The Holy Quran Shareef
The children should be given at the beginning to learn the reading of the Holy Quran and thereafter Hadis or the sayings of the Prophet Salla Allahu ta’ala’alayhi wa sallam and the histories and lives of the Prophets Alayh Sallam, saints and sages. If they don’t love them at the beginning of their lives, it would be disastrous for them afterwards, as soft minds get impressions of good or bad in early age. They should not be given literature and poems of love anecdotes. They should not be allowed to sleep at day time as it creates idleness, or to sleep on soft beds till their limbs become strong. They should be given to put on coarse cloth, coarse food and coarse beddings. They should not be allowed to make plays and sports requiring hard labour and should be encouraged to walk on foot. They should be taught in this way: Don’t spit before the people, don’t cleanse nostrils before them, don’t yawn before them, sit with them in a good manner and don’t keep them behind, don’t sit placing one leg upon another, don’t talk too much, don’t tell falsehood, show respect to the elders and seniors in age, don’t hold indecent talks and don’t rebuke and backbite others.
When a boy reaches the age of discretion, he should be told to pray, fast Ramzan and observe the religious duties. When he reaches youth, he should be given education on everything and the reasons for observing religious duties. He should be given instruction that this world is short lives and the next world is everlasting, that death is imminents that a wise man takes provisions for the next world from this world and he should be given such other profitable teachings.
The sage Sahal Tastari Radi Allahu anhu’s training. He said: When I was three years old, I looked at the prayers of my maternal uncle at night. one day he said to me: Why don’t you remember God who created you? I said: How can I remember Him? He said: When you go to bed at night, say three times without moving your tongue: God is with me, God is near me, God is looking at me. I learnt them in this way. Then he said: Recite them seven times every night. After seven days, he said: Recite this eleven times every night. After one year, he said to me: Recite this till you go to the grave and this will be your friend in this world and the next. I learnt the Quran by heart at the age of seven years. At twelve, I began to fast all the year round. I began to follow the following ways in my life. I used to purchase wheat with one dirham per day, prepare food with it, fast the day and break it with that without curry or salt. After one year, I began to fast three days at a time with a break of the next day. Then I used to fast three days at a time and then seven days. Thus I increased my fast gradually to 25 days at a time without any break. In this way, I spent twenty years of my life.