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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.

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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.

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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:

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  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.

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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 October 29, 2018

What Causes Brain Fog? (7 Things You Can Do to Prevent and Stop It)

What Causes Brain Fog? (7 Things You Can Do to Prevent and Stop It)

Brain fog is more of a symptom than a medical condition itself, but this doesn’t mean it should be ignored. Brain fog is a cognitive dysfunction, which can lead to memory problems, lack of mental clarity and an inability to focus.

Many often excuse brain fog for a bad day, or get so used to it that they ignore it. Unfortunately, when brain fog is ignored it ends up interfering with work and school. The reason many ignore it is because they aren’t fully aware of what causes it and how to deal with it.

It’s important to remember that if your brain doesn’t function fully — nothing else in your life will. Most people have days where they can’t seem to concentrate or forget where they put their keys.

It’s very normal to have days where you can’t think clearly, but if you’re experiencing these things on a daily basis, then you’re probably dealing with brain fog for a specific reason.

So what causes brain fog? It can be caused by a string of things, so we’ve made a list things that causes brain fog and how to prevent it and how to stop it.

1. Stress

It’s no surprise that we’ll find stress at the top of the list. Most people are aware of the dangers of stress. It can increase blood pressure, trigger depression and make us sick as it weakens our immune system.

Another symptom is mental fatigue. When you’re stressed your brain can’t function at its best. It gets harder to think and focus, which makes you stress even more.

Stress can be prevented by following some simple steps. If you’re feeling stressed you should avoid caffeine, alcohol and nicotine — even though it may feel like it helps in the moment. Two other important steps are to indulge in more physical activities and to talk to someone about it.

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Besides that, you can consider keeping a stress diary, try relaxation techniques like mediation, getting more sleep and maybe a new approach to time management.

2. Diet

Most people know that the right or wrong diet can make them gain or loss weight, but not enough people think about the big impact a specific diet can have on one’s health even if it might be healthy.

One of the most common vitamin deficiencies is vitamin B12 deficiency and especially vegans can be get hid by brain fog, because their diet often lacks the vitamin B-12. The vitamin B12 deficiency can lead to mental and neurological disorders.

The scary thing is that almost 40 % of adults are estimated to lack B12 in their diet. B12 is found in animal products, which is why many vegans are in B12 deficiency, but this doesn’t mean that people need animal products to prevent the B12 deficiency. B12 can be taken as a supplement, which will make the problem go away.

Another vital vitamin that can cause brain fog is vitamin D. More than 1 billion people worldwide don’t have enough vitamin D in their diet. Alongside B12 and vitamin D is omega-3, which because of its fatty acids helps the brain function and concentrate. Luckily, both vitamin D and omega-3 can be taken as supplements.

Then there’s of course also the obvious unhealthy foods like sugar. Refined carbohydrates like sugar will send your blood sugar levels up, and then send you right back down. This will lead to brain fog, because your brain uses glucose as its main source of fuel and once you start playing around with your brain — it gets confused.

Besides being hit by brain fog, you’ll also experience tiredness, mood swings and mental confusion. So, if you want to have clear mind, then stay away from sugar.

Sometimes the same type of diet can be right for some and wrong for others. If you’re experiencing brain fog it’s a good idea to seek out your doctor or a nutritionist. They can take some tests and help you figure out which type of diet works best for your health, or find out if you’re lacking something specific in your diet.

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3. Allergies

If you have food allergies, or are simply a bit sensitive to specific foods, then eating those foods can lead to brain fog. Look out for dairy, peanuts and aspartame that are known to have a bad effect on the brain.

Most people get their calories from corn, soy and wheat — and big surprise — these foods are some of the most common foods people are allergic to. If you’re in doubt, then you can look up food allergies[1] and find some of the most common symptoms.

If you’re unsure about being allergic or sensitive, then you can start out by cutting out a specific food from your diet for a week or two. If the brain fog disappears, then you’re most likely allergic or sensitive to this food. The symptoms will usually go away after a week or two once you remove the trigger food from the diet.

If you still unsure, then you should seek out the help of your doctor.

4. Lack of sleep

All of us know we need sleep to function, but it’s different for everybody how much sleep they need. A few people can actually function on as little as 3-4 hours of sleep every night, but these people are very, very rare.

Most people need 8 to 9 hours of sleep. If you don’t get the sleep you need, then this will interfere with your brain and you may experience brain fog.

Instead of skipping a few hours of sleep to get ahead of things you need to do, you’ll end up taking away productive hours from your day, because you won’t be able to concentrate and your thoughts will be cloudy.

Many people have trouble sleeping but you can help improve your sleep by a following a few simple steps.

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There is the 4-7-8 Breathing Exercise, which is a technique that regulates your breath and helps you fall asleep faster. Another well-known technique is to avoid bright lights before you go to sleep.

A lot of us are guilty of falling asleep with the TV on or with our phone right by us, but the blue lights from these screens suppresses the production of melatonin in our bodies, which actually makes us stay awake longer instead. If you’re having trouble going to sleep without doing something before you close your eyes, then try taking up reading instead.

If you want to feel more energized throughout the day, start doing this.

5. Hormonal changes

Brain fog can be triggered by hormonal changes. Whenever your levels of progesterone and estrogen increases, you may experience short-term cognitive impairment and your memory can get bad.

If you’re pregnant or going through menopause, then you shouldn’t worry too much if your mind suddenly starts to get a bit cloudy. Focus on keeping a good diet, getting enough of sleep and the brain fog should pass once you’re back to normal.

6. Medication

If you’re on some medication, then it’s very normal to start experiencing some brain fog.

You may start to forget things that you used to be able to remember, or you get easily confused. Maybe you can’t concentrate the same way that you used to. All of these things can be very scary, but you shouldn’t worry too much about it.

Brain fog is a very normal side effect of drugs, but by lowering your dosage or switching over to another drug; the side effect can’t often be improved and maybe even completely removed.

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7. Medical condition

Brain fog can often be a symptom of a medical condition. Medical conditions that include inflammation, fatigue, changes in blood glucose level are known to cause brain fog.

Conditions like chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, anemia, depression, diabetes, migraines, hypothyroidism, Sjögren syndrome, Alzheimer’s disease, Lupus and dehydration can all cause brain fog.[2]

The bottom line

If you haven’t been diagnosed, then never start browsing around Google for the conditions and the symptoms. Once you start looking for it; it’s very easy to (wrongfully) self-diagnose.

Take a step back, put away the laptop and relax. If you’re worried about being sick, then always check in with your doctor and take it from there.

Remember, the list of things that can cause brain fog is long and it can be something as simple as the wrong diet or not enough sleep.

Featured photo credit: Asdrubal luna via unsplash.com

Reference

[1]Food Allergy: Common Allergens
[2]HealthLine: 6 Possible Causes of Brain Fog

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