Teaching the Holy Quran to children is the greatest legacy that parents leave for their children. All the Muslim parents wish their children to learn, love, and live the Holy Quran steadfastly. In fact, it is a heavyweight on parents’ shoulders.
However, teaching young children is often approached in a rather rushed and unwise manner. Particularly, Non-Arab families do not watch their steps while teaching the Holy Quran to their children.
Therefore, young children start losing their interest in the recitation, reading, and understanding the Holy Quran as they grow older. Consequently, they face the failure of proper implementation of Quranic teachings in their practical (domestic as well as professional) lives.
There is not a single set way to teach children accordingly. Also, learning the Holy Quran depends on your child’s temperament and personal learning style. However, I have put together some important tips that may work for all young children.
Tip # 1. Share amazing stories of the Quran
Allah Subhana hu Wata’la has narrated some beautiful stories in the Holy Quran. These stories give us not only inspiration but also some valuable lessons. Allah Subhana hu Wata’la says:
“We relate to you, [O Muhammad], the best of stories in what We have revealed to you of this Qur’an although you were, before it, among the unaware.”
So, telling stories from the Holy Quran will make children more curious and interested. On the other hand, they will be able to visualize the Quran. Overall, this will create love and association in their hearts.
Tip # 2. Recite the Quran for Children
Listening to the Holy Quran recitation with a profound and focused heart creates wonderful effects on the person. So, listening to the Holy Quran can be the first step in the child’s learning journey.
Sad to say, parents, do not recite the Holy Quran for their children. Even when some parents recite, they do not take care of correct pronunciations, Tajweed rules, and “Makhrij.” So, a recitation without feel and understanding will undermine the effects upon hearts.
I would recommend:
- The mother should recite the Holy Quran during her pregnancy. Particularly, after 18 weeks your little one can listen to the sounds around him/her.
- Until the age of 7 expose your children to the maximum possible Quran recitation.
- Advise them to be silent during the Quran recitation. This will make their pure and sinless hearts to absorb verses quickly.
- Recite the Holy Quran regularly as the children imitate what their parents do.
Tip # 3. Combine the listening with textual reading
The next step is to make your child pick up the Mashif willingly and try to read the script hitherto illegible for him/her. However, you should not force them to sit still, open the Holy Book, and start reading the Arabic words that they have never seen before.
Let’s recall the method of earlier Muslims. They heard it, memorized, and repeated in prayers. Then, after a long time, the Holy Quran was compiled first as Mashif-e-Uthmani and the reading started.
So, I would recommend that hierarchy here:
- Repeating (Verbally)
- Reading (Do not ignore Tajweed rules)
- Writing (Ask children to practice writing words in the air with hands)
After listening and repeating it verbatim for many years, your children will feel love for the words of Allah subhana hu wata’la. So, sooner or later, they will pick up the Mashif that they have been listening since so many years. In-Sha-Allah. However, follow the above-mentioned strategy firmly.
Tip # 4. Help them to understand the meanings of verses
Besides listening to the Holy Quran regularly, tell your children about the contexts and meanings of relative verses. Allah Subhan hu Wata’la himself summons the believers to ponder over the words of the Holy Book.
“[This is] a blessed Book which We have revealed to you, [O Muhammad], that they might reflect upon its verses and that those of understanding would be reminded.”
However, tell the children enough to grab their interests only. Difficult and complex jargon will decrease their interest, and the results will be contradictory. The method of delivery also matters. So, carry an interesting tone, posture, and age-appropriate content.
Tip # 5. Encourage them
Take a polite, firm stand for the “Tarbiyah” of your children according to the Islamic teachings. This will include some kinds of motivation, awarding the child, polite inspiration, and your dedicated involvement.
So, some valuable suggestions are:
- Develop an atmosphere of learning and sharing. Show your child that his/her learning is too important and pleasuring for you.
- Make your child driver of this sacred learning journey.
- Focus on your child’s weak points without exhausting him/her.
- Recognize his accomplishments and reward him.
- Let them make your recitation mistakes correct.
- Encourage them to share with you what they have learned.
Tip # 6. Make it easy for them
The Holy Quran is easier for those who want to learn, understand, and memorize it. As Allah Subhana hu Wata’la says:
“And We have certainly made the Qur’an easy for remembrance, so is there any who will remember?”
As Allah Subhana hu Wata’la has made its learning easy then who are we to make it difficult? So, parents should not force their children to sit still for hours and read the Holy book. Almost 15-20 minutes are enough for young children. Hard to digest?
Well, young children have a shorter attention span. That means they can not focus on things for extended periods. So, in case we force them to read, they will do it half-heartedly, hence developing hatred toward the sacred journey. I hope you got it now.
Tip # 7. Study and play
Gamification of the learning process is now widely practiced among school-going children. They are learning almost all skills and knowledge with this technique.
Why not apply this idea in the Holy Quran teaching?
Well, you can adopt a play and learn strategy for your children. For example; you can pick a certain “Ayah” from a “Surah” and ask them to find it.
Also, you can organize a competition among the children and reward the winner at the end of that competition. However, be careful that the competition shouldn’t turn into a bad race.
Tip # 8. Make Supplications (Dua)
Dua is the strongest weapon of an Allah-conscious. You should keep in mind that whatever you do for yourself and your children, it all should be Allah pleasing.
So, start any task with good intentions of saving yourself and your family from “Jahanum.” Allah Subhana hu Wata’la says:
“O you who have believed, protect yourselves and your families from a Fire whose fuel is people and stones…”
Therefore, seek protection and blessings of Allah Subhana hu Wata’la before your start this sacred journey for your children.
Tip # 9. Adopt a child-friendly teaching methodology
Understanding your child’s quotients (intelligence, emotional, ethical, and religious) is the key to success. Once you have understood your child entirely, you have taught him almost half of what you want to teach.
Here I have put together some ideas that will help to understand and implement an effective teaching methodology.
- Introduce them with letters and shapes at the age of 2 to 7.
- Practice letters and shapes in an easy, gradual, and unrushed manner.
- Pronounce the phonics of alphabets correctly.
- Set easy-to-achieve goals for them.
- Switch activities: children cannot stay on a sedentary activity for too long.
Tip # 10. Learn, live and love Quran
Practice makes a man perfect. Alright. However, I believe that the right practice makes a man perfect. How? You may ask.
Well, practicing badminton will not make your child a good player of hockey. Isn’t it? Fine. You must practice the Quran in your daily life as well if you want your child to love it. So, learn, live, and love the Quran you first.
Finally, keep trust in Allah Subhana hu Wata’la. He will help you to sail through the hardships in this voyage. I believe, your good intentions will pay out one day, and we will all see how pious these children turned out to be. In-sha-Allah.