I was walking the streets of Hayy ath-Thamin (the eighth zone or district) in Nasr City of Cairo. I was so interested to know what happened in the mosques and schools there. In particular, the Quran memorisation schools.
This is what happened the day I met a 6-year-old Hafidh
I’d learnt of a local mosque after a friend took me down to see a teacher. So I went along into the mosque between the ‘Asr prayer and Maghrib. As far as I remember they had a 6-month Hifdh programme there. I popped in.
Straight away, I saw a huge difference to the experience I got used to in Manchester. Back home, I saw a class around benches rocking away reading out aloud with a loud angry teacher. Over in Cairo, I couldn’t tell who was the teacher and who was the student. People were all over the place – I mean, there was no sign of a structured class. It was a simple process, anyone could come in at any time and read to one of the teachers. The teacher was always kneeling against a pillar with a bunch of adults and children around him. Yes, adults and children. This was a session where it didn’t matter who you were, where you were from and what age you were.
So where’s that 6 year old?
I walked in and sat down thinking this is so awesome. I was next to the teacher and he said, “Start reading.” Before I started I explained my situation and that I was here to revise things. He was cool and I began reciting. Whilst I was reading there was a young boy that caught my eye. He was staring at me but most important was the fact that he was closely guarding my every word. He was a Hafidh.
He got me pumped. I was amazed when listening to him recite. I decided to have a chat with him even though I could I knew it was going to be difficult.
So I ask him, “Have you memorised the whole of the Qur’an?” so he said yes. I then asked tell me your story, “How have you done it? How so young?”
He explained that…
“My mum and dad used to play Shaykh Muhammad Khalil al-Husary all the time. Even when I was not born yet. I grew up with Shaykh al-Husary. I started memorising when I was 4 by repeating the words with my father. I listened to Shaykh al-Husary too.”
The reason I’m sharing this moment with you is that it’s good inspiration. That day there were so many children there but many adults. All chasing the same goal – complete mastery of memorising the Quran. Here are some lessons I learnt that day:
- Don’t disregard your age, it doesn’t matter what age you are. Just pursue the goal with the right intentions.
- It is great to be amongst the young even if you are a lot older. You inspire them and they can inspire you.
- Don’t underestimate what you feed your children at a young age. Feed = not talking about food here but what they listen to and what they see. Children learn with their eyes and ears. It shapes them. So make sure you get them attached to the sound of the Qur’an. It will help ease memorisation.
May Allah allow us for good and accept us for good. May he place the love for Him and His people in our hearts. And may we love those actions that are beloved to Him.