The Quran is the Word of Allah and an answer to the prayers of those who call upon Him for guidance. The first chapter of the Quran, Surah Al-Fatihah, also named The Opening, is a supplication to the Creator of the Heavens and the Earth, to keep us on the Straight Path. Surah Al-Baqarah, the second chapter, provides an answer with the following verses:
“Alif, Lam, Meem. This is the Book in which there is no doubt, a guide for the righteous.”
(Surah Al-Baqarah, 2:1-2)
If you are a parent or caregiver who has made the decision to have your child memorize the Quran, I commend you for wanting to provide your child with the best guidance. memorizing the Quran:Having the ability to memorize Quran in a formal setting is an opportunity of a lifetime. Like other lofty goals, it is also fraught with plenty of challenges. Being parents to a hafidh/hafidha, a person who has memorized the Quran, is not easy. It may seem like the child is the one who must put forth the maximum amount of effort to learn, when in fact, their family is just as involved in every step of the memorization process.
It may seem like a daunting task, but do not fear. Begin by solidifying your intention to embark on effort for the sake of Allah and turn to Him throughout your journey.
Here are 10 steps you can take as a parent to ensure your child has a good experience
1. Make sure your child is ready and willing.
Ask yourself the following questions:
- Does my child show interest in learning the Quran?
- Is my child mentally and physically ready to learn the Quran?
- Does my child need any accommodations so that he/she can learn effectively?
- Is he/she old enough or mature enough for formal hifzh classes?
Be sure to check off all the boxes before moving forward. Revisit these questions even after your child starts memorizing. If your child is not motivated, do not force him/her to memorize. The worst thing you can do is make memorizing the Quran a chore rather than a choice.
You may want to check with an experienced Quran teacher for the answer to the last question. Knowing the expectations is important for your children but also for your support role as well.
2. Find or create a suitable learning environment.
Your child will need a school, personal tutor, or Quran institute that can meet his/her needs and fulfill your expectations. Ask your friends, family, and/or community members for recommendations. Read reviews and shop around. You may want to ask local huffadh (plural for hafidh) or imams about their experiences memorizing and what school or instructor they feel would be best suited for your child. One of them may even volunteer for the job!
3. Remove distractions.
When your child begins memorizing the Quran in a formal setting, be it in a physical classroom, musalla or institute, or online, it is important to remove distractions. Depending on the age of the child, these can be in the form of television, electronic devices, music, movies, games, and some toys. If the child is used to being in front of a screen for most of the day, wean them off slowly. There is a tremendous time commitment that comes with Quran memorization for new material and review. The parent may need to work out a schedule with their child, so they are still able to engage in the things they love, while still reserving ample time to dedicate to their studies.
4. Make sure you are also ready to take on the challenge.
As previously mentioned, when it comes to hifdh or the process of memorization, it may seem that the child memorizing will have the biggest task, but there are also obligations for the parents or caregivers. Children learning the Quran will need to complete new lessons at home and review previously memorized material. The parent will become a facilitator for their memorization journey by default. Therefore, you must ensure you have the time and patience to take on this responsibility. Be supportive and never strict, so that your child enjoys his/her time memorizing. You may consider starting your own routine of Quran reading or memorization so that your child does not feel alone.
5. Offer rewards for milestones.
Positive reinforcement will be a golden key for your child’s success in memorizing the Quran. Reward milestones like completing a surah or juz with a special gift or favorite food. Some parents use sticker charts to track progress and throw parties after a certain number of chapters or sections. Take your child to an amusement park, for ice cream, or to watch a movie as a treat for their hard work. You may even want to consider promising them a cash prize per juz. Use whatever motivates your children but always remind them that the ultimate goal of learning the Quran is to please Allah, not for some worldly gain.
6. Do not rush the process.
I once heard a Quran teacher say, “If you learn fast, you forget fast.” Although there may be other children memorizing along with our child, we must remind them that this is not a race. If you find your child rushing, ask them to slow down and recenter. The best thing you can do is have them understand and reflect over the verses of the Quran they are memorizing. They can do this by reading the translation.
Yahya ibn Sa’id, may Allah be pleased with him, reported: A man came to Zayd ibn Thabit, may Allah be pleased with him, and he said, “How do you view reciting the entire Quran in seven days?” Zayd said, “That is good, but to recite it in half a month or ten days is more beloved to me. Ask me why that is.” The man said, “Indeed, I ask you.” Zayd said, “That I reflect upon it and pause over it.”
7. Never compare your child.
Memorizing the Quran can become competitive, not just for students, but for parents. Although healthy competition can be a motivation, it can also add a layer of stress to a child or trigger feelings of anger and resentment. The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said:
"There should be no envy except in two (cases): a man whom Allah has given (knowledge of) the Quran, and he recites it during the night and day, and a man whom Allah has given wealth, and he spends it during the night and day (in a rightful way).”
According to this hadith, the envy a person may feel toward another who is learning the Quran may be praiseworthy. Still there are situations in which other parents feel frustrated because their child is not progressing and may feel jealous of you and your child. Rarely, those feelings may become malicious. However, it is best to protect our children from those who have diseases in their heart and wish your family failure or harm. Similarly, constantly comparing your child to another may harm your self-esteem and theirs or cause them to feel hatred toward themselves or others. Resetting our intention to come closer to Allah through the Quran and seeking refuge from Shaytan’s evil plots are ways to keep ourselves safe from falling into error.
8. Communicate with teachers.
Sometimes it is the teacher or tutor that adds unnecessary pressure to a child who is memorizing the Quran. Check in with your son or daughter’s instructor often and work together on a suitable plan. Sadly, some madrasas or Quran schools can be havens for spiritual, emotional, and even physical abuse. Never doubt that it can happen to your child. Families may find themselves in these predicaments even when parents have been diligent about choosing a suitable teacher or school.
Speak with your child about his/her experience in hifdh class and listen to them should they complain. If there is any sign or suspicion of abuse, remove them from the classes immediately. Memorizing the Quran should never occur in an environment in which a child feels unwelcome or unsafe.
9. Keep it to yourself.
Parents can get excited about their children memorizing the Book of Allah, and in their excitement, they may want to share every step of the process. Social media intensifies the urge to divulge all our proud parenting moments. However, it may be best to resist the impulse to tell the world about everything your child is doing for a few reasons:
- Your child may not want the added pressure.
- It may change yours or your child’s intention for memorizing.
- It could draw unnecessary attention and scrutiny.
Mu’adh ibn Jabal reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Seek help in the fulfillment of your needs by being discrete, for everyone who is given a blessing will be envied.”
It really is no one’s business what activities your children are involved in. If the intention is to memorize the Quran for the sake of Allah, it may be best to keep it private or only share with those who are closest to you.
10. Celebrate their achievements.
Whether your child memorizes the entire Quran or stops after a few juz, make it a big deal and celebrate. They have accomplished more than the majority of Muslims around the world. You may choose to have an intimate gathering with family or to throw a party and invite all their friends. Do what makes your child feel happy and special. Keep the festivities moderate and show your gratitude to Allah by making His remembrance a priority.
Once your child has finished, news may or may not spread. Be prepared to answer questions from curious parents but excuse yourself from conversations that make you and your child uncomfortable. Remind others that memorizing the Quran is a gift (and a test) from Allah alone, so the best way to achieve it is through sincere supplication and dedication.
Above all, remember the greatest challenge is not memorizing the Quran, it is acting upon it and retaining it. The journey does not cease once a person becomes a hafidh/hafidha, rather it is only the beginning of a lifetime of consistent review. Although it is one of the greatest challenges a person, young or old, can undertake, its blessings are unparalleled.
May Allah grant our huffadh sincerity and strength to continue guarding the Book of Allah. Amen.
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.