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  • 8/2/2011

Raising Children in Islam

part 3

muslimkid

In the Hereafter - Children should be gradually introduced to the idea of death and the life hereafter. Although it may be confusing to younger children, it is advisable that parents should talk about it from time to time, especially as the children grow older. A death in the family or community could be used as an example that all humans are mortal, and each one of us will go the same way. It is best to be honest with the child.

In the Prophets and Imams - It is necessary for children to understand the role of the prophets, and have love for the holy Prophet (S) and the Imam (A). This can be taught by reading stories of their lives to them. It is also important to attach significance to the occasions when we commemorate their births and deaths.

Going to Masjid or religious centers on these occasions helps to a great deal. They remember the said personality and also learn something about him or her. It is a great way of keeping their faith alive.

 

Rituals

Although beliefs are most important, parents also have to teach practical part of following religion. Faith and action do go together. From a young age, a child should be encouraged to pray, recite the Qur’an, perform wudhu etc. Some parents think it is a bother to have young children do these things and wait until they are almost baligh. The love for such actions does not develop, and may then have to be forced to carry them out. It is much better to start at an early age when the children are willing to imitate the parents and have an interest in praying and doing wudhu.

The daily prayers are the most important action in Islam, and it is the duty of all parents to ensure that the children pray properly and regularly. The Prophet (S) said: “Teach your children the prayer when they are seven, and beat them if they do not recite it when they are ten.”

Thus when the child becomes baligh and does not wish to pray it is necessary to force him to do so. It should be mentioned that children need to be observed when they first begin to pray by themselves. Many children pray very quickly, and the actions resemble a quick exercise rather than a prayer. If possible, parents should try and pray with their children, at least sometimes. It is not a good idea to tell children to pray by themselves in their rooms. Out of the view of the parents. This could encourage them to skip some prayers altogether, and then lie about it. Shaytan is very strong, and the child is easily too preyed.

Another important part of religious training is to teach the child to recite the Qur’an. It is a right of the child. Many parents are already aware of this responsibility and strive to make their children good recitors of the Qur’an. But one must be wary not to do it compete with others, or to show off to the community. Some children become fluent recitors of the Qur’an but are not regular in their prayers and are generally lax in their obedience to Allah. The child should also be encouraged to understand the Qur’an. This could be done by reading the translation occasionally, or even learning the Arabic language.

 

Morals

This is an extremely important aspect of Islam and should not be ignored. Good morals are the key to virtuous life. The child should be taught about noble characteristics such as honesty, kindness, justice, contentment etc. He should be taught to avoid jealousy, backbiting, greed, extravagance etc. a small reminder, or a simple discussion often makes a lasting impression. Many children remember the advice given to them by their parents and grandparents long into adulthood. Parents should never underestimate the effect of their words and deeds on the hearts of their children.

To be continued...

Source: alhassanain.com


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