15 Jun Dealing with revision & retention
بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَـنِ الرَّحِيمِ
Assalaamu ‘alaykum wa Rahmatullah
As we find ourselves drawing closer to the Month of The Glorious Qur’aan there are opportunities abound for us to connect to the Divine Book: for some it lies in improving tajweed, whilst for others it may be in memorising the Words, learning Qur’aanic Arabic, or studying the meaning of this heavenly Wisdom.
No matter what stage you are at, there is one thing in common: a Qur’aan connection in Ramadan has an extra special feel and atmosphere to it!
I am always inspired by and impressed with the number of sisters who continue devoting their lives to preserving the beautiful Words and those teaching it, despite what others may perceive as challenges or even setbacks: consistent, steadfast, focussed…they soldier on, trusting in His Help and Mercy.
The volume of questions that I receive around this time of the year is indicative of the ever increasing number of sisters committed to Qur’anic memorisation, mashaAllah!
For this week’s post, I’ve selected to answer some of the most frequently asked questions, with the hope that it will assist many more aspiring Qur’aan bearers!
Q: I’m really confused, it’s Ramadan and some say you should continue learning sabaq, and others say that Ramadan translates into dhor time for students. What should I do?!
A: Every teacher or hifdh institute differs in the methods employed for Ramadan Qur’aan schedules. My advice would be to consult directly with your own hifdh teacher and follow her recommendation – her decision would probably be based after her assessment of your hifdh (standard of retention), goal orientation, amongst other factors. In some instances, students resume with new hifdh after Ramadhan, and instead focus on thorough revision during the fasting month, using the Taraweeh and Tahajjud periods as prime opportunities to correct and improve upon hifdh. Taking into consideration the fact that most students study hifdh part-time, this month does actually present the perfect occasion for intensive revision and strengthening, together with establishing a wonderful habit of reciting ALL your hifdh in salaah, throughout the day or night. On the other hand, there are those students who maintain daily revision together with new hifdh, and they too, manage to successfully achieve their Ramadan hifdh goals.
Q: This is the 2nd year that I’m teaching hifdh, alHumdulillah. I’d like to know a good method of how they (the students) should be doing their muraa-ja’ah (dhor/revision), and how much they should be reciting to me?
A: MashaAllah! Those chosen by Allah SWT to teach others tahfeedhul Qur’aan, are indeed blessed! May Allah SWT accept from you, aameen. Generally, methods differ – not only from one hifdh learning institute to the next, but also from one student to the other. Whilst it is difficult to take a broad view, here are some key points you may wish to consider: -Some individuals perform well at school and find memorisation easy, whilst others may find it challenging to strike a balance between hifdh, school, sport / hobbies. My advice would be to set a consultation time with each student and discuss with her what her long-term and short-term goals for hifdh are. -Ask her how she feels on whether she is coping or not, given that she has a full schedule throughout the week. -Also, ask what she feels can be done (by yourself) to help with her hifdh progress.
During the course of your consultation, you may come to learn of (any) challenges and concerns that directly / indirectly affect her hifdh, and then be able to joint seek solutions. Based on this, together with your knowledge of the quality of her hifdh work, you will be more accurate and realistic in drawing up a sustainable & successful revision plan for her that would include the amount, frequency & your expectations of your student.
In some hifdh set-ups, school going girls attend hifdh for 1 / 1.5 hours in the morning (before school) and 2 hours after school or university. There is the daily lesson, sabaq, (each student will commit to what she can manage with) and then sabaq dhor (meaning: to read the juzz she is currently memorising), from the start. Then there is dhor / muraa-ja’ah (here, she will read from the older & oldest chapters): those that have memorized less than 10 ajzaa’ will read atleast 1 juzz each day. And then for every 5 additional ajzaa’ after this, the student will give an extra quarter juzz. This varies on the student’s ability, but generally, after 2 months they do settle in well and cope, mashaAllah.
As students progress in the hifdh and the volume increases, you may consider conducting lessons during the weekend mornings: whilst it may require sacrifice from both student & teacher (and families), part-time hifdh students find this to be an incredible window of learning opportunity, away from school and campus schedule, deadlines and assignment submissions.
There is plenty of benefit to be found from implementing a hifdh-salaah roster system: this would involve creating a time table with each student wherein she has a realistic plan of reciting her dhor in salaah.
Remember, there will be some days when students are unable to complete all revision in class and also instances where muraa-ja’ah may be weak & require constant repetition or re-learning, and here is where the roster helps tremendously in terms of accountability, responsibility & improvement. An effective way for every teacher to track progress of an inspiring hafidha!
Rest assured, once students start noticing improvement in their hifdh standard, they will begin enjoying and cherishing the gift of reciting hifdh in Qiyaam. And the days of reciting only surahs Feel until Naas in salaah will be long gone!
Q: If a person has ‘perfected mistakes’, how can these mistakes be corrected? Meaning, they make the SAME mistake each time they recite that page, then they note the mistake, but repeat this all the time. I really want to correct my mistakes this Ramadan, once and for all, inshaAllah!
A: For engrained, established errors: Re-learn the verses. Set aside a weekend every now and then, to do this, so that there isn’t a back-log of correcting weaker verses. Also, when you re-learn the verses, recite it to your teacher or classmate a few times. And, include in salaah soon thereafter, for at least a week. Follow the guidance provided on correcting mutashaabihaat verses. Practise writing out the verses at least three times. And lastly, reading through a translation of the verse may help improve the hifdh quality of that verse. Remember, established errors set in over time, so be patient and give yourself time to correct at a consistent pace.
Q: There are many verses which end with ‘Azeezun Hakeem’, ‘Gafoorur Raheem’, ‘Sami’ul Baseer’, etc. What is the best way to know which words come in these aayaat?
A: Read through the translation AND tafseer, so that you can create a mental ‘bridge’, connecting the earlier part of the verse to the Divine Attributes with which the verse concludes. You could also draw up a table, where you list the order in which the Attributes appear in your hifdh, viz: in their descending order. Frequent revision whereby you are revising and reciting looking into the mus-haf will help in cementing your retention of the correct verse endings.
May Allah SWT grant you ease in your hifdh journey, aameen!