Ta'leem and Tarbiya

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Salman al-Odah was asked, “How do you get your kids to love the salah?”

The first thing he said was, “Have them love you.”

Learn this life lesson: tarbiyah is founded upon relationship.

Tarbiyah is the raising up and education of a child such that she can reach her full potential as a human and a Muslim. It is different than ta’leem, which refers to fact-based education.

We often confuse the two, giving our children ta’leem when they need tarbiyah.

Ta’leem is teaching our children the how-to of the prayer. Memorizing the duas, learning the positions.

Tarbiyah is the cuddling after the prayer when we ask each other, “What did you ask for in sajdah?”

Ta’leem is memorizing ahadeeth and verses.

Tarbiyah is the dinner-table banter where we talk current events and other issues on our mind.

Ta’leem is studying fiqh.

Tarbiyah is the loving conversation we have about an incident that happened at school.

Ta’leem is studying seerah by memorizing dates and events or preparing for a quiz bowl.

Tarbiyah is snuggling in bed and telling stories of brave heroes of the past.

When we were at Umrah, Ustadh Abu Eesa stressed this point a great deal and it has caused a seismic shift in my own approach to teaching my children. I had asked him if he had a suggested program of study for school-aged children. He responded by saying that he was no expert on education and he would leave that to the experienced teachers to develop such a program. He directed us instead to focus our efforts on building relationships with our children as our tarbiyah.

“Tarbiyah,” he explained, “is an emotional, not a physical exercise.”

He went on to explain that in the Qur’an, we are taught the dua for the parents as follows: “O Allah, have mercy on them, as they rabbayaani when I was young.” In other words, have mercy on them because they did tarbiyah for me when I was young. It doesn’t say “because they ‘allmaani”–because they taught me.

Long after facts have come and gone, what a child will remember are the memories she has cuddling on the couch, laughing at stories, and warmly basking in the glow of a parent’s attention and love. This relationship is what builds the person up, not the facts and pieces of knowledge imparted.

This does not mean we do not teach facts and knowledge! Those who follow my work know that I do indeed spend time on this ta’leem. You need to discern the difference between the two themes of ta’leem and tarbiyah though, so that you give adequate time to each.

Most importantly, you must understand that you, dear parents, are indispensable. You CANNOT outsource tarbiyah. You can send your child to classes and masjid programs for ta’leem but this can never replace tarbiyah. The cuddling on the couch, the lively discussions around the table, the one-on-one chats before bed….these are the things that only a parent can do. And these are the things that build the foundation of the Islamic akhlaq and adab (morals and manners).

#meriumnotesandthoughts

Prayer Game with Musalas

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I loved this game idea shared by Islam from the Start!

“We laid out the musalas (one for each child) around the room. Then we asked them to run around the room, this symbolised our daily life and how we are always rushing around from one activity to another. We then played the Adhan, which symbolised Allah’s call to us. We talked about how Allah calls us to good deeds like prayer, being kind to others, truthfulness etc. The children had to run to a musala as soon as they heard Allah’s call. After each round we removed one musala to find the winner! We then talked about how Allah is the fastest at responding to our prayer.”

The Power of the Quran, Dua, Salaah and Layl!

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One after another, these two stories cropped up about the power of our prayers, in the different forms that Allah tells us to perform them – the recitation of the Quran, Salaat-ul-layl and Dua. Subhanallah!

“Assalamu alaikum everyone. I am an American Muslim convert and I wanted to share a personal story of never losing hope in God’s mercy. I had a very difficult pregnancy with my youngest daughter Laila, Alhumdulillah. I started showing signs of a miscarriage at 14 or 16 weeks after starting to recover from severe morning sickness in my first trimester. At 18 weeks my placenta ruptured and I almost lost my baby. Then at 24 weeks I went into pre-term labor. I was on bedrest for most of my pregnancy, I was in and out of the hospital a lot, I could barely walk during my second and third trimester, and I was frequently in a lot of pain. The doctors and nurses told me that I needed to prepare for the worst and that my baby most likely wouldn’t make it. However I refused to lose hope and lose my optimism. I told them that God can make the impossible possible. He says “be” and it is. I had my family and some of the best Muslims in the world praying for my baby and me Alhumduillah. No matter how much pain I was in or had been in, I would sit up every night and pray Qiam Al-Lail (the Night Prayer), and would ask God to save my baby girl and ask that she be born health and at full term. SubhanAllah she lasted 37 weeks of this difficult pregnancy and was born healthy via an emergency c-section. To this day I wake up every night, no matter how tired or sleep deprived I am, just to pray Qiam Al-Lail prayer. It’s almost like it has become a part of me, and I couldn’t imagine living a life without it. I named my daughter Laila. Her named is derived from the Arabic word Lail which means “Night.” And with the extra letter on the end, her name means “extreme happiness”.” – Erica

Teaching Children to Love Salah With One Trick

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Another great article about helping our children love salaah – I love the idea about letting them lead. It really works!

“My husband would often feel disheartened when he had started talking back and telling us that he didn’t want to pray and of course I felt amused because we were talking about a six year old. My husband would often sit with our son and talk to him about the importance of prayer too. Prayer means obedience. If a child can pray, it means he will abide by his responsibilities. We talked to him but it didn’t work. We gave him stars… points… rewards but still it didn’t inspire him. Then one day….

I told him he was the Imam of our house. I told him that as soon as it was time for prayer, he should get up,  give the Iqamah (call for prayer signalling that prayer would start soon) and we would all gather behind him so that he could lead the prayer.”

Read the whole article here: http://wordsnneedles.com/WN/2015/06/teaching-children-to-love-salah-with-one-trick.html

Salaah helps us PHYSICALLY

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Here are two great articles to add to our Salaah Series, where we looked at ideas to help our children LOVE to pray, and not just pray because they have to…

They both show how beneficial Salaah is to us PHYSICALLY as well!

Here’s the first: Salaah makes your face glow (thanks in part to the blood that rushes to your face when we are in sujood) 🙂

http://ilmfeed.com/this-is-why-praying-makes-your-face-glow/

And following on from the previous post on Salaah helping us physically, here’s the second article on how Muslims do yoga five times a day 😉 A great way to perhaps explain the holistic aspects of salaah and that even when our kids (and us!) may go through a phase when they are not ‘feeling’ salaah, salaah is still always benefitting them!

http://mvslim.com/5-ways-yoga-is-a-basic-practice-for-muslims/

And you really can’t get clearer than this!:

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