Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim
In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
My name is Hanna Mahmood Daya. I was born in London, UK and lived in Dubai and Tanzania before moving to Qum, Iran in 2004 with my family.
I've been studying in the Hawza in Qum for the past 6 years, and have finished the bachelors course in Islamic studies. I have specialized in Fiqh and Usool. I've also been memorizing the Holy Qur'an alongside my Hawza studies, and Alhamdulillah, managed to finish memorizing the Holy book in July, 2014 (during the Holy Month of Ramadhan)
I started memorizing the Holy Qur'an in Tanzania at the age of nine, under the supervision of a female African Qur'an teacher; my sister and I were also being home-schooled by my mother at the time. After two years and completing about four juz' , we moved to Iran. For the next few years, I was occupied with homeschooling, plus learning Persian/Farsi and some Islamic studies at the Hawza, so did not continue memorization of the Qur'an very seriously.
However, I had a keen passion for memorizing the Holy Book of Allah. And so, after completing my IGCSE examinations in 2008, I began spending more time with the Qur'an and revising what I had previously memorized, as well as learning new Surahs. I had also started a Bachelors Program at Hawza at the time, and it was quite challenging to study, help with housework and do hifdh at the same time. By the year 2013, I had finished a total of 19 juz at home after which I started attending hifdh classes. By the Grace of the Almighty, I completed the memorization of the whole Qur'an in the summer of 2014.
Memorizing the Qur'an, especially alongside studies, is definitely challenging and requires strict discipline and determination. I remember taking my Qur'an with me everywhere I went and utilizing every spare moment to practice my hifdh. However, the peace, spirituality and guidance found in this Holy Book, make all the difficulties of this path worthwhile.
Imam Ali says in Nahjul Balagha: "Learn the Qur’an for it is the best of narrations, and understand it thoroughly for it is the best blossoming of the hearts and seek cure with its light for it is the cure of the hearts."
I sincerely encourage all my sisters and brothers in Islam, especially the youths, to spend more time with this Holy Book, to understand it, to memorize it and to act upon it. Despite the challenges memorizing the Qur'an has, it is something which by the help and assistance of the Almighty and the Ma'sumeen (a.s.) is definitely possible and has such great benefits, both spiritual and material, that if we could comprehend them, we would not be willing to lose this exceptional opportunity at any cost.
Parents can do for their children, what no one else can. My mother taught us to recite the Holy Qur'an and even memorize some chapters at a young age, and later on, she kept a hifdh teacher for us. My parents also used to keep the recitation of the Qur'an on a lot at home which helped a lot in both memorization and tune. And their invaluable support, assistance and, most important of all, their sincere prayers, were instrumental in this accomplishment. I would like to remind all Muslim parents of the great responsibility they have regarding their children and the necessity to familiarize their children with the Holy Qur'an and the love of the Ahlul Bait. They are the ones who can inspire and influence their children to accomplish great feats and become true soldiers of the Imam of our time (A.J.)