Coranic Education

Children in the southern provinces receive a preliminary traditional education. Their education often begins with learning the letters of the alphabet: alif, ba’a, tha’a (roughly the equivalent of a, b, c, respectively). The children are exposed to the letters of the alphabet by a ‘fqih’ (someone versed in religious matters and who plays the role of the modern teacher). Once they learn the alphabet, the children go on to learn compound letters of the alphabet such as ‘abjad’ ‘hawaz’ and ‘hati’, all of which combine two ore more letters of the alphabet. Thereafter, they start to learn the ‘basmala’ (how to invoke the name of God), how to recite the ‘fatiha’ (the name of the first sura in the holy Quran), and write one or two Quranic sura. They go on to learn the Quran in piecemeal fashion, the ultimate objective being to learn all of the whole Quran by heart. The children, who come to do so deserve some type of celebration where their hands are tinged with henna, and where they are praised and congratulated for what they have come to  achieve.Very often, the family whose child graduates from religious school offers the ‘fqih’ a ‘markub,’ a medium-built camel in recognition for the effort that he has deployed in teaching their son.

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