I remember being taught hadith as a kid. My brother and I would shout ahadith at the top of our voices, trying to memorise what we are being taught. I remember a particular hadith, the one about actions being judged according to intentions. I memorised that hadith as a preteen, but never related it to real life till I got to the university.
Many times, we teach Qur’aan, ahadith, and Islamic concepts in a theoretical manner that doesn’t make them relatable. The child knows the hadith by heart and knows the meaning, but there is no application to everyday life.
For example, after my kids memorised the hadith that says that we should not eat or drink with our left hand, I bring it to real life for them by saying the hadith whenever they eat with the left.
So, any time they are eating and they hear me say “la tashrobu bi shimali” or “la ta’kulu bi shimali”, my kids would look at each other, and whoever is drinking or eating with their left hand will immediately correct themselves.
Now, I can say “hey, eat with your right hand”, or “stop eating with your left hand”, but by quoting that hadith every time they make the mistake of eating with their left hand, I have brought the hadith to reality for them. It is no longer something that they memorised and filed away under “things I know in my head”. It is now “knowledge that I use on a regular basis”
Another example is when it’s time for salah and you say “aqeemu-s-salah, which is a phrase that is oft-repeated in the Qur’aan, instructing us to establish the salah. This will always remind them that establishing salah is a command from Allah (ta’ala).
This is a simple way to apply Qur’aan and hadith to the everyday life of a Muslim child, in such a way that whenever they hear a hadith or a verse of the Qur’aan, they are able to relate it to their own lives.