Laying the Foundation for Quranic Studies at Home
by Umm Abdullah and Umm Shanze
The thought of studying the tafseer of the Quran with my child, from al-Fatihah to An-Naas, is a daunting idea. It overwhelms me and prevents me from taking even the first step. Then, not beginning at all becomes a constant source of guilt.
The cornerstone or foundation stone is the first set in the construction of a masonry foundation. It is important since all other stones will be set in reference to this, thus determining the well-being of the entire structure. I have been wondering if there could be a Quranic syllabus to begin with, focusing on the most essential and the most relevant for the formative years.
I asked those who have long been in a close and loving relationship with the Quran and the answer is, alhamdulillah, “yes!” There are small but phenomenally important steps that I can begin with.
What follows is a basic outline that is open to further refinement and suggestions. So take benefit from people of knowledge and practice around you.
FIRST THINGS FIRST
The essence of the Quran and the most frequently recited surah… without which, there is no salaah!
Ah, the greatest ayah of the Quran, containing an awe-inspiring introduction to our Rabb Again, a part of a Muslim’s daily recitation and a foundation stone of his creed.
Surah Al-Baqarah – last ruku’
Every ayah of the Quran is special, but some are more so. The surah’s last two ayaat, along with Al-Fatihah, are called “Noorayn” (two lights). Rasulullah sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam pointed to their unimaginable virtue and unique mode of revelation.
Short Surahs of Juz Amma
Some twenty in number, these are the shortest surahs in the Quran. This is what children first memorize and what they recite in salaah. Of particular virtue are the 4 Quls.
SMALL POWER HOUSES
Surah Ale ‘Imran, last ruku’
Rasulullah sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam would recite these powerful last ten ayaat in tahajjud.
Surah Ale ‘Imran, Ayaat 26-27
Power, honour and khayr… what is the lone source of these? Give your child an unshakeable base with these ayaat.
Last ruku’ especially the last three ayaat. They contain a beautiful bouquet of al-Asmaa ul-Husnaa and thus, a basic building block of our creed.
If not completely, then at least Ayaat 12-19, containing the wise Luqmaan’s timeless and divinely approved naseehah to his son.
Surah Al-Mulk and Surah As-Sajdah
Part of Rasulullah’s sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam daily night time recitation. These help us set our life’s purpose wisely.
This gives an introduction to our Rabb, reminds us of the eternal clash between khayr and sharr (good and evil) and a believer’s stance therein. Of astronomical importance, it spells out the concept pif real success and failure, helping the believer aspire toward lofty goals and rise above fleeting and petty successes and failures.
PRE-TEENS AND TEENS
Surah Yusuf and Surah Al-Kahf
Want your preteen and teen to be well-grounded? Give them the right role models. Surah Al-Kahf will alert them to the fitnah of materialism and in shaa Allah be a shield from the fitnah of Dajjal. Surah Yusuf will teach modesty in the age of growing immodesty.
Surah An-Noor, Surah Al-Ahzab and Surah At-Tahreem
These contain essential teachings for believing women. This study should be done with girls aged 12-15. Surah Tahreem – ayah 5 and the last three ayaat – discuss the qualities of women beloved to Allah and those that earned His wrath.
Surah Taha, Surah Mumin/Ghafir (Ayaat 28-50), Surah Al-Anfal & Surah At-Taubah
A believer is brave. Rasulullah sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam would seek Allah’s protection against cowardice, an illness spread by Shaytaan. These surahs contain lessons in courage and steadfastness. The Rajulum Mumin (in Surah Ghafir) is a lone, pright character in Pharoah’s all-evil court. His fearlessness before the tyrant is exemplary. Surah Taha narrates in detail the conflict between Musa ‘alayhis salaam and the tyrant of the age. These surahs encourage young ones to be brave for the sake of upholding the truth and protecting the weak, while also alerting them to the trademark characteristics of hypocrisy.
This discusses who a believer’s friends and foes are, at the individual and collective levels, and helps us to make the right choices.
Also a priority are the various surahs whose special virtues have been mentioned in the Sunnah – Surahs Hud, Ad-Dahr/Al-Insan, Al-Fath, Al-Waaqi’ah, Al-Jumu’ah and Al-Munafiqoon.
May Allah ease the task for us and make our learning the Quran a means of entry into Jannah and protection from the torment of the Hereafter, ameen.