At what age should your child start memorizing Quran?
Let me give you my family’s experience.
My wife (Umm Khalid) is a hafidha mashaAllah, one of her many incredible achievements. We have had the dream of our kids memorizing the Quran.
But it is a daunting prospect. It doesn’t help when you hear about 4 years old or 5-year-old prodigies who have already memorized the entire Quran. You feel like: What am I doing wrong as a parent?!
It is important to be realistic and not be discouraged in this process. The question is should there be a process at all for very young children?
Well, yes. But not necessarily a formal one. We have had a much more organic approach that is primarily driven by our children’s interests rather than us trying to force them into a schedule. The reason being that they are too young. The typical 3-year-old or even a 5 or 6-year-old is not going to be able to sit and pay attention for long periods of time. And if they do not have a more docile temperament, they will resent being forced into a strict regimen and it will end up being a headache for everyone.
All that being said, our children started memorizing at age 2. It was just very organic. What do I mean by this?
Well, the adults read Quran out loud regularly. We try to make it daily, but some days it’s not possible. The thing is, we have raised our kid’s device free alhamdulillah: no TV, no smartphones, no tablets, no loud electronic toys (for the most part).
This is the single biggest factor because, even though our three boys have toys and they are constantly playing (and fighting with each other haha), when a parent is reading Quran or praying a daily prayer, that is the most interesting thing happening for them at that time. In other words, we are not competing with flashy electronic distractions. That means our kids take a natural interest. They want to sit and watch us. They want to imitate us. That is key. We don’t have to force them to sit and pay attention. They just naturally have that curiosity and interest.
That’s the amazing thing about kids. They absorb whatever you expose them to. So for us, it has been enough to simply read Quran around our kids for them to be interested in the Quran.
Once children have that spark of interest and motivation, then it becomes about guiding that interest. Our eldest is 5 and he has a little bit more capacity to sit and practice a few verses at a time and he is starting to learn how to read. But it would not be possible to even have such short practice sessions if he wasn’t motivated himself.
So there is no schedule that we have yet because, again, they are too young. Just whenever they bring it up and want to learn, we spend time. A few verses at a time. The important thing is that they feel connected to the Quran alhamdulillah and are excited about it.
One pro-tip. Bedtime is a great time for reciting Quran to your children. We usually reserve storytime for throughout the day and then bedtime is Quran time. They have memorized some short surahs and Ayat al-Kursi just from listening at bedtime.
Another pro-tip: A good first step for children to memorize Quran is to have them memorize in general. And the best thing kids as young as 2 or 3 can start memorizing are duas. What is the dua before and after you eat? What are the duas associated with leaving the house? What are the duas for entering and exiting the restroom, etc.? It is much easier for children to start off memorizing these and that gets them acclimated to the concept of memorization.