I’ve been doing hifdh (memorization of the Qur’an) since February 2015, a month before Merry was born. A lot of people have asked for advice on how to manage hifdh along with children. I don’t really have the answer. Two years later, I still struggle to do my lesson and revision. But I can share what has worked for me, and hope that it works for you as well.
I call my hifdh teacher at a specific time for a ten minute lesson each weekday. I recite to her the last few pages I memorized, and then she gives me a new lesson to memorize.
As an auditory learner, the fastest way for me to memorize my lesson is to recite it three times right after class, and then I actually memorize it at night after the kids are in bed. Reciting it three times gets the sound of it in my head, so that when I attempt to read without looking, it’s already partly memorized.
Sometimes kids wake up for no apparent reason and need a lot of help going back to sleep. Sometimes even older kids wake up and decide they need a hug, or to lie on your lap, or to have their back rubbed, or all three at once. Sometimes you end up awake all night, just taking care of your kids.
Maybe you had planned to spend the first odd night of the last ten nights of Ramadan in prayer, but Allah had other plans. Maybe He wanted to reward you twice: once for your intention to spend the night in prayer, and once again for your action of lovingly and patiently nurturing your children.
Today I want to talk about a Ramadan lesson that’s a little bit different. I’m not talking about the Qur’an today, or making du’a, or learning about the Prophet (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) or about salah. I’m talking about basic life skills — in particular, I’m talking about being helpful.
But the beauty of Islam is that it includes basic life skills, and being helpful is in fact a form of worship, if done with the right intentions.
فَتَقَبَّلَهَا رَبُّهَا بِقَبُولٍ حَسَنٍ وَأَنبَتَهَا نَبَاتًا حَسَنًا وَكَفَّلَهَا زَكَرِيَّا ۖ كُلَّمَا دَخَلَ عَلَيْهَا زَكَرِيَّا الْمِحْرَابَ وَجَدَ عِندَهَا رِزْقًا ۖ قَالَ يَا مَرْيَمُ أَنَّىٰ لَكِ هَٰذَا ۖ قَالَتْ هُوَ مِنْ عِندِ اللَّهِ ۖ إِنَّ اللَّهَ يَرْزُقُ مَن يَشَاءُ بِغَيْرِ حِسَابٍ
So her Lord accepted her with good acceptance and caused her to grow in a good manner and put her in the care of Zakariyyah (Zachariah). Every time Zakariyyah entered upon her in the prayer chamber, he found with her provision. He said, “O Maryam (Mary), from where is this [coming] to you?” She said, “It is from Allah. Indeed, Allah provides for whom He wills without account.”
هُنَالِكَ دَعَا زَكَرِيَّا رَبَّهُ ۖ قَالَ رَبِّ هَبْ لِي مِن لَّدُنكَ ذُرِّيَّةً طَيِّبَةً ۖ إِنَّكَ سَمِيعُ الدُّعَاءِ
At that, Zakariyyah called upon his Lord, saying, “My Lord, grant me from Yourself a good offspring. Indeed, You are the Hearer of supplication.”
فَنَادَتْهُ الْمَلَائِكَةُ وَهُوَ قَائِمٌ يُصَلِّي فِي الْمِحْرَابِ أَنَّ اللَّهَ يُبَشِّرُكَ بِيَحْيَىٰ مُصَدِّقًا بِكَلِمَةٍ مِّنَ اللَّهِ وَسَيِّدًا وَحَصُورًا وَنَبِيًّا مِّنَ الصَّالِحِينَ
So the angels called him while he was standing in prayer in the chamber, “Indeed, Allah gives you good tidings of Yahya (John), confirming a word from Allah and [who will be] honorable, abstaining [from women], and a prophet from among the righteous.”
قَالَ رَبِّ أَنَّىٰ يَكُونُ لِي غُلَامٌ وَقَدْ بَلَغَنِيَ الْكِبَرُ وَامْرَأَتِي عَاقِرٌ ۖ قَالَ كَذَٰلِكَ اللَّهُ يَفْعَلُ مَا يَشَاءُ
He said, “My Lord, how will I have a boy when I have reached old age and my wife is barren?” The angel said, “Such is Allah; He does what He wills.”
This passage in my daily portion of Qur’an today holds a very special place in my heart.
Ramadan mubaarak everyone! The month of Qur’an has officially begun and today is our first day of fasting. I’m not fasting this year due to being pregnant and breastfeeding, but I’m doing my best to feel the Ramadan spirit anyway. There’s definitely something in the air whenever Ramadan arrives. We went out for a walk around the block last night at sunset, and the air smelled so fresh and crisp — Ramadan had just been announced an hour earlier, but even if it hadn’t, I think I would have known it just by that beautiful feeling.
As I mentioned in my last post, my main goal for Pippin this Ramadan is that she learns exactly what Ramadan is — and it is first and foremost the month of the Qur’an. Here are a few of the things we’re doing as a family this month to emphasize the Qur’an: