Motivation—both the act of motivating and the psychological state of being motivated—plays an important role in the education of children. This is a notion that a considerable number of medieval Muslim scholars1—such as Ibn Sann (202/817–256/870), Ibn Sn (370/980–428/1037), al-Ghazzl (450/1058–505/1111), and Ibn Khaldn (732/1332–808/1406)—addressed in their writings, albeit to varying degrees and through a variety of approaches.
The development of Muslim thought on elementary education (ta'db) during the medieval period is one of the lesser understood areas of Muslim history and civilisation. This is due to how medieval Muslim education for adults has garnered much of the scholarly attention in view of its rich and complex traditions. On the contrary, elementary educational practices remained largely static and dominated by the kattb (singular kuttb; also maktb, singular maktab), namely, places for teaching children the Qur'an, religion, and elementary subjects, such as literacy and numeracy. This lesser focus is inconsistent with how medieval Muslim scholars emphasised the importance of children's education as a platform