By Heart

It was a peaceful night last night. Besides for my munchkin being fast asleep, I was home alone. So for the first time in a while, I picked up the Quran to continue the daunting task of rememorizing what I had once known by heart. Quran memorization was heavily emphasized in my childhood Islamic school. And I did well at it. I absorbed chapter after chapter and enjoyed having the beautiful words in my heart, and on my mind. Since that time, my connection with this amazing scripture has fluctuated…much like any relationship I guess. That is what I find to be the most profound aspect of the Qur’an- its ability to form a unique relationship with each person, and to live in our hearts and minds in a way that transcends paper and ink.

Now especially that we are in Ramadan, the month in which the Qur’an was revealed, the month during which the Quran is usually read cover to cover, let’s revive our relationships with it. I have only slightly chipped away at my plan to rememorize the verses I have forgotten, while simultaneously understanding and applying it. Nonetheless, here are some humble pieces of advice from a non-expert about how to approach the Quran. This is especially relevant for moms guiding their kids, as well as others, who are approaching the Quran for the first time.

  1.  Quran memorization is necessary for prayer. It is also a noble goal in itself with many blessings. Every verse you memorize raises your level. The blessed Prophet (s) said: “Verily he who has nothing of the Quran in his heart, is like a house (which has been) destroyed.” Most of the companions of the Prophet (s) did not memorize the whole Quran. Rather they memorized certain verses, really understood them, and applied them. So, memorize slowly and make the verses part of your daily life. This can be really successful with children. Build their daily activities around the verses of the day. That includes art projects, readings, etc.
  2. Periodically set aside time for review and reflection. Again, this is probably more successful with a group of people.
  3. There are blessings in listening to the Qur’an, not just memorizing or reading it. As busy moms, we may not have the chance to sit, focus, read and/or memorize, but we can play it in the car or while cooking, etc. Just remember, there is an etiquette associated with evening listening to Qur’an, like being as respectful, silent, and attentive as possible.
  4. Learn how to use the Quran as a reference. Memorizing isn’t all you can do with the Quran. I think it’s more important to teach our kids how to utilize the Quran, the footnotes, the commentary, etc. We especially like to learn about the circumstances of the revelation, which ties in the Sunnah as well. This is usually in the preface of each chapter in the translation copies.

In this way, Quran recitation can blossom into a comprehensive experience ripe with deep understanding. I hope we can all be among the parents who teach our kids to approach the Quran with wisdom and devotion.

Dalal Kanan

Dalal is currently a graduate student in chemistry living in NJ who above all loves being mom to one gregarious toddler.

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