Friday, August 7, 2009

Teaching Children About Islam #2: Making Islam Fun

I am a Muslim parent, but I was also a Muslim child once. I never truly understand what Islam was because my parents, God bless them, never knew how to get their point across about how wonderful and glorious Islam is. So for me, as Muslim parent who only is learning about Islam anew, it is important for me to get my children to understand Islam in a way that does not scare them or oppress them. I cannot stress how important it is to teach Islam to your children in a way that makes them fearful of Allah and/or going to hell. We do not want our children feeling that Islam does not allow them to enjoy life. Telling that they can or cannot do something because of Islam is not the way to go. We want our children to see the beauty that exists in Islam and this should come out in a way that is appealing to them.

Teaching our children the boundaries of Islam is of course very important, but before we do that, we should teach them how to love Allah, Islam and our Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).

 Let’s start by teaching our children about beauty of Allah and his creations. Show them everything that Allah has created and remind them that Allah created the earth from nothing. Tell them that is the power and greatness of Allah.

 Spend time at the local mosque. When it is time for prayer, take the time pray with the congregation. If the mosque has festivals and carnivals, take your children to these.

 Get to know other Muslims in your area. It is important for your children to have friends to share their customs, traditions, holidays and beliefs with.

 Tell your children stories about our Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and life that he lived. Don’t forget to share stories of all of Allah’s prophets, peace be upon them all.

 Have them listen to the Quran. You can find many recordings of the Quran online. Here is my personal favorite.

 Find Islamic nasheeds for your children to listen to. There are many online that do not contain music. These are usually kid-friendly and easy to understand and remember.

 Celebrate Islamic holidays. Many people treat Islamic holidays as any other day since most parents, especially in the United States, have to work. Take these days off and spend them with your families.

 So here are some suggestions for making Islam fun for your children. If you have any ideas, please feel free to comment.

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The Quran Says:

"And thus preach joy to My servants.Those who listen to the word and follow the best of it. Those are the ones whom Allah has guided and they are the wise people." (39:17-18)