عن أبي عبد الرحمن السُّلمي قال: حدثنا مَن كان يُقرئنا من أصحاب النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم أنهم كانوا يقترئون من رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم عشر آيات، فلا يأخذون في العشر الأخرى حتى يعلموا ما في هذه من العلم والعمل، قالوا: فعلمنا العلم والعمل. [حسن] - [رواه أحمد] المزيــد ...
‘Abdur-Rahmān as-Sulami reported: Those who used to recite the Qur’an to us from the Prophet's Companions related to us that they would listen to ten verses from the Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) and not move to the next ten verses until they learned the knowledge and application contained therein. They said: So, we learned knowledge and application. Hasan/Sound. - [Ahmad]
The Companions (may Allah be pleased with them) used to recite ten verses of the Qur’an, after hearing them from the Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him), and would not move to other verses until they learned the knowledge and action contained in the first ten verses. Knowledge refers to the theoretical and creedal issues and so on; whereas action refers to the practical application of worship, dealings, and the like. Thus, they used to learn and act upon what they learned right away - without delay.
The Hadīth highlights the merit of the Companions (may Allah be pleased with them) and their keenness on learning the Qur’an.
The proper learning of the Qur’an is done by gaining the knowledge contained therein and acting upon it, not by mere memorizing it, though its memorization is meritorious.
The Hadīth shows the Companions' superiority over other people, for they learned the Qur’an and other knowledge from the Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) and lived and conducted Jihad along with him (may Allah be pleased with all of them). Allah Almighty chose them for this.