There are numerous reasons why Muslim parents want their children to memorize the Quran. It is part of our tradition and a feat that sets us apart from other religious adherents. In no other faith are worshippers of every rank, from the layman to the scholar, encouraged to memorize the entirety of their religious text. Yet, there are millions of huffadh, Muslims who have memorized the Quran by heart, all around the world. Committing the Quran to memory guarantees endless rewards for the person who does so with pure sincerity and with the intention to put its wisdom into practice. It also carries a certain status both in this life and the Hereafter. In one famous hadith, the Khalifa and companion Uthman ibn Affan, may Allah be pleased with him, narrated that the Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, once said:
“The best among you (Muslims) are those who learn the Qur'an and teach it.”
Every parent wants the best for their child and they want their child to be their best. Therefore, it is no surprise that many would do any and everything to encourage them to make the Quran a priority in their lives – so they can be among those whom the Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, called the best Muslims. The Prophet also said:
“Whoever recites a letter of the Book of Allah then he will get a good deed for it and the good deed will be equal to ten good deeds like it. I am not saying that Alif, Lam, Meem, is a letter. Rather, Alif is a letter, Lam is a letter, and Meem is a letter.”
This hadith highlights the benefits of just reading or reciting the Quran. There are even greater blessings in memorizing the whole text. The Quran contains 604 pages and, according to reports in Tafsir Ibn Kathir, within these pages are 77,449 words with 320,015 letters. According to the statement of the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, mentioned above, one recitation of the entire Quran would grant its reciter over 3.2 million good deeds! This is motivation enough for all of us to want to learn. However, we must realize that not everyone is destined to become a hafidh and that does not make them any less of a believer.
Noted Spiritual Benefits
If you are a parent who is unsure if your child should memorize the Quran, there are some things to consider. Some of the advantages your child gains from memorizing the Quran are:
1. An elevated status.
A hafidh or hafidha is a person who guards or preserves the Quran. If all the physical copies of the Quran were to be lost, the huffadh (plural of hafidh) would be called upon to put it back together. Thus, the sincere hafidh/hafidha has an unparalleled status in the Muslim community. He/She is often seen as a teacher and leader for those in the masjid. They may not necessarily be seeking this status or fame, but it comes with the accomplishment of this great task. This is especially the case for the male huffadh who are responsible for leading the daily prayers or the tarawih prayer during the month of Ramadan or the female hafidhat educators and mothers who impart this knowledge to future generations.
To sum up this point, Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him said:
“Indeed, Allah will elevate some people with this book and he will degrade others with it.” (Muslim)
2. Knowing Allah intends good for them.
The huffadh are of an elite group of chosen people. The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said:
“Whoever Allah intends good for; He gives him the understanding of the religion.”
What better understanding of our faith than knowing our holy book, which contains the commandments, lessons, and examples for all human beings to follow? Through this knowledge, parents hope their children will stay firmly on the path of righteousness. In addition to this goodness in the worldly life, is the good in the next life. The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said:
“If the Quran is gathered in a body (of a person), Allah will not burn him with the Fire.” (Al-Baihaqi)
3. Protection from Shaytan.
A Quran reciter enjoys protection from Shaytan and evil deeds through his/her recitation. Allah says in the Quran:
“Recite what has been revealed to you of the Book and establish prayer. Indeed, prayer should deter ˹one˺ from indecency and wickedness. The remembrance of Allah is ˹an˺ even greater ˹deterrent˺. And Allah knows what you do.”
(Surah Al-Ankabut, 29:45)
Before the daily prayers, Allah mentions that reciting the Quran is a means to prevent evil as well as the remembrance of Allah, which is a more effective measure that can also be achieved through recitation. We can assume the same from the hadith in which Abu Huraira reported that the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said:
“Do not turn your houses into graveyards. Verily, Satan flees from the house in which Surat al-Baqarah is recited.”
4. Intercession on the Day of Judgement.
The amount of Quran a Muslim knows may determine their status in the Hereafter as indicated in this hadith:
“It will be said to the person who memorized Quran, ‘Read, ascend, and recite with slow, rhythmic chanting just as you used to recite in the worldly life. For verily your position (in Paradise) will be at the place of the last verse that you recite.”
(Abu Dawud, At-Tirmidhi)
In other hadiths, we learn that the Quran will be a sort of negotiator on behalf of its reciter. One example is the following saying of the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him:
“Recite the Quran, for verily it will come on the Day of Judgement as an intercessor for those who recited it.”
5. A crown of light.
The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, spoke about a beautiful reward that will be bestowed on the one who memorizes the Quran. He said:
“Whoever recites the Quran, learns it, and acts upon it, will be given a crown of light to wear on the Day of Judgement, and its light will be like the light of the sun.”
In another hadith, the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said the parents of a hafidh will receive a similar reward:
“Whoever recites the Quran and acts according to what is in it, his parents will be crowned on the Day of Resurrection with a light brighter than the light of the sun in your worldly houses, were it among you. What do you think of one who acts upon this?”
And Physiological Benefits, Too
As highlighted above, there are spiritual benefits to memorizing the Quran, but there are also documented physiological benefits. Researchers at the Review of International Geographical Education (RIGEO), headed by scholars from the University of Kebangsaan, Malaysia, tested Quran students from ages 13-17 and found that memorizing the Quran improved their IQ, quality of life, and serotonin levels (Ismarulyusda et al., 2021). According to their findings, children who memorize the Quran are more likely to be in good physical health. Additionally, there are academic advantages to studying the Quran such as improving memorization, stimulating critical thinking, increasing the ability to master other aspects of Islamic knowledge, and improving overall academic retention and performance (Fairuzillah & Listiana, 2020).
These reasons may be enough to convince any parent to enroll their children in Quran classes today, however, not everyone can and should attempt to memorize the entirety of Allah’s book. Memorizing the whole Quran does not guarantee a person will retain it or that he/she will have a free ticket to Paradise. Many of the companions of the Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, were not huffadh. They did not memorize the entire text, but instead focused on implementing its teachings. Abu Abdur Rahman, may Allah have mercy on him, reported:
The companions would learn to recite ten verses from the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him. They would not take another ten verses until they understood the knowledge and deeds they contained. They would say, “We learned sacred knowledge and action together.”
For children, the question may not necessarily be if they should learn, but rather when they should learn or how they should learn. All children should be encouraged to consistently learn to read the Quran and memorize parts of it. However, parents must keep in mind that not every child will have the capacity or necessary support to memorize all of the Quran. Forcing a child to become a hafidh/hafidha because of external factors like community pressure, cultural influences, or a parent’s own skewed motivations can be detrimental to their faith. Parents and caregivers are advised to pray to Allah for guidance and consult their wishes with their child, emphasizing quality over quantity when it comes to memorizing the Quran. There are many approaches and options to consider when it comes to Quran education, but most importantly, understand it is a lifelong commitment. All parties should have the proper intentions and be prepared for the tremendous sacrifice it takes to memorize the Quran.
For additional reading on the topic, consult the following booklet from which many of the points in the article were extracted:
Our Children and the Memorization of the Qur'an
Compiled by Darussalaam Research Division
This 32-page booklet contains motivational reminders and pointers for parents, caregivers, and educators about the importance of children learning the Quran.
Wendy Díaz is a Puerto Rican Muslim writer, award-winning poet, translator, and mother of six (ages ranging from infant to teen). She is the co-founder of Hablamos Islam, a non-profit organization that produces educational resources about Islam in Spanish (hablamosislam.org). She has written, illustrated, and published over a dozen children’s books and currently lives with her family in Maryland. Follow Wendy Díaz on social media @authorwendydiaz and @hablamosislam.
Ismarulyusda, I., Santibuana A. R., Ibrahim, F. W., Khair, N. M., Abd Warif, N. M., Harun, D., Ghazali, A. R.,...(2021). Impact of Quran Memorization on Psychological and Health Well-Being. Review of International Geographical Education (RIGEO), 11(8), 337-344. http://doi.org/10.48047/rigeo.11.08.33
Fairuzillah, M. N., & Listiana, A. (2020). The Positive Impacts of Memorizing the Qurán Cognitive Intelligence on Children. Proceedings of the 5th International Conference on Early Childhood Education (ICECE 2020). https://doi.org/10.2991/assehr.k.210322.071