Praise be to Allah.
You should bear in mind these two important matters, which are from the bounty of Allah that He has bestowed upon His slaves.
The first is that Allah, may He be exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning): “And We have indeed made the Quran easy to understand and remember, then is there any that will remember (or receive admonition)?” [al-Qamar 54:17].
The second is that the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “The one who is skilled in reciting Qur’an will be with the noble, honourable scribes and the one who recites Qur’an and falters therein, and finds it difficult, will have a double reward.”
Narrated by al-Bukhaari (4937) and Muslim (798).
An-Nawawi (may Allah have mercy on him) said:
The one who falters is the one who stumbles in his recitation because of his poor memorisation. He will have a double reward: the reward for reciting and the reward for faltering in his recitation and the difficulty he encounters. End quote.
If we learn that the Qur’an is easy to remember and understand, and we learn that the one for whom any of that is difficult to learn, memorize or understand will have a double reward – once this is established, it will be appropriate for the wise person to strive his utmost to achieve that and to show patience in seeking to attain this sublime goal. How often has Allah made it easy for non-Arabs who do not speak Arabic well to memorize His Book in its entirety. To achieve this great virtue it is worth spending a great deal of time and competing with others.
One of the things that help one to memorize the Book of Allah, may He be exalted, is listening to it often on recordings. If it is easy for you to memorize it in this way, then you will become one of those who have memorized the Book of Allah, attained that goal and earned the reward and status of the hafiz, by Allah’s leave. The individual’s precision in recitation, memorization and acting upon the Holy Book and its rulings and teachings will determine his reward and his status before Allah, if he is sincere in his intention and seeks reward with Him.
However it is better to combine two things in that regard: striving to recite it and to memorize whatever you are able to whilst looking at the Mushaf, so as to attain the virtue of reading it yourself and the virtue of looking in the Mushaf. Then by listening to a recording of the Qur’an you will be able to do two things: correct your recitation and make sure that you have got it right before memorizing it, and then continue revising it and reminding yourself of what you have memorized after that.
Undoubtedly the one who listens to the recitation by his shaykh or teacher directly will learn the Book of Allah more precisely than the one who listens to it from a recording. The Muslim cannot memorize properly unless he learns directly from a shaykh and attends his classes whenever he can.
But for the one who does not have access to a shaykh but does have access to a recording, there is nothing wrong with him listening to it and memorizing in that manner.
Competing and hastening to reward is something that is open to everyone. The one who cannot compete in memorizing and reciting Qur’an can compete in prayer, fasting, giving charity, remembering Allah, enjoining what is good and forbidding what is evil, doing good deeds, upholding ties of kinship, honouring parents or other innumerable types of righteous deeds.
All of the proven, prescribed adhkaar bring a great reward, but there are some that bring a greater reward. In the case of the Qur’an – which is the best dhikr – reciting Qul Huwa Allahu Ahad (i.e., Soorat al-Ikhlaas 112) is equivalent to one third of the Qur’an. Soorat al-Faatihah is the best soorah and Ayat al-Kursiy (al-Baqarah 2:255) is the best verse. Whoever recites the last two verses of Soorat al-Baqarah at night, they will suffice him. Memorizing these passages and others is something that everyone can do, and in reciting them and repeating them there is a great deal of reward.
Other adhkaar include the following:
·That which was narrated by Muslim (2729) from Juwayriyah, who said that the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) left her house one morning when he prayed Fajr, and she was in her prayer-place, then he came back after the forenoon had come, and she was still sitting there. He said: “Are you still as you were when I left you?” She said: Yes. The Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “After I left you I said four words three times, which if they were weighed against what you have said today, they would outweigh it: ‘Subhan Allah wa bi hamdih, ‘adada khalqihi, wa rida nafsihi, wazinata ‘arshihi, wa midaada kalimatihi (Glory and praise be to Allah, as much as the number of His creation, as much as pleases Him, as much as the weight of His Throne and as much as the ink of His words).”
·“Subhaan Allaahi wa bi hamdihi Subhaan Allaah il-‘Azeem (Glory and praise be to Allaah, glory be to Allaah the Almighty).” al-Bukhaari (6682) and Muslim (2694) narrated that Abu Hurayrah said: The Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “Two words that are light on the tongue and heavy in the balance and beloved to the Most Merciful: Subhaan Allaahi wa bi hamdihi Subhaan Allaah il-‘Azeem (Glory and praise be to Allaah, glory be to Allaah the Almighty).”
·The best of prayers for forgiveness (sayyid al-istighfaar): al-Bukhaari (6306) narrated from Shaddaad ibn Aws (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “The best of prayers for forgiveness is to say: “The best prayer for seeking forgiveness is to say: ‘Allaahumma anta rabbi la ilaaha illa anta, Khalaqtani wa ana ‘abduka wa ana ‘ala ‘ahdika wa wa’dika ma astata’t. A’oodhu bika min sharri ma sana’tu, aboo’u laka bi ni’matika ‘alayya wa aboo’u laka bi dhanbi, faghfir li fa innahu laa yaghfiru’l-dhunoob illaa anta (O Allah, You are my Lord. None has the right to be worshipped but You. You created me and I am Your slave, and I am faithful to my covenant and my promise (to You) as much as I can. I seek refuge with You from all the evil I have done. I acknowledge before You all the blessings You have bestowed upon me, and I confess to You all my sins. So I entreat You to forgive my sins, for nobody can forgive sins except You).’ Whoever says this during the day, having faith in it and dies before the evening comes, will be among the people of Paradise, and whoever says it during the night, having faith in it, and dies before the morning comes, will be among the people of Paradise.”
Other kinds of dhikr, in general, are the adkhaar to be recited in the morning or the evening, those that are to be recited following the obligatory prayers and those that are to be recited before going to sleep, for the one who regularly recites them will have a great reward.
Please see also the answer to question no 174947
It is prescribed for the Muslims to vary the adhkaar and all acts of worship. So sometimes he may read Qur’an, sometimes he may remember Allah (dhikr), sometimes he may pray, sometimes he may study books of knowledge, and sometimes he may relax by doing various kinds of permissible leisure activities. He should not limit himself to one specific type of worship, never doing anything else, because by doing that he will miss out on the reward and virtue of the other types of worship that he ignores, in addition to the fact that there is the fear that he may get tired and bored.
Please see also the answer to question no. 195274
And Allah knows best.