Making a will is also something adults do before they go, in case anything happens during the trip. This is something that is highly encouraged in Islam at all times anyway, as death can befall us at any time and any age – something which the recent tragic events in Dar-es-Salaam have reminded us of again starkly 🙁
Perhaps the trip to ziyarat is a good time to introduce the concept of preparing for our inevitable end…
Maybe sit down with the children and make a will with them; again adjust according to their capabilities, from deciding who gets their toys and clothes, to any prayers/fasts that may be pending.
For younger children, maybe make it a fun activity, with the whole rolling up of the will, tying with a ribbon, sealing with candle and all that…as long as the concept of preparation is introduced, it doesn’t need to be morbid!
It may bring on a serious discussion on death however, which is a whole other series in itself i think. Would love to hear from parents who have approached the issue with their children and any tips on how to do this?
Idea 11: Encourage them to make amends
Tying up loose ends, paying any debts, asking for forgiveness and basically trying to clean the slate are things all zawwaar do before they embark on this trip, to try and make the trip as spirituallybeneficial as possible…
What if we encouraged our children to do the same, according to their capabilities? They can say sorry for anything they may have done to their siblings, cousins, friends, etc (perhaps after sitting and reflecting and making a list), return any books or toys or money they may have borrowed, and ensure that any pending things they need to do are completed!
As they grow older, the understanding and level at which they do this will change, but inshallah even at a young age, they can have an awareness of these concepts among others…
– accountability for their actions
– the importance of making amends
– how actions affect how close they can get to Allah
– the importance of returning amanat
– the importance of fulfilling any tasks they have
And finally, it may even hopefully make saying sorry in general that wee bit easier!