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When you observe a parent and a newborn, it's tough to prove that any sort of learning is taking place. However, we know that babies are constantly learning and absorbing, even before their birth! So though we can't necessarily prove in a moment, we have to trust that all the little things are being fed into their little brain and will come together soon enough.
But how do you guide a child to love the Quran? Like we do any other beneficial act. By our actions, and by our words and by making it fun!
START BEFORE BIRTH
A baby in the womb can hear the world around him/her as early as 18 weeks. Parents are often encouraged to make to talk to their child to establish that bond and connection through familiarity of voice. This is a great time to play recitations of the Quran. It not only familiarizes them but it is great for an expecting-mom!
USE QURAN TO CALM
There are going to be so many moments when your baby will need to be calmed. Make sure you continue to play or recite the Quran to sooth and calm him. It can be a sleep routine or simply when he/she is having a hard time adjusting to a car seat. When we make these associations of the Quran to relax them, we are planting the seeds to allow them to do the same in times of difficulty, as they get older.
Have the child sit with you when you read the Quran. This familiarizes them with what it looks like, not just what it sounds like. It also encourages the habit and routine to recite, even if it a subtle way. As they get older you can use that time to teach them or if they are learning elsewhere then it's a great time to read together.
One way your child will pick up the Quran is simply being in your presence while you pray. Even for silent prayers, if you are in the comfort of your home, you can pray out loud to reinforce the familiarity with the Quran. This also allows for the child to see how the Quran isn't just meant to be recited from the mushaf, it can be read aloud, it can be read in the car, it can be read when you're going to sleep.
SHARE THE STORIES
Children love stories, so as they grow older making sure to share stories from the Quran is essential. There are plenty of books out there that do this well, but here are two recommendations to add to the children's library:● My First Book about the Qur'an - by Sara Khan
● Goodnight Stories from the Quran - Saniyasnain Khan
MAKE IT FUN
There is nothing a child will not enjoy if you make it a game. Once your child is old enough, to sustain their interest and instill a love for learning, introduce Quran games that are informative yet entertaining. This way, not only does the child learn through a fun medium but he/she is more likely to want to continue to explore the Quran.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, make dua'a, constantly and consistently. Pray that Allah blesses them with a love for the Quran, a desire to learn it, recite it and practice it. Ultimately, we are merely doing certain acts with a certain goal in mind, it is Allah who controls the outcome.