Learning in general should be engaging and enlightening. This is especially true for the Quran. I have been experimenting with various ways of teaching the Quran and testing it out on my children and so far I have found one way that has been keeping their interest and attention longer, especially considering their young ages. They are all under the age of eight, MashaaAllah.
Since I started teaching in this way, not only do my children enjoy learning and memorizing the Qur’an, they’re having a better understanding of it and connection to it. They’re also learning Islamic history as we study more, MashaaAllah! May Allah open-up our children’s minds and hearts to love, understand and implement the Quran into their lives. Ameen.
So, here is how I prepare my Quran lessons:
I give important and interesting info/facts about the surah the child will be learning:
I research about each surah: if there are specific reasons for why some of the Suras and verses of the Quran were revealed, and if there are any interesting facts pertaining to the surah/verse. And then I share these facts and information with my kids. Also, I tell them about various names for the surah (if there is more than one name for that surah), for example surah Fatiha has so many other names besides, Al-Fatiha. When we know the reasons behind why a specific verse was revealed, we can easily relate to it and draw lessons from it. This method of teaching goes well beyond just reading the translation of it. The more we know, the easier it is understand and memorize.
After I discuss everything the surah will be about and giving all interesting facts and stories related to it, then I read the translation verse by verse.
Now here’s the fun part: Drawing!
The kids get creative. I let them draw and color or even paint! This makes the lesson fun and artistic. The Quran is filled with so many beautiful and interesting things that can be drawn or painted. It doesn’t have to be perfect but it’s just another way to make it a little more interesting and exciting.
I ask my kids to draw a picture that goes well with the surah. It can be about where the prophet was (if it is known) when he received the revelation of the verse/surah being discussed or it can be about something else mentioned within the surah. Just anything to help the child remember some of the important topics in the surah. In the picture above, we were studying and learning surah Al-Alaq and my boys wanted to draw Jabal Al-Noor where the Prophet was when he received the very first verses of this Surah because I told them about where he was and how he used to seclude himself within the cave in that mountain. Another thing they drew was a pen (because in this surah Allah tells us about how He has “taught man that which he knew not.” Pen is a representation of knowledge and it’s so easy to draw.
Writing is a powerful tool when it comes to learning. Writing a sentence that goes with the picture will not only help them to practice the physical aspect of writing, it will also help them to think about the topic more deeply and come up with their own sentences. This is another great way to help kids to learn basic writing rules as well.
Here is an example of sentences to go with the picture they drew: Jabal Al-Hira, also known as Jabal Al-Noor is where Prophet Muhammad was at when Angel Jibril revealed sura Al-Alaq. It is the first sura in the Qu’ran!
I also make my children copy the translation of the sura we are studying. It does not have to be the entire surah in one sitting. I sometimes will ask them to write just one or two verses or if the sura is very short, then I’ll ask them to copy all of it. My five year old is still learning to write, so I give him one or two words to copy. We use Tafsir Ibn Kathir or Mohsin Khan; I have heard that these two translations are the best and most correct, but Allah knows best.
After all of the above is done, then we focus on memorizing the surah verse by verse. It might sometimes take a few days and sometimes longer. But the important thing is that they’re enjoying learning the Qur’an, alhamdulilah!
To make kids memorize, it is important to recite, recite, recite! I usually sit with my kids for 30 minutes and make them recite each verse at least 20 times in the beginning. By the 10th time, usually, they memorize at least one verse. I try to make it a competition and tell them, “let’s how many times you guys can recite without getting tired!” That’s the key to getting children excited about anything. They have to see that you are excited and enthustiatic about what you are trying to teach.
I try to incorporate many different things before just memorizing a new surah. We read, discuss, write, draw and then finally, memorize with excitement and energy. That way I don’t ever hear the words, “this is boring.” I want the Quran to be associated with fun and excitement and learning.
I’ll be honest, how I learned the Quran was completely different from this method. When I was younger, we focused more on just memorization alone. I used to DREAD waking up in the morning and going to the weekend Quran class because I found it boring. While I did memorize many suras, I really didn’t understand nor find connection to the Quran. It was only after I grew up, well into my 20s when I read the translation of the Quran in English that my love for the Quran grew. I was truly amazed by the Quran and even became a more practicing Muslimah because of it. This is why I want my children to have some understanding of the Quran. While they may not understand everything in it because of their young ages, I want them to at least have an idea of what is discussed in the Qur’an.
Let me know how you teach the Quran and make it fun and interesting! And if you found this article to be helpful, don’t hesitate to share the khayr!