In this final series on the “Top 5 Overlooked Standards on Qur’an Memorization for Kids,” I examine a seldom discussed topic: “Character Building.” The memorization of the Qur’an provides a wonderful platform for parents and individuals alike to develop great character. But more importantly, these characteristics must be learned and exercised in a healthy way by each person.
- Kids Do What they See – The first source a child looks to in learning character is from their parents, family and friends. What are the words and characteristics found in a child’s home? Who are the kids that hang around your children? Kids will model what they see more than what they hear, and in this case, what they are memorizing. What good characteristics you wish to see your kids develop must be found in yourself. Additionally, your family friends teach your kids whom to befriend. If you have friends that gossip and backbite and have a penchant for drama, your kids will be exposed to such filth. While this is no guarantee, practicing what you would want in others is the essence of sincerity. This will reduce behavioral duality. This is more critical for those who memorize the Qur’an.
- Practice Humility & Humanity – It is extremely critical for kids and teens to be reminded of humility. People love comparing data and statistics. How much your kid has memorized does not make them better or worse than others. One who has memorized Qur’an should not indulge in topics they are not well versed in. I have seen this in certain communities where those who memorized Qur’an are given a platform to speaking engagements about religious issues they are not qualified to talk about. A hāfidth of the Qur’an is but a hāfidth. They are not scholars. They are not automatically qualified to teach others tajwīd or tafsīr. Teaching is a very difficult skill. If they don’t know how to teach, be a role model, and inspire other students, they risk ruining the Qur’an memorization experience for other kids. Not everyone is meant to be a teacher. Therefore, parents must keep an eye out on this. Don’t let your pride for your child’s achievement be a blank check for your child to do whatever. It is my personal preference to not call teens by “Hafidth” or “Hafizsaab.” A lot of teens have trouble taming their egos. Teach your kids to stay humble when others marvel in wonder at their Qur’an accomplishments. In many ways, huffādth can become public figures. And it is probably better for them to stay private and keep a low profile. With popularity comes great responsibility. Therefore, people make mistakes. Kids make mistakes. More often than not, people or parents are extra hard on huffādth when they slip up. While it is understandable for people of knowledge to be held to higher standards, teens need to remember that they are teens. Sometimes they are so afraid of what others will think of them because they have to live up to a certain “archetype” of what it means to be a hāfidth. Therefore, you have to be there for them. Keep their heads up when they are hard on themselves. Teach them to keep their heads low to practice humility.
The memorization of the Qur’an is a noble and blessed endeavor. For it to be sustainable and effective, parents must know the goal – to memorize, understand and practice. Also, parents play a key role in presenting a positive image of the Qur’an will make it easier for them to begin this daunting task. Additionally, a clear vision of what surahs to memorize and knowing how to balance studies and daily routines with this endeavor will make memorizing manageable. Finally, character building is key for the success of memorizing the Qur’an. All of these 5 standards, I hope, will help everyone realize their goal of developing a closer relationship with Allah through his book, Al Quran.