How to develop Love for Quran in our children?

child-quranChild-rearing is an enormous responsibility, and it is considered leverage upon parents in terms of what they teach their child; this is revealed when they grow up, and operate as adult individuals within the society.
Al-Ghazali once wrote, ‘The child, is a trust (placed by God) in the hands of his parents, and his innocent heart is a precious element capable of taking impressions.’

It is, therefore, obligatory upon the Muslim parents that they base their nurturing upon the grounds of providing sufficient worldly and Islamic education- one that reveals unto the young minds the mysteries of their existence, and facilitates them to evaluate the purpose for which they were created.
Quran is the Holy Book which is kept aside in the modern age. This age of information technology and innovative equipments has resulted in people prioritizing their worldly competition and recreation over the fundamental devotion to Allah (swt). It is now bound upon the people of this Ummah to rise and summon those who have lost the message. This revival begins from our own sanctuaries. It is mandatory upon us as parents to shatter this predicament that the Ummah is facing. To release the Ummah from the shackles of wreckage, it is gravely required that the upcoming generation is aware of their responsibility and the pathway that they are expected to follow. For this, it is crucial that the parents play their designated role in conveying unto their kids, the importance of the Holy Book and the message it delivers. This can be done through some ways enumerated below:

  • Make Dua: God created mankind in such a fashion that they cannot fulfill any of their desires unless He himself commands for those to become true. Parents may plan out many things for their beloved children, but it all becomes worthless if Allah (swt) denies those plans. He is the best of planners, and thus, it is vital that parents make Dua for their children to be convicted Muslims, even before they enter this Dunya.
    You may recite Quranic Duas, the ones recited by Hazrat Maryam (as) or Hazrat Zakariya (as). There are plenty other supplications mentioned in the Quran. For example,
    “And those who say: “Our Lord! Bestow on us from our wives and our offspring who will be the comfort of our eyes, and make us leaders for the Muttaqun.” (Al-Furqan 25:74)

The believers must place their trust in Allah (swt), and ask Him for pious children, the ones who will eventually end up as infinite Sadaqah-e-Jariah for them. According to a Hadeeth:

“There are three supplications that are answered – there being no doubt about it: the supplication of the oppressed, the supplication of the traveler and the supplication of the parent for his child.” (Ibn Majah)

  • Recite Quran to the unborn:  In this age of modern sciences, doctors are encouraging the expectant parents to directly converse with their unborn child as this has been witnessed to have profound effects on the baby’s intellectual advancement.
    The sound which the unborn child predominantly hears is the voice of their mother, is there a better sound for a baby to hear than the Divine words?
    It is the spoken word (كلام) of Allah (swt). This spoken word has been termed as light (نور), mercy (رَحمَةً), guidance (هُدًى) and a means of healing (شفآء), in the Quran itself.
  • Recite Quran around your children: Quran has a positive impact on hearts, whether it is babies or adults. Therefore, reading aloud Quran around your newborn or playing recitations in the household will culminate in amazing optimistic response from the baby. You may notice a considerable deceleration in the incessant ranting of your toddler. The profound effect of these words makes a child peaceful. This will also let them get used to the Holy words and develop an acquaintance with those words.
    Make sure that your words are clear to them; you may notice your toddlers synchronizing their lips along with you.
  • Read Quranic translation with your kids: Once your child enters into the age where they are able to read and understand, you may practice contemplating over the meaning of the Quran along with them. Make those sessions interesting by recreational activities, asking questions and using the language which they would easily understand. Also, ensure that these sessions are short and precise. Long sessions tend to bore the child and result in opposite effects.
    Let them know about the mercy of Allah (swt) and the blissful gardens awaiting them, and the actions which may lead them there.
  • Take them along to mosques and religious gatherings: Once your child has reached the age where he/she has developed the sense that it is mandatory to stay silent in mosques and other religious gatherings, allow them to accompany you at every local Dars or religious congregation, enabling them to attain an attachment with the religion.
  • Admit them into schools which focus on imparting Quranic education: Schooling is one really vital phase of a child’s life. The learning they acquire in this phase accompanies them throughout their lives. Thus, it must be assured that children are admitted in those schools which include Quran in their curriculum rather than keeping it aside as an extra-curricular activity. All your efforts at home will fail if the school denies the importance of Quranic knowledge.
    Such decision may result in compromising the high-level education provided by other schools, but you may notice extremely astounding results of religious schooling, too. A child absorbs more when he/she is studying with children of same age group.
    Allah (swt) is with those who make sacrifices for His sake, you will find your child at elevated levels of Dunya and Akhirah, Insha’Allah!
  • Aid your child in memorization of Quran A child’s brain is like a sponge, absorbing all it witnesses. You may desire your child to become a Hafiz some day, start functioning on this dream from the very young age of your child.
    One handy tip could be, using the bed time as recitation time, that is, repeatedly recite a portion of Quran with your child for several days. Begin with some short Surah, it would end up in your child reciting these Surahs fluently Insha’Allah.
    You may use several other encouragement techniques in accordance with the age and intellect of your child.

Remember that, you are the one responsible for the initiation of a Quranic pathway for your children. Be a role-model for them and make them realize the importance of Holy Book in our lives. Nothing can be a better Sadaqah-e-Jariah for a person than his offspring.

Ask the Savvy Parent: Best Age to Send a Child to School

school1Dear Savvy Parent,

What is the best age to start school for kids – is it a good idea to send them to a playgroup from 1.5 years onwards?

Dear Parent,

Islam says that a child should not begin formal learning till age seven. This does not mean that the child should not learn at all. There are many things one can do to prepare a child for school in their formative years (under the age of 7). Keep in mind to present things in a way that is fun. People this day and age tend to focus on academics, and often pressure and push their child into rigorous educational training at an early age. Why are such parents so eager to rush their children? I know a child who learned to read at the age of 9. How does this compare with a child who learned at the age of 4(probably because their parents/schools pushed them more) for example? Has it or will it hinder him in any way? Certainly not! This 9 year old child is now 11 years old and on the honour roll. So why must we put so much pressure on sending our kids to school as early as possible? It’s the same when it comes to Islamic education. Parents push their sons at such a young age to be a Hafiz of the Quran; meanwhile their child throws tantrums and doesn’t respect or listen to his parents. What is the point of being a Hafiz, which is amazing Masha’Allah, when he hasn’t learned how to behave appropriately? We need to shift our focus on the important things first, which is to lay the foundations to prepare them for formal academic learning. Begin by focusing on the basics of our Deen in terms of personality and attributes of a good Muslim. The academic stuff will come later. Laying a good, solid foundation is much more important and WILL have an impact on them in the future.

As for sending a child to a playgroup, the important thing to remember is that a young child needs to have social interactions with their peers. It has many benefits such as learning appropriate ways to interact with others, sharing, conflict resolution, appropriate language, respect for others etc. One doesn’t necessarily have to send a child to a playgroup. You can go to weekly mother and me programmes, or plan play dates. Also, keep in mind to expose your children to families that are like-minded and people of good character. This will ensure that your child will benefit from their influence in a positive way.

Besides making sure your child has the opportunity to play and explore. Here are some things as parents one should focus on with their children at an early age, before they reach school going age:

1. Don’t just talk the talk, but walk the walk. Be a role model to your children in the way that you treat them and others. Be honest and fair. Treat your children kindly by showing compassion towards them. Be mindful of what you say and do. Establish good habits such as what one says before and after eating, or reciting the Dua of travelling for example. Say them out loud so your children hear it. You will be surprised how quickly children catch on.

2. Instill the love of Allah. Children should both  fear and love Allah, but teach them about love first. They can learn about fear when they get older. I have noticed in some cultures people often use a negative tone and fear to get children to listen. For example telling a child if they don’t listen, Shaitan will come get them. Why must we focus on the fear and negative side? Why can’t we train our children to do something out of LOVE for Allah (swt). For example, “Let’s put these toys away. I’m going to help you because Allah loves those who help others.” Doesn’t this sound so much nicer than threatening Shaitan on a child? To be honest, in my opinion, one should not even teach a child about Shaitan till at least age 7. You can also lead by example. Practice acts of kindness such as helping other, visiting sick friends or relatives for example. Giving Sadaqah in front of your child, or better yet, involving your child in regular but small acts of Sadaqah, is another example. Explain to them in simple language why you are giving Sadaqah. You will be surprised how quickly children pick up these good habits.

3. Expose your children to the Qur`an. By this I don’t mean sit there and force them to keep reciting and repeating. Just make sure that there is recitation of the Quran in your home. Let them hear Quran being recited in beautiful voices. Read the Quran yourself regularly, and make sure you read aloud so that your children can hear. Being in an environment where one regularly listens to and recites the Quran has a strong effect on the child’s life. This also helps to create a connection between them and the Arabic language, and instill a love for it in their hearts, because it is an important key to understanding and loving Islam.

4. Develop an attachment to the mosque. Take your children (especially sons) to Jummah if/when possible. You can go as a family or you can have your husband take them. This is a great time to introduce and teach proper mosque etiquette. Encourage them to sit quietly beside you, rather than allowing them to run up and down the rows disturbing others. It may be helpful to bring a quiet activity such as a puzzle or books to keep your child busy.

5. Pray and practice your Ibadah in front of them. The Prophet (sa) has told us to teach those who reach the age of seven to pray and to make them do it; before this age they may be taught but not by way of making them do it. A child that young doesn’t have to pray, but develop a habit of having them beside you when you pray. Lay out a prayer mat for them to sit on while you pray.

Be mindful that young children absorb everything around them. Their ears and eyes are always listening and watching and taking everything in, even when you think they aren’t. Include them in your acts of Ibadah.

Insha’Allah I hope this helps! Happy Parenting!

The Savvy Parent

Heart-to-Heart on the Highway


Every morning, you can see children gaping vacuously at the passing landscape, as they travel to school. One wonders if this routine interval can be transformed into a healthy and productive period.  Following is a list of five noteworthy areas for conversation, which can be talked about along the way.

  1. The signs of Allah (swt). Contemplation, in reality, is a habit that parents can help form in their children. A scurrying squirrel, changing weathers and the beautiful symmetry of nature are all prompts for initiating insightful discussions about the Creator and His attributes. This observation, as mentioned in Quran, is a quality of true believers and develops profound love and awe for our Creator. Parents or teachers can also point to the attributes of Allah (swt), as they are being reflected in the surroundings, for example, a close encounter with an accident reminds of the attribute Al-Muhaymin (The Protector and The Overseer).
  2. Bounties and blessings. Point to the crumbling slums, beggars looking cravingly at food and little children rummaging in the garbage and have kids count the blessings that Allah (swt) has bestowed upon them. Make them notice those less privileged and teach them to be grateful for all that they have. Important structures and landmarks can be observed, too. Ask them who is the Creator of these edifices? Is it the architect or Allah (swt)? Isn’t it true that intelligence and ideas are all blessings from our Lord (swt), the Ultimate and Flawless Creator? He inspires people to build; they, in turn, invent and create things.
  3. School and family. This may be an apt time to listen to your child without interfering, or disrespecting his/her thoughts. Suspend your own judgement. Let him/her talk. Observe intently his thoughts and beliefs. Reviewing the times tables, solving problems concerning friends and teachers and discussing ideal school behaviour can also be done while driving to school. Sibling rivalries and other school and family related issues can be spoken about as well.
  4. History and current affairs. A severed nation is cut off from its past. Our curriculum does not do justice to Islamic history and even history in general. Hence, parents must supplement children in this field. Use these valuable minutes to revise concise lessons from history through audio lectures or passages from books. Discuss the glorious past of the Muslims and ponder over the current affairs; think about how to gain what we have lost. Go over the daily news, the situation of our country and Ummah, and talk about how they can contribute. Remember, kids will think and talk big, if they’re taught how to, by actively engaging them.
  5. Memorizing. Many a children have memorized portions from the Quran that were played in their cars. When not in a mood to chatter, put on recordings of short Quranic Surahs, Duas and Azkar (words of remembrance), and automatically they’ll be transmitted to the tongues of your young ones. Even if they don’t reproduce, it is all going in and settling in their minds. If practiced daily, no doubt, children and even parents will have memorized large portions of the Quran by the time they’re out of school!

Don’t undervalue the importance of time. Take advantage of every minute that you have to raise the leaders that you are entrusted with.