Is there a special diet that one should follow during memorisation of the Qur’an? Certain foods to eat or certain foods to avoid? Is it better to memorise after eating or before? These are some of the issues that will be dealt with in this post InshaAllah.
You do not have to go crazy with some diet but we’re talking about general guidelines one is advised to follow for best results. These are all part of additional things you can do to improve your brain power and memorisation. So what does your brain need to work best? Foods containing Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs) such as Omegas 3 and 6 are excellent brain food and these can be found in nuts. And in general, having foods that are light on the stomach is good for your mental function. The reason being that heavy foods take longer and are tougher on the digestive system, which directs your blood flow there and so it is not free for optimum brain function. This is the same reason why people may feel dull and are not able to think clearly or fast. For memorisation you want your brain to be sharp and clear.
‘Brainfoods’ good for Hifdh
- Nuts especially almonds, walnuts
- Light healthy foods, light on the stomach
- Fruit and Veg
As for foods to avoid, then sugary, artificial foods are on the ‘No’ list as these affect brain function negatively. And since you want optimum brain function, you want to also generally avoid heavy greasy foods as these are tough on the digestive system. This includes fried food, but if you must have some try using a healthy oil for frying such as olive oil or even butter, and cut down on amounts. Also if you have digestive problems, try having a tblsp of Apple Cider Vinegar with about half a cup of water before you eat, as this aids digestion.
Foods to AVOID
- Greasy heavy foods
- Foods containing sugar (especially white sugar; use honey instead, but if one cannot do without try to have unrefined raw cane sugar/brown sugar)
- Artificial colourings, flavourings, preservatives
When to memorise
Always avoid memorising on a full stomach no matter what you’ve eaten. Empty stomach is best as the blood flow is free to be used for optimum brain function. Deep breathing of the fresh morning air at Fajr time is excellent too as it powers up your brain with oxygen. Try airing the house out at this time too, and if you can’t go outside yourself, stand by a window and breathe. This is also an excellent time to memorise. The Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم made du’a regarding this time:
“O Allah, bless my Ummah (in their work) in the early part of the morning” [Tirmidhi]
Memorising during this time will include one in the blessed du’a of the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم In shaa Allaah.
Another important point in your daily schedule of memorisation and reviewing, is that you should make sure you always start with new memorisation. You want your brain at its freshest, as new memorisation needs the most energy and concentration. If you start with review first, you may find that after it, your energy and vigour for memorisation is not as much. But if you start with memorisation first while your brain is freshest, review after that will still be easy as it does not require as much brain energy and focus.
For other tips and tricks check out our Hifdh section.