To be honest, I should make the title of this post a question actually. I am still looking for effective ways to make Isa closer to the Holy Book. I’ve started a few but of course there are other methods out there to teach children how to recite the Quran and such.
First and foremost, you may want to ask why.
We Muslims believe that Quran is the words of God. It was revealed from Him as a guidance (among other purpose) for mankind. It’s an important part of our communication to God – He speaks to us through the Holy Book. It’s a manual for men which answers many fundamental questions of purpose of life, our beginning and end. It tells us mankind about our Creator (as we believe men does not exist out of nowhere) and how the relationship between the creations and their Creator should be.
I’d love for Isa to be close to this book, know it by heart, and act upon whatever good he gets from it.
Quranic verses that are memorised work like a friend to me – it comes when I just need something to occupy my mind with, it comes and asks me to ponder upon it at many times when I was alone. I remember my late grandfather, who I believe was a good hafidh, who at the middle of the day or night when he was really old lying on his bed, would recite some verses as if they were songs that had been stuck in his mind. I’d love that for myself, and of course my children.
Thousands of Muslims around the world memorise all 6236 verses of the Holy Quran by heart . I would love for Isa to be one of them. I have only managed (so far) to memorise a few hundreds of them, and these verses become more of a friend to me, that keeps me accompanied whenever I feel lonely.
But Quran is revealed in Arabic – it’s original language.
And Arabic, sadly, is not our native language. I can write in Arabic, read in Arabic, speak a bit in Arabic, but I can only understand a little – after 3 years studying the language in secondary school and two months intensive course in Egypt.
Arabic being foreign language – that’s a major hindrance for the reciters to fully understand, comprehend, and take reciting it beyond a ritual that has no meaning or impact in their daily lives. I, for instance, may have memorised hundreds on verses, but how many of these verses that I truly understand and act upon?
I want differently for Isa.
Nevertheless, I can’t deny that memorising Quran while the mind is still young benefits. I was made to memorise more than half of the final juz’ (part) of the Quran – that was 31 short chapters of them altogether – when I was 11 years old (I remember waking up at 5 in the morning preparing for the exam), and those verses stuck in my mind until today. Again, when I was doing my foundation study when I was 18, the compulsory non-credited Islamic study course required me to memorise them – and I did that pretty well given my previous memorisation. My husband on the other hand, was not on any requirements to memorise those verses at any time during his schooling years – and it does impact how much he actually memorises.
But it was not until I am in my twenties that studying the lessons from the verses becomes a priority, while it should be the utmost importance even from the start – the missing step that has been causing all the troubles in Muslim world today.
I had the discussion on how to teach Quran to our children with my husband before Isa was even born.
How should we approach this? Should we drill Quran to his mind, and focus on him memorising the verses? Should we slow down on memorising and focus on getting the essence of the verses first? Should I get flashcards on Arabic letters so I can start early with Isa? I told him I hate to be another ritual-driven parent – I want the values, the substances to penetrate my children’s mind.
My husband thinks that with our limitation, the best step that we can do is to somehow have them memorise short chapters first. Along the way, once the concept of God the Creator have been introduced, as well as the purpose of life of us human to worship Him, we might want to start discussing about the lessons coming from those verses.We will move further once Isa has been taught Arabic.
I have to agree.
We have it charted until that extent, but I am sure the route is a lot longer – we have not refine the details: What is the timeline? What is the action plan? At what age do we expect Isa to master a certain number of verses? Any additional material we should be using?
For the time being, I am forcing myself not to miss reciting a few verses before he falls asleep at night, make it visible to him that I am reading the Quran at certain times of the day, and keep up with my own Quran memorisation (I’m back at doing it after a long hiatus post-university – ho yeah – and this time with a partner) hoping that he will be familiar with the sound of Quran recitation, and hopefully, Allah will make it easier for this little child of mine to love His Words.
Oh, I am too, slowly revising my tajweed lessons from my Quran reciting classes I took when I was in Cairo years ago – I can’t wait to teach my own child myself in God’s will!
p.s. I found downloading/purchasing the full version of Quran Explorer and Tafsir/Commentary worth the money.p.p.s On another note, I am glad to see that Isa can recognise Arabic (when us his parents start reciting any Arabic prayer, or Quranic verses). He’d either put his hand together in the praying gesture, or reach for his father’s Quran copy. All praise be to Him!