In the Name of Allah the Most Gracious The Most Merciful and peace and blessings be upon the Final Messenger to mankind Muhammad
I have to adress an evil practice that has become widespread around the islamic world, and strangely enough accepted by the general masses, inspite of all the evil consequences that result because of it: Hitting children so they can memorize the Quran better, or read properly.
I haven’t read or heard of even one instance where our beloved role model Muhammed(peace be upon him) hit children so they can memorize the Quran. I don’t want to hear the amount of people after our Messenger(peace be upon him) that practice this act, instead I’ll make clear some of the evil repercussions that result from this practice:
1. It makes children want to flee from the class that they’re in. Allah clearly tells us the result of being harsh in surah Al Imraan:
فَبِمَا رَحْمَةٍ مِّنَ اللَّهِ لِنتَ لَهُمْ وَلَوْ كُنْتَ فَظّاً غَلِيظَ الْقَلْبِ لاَنْفَضُّواْ مِنْ حَوْلِكَ
(159. And by the mercy of Allah, you dealt with them gently. And had you been severe and harsh-hearted, they would have broken away from about you)
2. It makes the children prefer secular knowledge instead of religious knowledge; that’s because he doesn’t get beaten in regular secular schools.
3. It becomes a reason for the child when he grows up to use this same practice on his own students.
4. It becomes extremely difficult for the children that don’t have the capacity to memorize much. That results in the child having low self esteem and thinking about other paths he can excell in.
5. The child will notice that the western civilization doesn’t use this practice, therefore wanting to be amongst them.
The fact is that there are some benefits to hitting the children. For example they stay concentrated all the time, and they get more memorized. However the negative toll that the beating leaves on the child is much more in comparison to the short term benefits.
A huge problem with this practice is that many teachers (who don’t have patience) use this practice as a way of diffusing their frustration. The proof is that if you ask any muslim, they will each tell you about at least 10 unique/horrific beating techniques invented my various teachers.
Memorization of the Quran should not be preferred upon the understanding of its Verses. There’s a lot of Hafiths today Alhamdulillah, however how many of them know at least the meaning of Surah Al Fatihah. If it took Omar bin Khattab 13 years to memorize Surah Al Baqara –he was capable of memorizing it in much less time– that is an indication that living by the Quran has a much greater emphasis than memorizing it. The companions of the Prophet (peace be upon him) made sure that they lived by the verses before memorizing them.
This practice should immediately be stopped. If anyone has the right to hit a child, it’s his own parents not his teacher. The parents too should stop daydreaming and take a trip to their childrens Quran classes and see what happens to them.
This practice also crosses the sunnah: From the hadith of Anas bin Malik in Sahiih Bukhari the Messenger of Allah(peace be upon him) says:
يسروا ولا تعسروا، وبشروا ولا تنفروا
“Facilitate things to people (concerning religious matters), and do not make it hard for them, and give them good tidings and do not make them run away (from Islam).”
We want the children to become dedicated students after their memorization of the Quran. We don’t want them to walk away from it.
I close with a question: Is the Hafith of the Quran that doesn’t know its meanings better, or the student that memorized any Juz(chapter) however fully understood it and comprehended it? The answer is obvious but sadly the Quran teachers that practice this, even if they were sincere, didn’t realize they’re making their students hate the Quran… except for who Allah has mercy upon.