Answered by Shaykh Yusuf Weltch
Is it better for me to memorize Qur’an or to focus on Islamic studies?
In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate
There is no doubt that memorizing the Qur’an is an immense virtue if one is able to do it.
Regarding these virtues, the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and give him peace) said:
“It will be said to the one who memorized the Qur’an: recite and rise (in ranks); read slowly as you used to in the world, for indeed your final abode is at the last verse you recite.” [Tirmidhi; Abu Dawud]
“Indeed, Allah has folk from amongst the people. The folk of the Qur’an are the folk of Allah and His choice servants.” [Ahmad]
Despite these virtues, if one has not studied their personally obligatory knowledge, they must give precedence to studying. This is because seeking Sacred knowledge is obligatory on every Muslim, as the Prophet (may Allah bless him and give him peace) said, whereas memorizing the Qur’an is a recommended action.
Memorization and Reliance
If you have studied your basic personally obligatory knowledge and have the desire to memorize the Qur’an, you should first perform the prayer of seeking guidance (istikhara).
If after performing the above prayer you still find your heart inclining to memorize the Qur’an, do so. Even with children, responsibilities, menstruation, and other difficulties of day-to-day life – if you can follow a suitable practical schedule of memorization and revision, you can do it.
Furthermore, don’t think of memorization as an all-or-nothing thing. Each verse you memorize is a blessing and full of rewards in this life and the next; even if you don’t finish the entire Qur’an, it is an effort not wasted.
Hope this helps
Allah knows best
[Shaykh] Yusuf Weltch
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Shaykh Yusuf Weltch is a teacher of Arabic, Islamic law, and spirituality. After accepting Islam in 2008, he then completed four years at the Darul Uloom seminary in New York, where he studied Arabic and the traditional sciences. He then traveled to Tarim, Yemen, where he stayed for three years studying in Dar Al-Mustafa under some of the greatest scholars of our time, including Habib Umar Bin Hafiz, Habib Kadhim al-Saqqaf, and Shaykh Umar al-Khatib. In Tarim, Shaykh Yusuf completed the memorization of the Qur’an and studied beliefs, legal methodology, hadith methodology, Qur’anic exegesis, Islamic history, and a number of texts on spirituality. He joined the SeekersGuidance faculty in the summer of 2019.