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Cultivating Love for the Quran

The Quran has God's message to all of humankind. It is the wish of every parent that their child will love the Quran. How does one instill the love for the Quran in the minds of our children?

There are several things that we can do. It depends on Allah giving guidance and the children will grow up with their own minds. They will choose their own paths. Yet, when they're in those formative years, what can one do?

The parents must love the Quran and live a life that reflects reliance on the Quran for guidance. Otherwise, pontificating about how great the Quran is, it's not going to make any difference because the children will see their parents’ attitudes and they're going to copy that. Consequently, the Quran must be dear to the parents. It's very easy for Muslims to love the Quran because the Quran is a unique scripture among the world's religions.

Usually, people have the view that some human writer wrote the book, and there are varying views about the inspiration of the scripture. Yet, for Muslims, it's a very strong view, and a part of Muslim doctrine that Allah revealed the Quran to the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), and Muslims refer to this as the speech of God.

When one reads the Quran, one has the sense that God is speaking to us, God is addressing us through this book. It's like one is reciting the words of God. Somehow one is immersed in divinity as one is reading the Quran.

This is something that people long for in other religions, how does one get close to God whom we do not see and hear? When Muslims recite these words, one has a close communion with God in that act of devotion. Muslims should be in love with the Quran and that will naturally transmit to the kids. However, parents should involve the children. The Quran is very easy to memorize, especially for children whose brains are like sponges. It's not unusual in Muslim communities for somebody who's like 10 years old, and they've already memorized the entire Quran. It takes a lot of work. However, kids can memorize the entire Quran. It’s possible for kids at seven years old to memorize the entire Quran. It’s recommended that parents don’t drill the children too much so that they come out memorizing the Quran. In the end, they don’t love it because it’s very hard to memorize. It takes a lot of effort and energy. Consequently, it could lead to that attitude.

It's a good idea to get the children to understand the message of the Quran, and to read the Quran, not only in the original Arabic. It is preferable for the children to read the translation in case Arabic isn’t their mother tongue. However, if the child has Arabic as one’s mother tongue, but the child lives in an English-speaking environment, it's possible that the child is more conversant in English than they are in Arabic, especially when it comes to intellectual discourses. Nowadays, there are books about the Quran or selections from the Quran that are prepared for children with good English translation and commentary such as, “The Clear Quran for Kids Surah 1, and 49-114” by Dr. Mustafa Khattab. The children’s book is richly illustrated. It's not just simply words after words. However, there are pictures and something to capture the child's imagination. Also, parents should talk to their children about those items in the Quran or content that are most interesting to children.

If children love animals, then one way to get them to be interested in the Quran is to tell them stories that have animals included in the chapters.

For instance, in Chapter 18, there was a story about a dog who was with the children of the cave. In addition, there are some chapters of the Quran that are named after animals. For example, Surat Al-Baqarah, the chapter regarding the heifer. Surat Al Anaam means The Cattle, or beasts of burden animals. Surat Al-Fil means The Elephants. Surat Al Naml means The Ant, Surat Al Ankabut means The Spider and Surat Al Nahl, The Bee. The parents can get their children familiar with all these chapters’ names and find the stories in the chapters.

The stories are important. Kids love stories. If parents can refer to stories of the prophets. For example, they love the supernatural elements and the miraculous elements that human beings are more cynical about those things, but children love that. It is important to involve the children because there is an old adage, “If you tell me, I will forget, if you show me, I will understand, but if you involve me, I will remember.” There is something about involvement, like getting them involved. For example, a weekly program as a family gathering. Once a week, it could be a Friday night after we're done with our day's activities. The family will have a study circle and each person in the family is going to present something that they know or learn. Each from his or her own perspective, the children will have an opportunity to tell the stories of the Quran from their perspective or to summarize certain passages of the Quran.

They might recite a portion that they have memorized and give the translation, telling the story behind it. They're involved and falling in love with the Quran because the Quran has a central place in the family and in their own lives.

In addition, listening to the Quran is beneficial for the children. For example, early in the morning, when they wake up. However, when they're going to sleep, it's nice to listen to the Quran. Consequently, they get a sense that the Quran can be a source of comfort for them too.

Nowadays, there are trained reciters from around the world whose recitations are recorded and are on YouTube and so many other streaming services. Children can hear this beautiful rendition that is soothing, it goes deep into the mind when one absorbs this melody of the Quran being recited by trained reciters.

Parents should make use of the resources, get the children involved, and get them to love the Quran. The parents should follow the teachings of the Quran in their lives, as a manifestation that they love the Quran too.

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