Interview with Umm Saalih,A Grandmother Who Completed Memorizing the Qur'aan
at Eighty-Two Years Old
As Read by Dr. Saleh
Al-Hamdulillaah (All-Praise is due
to Allah), the One Who said (what means): "And in truth We have made the
Qur'aan easy to remember; but is there any that remembers?" Surah 54: 32
Many all over the world memorize the Qur'aan, and it is not strange to see
the youth memorizing the Noble Qur'aan and an early age. Al-Hamdulillaah,
the One who made the Qur'aan easy for remembrance, had made it easy for
Umm Saalih age 82. In an interview with Umm Saalih,she was asked the
Q1: "What was the reason that drove you to memorize the Qur'aan
after so many years?"
She said, "I always hoped to memorize the Qur'aan from the
time I was young. My father always used to invoke Allaah for me to become
one of the memorizers of the Qur'aan, like himself and like the elder
brothers of my family who memorized it. So I memorized in the beginning
about three parts and then after I completed the age of thirteen, I got
married and became busy with the household and the children. After I had
seven children, my husband died. They (the children) were all young so I
took the time to raise them and educate them, and then after they grew up
and got married, I had more time for myself. Therefore, the first thing I
directed myself to focus upon was the Qur'aan.
Q2: "Tell us about your journey with the Noble Qur'aan."
She said, "My younger daughter was going to high school and she was
the closest of my children to me and the most beloved, because she stayed
with me after her older sisters got married and got busy with their lives,
and because she was a quiet girl,upright, loving, and good. In addition,
she was interested in learning the Noble Qur'aan, and her teachers
Furthermore, she was very enthusiastic and always told me of many women
who were driven by this great motivation to memorize the ur'aan, and this
is where I started."
Q3: "Tell me about your way of memorization."
She said, "We assigned ten verses (meaning her and her daughter who
was going to high school). So each day after Asr, we used to sit together.
She reads and I repeat after her three times. Then she explains the
meaning to me, and after a while, she repeats that three times. On the
next morning, she repeats them to me before she goes to school.
She recorded also the recitations of Ash Shaykh al Husary, Rahimuhullaah,
repeating each verse three times and thus I continued to listen most of
the time. Therefore, the next day we would go to the next ten verses if my
memorization was good.Otherwise, we would postpone taking additional
verses until the day after. Moreover, we assigned the day of Friday to
review the memorizations of the entire week. And this was the journey from
Then she said, "Over four years and a half, I memorized twelve juz"
according to the way I described to you. Then this young daughter got
married. When her husband knew of our task concerning the memorization, he
rented a house close to me, close to my house, so that he could allow the
continuation of the memorization. In addition, he, May Allah reward him
used to encourage us and sometimes sit with us listening, explaining and
Then after three years of her marriage, my daughter got busy with the
children and the household and our schedule was interrupted, but that did
not make her give up. To the contrary, she sensed that my eagerness for
the memorization was still established so she looked for a special good
teacher to continue the journey under her supervision. So, I completed the
memorization by the success of Allaah and my daughter is still working to
finish the memorization of the Glorious Qur'aan. She has a little left, In
Shaa Allaah Ta'aala.
Q4: "This motivation of yours, did it have an effect on other
women around you?"
She said, "It really had a good strong effect. My daughters
and stepdaughters were all encouraged and worked on learning and teaching
the Qur'aan to their children and learning it themselves.
Q5: "After finishing the Noble Qur'aan, don't you think about
working on memorizing hadith?"
She said, "Now I have memorized ninety hadith and In Shaa
Allaah I will continue the journey. I depend,in my memorization, upon the
tapes and upon the Qur'aan radio station. At the end of each week, my
daughter comes and checks for me the memorization of three hadith, and I
am trying now to memorize more.
Q6: "Over this period of memorization of the Qur'aan, did your
life change? Was it affected in one way or another?"
She said, "Yes, I went through a major change and I tried always, all
praise is due to Allaah, to obey Allaah before I started the memorization.
However, after I started the task of memorization, I began to feel a
self-comfort, a great self-comfort and all worries began to move away from
me. I even reached the stage of freeing myself from all these excessive
worries concerning fearing for the children and their affairs, and my
morale was boosted.
I had a noble objective to work for and this is a great Ni'mah (Favor)
from Allaah . upon me, since we know that some women, when they get old
and they do not have a husband, and their children got married, may be
destroyed by the empty time, thoughts, worries, and so forth. But,
AlHamdulillaah, I didn't go through this and I made myself busy with a
great task and a great objective.
Q7: "Didn't you think at one point, to join one of the circles
focusing on teaching the Noble Qur'aan?"
The answer was, "Yes, some of the women suggested this to me,
but I am a woman who got used to staying at home, and I don't like to go
out everyday, and Al Hamdulillaah, my daughter sufficed me from all
difficulty and I was so happy while I was learning from her. My daughter
had set an example in goodness and righteousness which we rarely find in
She started this task and journey with me while she was an adolescent and
this is a critical age many people complain of. She used to pressure
herself so that she could have spare time to teach me, and she used to
teach me with kindness and wisdom. Her husband was a good help to her and
he exerted a lot of effort. I ask Allaah . to give them success and to
bring their children up on uprightness."
Q8: "What do you say to a woman of your age who wishes to learn
and memorize the Qur'aan yet she is worried about it and feeling unable
She said, "I say to her there their shall be no despair with
the firm, sincere and truthful determination. Begin with sincerity, firm
determination and dependence on Allaah at each time. And remember that at
this age you should have the time for yourself. However, do not use your
time to only go out or to sleep and so forth. Rather, busy yourself with
Q9: "Now what would you say to a woman who is still young? What
would you advise her?"
She, may Allaah preserve her, said: "Preserve Allaah and He will
preserve you. Make use of the favor of Allaah bestowed upon you from
health and ways and means of comfort. Use that to memorize the Book of
Allaah. This is the light which enlivens your heart, your life and your
grave after you die.
And if you have a mother then exert the effort to teach her, and there is
no better favor upon a mother than one of her righteous children aiding
her to be close to Allaah."