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Want My 4-Year Old to Love Qur'an

Question and answer details
Salma
2010/10/26
My daughter is 4 years old. Her father and I started teaching her short Suras of the Qur’aan and she is responding quite well in learning the verses by heart. However, the problem is that I feel I am asking her to learn something she totally doesn’t understand. I do not like this idea. I know there is another opinion that says take advantage of the high ability to learn in that age and lose this opportunity which would not be of the same level in the future. That is the exact reason why I started teaching her Qur’an, but I am not comfortable with the idea that she is made to learn something she does not understand. Also, I want to know what to tell her as the reason for learning Qur’an other than that this is something good that Allah likes and wants us to do, especially that I still do not know how she will perceive the concept of Allah.Another concern is that she doesn’t like to listen to Qur’an; when her father or I would take her to bed and sit beside her telling her stories, songs, Qur’an in order to make her sleep, she would prefer to listen to stories and songs and she tells us I do not mind that you read Qur’an if you want to do so but I do not like it. I want her to love to listen to Qur’an.
Mohamed Wadeed Gouda
Answer

Assalamu ‘Alykum my dear sister,

I would like to thank you so much for your question and the concerns you have in mind regarding your daughter’s spiritual status.

I am very glad to handle such a question because I have been teaching Quran for 5 years in the States to Muslim kids. Therefore, I do understand exactly the dilemma that you are talking about.

As a matter of fact, I strongly believe that we have to put first things first, and things which matter the most must never be at the mercy of things which matter the least.

One of the most popular spiritual scholars Ibn Ilqayem stated the following “The heart of the believer is like a bird, its head is love for Allah, and its 2 wings are the fear and the hope that he/she possesses towards Allah.” The greatness in this statement falls in the order of priorities which some Muslims have put upside down.

Some people do not really care about planting the love of Allah in their kids’ hearts as they care about making their kids perform the practices of religion. This illusion is causing numerous disturbances in the parents/kids relationship, and in kids’ relationship with Allah/.

That is why I loved your phrase “but I am not comfortable with the idea that she is made to learn”.

Educational psychologists had defined learning as “The change that occurs in the behavior based on experiences”.

If we wanted to apply this definition to your kid’s situation, we will find, as you stated, that your daughter “doesn’t like to listen to Qur’an; when her father or I would take her to bed and sit beside her telling her stories, songs, Qur’an in order to make her sleep, she would prefer to listen to stories and songs and she tells us I do not mind that you read Qur’an if you want to do so but I do not like it.”

You and I are highly concerned about this change, and that is why we need to reassess the whole thing.

All the above doesn’t suggest to stop teaching our kids Quran in early ages; nevertheless, it strongly tells us that we have to prioritize everything in our journey of parenting. Accordingly, we have to make extra effort to make sense out of the Quran to them in order to help them love it. We need to talk about Allah with them a lot, and to give them the correct idea about Allah with his names, and attributes.

You, as a parent, can make your kids do things by force without conviction, but you will never be able to help them have emotions the same way – either positive emotions towards Allah, religion, and values, or negative emotions towards bad customs, traditions, or people.

We may be getting what is called “the temporary change in the behavior”. Surprisingly enough, you will see some people fascinated with this temporary change, while I see it as nothing but the biggest failure ever.

I guess most of us agree that our kids are having such a distorted idea about Allah, and we need to fix this as soon as possible, otherwise, we will remain in this dilemma for a longer period of time.

Some parents, intentionally or unintentionally, only talk about Allah in the scary contexts, and usually make sure that their kids are frightened to perform the practices. So, we transfer to them that you will be sent to fire if you don’t pray or if you listen to music, Allah will put some sort of boiled oil in your ears, and so on. And, at the end of the road we wonder why our kids do not love Allah!!!!

May Allah reward you and bless your family. Ameen.

Please keep me in your prayers.

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