Memorizing The Qur’an (Becoming A Huffaz)

June 10, 2012 § Leave a comment


A huffaz is someone has memorized the whole Qur’an (30 Juzuk, 114 Surah). Some tried but only a few succeeded. Most of us, at one time or the other, just wish that we are able to become one but we never did make an attempt to it. “Ohh, it will be so difficult” would be one of the excuses, “It must be time-consuming and I just do not have the time” would be another one. Yes, we hear it all the time whenever the subject of becoming a huffaz is being mentioned.

Young boys taking Qur'an lessons from wooden t...

Young boys taking Qur’an lessons from wooden tablets in Mauritania, West Africa. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Did we ever wonder that we could recite the Fatihah so easily, while at the same time doing some other work. It just flows out instinctively without any moment of thought. It has withstood the test of time whereby we do not need to refresh the memory by looking the Qur’an itself. Sure we can quickly memorize a short surah but can we recite it back in a month’s time? Perhaps that’s the key…how could we have done it with Al-Fatihah? Let’s look at this phenomenon and figure out how can we apply it to the whole Qur’an.

Certainly, We have made this (Qur’an) easy in your tongue, in order that they may remember
(Ad-Dukhan, Chapter #44, Verse #58)

And We have indeed made the Qur’an easy to understand and remember; then is there any one who will remember (or receive admonition)? 
(Al-Qamar, Chapter #54, Verse #17)

We have been taught Al-Fatihah since we were kids, repeating them a minimum of 17 times daily, which amounts to more than 450 times in a month!. Is that the key? Repetitions? Kids in Mauritania (north-west of Africa) have been known to repeat 1000 times daily during their memorization of the Qur’an and/or Hadith. Before that, let’s establish some useful numbers. Looking at a typically normal Qur’an, it is divided into 30 Juzuk and each Juzuk is covered in 20 pages. And each page contains 15 rows of ayats.

  • Let’s start small, say we hope to memorize 3 rows of the Qur’an daily. On the 1st day, recite the 3 rows 300 times.(for ease of reference, we will label this “A”)
  • On the 2nd day, get to the next 3 rows and recite them 300 times as well (we will label this “B”). Once completed, recite “A” 150 times.
  • On the 3rd day, get to the next 3 rows and recite them 300 times as well (we will label this “C”). Once completed, recite “B” 150 times and recite “A” 75 times.
  • On the 4th day, get to the next 3 rows and recite them 300 times as well (we will label this “D”). Once completed, recite “C” 150 times and recite “B” 75 times and recite “A” 35 times.
  • On the 5th day, get to the next 3 rows and recite them 300 times as well (we will label this “E”). Once completed, recite “D” 150 times and recite “C” 75 times and recite “B” 35 times and recite “A” 15 times .
  • On the 6th and 7th day (will be Saturday and Sunday if you started on Monday), you will need to reconcile the whole page (yes, it’s a whole page of 15 rows) by repeating each page 100 times daily.

By now, you would have realized that most of it comes almost naturally, albeit a few glitches here and there. Surprised? Feels good?

Effectively, you will be reciting each set of 3-rows for 300 + 150 + 75 + 35 + 15 + 100 + 100 = 775 times!!!

And repeat the following weeks accordingly. You will soon get the hang of it and the process becomes easier as the weeks passed by. You will be tempted to increase the number of rows daily…just DON’T. Get a few Juzuk under your belt and progress in small steps. Once you have completed a Juzuk (in 20 weeks), take the following week by just reciting the Juzuk daily.

Again, let’s re-visit the numbers. The Qur’an contains 30 Juzuk and each Juzuk contains 20 pages. That brings us a total of 600 pages for the whole Qur’an. By sticking to the above program, you will become a Huffaz in 11 years. What? No worries, as you make those small progressions, you will accomplish it in 3-5 years, insyaallah.

Note: Get a standard copy of the Qur’an (mushhaf) and use it throughout your journey. It will breed familiarity.

Work hard, istiqomah (consistency) and make du’a. Allah shall make it easy for us to remember!!!

Myriam Francois-Cerrah…from Hollywood to Makkah

May 15, 2012 § Leave a comment


The opening of Al Fatiha, with its address to the whole of mankind, psychologically stopped me in my tracks. It spoke of previous scriptures in a way which I both recognized, but also differed. It clarified many of the doubts I had about Christianity. It made me an adult as I suddenly realized that my destiny and my actions had consequences for which I alone would now be held responsible.

This is a short story about Myriam Francois-Cerrah, previously known as Emilie Francois (born in 1983), began her screen career at age 12 in Ang Lee‘s Sense and Sensibility (1995) in which she played Margaret Dashwood alongside Emma Thompsonand Kate Winslet. She went on to star in Paws (1997) alongside Nathan Cavaleri and Heath Ledger, and New Year’s Day (2000). [Admittedly, i have yet to watch any of her movies]

Francois-Cerrah,  British actress of French and Irish heritage, who reverted to Islam in 2003. I was introduced to her by a WardinaSaffiya (i shall write about her, soon enough) a couple of months back.

Myriam currently works as a freelance journalist, with her articles featured in “The Huffington Post“, “New Statesman“, The London PaperIndex on Censorshipthe F-Word, the magazine Emel,. Myriam has an MA with honours in Middle East politics from Georgetown University, and a BA from Cambridge University in Social and Political science, and is due to complete her PhD at Oxford University in Oriental Studies in 2012.

The Qur’an was pivotal for me. I first tried to approach it in anger, as part of an attempt to prove my Muslim friend wrong. Later I began reading it with a more open mind.

The opening of Al Fatiha, with its address to the whole of mankind, psychologically stopped me in my tracks. It spoke of previous scriptures in a way which I both recognized, but also differed. It clarified many of the doubts I had about Christianity. It made me an adult as I suddenly realized that my destiny and my actions had consequences for which I alone would now be held responsible.

In a world governed by relativism, it outlined objective moral truths and the foundation of morality. As someone who’d always had a keen interest in philosophy, the Qur’an felt like the culmination of all of this philosophical cogitation. It combined Kant, Hume, Sartre and Aristotle. It somehow managed to address and answer the deep philosophical questions posed over centuries of human existence and answer its most fundamental one, ‘why are we here?’

In the Prophet Muhammad, I recognized a man who was tasked with a momentous mission, like his predecessors, Moses, Jesus and Abraham. I had to pick apart much of the Orientalist libel surrounding him in order to obtain accurate information, since the historical relativism which people apply to some degree when studying other historical figures, is often completely absent, in what is a clear attempt to disparage his person.” 

[Excerpts from British Actress Inspired by Prophet’s Life]

More links on her:

Her blog http://myriamfrancoiscerrah.wordpress.com/

Writes at http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/myriam-francois

http://www.usislam.org/converts/myriam_francoiscerrah.htm

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