Towards Effective Quran Classes

Apr 11- Towards effective Quran classes

By Umm Ibrahim

There are a multitude of Quran classes going on these days. If you are one of those who would like to initiate one among your social circle, here are five tips you might find handy:

Etiquette of Invitation

Whether you are inviting via telephone or in-person, do ensure that you simply clarify the date, day, time and venue – and leave it at that. Many a times, well-meaning ladies ask directly whether the invitee would come or not – and they do not take no for an answer. Understand that your invitee might need to make a few adjustments in terms of baby-sitting, care of elderly parents or parents-in-law etc. before she steps out. Your persistence will do nothing but put off your invitees. Of course, after one invitation, you can send a mass SMS on the eve of the event as a reminder.

Play space needed

There are many mothers who do not want to miss out on a good Quran class. Hence, they take along their kids with them – and plop them in front of the host’s television. It is a sorry sight to see mothers studying the Quran in one room and children watching television without any supervision in the other. Set up a small space in the same room or an adjacent one with toys, books and small snacks that can keep the young ones busy. This is an ideal time for one of the participants to narrate a story from the Quran to them as well.

One-dish, please

Ideally, Quran classes need not have a tea towards the end. However, if you would like to have a small, informal session over tea, try to make it a one-dish. It can take a very heavy toll on one’s budget to have tea parties with snacks every week. Request every invitee to bring along a small snack that will not create too much of a mess. If you are a participant, offer to help with the serving and the cleaning up.

Do not linger

Once the session is over, leave. Do not hang around, waiting for your host or the lady who has conducted the session to be free so that you may have a friendly chat with her or discuss some personal problem. Understand that she may have other commitments as well. If you do have something important to discuss individually, take some time from her and set up an appointment for a later date.

Realistic “home” work

Some Quran circles give homework – this is perfectly alright but this work must be along practical lines. If memorisation of a short Surah is being given as homework, then further reading from Seerah and Fiqh books must be designated for later weeks. Also, do not be too rigid about the homework – it is understandable that some will be able to do it, and others will not. Making it a true “classroom” scenario will only be counter-productive.

Inviting Our Youth to the Quran

Vol 6 - Issue 4 Inviting Our Youth

Alhumdulillah, most people today know at least one person who is attending a Quran course. Yet, the Quran is not just for aunties, grandmothers or older people. Our Guide Book is as much for the young as it is for the old; it was as relevant 1400 years ago as it is today. It is as much for women as it is for men.

Oddly, studying the Quran is considered the domain of the older generations now. Therefore, we need to use some creative ways to attract and retain the youth, and connect them with the Quran.

Make it fun

Without compromising the respect of the Quran, keep the atmosphere light when you are addressing the youth. In order to attract today’s generation, choose topics and the style of delivery which they can relate to.

Choose your topics carefully

Select a Surah from the Quran that hits home with the youth. If you just talk on a topic, they might feel this is your opinion. I chose Surah Kahf for my first youth circle, as it talks about the youth that withdrew to a cave when they saw their society falling into disbelief. Even today the youth can withdraw and form their own group, if they see their friends falling prey to the dangers of smoking, dating, etc. Stories are always interesting for young people, so choose them accordingly.

Do not make it a one-way street

Ask questions while explaining the Surah, instead of having a test at the end. Divide the group into teams and have them compete in Quranic knowledge. You can hand out play (e.g., Monopoly) money whenever anyone answers a question correctly, and award a prize for the person with the most ‘money’ at the end.

Involve them even more by asking them to choose a Surah to learn. Does the story of Prophet Yusuf (as) intrigue them, or would they like to hear about the Battle of Uhud?

Do not say the ‘h’ word

They get enough homework from school – do not put them off by assigning pages and pages of questions. However, you do want them to remember what you learned together. Ask them to read a short Dua a few times a day and they will automatically learn it. Do not photocopy the Dua and give it to them. Have them open the Quran, find the Ayah and read it. Who knows, they might want to read a little more.

Include trivia

Insert some general knowledge and trivia to make the session even more interesting. If you talk about the alternation between day and night, you can, perhaps, show some slides from a science unit, making them appreciate the balance and beauty of Allah’s (swt) creations. There are lots of games and flash cards with Islamic knowledge available today, so make the best use of them.

These are just some ideas you can use for making the studies of the Quran interesting and exciting for our youth. Implement these ideas or use your creative imagination to come up with even better ones of your own!