Here are some ways of getting the excitement going:
- Have a Sala-bration!I attended a “sala-bration” party at a friend’s house after her daughter turned 7 (7 is the age that children begin to pray their 5 daily prayers). At the party, there was an amazing salaah quiz, the kids prayed together, and every child received a parting gift of the 30th juz’ and a lovely hijab. In lieu of gifts, all the guests were asked to write a letter to the little girl letting her know why salaah was special to them. (From Ruqaya’s Bookshelf on FB)
(P.S. this is a great idea for buloogh too!)
Hina Khan-Mukhtar said:
“When each of my boys turned 7 years old, I bought them beautiful journals which I gave to my friends and family to fill with inspiring messages about prayer. A few of my more “crafty” friends went all out and used their art supplies to create elaborate 3-D cards complete with embossed ink and sequined beads. My parents and my in-laws each wrote messages to their grandsons, sharing their hopes and wishes for their futures with them. Older cousins wrote about how prayer helps them in good times and in bad; aunties and uncles gave advice on what helps them get through “prayer slumps” which — if we are truly honest — are bound to come in one’s life at some point or another. I remember my husband Zeeshan getting teary-eyed as he read his message aloud to our middle son Ameen. The general theme was one of encouragement and excitement. It’s been almost 10 years since I put together those gifts for my older two sons, and even now, I will sometimes catch them perusing their Prayer Books with smiles on their faces as they read the heartfelt messages to themselves.”
- Have a Salaah Club!
This article is choc-ful of ideas, like having a Salaah cheer, doing some experiments to show the effect of the salaah on us, etc. Check them out here: https://www.patheos.com/blogs/growmama/spirituality/salah-club-i/
- Put a prayer pack together for them!
Get them set up with their own prayer mat, compass, etc – and why not make the gifting a special occasion?!
Hina Khan-Mukhtar has said this:
“We make sure to equip each of our cars with what I like to call “a prayer pack” — a small knapsack that contains a clean prayer mat, a bottle of water for wudu (ablutions), a squeeze bottle for istinja (ritual washing of the private parts after using the toilet), a compass for ascertaining the Qibla (direction of the Ka’aba in Makkah for prayer), and a prayer garment that will cover any woman who is in need of one. Before smart phones arrived on the scene, I used to keep a print-out of the month’s prayer timings in the pack as well. This prayer pack ensured that I didn’t need to worry about whether I had the ability to fulfill my prayers properly and on time or not.”
The Baligha Club website shared in the last post was born as a result of exactly that – Baligha Clubs!
This started in Peterborough and is now slowly spreading through England – it basically calls girls from 7/8-10/11 years to spend a day together (usually a Sunday over the holidays)…in total they do about 5 days spread throughout the year.
The day’s format is usually like this:
Morning – a themed seminar with lots of group work and discussions. The themes vary from topics such as Islamic Identity to Role Models to New Year Resolutions.
This is followed by Lunch and Salaat.
Afternoon – this is usually a time for arts and crafts that fit in with the theme, e.g. around New Years Resolutions they made calendars. They also do some charity work too!
At the end, the older girls graduate and receive a certificate (although they are finding that the girls don’t want to leave!).
The focus of these days is different to the buloogh classes mentioned in an earlier post – that is more about the rules and responsiblities. To put it simple, that is about nourishing the brain, and this, as one of the organisers said, is all about nourishing the soul 🙂