The fourth step is taken once you’ve started and are flowing smoothly with your daily memorization. You are following your plan with utmost energy and motivation and feel productive and inspired to keep going. Now you need effective strategies to keep you going at a steady pace without finding yourself at a dead end.
1- Make sure that you connect the first part of the surah to its end before moving on to another. You may find that the beginning of the Surah flows smoother for you because you spent more time and energy on it, while the end of the Surah does not get as much attention and repetition. This is your first red signal. Stop and revise it as many times as you need (10 times minimum) to strengthen the memorization.
2- Recite with understanding! Start reading tafseer of at least five verses per day. This way, the meaning of the verses will engrave into your mind and heart. Beginners are recommended to start with a tafseer that explains the verses clearly like Tafsir Ibn Kathir (summarized version) or Tafsir Al Jalalayn.
It is reported from Al-Fudayl that he said: “The Qurân was sent down to be acted upon but people have taken just reciting it as enough of a deed. He was asked, “How is it acted upon?” He replied, “They should treat as halâl what it makes halâl and treat as harâm what it makes harâm, they should take on its commandments and stay away from what it forbids, and they should stop to ponder its amazing knowledge and wisdom.”
3- Become comfortable with the patterns of the verses, i.e. mutashabihat. There are many, many, many repeated verses in the Quran. It is helpful to designate a notebook for tracking down the similar verses as you go. You can even use Microsoft Word and format your notes with the highlight, colors, italic, bold and underline options. Be creative! It’s worth it.
اللَّهُ نَزَّلَ أَحْسَنَ الْحَدِيثِ كِتَابًا مُّتَشَابِهًا مَّثَانِيَ تَقْشَعِرُّ مِنْهُ جُلُودُ الَّذِينَ يَخْشَوْنَ رَبَّهُمْ ثُمَّ تَلِينُ جُلُودُهُمْ وَقُلُوبُهُمْ إِلَىٰ ذِكْرِ اللَّهِ ۚ ذَٰلِكَ هُدَى اللَّهِ يَهْدِي بِهِ مَن يَشَاءُ ۚ
وَمَن يُضْلِلِ اللَّهُ فَمَا لَهُ مِنْ هَادٍ
Allah has sent down the best statement, a Book (this Quran), its parts resembling each other in goodness and truth, oft-repeated. The skins of those who fear their Lord shiver from it (when they recite it or hear it). Then their skin and their heart soften to the remembrance of Allah. That is the guidance of Allah. He Guides therewith whom He pleases and whomever Allah sends astray, for him there is no guide. (Surah Al Zumar)
Finally, don’t forget to renew your intention again. At this point, spend time alone to rethink your decision and block out any praise that you may be receiving. The signs of a boastful show-off are that he is lazy when alone, energetic when with people, increases his work when praised, and decreases his work when insulted and ignored. Pray hard and concentrate in your prayers. Use the golden moments in Sujood to come closer to Allah and seek His help in attaining your goal of understanding and memorizing His Book.
اللهم يا مقلب القلوب ثبت قلوبنا على دينك
-The Sahara Bloggers (Umm Saifullah)