1. MAKE THE INTENTION TO INVEST IN YOUR AKHIRA (HEREAFTER)
The key to really benefiting from the Qur’an is to check your heart first, before you even touch Allah’s book. Ask yourself, honestly, why you are reading it. Is it to just get some information and to let it drift away from you later? Remember that the Prophet (peace be upon him) was described by his wife as a “walking Qur’an”: in other words, he didn’t just read and recite the Qur’an, he lived it.
2. DO YOUR WUDU (ABLUTION)
Doing your Wudu is good physical and mental preparation to remind you-you're not reading just another book. You are about to interact with Allah, so being clean should be a priority when communicating with Him.
3. WHEN IT’S HARD, THERE IS TWICE THE REWARD
Wait, what? You don’t understand Arabic? Wait, what? You aren’t Arab? Wait, you’re Arab, but your tajweed (rules of recitation/pronunciation) is really off?
For you, the Prophet (peace be upon him) has shared words of encouragement:
“Such a person who recites the Qur’an and masters it by heart, will be with the noble righteous scribes (in Heaven). And such a person exerts himself to learn the Qur’an by heart, and recites it with great difficulty, will have a double reward,” [Muslim]
4. MAKE USE OF TECHNOLOGY TO ASSIST YOU IN RECITATION
Start Correctly and Use Technology Find a Teacher or Qur’an Tutor, Learn tajweed and Work Consistently
When I first decided I would commit to memorizing, I found a teacher and told her I was ready. But I had never studied tajweed and my recitation was completely incorrect! She asked me, “Do you want to memorize, or do you want to memorize correctly? There is no point in memorizing it wrong and then having to go back and do it all over again.” Use technology to assist you; to help practice your tajweed and help you memorize, there are a number of resources dedicated to those who want to memorize the Qur’an. If you have ever used one, please feel free to share what has worked for you!
5. MAKE SURE YOU UNDERSTAND WHAT YOU’VE READ
Reading the Qur’an in Arabic is good, but you need to understand what you’re reading. Make sure you have a good translation of the Qur’an in the language you understand best. Always try to read the translation of what you’ve read that day.
6. REALIZE THE REASON, KNOW ALLAH IS YOUR GUIDE
Why memorize the Qur’an? Because it will give you a constant, incredible, and personally special relationship with The Creator, with The One Who has power over all things. You want the best of both worlds? It’s through the Qur’an. It’s through memorizing, understanding, loving and most importantly, living it. When one is sincere about memorizing it, one needs to be completely aware of the heavy responsibility and glorified honor of living as Allah’s servant and carrying His words in their hearts. This must translate into their actions.
7. READ AT LEAST 5 MINUTES EVERYDAY
Too often, we think we should read Qur’an for at least one whole hour. If you aren’t in the habit of reading regularly, this is too much. Start off with just five minutes daily. If you took care of step one, In sha Allah (God willing), you will notice that those five minutes will become ten, then half an hour, then an hour, and maybe even more!
8. DON’T JUST READ, LISTEN TOO
There are now many audio cassettes and CDs of the Qur’an, a number of them with translations as well. This is great to save Quranic verses on your cellphone and listen to them or put on your car’s CD or stereo as you drive to and from work. Use this in addition to your daily Qur’an reading, not as a replacement for it.
9. MAKE DUA (SUPPLICATION)
Ask Allah to guide you when you read the Qur’an. Your aim is to sincerely, for the love of Allah, interact with Him by reading, understanding and applying His blessed words. Making Dua to Allah for help and guidance will be your best tool for doing this.
10. THE QUR’AN SHOULD SPARK AN INTERNAL REVOLUTION
Even more important than memorizing the Qur’an is allowing it catalyze one’s transformation. If one’s character is not reforming and improving, there’s a serious problem. Check your heart from the start and keep checking it; one’s actions should become more balanced and stronger in quality when interacting with the Qur’an.