by Umm Zakariya
I’ve been asked this question several times. And it is an answer that requires a blog post!
Parents are responsible for the religious and worldly education of a child. Children should be taught the book of Allah, both its method of recitation and actual implementation. They should also be taught the disciplines of life, Oneness of Allah and His attributes, Seerah of the blessed Messenger of Allah (sa), basics of what is lawful and what is unlawful, and important information regarding prayer, fasting, and other duties.
From an Islamic perspective, there is no fixed age before or after which the parents may or may not teach children the Qur’an or any other aspect of Islamic knowledge. However, there are many factors that can influence your decision:
1- Mental ability and intellectual capacity
Some children are seen to mature before others. Sometimes children of the same age are worlds apart in their understanding and receptiveness. Sometimes a child who is brilliant in school might have a harder time with the Quran. Judge your child for who is he is before embarking him on the journey to learn the Quran.
2- Earlier the better
By this I mean the womb. Start educating your child by playing the Quran while you are expecting to familiarize them. Then start a formal study of the Quran as early as possible. The “early as possible” will be governed by point number 1.
3- Look out for danger signs
If you feel your child is being adversely effected particularly if they are going to an institute for memorization, then wait till they have grown slightly older. It is better for a child to love the Quran and do it with intent than for it to be forced on them leading to resentment for the Book of Allah
4- Do not overlook Tarbiyah
Sadly, I have seen huffaz who have not adopted Islamic manners. Remember, that hifz isn’t fardh (compulsory) but good manners and conduct are. Make sure that you teach them behaviour and social conducts and if these are getting compromised, then hifz should take the back seat till their behavior improves.
5- Schooling vs. Hifz
If you plan to do schooling and hifz together, then make sure your child isn’t overworked. However, if you have to choose one over the other, then my advice to you would be to make sure their elementary education is complete (where they are fluent at reading, spelling, arithmetic) before pulling them out of school for full-time hifz. This will enable your children to continue reading books and gaining knowledge on their own so that when they go back to school, they are not too far behind
And Allah Almighty knows best
Umm Zakariya is a mother of four. Her eldest daughter is now a Hafiza, and her two sons have embarked on this phenomenal journey as well. The youngest baby aspires to be a hafiz as well, Alhamdulillah