There is a story in today’s NY Times about Muslim schools in the U.S. where young children memorize the Holy Koran:
Making the work even more difficult, the students, for the most part, do not understand what they are reciting. Muslims believe the Koran was spoken to the prophet Muhammad by the angel Gabriel in Arabic. Because it is seen as the literal word of God, the use of translations is frowned upon. Students know how to pronounce the words but mostly do not know what they mean.
I don’t know about you guys, but what I would really frown upon is memorizing Koran without understanding it. We are asked to memorize Koran, but not only for the sake of reciting it. We are asked to memorize Koran in order to practice its teachings and to use the knowledge we learn from it to guide us in our lives. I think these schools should rethink the way they teach Koran; it may take much longer to memorize Koran and in the same time understand it, but it will be much more better for the students and the longer time spent on studying absolutely worth it.