Islamic religion has oral roots. For this reason, it is important that children learn the Arabic alphabet.
The Islam is the religion that has grown the most in the recent years, according to a Pew Research Center report published earlier this year. At the present, almost two billion people are Muslim throughout the world, this means that one in four human beings practice the teachings of the Holy Quran.
Most believers live in different regions of Asia and Africa. However, there are Muslim immigrants in other areas of tha planet, such as the United States, where there are an estimated of 3.5 million Muslims. If the projections continue, in the next 30 years, the Muslims will become one of the largest religious groups in the country, leaving the Jews behind.
The reading and recitation of the Holy Quran is fundamental for the practice of Islam. In fact, religion has orality in its own roots. For this reason, it is important that children learn the Arabic alphabet, especially those who live in countries where other languages are spoken.
The Hijai or hijaiyah is a set of letters that are used in order to allow the little ones to take their first steps in learning the Arabic language. Publications with Hijai bring illustrated pages with dotted drawings and letters so that children could be able to identify shapes and figures. Also, many have the translation of Arabic words in the native language of the country in which kids live.
Hijai books are generally made of hard cardboard, so they are not easy to break. The pages, moreover, are correctly and especially folded and joined. These editions are durable and can be shared among children of the same family.
The peculiarities of Arabic writing
Learning to write is not easy. The shapes of the letters and the union of them to form the words require new movements that the hands did not use to perform previously.
The Arabic alphabet is composed of 28 letters and is written from right to left, so its reading is different from the one of the Western world. The calligraphy of this language has a particular beauty and technique, which began to be defined with the calligrapher Abu Ali Muhammad Ibn Muqla, who invented the first italic typeface called Naskhī. This system incorporated rounded shapes and curved lines. Initially, the Naskhī was used to copy the Quran, but then it expanded its functions and was used for real correspondence and architectural decoration.
The Arabic alphabet is an Abjad, this means that it only uses consonants. However, some grammarians consider that it is an Impure Abjad because it includes some vowels or vowel markers, which help readers or learners in pronunciation. The letters, in addition, are written in italics and differently according to the place they occupy within a sentence or in the same word. The letters of the Arabic alphabet are not uppercase or lowercase, as in Latin language.
All these peculiarities of Arabic writing can create difficulties in younger children or in those who live in regions where that language is not spoken. A Hijai book is a simple solution just to avoid children’s boredom and apathy. This tool can make learning a fun and joyful process. These first steps in the Arabic script and in the identification of the letters will allow a correct handling of the calligraphy and the syntax of this alphabet.
Children and Islam
Hijai‘s book allows an approach to the Arabic alphabet through the game. Children acquire the language that will allow them to access tothe teachings included in the religion of Islam. But what does the Holy Book say about the little ones?
The Quran establishes the rights of men, women and children, which are guaranteed by God. Children must live in a safe community and their rights begin before conception. The Prophet Muhammad taught that two people should get married responsibly and with prior preparation. The commitment to the Islamic religion is fundamental and if they take it as part of their life, children’s rights will be guaranteed.
From the moment of conception, the baby has the right to life, which is sacred. Parents are responsible for raising their children and training them according to the moral and ethical standards established by God.
The teachings of Islam help believers face any eventuality that is imposed during life, both joys and sorrows. Children must have a physical, emotional and spiritual well-being because childhood is a unique moment in people’s lives.
All these teachings can only be learned through the recitation and reflection of the Quran. For this reason, it is important that children become familiar with the Arabic alphabet, the curvature of the letters and the shape of the curved lines. An edition of Hijai helps the smallest members of the family to recognize, memorize and write the letters. The game is the key for an easy and entertaining learning. All the family can be part of this process.
Many Hijai books include a blackboard with a pencil that can be erased dry. This system facilitates the practice of Arabic calligraphy and gives the possibility to correct any error. These editions help to learn short words in Arabic and their identification with the word in the native language of the country where the little one lives.
Summer vacations can be an excellent time to learn the calligraphy of the Arabic alphabet. The advantage of the Hijai book is that it can be transported everywhere and children can be entertained at any time. During this time of the year, many mosques open their doors to teach the Quran to children. Many of them manage to memorize it in a year, but this process depends on the capacity of each one. Learning and reciting the verses of the Sacred Quran is a shortcut with the word of God and a guide full of ethical and moral values. The religion of Islam promotes respect and tolerance among all peoples, so that coexistence can be peaceful in any region of the world.