Ever since my daughters were born three and a half years ago, I’ve made it a point to read Qur’an out loud to them while they were awake, although many times I would rather have read it in peace and quiet while they were asleep. I also made sure to make my tasbeeh after salah out loud, although at first it felt strange to me and unnatural.
Tonight, I saw a glimpse of the outcome.
I just came out of my girls’ bedroom. L had fallen asleep, but S had still been awake, talking with me. I had read to them Ayat Al-Kursi, then the Mu’awwithat, and then I had started Surat Ar-Rahman. S whispered to me a short time after I started, “Mama, may I read the Mu’awwithat?” I said, “Yes, go ahead.” She was quiet for a moment, and then said, “I don’t know how.” So I helped her with the beginning of Surat Al-Ikhlas, and she continued on her own. Then she was quiet, so I continued reciting Surat Ar-Rahman.
While I was reciting, she asked, “What does (almarjan) mean?” so I answered her.
“What does (barzakh) mean?” and I answered her.
“What does (la yabghiyan) mean?” and I answered her.
When I reached (And there will remain the Face of your Lord, Owner of Majesty and Honor) she said, “That’s just like in salah.” I didn’t understand, so she said, “Can you make tasbeeh?”
I started saying, “Subhan Allah, Alhamdulillah, La ilaha illa Allah, Allahu akbar” and repeated it over and over.
She stopped me, and whispered, “After salah we say (Owner of Majesty and Honor), where?” I remembered and said, “Oh Allah, You are the Peace, and from You is Peace, Blessed are You, Owner of Majesty and Honor. Is that what you meant?” She said, “Yes.”
I whispered, “Oh, S, masha Allah, you have such a good memory. You were able to see the similarity between this ayah and that dua’. May Allah strengthen you, S!” She whispered back, “May Allah strengthen you, Mama.”
I continued reciting, (Whoever is in the heavens and earth asks Him) and paused to take a breath, and she asked, “Is this by making dua’?” I thought about her question, realized its depth, and replied, “Yes, I think dua’ is what is meant.”
Then I continued reciting, until I reached (and becomes rose-colored like oil) and she whispered a question which I didn’t understand, and then she yawned, and was asleep.
I got up and left the room, more determined than ever to always engage my daughters in my remembrance of Allah, no matter how much time it takes.
Asiya lives in Virginia with her husband and twin daughters. She is an active MAS member with an ijaza (certificate) in Qur’anic recitation and tajweed, and enjoys teaching, interpreting and translating.