inshaa-allaah, in the future this section will have tips, tricks, and tried-and-true methods of performing hifz: how much to memorize, how much to practice every day, and so on. For now, we just have a general outline of the kind of daily routine that is necessary, and you can modify it for your own pace. If you would like to contribute a hifdh methodology, especially if it is referenced, please feel free to mention it in the discussion board.
Hifdh is the memorization of the quraan, and an individual who memorizes the entire quraan is known as a haafidh. Besides the beautiful language of the quraan, the complete and perfect way of life that it espouses, and the many other miracles that can be found in its pages, one of the miracles of the quraan is that, in the centuries since its revelation until today, literally millions of men, women, and even children have memorized it in its entirety. Often, it is memorized even by people who cannot speak or understand Arabic!
There are many different methodologies for memorizing the quraan, either traditionally passed down from the elders or determined by someone with experience and customized for the abilities and needs of the student. Sometimes different countries also have popular methods to approach the hifdh of the quraan. inshaa-alaah some of these will be detailed in the future on this site, and students without a teacher can choose what seems to be most suited for their individual situation. There is generally no right or wrong methodology for memorization (as long as the etiquette and rules of the quraan's recitation are taken into account)- the important thing is to stick with whatever you choose, or follow whatever your teacher recommends.
A Basic Idea of the Methodology
The section on revision is before the section on memorization for a reason. Revision is the most important and most difficult part of memorization. It requires patience and consistency. No matter how excited you are to memorize something new, you have to set aside the major portion of time every day for revising what you have already memorized. If on a particular day you are short of time, cut back on the memorization for that day and not on the revision.
Once you've memorized more than one juz, you can divide what you have already memorized into two parts:
- Newly memorized material-whatever you memorized in the last 10-15 memorization sessions.
- Old memorized material-whatever else you have already memorized.
The entire section of newly memorized material should be revised (read without looking) every day until it becomes old memorized material.
A portion of the old memorized material should also be revised (looking or not looking depending on well you had memorized it) every day according to your time and ability constraints (more specifics will be posted later, inshaa-allah).
inshaa-allah, HifzHelper.com can help you with staying consistent and being sure to practice sufficiently every day. You should record the amount of old memorized material that you revise every day in the "Record Revision Session" tab in the main window. Keeping track of the score will allow you to remain consistent or slowly increase the amount you revise every day as you memorize new material. In the future, you will also be able to choose hifdh methodologies and automatically have goals set for you each day based on that methodology and track your progress using statistics and graphs. If you'd like to see other features like email or sms reminders, please mention it in the discussion forums.
Again, there are many different methodologies for approaching the actual memorization of new material every day. In general, you want to memorize such that when you come back the next day, you can still read from memory what you memorized the previous day. That means you would generally start out reading very carefully, making sure there are no mistakes, continue reading until you can read without looking, then continue reading after that until the verses become solid in your mind. Sometimes, taking a few minutes later in the same day to practice those verses again or even while doing some other task will help to retain them.
Memorize only as much as you are capable, without worrying too much about the amount. It is much, much more important to be consistent then to memorize a whole lot at once. Don't compromise on the revision time to memorize more verses in a day. Slow and steady wins this race. One way to think about this is that, if we memorized only a single ayah a day from the time we were capable of speaking, most of us would already be haafidh right now (approximately 18 years is required for a single ayah a day memorization). So it is much more important to stay consistent, memorize solidly, and revise a good amount every day, then to memorize a very large portion one day and then forget it because of not being consistent in revision.
Whatever portion you memorize every day, record it on the "Record Memorization Session" tab in the main window, after logging in. Again, you will be able to accurately track your progress and stay consistent using the score feature. Additionally, in the future there are many features planned that will help to motivate such as setting goals based on hifdh methodology, tracking statistics, calculating days until completion, sharing with groups to motivate each other, etc.