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We often hear the phrase: “The Quran is our Constitution”. This has served us very well for a long time.
Perhaps it is time to explore this concept a little further. The Constitution of the United States of America is revered by its people, and parts of it are quoted whenever the need arises. In a similar manner we quote the Quran when we want to make a point.
In an article on the Internet Dr. Abbas Zaidi makes the point that there is a difference between a constitution and a scripture.
He quotes Encyclopaedia Britannica, which defines a constitution as ‘the body of doctrines and practises that form the fundamental organizing principle of a political state. A scripture is the revered texts of the world’s religions.
A constitution deals  with the profane , a legal-political document which does not cover people’s personal, ethical lives and applies to a specific group in a specific space.
On the other hand, a scripture deals with the sacred; it is all-inclusive, dealing with every aspect of an individual’s life from birth to death and beyond.
A constitution is a man-made document, a result of conscious effort. The Quran is not a conscious human document; it is the word of our Creator as revealed to Nabi Muhammad (SAW). The Quran is universal and transcends time and space. Calling the Quran our constitution is acceptable, because we use it as our guide as to how to conduct ourselves. However, we should never forget that it is the sacred Word of Allah, which applies to our inner, as well as outer beings
In following the Quran, we are fulfilling our mandate as a Divine Creation of Allah. When we consider how the constitutions of countries are revered, especially the United States, it makes one wonder about how we regard the Quran. Our South African constitution often referred to as the most progressive; should we not have even more regard for the constitution of Islam, which is sacred?
The Quran was revealed as a guide to mankind, a manual to assist us to live according to the rules of Allah. In order to do this it is imperative that we understand what we are supposed to do.
At the time of revelation the people who accepted the message spoke the language of the Quran, they understood what was being revealed to them and they used to recite the verses and did their best to incorporate it into their lives. Today, we are not so fortunate. For most of us, Arabic is a foreign language, and while the recitation of the Holy word brings numerous benefits, many still do not understand what is being said. Therefore, in order for us to live the Quran it is necessary to learn the Quran. It is an incontrovertible fact that in order to learn something one must want to do it, and for this it is necessary to have a love for what we are learning.
A willing pupil will fare much better than one who has no conception of why he has to do something, let alone understand the importance attached to that learning.
Love for the Quran starts at birth, in fact it can commence even before birth. I know of a young woman who placed a radio on her belly while she was pregnant and allowed the recitation of the Quran to be heard by her unborn child. This child grew up with the desire to learn hifdh from an early age.
Our community has many hufaadh who learnt to recite at the dining room table, from a Khalifa with a ruler which was used to slap the knuckles when a mistake was made, and a bag of sweets as a reward for doing it correctly.
This stick and carrot method is, to a certain extent still used today. Some people listen to the child’s lesson with a wooden spoon ready, and while the spoon is not actually used, it serves as a threat to get the child to toe the line.
It may be more effective if parents spend time telling their children how the Quran came to us, the reason for its revelation and how and why it has remained until today in spite of numerous trials.
The history of Islam is so rich and varied that stories can be told to children which will rival anything that the television can offer. With a little imagination and effort parents can adapt the history to weave stories for any age from toddlers to teenagers.
Storytelling, as well as reading, has virtually disappeared because it is far easier to leave the child in front of the television than to sit and engage with him on a one to one basis. Yet, this is the best way to inculcate a love of our Deen into our children.
Since our Deen is the Quran, and the Quran is the epitome of our Deen, a love of the Quran will be integrated into the life and the very being of the child.
A parent who spends the time to engage with a child in this manner will reap the benefits of a child who knows he is valued, and such a child will be very receptive to learning.
A child who is interested in learning will make great strides in learning the Quran because he understands why he is doing so, and when he actually understands what he is reading, it will be so much easier to live the Quran.
Children are amazing, what is inculcated into them at a tender age will remain with them for the rest of their lives. It is therefore important that we mind what they are exposed to.
A home where the Quran is recited daily, and not just during Ramadan, will encourage them to carry on the practise once they have children of their own.
Children learn by example, and what better example than parents who love the Quran, learn the lessons within it, and then live according to the laws of our Creator.
When our tongues are constantly engaged in the remembrance of Allah, there will be less inclination to scream and argue, thereby damaging not only ourselves, but those Allah has entrusted to us.
We pray that the love of the Quran will infuse our homes, our minds and our hearts, Insha’Allah.

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