Q – What is the best time to memorise the new lesson?

A – The best time to learn the new lesson is when one’s mind is quite relaxed. Generally this is at the time of Fajr (the morning prayer) and after the Magrib salâh (the prayer after sunset).

Q – What is the best method to use in memorising one’s new lesson?

A – One of the most effective methods to use in memorising the new lesson is as follows: Before commencing the actual procedure of memorisation, read the new lesson at least three or four times. This will prepare the student mentally for the lesson, as well as give him the crux of the lesson. Secondly, memorise verse by verse (ayah after ayah). Do not precede to the next verse if you have not memorised the previous one properly. Be very observant when memorising the lesson.

Q – How should one memorise a verse which is extremely long eg. Verse 282 of Surah Al-Imrân?

A – If the verse is very long, it is most advisable to memorise it in portions, eg. By memorising small portions of the verse. Once the entire verse has been memorised, one would be capable of reciting it fluently.

Q – Is it advisable for students to memorise their lessons by listening to audio material?

A – It is advisable for students to listen to their new lesson on cassette then to begin memorising it. However, a more approved method is where the ustâdh (teacher) himself recites the new lesson to the student and thereafter the student memorises his lesson.

Q – Are there any special benefits in listening to cassettes by the student?

A – From the many special benefits here are a few:

Listening to these cassettes creates a greater urge and fervour to learn eg. A student loves to listen to the recital of the Qur’ân by Sheikh Abdul Rahman As-Sudais, now by him listening to the recitation, this enhances the desire of learning.

The student gets more familiar with the method of recital.

The student tends to remember his lesson for a longer period of time.

NB. The effort of the student is still of utmost importance.

Q – Many students keep mentioning that certain chapters of the Qur’aan are extremely difficult to memorise eg. Surah As Saffaat. Please advise us.

A – These are merely statements of ignorance. Psychology proves when a person retains such statements and takes them to heart, one is bound to find the lesson difficult to memorise. The clarity of mind plays an extremely important role when memorising a lesson.

Q – Can you enlighten us on the importance of reciting one’s lesson to the teacher before commencing the actual process of memorisation?

A – The importance of reciting the new lesson by the teacher cannot be over emphasized. One is definitely saved from many errors which could arise because of negligence. The student is made aware of any weakness regarding the application of the laws of tajweed etc.

Q – How much of the new lesson should a student learn?

A – This depends mainly on the student himself. The amount varies from 1/3 of a page to 2 pages and more.

NB. Quality is of utmost importance, not quantity.

Thus far most of the questions dealt with the ‘new lesson’ (sabaq). Hereunder follow questions pertaining to the ‘previous day’s lessons’, revision (dor, Muraj’ah) as well as miscellaneous advice and noteworthy points.

Q – Students find great difficulty in remembering their previous day’s lesson. What is the main cause for this?

A – The main cause for students forgetting their previous day’s lesson is negligence.

Hereunder follow some methods which will assist the students. As soon as the student recites his new lesson to the teacher from memory, he must revise the very same lesson instantly at least 4 to 5 times. The very same method should be adopted before one learns one’s revision (i.e. the repetition of the new lesson).

Q – Students tend to make a lot of mistakes when reciting their revision. What is the cause of this?

A – Mistakes are unavoidable. It must be remembered that memorising the Qur’aan takes different stages eg. First the student has to memorise the new lesson, revise it etc. It is like a building. The foundation has to be firm. Then only is it possible for the building to stand. Similarly, once the student makes the effort to learn his new lesson (sabaq) correctly, his revision becomes easier.

To decrease the rate of mistakes, the teacher can set a target for the student eg. the student is not permitted to make more than 3 or 4 mistakes in a surah (chapter).

Q – What is the recommended amount of revision that a student should recite daily?

A – The Qur’aan consists of 30 ajzaa, it would be highly recommended that every student recites at least one part every day.

Q – How does a student remember those texts/ places in the Qur’aan which are very often repeated? (Mutashabihât)

A – One can only remember these places after excessive learning.

Q – Is it necessary for a student to learn from one print of the Qur’aan or can he learn from different prints of the Qur’aan?

A – It is very important that a student learns from one print of the Qur’aan, because the student generally visualises his lessons. Now if he starts learning from different prints, very soon he is going to be confused.

NB. This also leads to a lot of strain on the student’s mind.

Q – Does one learn better by reciting audibly or inaudibily?

A – This depends mainly on the student. Some students prefer to learn aloud whereas others prefer to learn in a low voice. The advantage of reciting aloud is that one tends to read more clearly and will detect any mistake one makes easily.