Boost your Memory

The scholars have enlisted many practices for boosting the memory, however most of these practices are based on experience and are not from the Hadith. There is no harm in practicing upon these as long as one is aware of the above.

My Honourable teacher, Al-Muhaddith Shaykh Muhammad ‘Awwamah (may Allah protect him) usually recommends -among other things– the following salat on Nabi (sallalahu ‘alayhi wasallam) to be recited frequently daily between Maghrib and ‘Isha Salah:

“Allahumma salli wa sallim wa barik ‘ala sayyidina Muhammadiw wa alihi kama la nihayata likamalika wa ‘adada kamalih”
Here under are more such practices:

Actions or foods that strengthen the memory

1. The correct Intention.

2. Practicing upon the acquired knowledge.

3. Propagating knowledge.

4. Muzakarah/Takrar (discussions) of knowledge.

5. To revise the lesson in one’s mind.

6. Writing / to take notes.

7. Cupping.

8. To scent a good fragrance.

9. Honey.

10. Raisins.

11. Cow’s milk.

12. Rose water.

13. Frankincense.

14. Resin of Mastic tree.

15. To eat and drink less.

16. Fasting.

17. Reciting the Holy Quran while looking into it.

18. Reciting the first four verses of Surah Baqarah, Ayatul-Kursi, with the two verses that follow it and the last three verses of Surah Baqarah before sleeping.

19. Sallutations upon Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam)- as directed above-

20. Salatul hifz.

Imam Bukhari (rahimahullah) was once asked as to what was most beneficial for increasing the memory, he replied:

21. True greed for knowledge, and

22. Persistent mutala’ah (studying).

Imam Shafi’i (rahimahullah) had prescribed the following four methods:

23. The use of a Miswak.

24. Sitting in the company of the ‘Ulama (Scholars).

25. Sitting in the company of the Pious.

26. Abandoning futile talk.

References for the above:

Al-Faqih wal Mutafaqqih, vol.1 pg.103, Al-Jami’u li akhlaqir rawi, pgs. 400-406, Muqaddimah ibn salah, pg. 247, Sunan Darimi, vol.1 pg. 155-158, Al-Hath ‘ala talabil ‘ilm of ‘Askari, pg. 73, Ta’limul Muta’allim, pg.41, At-Tibbun Nabawy of Abu Nu’aim, pg.210, and Zadul Ma’ad, vol.4 pg.376

Deeds or foods that weaken the memory

1. Sins.

2. Sour Apples.

3. Vinegar.

4. All those things that cause phlegm.

5. Moist coriander.

6. Salted meat.

7. Hot bread.

8. Eating from a pot.

9. The leftover drink of a rat.

10. Reading tombstones.

11. Witnessing a crucifixion.

12. Looking at stagnant water.

13. Looking at one’s own private parts.

14. Looking at the private parts of a woman.

15. Masturbation.

16. For a person in need of a Fard bath to look at the sky.

17. Looking into the mirror of a cupper (one who does cupping).

18. Using a broken comb.

19. Urinating in stagnant water.

20. Urinating on the side of the road.

21. Urinating under a fruit tree.

22. Urinating into ash.

23. Making wudu in an impure place.

24. Wiping the hands or face with the tail of the clothing/kurta/qamis etc.

25. Entering the Masjid with the left foot or leaving with the right.

26. Dusting clothes in the Masjid.

27. Sweeping with a cloth.

28. Using a pants or turban as a pillow.

29. Excessive joking.

30. Laughing in the graveyard.

31. Excessive worries of the world.

32. Cupping on the nape.

33. Throwing of live lice.

References for the above

Al-Mu’jamul Kabir of Tabarani, Kitabul ‘ilm of Ibn Abi Khaithamah, pg.31, Al-Jami’u li akhlaqir rawi, pgs.400 and 404, Ta’limul Muta’allim pg. 43, Al-Maqasidul Hasanah pg. 519, Tazhkiratu Sami’ Wal Mutakallim pg. 77, At-tibb of Imam Dhahabi, pgs.174-175 and Raddul Muhtar.

Lastly,

The best times and places for memorizing

Khatib Al-Baghdadi (rahimahullah) has mentioned the following in his book: “Al-Faqih wal-Mutafaqqih”

“The best time for memorizing is the time of sehri (early dawn), thereafter the time of mid-day.

The mornings are better for memorizing than the evenings, and on the whole the night is better than the day.”

He further states: “And the best of places for memorizing are those rooms which are above ground level and all such places where there are no distractions.

It is better that one abstains from places of greenery, riverbanks and the road side because such places naturally distract the mind.

References for the above

Al-Faqih wal-Mutafaqqih, pgs. 103 – 104. Also refer to : ” Qimatuz zaman ‘indal-‘Ulama of Sheikh ‘Abdul Fattah Abu Ghuddah (rahimahullah) pgs. 100-105 and Wafayatul A’yan, vol.2 pg.245.

Note: Majority of the above are mainly based on the experiences and advices of the ‘Ulama and are not from the Quran or Hadith. Therefore, one should not regard them as such.

Caution: Some the foods mentioned above may agree with certain individuals and not others. Please consult reliable herbalists.

And Allah Ta’ala Knows best.

Boost your Memory

Four deeds for increasing the memory

The following was written by  Al-‘Allamatul Muhaddith, Shaykh Muhammad ‘Awwamah (hafizahullah) for the benefit of students of knowledge and all others who need it.

Shaykh writes:

The four deeds below are effective in increasing one’s memory and protection from forgetfulness:

1. Pray two rak’ats of nafl salah; in the first rak’ah after Surah Fatihah, recite

فَفَهَّمْنَاهَا سُلَيْمَانَ ۚ وَكُلًّا آتَيْنَا حُكْمًا وَعِلْمًا ۚ وَسَخَّرْنَا مَعَ دَاوُودَ الْجِبَالَ يُسَبِّحْنَ وَالطَّيْرَ ۚ وَكُنَّا فَاعِلِينَ

Fafahhamnaha Sulayman, wa kullan aatayna hukmaw wa ‘ilma, wa sakh-kharna ma’a Dawudal jibala yusabbihna wat tayr, wa kunna fa’ilin.

Translation:

‘We explained the decision [as mentioned in the previous ayahs] to Sulayman (‘alayhis salam) and granted wisdom and knowledge to both of them. We placed the mountains and birds at Dawud’s (‘alayhis salam) service and they all engaged in Allah’s glorification [with him]. We are the ones Who can do [Who can make such things possible].’

– In the second rak’ah after Surah Fatihah, Recite Surah Kawthar. After the Salam, recite the following du’a:

اللّٰهُمَّ افْتَحْ عَلَيْنا حِكْمَتَكَ وَ انْشُرْ عَلَيْنا رَحْمَتَكَ وَ أَنْزِلْ عَلَيْنا بَرَكاتِكَ وَ لا تُنْسِنا ذِكْرَكَ وَ صَلِّ وَ سَلِّمْ عَلىٰ خَيْرِ خَلْقِكَ مُحَمَّدٍ وَّ آلِهِ وَ أَصْحابِهِ أَجْمَعِينَ

Allahummaf tah ‘alayna hikmataka wan shur ‘alayna rahmataka wa anzil ‘alayna barakatika wala tunsina dhikraka wa salli wa sallim ‘ala khayri khalqika Muhammad wa alihi wa as-habihi ajma’in.

Translation:

O Allah, open Your wisdom for us, spread Your mercy upon us, do not let us forget Your remembrance, and send blessings and salutations upon Your greatest creation Muhammad (sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam), his family, and all his companions.

2. After reading any book, recite the following du’a:

سُبْحانَ اللّٰهِ وَ الْحَمْدُ لِلّٰهِ وَ لا إِلٰهَ إِلّا اللّٰهُ وَ اللّٰهُ أَكْبَرُ وَ لا حَوْلَ وَ لا قُوَّةَ إِلّا بِاللّٰهِ الْعَلِيِّ الْعَظِيمِ عَدَدَ كُلِّ حَرْفٍ كُتِبَ وَ عَدَدَ كُلِّ حَرْفٍ يُّكْتَبُ إِلىٰ يَوْمِ الدِّينِ

Subhanallahi wal hamdulillahi wa la ilaha illallahu wallahu akbaru wa la hawla wa la quwwata illa billahil ‘aliyyil ‘adhim ‘adada kulli harfin kutiba wa ‘adada kulli harfin yuktabu ila yawmid Din.

Translation:

All Glory and praise belongs to Allah! There is none worthy of worship besides Allah! Allah is the greatest! There is no might and power except with Allah the Most High (May Allah Ta’ala be praised with this) to the number of letters that have been written and that will be written till the Day of Qiyamah!

3. Before the lesson recite:

اللّٰهُمَّ افْتَحْ عَلَيْنا حِكْمَتَكَ وَانْشُرْ عَلَيْنا رَحْمَتَكَ يا ذا الْجَلالِ وَالْإكْرامِ

Allahummaf tah ‘alayna hikmataka wan shur ‘alayna rahmataka ya dhal jalali wal ikram.

Translation:

O Allah! O Possessor of Grandeur and Honour! Open up Your wisdom to us and spread Your mercy upon us!

4. Recite the following form of salat/durud on Nabi (sallallahu’alayhi wasallam) frequently between Maghrib and ‘Isha Salahs:

اللّٰهُمّ صَلّ وَ سَلِّمْ وَ بارِكْ عَلىٰ سَيِّدِنا مُحَمَّدٍ وَّآلِهِ كَما لا نِهايَةَ لِكَمالِكَ وَ عَدَدَ كَمالِهِ

Allahumma salli wa sallim wa barik ‘ala sayyidina Muhammadiw wa alihi kama la nihayata likamalika wa ‘adada kamalihi.

Translation:

O Allah send blessing and salutations upon our Master Muhammad (sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam) and his family to the amount of Your limitless perfection and the number of his perfection.
– End of article.

Note: These deeds are proven through experience [and not necessarily from Hadith] to be effective in increasing one’s memory.

May Allah Ta’ala make it beneficial for all.