The Quran – Food for Soul
Nowadays music is considered as ‘food for soul’, however, the fact is otherwise. Music makes hypocrisy grow in the heart just like water makes herbs grow. The blaring music coming out of toys, television and radio is a major threat for our Imaan. For Quran to take place in our hearts we first need to empty it out by removing all the negatives, including music.
Quran is the nourishing supplement; it is the medicine for our soul. Allah (swt) has said in the Quran:
“O mankind, there has to come to you instruction from your Lord and healing for what is in the breasts and guidance and mercy for the believers.” (Surah Yunus 10:57)
The Prophet (s.a.w) once said:
“The hearts gets rusty like the iron gets rusty.” The people asked, “O Messenger of Allah! What will cleanse it?” He said, “Reciting the Quran and remembering death.” (Bayhaqi in Shu’ab al Imaan with a weak chain)
Accustom your children to the recitation of Quran even before they come into this world. The mother should make a habit of reciting the Quran every day, as much as she can. Fathers are not exempted; take your infant in your lap while you recite the Mushaf.
As they grow up, start with the hifdh of small Surahs. Play the recordings of these Surahs on your computer or your smart phones. Encourage the children by recording the Surahs in their own voices. Many a children have memorized portions of the Quran merely by listening to it being played in their houses and cars. Apparently, to us it seems that they are not paying attention; however, everything they hear is going inside.
Around the age of three start explaining simple verses to them, those that they can relate to, in an age appropriate manner, for e.g. Surah Fatiha, verses about the creation of Allah and about Paradise.
A daily or weekly Quran study circle should be present in the routine of every household, in which all members of the family gather together for a few minutes to ponder over some verses of the Quran, reading together and thus growing together in faith.
Teenagers take more interest in things that their teachers or friends tell them, rather than their parents. Sign them up in classes of Quranic Tafseer. If possible, also arrange for their friends to go with them.
Quran is what turned the simple nomads of the desert into leaders of the Ummah. It is what transformed Umar bin al Khattab, the shepherd of camels into Umar al Farooq, the caliph of the Islamic empire. This very Quran made Bilal ibn Rabah, a simple black slave the Muodhin of Ka’bah. For our children to lead the Ummah tomorrow, we must enlighten them with the Quran today.
Bonding with Allah (swt)
‘Who is your Lord?’ this is the first question that we will be asked after we depart this world and enter our graves. Each one of us has to prepare the answer for this, not by rote learning, but by applying it in our lives. Likewise, we must prepare our children too.
When a child comes into the world, they are woven into a number of relationships. Father, mother, aunts, uncles and the list goes on. However, there is one relationship that tops them all. The adhan in the ear of a newborn is the first introduction of this most significant relationship; the one with Allah. He is the creator and we the creation. He is the Rabb and we the slaves. He is the Lord and we the Ebaad.
The love and recognition of Allah is something that should be instilled from the very beginning. From day one start talking about the bounties and wonders of Allah with your child in everyday conversations. For e.g. “MashaAllah! You look so handsome in this dress. Allah cares for you so much; He gave you new clothes and made you so beautiful!” Tell them how Allah loves them more than anyone and discuss the signs of His love.
Laying the Foundation
One cannot expect a tall building to stand on a weak base. The plight in our society is that we expect children to become obedient Muslims without laying the foundations. We most often only mention Allah in negative remarks; ‘Do this or Allah will punish you’, ‘Don’t do that or you’ll be put in Jahannum.’ Have we strived to first connect them with Allah, so that the strongest bond that they have is with Him?
Teach about this first pillar of faith like the ABC’s. In the initial stage of academics children are well grounded in the alphabets. Tons of activities are done to ensure that children learn these well; writing on sand, with play dough, coloring, matching, through crafts etc. A lot of hard work goes into the foundation of language before the children begin to read and write. We need to do the same kind of effort when it comes to faith.
By this I do not mean teaching mere facts, it’s the bond that we must assist to build. Besides, parents must endeavor to increase their own bond too, because all they can give is what they themselves have
- Allah’s wonderful creations:
“We will show them Our signs in the horizons and within themselves until it becomes clear to them that it is the truth.” (Surah Fussilat 41:53).
The scampering squirrels, chirping birds, changing clouds and the beautiful symmetry in leaves and flowers; every creation of Allah can be a prompt to start a conversation about the greatness of Allah. A believer does not take everything for granted. He does not pass by everything without paying heed, without extracting lessons. It is the duty of us parents to form a habit of contemplation on the signs of Allah in our children. Be it a toddler or a teenager, point to the awesome animals and the intricate systems inside of us. Indeed, this increases the awe of Allah.
- Thankfulness (Shukr):
“But most of them do not give thanks.” This phrase has been repeated over and over in the Quran. Thankfulness too, like every other thing, is a habit that can be formed with practice. Allah loves those who are thankful and it is the thankful ones that love Allah.Point out the bounties and blessings of Allah to your children. Toys, chocolates, books, gifts, clothes, a healthy body; the blessings of Allah are countless! Tell them about those who are less privileged and how it is our duty to take care for them too. Teach your kids to look at those below them when it comes to worldly goods and those superior when it comes to faith.Again, this is not a science lesson that can be taught in a class. Whatever amount of gratitude we as parents will have in our hearts, will be transferred over time into our children.
- The Attributes of Allah(swt):
It is the characteristics and positive qualities in a person that make us fond of them. Likewise, to have a stronger connection with Allah (swt) we should know and understand His names and attributes.
The children should not just be made to memorize and recite the names of Allah, but it is the meaning and implication of these attributes that should be rooted in their blood and bones. When they recognize Al- Razzaq they will have tawakkul, when they recognize Al-Samee they’ll be careful in their speech, when they recognize Al-Qadir and Al-Wahhab, they’ll know that everything happens for a good reason. These Asma ul Husna will stay with them for life, aiding them and guiding them in their journey.
One of the practical ways to learn the Asma ul Husna is to make a journal for it. Choose one attribute per week and discuss with the children. Write down the important points, stories, Ayahs and Duas related to it in your journal. Try to remember and implement that attribute throughout the week. Younger children can draw related pictures, colour in the names and trace. Emphasis should be on the understanding.