Alhamdulillah we manage to practise few surahs from the Qur’an every day in the mornings.
Sumayya has finished memorizing surah Mutaffifiyn. She has 3 more surahs to memorize (Naba, Naziat, Abasa) to finish juzu Amma- the last ten pages of the Qur’an. Because we listen to surahs from juzu Amma a lot she knows the first 5-6 ayats of all three remaining surahs. We only have to focus on one at a time, listen more with repetition/drill inshaAllah. Normally she recites 3 longer surahs and 3-4 short ones by heart daily.
Safiyya has finished memorizing Asr, Alhamdulillah. She is learning fast because she is still on short surahs. She has memorized Fatiha, Ihlas, Falaq, Nas, Masad, Kafirun, Kavthar, Fat’h, Fil, Quraish, Asr. She recites all these every morning by heart- it doesnt take long as these are really short. She is memorizing surah Maun at the moment.
We have been doing more Qur’an centred work with Sumayya the past couple of weeks . I hope it will make it easy for her to use mus’haf and she will get used to Arabic print, thus finding it easy to read later on.
I self-taught myself how to read Qur’an this way. I would play a surah by Sh. Hudhayfi from http://www.quranexplorer.com and follow it with my finger from the mus’haf. I would listen carefully, notice the sounds and rules and make notes on the go. This method helped me to improve my reading (I still have a lot to improve but at least I can read now). So, I have been trying to teach Sumayya how to follow the surah whilst reciting it, her finger should point the correct word she is uttering at the moment. My philosophy was ‘You recognize the letters so you should be able to recognize what word you are saying’ and mashAllah she was very keen to able to identify the words of an ayah. I would never push if she doesnt want to follow from the mus’haf but just wants to recite the surah itself.
Alhamdulillah, she can follow the Arabic print- right-to-left and top-to-bottom. Last week she could follow the surah Mutaffifiyn word-for-word with her finger. Usually when trying to follow the print on mus’haf she was either too fast or too slow. She recites but her finger can’t follow what she is reciting exactly. So she would be reciting ayah N10 whilst still following ayah N9 with her finger. But, alhamdulillah she can now follow a surah word-for-word. This is really something because I believe that she can make connections with print version of what she is actually saying at that moment (as she recognizes all the letters). And she is learning how to blend the Arabic letters. It is a milestone achieved for us, Alhamdulillah :)
Another thing is we work with high-frequency words used withing the Qur’an. As she knows more surahs, she notices herself that certain words or word groups keep coming up again and again. There are lot’s of repetition of words such as ‘thumma’, ‘kalla’ , ‘anhum’ and word groups such as ‘wa ma adrokamal…..?’. For example, she noticed the repetition herself in ‘wa ma adrokamal hutoma?’ ‘wa ma adrokamal aqoba?’ and asked me if it was asking the same question some time ago. So, I open a certain page within the last ten pages and we do word hunting. I ask her find the word ‘x’ in that page. How many times the word ‘x’ has been used in that page etc. Alhamdulillah, she enjoys these activities a lot more than recitation as she is actively engaged in finding something. She can find the word ‘kalla’ and count how many times it is used in page ‘x’.
Then we do little Q&A based activities. Again this helps us to practise her word recognition, letter/number recognition etc. So I open one of the pages at the back of the Qur’an where she is really confident in following the Arabic print.
I ask her questions like :
-How many surahs can you count on this page?
She can identify the beginning/ending of a surah, counts and says 6.
-Which one is surah ‘x’?.
I.e if I ask her to point to surah Asr she quickly scans the first ayah of each surah. She can recognize the first 2-3 words of the first ayah in each surah and can point to surah Asr easily (or any other surah).
-Pointing to a certain surah, i.e Maun, tell me which surah is this one?
Again she reads the first 2-3 words of the 1st ayah. So, she would say this is ‘Aroaytallaziy’ instead of surah Maun (she doesnt know the names but she identifies all surahs with the 1st ayah mostly)
-How many ayats can you count in surah Maun?
Alhamdulillah she can count till 20 in Arabic but recognizes all the numbers up to 100. She can easily tell how many ayats in each surah. In longer surahs, she doesnt always say the numbers in Arabic but she recognizes numbers tell me the answer in English or Uzbek. For examply she recognizes number 33 in Arabic symbols but doesnt know how to say it in Arabic so says ‘thirty three’ or ‘o’ttiz uch’. As all the ayats numbered in mus’haf, making the job easy for her, she only has to look at the number of the last ayat in longer surahs. This will help her to practise the Arabic numbers.
-Find me ayat ‘x’ in surah Ghashiya?
Again, she has to find surah Ghashiya, and find ayat I asked within the surah.
She loves these play-based questions based on Qur’an. I guess it makes her a bit more engaged with Qur’an as opposed to listening and reciting all the time. I hope to find more interesting activities to keep her interest inshaAllah. And I invite you all to try these word-searching, guessing, surah/ayat finding games with your children inshaAllah.