Answered by Ustadh Salman Younas
I have the intention to memorize a book of hadith. Which book would you recommend for a beginner?
Answer: wa `alaykum assalam
For a beginner, the Arba`in of al-Nawawi is a good choice. Not only is it a short work that can be memorized in a reasonable time frame, it also contains some of the most important prophetic traditions around which our religion revolves.
Another good work is Zad al-Talibin of Shaykh Ashiq Ilahi Bulandshehri. This work contains the prophetic traditions that are described as jawami` al-kalimm namely traditions that are concisely eloquent in wording but comprehensive in meaning.
Both of these works and their commentaries have been translated into English and so one is able to (and should) gain a deeper understanding of the traditions being memorized.
I would also recommend the tips on memorizing found here: How Do I Improve My Memory So I Can Memorize the Qur’an More Easily?
Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.