Q: I memorized the Quran when I was young. I completed it at 15. I really did it to make my grandmother happy. I came to America after finishing the Quran and now at 23 I forgot it all. Can you explain to me if I must relearn it or is forgiveness enough? Ramadaan is coming and my to-be wife said that if I don’t perform the Taraweeh the wedding is off till I get it all back. I am trying and trying and it’s just not coming like it used to. What can I do? Help (email)
A: A woman that (through possible implication) realizes that if a man that has little time for the Creator or His works would not have much time for the institution of marriage. I really resent when parents force individuals to do things they do not wish to do.
Imaam shafee mentions that the compensation/repentance for forgetting the Quran is relearning it. Being 23 years of age gives you little excuse in not being able to do so. I am sure you can invest one hour a day for the sake of your paradise.
Imams Hanefa and Malik state that forgetting the Quran really refers to a person abandoning its injunctions once a person has learnt of it.
Thus, we would recommend you the following: You should definitely re-learn the Quran. Furthermore, your question implies that you have even let go of the realization that forgiveness only applies to a person who has made an earnest attempt to re-learn the Quran and could not do so due to weak memory or working such hours that no time exists for the Quran. Examples that would come close for mere forgiveness are: 8-12 hour employment shifts 7 days a week or severe health conditions that limit your recital of the Holy Book, etc. This has not been mentioned by you. Thus, get your focus back and start mastering what you have let-go off.
Final comment: whatever you do, do it for the right reasons. In other words, keep your intention in line with your actions. Therefore, once you start re-learning the Quran, do it for the sake of Allah as this is the Haq (right) of the Quran upon you. It will be long lasting and you will be reward for that, Insha Allah. Do not limit yourself to merely do it for the sake of marriage. This is cheating yourself. According to a hadeeth, “Actions are only according to intentions, and to each only what he (she) intended…” It is imperative that you fulfill the due of the Quran in the manner the Quran demands. This would prove greatly rewarding Insha-Allah.
May Allah bless you and help you as well as myself, Ameen.
Allah Certainly Know Best.
(partial editing assistance: NN)
p.s. Your situation is not unique: forced memorization sometimes makes the student hate the teacher, lie about class affairs, parents too start to hate the teacher due to the pressure the teacher has to place on the child due to parental subtle nudges. End of the day, parents side the child in this matter. Kids do a great whimper to accomplish this end. Parents themselves start to conflict about the student progress as well. Why has my child only memorized 7 juzz when the other child has memorized 15! Although parents must want the best for their kids, they must adjust their lives (24/7) to accomplish an outcome that is best for them and their children. This routine is lacking in the smaller states of America. In the bigger states, due to a fierce competition and less caring of teachers to those that care less, parents have to take on the responsibility or see their fees go to waste. The high fee structure usually knocks out a quick decision: must my child read the Quran looking inside or memorize. Can I afford for my child to go home and watch TV, play video games and save the weekends for wedding parties, birthday parties, hennah parties, circus shows, gallivant towards the ‘all you can eat free-food events.’ It comes down to family priorities coupled with religious wants and needs. Yes, our children can. But can they?