5 Simple Techniques for Memorizing the Quran

5 Simple Techniques for Memorizing the Quran

Many Muslims have the goal to memorise the entire Quran or parts of it. It is an esteemed tradition to preserve the Quran in memory, as well as an enriching experience to connect with scripture daily and diversify recitations in prayer. The Quran is in Arabic however, and most Muslims around the world do not speak Arabic. This can make memorising new verses or chapters of the Quran challenging for many. While you don’t have to learn Arabic to memorise the Quran, understanding how you can leverage language learning techniques for memory can help you effectively memorise the Quran.

In this article, we will explore how you can leverage these different language-learning techniques alongside technology aids to memorise the Quran, even when you’re busy

1. Rote Learning

Rote learning is a memorization technique based on repetition. It is a centuries-old method to memorising the Quran that is taught in many traditional madrasahs, or Quran memorization schools.The technique is based on the Atkinson–Shiffrin memory model, which asserts that human memory has three separate components: a sensory store, a short-term store, and a long-term store.

After receiving information through one of the five senses, the brain retains the information in the sensory registers for a brief period. Repetition helps commit the memory into the short-term store for later recall. Increased repetitions help keep the information in the short-term store for longer.When it comes to memorising the Quran, there are two primary senses you can use to approach rote learning: visually and through sound. Different people have different preferences, so it’s good to discover your learning style first.


Visual learners will benefit from reading out loud the verse you want to memorise three times or more, and then repeat it on your own without looking at the page. Audio learners can use a Quran memorisation app that has audio looping features to play the verse on repeat. After listening to a verse a few times, try repeating it on your own.

It is important to remember that familiarity and practice are a part of the process in rote learning, so a lot of repetition is key.

2. Kinesthetic Learning

When it comes to rote learning, many people benefit from engaging multisensory learning in the process. If this is more your style, in addition to visual and auditory learning, you can also benefit from kinesthetic — or movement — learning techniques. One kinesthetic technique that is used to memorise text verbatim is by writing down the first letter of every word on a separate sheet of paper as you read or recite the verse. The act of writing engages many parts of the brain and this helps to solidify the information in different neural pathways. Another technique is to trace the words with your finger as you read from the Quran or from a Quran app. This is another great way to reinforce memorization through the sense of touch.

Lastly, you can try combining your study time with a physical activity. This technique is especially good for those with a busy schedule. Quran memorization apps are great tools for this very purpose. You can play the audio of the verses you want to memorise on loop while driving, exercising, or doing housework.


3. Familiar Patterns and Chunking

Many children learn the alphabet by singing the ABC song. Learning through patterns of rhythm, rhyme and melody is a powerful method of committing information to memory.The Quran lends itself to easy memorization because it naturally has rhythm and rhyme. There is also a huge selection of Quran recordings from different reciters who have recited the Quran beautifully in their own melodic style. One way you can take further advantage of this is by dividing your memorization into “chunks” that display a recognisable pattern.

First, read over or listen to the page or verses of the Quran that you wish to memorise. You should easily be able to pick up a recognisable pattern, whether in rhythm, rhyme, or repetition of a word of phrase. Next, mentally divide the verses into chunks. Now, tackle one chunk at a time for each memorization or rote learning session. Repeat each chunk until you’ve memorised it before moving onto the next chunk. For those who like studying with technology aids, ‘Quran Companion’ is a great app for this method with its inbuilt guided lessons feature and “swipe to reveal” feature that helps you learn in chunks while also engaging kinesthetic learning.

4. Attaching Meaning

After the Atkinson–Shiffrin memory model was proposed, Baddeley and Hitch put forward a new theory in 1974 called the Working Memory Model. Amongst other differences, this model also states that repetition isn’t the only technique that is needed for memory, especially when it comes to transferring information from short-term to long-term memory.

Some of the conditions for learning and memorising that this memory model states include:


  1. What the information means to you.
  2. How well the information already matches with what you know.

For non-Arabic speakers, this is where reading a translation alongside the Arabic verse can be helpful for memorisation, because the meaning comes attached. Many Quran apps have this option of displaying a translation alongside each verse, and many provide a large selection of translations so you can choose a translation in your first language or mother tongue.

The more verses you memorise, the easier it becomes to memorise more because the Quran’s repetitious nature will mean that a lot of new information will already match with what you know.

You can boost this by first learning the words that are repeated most often in the Quran. In fact, these 125 words occur in the Quran 40,000 times. If you memorise and learn the meaning of these words first, you would already understand 50% of the words in the Quran. This would make all future tasks of memorising much easier and meaningful.

5. Social Motivation

A research study on social motivation published by the Public Library of Science in 2005 showed that students who study in a competitive group environment perform significantly better in tests that those who study individually.


One of the most common struggles that Muslims face when memorising the Quran is motivation. Unless you’ve enrolled years of your life to study Quran memorisation in a dedicated madrasah or Quran memorisation school, memorising the Quran is often a solo journey. One way to overcome this is to partner up with a study buddy or join a Quran study group challenge online. A little healthy competition can help you go a long way!

Good luck in your Quran memorisation efforts, and remember, at the end of the day staying consistent with whatever methods you choose is the key to long-term success.

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Adnan Manzoor

Data Analyst & Life Coach

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Last Updated on September 10, 2018

Overcoming The Pain Of A Breakup: 3 Suggestions Based On Science

Overcoming The Pain Of A Breakup: 3 Suggestions Based On Science

We thought that the expression ‘broken heart’ was just a metaphor, but science is telling us that it is not: breakups and rejections do cause physical pain. When a group of psychologists asked research participants to look at images of their ex-partners who broke up with them, researchers found that the same brain areas that are activated by physical pain are also activated by looking at images of ex-partners. Looking at images of our ex is a painful experience, literally.[1].

Given that the effect of rejections and breakups is the same as the effect of physical pain, scientists have speculated on whether the practices that reduce physical pain could be used to reduce the emotional pain that follows from breakups and rejections. In a study on whether painkillers reduce the emotional pain caused by a breakup, researchers found that painkillers did help. Individuals who took painkillers were better able to deal with their breakup. Tamar Cohen wrote that “A simple dose of paracetamol could help ease the pain of a broken heart.”[2]


Just like painkillers can be used to ease the pain of a broken heart, other practices that ease physical pain can also be used to ease the pain of rejections and breakups. Three of these scientifically validated practices are presented in this article.

Looking at images of loved ones

While images of ex-partners stimulate the pain neuro-circuitry in our brain, images of loved ones activate a different circuitry. Looking at images of people who care about us increases the release of oxytocin in our body. Oxytocin, or the “cuddle hormone,” is the hormone that our body relies on to induce in us a soothing feeling of tranquility, even when we are under high stress and pain.


In fact, oxytocin was found to have a crucial role as a mother is giving birth to her baby. Despite the extreme pain that a mother has to endure during delivery, the high level of oxytocin secreted by her body transforms pain into pleasure. Mariem Melainine notes that, “Oxytocin levels are usually at their peak during delivery, which promotes a sense of euphoria in the mother and helps her develop a stronger bond with her baby.”[3]

Whenever you feel tempted to look at images of your ex-partner, log into your Facebook page and start browsing images of your loved ones. As Eva Ritvo, M.D. notes, “Facebook fools our brain into believing that loved ones surround us, which historically was essential to our survival. The human brain, because it evolved thousands of years before photography, fails on many levels to recognize the difference between pictures and people”[4]



Endorphins are neurotransmitters that reduce our perception of pain. When our body is high on endorphins, painful sensations are kept outside of conscious awareness. It was found that exercise causes endorphins to be secreted in the brain and as a result produce a feeling of power, as psychologist Alex Korb noted in his book: “Exercise causes your brain to release endorphins, neurotransmitters that act on your neurons like opiates (such as morphine or Vicodin) by sending a neural signal to reduce pain and provide anxiety relief.”[5] By inhibiting pain from being transmitted to our brain, exercise acts as a powerful antidote to the pain caused by rejections and breakups.


Jon Kabat Zinn, a doctor who pioneered the use of mindfulness meditation therapy for patients with chronic pain, has argued that it is not pain itself that is harmful to our mental health, rather, it is the way we react to pain. When we react to pain with irritation, frustration, and self-pity, more pain is generated, and we enter a never ending spiral of painful thoughts and sensations.


In order to disrupt the domino effect caused by reacting to pain with pain, Kabat Zinn and other proponents of mindfulness meditation therapy have suggested reacting to pain through nonjudgmental contemplation and acceptance. By practicing meditation on a daily basis and getting used to the habit of paying attention to the sensations generated by our body (including the painful ones and by observing these sensations nonjudgmentally and with compassion) our brain develops the habit of reacting to pain with grace and patience.

When you find yourself thinking about a recent breakup or a recent rejection, close your eyes and pay attention to the sensations produced by your body. Take deep breaths and as you are feeling the sensations produced by your body, distance yourself from them, and observe them without judgment and with compassion. If your brain starts wandering and gets distracted, gently bring back your compassionate nonjudgmental attention to your body. Try to do this exercise for one minute and gradually increase its duration.

With consistent practice, nonjudgmental acceptance will become our default reaction to breakups, rejections, and other disappointments that we experience in life. Every rejection and every breakup teaches us great lessons about relationships and about ourselves.

Featured photo credit: condesign via


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