By Dr. Filza Tahir.
Children are born with an innate love and attraction towards God and His worship. Among our responsibilities as parents is to provide a platform that allows this inclination to flourish and protect them from influences that will mask their desire to worship and thinking about GOD.
Kids are very sensitive to their surroundings and they are very much sensitive to changes in their environment. Children are firm in believes.
Sending kids to weekend Islamic school or full time Islamic institution is an important but minor part of Islamic education. The major institution of learning of child is family and major professors of this institution are their parents. Allah has placed a great deal of responsibility on parents’ shoulders for the upbringing of their children.
It was narrated that ‘Abdullah Ibn ‘Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) said, I heard the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) say: “Each of you is a shepherd and each of you is responsible for his flock. The ruler is a shepherd and is responsible for his flock. A man is the shepherd of his household and is responsible for his flock. A woman is the shepherd of her husband’s house”
Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 853; Muslim, 1829
Premature understandings may lead to misbelieves, so it is very important to teach them according to their learning capacity especially in case of religion.
When the kid is three to four years old
Teach them how to recite kalmia and name of our creator ALMIGHTY ALLAH and the name of our PROPHET (PBUH) if possible.
When the kid is four to five years old
Teach your kid name of prayers and five pillars of Islam and few duas but in the way of fun and with the help of stories.
When the kid is five to six years old
Start to teach them the steps of prayer and start teaching Salah recitation gradually without any pressure and fear. Watch Islamic cartoons and movies so that they can compare what they see and hear in them with what they see and hear in other movies.
It is our challenge as parents to teach our children to pray and fast in a way which is pleasurable and fun.
When the kid is seven years to adolescence
Teach them to perform prayer and practice of fasting and other aspects of religion slowly and gradually, train them with re modeling, positive and negative reinforcement (appreciating for good deeds), integrating Islam into life explaining attributes of Allah and appreciating and practicing Islam in daily life.
The Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “Instruct your children to pray when they are seven years old and smack them if they do not do it when they are ten, and separate them in their beds.”
Narrated by Abu Dawood, 495; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh Abi Dawood
Present stories appropriate to their ages from the biography of the Prophet Muhammad (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) and his noble Companions (may Allah be pleased with them), so that they will know that they belong to true religion.
As our children reach adolescence, they begin to question what they have been taught. If you have not established a positive relationship with your child, you will probably have a big problem because your youth will have the questions, but he won’t come to you for a discussion about them. He will get answers from other resources which may misguide our child. Try to create a connection between them and the Arabic language, and install a love for it in their hearts, because it is an important key to understanding and loving Islam. Let them hear Qur’an recited in beautiful voices, so that the Qur’an will be held in high esteem in their hearts. The Book of Allah is a Book of guidance and light for people, which will illuminate the way for them and make them steadfast in adhering to the straight path, by Allah’s leave. May Allah help us and guide us; our supplication will be an important means of their being guided, so do not neglect it and do not think little of it.
Sometimes there is a sincere, but misguided emphasis on recommended acts performed by children. For example, it is not unheard to see a parent proudly announce that his three to four years old child fasted an entire day in the summer. Ask kids to fast in different steps in a day and eat lunch. Do not force kids to practice values of Islam prior to recommended age.
We ask the Almighty for wisdom and strength to raise children who have love for the faith and who show interest in praying and fasting not only as children, but when they are adults away from our eyes and facing the pressures of society
As the holy month of Ramadan is upon us again, we parents should guide our kids towards the teachings of this holy month and welcome them to join us in prayers and duas to grasp the blessings of this holy month of Ramadan with no pressure and confusion.
Writer is a Pharmacist based in Islamabad and writes on health and social issues.