With Ramadan right around the corner, it's time to start gearing up and adjusting our schedules accordingly. One of the things we have to plan for during Ramadan is tarawih. Now I'm not going to delve into a fiqh discussion in regards to tarawih (plus there's some video coming your way soon inshā'Allāh). What I'd like to talk about is the potential impact that Tarawih can have, particularly on children.
One question most Imams, Shuyūkh, Du'at, etc get asked is, “How and when did you know this is what you wanted to do?” Often this question is asked by parents in order to get an idea of how to get their kids interested in similar things. Well my answer to this question has to do with attending tarawih in Ramadan. Alḥamdulillāh since the age of about 5 my father used to take me to tarawih every night in Ramadan, even on school nights. Around the time I was 8 I remember being amazed by the imām's recitation of the Qur'an from memory in tarawih. I even told my father that I want to be able to do what he does. So bi'idhnillah when the opportunity presented itself to go and memorize the Qur'an, I jumped at it and insisted that I be allowed to go. Keep in mind that this involved traveling overseas at the age of 10. Alḥamdulillāh, since then one thing Allāh has granted me the ability to do consistently is lead tarawih every Ramadan. This was the beginning of my journey down the road of seeking knowledge and serving the Deen.
So I recommended the same thing to my community and last year there was a family who regularly attended tarawih all Ramadan and even stayed afterwards to listen to the tafseer sessions. By the end of Ramadan they came to me with their 10 year old son saying that he insists he wants to memorize the Qur'an – and asking advice for how to go about doing it.
It's really simple to understand, take your son to NASA and on the way home he'll tell you that he wants to be an astronaut when he grows up. Take your daughter to the zoo and now she wants to be a veterinarian. Same thing goes for sports and athletes, Tiger Woods' father starting taking him to the golf course at an early age. So if we want our children to develop a love for the Qur'an and knowledge in general and aspire to be students of sacred knowledge, then we have to introduce them to it. Inshā'Allāh no time better than the present, use this Ramadan and tarawih wisely.