It sounds so obvious but unfortunately (am telling myself first!), we often forget to model the best behaviour ourselves.
Here’s what someone sent in: “Start through actions rather than words. Many of us have grown up with parents who would tell us to go pray but they would be finishing up cooking in the kitchen or cleaning, etc instead of going to pray.”
Simple things like stopping whatever we are doing at Salaat time, taking some time to recite Azan and Iqamah beforehand, and the tasbeeh and duas afterwards.
If however, we are grumbling at how early Fajr salaat time is during the summer or how we have a million things to do…this will also have an effect.
My own first memories are listening to my dad recite the Fajr dua out loud after Salaat…he wouldn’t force us (in fact, we would usually be asleep on the musalla straight after finishing!), but that recitation has stuck in mind and now when i recite it, i can often hear his melody in my head
Another benefit of praying together is that it can be a form of quality time with our children. Here is what one mum said:
“Make prayer time parent time…At a parenting workshop I attended a few years ago, the speaker shared how she offered her children two types of reward for good behavior: a tangible treat or one-on-one time with each parent. She said she was surprised when the kids always chose time with their mother or father over a trinket.
Taking this into account, spend a few minutes after each prayer with your young Muslim connecting, asking or answering questions about an issue of concern, or simply making it a time for hugs, jokes, and lighthearted hanging out.”
Another mum I spoke to says how she realised that prayer time was her opportunity to spend quality time with her dad. After jamaat namaaz the children would be allowed to go off but their dad would stay on and do his duas, etc, and basically be available for them. Looking back, she sees that all the major decisions made were done at that time, on the musalla!
The family that prays together, stays together! Here is what one mum had to say:
“I have never ‘taught’ my kids to pray as such, they have learned by praying together. As often as we can, we pray altogether, especially when my husband is home. I think it is important and has made a huge difference, especially when the younger children see the older ones praying.
They all take turns doing adhaan, iqamah, duas, ziyarat and dua Faraj…”
Just one sidenote…it is probably a good idea to establish the habit of praying jamaat even before having kids, so watching the parents pray together is something they grow up observing too!
Idea 4: Designate one area of the house for Salaat
This was a great idea sent in by a mum:
“Avoid having everyone pray in their own little corner of the house, by designating one space of the home for this purpose. Make a prayer area an escape to a tranquil and peaceful place.”
Even if there isn’t enough space in the house for a prayer room, just having a common place to pray sets this up. And what’s more, it paves the way for praying in jamaat!
Idea 3: Books, books, books!
Alhamdulillah, theses days there are wonderful books for all these lovely topics!
One great favourite of ours when the kids were young was “I Can Pray Anywhere” by Yasmin Ibrahim…this bright and colourful book emphasizes that you can really pray anywhere, and is one the youngsters will LOVE to read again and again inshallah.
One for older children is “Time to Pray” by Maha Addasi. In this story a little girl visits her grandma in a Middle East country. During her stay, she hears the adhaan from the minaret nearby. The story weaves the the call of adhaan, actions of wudhu, salaat, times of salaat and the sweet relationship between grandma and the little girl all nicely together in a wonderful tale.
There are so many others!
Here are a few other titles to explore:
Time to Pray – Suzanna Stone
Prayer Times Book of Colours – Fehmida Ibrahim Shah Rukh Khan
I Want to Pray – Rashida Haneef
Call to Prayer – The Story of Bilal – Edoardo Albert
Owl and the Dawn Prayer – Hediyah Al-Amin
Idea 2: Spread out their Prayer Mats too
A lovely idea someone once shared was to spread out the childrens’ musallas too, from a young age, and whether they joined you or not!
Even if they come and sit down on the mats for a bit while they do something else, it is getting them used to the concept. If they happen to pick up the tasbih and/or do a sajdah, then all the better
And check out these awesome child-friendly prayer mats i just found on google!
P.S. An idea was sent in on facebook to suggest making a miniature Kaaba and placing it in front of the musallas for them to pray towards, to make it all the more magical 🙂
So it’s also been a while since we have had a topic going…in light of Imam Husayn’s awesome act of maintaining the Salaat during the day of Ashura even when the other side did not stop attacking during this time, the topic of Salaat might be perfect…
Bismillah – let the Salaat Series begin Inshallah!
Idea 1: Have the Azaan playing in the house
I remember growing up with the sounds of the calls to prayer surrounding us 5 times a day, and it is one of the things i really miss now that I live in London!
But Alhamdulillah, there are now many resources we can use to bring this beautiful reminder for Salaat time into our houses. Islamic channels on TV, apps on phones, programs on PCs and Azaan clocks are all ways we can have this at home to make the children aware that the time for Salaat has set in.
Not only is it beautiful and a reminder, the Azaan has an awesome effect on us too!
Check this awesome video out with your children:
And this is another great video on how the Azaan moved a non-Muslim to tears: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=67GEPMB9SMY
P.S. Need more ideas from all you fabulous inspiring parents out there – please inbox me!
To the valued non-Shia members of Buzz Ideazz,
Every time we have some posts on a Shia-oriented topic, there will inevitably be some people who ‘unlike’ the (facebook) page. This saddens me deeply, not because of the decrease in likes, but because it is just another symptom of a puzzling rift that is growing unfortunately.
I have been pondering on this for a while but have been unable to articulate how i felt about it, and then came across this post today which summarised it perfectly.
“The very fact the Muslims are not tolerant of each other. It’s a shame we have to talk about tolerance, tolerance is the lowest expectation of humanity. What we should be talking about is appreciation of the other, not about acceptance and tolerance. Appreciation of the other is divinity and godliness – the way Allah appreciated the Christians and the Jews in the Quran. Read Surah Baqarah, Surah al Imran, Surah Nisa, you will find Allah full of appreciation of the people of the book.
I, and most of the people I know, are part of groups from the Ahle-Sunnah and learn so much from these groups. So as we enter the day of Ashura, a day for reflection and change and truth and justice, I want to take a minute to appreciate you and your presence, and look forward to learning and growing with you, Inshallah! It would especially be great to get your ideas on the next topic of inspiring our children to love Salaah which is coming up soon 🙂
Would love to hear anyone’s thoughts on this?
And how about this water bottle? This is from last year btw…so unfortunately not available as far as i know!
Wristbands are always a favourite everywhere…