Teaching People How to Read the Qur’an: Some Suggestions

Sep 19, 2012

Teaching People How to Read the Qur’an:
Some Suggestions

Dr. Firdaus

To all those, out there teaching people how to read the Qur’an, here are some ideas and advice.

May Allah bless your efforts and make things easy for you and send people to you with open hearts and minds and with the right attitude to learn and benefit from the Qur’an. 

People who will then turn around and teach other people the Qur’an.

1. Allahu Akbar, you are in charge of this project, so, please take charge and do not farm out teaching or recruiting. Teach however many people you can and/or come to you. Use our book, Qur’an Reading Made Easy by Dr. Pasha. Use our CD's. Use our method.

2. Teaching in the night is the same as teaching in the day. And teaching ladies is the same as teaching men. And teaching children is the same as teaching adults. Teach them all together. And, at the same time, train them to turn around and teach each other.

Don't overplan, even though planning is necessary. 

Don't overthink, even though thinking is required. 

Don't procrastinate. Procrastinating gets worse as time goes by.

Don't wait for an arbitrary threshold number of people to start the program. Say Bismillah and start. As people may say, if you teach, they will come, Inshallah. It took us 40 years to build this program and to bring it to where it is today. Of course it was all Allah doing it, we were just the instruments of his will.

Just fix a date and a place start working with whoever you have recruited thus far – and start teaching them. Others will come and join in. You start them off as they join the class and those who are there before will help, as they would have already passed those lessons and exercises. You must train everyone to be a student and a teacher at the same time. That is our method, EACH ONE TEACH ONE. Don’t forget that each person is both a student and a teacher – all at the same time.

Quite frankly, you can do it all alone, if necessary. If you get help from others, that is great. If, for the time being, you don’t get help from anyone, go solo and get the job done: START TEACHING, EVEN IF IT IS JUST ONE PERSON.

And if you have several students, they all should be trained to become teachers as you go along; you pair them up or form groups of three each and they read their lessons for each other and practice together; they rotate reading and listening. Both skills are necessary and speed up the learning process for all.

Your right-hand person must go through the book and master the material thoroughly and learn to use the book and its method. Otherwise, they will be doing their own thing and that is not acceptable. It is no longer our program and it is no longer our method. 

Limit yourself to the simple method that Dr. Pasha has developed in our book –- Flat Sounds and Round Sounds; Short Sounds and Long Sounds. As Dr. Pasha says, he derived his entire model and his entire method of reading and teaching the Qur’an from this one word: Allah.

If you say the Ism Al-Jalaalah, Allah, the right way, it is all in there. This one word has it all. Master how to say it accurately, and you are well on your way.

Show them the cover of the book and the Aayah Kareemah: Wa laqad yassarnal-Qur'ana lidhikri fa hal min muddakir, which means Allah has made the Qur’an easy to read and remember. And then tell them that reading the Qur’an is as easy as saying “Allah!” 

Work systematically. And the key to success is, practice, practice, practice. That's what everyone needs to do: practice and more practice.

Every exercise and every word should be read accurately at least 5-7 times. It should be repeated enough times for them to feel comfortable reading with accuracy and speed. 

But accuracy is the first priority. Make sure of that. Speed comes with practice. A lot of practice.

Don't belabor a lesson or exercise. Sometimes you get them moving off an exercise and return to it later.

There are two milestones, beyond which you do not press ahead unless they have a reasonable grasp of the material up to that point: One, after Sukoon (pages 52-53) and the other just before Shaddah (pages 60-62) where the exercises involve reading sections of Aayats of the Qur'an.

These are important milestones and targets – they give an assessment of the students’ progress directly out of the Qur'an. Students are hugely motivated when they come to these sections and then find out that they can read these sections comfortably.

The actual speaking part of the teaching really involves telling them how to pronounce something: What the sound is and then doing the exercises as drills. And doing this over and over again, until it sticks. That is all the “speaking” one needs to do.

No need for too much explanation – more time reading and practicing the exercises is the secret to success. You can use some time after that to give them the Da’wah and recruit them to work for Allah. And ask them to bring other people in so that all of them could be taught to read the Qur’an.

Once again, bear this in mind: There is no substitute for repetition and practice. This method is not an exercise in empty understanding. The focus is on learning through personal and individual repetition on the part of the student. It is really a method of 'rote' learning. They don't need to know why something is pronounced a particular way. All they need to know is just how it is pronounced.

Feel free to talk to us as you go along in the program. We can walk you through lesson by lesson, Insha Allah by email, with pointers as needed.

Lesson 1 - Reading the Qur'an is Easy - Allah says so

As easy as saying “Allah!” the right way.

Letter recognition - stand alone letters

Do not obsess on points of articulation. Flat Letters - get them to stretch their mouths horizontally and articulate the sound – it will come out right; Round Letters – get them to keep their mouths circular and articulate the sound – it will be correct. People have the most challenges with the latter. This is where they need lots of practice.

Lastly, remember to tell them that they have to start using their mouths to read the Qur'an. Brits generally do not use their mouths to speak, unlike Americans. So they may have to go against a learnt way of using their mouths and learn that there are muscles there and ways that the mouth can move that they might not have thought was possible. Again they need not obsess over it. Just be conscious of it and work at it until they get it right. 

Allah bless you. It's better to keep things simple. That, as Dr. Pasha would say, is Islam.



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