Online Quran for Kids
Muslims believe that the Holy Quran is the final revelation of Allah (SWT) that guides humanity to success in both this world and the Hereafter. It is the greatest of all bounties bestowed upon us by the Creator (Al-Quran 10:58), those who recite it gain 10 blessings on each letter (Al-Tirmidhi), and those who dedicate themselves to learn and subsequently teach the Holy Quran are designated as the best of mankind by the Holy Prophet (SAW) (Al-Bukhari).
Therefore, it becomes imperative that Muslims connect with this Holy Book, especially at a young age, a time when ideologies and worldviews take shape, thus setting the tone for the life ahead. Although conventional methods of teaching the Quran are prevalent around the Muslim World, Muslim families settled in the West are increasingly preferring online lessons for their children. Add to this the almost global lockdown caused by the Coronavirus pandemic, and what we see is a universal shift in the field of Education towards E-Learning.
Traditional Methods of Learning the Quran
There are still many people in Muslim-majority Countries who prefer the traditional methodology of teaching the Quran; sending their children to Religious Seminaries, Masjid, and Islamic Centers. Doing so provides an environment tailor-made for Islamic learning, leading to a child’s holistic development. Others choose to hire private tutors for their children, allowing them to closely monitor their child’s progress. However, Muslims living in Western Countries often do not have the luxury of nearby Islamic Centers, and even if they do, most cannot afford to bear its cost. Similarly, a shortage of expert teachers leaves out the option of hiring them privately as well. These factors have led to the exponential rise in Online Quran Classes in Western Countries.
The Rise of Digital Learning
Technology has progressed in leaps and bounds, connecting most parts of the world and shrinking the world into a Global Village. Like other facets of life, technological innovations have utterly transformed the Education Sector, giving rise to digital and distance learning opportunities that appeal to the masses for many reasons. First and foremost is the factor of flexibility that distance learning affords to students and teachers alike. Instead of having to follow a fixed schedule, both parties can set a time that is mutually beneficial for learning. Furthermore, E-learning provides students the opportunity to seek knowledge from expert and qualified instructors regardless of national boundaries, a factor that is of particular importance for Muslims living in the West. Since the Quran is in the Arabic Language, the prospect of learning the Quran from Arab or Arabic-speaking teachers adds to the attraction of online learning. Another important aspect for most parents is the fact that students gain individual attention, especially in one-to-one Online Classes. Critics of traditional methods of teaching point out the lack of specific attention given to each student as a factor contributing to less-than-optimum development. Since our discussion revolves around kids and toddlers, such individual care is imperative in their upbringing and education, with the internet allowing teachers to make their classes more interactive and engaging through audio/visual resources and online quizzes. Another important feature of digital learning is its relative affordability when comparing it with traditional education. Students can learn to read and recite the Quran without having to pay substantial sums of money, a matter that again is worthy of consideration in Western Countries. All of the above-mentioned advantages have led to the exponential rise in the popularity of Online Quran Institutes and Academies. According to a report published in the Tribune, more than 50 Centers of Online Quranic Studies operate in Pakistan alone, catering to students all over the world, out of whom 40% reside in the States.
Steps in Learning the Quran
Quranic Studies comprise of the following stages:
Recognition of the Arabic Alphabets, their correct sounds, and forms.
Learning Tajweed, the field of Quranic Studies dedicated to the understanding and application of the Rules of Recitation.
Attaining fluency in recitation, along with the beautification of and proficiency in the Arabic Accent.
Beginning Hifz-ul-Quran, the sacred act of memorizing the entire Quran by heart, a feat achieved by thousands of children annually all around the world.
Learning the Arabic Grammar, Vocabulary, and Sentence Structure, to properly understand and reflect upon the meaning of the Holy Quran.
Learning other disciplines that are conducive to Quranic Studies, such as Tafsir, Hadith, Fiqh, to name a few.
Responsibility of Parents
Despite all of the convenience opportunities afforded by E-learning, there is one particular challenge that is of primary importance: the responsibility of Parents and Guardians with regards to their children. Toddlers require constant attention and supervision, be it at school or home. Even with all the issues that traditional educational institutions have, their standout feature is the learning environment that they generate, enabling students of various levels of intellect and abilities to grow and progress as one entity. Most parents find it difficult to replicate such a learning-friendly atmosphere in their homes. Therefore, it is essential that parents supervise their child’s lessons, give them additional time, manage their assignments, and provide a conducive environment for learning and revising the Quran.
The Glorious Reward for Parents
To conclude, providing children with Islamic and Quranic Education is one of the first and foremost responsibilities of parents, one that promises enormous rewards both in this world and the Hereafter. Children growing up with the Quran as their guide will lead to a positive change in today’s chaotic society, leading to a virtuous and pious generation of leaders for tomorrow. The true reward however will manifest itself on the Day of Judgment, when the parents of those who had memorized the Quran will be bestowed with Golden Crowns and a special place in the Gardens of Paradise. This will be a fitting Return on Investment, an investment with no risk, and guaranteed reward. It is up to us to avail the facility of Distance learning to connect our children with the Divine Book and gain Allah’s Pleasure and Mercy.