As we got ready to pray in jama`a as a family, the kids heard the iqama and all came running to join.
They stood in the middle, between my husband and me, four boys aged 8 to almost 3, in a zigzag formation, wiggling and giggling.
My husband, hearing their chaos behind him, told them to be quiet to get ready for the salah.
I added (since I could see their disarray): “اسْتَوُو.”
(“Establish an even line.”)
The four of them straightened out their row, standing shoulder to shoulder.
The 8-year-old turned back to look at me with a knowing smile, his face animated. “Mama! The word استوو is like that word in Surat Taha! In the ayah,
الرَّحْمَٰنُ عَلَى الْعَرْشِ اسْتَوَىٰ
“The Most Merciful [who is], on the Throne, established [as befitting His Majesty].” (Surat Taha, 5)
My kids are memorizing Quran alhamdulillah but they are not on this surah. They have only heard it occasionally when I play a qari’ reciting it, and it was not recently at all.
But the fascinating thing about young children is that they tend to have excellent memories and they pay attention to things we adults don’t realize they’re paying attention to!
Children are observant, perceptive, and receptive.
So let your children be surrounded by beautiful, beneficial things. Children absorb whatever they are surrounded by. If they’re surrounded by foul language or harsh speech or music, they’ll absorb that. If they are surrounded by the Words of Allah, they’ll absorb that.
And what they absorb will emerge and make itself known at random moments, like as they are lining up for the salah and hear a word that reminds them of an ayah they heard once a while back. Children’s brains make amazing connections between things. They piece disparate things together and give you the synthesized output.
It is our job as parents to provide them with good input.
What better input that the Quran?