narrated that when Zainul Abideen Ali Ibn Al Husayn (may Allah be pleased with them), the great grandson of the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) passed away, he had marks on his shoulders from the bags he used to carry to the doorsteps of the poor at night when no one else was watching. The narrations state that the people of Madinah used to live off his charity not knowing the source of it until his death.

How many people will miss you when you die because of the joy you brought to their lives? How many of those that you comforted when they were abandoned by others? That you spent on when they were deprived by others? That you advocated for when they were oppressed by others? 

Will your family miss you because of an empty bed in the home or a deep void in their hearts? Will it be the loss of your spending only that grieves them, or the loss of your smile? Will it be the loss of the stability you provided them only, or the loss of your service and sacrifices for them?

But Zainul Abideen didn’t care for the recipients of his charity to know that he was the source of it, because He was fully in tune with it’s true Divine source. He didn’t want to be thanked in this world, but in the next. He didn’t want the eulogy, he wanted Eternity. 

He understood that if you become distracted by the allure of this world, you may merely become of it. Focus on bettering the future which you cannot escape, rather than the present that you cannot dictate. Focus on the interview with the One who needs no resume, rather than the judgments of those who are just as disposable as you. 

اللَّهُمَّ اجْعَلْ خَيْرَ زَمَانِيْ آخِرَهُ، وَخَيْرَ عَمَلِيْ خَوَاتِمَهُ، وَخَيْرَ أَيَّامِيْ يِوْمَ أَلقَاكَ

“O Allah, let the best of my lifetime be its ending, and my best deed be that which I seal [my life with], and the best of my days the day I meet You.”

Which brings us to the second aspect of your funeral, the sincerity of the good you’re being praised for. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “increase your remembrance of the destroyer of pleasures.” Death only destroys the temporary pleasures of this world, not the pleasure of the Most Merciful in the next. Keeping that in perspective will help you work towards that without being distracted. If it is the praise of the people you seek, that is as temporary as the world that occupies both your worldly vehicle ie. your body, and your companions in this world who shall perish soon after you.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) mentioned the one who passes away with the people lavishing praise on him that he is unworthy of. In a narration in Al Tirmidhi, the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “No one dies and they stand over him crying and saying: ‘Oh what a great man he was! Oh how honored he was!’ except that two angels are appointed for him to poke him and say: Is that really you?”

But if it is Allah’s praise that you sought all along, the deeds that you put forth shall await you in your grave in the form of heavenly ornaments. Those that were known to the community, those that were known to only a select few, and those that were known by no one but Allah and you.

May Allah give us all a good ending, and an even better eternity.

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The Spirituality Of Gratitude

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The Quran tells the reader of the importance of gratitude in two ways. First, worship, which is the essence of the relationship between man and the Creator, is conditional to gratitude “and be grateful to Allah if it is [indeed] Him that you worship” (2:172). The verse suggests that in order for an individual to truly worship Allah then they must express gratitude to Allah and that an ungrateful individual cannot be a worshiper of Allah. The second verse states the following “And be grateful to Me and do not deny Me” (2:152). The Arabic word used, translated here as ‘deny,’ is kufr which linguistically means to cover up. The word was adopted by the Quran to refer to someone who rejects Allah after learning of Him. Both the linguistic and Quranic definitions are possibly meant in this verse and both arrive at the same conclusion. That is, the absence of gratitude is an indicator of one’s rejection of Allah; the question is how and why?

What Does Shukr Mean?

Understanding a Quranic concept begins with understanding the word chosen by the Quran. The word shukr is used throughout the Quran and is commonly translated as gratitude. From a purely linguistic definition, shukr is “the effect food has on the body of an animal” (Ibn Qayyim v. 2 p. 200). What is meant here is that when an animal eats food it becomes heavier which has a clear and visible effect on the animal. Therefore, shukr is the manifestation of a blessing or blessings on the entirety of a person. From here, spiritualists understood the goal of shukr and added an extra element to the definition and that is the acknowledgment that those blessings are from Allah. Thus, the definition of shukr as an Islamic spiritual concept is “the manifestation of Allah’s blessings verbally through praise and acknowledgment; emotionally on the heart through witnessing the blessings and loving Allah; and physically through submission and servitude” (Ibid).

Based on this definition, the goal of shukr can be broken into five categories. First, gratitude that brings about the submission of the individual to his benefactor. In order for an act to be worthy of gratitude, the beneficiary must conclude that the benefactor’s action was done for the sake of the beneficiary – thus making the benefactor benevolent. In other words, the benefactor is not benefiting in the least (Emmons et al 2004 p. 62). When the individual recognizes his benefactor, Allah, as being completely independent of the individual and perfect in of himself, one concludes that the actions of the benefactor are purely in the best interest of the beneficiary resulting in the building of trust in Allah. The Quran utilizes this point multiple times explicitly stating that Allah has nothing to gain from the creations servitude nor does he lose anything from because of their disobedience (Q 2:255, 4:133, 35:15, 47:38). Through shukr, a person’s spirituality increases by recognizing Allah’s perfection and their own imperfection thus building the feeling of need for Allah and trust in him (Emmons et al 2002 p. 463).

Gratitude in Knowing That Allah Loves Us

The second category is love for the benefactor. Similar to the previous category, by identifying the motive of the benefactor one can better appreciate their favors. “Gratitude is fundamentally a moral affect with empathy at its foundation: In order to acknowledge the cost of the gift, the recipient must identity with the psychological state of the one who has provided it” (Emmons 2002 p. 461).[1] That is, by recognizing Allah’s perfection one concludes that his blessings are entirely in the best interest of the beneficiary despite not bringing any return to Him. Thus, the Quran utilizes this concept repeatedly and to list a few, the Quran reminds the human reader that he created the human species directly with his two hands (38:75), he created them in the best physical and mental form (95:4), gave him nobility (17:70), commanded the angels to prostrate to him out of reverence (38:72-3), made him unique by giving him knowledge and language (2:31), exiled Satan who refused to revere him (7:13), allowed him into Paradise (7:19), forgave his mistake (2:37), designated angels to protect each individual (13:11) and supplicate Allah to forgive the believers (40:7-9), created an entire world that caters to his needs (2:29), among plenty of other blessings which express Allah’s love, care, and compassion of the human.

The remaining three categories revolve around the individual acting upon their gratitude by acknowledging them, praising Allah for them and using them in a manner acceptable to Allah. In order for gratitude to play a role in spirituality the blessings one enjoys must be utilized in a manner that connects them with Allah. Initially, one must acknowledge that all blessings are from him thus establishing a connection between the self and Allah. This is then elevated to where the individual views these blessings as more than inanimate objects but entities that serve a purpose. By doing this one begins to see and appreciate the wisdoms behind these created entities enlightening the individual to the Creators abilities and qualities. Finally, after recognizing the general and specific wisdoms behind each creation, one feels a greater sense of purpose, responsibility, and loyalty. That is, engaging the previous five categories establishes love for the benefactor (Ibn Qayyim v. 2 p. 203). Observing the care and compassion of the benefactor for his creation establishes the feeling of loyalty towards the one who has cared for us as well as responsibility since He created everything with purpose.

Blessings Even in Hardship

One may interject by referring to the many individuals and societies that are plagued with hardships and do not have blessings to appreciate. No doubt this is a reality and the Quran address this indirectly. Upon analysis, one finds that the blessings which the Quran references and encourages the reader to appreciate are not wealth or health; rather, it is the sun, the moon, trees, and the natural world in general. Perhaps the reason for this is what shukr seeks to drive us towards. There are two things all these objects have in common (1) they are gifts given by Allah to all humans and all individuals enjoy them and (2) humans are dependent upon them. Everyone has access to the sun, no one can take it away, and we are critically dependent upon it. When the Quran draws our attention to these blessings, the reader should begin to appreciate the natural world at a different level and Surah an Nahl does precisely that. This chapter was likely revealed during the time of hijrah (immigration); a time when the companions lost everything – their homes, wealth, and tribes. The chapter works to counsel them by teaching them that the true blessings a person enjoys is all around them and no matter how much was taken from them, no one can take away the greater blessings of Allah.

In sum, these verses bring light to the crucial role shukr plays in faith. It serves as a means to better know Allah which can be achieved through a series of phases. First, the individual must search for the blessings which then leads to a shift in perspective from focusing on the wants to focusing on what is available. This leads to greater appreciation and recognition of the positives in one’s life allowing the person more optimism. Second, the person must link those blessings to the benefactor – Allah – which reveals many elements of who He is and His concern for His creation. Once this is internalized in the person’s hearts, its benefits begin to manifest itself on the person’s heart, mind, and body; it manifests itself in the form of love for Allah and submission to him. Shukr ultimately reveals the extent of Allah’s love and concern for the individual which therein strengthens the trust and love of the individual for Allah and ultimately their submission to Him.

Allah knows best.

Emmons, Robert A., and Charles M. Shelton. “Gratitude and the science of positive psychology.” Handbook of positive psychology 18 (2002): 459-471.

Emmons, Robert A., and Michael E. McCullough, eds. The psychology of gratitude. Oxford University Press, 2004.

Jawziyyah, Ibn Qayyim. madārij al-sālikīn bayn manāzil iyyāka naʿbud wa iyyāka nastaʿīn مدارج السالكين بين منازل إياك نعبد وإياك نستعين [The Levels of Spirituality between the Dynamics of “It is You Alone we Worship and it is You Alone we Seek Help From]. Cario: Hadith Publications, 2005.

[1] Islamically speaking, it is not befitting to claim that Allah has a psyche or that he can be analyzed psychologically.

Download a longer version of this article here: The Sprituality of Gratitude

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