Sincere Memorization of Quran

Answered by Ustadh Farid Dingle

Question: Is it considered shirk [polytheism] or even being insincere to tell someone that you are going to memorize some of the Quran?

Answer: It is not shirk [polytheism] but could be considered showing off [riya]. You shouldn’t get too tied up in it.

Developing innate sincerity takes time and effort. You should work on that as a universal goal, and not get bogged down with the specifics of what you just said or meant.

Shirk-like Things

There are no such things as Shirk-like things: one either worships something besides Allah or does not. It is very clear.

In your case, you are clearly not worshiping your father or teacher, so there is no question as to whether or not your actions or words constituted shirk.

The hadith that says that ‘Shirk [polytheism] is more hidden among my nation than the crawling of ants over a smooth boulder on a dark night.’ (Hakim) does not mean that every Muslim is accidentally committing shirk every now and then. Rather it is referring to the propensity of people to show off in good deeds. (Sharh Umdat al Ahkam, Ibn Taymiyya)

The Graveness of Showing Off

Showing off in good deeds is a very natural thing. After all, we grow up “showing off” to our parents and teachers trying to please them by doing good things. That said, upon the onset of puberty we are obliged to re-tune our psyches such that the driving force behind all good deeds — indeed deeds as a whole — is Allah Most High alone.

Allah Most High says, ‘And all they were ordered to do was to worship Allah, keeping religion purely for Him, as men by nature upright, and to establish worship and to pay the poor-due. That is true religion.’ (Qur’an, 98:5)

And the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) explained in a lengthy Hadith Qudsi that the very first people for whom judgment will be made on the Day of Rising with be the martyr, the scholar, and the philanthropist who only did their good deeds out ostentation and showing off. All of whom will find their fate in the Hell-Fire. (Muslim)

So ostentation is no small matter.

Being Realistic

That said, completely purity of heart does not come overnight, and it takes work and perseverance. As the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said when they complained to him of their late of sincerity, ‘I swear by Him in whose hand is my soul, were you to be forever as you are will me in remembrance [of Allah and the Next Life], why, the very angels would be shaking your hands as you lay in bed or walk down the street! But, O Handhala [the questioner], sometimes [you are one way], and sometimes [you are another]! (Muslim)

This means we cannot expect to be perfect all the time. Rather we should resolve to try to be perfect: ‘But rather aim right, try your best, and “travel” in the morning, in the afternoon, and a little bit at night. Stick to moderation … Stick to moderation, and you will get where you need to be.’ (Bukhari and Muslim)

So we must strive to remove the cancerous diseases that we have in our hearts while bearing in mind that it is not flick-of-a-switch operation. As described by Imam Junayd, ‘Spiritual change [tasawwuf] is a war of attrition with no cease-fire.’ (al Risala al Qushayriyya, Qushayri)

Baby Steps

There are two simple things to ward off ostentation.

The first is to decide on a certain regular system of worship etc., and not change it no matter where you are or whom you are with.

The second is to watch the motives that come to your heart, and whenever you see that you are about to show off, stop yourself and make a new sincere intention to do the action purely for Allah’s sake.

This takes a lot of work, and it helps a lot to keep the company of people who have done this to themselves or are at least working on it too.

For more detail, please see: Imam Nawawi On Fighting The Ego (Nafs)

I pray this helps.

[Ustadh] Farid Dingle

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadh Farid Dingle has completed extensive years of study in the sciences of the Arabic language and the various Islamic Sciences. During his studies, he also earned a CIFE Certificate in Islamic Finance. Over the years he has developed a masterful ability to craft lessons that help non-Arabic speakers gain a deep understanding of the language. He currently teaches courses in the Arabic Language.

Memorizing the Qur’an and Intercession

Ustadh Farid Dingle is asked about a particular reward for memorizing the Qur’an.

Could you please clarify the scholarly position as to whether or not the person who memorizes the Quran might be able to intercede for ten family members.

Barak Allah fik.

Dear questioner,

Intercession on Judgment Day

Intercession is a general grace that Allah will grant for the righteous of His slaves. The Prophet, Allah bless him and grant him peace, said:

I swear by Him in whose hand is my soul, none will plead Allah for any right more than the believers will do on the Day of Rising in their plea for their brethren who are in the Hell-Fire. They will say, “Our Lord, they used to fast with us, and pray and perform Hajj.” It will be said to them, “Take out [from the Hell-Fire] whomever you used to know.” So their forms will be protected from the Hell-Fire, and they will bring out a great number of people. Then Allah Mighty and Majestic will say, “The angels have interceded, the prophets have interceded, and the believers have interceded, and none remains save the Most Merciful of all those who show mercy.” He will grab a piece of the Hell-Fire and take out from it a people who never did any good whatsoever. (Muslim)

So we can learn from this hadith and many others that righteous believers will be granted intercession for believers they knew, such as their family, in this life.

This applies directly to someone who learns and applies the Qur’an.

Interceding for ten people

As for the specific mention of intercession for ten people of one’s household, such a hadith does exist, but it is weak: Imam al-Tirmidhi and others narrate form the Prophet, Allah bless him and grant him peace:

Whoever recites the Qur’an and memorizes it by heart, and deems licit what it make licit, and forbidden what it makes forbidden, Allah will enter him into Paradise and allow him to intercede for ten of his family members who had been condemned to Hell.

Tirmidhi notes that this hadith has not reached us through a sound chain of transmission.


Regardless of the weak hadith, we hope and pray that we all memorize and learn as much of the Qur’an as we can, and apply it in our lives, and intercede for ten, twenty, a hundred Muslims of our families and ancestors who would otherwise be in the Hell-Fire for a long time.

I pray this helps.


Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.

How Can I Keep up with My Memorization of Qur’an Classes despite Menstruation?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: Assalamu alaykum,

If a female is doing qur’an memorization on a regular basis, with weekly fixed classes, how should she keep up with her memorization classes if she is not supposed to recite/ touch Qur’an during menstruation?

Also Qur’an recitation is what helps me through my days. I’m dependent on it.

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I pray that you are in the best of health and faith, insha’Allah.

You cannot recite the Qur’an whilst in a state of menstruation, yet you can read and review [= without reciting], look, and listen to the Qur’an during this time.

The way to get around not being able to recite during this time is to memorise a little more in preparation for those days, and ask Allah for facilitation and success. It is from worship to follow the Divine Command not to recite the Qur’an during menstruation.

Ibn `Ata’illah said, “No matter is difficult if you seek it through your Lord. Nothing is easy if you seek it through yourself.” Seek through Allah and you will be granted; seek through your own might and main, and you’ll be seeking for a long time. It is not unlikely that through the blessing (baraka) of submission and sincerity, Allah will open up unimaginable ways of good for one.

However, there is a dispensation which can be followed if one wishes to avail themselves of it. [see:A Menstruating Woman Reciting the Qur’an: The Maliki Position, Sticking to One School, and the Path of Taqwa]

And see also: Struggling to Have Children: Ten Key Etiquettes of Du’a and: Supplication for Those Who Want to Memorize the Qur’an

And Allah alone gives success.


Tabraze Azam

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Misgivings Regarding Intentions and How to Memorize Qur’an

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam
Question: Im always getting doubts about my intentions, how do I know they are sincere? I keep getting shirk thoughts. For memorizing the Quran I basically don’t even tell my family that I want to memorize because I think I will be insincere. And can I memorize on my own without a sheikh? And in what order is it recommend to Memorize Quran which is easiest.
Answer: Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,
I pray that you are in the best of health and faith, insha’Allah.
The basis is that we ignore misgivings.
Sincerity is something we are all striving for. We recognise our shortcomings, repent for the way things are, and then renew our resolve and intention and continue our efforts. The believers are people of action. The devil can easily trick us into making us doubt our intentions in everything such that we are left with nothing. Seek refuge in Allah, repent and renew your resolve regularly, and ask Allah for tawfiq and sincerity.
Please see: POSTS TAGGED ‘SINCERITY’ and: Intention: Validity And Sincerity and: The Reality and Importance of Intention and: Should I Remove the Hijab Because I Am a Bad Example for Others?
And consider taking: Purification of the Heart & Praiseworthy Character (from Ghazali’s 40 Foundations of Religion)
As for your specific questions:
(1) You can begin to memorize, but you should seek out a teacher. It is easy to delude oneself into thinking one has memorized correctly when the reality is otherwise.
(2) One suggestion would be to start with shorter surahs from the 30th Juz’, and then progress to the 29th Juz’, then 28th and so on. Once you are able to memorize quickly and comfortably, and have strong aspiration (himma), you can start from the 1st Juz’.
And Allah alone gives success.
Tabraze Azam
Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani

Narration About Reciting the Qur’an and Ascending

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: “It will be said to those who know the Qur’an, ‘Recite and ascend. Recite slowly as you did in the world below. Your station will be at the last verse you recite.’” Does this Hadith apply only to those who have memorized the Quran? And also, the words “your station will be at the last verse you recite”. What does this mean?

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I pray that you are well, insha’Allah.

This particular narration refers to however much Qur’an one has memorized. [Munawi, Fayd al-Qadir Sharh Jami` al-Saghir]

The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “It will be said to those who know the Qur’an, ‘Recite and ascend. Recite slowly as you did in the world below. Your station will be at the last verse you recite.’” [Abu Dawud; al-Tirmidhi]

However, Abadi in his commentary of Sunan Abu Dawud conditions the statement “those who know the Qur’an” (lit. The “person” of the Qur’an) with someone who acts upon it, not merely someone who recites it without the subsequent action. [Abadi, `Awn al-Ma`bud]

“Your station will be at the last verse you recite”

With regards to the last part of the narration (hadith), Abadi continues his discussion stating that there are narrations which inform us that the degrees in Paradise are akin to the number of verses in the Qur’an. Moreover, none shall receive such a tremendous reward except the one who memorizes the Qur’an and perfects its recitation, as is befitting for him.

Thus, the one who memorized the entire Qur’an will reach the highest stations of Paradise, and those who memorized less than that would reach a lower station (each depending on how much of the Qur’an they memorized). [ibid.]

As an aside, `Ayni additionally notes that this narration also points to the recommendation of reciting in slow measured tones (tartil).

And Allah knows best.


Tabraze Azam

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani

How Do I Improve My Memory So I Can Memorize the Qur’an More Easily?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: I am memorizing the Quraan however I am having a difficult time remembering what I have learned.  Could you please give  me advice with regard to increasing my memory? Are there any supplications, hadith or even scientific knowledge that is useful?

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I hope you are in the best of health and spirits insha’Allah.

The key to being successful in one’s memorization of the Qur’an is a solid, consistent review of that which one has previously memorized.

One should ensure one has a regular habit of reviewing one’s memorized chapters, well. The way to go about this is as follows:

[1] Start with a small amount of review, such as five complete pages of the mushaf, and review it on the first day;

[2] On the following day, one recites the next five pages (and so on);

[3] Use this process to ensure that one regularly cycles through everything one has memorized

When one gets a chance, one should strive to recite one’s daily review in one’s voluntary prayers as it is a proven means of solidifying one’s memorization. Moreover, make a point to regularly recite to somebody as this, too, helps strengthen one’s memorization. When one’s review has improved, one should increase in the amount of one’s daily review (to ten pages, for example). However, one should, optimally, seek the advice of a teacher about such progression.

Furthermore, one would do well to incorporate the Qur’anic supplication, “O my Lord, increase me in knowledge” (rabbi zidni `ilman) into one’s post-prayer supplications.

Sidi Ibn `Ata’illah al-Iskandari mentioned, “No matter is difficult if you seek it through your Lord. Nothing is easy if you seek it through yourself.” Seek the assistance of Allah and do not deem yourself incapable.

Consider taking the Foundations Certificate in Qur’anic Memorization, here at SeekersGuidance: #

And Allah alone gives success.


Tabraze Azam

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani