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).
Alhamd there is so much out there now for our children to help them benefit from the month. Here is a round up – including both those for purchase, and those available as a free download:
- My Ramadan Diary by Seek Perfection (Children aged 4 to 6)
- Ramadan Diary by Seek Perfection (Children aged 7 to 10)
- My Ramadhan Diary – With Duas by Umm Ally
- My Laylatul Qadr Journal by Buzz Ideazz (Children aged 7 to 15)
- My Laylatul Qadr Amaal Book (Younger children)
- Ramadhan Journal by Sh. Azhar Nasser (10 and older)
- Ramadan Jewels – An interactive Dua and A’maal Companion (based on teachings of Ahlul Bayt)
- Ramadan Activity Book by QFatima
- Salamoji Ramadhan Workbook by Zahra Trust
- Ramadan Activity Book by CraftZilla Oman
- Ramadan Activity Pack (For children under 7) by Homely Hammock
- Learning Roots Ramadan Activity Book
- Kisa Kids have several amazing resources for teaching lessons every Ramadhan. They also have a really nice journal for those fasting for the first time since becoming baaligh. Check them all out here.
- Colouring pages to occupy the little ones by Allah to Z
- A Quran based 30 Day Colouring Book by Darul Arqam
- Ramadan Journal for Kids by A Muslim Homeschool
- 30 Day Shukr Journal by Fatema Meghjee
If you know of anymore, send them to me and will add them on inshallah 🙂
“Realizing that I hadn’t had a sip of water all day, I thirstily made my way to the kitchen with Zainab in my arm. As my mouth salivated at the sight of the ice-cold glass in my hand, Zainab began kicking her legs excitedly. I knew that she wanted some too. Before taking a sip myself, I put it to her mouth. As I was about to quench my own thirst, Ibrahim ran into the kitchen and said, “Mama, I want mayya (water) too!” So I gave him the rest of that glass.
Then a thought struck me. My children are my redemption. If, as the Prophet Muhammed (pbuh) narrates, a prostitute can go to heaven for having mercy on a cat, then my children can—God willing—be my key to salvation.”
Read the full article here: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/growmama/spirituality/page-diary-children-redemption/