The Quran is not just a holy scripture that is filled with rules and laws of what must and must not be done. It is also a book that is full of stories, albeit true and real stories. Kids tend to like storybooks more than other books. That is why telling Quranic stories to kids helps them better relate to the Quran. In this article, we will take a look at Quranic stories for kids.
Which Stories of the Quran Should We Tell Our Kids?
As we all know, the Quran contains 114 surahs or chapters. These surahs are either long, of medium length, short, or very short. For example, Surah Baqarah is the longest surah in the Quran, and Surah Kawthar is the shortest. Which surahs should we teach our children? Can we teach Surah Baqarah to a five-year-old? The answer is no. We must try to teach the short surahs of the Quran that are in the 30th juz’ of the Quran to our kids. They include surahs such as Qadr, Ma’un, Tīn, Kawthar, Quraysh, Kafirun, and Adiyat. Each of these surahs has a wonderful and colorful story.
Where to Find the Stories of Short Surahs?
It is quite clear that not always the stories of the surahs are in the verses. We should sometimes look at their commentaries or tafāsīr (تَفاسير) to find out the stories of some surahs. For instance, when reciting Surah Kafirun, we cannot tell exactly how the story of the surah goes. By referring to the tafāsīr, we learn that the story is about how the polytheists of Mecca told Prophet Muhammad (s) that they would worship Allah for some time, on the condition that he also worships their idols for some time. Allah revealed this surah and told the Prophet to say to the disbelievers:
بِسْمِ ٱللَّهِ ٱلرَّحْمَٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيم
In the name of Allah, the All-Compassionate, the All-Merciful
قُلْ يَٰٓأَيُّهَا ٱلْكَٰفِرُونَ ﴿١﴾ لَآ أَعْبُدُ مَا تَعْبُدُونَ ﴿٢﴾ وَلَآ أَنتُمْ عَٰبِدُونَ مَآ أَعْبُدُ ﴿٣﴾
Say, “O the disbelievers! I do not worship what you worship; Nor will you worship what I worship.”
(Translation by Foroutan)
Allah commanded Prophet Muhammad (s) to say, “How can idols made of wood and stone be my God? I will never worship your idols, and you will never worship my God.”
By telling this story to our kids, they will learn that we should only worship Allah as the one and only God of the universe.
The Story of a Few Short Surahs in the Quran
The beauty of the Quran is that even short surahs have an intriguing story to them. When one looks at the stories of the surahs, one sees how important the revelation of those surahs was, and what a pivotal role they played in promoting the religion of Islam on the one hand, and consoling and comforting the Prophet (s) so that he could be steadfast in preaching Islam on the other hand. Let us look at a few examples of these Quranic stories.
The Story of Surah al-Qadr
The story of Surah Qadr goes that on a special night of the month of Ramadan known as Laylat al-Qadr, meaning the Night of Ordainment, Allah revealed the entire Quran to the heart of our Noble Prophet (s). No one really knows where exactly the Prophet (s) was when this happened. All we know is that this night is very special because the Quran was revealed in it and angels descend to the earth. It is better than a thousand months. Therefore, the good deeds that are done on this night are multiplied. On this night, every matter is settled. That is, Allah ordains what will happen to people in the coming year. It is recommended that on the Night of Qadr, Muslims stay awake, pray, read the Quran, and make dua.
The Story of Surah Fil
Surah Fil talks about the army of elephants of a cruel and jealous king by the name of Abraha who wanted to attack and destroy the Kaaba. The story goes that a powerful king who lived in a land close to Arabia built a huge marble palace. He did this so that people would go there for worship. However, he noticed that people are inclined to go to a place in Arabia, meaning the city of Mecca, to visit the Kaaba and worship God there. As a result, he became very jealous and mobilized a large army that included elephants to march to Mecca and destroy the Kaaba. However, this did not happen.
When the army got close to Mecca, Allah ordered a huge flock of birds that had special pieces of stone in their beaks and talons to throw them at the army of Abraha. Consequently, the army of elephants were destroyed and became like chewed husks, as the last verse of Surah Fil says. In this way, the army was destroyed and the Kaaba remained safe.
The Story of Surah Kawthar
The story of Surah Kawthar is quite remarkable. Allah revealed this verse to the Prophet (s) saying that He has given him something that has abundant good, something that is a source of greatness. What is it? Is it something that Allah gave the Prophet (s) in this world or the next? Obviously, it must be something in this world because, in the second verse, Allah asks the Prophet (s) to offer prayer and make a sacrifice to thank Him for this blessing. Several commentators of the Quran have said that Lady Fatima (a), the only daughter of Prophet Muhammad (s) who survived until his demise is the Kawthar or source of abundant good.
The story goes that after the sons of the Prophet (s) died and he was left with no sons, one of his enemies called him abtar, meaning someone whose progeny is cut off. When Lady Fatima (a) was born, Allah revealed this surah and said that she is the source of abundant good, as the Prophet’s progeny would continue from her. Then Allah asked the Prophet (s) to offer prayer and make a sacrifice as a way of showing his gratitude to Him. Finally, the third and last verse says that the person who mocked the Prophet (s) and said he has no progeny will have no progeny himself.
Download the Quran Kids App for More Stories
If you want to know the stories of the other surahs, download the Quran Kids app. This interactive mobile application allows kids to watch wonderful puppet shows to learn and memorize some short surahs from the Quran. Download the app now to teach your kids the Quran in a fun and entertaining way.
Teaching Quran to kids must be done in such a way so that kids enjoy learning and do not get bored. One of the best ways of teaching them the Quran is by telling them the stories of the short surahs of the Quran and helping them memorize them. We have put together an extremely intuitive and entertaining course for teaching the Quran to kids in the form of a mobile app that teaches some of the short surahs of the Quran through a puppet show. Download the app from our website, Quran Kids, to teach the Quran to your kids in the most effective way.