The door to my office slammed open on a summer morning, way back in 2014. Muhannad, my colleague and long-time friend rushed in and warned me with a sigh of awe and apprehension:
“Azad, by God, on the Day of Judgement, I will be a witness. Oh Azad, learn the Qur’an!”
I caught his unusually serious tone and anxiously asked, “What happened?”
I looked at him extremely puzzled and continued, ‘Muhannad, what brings you to say this? Has anything happened?’
His shoulders tensed as he grabbed a chair in front of my desk and began, “Yesterday I visited my friend, the great Sheikh Abdur Rashid, as he was teaching a student. I waited to speak to him after the student had completed and then greeted them both, only to hear him introduce his student to me saying, ‘Oh Muhannad, this is Jamal, my British student. He travelled all the way from the UK to come here and learn the Qur’an with me. Jamal has completed 7 types of Qiraat with me today, and I need to remind you of something very important. Jamal and I will be witness for you, on the Day of Judgement. So, continue to learn the Qur’an, O Muhannad! Continue to learn the Qur’an!’”
Muhannad gave me some tips and tricks on how to get started, which he had learnt from his Shuyooks over the years. He explained the benefits of memorizing the Qur’an. Before all that he said could sink in, Muhannad left me saying, “Ok, Doctor, see you later.”
As soon as he left, I became very uneasy. I was 40 years old and though the yearning to learn and understand more of Qur’an has always been with me and I had often made several attempts to get started, I had actually achieved little real progress all my life. That day however, my colleague’s words kindled a new fire in my belly and a new fear in my heart. It was so intense that I could not continue my work.
“Start from Alif Laam Meem. Do not stop until you reach ‘minal jinnatti wannas‘” – This was one of the many pieces of advice that Muhannad gave me that morning.
Not being able to focus on my work, I opened the Qur’an reading website on my PC and started reading.
“Alif Laa Meem, Dhalikal Litabu La Raib Feehi…”
Muhannad had also advised me on the methodology of memorization. This can be summarized as below:
New memorization: “Repeat the first Ayah until it is committed to memory, then next one. Then read them together and repeat at least 20 times. If you can recite them effortlessly from memory, then proceed to third Ayah. Then read Ayah 1,2 and 3 from memory. If you have committed them to memory, then proceed to Ayah No 4 and so on.”
Alongside this, I also took a firm decision to learn the meaning of each Ayah Word-by-Word and on the whole. To achieve fluency in my Qur’anic translation journey, I also re-took the Understand Qur’an Academy 50% & 70% courses and brushed up on the meanings of various words and verses.
Revision of newly-memorized portion: “Revise newly memorized portions (a page or half of the page or whatever portion you chose) for the next 40 days until it is permanently fixed in your memory. This is called Murajaa Jadeeda.”
Revision of old portions: “Every week or at least every 10 days revise in full the memorized portion at least once. This is called Muraja Qadeema.”
Over a period of time, I also learnt from many others that we must read to a qualified Shaykh as that is the correct tradition to pursue Qur’an memorization. I must say that I was fortunate to have a couple of dedicated Shuyookhs at various times to support me. These Shuyookhs taught me the importance of niyyah and dua in our hifz journey. They also advised me to continue reciting the memorized portions in our daily prayers and to increase charity and qiyam as we relentlessly pursue the journey.
It has been close to 6 years now, and my heart pounds with happiness to tell you that I have started my journey and made significant progress. Al Hamdullillah, I am eternally grateful to Allah (swt) for offering such an opportunity to me. I always remember my UQA Teacher’s encouraging words in the form of the Ayah from Surah Al-‘Ankabut, “And those who strive for Us – We will surely guide them to Our ways. And indeed, Allah is with the doers of good.” Quran 29:69
It pains me although, to say that even though I progressed for the first 3 or 4 years, the last year has been a year in which I haven’t been able to make as much progress. And then I bring to mind the Ayah from Surah Al-Qamar, “And We have certainly made the Qur’an easy for remembrance, so is there any who will remember?” Quran 54:17
I ask you all to pray for me and I pray for all those reading this, to start learning the Qur’an and to implement it in their daily lives,Aameen. I also pray for all my shuyookhs and for my dear my dear friend Muhannad – thank you for helping me and guiding me through my journey. May Allah give you the highest levels of Jannah, Aameen!
With this progress of learning Qur’an, my worldly life has changed for better in its all aspects. More barakah in my time, ease and peace throughout the day. My children have started taking Qur’an more seriously as they see me relentlessly try to learn and/or recite/revise it each day. One of the best moments in my life these days is reciting a long portion of the Qur’an, reflecting on its meaning in my prayer. It gives me a sense of joy and happiness that I have never known before in my life.
It’s never too late to create a new beginning. So, dear brothers and sisters, start your journey today. Join UQA short and easy courses to read,learn and memorize the Quran in the easiest way. To book your free trial for Hifz/Tajweed/understand Quran courses click HERE
I pray for all of you that Allah (swt) give you the tawfeeq to say Bismillah and begin!
Dr. Azad Chalikuzhi, PhD