Am I Correct to Think That One Should Prioritize Teaching Children to Establish the Five Daily Prayers on Time Instead of Only Encouraging Them to Memorize the Quran?

Answered by Shaykh Yusuf Weltch


Am I correct to think that one should prioritize teaching children to establish the five daily prayers on time instead of only encouraging them to memorize the Quran?


Teaching children to establish the five daily prayers on time is an obligation upon the parents.

The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “Command your children to pray when they are seven years old, and discipline them for not doing so when they are ten years old.” [Abu Dawud]

This narration, although about prayer, applies to all obligations of Islam: training children to establish the obligations of Islam before they reach the age of maturity.

Additionally, the most important method of training the children is to exemplify for them the establishment of the five daily prayers on time.

Memorizing the Quran

Memorizing the Quran is an immensely virtuous deed, but it is not an obligation and should not be prioritized over other obligations if one must choose between the two.

If one can teach their children to establish the prayers and simultaneously provide them an opportunity to memorize the Quran, this is a double blessing. However, it is more important for parents to instill the love of the Quran in the hearts of their children than for them to make them memorize it.

It is all too common for parents to push their children to memorize the Quran, such that the children dislike the Quran, and even though they complete memorization of it, they seldom have a fruitful and fulfilling relationship with it when they grow up.

Summary Advice

My humble advice would be to start reading the Quran together as a family, even if only a few pages a day. Add a brief reading of some pages of the translation or perhaps a recognized commentary to the recitation.

At the same time, begin praying the five prayers at home in congregation when possible. Have your child set the prayer mats when the time comes and have your husband call the call to prayer.

This is the type of environment that is conducive for children to want to pray and to want to learn the Quran of their own accord without being forced. Furthermore, this will give them a beautiful association with prayer and the Quran beyond that of being forced or strongly pushed by others.

Hope this helps

Allah knows best

[Shaykh] Yusuf Weltch
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Yusuf Weltch teaches Arabic, Islamic law, and spirituality. After accepting Islam in 2008, he completed four years at the Darul Uloom Seminary in New York, where he studied Arabic and the traditional sciences. He then traveled to Tarim, Yemen, where he stayed for three years studying in Dar Al-Mustafa under some of the greatest scholars of our time, including Habib Umar Bin Hafiz, Habib Kadhim al-Saqqaf, and Shaykh Umar al-Khatib. In Tarim, Shaykh Yusuf completed the memorization of the Qur’an and studied beliefs, legal methodology, hadith methodology, Qur’anic exegesis, Islamic history, and several texts on spirituality. He joined the SeekersGuidance faculty in the summer of 2019.