To Strengthen One’s Memory
is human nature to be forgetful, as the Arab poet said:
is only called man (insaan) because of his forgetfulness (nasiyaan),
and it is only called the heart (al-qalb) because it changes so
the past they said that the first one to forget (awwal naasin) was
the first man (awwal al-naas), meaning Adam, peace be upon him.
Forgetfulness is something that varies from person to person according
to each individual’s nature; some may be more forgetful than others.
Some of the things that may help to combat forgetfulness are the
away from sin, because the bad effects of sin result in a bad memory
and the inability to retain knowledge. The darkness of sin cannot
co-exist with the light of knowledge. The following words were attributed
to al-Shaafi‘ee, may Allah have mercy on him:
complained to [my shaykh] Wakee’ about my bad memory, and he taught
me that I should keep away from sin. He said that knowledge of Allah
is light, and the light of Allah is not given to the sinner.”
reported in al-Jaami‘ (2/387) that Yahya ibn Yahya said: “A man
asked Maalik ibn Anas, ‘O Abu ‘Abd-Allah! Is there anything that
will improve my memory?’ He said, ‘If anything will improve it,
it is giving up sin.’”
a person commits a sin, it overwhelms him and this leads to anxiety
and sorrow which keeps him busy thinking about what he has done.
This dulls his senses and distracts him from many beneficial things,
including seeking knowledge.
remembering Allah, may He be glorified, by reciting dhikr, tasbeeh
(saying ‘Subhan Allah’), tahmeed (‘Al-hamdu Lillaah’), tahleel (‘Laa
ilaaha ill-Allah’) and takbeer (‘Allahu akbar’), etc. Allah says
(interpretation of the meaning): “…And remember your Lord when
you forget…” [Qur'an al-Kahf 18:24]
eating too much, because eating too much makes one sleep too much
and become lazy, and it dulls the senses, besides exposing one to
the risk of physical diseases. Most of the diseases which we see
result from food and drink.
of the scholars have mentioned certain foods which increase the
memory, such as drinking honey and eating raisins and chewing certain
kinds of gum resin.
al-Zuhree said: “You should eat honey because it is good for the
also said: “Whoever wants to memorize hadeeth should eat raisins.”
(From al-Jaami‘ by al-Khateeb,
ibn [sth. omitted] said, “You should chew resin gum, because it
gives energy to the heart and gets rid of forgetfulness.” (From al-Jaami‘ by al-Khateeb, 2/397)
they mentioned, too much acidic food is one of the causes of laziness
and weak memory.
Another thing that can help the memory and reduce forgetfulness
is cupping (hijaamah) of the head, as is well known from experience.
(For more information see Al-Tibb al-Nabawi by Ibn al-Qayyim). And
Allah knows best.