Preserve by Memorising and Writing down Knowledge!

10 06 2009

I just wanted to address two important features a student of knowledge should have to become a serious seeker which Insha-Allah will make a world of difference in the approach to Knowledge. I hope you benefit from it – Aameen.

* Memorising the Qur’an and the branches of Knowledge

Know that, memorising is from Allah (SWT) and forgetting it is from Satan. Allah (SWT) ‘opens’ the breasts so that they can memorise. The Prophets (as) memorised the revelation. The whole Qur’an was memorised by the Prophet (pbuh). The Prophet (pbuh) was the greatest of the Qari’s and the greatest of the Muhad’dith! Is there anyone better than him in hadith?? No! We forget this sometimes; he was the best of the Qari’s, best of the Muhad’dith, best of the Fuqaha’ – he was great in everything. So Allah (SWT) ‘opened’ his breasts for this memorisation to take place.

Memorising problems:

Memory problem could be a result of many things such as ‘ayn, hasad’, sihr’ or it could be just a natural cause. All these can be taken care by some means. A lot of people are concerned when they can not memorise or can’t retain the Qur’an and the other branches of Knowledge. When someone is concerned about their memory, it is a good sign. Why is this a good sign? We should know that Allah (SWT) will not even get us in this situation of thinking about ‘bad memory’ if we are not the right people to memorise. The person who is not meant to memorise, will not come to the conclusion that: ‘I have to memorise.’ The person who Allah (SWT) does not want him to memorise; he will not memorise. Such a person will not come to the conclusion and say or even think that: ‘I have a bad memory.’ Whoever of us is memorising, Allah (SWT) has brought us this far so that we can memorise! He (SWT) makes it difficult so that you try again and again.

Remember Allah (SWT) made the Qur’an very easy to memorise than any other book in the world. Allah (SWT) said: “And We have indeed made the Quran easy to understand and remember, but is there any that will remember?” Surah al-Qamar, Verse 17. Regarding this verse Al-Qurtubi said, “This means ‘We have made it easy for Hifdh and we will aid whoever wishes to memorise it so is there anyone who seeks to memorise it that We may help him?”

We should aim to memorise the Qur’an, it gets easy day after day – the main thing is to be consistent at it even if it means memorising one verse a day. The problem with us is we try one day and the next day we don’t! The one who loves it will memorise it; one must have love for the Qur’an. The virtues of memorising of the Qur’an are numerous as you all know, in fact books have been written on it! The one I came across and found it beneficial was ‘Al-Asbab al-Meeena alal-Hifdh’ by Sheikh Mahmood al-Misri (Abu ‘Ammar) – and All Praise belongs to Allah (SWT), this has been translated by sister Farhia Yahya in English, entitled: ‘Causes that aid in the memorisation of the Noble Qur’an’. I am not sure if it’s been published, but it can be obtained from islamicawakening.com.

* Writing down the Knowledge!

Know that: ‘Knowledge is like hunting and writing is like tying your prey.’ – if you do not tie it, it will get away, so write your knowledge down.

Writing! Why should one write or take notes in the Circles of Knowledge? The memory does not does not retain everything. How easy do we forget what we exactly did few days ago or even few hours ago – so what about Knowledge, which needs to be accurate and precise! Knowledge is written down for preservation and revision, leading to do ‘ibaadah with that knowledge. One may say: ‘We have many books and audios in this so and so topic.’ The reply to this is: Seeking knowledge with the use of all the senses, such as hearing, seeing and along with writing the knowledge down – one is more likely to understand the topic when he goes back to his notes many years later, rather than just reading from a book or listening to an audio lecture. It is well known that seeking knowledge in presence of the scholars is the best way to learn and to understand knowledge due the interaction and the focus of all senses towards the knowledge and the scholars. Sheikh Bakr Abu Zayd [d.1429AH] said: ‘Bind the knowledge with writing…’ – there is also a hadith to this meaning from the Prophet (pbuh). It is reported that Imam Malik never let anyone in his class without a pen and paper. One must write in class. If one does not write in class, it shows that you know: which leads to ar-Riyaa’ – which kills sincerity and if you have riyaa’, it shows you have a disease in your heart. If you do not write it shows either you know or you are arrogant. Be attentive in knowledge. The teacher tells you to write – to benefit you, so reap the benefits. And Allah (SWT) knows best.

That is what Allah (SWT) has allowed me write, may Allah (SWT) make us among the preservers of the Deen. I will end with a fawaaid’:

“Learn whatever you want to learn, yet Allah will not make your learning worthwhile unless you practice what you have learned…”

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