Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Teaching your child the Quran - Part 1

By Umm Abdurahman
Most of us hope that our children will love the Quran, and pray that they memorize it, but many families have difficulty doing so, and don’t know how to be successful in this area. Some may try and after a few failures put it off until their children are a little older whereupon they may look into sending them to classes or paying for a private tutor. However many of us fail to realize that the journey to such a lofty goal starts much sooner than we expect. So what can you do to ensure your child has the best start possible?
1.      Recite the Quran for your unborn child
Research suggest that a fetus can hear sounds from as early as 16 weeks, and around 23 weeks on a baby’s hearing is developed enough  to enable him/her to respond to outside noise. Furthermore studies also show that a six month old fetus can move his body to the rhythm of his mother’s voice. Around this time your baby will use sound as his primary connection to the world and his central source of information about what’s going on outside of the womb, so what better way to bond with your child than by sharing the book of Allah with him/her.  Both parents should recite to their child whilst he/she is in the womb, as often as they can. This is a wonderful way for the parents to interact with their child before the birth. This early bonding will set the stage for a lifetime of healthy relationships.  It is beneficial for mother, baby, and everyone else in the household.
2.      Playing the Quran for your child 
After your child is born continue to surround him/her with the recitation of the Quran. When I gave birth to my first child I had little experience dealing with colic and when my son suffered from it, at times I was overwhelmed. Alhamdulillah we soon discovered that when my husband would pick him up, and recite the Quran to him while rocking him back and forth, he would calm down and fall into a deep, peaceful slumber. We took note of this, and when we moved our little guy into his own room, at 4 months, we would play the Quran for him in his room until he fell asleep. From then on my children have always gone to sleep listening to the Quran. Soon after If turned off the lights and closed the door without the Quran playing they would cry.   I truly believe that the Quran is very comforting for children especially if you made it a point to recite often to your child whilst pregnant.  Another added bonus for me was that it helped them sleep better, my son went from waking up two or three times a night to sleeping all through the night, but best of all, it instilled a love of the Quran in them. Both of my children began memorizing the Quran purely through passive listening. Now 4 years later I cannot put any of my children to bed without requests for the Quran. We found this to be such a powerful tool that we even went on to play Quran for them throughout the day while they played.
3.      Give a personal Quran to your child
Children love to have things they can call theirs. Give them a Quran even if they are too young to read.  Just like with anything else gifts are treasured and seen as important no matter what age you are.  Give it a special place on the bookshelf.  Just make sure you let them hold it when you’re around.  Children can be a bit rough with books when they are young. Teach them to respect the Quran and treat it with care.
4.      Reading with your child as soon as he/she can speak
Children are sponges and each one of us has had those experiences where we find our children using some vocabulary we did not expect they were capable of, but they heard it in our conversation, memorized it and tried putting it to us.   If they can mimic your speech, then why not start them memorizing the speech of Allah?  As soon as your child begins to form words encourage him/her to say things like bismillah, ar-Rahman, ar-Raheem. Go slowly and repeat frequently.  As you keep coming back to it, you will notice he/she will begin to pronounce the words more easily. Soon the words will become ayahs and in next to no time, he/she will be have memorized complete surahs.
5.      Let your child see you reading the Quran often
This is just some basic but often overlooked advice.  The whole idea of “Do as I say not as I do” has not and will not ever work.  Your children love you, they look up to you. For this reason, they are going to try to mimic everything you do.   So you have to ask yourself, what are you teaching them?   If your children see you spending a lot of time on your laptop or sitting in front of the TV, then chances are they will try to do the same thing. Set a positive example by setting aside time for the Quran daily as part of your schedule.  Let your children see you recite, and then let them follow just as they follow with everything else. 
We pray that these tips are benefit to you and your children, and we ask that Allah rewards you for all of your efforts in teaching your children the Quran, and that he makes them of those who memorize it.  We ask that he makes us among the best of people as his noble Messenger peace be upon him said:  “The best of you is the one who learns the Quran and teaches it”.  (Bukhari  5027)