The child has a clean and pure memory that is not overloaded with problems or problems like adults. At the same time, it is an efficient and versatile cutting machine. The child quickly memorizes and forgets the things he memorizes very early. Thus, learning in childhood is faster and better preserved than at any other stage of a child’s life. In order to know the best ways to use this talent, we ask the following question:
What should our children memorize?
By asking about the situation of many Muslim children today, we will find many who repeat songs and television commercials while memorizing the names of football players. The memorization of the Quran and the hadiths of the narrator is not part of their educational programs. When we accuse fathers of this deficiency, some say that it is difficult for children to memorize the Quran and useful knowledge, if this is added to the oversized curriculum that the child is studying. Others do not realize the great abilities of the child’s memory. therefore, they do not use this talent in a useful way because they enrich the child’s mind. Thus, his memory stores only the nonsense he sees on television without control or censorship. We are dealing with a jewel that our children possess at the beginning of their lives and it is our responsibility to use it in a way that is beneficial for the child in this life and the afterlife. To put things in order that the child should memorize, the priorities are:
1) The noble Koran: The reward for this is not limited to children; it extends to parents who help their children learn the Book of Allah, the Almighty. The Prophet Sallallahuah’Alayhi wa Sallam (may Allah extol his mention) said: “Whoever reads the Quran, learns it and acts according to it will be made to wear on the Day of Resurrection a crown of light whose like is like the light of the sun and his parents will be made to wear two garments and the whole world is not as good as they are. They will ask, ‘Why are we made to wear these?’ They will be answered, “Because of your child learning the Quran.“ [Al-Haakim]
2) The hadeeth of the prophet: the hadeeth of the prophet is of paramount importance. The father or educator selects Ahadeeth sounds that are short and easy to understand and appropriate for the age of childhood. For example, Rabee’ah ibn Shaybaan stated that he had asked Al-Hasan ibn “Ali that Allah be pleased with what he had memorized with the Messenger of Allah, sallallahuahayhi wa sallam (may Allah extol his stated). Al-Hasan, may Allah be pleased with him, replied that he had memorized his quote: “Give up what is doubtful to you for that which is not doubtful to you; for verily truth is peace of mind and falsehood is doubt.“ [At-Tirmithi]
An anecdote told about this, namely the memorizing by the children of the hadeeth of the prophet, concerns the daughter of Imam Maalik, may Allah have mercy on him who perpetrated his Muwatta ‘in memory. She was standing behind the door during her father’s class and when she heard one of her students wander in a Hadith, she knocked on the door. Maalik would take note of it and correct the student.
3) Athkaar and supplications: The supplications, for example, include those that are said at the time of eating, entering the bathroom, sleeping, waking up, using the means of transport as well as the Athkaar of prayer, which are said by bowing and prostrating, as well as Athkaar of morning and evening. The best way to get kids to remember the pleas, and the daily Athkaar is to watch and hear adults continually saying them at the right time and learning them directly from adults. Ibn Abbaas may Allah be pleased with him, says: “I was in the house of my aunt Maymoonah when the Athaan was announced. The Prophet went out for prayer, saying: ‘Allahumma-ij‘al Fi Qalbi Noora, waj‘al-fi Lisaani Noora, wa min Amaami Noora, waj‘al min Fawqi Noora, wamin Tahti Noora, Allahumma A‘thim li Noora. (O Allah, provide me with light in my heart, light in my tongue, light in front of me, light above me, light below me, and strengthen my light).’” [Ibn Khuzaymah]
4) Meaningful Poetry and Islamic Nasheeds: The child can be allowed to memorize significant poems and short poems chosen from true Arabic poems. This will develop the eloquence of the child and arouse the spirit of enthusiasm in his soul towards religion, allegiance to Allah the Almighty, his messenger and believers, and the dissociation of others. The child should not be taught stupid and insolent poems, nor the cheap poetry that prevails in the present time. Educators can expose children to the poetry of Imam Ash-Shaafi’i, Mustafa Saadiq Ar-Raafi’i, Yoosuf Al-Qaradhaawi and other collections of ancient and modern well-composed poems. There is no harm if the child memorizes significant Islamic Nasheeds (songs) that entertain souls with their beautiful melody.
This beautiful tone enlivens the soul and purifies it. It is also one of the interesting ways in which we transmit moral value or useful information to the child. A child can memorize certain quotes from just predecessors that contain guidelines for labels, warnings, or the like, such as Ibn Mas’ood’s exhortations, may Allah be pleased with him. He said, “The one who receives the good is Allah, the Almighty who gave him, the one who is protected from evil is Allah the Almighty who protected him” and “Nothing on the face of the earth no longer has the right to be imprisoned longer than language “, and other touching and sincere words.
When can the child memorize?
Specialists say that a child can memorize at the age of three and that the golden period is five to fifteen years. The best time for memorization during the day is early morning after the Fajr prayer, provided the child is neither hungry nor full. It will sharpen the memory to acquire and understand knowledge.
Reward the child for memorization
The best motivation to memorize for the child is to reward him every time he makes progress. He should be rewarded morally by praising him and encouraging him to recite what he had memorized at family gatherings and in front of his friends. In addition, he should be materially rewarded by giving him gifts or money as a reward for his achievements. It is said that one day Salah Ad-Deen Al-Ayyoobi (Saladin) walked among the soldiers on the battlefield and passed a little boy reciting the Koran in his father’s arms. Salah Ad-Deen admired his way of reciting and, therefore, brought him closer, gave him some of his special food and gave a piece of his garden to the child and his father. In addition, Ibraahem ibn Ad-ham’s father, may Allah have mercy on him, said to him, “O my son, learn the Prophet Hadith, every time you hear and memorize a Hadith, I will give you a dirham.” Ibraaheem said, “This is a reason that motivated me to learn prophetic traditions.”
Keep the child away from the obstacles of memorization
Obstacles to memorization include deep fear and forms of restlessness and nervous tension. Acute psychological and nervous tension is an obstacle to healthy thinking and strong agitation has a very detrimental effect on the various mental functions and processes of the brain, such as comprehension, memorization and reflection. In his book Ta’leem Al-Muta’llim fi Tareeq At-Ta’allum, Az-Zarnooji may have pity on Allah, says that the causes of forgetting are misdeeds, sins, sorrow, sadness for world affairs and many business and professions.
The father must keep his child away from all forms of sin, whether by attending them, by observing them or by listening to them, let alone by engaging them. According to Ibn al-Qayyim, may we have pity on Allah in his book Al-Jawaab al-Kaafi, sins spoil the spirit. The mind has a special light and this light will be extinguished by sins. When this light is extinguished, the tremendous capacity of the mind weakens and diminishes.
A child should not eat excessively in a way that causes obesity and therefore laziness, inactivity and low intelligence. We should not forget to pray to Allah the Almighty frequently that He Exalted will grant our children the talent of memorization, understanding, knowledge and work according to them, Aameen.