You, as an involved parent, encourage your children to fast during the blessed month of Ramadan every year. But there is another exceptional month of the year in which the first 10 days are more blessed than any of the days of Ramadan – the first 10 days of Dhul-Hijjah!
The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) said:
“There are no days in which righteous deeds are more beloved to Allah than these ten days.” The people asked, “Not even jihad for the sake of Allah?” He said, “Not even jihad for the sake of Allah, except in the case of a man who went out to fight giving himself and his wealth up for the cause, and came back with nothing” [Bukhari].
This year, the first ten days of Dhul-Hijjah will come upon us not long after the beginning of our children’s school year. Even with the hustle and bustle of school and the constant demands upon a busy mother and her children, you can still seek to increase your reward from Allah. The following are 6 simple and productive ways you and your children can attempt to gain Allah’s pleasure during the first 10 days of Dhul-Hijjah, while maintaining your daily routine:
1. Remember Allah’s name upon your tongue often:
During these special 10 days, we are encouraged to dhikr frequently. According to one hadith by Abdullah ibn Umar, the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) said:
“There are no days greater in the sight of Allah and in which righteous deeds are more beloved to Him than these ten days, so during this time recite a great deal of Tahleel (“La ilaaha ill-Allaah”), Takbeer (“Allahu Akbar”) and Tahmeed. (“Al-hamdu Lillaah”)”[Ahmed].
When you remember and mention Allah’s praises, do it audibly so your children can hear and catch on to the phrases over time, insha’Allah.
2. Encourage your children to listen to Quran:
If you and your children are unable to find suitable time to read as much Quran as you’d like, try the next best thing—listen to it. These days you can listen to Quran almost anywhere and from a variety of sources; you can listen to CDs and cassette tapes, or from computers, phones and iPads. And, you can listen to Quran during almost any activity you perform in the house or outside, including cooking, cleaning, resting, dining, driving, etc. If you don’t understand Arabic, be sure to make an effort to listen to Quran with a translation in your native language. Understanding the meaning of what you are listening to is priceless.
3. Fast during the first 9 days of Dhul-Hijjah; in particular, the ninth day:
The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) used to fast on the ninth of Dhu’l-Hijjah and related that fasting the ten days is the equivalent of fasting a year, and standing in prayer at night (for the ten nights) is the equivalent of standing on the night of Qadr [at-Tirmidhi].
Fasting is also a splendid way to increase your good deeds. Allah says:
“All the deeds of the son of Adam are for him, except for fasting, which is for Me, and I am the One Who will reward him for it” [Bukhari].
Fasting doesn’t require of you any extra time. In fact, when you fast, you actually provide yourself with more time, as you are not occupied preparing and eating meals.
4. Turn off the TV:
This click of the button is another marvelous way to free yourself up for more time to worship your Lord. It’s also an outstanding way to minimize the negative and harmful influences that you and your children are exposed to when sitting down under its trance. The first 10 days of Dhul-Hijjah present a grand opportunity for you and your children to renounce the TV habit. Of course, wherever there’s a void, there must be a replacement. How about replacing TV time with family conversations, book readings, crafts, word games, animal documentaries, or Islamic-related DVDs? Research the Internet for more TV-free ideas.
5. Remind your children to supplicate to Allah for what they want:
What a simple way to get blessings – asking Allah to bestow His blessings upon us is a form of worship. How Great Allah is! In our interactions with others, we get blessings for giving to others. But when relating to our Lord, we get rewarded for asking of Him.
6. Be patient with your children and family members during these special days:
Being kind to your loved ones can earn you many blessings, insha’Allah. There are numerous hadith encouraging us toward benevolent behavior. Consideration towards family members doesn’t necessitate extra time–only genuine effort. Even a smile is charity according to a famous hadith. Keep in mind, one of the best ways your children learn is by example. Let them know you are working on your patience this beloved month – your good example will go a long way toward inspiring your children to engage in benevolent behavior with others, as well.
There are numerous ways you and your children can strive to be productive spiritually during these first 10 days of Dhul Hijjah. Try putting into practice as many of the above mentioned points as you can. Don’t allow such a grand opportunity to receive Allah’s pleasure and blessings pass you by.