There are over one billion Muslims in the world today. Every single one of them understand the importance of the Quran. Over time people have tried to eradicate it, only for Muslims to memorize it and put it back together in the same order again. Millions of people today try very hard to memorize it.
Most people have difficulty memorizing the Quran because of the repetition involved.
There are three ways it can be memorized:
- People that can read and understand the Arabic Quranic text
- People that can read the Quranic Arabic, but not understand the text
- People that cannot read and understand the Quranic Arabic text
Generally, most people forget the start of the ayah (sentence). Usually once they’ve memorized a few ayah’s, they stop recalling until it gets to the start of the next ayah. Once the start is remembered, then the rest of the ayah is usually remembered after it. Hence the trick is to have the start of the ayah memorized. This can be a word for each start of the ayah.
How to memorize Quran using memory techniques
Let’s take an example for the very first surah (chapter) of the Quran which has 7 ayah.
The full ayah, in transliteration form reads like this
- bismillâh ir-rahmân ir-rahîm
- al-hamdulillâhi rabb il-âlamîn
- ar-rahmân ir-rahîm
- mâliki yawm id-dîn
- iyyâka na`budu wa iyyâka nasta`în
- ihdinâ s-sirât al-mustaqîm
- sirât al-ladhîna an`amta `alayhim
ghayr il-maghdûbi `alayhim wa la d-dâlîn
If we take the start of each ayah then we have the below.
Now we can use the start of each word on a locus.
- Front Gate – bismillâh
- Front Door – al-hamdulillâhi
- Bed – ar-rahmân
- Shower – mâliki
- Sink – iyyâka
- Cupboard – ihdinâ
- Television – sirât
To memorize the start of each ayah, you will need to make a story up with the location and the ayah. For example:
- You smash through your front gate and say ‘Bismillah”
- You are knocking on your front door and accidently burp. You say ‘Al-hamdulillah’
You get the picture? Now make up stories for the rest of the surah below.
Keep going for the rest of the ayah and challenge yourself to memorize it using the method of loci. To memorize the Quran in general, it is ideal to have a location per ayah. However this would mean over 6000 locations. Some ayah’s are one page long so it’s how you break up that page that will enable you to memorize it better.
English translation below.
- In the name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.
- Praise be to God, the Cherisher and Sustainer of the world;
- Most Gracious, Most Merciful;
- Master of the Day of Judgment.
- Thee do we worship, and Thine aid we seek.
- Show us the straight way,
- The way of those on whom Thou hast bestowed Thy Grace, those whose (portion) is not wrath, and who go not astray.
Practice memorizing the above using the method of loci. For example:
- Front Gate – In the name of God…
- Front Door – Praise be to God…
- Bed – Most Gracious…
- Shower – Master of the Day of Judgment…
- Sink – Thee do we worship…
- Cupboard- Show us the straight way…
- Television – The way of those on whom Thou hast bestowed Thy Grace…
Memorizing the start of an ayah will help you memorize the ayah, however there are long ayah’s in the Quran as mentioned above. Linking these using the VAI memory principle will connect the ayah so that it is fully memorized.
To recall what you’ve memorized, go to your first loci and try and remember the story you’ve created for the word you associated using the VAI memory principle.
Recall English translation
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7.
As an exercise, select a surah from the Quran and test yourself. It does not have to be in Arabic. So long as you exercise your imagination, memory principles as well as techniques, it will provide a good foundation for brain development for you. The more you practise, the more you will be able to memorize the Quran.
Tansel Ali is a 4-time Australian Memory Champion most famously known for memorizing two Yellow Pages phone books in only 24 days. An international bestselling author of the books, ‘The Yellow Elephant’ and ‘How to Learn Almost Anything In 48 Hours’, Tansel is a sought-after memory expert, keynote speaker and memory coach.