Memorize Quran or Pi – Updated

Akira Haraguchi needed more than 16 hours to recite Pi which is 3.14 to 100,000 decimal places from memory. Read more here. The only nation whose name begins with an “A”, but doesn’t end in an “A” is Afghanistan.

Memorizing Pi past 3.14 is an example of learning that which is of no benefit. In the time it took him to memorize all those decimal places he probably could have memorize something really beneficial like the Quran. During his or her lifetime, the average human will grow 590 miles of hair.

I’m continually struck by the amount of mental junk, noise, and useless tidbits of information which fill my mind. Henry Waterman, of New York, invented the elevator in 1850. He intended it to transport barrels of flour.

A sister that had memorized the Quran told us that we needed to clear out or prepare our minds to memorize and retain the Quran because “the mind can only hold so much information”. And that we should train ourselves by turning off the television and the radio. At last count there were about 226,000 trees in New York’s Central Park. I remember thinking that that was an odd statement. Every human spent about half an hour as a single cell.

I couldn’t understand what she meant by saying our minds could only hold so much because to me a focused mind can hold a seemingly infinite amount information. Every year about 98% of atoms in your body are replaced.

I re-dedicated myself to memorizing after last Ramadan and I realized the truth of her words. I cut out as many distractions as possible in my daily life and the Quran became a constant companion in my mind. Chewing gum is outlawed in Singapore because it is a means of “tainting an environment free of dirt”.

Wherever I was, the Quran I had memorized was playing in my mind. Sometime later, I went over to a friend’s house and they had the tv on and I found it physically painful to sit there with that noise and distraction. The English-language alphabet originally had only 24 letters. One missing letter was J, which was the last letter to be added to the alphabet. The other latecomer to the alphabet was U.

The average American family views television six hours each day. Jeopardy was on and I realized that I no longer knew a lot of the things I used to know about pop culture, useless facts, and current affairs because I had not been following those things that closely for a long while. The Average American/Canadian eats about 11.9lbs of cereal per year. I had to try very hard to recall some historical facts that a few years earlier I would have been able to recall with ease. In 1956 the phrase, “In God We Trust”, was adopted as the U.S. national motto.

A sister in my Arabic class was telling me how hard some of her classes were and I was saying that she should focus on increasing her memorization of the Quran because the skills needed to complete and retain the Quran would benefit her in her college classes.

The kids who graduate from Al-Huda School or the Hifz School in most cases score above the national average on standardized tests and go on to complete high school in 2 years. MashaAllah. The longest Monopoly game ever played was 1,680 hours long, that’s 70 straight days!

Random useless facts from here.


  1. assalaamu alaykum,
    mashaAllah, this is so true. our minds are truly amazing gifts from Allah, but it is up to us to fill them with good, not garbage. i’ve been muslim for six plus years, but subhanAllah i still remember so many lyrics etc from jahiliyyah. knowledge with no benefit, that’s for sure. i guess i just need to fill my mind with more quran– perhaps it will squeeze out all the other useless stuff.

  2. Asalamu alaykum wa Rahmatullah,

    I remember when I was memorizing Surah Mutaffiffen that I felt a kind of mental cramp which I attributed to the re-organization of the file cabinents in my mind to make space for the surah.

  3. Assalamu Alaikum,

    I live in the Darussalaam Community – do you also? If so, what is your name?

  4. Wa alaykum salaam wa rahmatullah Arif,

    I live within walking distance of the masjid. Are you the Arif that often goes to the soup kitchen? My name is Ify.

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