Cultivating a Love of Ramadan in Your Child (Part 2)

Muslim Family who are cultivating a Love of Ramadan in Your Child who are sitting on the floor next to Qurans

Ramadan is the perfect opportunity to engage children with many meaningful acts and nurture an Islamic personality. In part one of this article, we looked at some ways you can involve your children in preparing for Ramadan and strategies to encourage fasting and other ibaadah (worship) during the blessed month.

In this part, we will briefly explore how to involve children with acts of kindness and charity together with encouraging voluntary acts of Ibaadah (worship), such as salah, reading the Quran and athkaar (remembrance of Allah) and being grateful for his blessings.

Encouraging children with generosity and charitable acts

Ramadan is a month of increased compassion and generosity. Encouraging acts of charity in children during this holy month can have a profound impact on their character. The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said, “The best charity is that given in Ramadan” (Tirmidhi). This hadith signifies the immense reward and blessings associated with giving during Ramadan.

A way to promote acts of charity among children is by involving them in selecting and donating to charitable causes. You can either take them to a local charity organisation (or masjid that collects donations to learn more about their humanitarian projects) or visit online charities where they can choose items to donate or contribute financially. Another activity is to encourage them to perform small acts of kindness within the community, such as helping an elderly neighbour with chores or sharing meals with those less fortunate. By actively participating in charitable acts, children develop empathy towards others, gratitude for Allah’s blessings, and a sense of responsibility, which are key virtues of good character.

Developing the spiritual aspect of Ramadan in children

Spiritual growth helps to build the Muslim personality that develop our steadfastness upon the correct understanding and implementation of Islam. Abstaining from food and drink is the easier part of building taqwa (spiritual mindfulness and awareness of Allah) during Ramadan. The challenge comes from controlling our whims and tongues from negative words and actions whilst correcting our intentions and tuning our bodies to carry out noble acts that connect us with Allah (swt).

Through nurturing taqwa (spirituality) your children’s experiences can be transformed. Reminders and discussions around salah (the prayer), adhkaar (remembrance of Allah) and recitation and reflection of the Quran can be a source for boosting their emaan (spiritual connection with Allah). Encourage your child to set personal spiritual goals during Ramadan, for example, completing a juz or two each day, regularly memorising a portion of the Quran and specific Quranic or Prophetic duaas. 

A different way to bring your children closer to Allah is by encouraging and motivating your children to do voluntary acts such as extra prayers (e.g taraweeh), making duaa and seeking forgiveness. By encouraging your children with such rewarding voluntary acts, they will develop a stronger connection with Allah (Taqwa).

Fostering togetherness and a sense of community in children

Ramadan is a time when Muslims unite and come together to worship and support one another as a community. Fostering a sense of togetherness in children during Ramadan can help them to understand the importance of cooperation and unity. Explain to them how we should be aware of the situation of Muslims and helping them out with their needs including food parcels and iftars. 

Praying the five daily prayers in congregation is a most worthwhile goal during Ramadan, together with participating in the nightly taraweeh prayers. As a parent, this is one of the best ways to cultivate togetherness into boys and attach them to the House of Allah. It also emphasises and understanding of the congregational prayer and its importance in Muslim society. In addition, encourage children to help out elderly relatives or mothers who need a hand taking care of their babies and young ones. Remind children that the reward is great for such acts of sadaqah.

Nurturing gratitude and mindfulness in children

Gratitude and a conscious awareness of Allah (swt) are essential qualities that should be nurtured in children from a young age. Teach them to be mindful and express gratitude for the blessings they have. A good way to do this is by creating a gratitude journal in Ramadan which can be extended beyond that. Each day, ask your child to write down two or three things they are grateful for and discuss them together. This practice helps children develop a positive outlook and appreciate the abundance in their lives.

Mindfulness can be nurtured into children through various activities. Before iftar, encourage them to make duaa in which they ask for Allah’s forgiveness, thank him for his blessings and ask Him to accept their fasting and all their worship and deeds. Remind them to open their fast with ‘Bismillah’ and recite the relevant duaa for opening their fast and then to eat slowly, savouring each bite, and reflecting on the blessings of the food they have. At the end of the meal they thank Allah by reciting the appropriate duaa.

Similarly, take them for ‘emaan building’ nature walks or quiet moments of reflection, where they can observe the beauty of Allah’s creation and connect with their fitrah (natural disposition and inner self). Teach children the Names and Attributes of Allah and encourage them to think deeply of Allah, His countless favours and blessings, and the Hereafter – horrors of the Hellfire and the bounties that await them in Paradise.

Instilling the love of Ramadan in kids is a precious and sacred responsibility that requires patience, guidance, and consistent effort. Parents need to persue instilling the correct tarbiyah for their children patiently, while making a lot of duaa (the key to success) in order to inspire and develop a deeper appreciation of Allah and Islam. Ramadan is the perfect time to sow that seed which can flourish in the months ahead, bearing its fruits in the years to come, inshaaAllah.  

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