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Slow and Steady – An Incredible Hifz Journey


The writer is a hafidh (one who has memorized the entire Quran) and has requested anonymity. Youth Club Blog honours the request, and presents to you a journey of Quran memorization (hifdh) and the lessons derived from it.

I see my entire life as a testimony of the ayah of the Quran:

“And He gave you of all that you asked for. But if you count the favours of Allah, never will you be able to number them….” (Surah Ibrahim, ayah 34)

From amongst the innumerable blessings that Allah has showered upon me, there is this special one that makes me smile invariably, every single time. Just the thought of it seems to lighten up the whole world. That one blessing is: Allah chose my heart to preserve the words of the Quran in it. How enormous is this blessing and how momentous is the responsibility that comes along with it!

A Hafidh in 5 years

For me, the Hifdh journey was an amazing experience. I undertook this journey on my own, in my twenties. There was no institute to attend and no teacher to supervise this journey. It was something I did on my own, along with my studies, my job and all the routine chores of the house.

It was a journey that spanned almost 5 years. Let’s do some simple math: If you do 30 juzz in five years, you’re doing 6 juzz a year. That means 1 juzz in 2 months. That means 1 page in 3 days. Or 5 lines a day! Just 5 lines a day and you can become a hafidh in 5 years. It is as simple as that! As you proceed on the journey, Allah keeps on making the memorization and revision easier.

Imagine, if you had started 5 years back, you would be a hafidh today. No, rather imagine it the other way: if you were to start today, you would be a hafidh in 5 years inshaAllah.

But you know what the difficult part of this journey is? Consistency. That is the key ingredient. Some of you might be inspired to start today, but you will stop after a week, or a month or two. It is only those who persevere who succeed. Slow and steady does win the race.

The Lows

Let’s be honest. We are humans. We have problems, mood swings, iman swings, lack of motivation, illness, travelling and Satanic whispers to deal with. There were days when the daily prayers became a burden, let alone memorization and revision. There were days when I was juggling too much stuff. There were days when all I wanted to do was sleep and unwind on a holiday. The mountain seemed too steep to climb. The journey had its ups and downs. But the thing is that despite everything, if you push yourself to achieve your daily goals on the rainy days, you get incredible days bathed in sunshine. If you can navigate the lows, only then do you get to enjoy the highs, the amazing highs!

And The Highs

Yes, there were also those days when I just could not get enough of the Quran, when I wanted to soak up all its warmth. There were days when the Quran spoke to my heart. There were days when I felt infinitely blessed to be on this journey. There were days when opening the Mushaf would bring tears to my eyes. There were days when I felt that I could trade the entire world to continue with and complete my hifdh. Yes, there were beautiful days and nights. And then, there was that day- which is yet the happiest day of my life- when I finally completed the hifdh. I cannot even try to describe that day in words.

Eyes on the Prize

On a long and arduous journey, what keeps one going is keeping the end in mind- the end in this world as well as the end in the next world. I would often open up the last page and imagine the day I would finally reach there. I would count the pages left till the end. I would be enjoying the journey, yet yearning for the destination. And then there is the real goal, the true end. There is a Day to come that I still imagine, that still keeps me going. That is the Day when inshaAllah it will be said to me in front of all creation:

“Recite and climb, and recite in a measured and melodious tone (tarteel) like you used to recite in the dunya. Then indeed your station will be at the last ayah that you recite.”

I imagine a station which is al-Firdaus, right below the Throne of Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala. I imagine the Day on which my Mom and my Dad will be given crowns and resplendent gowns to wear inshaAllah.

Slow and Steady

In the first twenty or so years of life, we are taught to go slow and steady, in order to learn, grow and achieve our goals. That is how everything in nature is grown and nurtured. That is how we progress from Pre-School to Primary to Secondary to University. That is how we become doctors and engineers. We trudge to school, college and then university, day in and day out, whether we like it or not. Later on in life, it is this same principle that we need to apply to grow in physical, mental, emotional and spiritual dimensions. We need to go slow and steady, very steady. We need self-discipline.

Go to the gym every single day for an hour. You’ll get your desired fitness.

Cook one new dish every single day. You’ll become a master chef in a year.

Read for half an hour every single day. You’ll finish literary and scholarly masterpieces, without even knowing it.

Dedicate one hour to learning an interesting language. You’ll start to speak like a native.

You can achieve more than you can imagine by just sticking to something and doing it regularly. Slow means: don’t go too hard on yourself. And steady means: don’t go too easy on yourself either. Some days, you will have to just force yourself to keep going, keeping the end in mind.

Once upon a time, my inbox bore testimony to all the courses I signed up for but never really followed through till the end. Flitting around like a butterfly doesn’t take one anywhere.

Today, my hifdh is a constant reminder for me to stay consistent in whatever I do. The journey is far over. There is daily revision and review to be done. For indeed, the Quran is quick to leave the hearts if due attention is not given to it. There is still a long journey ahead: to continue to understand, internalize, and implement the Quran. But the message my hifdh gives me every day is: Stay Strong. Keep going.

0 thoughts on “Slow and Steady – An Incredible Hifz Journey”

  1. Isnt it the case that if i’ve memorized some ayah,.and dont know what it z, then i’ll be taken responsible on the day of judgment about not understanding and following it??

      1. Hmm.. was that hadeeth of “recite and climb..” about the one who memorized or the one, who memorized and understand and followed whatevar he could in his best capacity?

        Plus., jazakAllah khayr soo much for sharing your journey, i’m a hafidh too and was missing that consistency, 🙂 in shaa Allah i’ll try to be consistent now

  2. perhaps an answer to my quest! but i wonder about the consistency. For so many years now the biggest thing that i find lacking in me is slipping at every other step!!!

    Still a motivational read!

  3. I’ll just say, Allah answered by prayers. For the past week, I had been LOOKING ONLINE for hafiz’s without teachers. Jazakallahu khairun. Btw what about the tajweed?? does it come itself?

  4. Ma sha Allah, May Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala bless the author and raise them among the huffaz on the Day of Judgment, aameen. Our first thoughts after reading that hadeeth were that memorizing Qur’an is not optional rather something preferred and we all should strive for it.

    In order to add our comments to the questions asked here (in case it benefits anyone), memorize the Qur’an and along with it read its meaning, this way the meaning will sit in your mind. If you schedule your memorization during the weekdays you can spend the weekend in understanding the tafseer of those specific ayaat. As you work on your memorization make du`a to Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala to help you implement what you learn. Be sincere in your efforts.

    For tajweed as the admin stated above, if you have no access to a tajweed teacher listen to recitation by Qari. Sheikh Basfar’s is the simplest that we have come across with each word pronounced clearly and understandable.

  5. MashaAllah it was such an inspirational article and a much needed motivation for me.
    I need to ask a few questions to the author, I have been wanting to start memorising Quran on my own but I just couldn’t do it coz of alot of what ifs 🙁
    1. How much time did you give it on a daily basis? And especiall how much time did you spare for revision?
    2. Did you do it from the 1st juz to the last or we can do it by learning random surahs as well?
    3. Lastly do we need someone to listen to it or we can do it solely on our own?

    I’ll much appreciate if you answer my questions
    Jazakumullah khair

    1. The author says:

      Jazakumullah Kher for the duas and encouragment. May Allah accept from us and keep us steadfast.
      Let me clarify that I would always always recommend doing your hifz in the supervision of a teacher. It will inshaAllah enhance the experience and improve the quality of your hifz. I did it on my own and it is perfectly doable that way too.
      Moving on to the questions:
      1- Initially, about 30 minutes a day. After a few juzz, I realized that memorization was becoming progressively easier and revision and retention progressively more difficult. So the bulk of the time went to revision. In the later years, I was devoting approximately 3-4 hours a day (I was learning the new lesson, revising the 1 juzz memorized most recently and revising one juzz from the start.)
      2- I actually started from the 23rd and went on to the 30th. Then I memorized from the 1st to the 22nd. No particular reason for this sequence. You can start from anywhere inshaAllah. Just don’t be too random. Have a sequence, otherwise it will be difficult to string it all together.
      3- Till 10 juzz, I was on my own. When I had progressed beyond 10 juzz, my mother would listen to 1 juzz everyday. (May Allah bless her and reward her.) I did feel the need for someone to listen to my recitation to correct mistakes.
      There is lots of online material that you will find on hifz memorization and revision strategies. Read them to get some basic advice e.g. staying away from sins and music, organising time, always sticking to the same copy of the mushaf. (You’ll develop a visual memory.) As you progress, you’ll develop your own style and techniques. Allah will guide your ways.
      Don’t let the ifs and buts bother you. May Allah bless you. Keep me in your duas too.
      Hifz is not like completing a PhD degree where you’re done once you get the degree. Hifz is a lifelong journey. Even after completing, you absolutely have to revise regularly otherwise it will leave your memory. There is nothing like hifz to develop a very strong bond with the Quran.

      1. Jazakumullah khair for the reply

        May Allah SWT reward you immensely for being a source of inspiration!! The answers were really helpful.
        I have just one more question… I’m not able to recall a single ayah randomly from the middle of a surah… is there something wrong with my way of memorization? How can I correct that?

  6. The anon Hafidh says:

    “Apparently, no. Lots of people face this problem. Make sure you are memorizing at a reasonable speed (tarteel) and not rushing the ayaat too fast. With enough revision, and more and more listening to a fixed Qari, you should be fine inshaAllah.”

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  8. Asalamu alaikum,
    I’m not sure if you are still replying back to these tings, but when I started to Memorize quran it was great. Then, I realized the amounts of pressure I have put on my self, High school and SATs and College It is all too much. So I put aside memorising for awhile and now when I go back I forget everything that I’ve memorized and just so much right now. My mother keeps on telling me that I shouldn’t have started memorizing quran, and now I know she was right. Please tell me what i should do.

  9. impressive!!! may Allah (SWT) reward us all.This is indeed a great source of inspiration to me. i pray more for consistency. i look forward to becoming hafidh also in sha Allah. jaza kallah khair.

  10. I loved this article. Sometimes on the days when you feel really low, it’s nice to know that I’m not the only one who struggles. Please remember me in your duaas.

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