Ramadan has been called the month of the Quran, since it was during this month that Allah began revealing the Holy Book to the Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him. Most Muslims try to finish one reading of the whole Quran during this month individually. But it's also a good idea to get the whole family in on this effort.
One Chicago Muslim family this year has decided to keep up this goal with its youngest member, who is eight years old. This young Muslim is aiming to finish his first ever reading of the whole Quran by the end of Ramadan.
To get the whole family involved in reading more Quran this year during the blessed month, here are some tips:
One of the keys to reading the Quran for completion is to establish small, attainable, daily goals. For instance, have everyone aim to read one-quarter, or ten lines of the Quran daily. While this may mean finishing the Quran after Ramadan, it will, however, put in place a system that can continue after the month is over.
An ideal time is before bed, when everyone is in a calmer mood and food, chores, and homework are out of the way. Sit together and recite part of the Quran. It does not have to be the daily target, but just a small portion so everyone is keeping track with each other.
Make this a party. After Iftar on say, a Saturday or Sunday, following a delicious meal in a Muslim restaurant or at home, have everyone share how much of the Quran they have covered.
Get the younger kids to decorate theirs with stickers, etc. Then hang it up on the fridge or family bulletin board where everyone can see. Have one person in charge of keeping track of everyone's progress and noting it on the chart. This visual reminder can encourage and make everyone more determined to reach their goals for the Quran this Ramadan.
If your family drives together to school and work, use this as an opportunity to listen to the Quran on CD together. Rotate the schedule so that on day one, the verses that mom is reciting are listened to, on day two one of the kids' selections are heard, etc.
This will encourage everyone to not just read the Quran, but to also attempt to understand at least some of what they are reading. Encourage family members to share entries if they feel comfortable during the Quran family meetings.
Decide how much of the Quran to read daily
Read part of the Quran together every day
Have a Quran family meeting every week
Come up with a Quran reading chart
Listen to the Quran in the car
Encourage everyone to start a Quranic journal
Establish a Quran reading corner for each family member
Have each family member choose the place they feel most comfortable to read the Quran daily. It could be the place they normally do their homework, or it could be somewhere not associated with academics. Make sure the place is comfortable and pleasant, with enough heat and light. You can also hang up some verses of the Quran drawn in beautiful calligraphy or post the Quran reading chart in the vicinity.
These need to be in accordance with the ages and interests of everyone involved. For kids, this can be a toy or candy. For teens, permission to use the family car or a slight increase in their weekly allowance may be helpful. For mom and dad, a night out alone together. The purpose is to make the process enjoyable and to help family members look forward to a short-term reward for their Quran reading.
Help each other memorize too
While you're reading more of the Quran this month, try to get everyone involved in at least some memorization of the Blessed Book while you're at it. One way is for family members to break up into groups of two and test each other's memorization of some of the Surahs (chapters). You could also use the family meeting time to cover some memorization.
"Madrasah pupils in Mauritania" by Ferdinand Reus from Arnhem, Holland - http://www.flickr.com/photos/72092071@N00/746927408. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons - http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Madrasah_pupils_in_Mauritania.jpg#mediaviewer/File:Madrasah_pupils_in_Mauritania.jpg