The third most important step is to have a plan. This means you must designate an assigned portion that you intend to memorize every day. Be warned, planning is the easiest part. You must have will power and a strong sense of purpose in order to stick to it.
Do not try to aim too high and keep the planning moderate. That way, if you have extra time and end up memorizing more than planned, you’ll feel more encouraged to move forward consistently insha Allah.
The Messenger of Allah sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said,
خذوا من الأعمال ما تطيقون فإن الله لا يمل حتى تملوا و أحب الأعمال إلى الله ما داوم عليه صاحبه و إن قل
“Take from the deeds how much you can bear because Allah does not tire (of rewarding you) until you tire (of doing the deed). The most beloved of deeds to Allah are those that are done consistently by a person, even if they are small.” Bukhari and Muslim
The Salaf would say, “The one who does little consistently is better than the one who does a lot inconsistently.”
Follow these practical steps in order to lay out your plan and stick to it:
1- Learn about the way the Quran is divided.
114 Surahs: each of the Surahs are of varying number of ayaat, and the ayaat are varying in length
30 Juz’: each Juz’ is twenty to twenty one pages long
60 Hizb: each Juz’ is divided into two almost equal subparts
or you can decide to memorize according to the meaning and tafsir of the ayaat, for example, Surah Yusuf hsa one primary topic, yet it can be divided according to the events that occurred: his dream and conversation with Ya’qub ‘alayhissalam, being thrown into the well, the incident with the ‘Aziz’s wife etc.
Additionally, scholars of the Quran have divided it this way:
1- السبع الطوال The Seven Long Surahs: this includes Surah Al Baqarah, Ali ‘Imran, Al Nisaa, Al Mai’da, Al An’aam, Al A’raaf, and the seventh is either Al Tawbah or Yunus
2- المئون The Hundreds: this includes almost all the Surahs that come after the previous seven and the number of ayaat in these Surahs reach approximately a hundred
3-المثاني The Repititions: this includes all the Surahs that come after the previous and the number of ayaat in these Surahs reach approximately two hundred.
4- المفصل The Separated Ones: this includes all the Surahs from Surah Al Hujurat to Surah Al Naas
2- Decide which method of division is easiest for you to follow. Consider your daily routine. Make productive use of holidays, weekends, and free time.
3- Start early! Rasulallah sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said,
اللهم بارك لأمتي في بكورها
“O Allah! Bless my Ummah in its early hours.” Sahih Al Jami’
Therefore, make use of the blessed hours before and after the Fajr salah. This will also help you start the rest of your day with a sense of accomplishment.
4- Write. It. Down. EVERYWHERE! Draw out a neat little memorization plan for yourself and tick it as you go, or if you are tech-savvy, use Microsoft Excel or Word.
5- Remember to include new memorization (parts you’ve memorized in the last few days), old memorization (parts you’ve memorized in the last month), and your new lesson (parts you memorized that day in particular). The new lesson you’ve memorized will stay in your short-term memory until you revise it consistently and transfer it to your long-term memory.
Finally, none of this will help you unless you have a strong determination to move forward. Do not burden yourself. Scholar of Fiqh and teacher of Imam Abu Hanifa rahimahullah, Hammad ibn Abi Sulayman would say, “Learn three issues every day, and do not increase to it anything else. Know that your heart is a part of your body and it is able to carry some things, while unable to carry other things.”
If you are unable to move forward and feel stressed, GIVE YOURSELF A BREAK. Relax and renew your intentions. I remember having a very fruitful month finishing one Juz’ every week, and suddenly, I found myself unable to memorize anything new. It would take me a whole hour to finish a page as opposed to the better days when I would be able to memorize a page in thirty minutes. I made myself a revision plan and gave the memorization a break. After a few days, I had everything revised as planned, which encouraged me to get back on track, Alhamdulilah!
Remember that no matter how much you plan and organize, there will occasionally be set backs. Do not despair, it is better to start afresh than to never have started at all!
I ask Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala to help us realize our goals.
-The Sahara Bloggers (Umm Saifullah)