Ramadan is an ideal time to memorize dua’as (short supplications) and surahs (Qur’anic chapters) that we’ve been meaning to get around learning during the year. Along with fasting and regularly reading of the Qur’an, it can be incredibly beneficial to invest some time in memorizing dua’as and surahs.
Here are 10 tips to help you with memorization:
When picking surahs and dua’as to memorize, choose the ones that interest you while making sure your goal is reachable (for example, do not pick Surah Al-Baqarah, the longest chapter in the Qur’an, if you are a beginner). I recommend starting with the 30th Juz as it has a number of short surahs that anyone can memorize easily. As for dua’as, pick the ones that are most relevant to your everyday activities and needs.
Remember that the number of dua’as or surahs you are able to memorize by the end of Ramadan is not as important as how well you are able to understand and recite them.
In other words, think realistically about how many you can successfully memorize and focus on the quality of your efforts.
One of the first steps to take before attempting memorization of any surah is to listen to its recitation a few times. This will not only help you better acquaint yourself with the chapter, but it will also help you with the tajweed. Of course, once you start memorizing you should still continue listening to recitations in order to help you with the overall process. You can listen to recitations while you’re driving, cleaning, or preparing suhoor or iftaar – multitasking is totally okay!
Choose one copy of the Mus’haf
Remember: Visuals are important. Choosing one copy of the Qur’an that you like can be really helpful in memorization. If you consistently memorize from the same text, it will naturally be easier to visually imagine and remember that text.
Fix times to memorize
Ramadan can be a time that is busier than we usually anticipate. If you’re not working or attending school, you may be going to Islamic classes, or preparing iftaar, or going to the mosque to pray. In order to be really successful in your memorization, it is imperative that you make special room in your schedule specifically for this task. Set aside at least thirty minutes to an hour daily during a time when you know you won’t get distracted. (Right after Fajar prayer is a fantastic time to memorize.)
Learn the meanings
If you do not fully understand Arabic, make sure you are referring back to the translations of whatever you are memorizing. This especially goes for dua’as, as they’re usually short in length, making word for word memorization of their translations relatively easy. Doing this will also make your dua’a more heartfelt and meaningful when you actually say it in Arabic because you will understand what exactly you are asking for. As for surahs, learning the meanings will help you contextualize each ayah (verse), making the process of memorization easier.
Benefit from salah
Most of us usually pray more frequently in Ramadan than we do throughout the rest of the year. Whether it’s praying our five daily prayers regularly, or doing extra ones on top of that, our time on the prayer mat usually increases during Ramadan. Use this to your benefit by reading the surahs your trying to memorize in your prayers. This will help reinforce the surahs multiple times throughout the day. Once you finish praying, stay put for a few extra minutes and repeat any of the dua’as you have memorized. Do this after every prayer.
Write it out
If you are advanced in Arabic, writing out whatever you are memorizing can be really helpful. As previously mentioned, visuals are important. Seeing the surahs or dua’as in your own handwriting can be visually beneficial. Writing them out can also be a good exercise to test yourself.
Make it a habit
You may memorize a dua’a, but if you don’t get in the habit of saying it at the appropriate time, you will eventually just forget about it. Ramadan is the perfect time to practice dua’as and really make them natural habits and a part of your daily routine. Hopefully you are able to come out of Ramadan with these dua’as and surahs naturally and frequently rolling off your tongue.
Find a partner
One of the best things you can do for yourself is to find a companion – someone who will memorize passages with you. I find this works best when both people actually engage in a friendly competition. It helps keep you motivated and provides an incentive to not slack off and fall behind.
Keep yourself in check
Ramadan is essentially a month of discipline. It teaches you to have control over yourself and to resist certain temptations. The same rules apply to memorization. If you create a schedule, but find yourself not adhering to it, make sure there are penalties put in place. For example, if you don’t meet your goals, you don’t get that dessert after your meal that you were day dreaming about all day. Self-motivation is as important, if not more, as being motivated by someone else.
Take control of your body and mind and God willing, you will benefit greatly from the knowledge you gain.
So, renew your intentions this year and ask Allah (swt) to open your heart and your mind while you prepare to memorize. May Allah help you in your journey and make this Ramadan full of blessings and productivity.