Connecting Rayyaan to Allaah ta3ala from a young age has been something that Abu Rayyaan & myself long and stirve for. Creating that deep rooted love and longing to please Allaah ta3ala, being conscious that He is aware of all that we do.We try not to bombard him with deen related things but instead we try and incorporate it in everyday life or make it fun for him to learn and understand. The thought that Abu Rayyaan & I will be questioned and held accountable for Rayyaan and every aspect of his upbringing is quite a scary thought and undeniably an enormous amanah on our shoulders. One that should be taken seriously by every parent in shaa Allaah. In saying that we are by no means ‘perfect’ parents nor is this the message we wish to convey. Like any family on a parenting and homeschooling journey we have our bumps along the way.
The Prophet (alayhi salaatu wa sallaam) said: “Allaah (Ta3ala) will ask every caretaker about the people under his care, and the man will be asked about the people of his household” (Nasa’i, Abu Dawood).
Before becoming a parent i never thought that children as young as 2 would be able to pick up so much knowledge both deen related and otherwise until i started teaching Rayyaan when he was 1 years old. I had this idea that they should start learning and be taught these things when they are older. How wrong i was SubhanAllaah. I often get messages from sisters seeking advice regarding how and what to teach their young children when it comes to the deen, so i thought i would share some tips in a blog post in shaa Allaah.
First and foremost we must remember that our children are observing our manners and behaviour. They will emulate everything they see and so we should be striving to set a good example. We should be constantly making duaa for our own hidayah aswell as theirs. We should be memorising ad’iyah that Allaah has given us to make our parenting journey one which we will be pleased with on the day of judgement. These are some of the ad’iyah we should try and memorise in shaa Allaah:
2) Incorporating daily adkhars/ad’iya, sunnan, Qur’aan and the like into your EVERYDAY routine as a family can take some time. With the dunya and its endless responsibilities & distractions we can forget sometimes and thats natural, which is why we must strive to make it a habit. We can make it a habit by taking small steps and making them a priority.
When you wake up each morning remind each other to say the morning adkhaar, or have a paper/poster with the morning duaa near your bed and your child’s bed and that will serve well as a reminder. I often say to Rayyaan when he wake up if he has forgotten to say the duaa ” Oh no! There is something we have forgotten to do can you remind me please?” this is usually a sufficient reminder alhamdulilaah. Du’aa cards are readily available online to be printed and are widely available for purchase. I particularly love the adkhaar posters from Learning Roots Purchase HERE. They are engaging, colourful and easy for children to understand. Use them to stick around the house as they are a great encouragement for young children and a reminder for ourselves too! I also made these fun du’aa hands for Rayyaan to use everyday
3) I often get asked alot about Rayyaans hifdh journey, when should they start and how etc. My honest answer is as soon as possible! In my opinion there is no age requirement to do these things. From when you are pregnant, you should make it a habit to recite a portion of Qur’aan daily. You will also will find that if you start doing the daily prescribed adkhaar/ruqya on your child every single evening before they go to bed, they will pick it up those portions of Qur’aan and the different ad’iyah without any formal teaching whatsoever. Establish a bedtime routine, one that isnt too strict and make it fun. Remember we have to be realistic and cannot expect young children to be still, quiet and fully engaged 100% of the time. Even if this is the case stick to your routine and you will find that when your child starts to pick up the suwar/ad’iyah, they will be engaged and keen to listen and maybe even take part themselves.
4) Try and establish a designated Qur’aan time within your home, where you all come together and recite. Even if it is 10 minutes a day, you will see the immense benefits this has on your child (and yourselves!). Get your child involved, allow them to hold their own mushaf (Teach them how to treat it with respect) I found this a great motivator for Rayyaan. You may even find that the day you forget or are busy your child will be the one who will bring you the mushaf and remind you. You will be amazed and how much young children can pick up from hearing you recite Qur’aan. This site has 5 helpful tips for hifdh with children: HIFDH
Some parents think that hifdh should start around the age of 7 or older, this is not the case at all. If you do this you will have missed out on so much opportunity and reward. The brain of a child is literally like a sponge when they are young. They soak up everything around them, which is why we must make our homes those which remember Allaah constantly. If you are not reciting try and have the Qur’aan playing in your house. Find a reciter that is easy to understand and follow so your children are able to pick up easily. Try and make it as fun as possible so that your children will be motivated and stay engaged. I made this ‘hifdh box’ for Rayyaan. I wrote down all the suwar and adhkaar he has memorised so far (Allaahumma baarik lahu) and put them in the box, i then filled it with shredded paper and each day Rayyaan has to choose a soorah or duaa and recite it. If he gets them right he is rewarded.
The rewards that are promised to parents who raise children that memorise the Qur’aan is incredible and one that is holds a special place in my heart for a few reasons. It is a great motivator and reminder for us and just one of many many beautiful promises of Allaah ta3ala to His believers.
HERE you can read about some of the rewards mentioned in Qur’aan & Sunnah.
5) Something that we try and do is link everything back to Allaah. Good and bad. What i mean by that is anything that Rayyaan does we link it to Allaah ta3ala and His pleasure/displeasure. An example of this is your may have a particular behavior that is displeasing to you i.e. hitting or fighting with a sibling. You can remind them why Allaah gave them hands and what they should be used for. You can explain to them how these acts will make Allaah unhappy with us and if we use them in the right way, we will be earning the pleasure of Allaah ta3ala. Of course you explain this according to the childs age and comprehension ability. Another example that just happened recently was that Rayyaan had asked me for Ice cream and i told him that he could have it soon in shaa Allaah and that he needed to have sabr (patience) because Allaah ta3ala loves those who have sabr. You can literally link any thing back to Allaah ta3ala big or small.
6) Have Islamic books (all books should be made easily accessible to children to encourage reading) readily available for your children to read. You will find that if they are on display, children are more likely to want to read them. There are many islamic books which are beneficial and engaging. There are many books which help in teach different different beneficial phrases such as ‘The way to Jannah’ by Learning Roots.
7) Give importance to days prescribed by our Prophet alayhi salaatu wa sallaam. Jummu’ah should be extremely special within every household. We tend not to do any homeschooling on Fridays. I wanted Rayyaan to understand the importance of Jumm’ah and encourage him to engage in the same acts our Prophet alayhi salaatu wa sallaam did, in order to instill love for him. So i decided to make a ‘Jumm’ah Flower’ which we use every friday as a reminder of some of the sunnah acts we are encouraged to engage in. These acts include; having a bath, cutting nails, new/clean clothes, sadaqah, salaatul-Jummah, wearing attar and reading soorah Al-Kahf.
8) Teach them to appreciate their blessings from early on. I’m talking about some of the biggest yet often overlooked blessings even we as adults often take for granted. Their hands,legs, arms, hearing, eyesight etc etc. Tell them that it is Allaah ta3ala who created these things because he is Al-Khaliq and we have to thank Allaah everyday for these blessings. What you can do is every evening before bed, have a moment where you talk about your day and when they tell you what they did that day look for the blessings within them things and thank Allaah. Even if they are unable to talk yet, you can simply speak to them about your day and blessings and what you are thankful for.
These are just a few of many many things you can do with your children from a young age to link them to Allaah and instill the love for our deen from early on. We ask Allaah ta3ala to make us the best parents we can be and to make us great examples for our offspring. Aameen ya Rabb.
السلام عليكم ورحمةالله وبركاته
If you benefited at all from reading this. I ask that you remember me & my family in your humble ad’iyah. JazakumAllaahu khayran.