The HIFZ Program: Learning the Quran by heart
Al-Ameen Elementary School offers a very robust and comprehenisve hifz-ul-Quran programme. Committing the entire Quran by heart is no easy task and requires a very high level of discipline, focus, dedication and patience. The barakah of learning the Qur'an by heart is known by many but less known is the intellectual benefits derived from hifz. First and foremost the underlying intention behind memorising Quran should be to please Allah and He alone. Students of hifz are therefore asked to always be mindful of learning for pretence. The character that goes along with memorising the Quran must match the meanings of verses relating to muslim character; humility, kindness, compassion, respect and tolerance for others. Secondly, the ability to absorb a large amount of information and retain this information is highly beneficial to students who continue their studies. We therefore welcome students who have a balanced approach to learning and seek to do well. A Hafiz who is a doctor or scientist is the greater need of a healthy society than a Hafiz who recites but cannot relate to the world around him. This contradiction goes to the very root of the essence of the Qur'an which is to reflect on the world in its nature and creation and to contribute as an individual to society by making a positive contribution. The Qur'an repeatedly talks of an intellectual, scientific and logical mindset that Muslims should adopt which is why a Hafiz is expected to memorise the Qur'an to initiate his learning process. It is by no means the end goal but a divine blessing a student seeks to attain on his/her long journey of knowledge acquirement. This is the primary reasons Muslims historically excelled as pioneers in mathematics, sciences, literature,astronomy, botany, etc as their understanding of the Qur'an compelled them to seek knowledge in every field. The Hafiz was therefore historically the scholar scientist in the waiting. At the Al-Ameen Elementary School we seek to help our students acquire the skills and mindset required to contribute constructively to Canadian society through this dynamic approach.
Methodology of Hifz: What to expect
Hifz requires a solid foundation in makhaarij; that is Arabic pronunciation. All students are therefore assessed in their pronunciation before they begin hifz. If required a student will be taught the Kayda thoroughly. This can take up to 4 months. Students are prepared by the ablest teachers as we believe that a solid foundation will make the path for hifz much easier. If a student has completed the makhaarij elsewhere or has done hifz elsewhere it may still mean that they are required to do the Kayda again very often to relearn the correct method of pronunciation. Kayda literally means 'base' and we do not compromise on this crucial stage of learning as if the base is weak the subsequent learning stage will lack the required quality.
2. Fluncy of Reading & Tajweed
After completing the Kayda, fluency of reading and an understanding of the rules of tajweed are the next step. Our students usually accomplish this by starting the last juzz (portion) of the Qur,an, the 30th juzz. We start from small suwar such as surah Naas, Falaq, Ikhlaas and use this stage to incorporate rules of Tajweed. This again is a very critical stage as it involves bringing together pronuciation, tajweed as well as fluency. By the time a student has read the 30th juzz they then start to memorise this juzz until they can read the whole juzz with proper pronuciation, tajweed and fluency.
Once a student's pronunciation, tajweed and fluency have reached a high standard they are then allocated a specialist Shaikh from our range of accomplished teachers. This learning in the presence of Shaikh is the connection a student is establishing with the historical oral Quranic tradional which goes back to the Prophet (saw). All our teachers at the Al-Ameen Elementary School are of the highest calibre. A student will be constantly corrected as well as encouraged. The more a student commits time to hifz the more refined they will become. Consistency and diligence is the key to a strong and quality Hafiz or Hafiza.
Voice Training for Qiraa'ah.
For so many, listening to readings of the Quran can help soothe emotional pains, struggles and hardships faced in life. It acts as the medicine of the soul, easing heavy hearts like a spiritual massage to both reader and listener alike. Whats more better combination than a beautiful natural voice coupled with the healing words of the beautiful Qur'an? The style of the Quran has qualities of both poetry and prose; every verse is more enlightening to hear, more inspiring to recite and more profound to understand than the most articulate and expressive of speeches. When something resonates truth it resonates beauty and by nature human beings seek this truth and thus we seek beauty. This seeking is instinctive, and one can see this in our everyday lives, in the objects we keep and the way we decorate our houses. Al-Ameen Elementary School therefore offers voice training for those seeking to recite the Quran in the most beautiful manner. Our Shayookh can train students in the art of "Maqaamaat" which is a series of stunning melodies that the Quran may be recited in. However, this is not something our school promotes to do unless a student fulfills certain preconditions before they can learn the Maqaamaats. These conditions are:
1. He / She must be competent in pronunciation and tajweed.
2. Familiarity and understanding of the meanings of the verses being recited.
This is to ensure that the Maqaam in which the verse is recited in corresponds with the meaning of the verse and that no letter or word is mispronounced. The art of recitation has correct pronunciation and tajweed as it's fundamental core whilst reciting in a beautifully melodious manner without these qualities is merely superficial, which is why voice training is only offered to those students who are very competent in makhaarij and tajweed.
Golden Rules for Memorizing the Holy Quran
Correct Pronunciation and Recitation.
Apportion the Daily Number of Verses to Memorize.
Do Not Move to the Next Portion Till You Master the Present One.
Stick to One Specific Copy of the Glorious Qur’an.
Understand What You Are Memorizing.
Do Not Move from One Surah to Another Till You Connect Its Beginning to Its End.
Recite Frequently before Others.
Follow Up Frequently.
Pay Attention to Similarities.