A good memory—both short-term and long-term— is foundational to the learning process, so let’s do everything we can to nurture and support it!
1. Get enough sleep. When you sleep your brain is like a busy office, organising and filing away the data that it’s accumulated during the day. You need to give it enough time to get the job done! Sleep is also essential for regenerating brain cells and reducing stress that can interfere with brain function. As a side note, you should also make sure that your leisure pursuits are interesting and fun enough to get your mind off of your studies for a little while; this way you can feel refreshed when you return to your lessons.
2. Maintain healthy friendships and a good social support system. The brain does not function well in the vacuum of an isolated individual. Humans are social creatures and thus require healthy social interactions in order to reach their full potential. These relationships need to be positive; treat everyone with respect, but avoid those who may be a little too competitive, insulting, disagreeable, or demanding to the detriment of your study goals.
3. Laugh a lot. Laughter reduces stress, gives us a welcome break from our responsibilities, and creates positive brain waves that help us think better. And if you can relate your learning topics to funny events or images, you make them much easier to remember.
4. Engage your brain with challenging new activities like puzzles, sports, dance, or language studies. Use it or lose it! You have way more neurons than you can ever make use of, so don’t worry about blowing out your light-bulbs with too much thinking. Use your leisure time to have fun with activities that engage body and mind; these not only give you a break, they keep your memory fit for the longterm, keeping you sharp and even preventing alzheimers. And isn’t it great that in addition to learning Arabic, you’re actually strengthening your intellectual abilities?
5. Eat healthy. Eat a diet rich in brain-building foods: whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and Omega 3 fats. These foods not only strengthen memory, they make you live longer, feel better, and look better, too.
Don’t forget to pray, asking Allah (swt) to open your heart and mind to His teachings.
May Allah (swt) richly bless your efforts to learn and spread the message of the Quran.
Be pious scholars of the Lord because of what you have taught of the Scripture and because of what you have studied. [from Al-Quran, 3:79]