A realisation struck me during a valued visit from a scholar, reaffirming what I had suspected for a long time.
Malam Abdullahi Lamido of Gombe took the time to visit my home in Abuja, as we were unable to facilitate our planned meeting in Minna. During his visit to the IET in Minna, he expressed a desire to see my food forest, while I was eager to soak in the breadth of knowledge he had to offer. Essentially, I was prepared to learn everything possible from him.
The visit turned into an enriching exchange of knowledge. He guided my son and me on a simpler and quicker method to memorize the Qur’an, while I demonstrated the technique of converting a single tree into a hundred using air layering, a process vividly depicted in the attached video.
Our conversation began post-Zuhr prayers, where I mentioned the challenge I had presented to my son: memorizing Suratul Baqarah during his term break. Intrigued, Lamido asked my son to demonstrate his Qur’an memorization technique.
I shared our 3×3 system, a structured approach involving reading a verse three times before moving onto the next, and then revisiting the previously read verses in a cumulative manner.
Lamido suggested a more efficient method, emphasizing the importance of not pressuring oneself to memorize the verses consciously. He recounted his personal experience in Zamfara as a young man, where he successfully led the tarawih prayers during Ramadan using this approach, despite not having memorized the specific portion of the Qur’an previously.
He explained that his daughters, one of whom utilizes this method, have memorized the entire Qur’an. Furthermore, his son, who is around the same age as mine, has been leveraging this technique to memorize substantial parts of the Qur’an efficiently.
Focus on a segment of a verse, comprising two or three words, instead of the whole verse. Repeat this small segment until you can recite it flawlessly without referencing the Qur’an.
Expand your focus to include another set of words, repeating the process described in Step 1. Periodically revisit the segment memorized initially to reinforce your memory.
Iteratively apply Step 2 until you reach the end of the page.
1. Students often discover an untapped potential, realizing that memorizing two to three words is within their grasp. This gradual process builds confidence, facilitating the memorization of entire verses over time.
2. Inspired by this method, my son advanced to memorizing a whole page daily. Although familiarity with some portions from school played a role, he maintained a consistent pace, managing half a page each day with unfamiliar sections until he returned to boarding school.
I acknowledged using a variant of this method in my daily routine for longer verses. The approach became particularly handy with verses extending over half a page, where memorization in one go seemed impracticable. Lamido’s insights opened up the possibility of applying this strategy to shorter verses as well.
This method is accessible to individuals across age groups, from 5 to 80 years, as memorizing a small group of words is manageable for most. The primary challenge lies in dedicating time for this activity, which can potentially be overcome by reserving just five minutes post each Salat, totaling 25 minutes a day.
Envision a conversation with a friend where you can proudly state, “I didn’t memorize any verses today, I memorized three words!”
* Excerpts from my new book “How to have fun memorizing the Qur’an.”