Ramadan is just around the corner and, as we all know, it is a month of blessings, mercy, devotion and forgiveness. As we prepare ourselves for this incredible month, we should also be thinking about how our children will receive the month of Ramadan.
The associations we can create for our children with the month of Ramadan will last them a lifetime. The more our children can feel the excitement and anticipation of Ramadan, the more they will be able to connect to Ramadan as adults themselves.
When we make a big deal for our kids’ birthdays, or even their summer break from school, but don’t bring much excitement or energy to Ramadan, then we are teaching them without even knowing it. We are telling them what is and isn’t a priority in their lives – and that Ramadan and Eid are low on that list.
As an imam who interacts often with Muslim kids, I often hear about their parents not speaking to them about Ramadan, or even taking time off work for Eid in order to take them for Eid prayers and celebrate the day with them.
So how can we make Ramadan fun, exciting and important to our children? Here are a few ideas:
Our Prophet ﷺ used to welcome the month of Ramadan, telling his Companions, “The month of Ramadan has come to you, a blessed month!” He would also search for the Ramadan moon, and make du’a at its sight saying, “O Allah, let this moon (month) pass over us with blessings, iman, safety, and in the belief of Islam.”
Following this example, we need to encourage our children to anticipate and look forward to the month of Ramadan. That means going outside to search for the moon, an activity that is both a sunnah and can bring the family closer together.
And it means decorating the house, and calling family and friends together to wish them a blessed month of Ramadan.
Have a Daily Watch Party
Do you look forward to watching Yaqeen’s Ramadan series every year? Try watching it together as a family! Make it a daily activity to watch after suhoor, before Iftar, or after Taraweeh. After each episode, engage your children by encouraging them to ask questions and facilitate a conversation from there. Check out the trailer for this year’s series, Jannah: Home at Last here.
Buy them toys
The Companions used to encourage their children to fast and would also make toys for their children out of wool. When their children would complain during the fast, they would give them the toys to play with and pass the time.
We should also encourage our children to fast, based on their age and capacity to do so, and give them toys to play with as encouragement for engaging in their fast.
Make a Qur’an challenge
Ramadan is the month in which the Qur’an was revealed and the month in which our Prophet ﷺ would recite it all from beginning to end.
In fact, we can say that the blessed nature of this month is because of its connection to the divine revelation. So just as we should be trying to engross ourselves in the Qur’an, we need to encourage our children to do so as well.
Consider making a Qur’an challenge for you and your child. Choose a Surah for each of you to memorize or review during the month of Ramadan and set aside a time every day to recite together.
Take them to the Masjid
Throughout the life of the Prophet ﷺ, we see many examples of children in the Masjid. Ramadan is a beautiful time when the Masjid is always alive with activity. By bringing our children to the Masjid for iftars and taraweeh, we are building a positive relationship between them, the house of Allah and the broader Muslim community.
Create a goal to give back
When Ramadan would begin, Imam al-Zuhri would say, “This is the time of reciting Qur’an and feeding the hungry.” As we speak to our children about the Ramadan fast, we should encourage them to think about the hunger that others face.
And thinking is not enough – we should motivate ourselves, and our children, to do something to help those in need. Create a goal with your child to raise money to feed the poor. If you and your child can volunteer to help feed the hungry – then even better!
Make Ramadan gifts for your neighbors
A great way to prepare for Ramadan with your children, perform an act of da’wah, and fulfill an important obligation in Islam is to create a Ramadan gift for your neighbors.
Giving gifts to our neighbors is part of our faith. A’ishah (ra) wanted to gift her neighbors once, but only had a single gift, so she asked the Prophet (saw) what to do. He (saw) told her, “Gift it to the neighbor whose door is closest to yours”
Learn a du’a together
Ramadan is the month of du’a. We are instructed to make du’a when breaking our fast, and to strive to make du’a in pursuit of Laylat al-Qadr (the night of power).
Everything we do in Ramadan should revolve around connecting our children to Allah. Teaching them to make du’a and ask Allah for all their needs and wants is perhaps the most powerful way to connect them to Allah.
Learn different du’as together with your children. Ramadan Dua’s on Repeat series is a great resource to get your started!