1. You absolutely must have a teacher. Do NOT memorize on your own. You must have a teacher who you respect and whom you fear. Don’t ask ‘how’ to memorize the Qur’an. Ask where you can find the best teacher. The teacher will then guide you on the ‘how’.
2. Distractions. In memorizing the Qur’an, you must free your mind and environment of distractions. Imagine trying to memorize at a football game? Tough, huh? How about a theme park, could you sit down and control yourself to memorize? Probably not. Getting into a Qur’an Hifdh program with a teacher and discipline will assist you in creating the perfect atmosphere for memorization.
3. Memorize through Audio. A lot of people think they are memorizing the ‘look’ of the Mushaf, but actually you are memorizing the ‘sound’ of Ayat. When I review, I record my recitation on CD and listen to it again and again. The students that read the loudest in class are all the strongest students. Why? Because they can hear themselves the most? When I was in Qur’an school, the boy beside me read so loud. I asked the teacher to ask him to read more quietly. He said a most powerful statement that became my motto: “No, you read louder!” I did and it benefited me unbelievably.
4. Location of the Mushaf. Your eyes follow a specific direction depending on what you are thinking or doing. If you are lying, your eyes go left. If you are remembering something visual, like where you left your keys, your eyes will look upwards. When you memorize, the direction of memorization is right and left, not downwards. The mistake I see people make is that they put their mushaf low on the ground and then try to memorize. In order to fully harness the power of your mind, you must keep the mushaf at eye level, and not dip your head..
5. Eat brain food. We’ve all heard the advice of uncles that you have to eat Badams (almonds) to improve memory. Well, I’m here to tell you that the uncles were right! The food you eat, the drinks you drink, directly affect your ability to excel in memorization of the Qur’an. Do not eat fatty, unhealthy food. Do not drink soda. Eat a nutritious light breakfast, a nutritious light lunch, with almonds for snacks during the day. Subhan Allah, you will find you accomplish much more in your day.
6. Make everyday a victory. You can move a mountain rock by rock. Enjoy every page you memorize, every Ayah. I am often asked about my secret to memorizing the Qur’an. They are expecting me to teach them a special ‘south-beach-hifdh-diet’ or something. (I call it tip shopping, they are expecting a specific tip).
I say again and again, there is no doubt that there are three ingredients. If you have these three ingredients, you will accomplish what you set out for:
a. Dua, supplication (you must always reflect your desire to Allah).
b. Sabr, patience (it will be a testing path, fill your bags with Sabr powerbars).
c. Taqwa, protecting yourself from sin. If you do not remember anything from this article except these three ingredients (DST – Dua, Sabr, Taqwa - DST) then, bi idhnillah, it will suffice.