Qur'an Memorization

Hello everyone!

I’m new here, and I’ve been digging through many of the previous posts, and reading many articles. I’ve “built” my first memory palace, as well as a 0-9 number system, and I’m very excited by the possibilities!

I do need some advice, and haven’t seen anything yet that compares exactly to it.

I want to memorize the Qur’an, verbatim, in the original Arabic. Now, I don’t know Arabic, but I do know the alphabet and pronunciation, as well as a smattering of words. I would like to memorize the meaning of each word as I go through each verse. Where my trouble comes from is that I would like to pre-structure the system before I start, but I can’t quite figure out how to do it.

So, I’ll summarize a little of the structure of the Qur’an, and see if anyone has any ideas (I’m sure you will!).

The Qur’an is divided into 114 chapters, also known as “suras”. These chapters also have names that correspond to a particular passage within the sura, such as “an-Naas” (“Mankind”= sura 114).

These chapters are then divided into verses, or “ayah”.

This sounds pretty easy, but there are is a wide range of length: the longest chapter has over 200 verses, while the shortest chapters only have 3, with most chapters somewhere in between. Similarly, the word-count of verses varies widely: the longest verse has almost 200 words, while the shortest verse is one word (I believe the average is around 20 words).

Now, I started practicing with one chapter, using my main memory palace. I think the method is a bit complicated, but it seems to be working: each locus would correspond to a word, or sometimes two words it it makes sense to me. I would place there a person who I have associated with the first letter of the Arabic word, and somehow also include the meaning with the image. I was able to memorize 2-3 verses like this before I ran out of loci. (It worked well for those verses, except for one “t” word “tafarraqa” for “divided”. this tells me that maybe I should include something sound-alike in the image (maybe “taffy rock” ?), but since it needs to include the locus, as well as the “t” person, I would hope it doesn’t get too complicated!)

I then decided that I needed something more systematic. I thought of choosing 114 buildings, but that is a lot! Also, the longest few chapters are quite large, requiring many loci, while the shortest don’t need much space at all. I’m still leaning in this direction though, but I’m tempted to create artificial buildings that are themed based on the name of the chapter (al-Ankaboot “the Spider” would have spider webs, etc.).

I read about Gary Lanier’s method, but there’s something that just seems to not jibe with me. If you think that would work well for me, please let me know!

Any ideas would be greatly appreciated!

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If it works for you, keep doing it.

I would recommend using words that look at least like the first part of whatever word it is. You suggested “taffy rock”, that would probably work well. In english, I would recommend using an image or two for a sentence, but that would only work if you completely understood it. I like how you also include the definition for each word. Taffy rock(covered in uhh taffy? like an apple) is split in half, or divided. Tafarraqa.

Check out this post. It contains great information about structured memory palaces.

Bateman

Hi Bateman,

Thanks for your response!

I’m mostly happy with the mechanics, it just the structure of the palaces that I was looking for advice with. I had look at that post before, but I got a bit overwhelmed at the scale. For example:

The longest sura in the Qur’an is al-Baqarah “the cow”. Now, the Qur’an has a few “artificial” divisions, mostly based roughly on length- the “juz” is roughly 1/30 of the Qur’an, for example, and that can be divided into quarter juz (1/120 of the Qur’an). There is also the division of “rukn” (mostly used in South Asia), which roughly corresponds to about 10-20 verses, and is usually thematic. Then there is the verse, which is usually about 20 words, but sometimes up to 100 words in some cases (namely, al-Baqarah, and a few of the longer suras).

So, in trying to make a nested system for al-Baqarah, the nested system may look like this:
-memory town, containing the buildings for the suras (114 of them)
-within the al-Baqarah building, the rooms correspond to Quarter Juzzes (sp?, about 10 of them))
-each object in the room corresponds to a Rukn (about 4-7)
-each object will link (via the Massive Memory Palace system) to another building or set of objects, let’s say a store you know (maybe having some relation to the topic of the rukn)
-each room or area in that building corresponds to a verse
-the objects in the room correspond to the words in the verse, UNLESS the verse is super long, then
-the objects correspond to the sentences, and some other set of 10+ items corresponds to the words

Now, the above is an extreme, I’m just thinking ahead, trying to make this whole thing systematic so I don’t get held up later. It does seem like it can be done, but it just seems MASSIVE, using so many buildings and so many sets of items. Is there perhaps a better way that I may be missing?

Thanks again!

It does seem like it would work.

Try it with a medium sized sura, see how well it goes.

Bateman

Edit: Also, check out the posts by user Soporose. I wanna say there is lots of good information in them, in something similar in size.

Hello Wendolfo,

I am also trying to memorize the Holy Quran.

Can you write a review of your experience with memory palaces please ? And other techniques if you use them.

Best regards,

There is a long tradition of Islamic, Hebrew and Christian scholars that learn their religious books verbatim. As I learn ceremonies / speeches for performance I sort out the advice of a few but I generally got back responses along the lines of constant and endless repetition. Occasionally they will use imagery to help remember the piece, but not like we do with mnemonic images but instead a vivid image of “story” of the passage.

My system is based upon taking the initials of every word, and trying to recite the original based on the encoded. I put the initials and answers into Anki too. In Anki I’ll have a few types of card.

  1. The words of the previous phrase and then the initials of the phrase I’m learning, with the answer on the back.
  2. The initials of the previous phrase (I tend to have the first two words as a good clue) and then “X (number) words” for the phrase I want to recall. Again the answer on the back.

Let’s say you were learning Alice in Wonderland.

"Alice was beginning to get very tired of sitting by her sister on the bank, and of having nothing to do: once or twice she had peeped into the book her sister was reading, but it had no pictures or conversations in it, `and what is the use of a book,' thought Alice `without pictures or conversation?'"

That to me would become the following lines:

Alice was beginning to get very tired of sitting by her sister on the bank and of having nothing to do once or twice she had peeped into the book her sister was reading but it had no pictures or conversations in it `and what is the use of a book ' thought Alice `without pictures or conversation?'

As initials that becomes

A W B T G V T O S B H S O T B A O H N T D O O T S H P I T B H S W R B I H N P O C I I A W I T U O A B T A W P O C

My first pass would be to write out those initials by hand. I keep notebooks specifically for that. In my notebooks I also write out the passage name, the page it’s on, and some other meta data. Not to remember which page something was on but to easily find the original when I want to check something.

At first I just try and read it back through using the letters. I will, as I’ve said, also put the text into Anki so I have the spaced repetition happening to help me retain the knowledge.

The flash cards would look like,

Card 1 Front:
A W B T G V T O S B H S O T B
(and of having nothing to do)

Card 1 Back: Alice was beginning to get very tired of sitting by her sister on the bank

Card 2 Front:
(Alice was beginning to get very tired of sitting by her sister on the bank)
A O H N T D
(once or twice she had peeped into the book her sister was reading)

Card 2 Back: and of having nothing to do

later…

Card 19 Front:

(Start of Book) 15 words.

Card 19 Back: Alice was beginning to get very tired of sitting by her sister on the bank

Card 20 Front:
Alice Was B T G V T O S B H S O T B
6 words.

Card 20 Back:
and of having nothing to do

Meanwhile I also take the first pair of letters from each phrase, in this case:
A W - A W B T G V T O S B H S O T B
A O - A O H N T D
O O - O O T S H P I T B H S W R
B I - B I H N P O C I I
A W - A W I T U O A B
T A - T A W P O C

and turn those into P.A.O, like so:
Amy Winehouse A W B T G V T O S B H S O T B
Arrest Open A O H N T D
Orange Owl O O T S H P I T B H S W R
Billy Idol B I H N P O C I I
Arrest Whip A W I T U O A B
Timid Ant T A W P O C

At location 1 I have Amy Winehouse, at location 2, Billy Idol…

Then when I go back through the journey for this I only pick out the first couple of letters which with all the other training is enough to get me going.

As I learn I will put in other imagery as well from the actual phrase I am learning, in the first line Amy Winehouse would be getting very tired sitting next to her sister. She would be wearing a policeman’s helmet (arrest) and be opening the orange owl. It is fortuitous that we have a owl here as they are bookish, and you can easily imagine them “peeping”.

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Thanks for your message !

You are right, it is classical for muslim to memorize Quran with well established methods.

Most of muslim who try to memorize the Quran do not understand what they are reading (they do not speak arabic). They just learn the sound. I am learning arabic but it’s not enought yet.

Your techique is verry interresting. But it don’t see how it can be happly to Quran. Look at one of the 600 pages : http://cdn.ksu.edu.sa/quran/ayat/safahat1/4.png

It’s verry difficult to find the start of a word and its end. And when you recite it, you have to chain the words with specifics rules.

Is it possible to use Memory Palace to learn something you do not understand ? if not, can you advice me another method compatibles ?

Best regards,

PS : If you are interested by how they learn quran all around the world in practice, here is a youtube series of 60 videos https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NZ33WUcURSE&hd=1

Thank you for the video, I am watching it as I type, but at the moment it’s just about the series and the presenter visiting various cities / countries (and lots of people kissing kids!). There’s no memory technique as yet but I’ll bear with it. I do find it fascinating how small children learn this and it shows the potential we all have.

As for learning the Arabic before you can speak it, Opera singers learn parts in languages they don’t speak by leaning the words phonetically. If you read Gabriel Wyner’s blog (http://fluent-forever.com/) he talks about that in some posts. He suggests learning the IPA, for Arabic this should help: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Help:IPA_for_Arabic.

Thanks you verry much for IPA. I will share it ! And many thanks for Fluent Forever.

Sorry for the Video, it is the introduction. And you are right, per episod you will find just 5 minutes of memory techniques. The rest is about motivation.

Here are the 30 episods from the first season : https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLokQm4vjvyUafwNl3-P8N_szDL5p22Bl7
The first season show different techniques from different country.

And the second season : https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLxAt5tLGe9UY1w_1L32piZhgIcFV6uaQG

learning arabic letters is verry simple, it tooks me 3 weeks (5h per week). But vocabulary and grammar … You have to do as every language :slight_smile: I am studying the techniques from the websites.

I will post here a review of my experience if God let me do it :slight_smile:

Edit : videos with english subtitles

Salaam Aleykom. First of all I must say that this way of memorizing is one of the best, I have gained a lot!

But hear me out. I used a method memorizing the Quran, I have now stopped using it but my point is, that it leaves way to many “fociles” and when this is okey whit pretty much every info, i don’t think it suits The Holy Quran, you want to reflect in the meanings and message but memorizing this way " I think" you will be bothered whit the pictures/scenes and locations that you used memorizing it. After a while the “fociles” will be very weak but still enough to grab your attention.

In the end spending a little more time memorizing it you’ll find that the biggest problem is to retain it, and I really think that this link will help:

[broken link removed]

I’m don’t mean you shouldn’t use ANY help but going all in I think will be to much.

And since you want to learn Arabic, I agree whit liamvictor that the fluent forever is an excellent way of doing it, combined whit some of what we learn here of course.

Hi everyone,
Its nice to see everybody responding enthusiastically.
My suggestion would be the following.
1). If you can share your research, everybody will be able to add their own ideas and the task will be completed faster.
2). There are 77430 words in the Quran, but around 2000 (TWO THOUSAND) unique (unrepeated) words only.
So basically we will need only 2000 images or 500 to 1000 locci to understand the meaning of Quran firstly.
One we are clear with the meanings and pronounciation then memorisation will be more easier.
I hope I am going in the right direction.
Regards to all brothers and sisters.

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Sounds brilliant!!
i am good with Arabic (not my mother tongue though) and understand almost every single word of Quran.
I had memorized 3 Juz/parts when i was may be 6 or 7 yrs old (and at that time had very little understanding of Arabic language, it was all rote memorization)
Now want to memorize the remaining 27 juz/parts of Quran.

Will try to memorize a Surah using your suggestion, then see how it goes.

Here i would like to bring to the notice of our forum members that I have seen some youtube videos where 10 yrs old boys are able to instantaneously tell you the verse number, surah, page number and even recite in reverse order(which is impossible if you have memorized by rote) in short, they are able to give every single minutest detail as if they are looking at it in their minds!!

its simply mindblowing and makes me wonder how they are able to do it.
The teacher of the boys claims that it’s all rote memorization. Incredible if true

There are many videos, some of the links i m giving here





If you search for keywords “Quranic computer” or “Quranic computer boys” you will get the results.

mi 2 problem to mermoris tipitika and i find th way of remembring palli language.just meditet and consertret your problem. i use mediteting techunic vippasna

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I’m looking to develop a method to memorize quran ,I know a method to recite the bible verbatim,but the structure of Arabic language and the verse in the quran are not the same ,you can use the hands method location I mentioned in my post And also the memory board

Might go easier if you learned some Arabic at the same time. The sounds would have more meaning and you’d be on track for understanding the text in its original. It’s not a difficult language. Only three tenses. Plurals are a nightmare but for the rest, the rules mostly work.

I’d also recommend listening to a lot of Arabic. Radio, TV etc. You may understand nothing but your brain will wire itself to recognize the sounds with little effort on your part.

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