How can a woman continue studies after marriage? Can she become a hafidha after marriage? Can you please provide some tips and tricks.
Assalaamu Alaikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakaatuhu!
Let me start off by saying, of course, you can continue your education after your marriage. It is not unheard of; on the contrary, it is very common nowadays. I can understand the confusion in your mind. As a Muslim woman, Allah ﷻ asks us to make our husband our first priority after our Deen. So, it is natural for us to worry before taking up any sort of task, whether it is volunteering at the local masjid, taking the new Tafseer course, or continuing our worldly education.
Questions like, “Will I be able to manage it?”, “Am I being unfair to my husband?”, “Am I shirking my duties?” etc. are natural. I will divide this response into two sections, In Sha Allah.
- Managing education
- Tips on specific memorization of the Quran
First of all, like with anything we do, we must purify our intentions. Even with gaining worldly knowledge and a degree, it should involve an element of pleasing Allah ﷻ or being able to follow the commands laid down by Him in a better manner. When it comes to gaining Islamic knowledge, make sure you are not doing it for the praise, but only for the pleasure of Allah ﷻ and the rewards He might bestow upon you for the efforts you have taken.
The first order of business is actually your husband consenting to you studying after your marriage. If he agrees, then we can move on to the next step. But if he doesn’t, don’t be discouraged. You can try and convince him and seek Allah’s help through Istikharah. If he is still unconvinced, then you can try alternatives like simply reading to gain knowledge, or through YouTube videos and self-taught courses.
Now, if you end up pursuing your education, online or in a proper institution, one thing that will become your companion is stress. Student life is considered stressful enough without the responsibilities of managing a household. So, it is but obvious that you will encounter stressful situations from time to time.
Here are some things you should remember when dealing with stress:
- Prioritize: You will have a lot on your to-do list. So, it is important for you to make a list of your priorities. Make sure to do this in the light of Qur’an and Sunnah, and work accordingly. This will help you tackle the most important and urgent tasks first, and then deal with the less important matters later. Prioritizing will also ensure that you don’t waste your time and energy on things of no consequence.
- It’s okay not to be perfect: You probably wouldn’t be able to ace everything you do. Sometimes, your home will take precedence and your grades will be average. Other times, during your exam, your house won’t be as well-dusted as it usually is and you won’t be making three-course meals. But that is okay. You must learn to let go of the innate desire of chasing perfection and your stress will come down eventually, by the Will of Allah.
- Make du’aa: Du’aa is said to be the most powerful weapon of a Mu’min, so make the most of it. Pray with sincere intention and the belief that Allah will listen to you, and if not, then He will do what’s better for you. Follow this link for some authentic du’aa to relieve stress: https://islamqa.info/en/answers/149276/duaas-for-relief-from-worry-and-stress.
- Learn to say ‘no’: You know yourself the best. You know that taking up this task will be exhausting for you. You are also aware that it is not necessary to take up this task. So, don’t. Say ‘no’ to the things that are unnecessary and overbearing.
- Manage your time: You have twenty-four hours in a day, and it is important to make the most of it. As time-management is an extensive and much-needed topic, here are some brief tips for you:
- Plan your schedule around your Salah.
- Be mindful of the time spent on your phone/social media.
- Prepare a monthly and weekly to-do list, and divide your tasks accordingly.
- Acknowledge and accept your ability and capacity to do the tasks.
- Don’t undermine or over-compensate the time required to do a task when planning your schedule.
- Reward yourself every time you follow your schedule.
- Be flexible to changes – only when something productive is being done instead of a task.
- Keep time for relaxing, recharging, and of course, your family in your schedule.
- Don’t procrastinate!
Managing Household Chores and Gaining an Education
With the previous tips largely focusing on time and stress management, the question on how to manage household chores while studying may arise in your mind. Here are some tips you can apply to multi-task efficiently:
- Double-up chores: There are many chores that don’t require your full attention once you know how to deal with them. For example, cooking or cleaning becomes second nature to you once you’ve been doing it for years. Use this time to revise through audio resources. Remember that every minute counts, so make the most of it!
- Give yourself a study hour (or two): Chalk out time for your studying, and follow it. If you have kids, then share their study-time. Once they sit down to study, join them and do your homework. Otherwise, select the hours in the morning or afternoon without any (or least) disturbances and focus on your education during this time.
- Time of Qiyam-al-Layl: The hours of the morning are best for memorizing. Studying during the last part of the night and just before the dawn has been proven to yield better grades. Plus, if you are gaining an Islamic education, the early hours of the morning is the time filled with great rewards for your efforts.
- Join a like-minded community: Nothing works as great as a good friend pulling you up during your lows. Joining a community of women who are not just committed but also dedicated to gaining education after marriage will provide you with social support during the tough times and a sense of belonging.
Techniques of Memorizing the Qur’an
People memorize things differently. Some have a strong auditory memory and will remember something they heard easily rather than something they have read multiple times. So, some tips might work for you and others might not. But give it a try, In Sha Allah and find the method that suits you the best.
- Rote Learning: Now, rote learning is something all of us are familiar with. It is based on the Atkinson-Shiffrin memory model, where basically, multiple repetitions transfer the information from short-term to long-term memory. Here, people with good visual memory can recite ayahs multiple times, while people with good auditory memory can listen to the audio. El-Mohafez is a great resource for this task.
- Kinesthetic Learning: When it comes to rote learning, many people benefit from engaging multi-sensory learning in the process. If this is more your style, in addition to visual and auditory learning, you can also benefit from kinesthetic — or movement — learning techniques. One kinesthetic technique that is used to memorize text verbatim is by writing down the first letter of every word on a separate sheet of paper as you read or recite the verse. The act of writing engages many parts of the brain and this helps to solidify the information in different neural pathways. Another technique is to trace the words with your finger as you read from the Quran. Some studies indicate that chewing gum while memorizing also helps.
- Chunking Method: Many children learn the alphabet by singing the ABC song. Learning through patterns of rhythm, rhyme and melody is a powerful method of committing information to memory. The Quran lends itself to easy memorization because it naturally has rhythm and rhyme. There is also a huge selection of Quran recordings from different reciters who have recited the Quran beautifully in their own melodic style. One way you can take further advantage of this is by dividing your memorization into “chunks” that display a recognisable pattern.
- Comprehensive Method: There are some learners who cannot memorize without understanding what the information is and what it means to them. For non-Arabic speakers, this is where reading a translation alongside the Arabic verse can be helpful for memorisation, because the meaning comes attached. Many Quran apps have this option of displaying a translation alongside each verse, and may provide a large selection of translations so you can choose a translation in your first language or mother tongue. The more verses you memorise, the easier it becomes to memorise more, because the Quran’s repetitious nature will mean that a lot of new information will already match with what you know. You can boost this by first learning the words that are repeated most often in the Quran.
Lastly, I would like you to remember that while following these tips and techniques might help you, there will be a time when nothing will seem right and your decision would weigh heavily on your shoulders. During this time, remember that it is either a test from Allah, or it is Shaytan’s mischief. Apart from any tip or advice anyone can give you, the most important thing for doing any task is resilience.
Resilience does not mean that you don’t fall, stop, or even go a few paces back. Rather, resilience means that even with the gaps, problems, and breaks, you keep going onwards. So, when the times get tough, be resilient, ask for Allah’s help and get back up, In Sha Allah.
That’s it for now. If there is anything more you or any other reader would like to ask, simply send a message on the Islamic Reflections email ID.
May Allah make it easy for all the seekers of ‘ilm and help them spread the message of Islam. Aameen.
Written by: Arshi Dokadia
Edited by: The Editorial Team
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