Alhamdulilah Ramadan is well under way! After the first 10 days, it is beneficial to renew your intentions so you don’t experience the mid-Ramadan slump. Ramadan is a month of forgiveness, mercy and generosity where each individual focuses on two aspects: ibadah (worship) and ‘iadah (attributes of one’s character). It is common among many Muslims, including sisters, to focus on just reading the Qur’an, rather than implementing what the Qur’an says, to alter and improve our personal character for the better.
One of the ways this can be achieved is through unity with the family, whereby everyone helps the others to build up their ibadah and improve their ‘iadah. Ramadan is that perfect and special time to increase the bond within the family, as mothers and fathers endeavor to raise their children with the teachings of Islam. Thus, it is important that parents, especially mothers, engage with their children not only in Ramadan but also throughout their lives, as Prophet Muhammad said:
“Upon death, man’s deeds will “definitely” stop except for three deeds, namely: a continuous charitable fund, endowment or goodwill; knowledge left for people to benefit from; and pious righteous and God-fearing child who continuously pray Allah, the Almighty, for the soul of his parents” [Muslim].
Therefore, based on the evidence from the Qur’an and Sunnah, there is a strong emphasis for raising children who will represent and defend Islam.
Here, I will share with you tips that I like to call the ‘Jewels For Engaging Your Child This Ramadan’. It is especially important for sisters to take extra efforts in engaging their children in Ramadan, as mothers are the primary source for education!
1. Get creative! Rather than the typical Barbie dolls, play stations, board games etc, why not try making a quiz game based upon the seerah of the Prophet Muhammad , fiqh and rulings of Ramadan, or any other topic in relation to Islam? It will increase their Islamic knowledge and also will be fun as you can stir up some friendly competition between siblings! Make a book of hadiths, important ayahs, du’as – this can be done either before Ramadan or as an art session within Ramadan.
2. Involve your children in cooking and preparing iftar whether they are boys or girls. Teach them how to fold samosas, pakoras, boiled rice, simple curries and cakes. It eases the burden for sisters as they have small helping hands.
3. Encourage your children to read Ramadan books or watch Ramadan-related videos made for children. Sites like Goodreads, Little Explorers Magazine, InCultureParent and YouTube have fantastic resources to give you ideas to get started this Ramadan.
4. Make a Ramadan journal with your child of what you did on a daily basis, to keep as a memory besides their favorite toys or clothes. Next Ramadan, you and your child can reflect on your productivity and it will increase their enthusiasm!
5. Make a timetable giving each member of the family a household chore. Involve your husband! This can be washing dishes, hoovering, ironing or cleaning the house. My mother always reminds me that when I was young, I used to watch my mum and always wanted to get involved. She even used to provide me chair to stand on and wash the dishes!
6. Teach your children generosity by taking them to give iftar food to your neighbours, whether they are Muslim or non-Muslim.
7. Take them with you to Tarawaeeh prayers so they fall in love with the atmosphere! It is important that we try to get our children involved in actions that are sunnah!
8. Prepare ‘Eid gifts and cards for your family, orphanages or old peoples’ homes. This could be cupcakes with ’Eid Mubarak’ in icing, making hand-made jewellery, little cards with hadith or Quranic verses, sewing or painting a picture. This will instil a love for Islamic festivals, rather than non-Muslim ones.
9. Teach them the importance of Zakatul Fitr by asking them to save a portion of their allowance every week to give to charity at the end of the blessed month.
Well, there you have it my dear sisters! My jewels for engaging your children this Ramadan! Children are a blessing, they are our future generation so instil a love for Ramadan this year, that will remain for them for the rest of their lives!
About the Author:
Sister Hafsa-Waseela is in the medical field and is continuing to pursue her studies to reach her ultimate vocation to become a lecturer specialising in Oncology/Cancer. She is the founder and former head of SOS Muslim Project, a voluntary, non-profit student organisation established in December 2011 that aims to give da’wah and raise money for different charitable causes. She has featured on Islam Channel’s ‘Living the Life’ TV show and Unity FM radio with Sister Shalina Litt, is the former marketing and events manager for We Be Inspired organisation and is a member of Muslimah Writers’ Alliance. She is also a member of a number of dawah organisations, community associations and charities in the UK and abroad. Besides giving da’wah, she also is a writer, artist and a poet!
She is inspired by the Muslim women of Islamic history, those around her, Sheikh Assim Al-Hakeem, Al-Hikma Media and iERA.