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Assalaamu ‘alaykum wa Rahmatullah
Dear Friends,

I pray that you are all progressing well with your hifdh – whether it be review or the memorisation of new verses, mashaAllah.
This week, I’m pleased to share with you all an article written on a topic close to the heart of every hifdh student and teacher: It’s about issues regarding the mental block one experiences during the hifdh journey.
Alhamdulillah, one of the best write-ups on the topic thus far – comprehensive, practical and indeed, very insightful!

May your days be blessed with devotion & love for al Qur’aan!
Rayhaanah

***

by Sister Fajr (may Allah preserve her)

Hubut (هبوط)

This Qur’an, as much as it is the Gift of Allah which He gives to whom He wishes, it is also the test of Allah for many of us. If we’ve made a sincere decision to memorise the Qur’an, this Book which took 23 years to come down to Earth… we also need to realize that it’s not really going to be one simple, easy, straightforward road from the moment of ‘Azm (resolve) to the day of khatm (completion). It is the case that we’ll face many obstacles on the way, and one obstacle which is not always spoken about is a particular one which I call: Hubut – هبوط (an Arabic term meaning ‘diminution, lack of motivation, laxity, mental blocks, laziness, weakness, slackness’ – you get the idea)

In the course of your Hifdh, watch out for the ‘Hubut’ moments. Those days when you can’t seem to memorise anything, you have a mental block & your motivation feels like it’s just faced the firing squad. Yep, you know what I’m talking about… it’s a strange phenomenon faced by everyone but for the student memorizing Qur’an these ‘down moments’ are public enemy no.1, they can really mess you up and throw you off-course if you don’t know how to deal with them. Some students face major moments of ‘futur’ (laxity) and as a result; they abandon memorisation entirely and never reach their goal of Hifdh al-Qur’an (even though they have memorised over half the Qur’an done). Yeah, it happens.

It’s a frustrating period of time which makes a person sad, disheartened and feel like they’ll never achieve anything. So the one who used to memorise 2 pages a day is reduced to memorizing only a few verses, the one who used to wake up earlier than crows finds himself in hibernation and the one who used to make time for Hifdh despite his busy schedule can no longer be bothered with things.

So why does it happen and when does it happen?

Well, I guess that’s one for the psychologists to answer but in general, these moments can occur randomly and for different reasons. As a student you’ll have always been told to steer clear of sins (the wise advice of Wakee’) and this is because sins bring about these moments of hubut faster and more frequently than anything else – and once you begin to suffer from it, it creates the perfect atmosphere for one to abandon and forget the Qur’an. It’s a major tool of Shaytan which he uses to mislead the slaves of Allah from becoming constant in good deeds (watch him enter hubut into all your ‘ibadat). But sometimes in a person’s attempts of avoiding sin, they fall into the other ‘less known’ causes of hubut:

Stress
Work overload
Long periods of not listening to or reciting Qur’an
Emotions running high or low/emotional instability (such as anger, over-excitement, depression, mood-swings, giddiness etc).
Thinking too much
Eating/sleeping too much
Not finding a companion to work with or a teacher to assist you
Too much empty time
Boredom
Receiving too much criticism from others

For sisters, you may notice hubut near the times of your menstrual cycle and hence you face mental blocks either before, during or after your period.

So what do we do?

Good question, my friend!

But a better question is: ‘What would you do if you were on your way somewhere important and something blocked your road?’ Or ‘What if you were going home from university or work but as you come to the tube station, the Underground folks tell you that the Northern Line has been suspended’ (doesn’t that always happen?) and your route home has now been affected. What do you do?

Your answers would probably include things like:

– Avoid the blockage

– Get around it or move it out of your way somehow

– Find a different route

– Wait a while for things to clear

– Don’t rely on London’s Transport! J

Please, Fajr… something more detailed?

Ok, ok…

· First thing first: When you’ve hit your moment of ‘hubut’, it’s important that you do not end up doing the dreaded, which is: stopping your Hifdh altogether. You can decrease your portion if necessary, but never halt it. Instead, to make up for things, try to increase your listening of Qur’an so have your Surah playing in your iPod or cassette player, around the house, in the car, on your way to work etc. If you are familiar with your hubut and know that it’ll only last a few hours or a day, then maybe take a break from Hifdh for that time period and do something different until your laxity passes by.

· If your moment of hubut is due to something physical (e.g. you’re tired, hungry, or stressed etc) then you need to satisfy this first and overcome it. So sleep well, eat well, relax, and maybe get a massage and do some stretches if your menstrual cycle has made you feel like a hippo stuck in mud lol.

· Stay away from anything which will lower your spirits or demotivate you – be it junk food (this is crime I say), loneliness, laziness, boredom, lack of support, friends/family who may criticize your efforts (be kind and patient with them but take a break as well) basically whatever does not float your boat and gets you down.

· Having some organisation in your life is like having salt and vinegar in your fish and chips. Really, it does wonders to be tidy, neat and organised – and it actually leads you to become more organised and focused at mind. With Hifdh of Qur’an, you need space. That means physical space (periods of solitude to contemplate and memorise) as well as giving yourself mental ‘space’ – if you overwhelm your brain with a hundred ‘things to-do’ and stick-it notes that are scattered in your mind, you just won’t find the focus, motivation or time for Hifdh.

. Routines are the best! You may enjoy living in the fast lane and being like a spontaneous person, but sometimes you need those ‘mundane’ routines in life. Think of them as ‘Thawabit’ – constants that hold you down whenever you feel like you’re about to fall off the road. If for example, you have a regular routine of coming home from work, showering, eating and then sitting down for half an hour to memorise half a page, then when you’re hit by hubut one day, you will naturally still be composed and find it easier to continue with that routine compared to someone who has no routine for their Hifdh – and were you to miss that daily half an hour of Hifdh, you will actually feel weird like something is missing! (Well, it is.)

· Stay active. Have workout sessions where you physically exercise your body, and depending on how fit you are, I would recommend doing rigorous exercise at least two or three times a week – it’ll make you more alert, creates a sense of passion/ambition in life, keeps things like depression, laziness and tiredness at bay and guess what? It’s a sharp sword against hubut and futur.

· Have a deadline, always. Set one deadline for overall Hifdh (e.g. by July 2010) and have another deadline for every commencing week and month etc. Make sure you write these deadlines in different places – on your work desk, in kitchen, as a reminder on your phone, or if you’re a typical Londoner have it engraved on the front of your oyster card! This way, whenever you are faced with hubut, you still have a focus and something to work towards, no matter what.

And the list goes on… Seriously, books can be written on this topic.

A point to note: If you look back at the pre-mentioned causes of hubut, you’ll notice a common factor… they are mainly causes which preoccupy and affect one’s heart. Hence, to avoid hubut, avoid anything which affects the healthy state of your heart, e.g. having too much attachment to this world.

Realise that through the course of memorising Qur’an you will be undergoing a form of training whereby you attain characteristics of a believer insha’Allah – e.g. firm and correct belief, patience, zuhd, gratitude, contemplation, determination, courage, humbleness, you gain good judgement, sound mind, kindness & ease in character (riqqa), and so on bi’ithnillah.

So it’s a training period to see you through life… and naturally any form of training will consist of testing moments or obstacles and hence hubut (as much as it’s an annoying and frustrating occurrence) it actually serves a purpose in the long run – so don’t be disheartened and definitely do not give up J

I ask Allah to keep us and our resolves firm. May He protect us from the downfalls and pitfalls upon this path. Amin

Bimsillah
Assalaamu ‘alaykum wa Rahmatullah
Dear sisters & aspiring Haafidhaat,

May the week ahead bring ease, success & productivity in your tahfeedh journey. May all your goals be fulfilled & your hifdh-related tasks accomplished.

As per the request of many of our blog subscribers, I’ll be sharing with you the podcast link of a radio programme that I presented on the topic of hifdh. In this programme, I discussed the progress of muslim women committing the Holy Qur’aan to memory & shared ideas / resources:

http://www.radioislam.org.za/a/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=17369&Itemid=125

Listen, learn, share & be inspired!
Rayhaanah

Bismillah
Assalaamu ‘alaykum wa Rahmatullah
Dear friends & students,

2011 & with technology abound, hifdh students, teachers & mentors have numerous learning tools at their disposal. Indeed, a blessing & a catalyst that allows for the individual to measure progress & which encourages a sense of responsibility & interactive learning, especially for the younger students.
Yes, we’re spoit for choice with literally dozens of choices:

*mind mapping
*hifdh charts
*memory skills
*audio (iPod, mp3, CD, internet, etc.)
*visual (Qur’aan websites, youtube, Kindle, smart phoe applications,One touch mus-haf, etc.)

When coaching a student the topic of hifdh resource tools is often broached. And many a student will indicate that whilst they have an iPod, iPad, mp3 , the One Touch mus-haf, etc., at their disposal, the choices are simply overwhelming! Meaning: Where does one start? How does one choose which tool to incorporate? And why?

A word of advise: try making choices that can positively steer your hifdh in the direction ahead: opt for simplistic & effective, with a focus on saving time & increasing productivity, rather than applications or gadgets that serve as ‘time thieves’. Along the way, we’ve all learnt of the value of time when memorising al Qur’aan .. ’nuff said 😉
Different tools may assist your hifdh at different stages of your learning, or you may find one specific tool that is effective & works for you and your hifdh.. great!

Always make sure that you’ve chosen a hifdh tool to aid review during haidh & busy or challenging times, for eg: exams, work, family commitments,moving house, maternity leave, recuperating after an illness, etc.
What works for one individual may not necessarily work for others. This depends largely on ones learning patterns, hifdh & personal schedule, or access to resources.

But with today’s fast-paced lifestyles utilising atleast 1 resource tool is vital: for consolidating revision, strengthening retention, improvement of tajweed, enhancing concentration skills (more on concentration skills in a future blog post inshaa Allah!).

So, ask yourself: what works for me? And most importantly, am I using this tools consistently?

Wishing you a successful & productive week ahead in your hifdh journey!
Rayhaanah

Bismillah
Assalaamu ‘alaykum wa Rahmatullah
Dear sisters:

Alhamdulillah! It’s good to be back on the blogosphere again.
Plenty to share with you about the world of Qur’aanic memorisation & upcoming projects with Fee Qalbee, inshaa Allah!

Shukran for the many emails from readers, fellow bloggers & students / clients, who queried to ask how we were doing.
Mashaa Allah, it’ already the start of a new academic year for some (well, almost!), and for others, it’s time to prepare for mid-year examinations & assessments: may Allah bless you all with ease & success, for His Pleasure, aameen!

Last month, I was delighted to receive a most exquisite, unique gift, from a family friend who had recently returned from abroad. I had been hoping to blog all about it, and tell you how fantastic and ideal it is, for all aspiring huffaadh, mashaa Allah! so…here goes….

Touch and learn® is an amazing system that will take your reading and exploring Islamic books to a new dimension. Simply touch a verse of the Mus’haf with the speaking pen and it will come alive. With one touch you will hear how it is recited by your favorite Qari, its vocabulary , its grammar, the various Qiraa’aat, Tajweed Rules, reasons of revelations, Tafseer, related Hadith, and more…

Watch Demonstrations

Order Your Copy Now!

http://www.touchandlearn.com/

*This learning product is ideal for students of all ages. It is highly interactive & young Qur’aan learners will find it thoroughly engaging, whilst older, mature learners will appreciate the tafseer & explanation that accompanies the Mus-haf. Despite the vast amount of information at hand, it is neither heavy nor bulky to carry around with you to class. The Touch & Learn Mushaf aids in audio & visual memorisation, and allows the option of listening to a variety of Qurraa’, and an explanation in different languages.
Truly an amazing piece of technology, to aid those aspiring to memorise Al Qur’aan Al Majeed!

Post your comments & thoughts on the product, and do let us know more about other enrichment & resource materials that have aided YOU in your tahfeedh.

Until the next post, take care & keep reviewing your Qur’aan with devotion!
Rayhaanah

10. Tomatoes

For those of you incredibly fuzzy and spaced out from consuming a low carbohydrate diet, it’s time to feed your brain. Opt for a value-added source of carbohydrates like tomatoes. Tomatoes are your top source of potassium (great for muscles and helping lower blood pressure), an excellent source of vitamins A & C and they are loaded with antioxidants.

Tomatoes Are Your Top Source Of Potassium And An Excellent Source Of Vitamins A And C.
Tomatoes Are Your Top Source Of Potassium And
An Excellent Source Of Vitamins A And C.

9. Capers

I know, this is an odd one, but, consider adding them to your salads. Capers are one of the best sources of quercetin (trumped only by tea). Quercetin is a unique flavonoid that can improve blood flow to the brain, decrease oxidative stress and prevent memory impairment. If you don’t like capers, load up on the next best quercetin source – apples.

8. Red Grapes

Red grapes are loaded with resveratrol – a compound that improves memory and cognition i

7. Chewing Gum

Some studies show that chewing gum can enhance alertness, mood, reaction time and attention. Will it help your memory? Possibly, but it may depend on the context of your situation.

6. Coffee

Coffee is one of the top sources of caffeine in our diet. Caffeine can improve your short-term memory and attention (so your long term memory may be better). In addition, some studies show a negative association between Alzheimer’s and coffee intake.

5. Blueberries

Blueberries are loaded with antioxidant polyphenols – compounds that decrease inflammation and free radical damage. Of particular interest is the anthocyanin content in blueberries. Anthocyanins have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties and increase neuron signaling in the brain. Older adults who consumed wild blueberry juice daily improved some aspects of cognitive functioning.

4. Turmeric

This yellow spice, a member of the ginger family, contains a brain-protective compound called curcumin. Studies show that curcumin protects against cognitive impairment and it can help improve memory and learning. In addition, it may enhance blood flow to the brain. How can you add turmeric to your diet? Try yellow rice over white and enhance your palate with a variety of dishes.

3. Mixed Nuts

All nuts contain heart healthy monounsaturated fat. In addition, nuts contain an array of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, and they are one of the best sources of magnesium. Magnesium can improve learning and memory and magnesium therapy has been shown to restore brain functioning following brain injury.

2. Fatty Fish – Halibut, Salmon, Mackerel, Sardines

Greater intake of omega-3 rich fatty fish early in life is linked to lowered risk of cognitive disorders later in life. Additionally, intake of the omega-3 fat DHA has been associated with better nonverbal reasoning and working memory. Some studies in humans show that fish consumption or DHA supplementation is associated with cognitive improvement.

1. Eggs

Among the many nutrients in egg yolks, you’ll find choline and phosphatidyl serine. In the human body, choline is necessary for the synthesis of structural components of cell membranes and it plays a role in cell signaling.

Bonus Brain Food: Tea

Black, white, green and oolong, is nature’s most perfect beverage. Tea’s unique relaxation and enhanced concentration properties stem from its natural combination of caffeine and the amino acid L-theanine. Both stimulate areas of the brain that increase our alertness.

And, studies suggest that L-theanine can help reduce psychological and physiological stress and increase alpha-brain wave activity,
If you are worried about your memory, dig into these foods. Start your day with coffee and eggs, have a loaded salad (with capers and tomatoes of course) for lunch, drink tea throughout the day, snack on blueberries or grapes and grill halibut or salmon for dinner. It isn’t too late to improve your memory and, the best part is that these foods will enhance your overall health in the process.

Assalaamu ‘alaykum wa Rahmatullah

Fee Qalbee presents…

Hifdh revision classes:

* For one month only, starting 26th July, with hafidha Rayhaanah

* Specifically for sisters who have memorised the sunnan surahs or portions of Qur’aan & wish to complete thorough revision of memorised sections

* Personalised & uplifting sessions, incorporating hifdh mentoring, advise & support, 24 /7 via twitter, email, text messaging, facebook & skype

* From the comfort of your home or workplace, via skype or telephonic landline number

* Sessions held between Mondays & Thursdays

*
Choose a 30 minute or 1 hour session that best suits you

Bookings are based on a first come first basis : please email (rayhaanah@feeqalbee.com) to secure your sessions today!

Yours in Islaam,
Haafidha Rayhaanah Omar
http://www.feeqalbee.com
~Let the beauty of what you ♥ be what you do~