Ramadan is the ideal time for extensive spiritual development and training. Allah has designated this sacred month for us to build up our level of focus and worship, as well as apply the teachings of our Prophet Mohammad . In addition to training our own souls and purifying ourselves from sins, Ramadan is the best time to teach and encourage our children to do the same.
Here are some tips on how parents can guide their children towards having a barakah-filled Ramadan, In sha Allah:
Communicate and Do Things Together
- Wake your child up to have suhoor with you, even if they might be unable to fast. (Make sure your child has had enough hours of sleep before suhoor though, so they don’t start viewing this as a burden)
- Take your children with you to the masjid and ask them to relate their experience of praying in jama’ah after returning home. Ask them questions like: which surah did the imam read today? What word caught your mind while listening to the imam? Did you make any special dua during ruku’ or sujood?
- While having suhoor, have some dates along with your food. Discuss the scientific benefits of dates, along with Qur’anic references about what our Prophet advised on the benefits of dates. For example:
It is reported that Allah’s Messenger said:
“He who ate seven dates (of the land situated) between these two lava plains in the morning, no poison will harm him until it is evening.” [Muslim]
- Make a habit to break the fast with dates.
Narrated Salman ibn Amir: The Prophet said:
“When one of you is fasting, he should break his fast with dates; but if he cannot get any, then (he should break his fast) with water, for water is purifying.” [Sunan Abu Dawood]
- Read Qur’an in a pleasant tone to your children and make them repeat a few lines after you. Explain the meanings of some of the verses, especially the stories in the Qur’an, using language they will understand.
- Let your child help out in household tasks like heating the milk or wiping the dishes. This will let your child spend beneficial time with you and help you train him/her in small tasks, thus enabling your child to learn to be responsible and be dutiful towards his/her parents.
Narrated Abu Huraira : A man came to Allah’s Apostle and said: “O Allah’s Apostle! Who is more entitled to be treated with the best companionship by me?” The Prophet said, “Your mother.” The man said. “Who is next?” The Prophet said, “Your mother.” The man further said, “Who is next?” The Prophet said, “Your mother.” The man asked for the fourth time, “Who is next?” The Prophet said, “Your father.” [Bukhari]
- Teach your children new duas when it is time to make them. For example, recite the dua of breaking the fast when you hear the adhan, and ask your children to repeat after you. Once they’ve learnt it, you can ask them to read it and repeat after them to encourage them to learn more.
- Memorize one form of dhikr every day. Explain to your kids what it means and what its rewards are.
- In your free time, watch beneficial programs on an Islamic channel or listen to beneficial lectures together as a family.
Language of Love
Abu Huraira narrated: “Al-Aqra bin Habis saw the Prophet kissing Al-Hasan and Al-Husain. So he said, ‘I have ten children and I do not kiss any one of them.’ So the Messenger of Allah said: “Whoever shows no mercy, will be shown no mercy.'” [Tirmidhi]
- The feelings of love and affection towards one’s young children and kissing them is proof of a person having the quality of tenderness and mercy in his/her heart. We need to be merciful to others for Allah to be merciful to us on the Day of Judgement.
- Hug and kiss your children constantly! Never forget this even for a day!
- Teach children the unity and understanding of your own marital relationship as a couple, by showing them, as parents, that you are interested in their upbringing collectively and share the love and affection by sitting together as a family and having bonding time for at least 15 minutes each day.
- Give your children gifts for their success in achieving their goals throughout Ramadan.
The Last Ten Nights
Allah says in the Qur’an in Surah Al-Qadr:
“We have indeed revealed this (message) in the Night of Power. And what will explain to thee what the Night of Power is? The Night of Power is better than a thousand months. Therein come down the angels and the spirit by God’s permission, on every errand: Peace! This until the rise of Morn.” [Qur’an: Chapter 97, Verse 1-5]
- Talk about Laylatul Qadr and how important and special it is to look for Laylatul Qadr in the last ten nights and make special dua throughout these nights. Tell them it is a bonus for their next year filled with surprises if they make use of this time, In sha Allah.
- Ask them to stay awake, if possible, with you on the odd nights towards the end of Ramadan. Give them some books to read or beneficial programs to help them stay awake. Let them sleep for some time and wake them up nearing suhoor time/ fajr time (if they are very young – encourage them to make dua nearing fajr).
- Towards the end of Ramadan, start preparing for Eid and before Ramadan ends make dua that Allah helps your family in witnessing the next Ramadan and improve in your deen towards achieving the highest place in Jannah together!
All the above will be fruitful if you and your spouse work together in achieving these goals for your children and help them in attaining and following the straight path. Children learn from examples: their young minds are the closest witness to their parents’ behavior and manners. When an Islamic environment and timetable is established within the home, it will help them to easily adapt to the atmosphere where the unity of family and Islamic principles are established.
I hope these pointers will help us in achieving a happy Islamic household and bringing up a righteous future generation, In sha Allah.
Should you have any more ideas for parents in Ramadan, please share your them with us.
About the Author:
Aysha Samrah Abrar is a student of knowledge, studying for a diploma in Islamic studies from the Islamic Online University and also advanced Fiqh. She is a founder of ‘Humble Hearts’ http://humbleheartsme.wordpress.com/, which focuses on giving da’wah in an eco- friendly way. She also writes on issues related to women and personal development, and has her first e-book ‘Hajj Bytes’ on her blog http://noblesisters.wordpress.com/. Her vision is to empower women from an Islamic perspective and develop an organization that will motivate every individual in practicing and spreading the message of Islam. Allah’s mercy and her life’s experiences continue to help her progress in her deen.