Dear parents, we all wish to make most out of Ramadan by fasting and praying. Do we as parents ignore our children in this month? Or, would we prefer to see our children experience the sweetness of Ramadan? Ramadan is the month of fasting. Would you like your little ones to fast this Ramadan? Please read and decide-
IS IT COMPULSORY FOR THE CHILDREN TO FAST?
FASTING IS NOT COMPULSORY FOR YOUNG CHILDREN UNTIL THEY REACH THE AGE OF ADOLESCENCE.
Though fasting is compulsory on every able-bodied person, there is no sin on children if they don’t fast.
RIGHT AGE TO START FASTING:
While a fixed age is mentioned for prayer, no specific age is mentioned as to when fasting becomes COMPULSORY. (It is obligatory on reaching puberty) Few scholars have defined it as the age of ten years.
Every child is different. Child’s ability to fast is to be judged on the basis of his/her health.
WHY SHOULD WE ENCOURAGE OUR CHILDREN TO FAST?
We as parents, we are responsible to instill the love of Allah and Islam in the young one’s heart. When it comes to schooling we would teach them a little more just to see them fare better than others. Don’t early tuitions help children to stand out in the class? Insha Allah likewise fasting at an early age will also help children to grow into obedient Muslim with ease.
Our children are entrusted to us by Allah SWT. It’s our responsibility to mold them into good Muslims.
The companions of prophet used to make their children fast. Though no sins will be recorded at an early age, good deeds are certainly recorded! Help them kick-start their good deeds record this Ramadan.
Here are additional reasons to encourage them to fast:
When fasting becomes mandatory (on reaching adolescence), children will find it easier to fast. They’ll be accustomed to fasting.
Even if they break their fast mid-way, they are not accountable.
Once they are able to fast, it boosts their confidence. They show better self-control when they are hungry.
Children are easier to mold in the earlier ages. Let’s face it, it is difficult to command a teenager.
Insha Allah, we parents will also be rewarded for teaching our children to fast! Alhamdulillah.
So, what could we do help our children fast with ease? Here are some of the tips which helped my son fast in Ramadan.
Dear friends, I would like to share with you something which made me very happy!! For me, it is an achievement too good to be true! This happened a year ago. Yet, I can’t cease being pleased about it. My son, who was then just a six-year-old had memorized 30th para (last part) of Quran! Allahu Akbar. But there is more to be happy about. With him, his thirty plus years old mommy (me) memorized Juzz Amma too!!!! Alhamdhulillah. And we did it ourselves by the grace of Allah. If you see my journey, you would understand the reason behind my uncontainable happiness.
I had been childless for the first few years after marriage. This is when I took up a course to study tafsir (explanation) of Quran. Like any other infertile Muslimah, I recited invocations of Zakkariya (PBUH).
Quran clearly showed the state at which Zakkariya (PBUH) asked Allah for a child. It was more than a mere desire. Zakkariya (PBUH) was an old man with a barren wife. This is when he prayed for a child! His humble plea showed the prophet’s Tawakul (Trust) in Allah. He wasn’t unhappy with Allah’s decree. There a strong reason for his request. HE WANTED SOMEONE WORTHY TO INHERIT HIS PROPHETHOOD! Subahan Allah.
I had no idea what had Allah decreed for me. As I read the above verses, I wondered why did I want to be a mom? I realized being a parent is a huge responsibility. We parents work hard to provide the best nourishment for our child. We spend a fortune on our little one’s education. Are we ensuring that they are brought up on the way of Islam? Do we instill the love of Quran in our child’s heart? How can we show our gratitude to Allah for being blessed with a child? We could learn from the attitude of Zakkariya (PBUH) on being blessed with a child.
We are to raise our children as believers adhering to Allah’s command. Inspired by the narration in Quran, I prayed for a child with whom I could worship Allah with ease; a child who would be a means of sadaqa jariya (who becomes a reason for increase in my good deeds after the parent’s death). I resolved that If Allah blesses me with a child I would encourage him/her to memorize Quran. For the majority of my life, I had only uttered surat ul Fatiha and surat ul Ikhlas in my Salah! And, with no hafiz-a-Quran as far as I know in my lineage, this indeed is a very heavy resolution.
Alhamdulillah. The Most Merciful Allah soon blessed me with a son. When Zakir was less than three years old I attempted memorizing surat un Naba from a popular website. A group of ladies repeated the teacher as she recited the verses. I tried reciting the memorized verses at the end of the session. Whenever I stumbled my little innocent baby would help me!! I was stunned. The truth is every toddler would readily learn things which are repeated to them. Don’t we teach our children poems?
When my son was ready for a nursery, I wanted the best of the teachers to teach Quran to my son. Either he was dismissed as too young or the institute was too far away. The teachers who were willing to teach him at home would only spend a little time with him and I wasn’t satisfied with the outcome. With a birth of another son, life turned busier. I wasn’t sure when to start or whom to approach to help Zakir memorize the Quran.
As a kindergartener, Zakir used to return home early. To prevent him from troubling the baby, I used to play nasheed (Islamic poems/songs) on the computer. He would hum the nasheed while playing. This is
when it struck me – MY SON COULD LEARN TO RECITE FROM THE BEST QARI IN THE WORLD! Qari (Quran reciters) like Misry AlAfasy, Khalifa Al Tunaiji, Husairi and more could indeed help my son memorize the Quran! Several websites with memorizing option are freely available for us to explore! I tried such a website. Alhamdulillah. 4-year-old Zakir was happily reciting the verses I had just played on repeat mode! And here began our Quran memorization journey.
Prior to the birth of my son, I had attempted several times to memorize few small chapters from the Quran. We all know the story of the Hare and the tortoise. Let’s just say, my approach was more like that of the Hare! I could have never completed the mammoth task like this. I did pray and plead to Allah to make Quran my companion in the grave. But, I was not doing enough to give life to my supplications. The All-wise Allah, who had installed this desire in my heart also showed me a way to give life to my desire. I wanted my son to see Quran as a part of his life. This required me to take time out and dedicate myself completely for memorization. During this fixed time, nothing else was to be given preference! Could there be a better way to have quality time with one’s child?
Does one’s smartness or memorizing speed make a difference? It wouldn’t help if we are not consistent. I tried my best to make memorization an everyday task. It didn’t bother me if we just memorized a line or a word as long as we continued spending time with the Quran. We read and listened to the verse over and over again. Having a little buddy made this task much easier. My son’s company served as the much-needed push to keep me on the track.
All my life, I avoided studying anything I didn’t understand. Even as a teen I preferred reading the translation of the Quran to the original Arabic text! Back then, I just couldn’t read Arabic. Even after, I had taken up tafsir (explanation) course, I hesitated reading Arabic text while explaining translation to others. When I finally had to, I was down to tears due to my inability to read Arabic fluently. And in my tajweed (art of reciting Quran) class, I was probably the weakest student. Till date, my pronunciation in any language is far from perfect. Honestly, even in my early twenties, I would have never foreseen myself trying to memorize the Quran. But most merciful Allah has helped me start this journey of memorizing Quran. Alhamdulillah. When I could do it, anybody could do it with Allah’s help. The first step is the most difficult step.
Additional benefits of Memorizing Quran
Like any other normal seven-year-old, my son loves to play and read books. He too demands the toys that are in trend. He dislikes cleaning up. He too plays pranks around his little brother and tests my patience with his mischief. I can’t keep him from being influenced by factors outside the home. But, I hope in future he’ll influence those around him in a positive way. When he first joined the school, he returned home singing a song in a language I didn’t understand. After he started memorizing, he returned home stating that he taught few of his friends the chapters he had learned. His love to memorize things surprise me. Even if it is not necessary, he readily memorizes any poem he loves during the school hours.
This journey was originally taken to help my son memorize Quran. The truth is – it is my little buddy who has helped me more. Like any other little chap, he is much faster than me in memorizing and refuses to continue unless I too memorize the verses. This has resulted in me spending more time with Quran when he is at school. I know I am not good enough to teach him or anyone else. His pronunciation is far better than mine (We still have a teacher helping him recite Quran). The necessity to improve my tajweed has dragged me to the masjid. I opted to visit a masjid which is a bit far from home. Well for every step towards masjid don’t our sins shed. Plus, a brisk walk is good for our health. Sometimes, I feel lazy. Then I think of a walk in the paradise which I could be rewarded for this. (Insha Allah <3) This gives me the much-needed boost.
Insha Allah, I would like my son to join the halaqa (memorizing circle in masjid). There he could study much better. I don’t know how long will I be able to keep pace with him. Maybe soon he would not need me to help him out. Ah, it would be nice to see him take a role of the teacher and teach his brother (and me too). Yes, I would love to become a hafiza. I would love more to see my sons turn into Hafiz and live trying their best to please Allah. After all, parents are rewarded in heaven for this!
Quran time is a blessing in other ways too. My naughty explorers are silent during and after Quran session. It keeps us away from TV and the computer. We have things to speak and laugh about, which only we understand. Zakir has even invented some Quran recitation games and pop quizzes!
I can’t thank Allah enough for blessing me with a son, who in turn helped me take this major step. Now I work like the tortoise (recollect the good old story about hare and the tortoise ). We take a step at a time. The finish line is far away. I am not sure whether I’ll be able to reach it. Insha Allah, I’ll never give up. May Allah make it easy on us. Aameen.
Would you like to take up such a journey? Who would be your memorizing buddy? Maybe my upcoming post on tips to memorize from home will motivate you further.
With trembling hands and a racing heart
She seeks to know if her womb is blessed
She closes her eyes and utters a prayer
– Before she checks the result of the test.
A heavy tear slips down her misty eyes
Triggering a smile as her heart skips a beat.
Gracious Lord has answered her prayer.
How should she have felt at this decree?
An infertile woman past her youthful term
had overheard angels and laughs at glad tidings
Did she feel like Sara, wife of Ibrahim on being blessed with Isaac
– Had she too longed for a child of her own flesh and blood?
A mother had feared her son’s life and cast him into the river
Lord set him in the hands of kind queen to be pampered even amidst his enemies!
Is our lady like mother of Mosa, ready to do anything for child’s safety?
Or is she like Asiya, the kind wife of Pharoh, who would love a child like her own?
A pious woman, in a secluded chamber is informed through an angel-
She is to be blessed with a righteous son who would speak to the people in the cradle and in maturity!
No women could feel like Maryam, mother of Isa felt as she uttered “My Lord, how will I have a child when no man has touched me?”
Ages ago, Lord had fashioned very first man – Adam
He blew breath of life into him – as a being of fire burnt in jealousy.
Satin conspired and made man disobey his Lord.
Now we are here on a test with Satan luring us towards failure.
No matter what a mother feels,
Let her strive to grow her child with light of the Lord.
Let the child grow up to be a shining star –
Wise enough to see through the whisper of Satan
And humble enough to turn back to Lord always.
Let him be amidst those who would rejoice in heaven
– Having toiled in this world to please His Lord.
Now will the expecting mother pray for her child,
“May you shine with light of Faith casting the darkness away”?
She had always been strong and confident. She knew what she wanted and strived hard for it. Nothing could stand in her way. She was called rude, selfish and over-ambitious. She just didn’t care. Ah! She had even started to enjoy the malice. She had mastered the art of scaring others away. Being hated was inevitable. Don’t losers hate winners? Her tongue was sharper than scissors. Truth was bitter and won’t it prick on being manifested? She had no friends. Who needed them when all they could do is drag her behind?
Life had taught her a hard lesson. The tragedy her family faced was afresh in her memory. What followed was series of disappointments. Her mother’s tears haunted her. She had cried too, until she could cry no more. She accepted new life and decided never to cry again. She saw herself as one capable of solving her mom’s worries. Everything else in life seemed as an unnecessary distraction. This world was selfish with no one to depend on. Relying on anyone was foolish. It would only lead to a broken heart. Now her vision was to be successful and powerful. Intelligent and young she was preparing herself to compete in men’s world.
Surprisingly, I found her cry few years later. Did anyone argue with her? Was she crushed by her rules? No.
Silence in the hospital was broken by cries of pain; deep unbearable pain. Rehma was brought to the hospital in labor. The pain was unbearable. Her husband wiped sweat off her forehead as she waited to be admitted. Doctor examined her and was quick to take her to the labor ward. The baby would be here any minute. Any minute? It seemed like ages.
Unlike her first pregnancy this pregnancy had been tough. It was not the pregnancy symptoms which made her life tough. It was cough. Yes! Cough. Being pregnant she wasn’t prescribed strong medicines and it made things worst.
She had promised herself that she would take great care of her unborn child. She had planned a list of things to do once she was pregnant.
Go on a morning walk.
Pray more voluntary prayers
Recite Quran daily after fajr
Eat healthy balanced food. (no junk)
Spend more time with elder son, helping him memorize
Alas, now she could do none of it with her deep coughs. While walking -Where could she vomit? Forget the nafil (voluntary) prayers, she found it difficult to utter surat ul fatiha (opening chapter of quran) in fard (obligatory prayer). Getting something on the plate for her family to eat was her biggest challenge of the day. And her poor son, she could do nothing more than to smile with difficulty. This adversity could purify her – this was her only consolation.
Cough would start somewhere deep within and wouldn’t stop until she had very hot water! This cough wouldn’t let her sleep or eat well. It made sure that she vomited what little she ate. And at its peak won’t let Rehma utter a word. Due to this she didn’t even go out. It always occupied her thoughts and made her sad.