3-4. The Best Time & Place For Memorisation

by Shaykh Yahya al-Ghawthani

Guideline No. 3

The best time for Memorisation

Memorising is not possible on a full stomach

When a person has breakfast and his belly is filled, how will he be able to Memorise? It will not be possible! The reason is that the brain is occupied and the blood is directed towards the stomach to assist in the process of digestion. Because of this, the brain becomes lazy and is not able to Memorise or whatever is Memorised at such a time will never be firm.

The correct time to Memorise

The time to Memorise is at the time of suhoor (pre-dawn) before Fajr. The scholars of Islam mention that the best time to Memorise is at the time of suhoor (pre-dawn), the best time to study/ research is in the early morning, the best time to write/author (books or articles) is in the middle of the day and the best time for revision and review is at night.

Why is the time before dawn the best time to memorise?

When a person awakes in the morning, his mind is fresh and ready to memorise. The mind says: “Go on, give me the information”, however towards the end of the day after the mind was overly occupied and you try and enter information to memorise, it will find great difficulty in retaining this information and you will waste a lot of time trying to remember this information. It is a tried and tested fact that the time of suhoor (pre-dawn) is the best time to memorise. What is meant by this is the last third of the night. A person has to sleep well before this in order to awaken on time and not feel sleepy when it is time to learn.

Using the subconscious mind

Unlike the conscious mind, the subconscious mind does not rest. It works continuously day and night. If I tell you to think that you are a Hafidh of the Qur`an and you believe this, the subconscious mind will verify this thought. When you say to yourself that I will definitely achieve Memorising the Noble Qur`an and I will undoubtedly attain my certificate, the subconscious mind will say to you: “I am ready and will obey your command, I will make your inner power subservient to you to help you make this a reality.” But if you say to your subconscious mind: “No, No this is not possible, this is difficult”, the subconscious mind will immediately verify this thought and will say: “Well then, it’s over. As you please, go on sleeping because you cannot do it, I will obey your command.”

Power of the subconscious – The example of the Indian and the Elephant

To further explain the concept of the conscious and subconscious mind, we use the example of the Indian and the elephant. The one commands and the other complies.

The elephant is big built and heavy. The Indian weighs fifty or sixty kilos. The Indian controls the elephant. When the Indian tells him to sit on the table, the elephant sits on the table, if he tells him to lift his trunk, he lifts his trunk. He does whatever the Indian tells him. The Indian can be likened to the conscious mind.

Lesson: Let your conscious mind send messages to your subconscious that you WILL Memorise and the subconscious will be at your service.


Guideline No. 4

Best Place for memorisation

The Noble Qur`an must be memorised in a place where the eyes, ears and tongue are safeguarded. The windows to the mind are three. If I have a pond and this pond has three spouts to fill it at different places. If I fill in water from all three spouts, the pond will fill with water. If I pour milk into the spouts, the pond will fill with milk. Similarly, the heart is a pond. The three spouts of the heart are the eyes, ears and tongue. The heart will be filled with whatever is poured into it via these three spouts. If sin enters into the heart, it creates a black spot and if goodness enters it, it is filled with Noor (Divine radiance).

The place we choose to memorise must be where our hearing will be safeguarded from Gheebah (backbiting), where our tongues will be safeguarded from Nameemah (slander) and where our sight will be safeguarded from what Almighty Allah has forbidden.

In Turkey, I have seen in some centres for memorising the Noble Qur’an small rooms built by the Ottomans. These rooms have high ceilings for ventilation and were built specifically for those who were revising to enter into contests. These were rooms where students would make firm their revision. This was already thought of approximately 400 years ago.