Muslims around the world await the special and joyous occasion of Ramadhan every year for a spiritual boost and a chance to get closer to Allah. For those of us that have children, Ramadhan is more significant as it’s a time when we can teach them about the beauty of the blessed month.
Up until puberty, children are not required to fast. Yet, upon seeing their parents, many of them prefer to try it out. They’re excited! They’re giddy! But most of all, they admire and enjoy what they see right in front of them.
From the pre-dawn meal to the early morning prayers and the festive meal of iftar followed by the late-night prayers, children find this time of year extremely special.
So why not take this chance to embed the love of Ramadhan within their hearts?
Let’s look at seven key ways you can get children ready and excited for Ramadhan:
Bond Through The Qur’an
The month of Ramadhan is all about building our relationship with Allah by building our relationship with the Qur’an. Whether your child is 3 or 10, use the Qur’an as a means of entertaining them. You can recite a portion of the Qur’an or simply listen to Qur’an recitation with them. Whatever your choice, let the Qur’an bring you and your children together this Ramadhan.
Explore The Many Sunnahs of Ramadhan
One of the missing ingredients in our busy lives is the simple act of conversing with our children. Take this opportunity before Ramadhan to sit and talk about simple matters related to Ramadhan whilst also introducing them to simple Sunnahs that can be practised. Focus on Suhoor, Iftar, breaking fast with dates, the concept of charity, Taraweeh prayers and controlling one’s anger in these blessed days.
Let Them Journal Their Experiences
Keeping track and monitoring one’s performance and daily actions can be a superb way of progressing. Let your children keep a journal in which they record what they got up to on a daily basis. They can then use their results to compete with one another and in the end, the winner can be awarded on Eid day. This way, it adds excitement and a sense of competition and also becomes an interactive and fun way to spend Ramadhan.
Be Creative and Make a Plan With Them
If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. You may have heard this over a thousand times, yet it remains true every time. Ramadhan is around the corner, so take this chance to prepare what they’ll do, how fasting can be implemented within their timetables, what they’ll get up to on the weekends and in the holidays and how much Qur’an they’ll be able to recite. Be creative with your plans and let them lead with their designs. You could even use online tools on your phone or laptop to create a Ramadhan planner! You could also set up a Ramadhan Iftar and Sehri menu, and have them design it with Sunnahs related to Ramadhan and eating. This will be a good opportunity to introduce them to certain Sunnah foods such as dates, honey, milk, grapes, cucumber, barley and pomegranate. What’s more you could also set them realistic goals such as how much TV they watch and how many sweets they can eat.
Clean Up and Decorate
This is a great way to get the kids involved and welcome Ramadhan in a clean and tidy house. Kids love tidying up, especially when it involves them taking some form of control. Designate a certain area that they can focus on and set a challenge for them to come up with an idea on how the area can be designed. Using a range of materials, they can also put together a banner, poster or simple decorations to add to the atmosphere of welcoming Ramadhan.
Let Them Ask Questions
Kids are known for being persistent in asking questions, and Ramadhan will be no different. Be prepared, as your children will be asking you a wide range of questions such as why we fast, what to do whilst fasting, and how many hours they’ll be fasting. Take this chance to explore certain things such as Suhoor timings, Iftar timings and maybe how the lunar calendar works.
Be Their Role Model
Whilst all the above are surefire ways of getting your children excited and ready for Ramadhan, the most important thing to remember is this! Being a good role model not only gives them someone to follow but also gives you the chance to teach them about the beauty of fasting without giving them a lecture. Be merciful towards them. Tell them about fasting when you were young. Share stories about the difficulties and beauty of the month. Whatever you do, keep the words to a minimum and let them follow you through your actions.
Juber Ahmed is our Digital Editor and travel enthusiast with a keen interest in Islamic history and heritage. He travels with his wife to various places around the world and writes about his experiences.
Juber's favourite Quote...
"The World Is a Book and Those Who Do Not Travel Read Only One Page" [Saint Augustine]