We are finally heading into the beautiful months of Rajab, Shaban and, soon inshAllah, Ramadan. The beginning of this season always puts a pep in the step of all Muslims. Fellow Muslims are partaking in the holiness of these months by fasting, saying extra prayers, doing ihtekaaf, (worship in seclusion) etc.
But when you are a parent, how do you get into the swing of these blessed months? After all, kids don’t give you a break to enjoy the sweetness of any extra prayers, or give you a little room when you do extra fasts. Rest assured, your efforts will not be wasted. Even though as parents, and especially mothers, you might not be able to do all the extra worship associated with these months, being better parents and instilling good values in your children is still considered worship.
However, if you want to go one step further, there are lots of wonderful ways to get kids excited about the blessed months of Rajab, Sha’ban and Ramadan, and even months like Muharram and Safar.
One way of helping kids remember important Islamic days is by giving kids a treat on the special days. Take the kids out for dinner at their favorite restaurant in honor of a birthday celebration of a Masoom, or bake a special treat and hand them out to friends, neighbors, etc.
There are also lots of great tradition by our holy Aimmah, Lady Fatima Zahra, and honored personalities like Hadhrat Abbas, Hadhrat Zainab, peace and blessings be upon them all. Write out some and put them on the fridge, on the walls of your kids’ bedrooms, or behind the front door. Children will get used to seeing them and it can make for very useful discussions. Then change them out every few weeks. By the year’s end, you will have a nice collection of beautiful hadith by the AhlulBayt.
Here are some more ways to get kids excited about the holy months:
1. Decor: Designate a part of your house to serve like an Islamic bulletin board for the current month. Have kids decorate and color pictures of shrines of the AhlulBait, special sayings, etc.
2. Translating duas/ziyarats: There is no need to write the entire supplication down, but even a few lines translated for your kids can help serve as good reminders. Refer to them from time to time, and incorporate them into your daily lives.
3. Celebrating birthdays/commemorating martyrdom anniversaries: We always get excited for our kids’ birthdays, but what about the birthdays of our AhlulBayt? Aren’t they dearer to us than ourselves? Celebrate wiladats (and commemorate shahadats) with some nearby friends and kids. Have a short speech or activity, and have kids help you prepare for the program.
4. Include them with your worship: A child doesn’t have to be praying or fasting to know the importance. When your child sees you doing these actions, they will automatically be drawn to it. Don’t do it secretly; be open and include them. Read tasbeeh together, make dua together, spread out the prayer rug together, have them help prepare iftar for those who are fasting, etc.
5. Make these months a part of your daily routine: Especially when living in the West or any non-Islamic country, we have to make a special effort to remember the Islamic months. But if you make it a part of your routine, then it will come easier. Spend a few minutes each day talking about an important part of the month.
If we want our Muslim children to be proud of their identities as Muslim, then we must strive to make it an important part of their lives. If we want them to honor and love the AhlulBayt (s), then we must remind them of their roles in Islam, and keep their legacies alive in our home and social circles.
May Allah bless you and your families, and give us tawfeeq to enjoy the benefits of these blessed months. And may the Almighty help us and guide us in instilling the love of the AhlulBayt and Islam in our dear children.
Editor’s note: Islamic Insights is honored to host the “Raising Faith” column by esteemed guest contributor and student from Qum, Sister Samira Rizvi. Besides being a former newspaper copy editor, Rizvi is a mother of three, an author who writes for Little Muslim Books, and maintains a personal blog. Her column will focus on her experiences in tarbiyat—the upbringing of children based on Islamic values. For past articles in the column see here.