Sounds are everywhere. The ability to pick up a pattern or recognize a rhythm is a talent too. In this article, we will discover how we can utilize this talent in a beneficial manner. You will also learn ways to develop this talent in your child and get close to the book of Allah insha’Allah .
Do you like POEMS? If I were to speak about “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening by Robert Frost’ or the amazing couplets of Allama Iqbal, how excited would you be?
Rhythm and Child
Welcome to the world of Rhythmic learners. Although in the Multiple Intelligence jargon, these learners are referred to as ‘musical learners’, because of the negative connotation, I prefer calling them rhythmic learners.
One of the first intelligence to appear in a child is that of rhythm. There is a Rhythm in Nature. SOUNDS are a part of our live. Some can make PATTERNS out of sounds. Sounds like the sound of falling raindrops, oncoming train, the drumming of a washing machine or the thunder that occurs after lightening. Human voice is the best example of a naturally occurring sound.
Some people are like walking libraries. One of the reasons why they remember so much is because they put the information in a musical format. Even stories are rhythmic. It has a format – a beginning, a middle and an end.
Sound Patterns around the Globe
In Senegal, sound and by extension, rhythm are very much a part of their cultural language. The ‘griots’ or the news singers still deliver news by singing! Similarly in Papua New Guinea, the locals ‘Iatmul’ community know 20,000 names from memory without having written anything. All from rhythmic chanting!
Again in Yugoslavia, the songs of history and culture can go on for weeks together! They break only for sleep! In the Anang tribe of Nigeria – by 5 years, a child knows 100s of songs. Even in the Bedouin culture, the memory’s test is through the memorization of the Arab poets that were the origin sources for ‘fussaha’- richness of language and ‘balaga’ – eloquence.
Prophet Dawood was given a wonderful miracle. He had an awe-inspiring voice, which Allah had not bestowed upon anyone before him. When Prophet Dawood recited from the Zabur, the book that was revealed to him, the birds would stand still in the air. The angels and the winds would guide the birds to him, and they would all listen to his beautiful recitation. Then, the birds would repeat with him, each with a different sound and in a delightful tune.
The Messenger of Allah had said to Abu Musa: If you were to see me as I was listening to your recitation (of the Qur’an) last night (you would have felt delighted). You are in fact endowed with a sweet voice like that of (the Noble Prophet of Allah) Dawood himself! 1
Thus, this an endorsement and an encouragement to voice our voices to the best of our abilities. Think of the wonderful orators or the great Qaris who nurture this God’s gift of a soothing, clear and coherent voice to spread the Deen of Allah.
And who is better in speech than one who invites to Allah and does righteousness and says, “Indeed, I am of the Muslims.”(Surah Fussilat41:33)
Not MUSIC to EARS
In contrast, we corrupt our mind with mindless music. Music is very persuasive. Allah acknowledged the fact that it can fill our lives with disruption. Music is used to sell brands from liquor to mineral water, from children’s diapers to cars, from ‘School Bands’ to ‘MTV – Role models’ to ‘family gatherings’. It is everywhere.
To make it worse are the lyrics of today! We did a survey on the lyrics of some of the famous singers and were shocked to see that it was filled with examples ranging from sex, homosexuality, drugs, violence to shirk!
A case in point is the lyrics of the popular rapper Eminem, whose popular son had lyrics filled with 65% words that were directed towards violence, racism and pornography.
Rhythm is natural to us as our hearbeats. Ancient Egyptians used to throw away the brain but preserve the heart! The heart is a muscle, about the size of a clenched fist. Thus, our heartbeats make us understand the power of rhythm. If your heart misses a beat, you might be on an ambulance to a cardiac care unit.
If we are so concerned about the ‘physical heart’, how about the ‘spiritual heart?’ In his supplications, the Prophetwould often say, “I seek refuge in You, O Allah, from a heart that does not fear (You).” 2
As a vessel, our heart can contain sounds that are pleasing and beneficial to our entire human existence. Get yourself and your children connected to the rhythm of the Qur’an.
Tajweed comes from jayyid meaning ‘excellent’ and is literally the beautification of something.
The Prophet said “Whoever reads a letter from the Book of Allah, he will have a reward. And that reward will be multiplied by ten. I am not saying that “Alif, Laam, Meem” is a letter, rather I am saying that “Alif” is a letter, “laam” is a letter and “meem” is a letter.” So increase your recitation of the Qur’an to gain these merits. 3
It’s amazing how an ordinary voice will usually blend into the crowds in normal speech but the same voice, when it recites the Quran while applying the rules of Tajweed, becomes so different, so beautiful that the ears are riveted to it.
No wonder Allahrevealed the Quran in Arabic for all of humanity. The pronunciation of letters, the degrees in tones, nasalization and the different qualities are so well documented in Arabic that the script comes together as a well-defined, well-oiled machine. And, as with all machines, it must be run frequently to prevent rusting stemming from disuse.
Develop this intelligence in your child:
Listen frequently to the Surahs being recited by famous Qaris, such as Sheikh Hudhaify or Qari Abdul Basit. Sheikh Hudhaify is preferable because of his slow and measured tones – he has a PhD in Tajweed!
Develop Musical imagery
– Imagine hearing the train
– The chirping of the bird
– Your alarm (and then DON’T hit the snooze button!)
– Sound of opening a pop-top can of soda
– Patter of raindrops on the roof
– AshraMubashira (10 companions given glad tidings of Paradise)
– Conditions of the Shahadah
– A country’s President names
Memorize short hadith
– Begin with first and last hadeeth of Sahih Bukhari
Compose poems in classrooms
– Do a research on different types of poems
– Japan has a rich poem culture
– Indian – subcontinent (along with Pakistan and Bangladesh) has diversity in poems
– Look up for old Arab poems
Listen to conversation from different parts of the world
– Mexico, China, Thailand, Poland
– You can check these on YouTube.
- One of the first intelligence to appear in a child is that of rhythm.
- SOUNDS are a part of our lives.
- Human voice is the best of sound when used properly.
- Tajweed comes from jayyid meaning ‘excellent’ and is literally the beautification of something.
- Connect your child to the Qur’an.
- Develop musical imagery in a child.
In the next article, we will deal with environment conservation. Excited to visit a zoo or an aquarium? Are you an encyclopedia on animals? Do you like fishing or hiking? Welcome to the world of nature. As a naturalist, you will learn about caring for nature, the green hadith and your role in world environment conservation.