Category Archives: Raising Righteous Muslims

Raising A Loving And Confident Child

By Bushra Aafaqi

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Being mothers, we always question our parenting style. When we see a well-behaved, loving and confident child, we wonder what their parents are doing right and how we can use the same strategies to ensure our kids become strong and loving adults. I believe that parenting style has a great deal to do with the way our kids turn out, however that is not the only thing. Factors such as friend circle and life events play an important part although they are not in our control. Nevertheless, there are few things we can do so they will have a strong foundation to succeed in their lives.

Acknowledge and give them attention

When your kids demand your attention, give it to them 100%. I know we are always multi-tasking but it is imperative that kids get our attention when they seek it. Giving attention means that you listen and take them seriously, it will make them feel that ‘what they think’ and ‘who they are’ is important to you, it helps them build confidence, a sense of being loved and elevates their self-respect.

Show them empathy and teach compassion

Teaching kids to feel the pain of others and show love toward others are a critical social skill we need to help them develop. One way to do that is by guiding them in the situation where empathy and compassion are needed. If one child is sick or hurt, ask the other siblings to be kind to the sick child and show empathy by putting themselves in their sick brother/sister’s shoes. You will be surprised how it impacts the kids.

Set rules and enforce them

We set many rules, however, implementing them can be challenging, especially rules like bed time, meal time, cleaning up toys, etc. I have come to realize that some rules can be set by your child (of course with your guidance) and this will encourage them to adhere to them.

In order to set a rule for ‘bed time’, let your child pick the time (guide them if the timing is inappropriate). This will encourage the child to think they are in control of their actions and in turn will reduce your bed time stress as well. Warning – Don’t make them feel that they are the ruler of the house.

Be a role model

We are our child’s first role models. As people say ‘Children do as they see, not as they’re told’. Be the person you are guiding your child to be.

If you want your child to show empathy, show it yourself.  When you show empathy and love towards your family and friends, kids tend to pick that up. If you hear sad news, be sure to discuss it with your kids and let them know how it is impacting you, so they know feeling sad for someone’s pain is not bad, it is the right thing to do.

If you want your child to follow rules, make sure you follow the rules. If you want your child to be kind, make sure you are demonstrating kindness.

Limit the media & set healthy boundaries

We know that too much screen time can have an adverse effect on a child’s social skills, which impacts their ability to love, and show empathy. As a parent, we need to set limits on screen exposure to encourage more face-to-face time with family and friends. And yes, it will not be an easy thing but we have to do it.

Encourage helping

As homemakers, we spend numerous hours in cleaning and organizing the house and our kids are aware of this fact. In order for them to get the habit of helping, we have to assign simple age specific chores to them.

This make them feel accomplished in doing something meaningful for the family and they become more confident and less dependent on others.

Tell them a story

Kids love stories especially about other kids being in a similar situation. Parents can use stories to explain and get their message across in an effective manner. Sometimes, stories can be used to let the child know about the expected behavior, for example, visit to the relative’s home (journey, acceptable behavior, using please and thank you etc.). If told in a story format, kids are able to visualize the sequence and can remember the take-aways from the story.

Having said all the above, each child is different, we can’t even raise  two of our own kids the same way. We can just guide our kids in the right direction and pray that they turn out to be responsible, loving, compassionate and confident adults.

About the Author:

Bushra Aafaqi is a Digital Marketing expert; she loves to stay on top of the digital industry trends and new updates. She enjoys reading every night and loves to cook on weekends.

She works full-time and enjoys spending time with her two beautiful kids while juggling the evening chaos between commute back home, kid’s recreational activities and getting dinner on the table. Above all, she loves to learn new things and new skills.

Image: FreePik

Teaching Your Children To Be Positive

By Mona Ismaeil

Teaching Your Children To Be Positive

It’s true that by nature some people are more optimistic than others but we can teach our children to have a positive attitude, and live a positive life. Our children will go through hardships and face adversity but it is the attitude they bring to each and every situation and the tools we provide them with that will make everything so much easier.

Celebrate Little Things

Help your child find joy in everyday things. This does not mean a party because they finished their dinner but if they do well on a spelling test let them know you are proud of them. If your child cleans up his toys even if you had to ask three times, in the end they did do it. Encouraging little steps will lead to increased confidence that greater tasks are not unreachable.

Leave Room For Grief

Although life is full of joys, there will be losses, pain and suffering, it is important to teach your child that ‘bad things’ will happen; that’s just fine and all will pass. Ensure your child knows that they have a safe place to open up and speak freely about their concerns, fears and pain. Ensure them that there is no shame in shedding tears. This is a natural relief of emotions and stress.  This concept is especially important for little boys as society tells them that grieving and crying is not appropriate.

Model Gratitude

The best way to be positive about a situation is to be grateful for we already have and know that Allah (swt) has blessed us in so many ways. It can be difficult but we should expose our children (within reason) to the hardships that are facing others in the world. Make it a habit to say ‘Alhamduallah’ for everything big and small. After grocery shopping point out to your child how grateful you are that you are able to buy healthy food. This will become an automatic way of thinking.

Reassure That They’ll Never Be Alone

Negativity usually stems from fear. Reassure your child that you will always be there for them. That they can always come to you to talk, cry, laugh or just ask a question. Also, it is extremely important that children understand that Allah (swt) is always close by. We should help our children build a strong relationship with Allah (swt). We must teach them to have Faith that no matter what.

In the Holy Qur’an; Surat Qaf (50:16) Allah (swt) says:

“And We have already created man and know what his soul whispers to him, and We are closer to him than [his] jugular vein.”

Be a Good Example

As they saying goes ‘monkey see, monkey do’. Children model exactly what we do and to teach them, to really teach them to be positive, we must be positive. The more we show our children that there are ups and downs in life and that we can face them head on with a smile, the more our children will face life’s ups and downs with a smile.

About the author:

Mona Ismaeil is the Associate Editor at MuslimMoms.ca and the proud owner of Modern Hejab, an Edmonton based online hijabs store. She is a new stay-at-home mom of a sweet little girl. Mona is also a former elementary school teacher turned blogger and writer.

Image credit: 123RF

Can Muslims Celebrate Halloween?

By Sadaf Afshan 

Can Muslims celebrate Halloween

Can Muslims celebrate Halloween ? How is Halloween perceived in Islam? There are some who argue that Halloween is a cultural holiday, with no religious significance and hence it’s ok to join in the “fun”. To make an informed decision, we need to understand the origin and traditions of this festival. 

Halloween: Pagan Origins

Halloween originated as the Eve of Samhain, among ancient pagans of the British Isles. It was a celebration marking the beginning of winter and the first day of the New Year. On this occasion, they believed that spirits from other worlds (such as the souls of the dead) were able to visit earth and roam about. At this time, they celebrated a joint festival for the sun god and the lord of the dead. The sun was thanked for the harvest and given moral support for the upcoming “battle” with winter. The pagans made sacrifices of animals and crops in order to please the Gods.They also believed that on October 31st, the lord of the dead gathered all the souls of the people who had died that year. The souls upon death would dwell in the body of an animal, then on this day the lord would announce what form they were to take for the next year.

Christian Influence

When Christianity came to the British Isles, the church tried to take attention away from these pagan rituals by placing a Christian holiday on the same day. The Christian festival, the Feast of All Saints, acknowledges the saints of the Christian faith in much the same way that Samhain had paid tribute to the pagan gods. The customs of Samhain survived anyway, and eventually became intertwined with the Christian holiday. These traditions were brought to the United States by immigrants from Ireland and Scotland.However, even today there are a number of God fearing Christians as well as Jews who object to Halloween, seeing it as more than a costume and candy day of fun for kids (and adults). They connect their disapproval to the pagan and Satanic origins of Halloween.

Halloween Customs and Traditions

Trick or Treating

It is widely believed that during the Feast of All Saints, peasants went from house to house asking for money to buy food for the upcoming feast. Additionally, people dressed in costumes would often play tricks on their neighbors. Blame for the resulting chaos was placed on “spirits and goblins.”

Bobbing for apples and other games: The ancient pagans used divination techniques to foresee the future. There were various methods of doing this, and many have continued through traditional games, often played at children’s park.

Images of bats, black cats, etc.: These animals were believed to communicate with the spirits of the dead. Black cats especially were believed to house the souls of witches.

Jack-O’-Lantern: The Irish brought the Jack-O’-Lantern to North America. The tradition is based on a legend about a stingy, drunken man named Jack. Jack played a trick on the devil, then made the devil promise not to take his soul. The devil, upset, promised to leave Jack alone. When Jack died, he was turned away from Heaven because he was a stingy, mean drunk. Desperate for a resting place, he went to the devil but the devil also turned him away. Stuck on earth on a dark night, Jack was lost. The devil tossed him a lighted coal from the fire of Hell, which Jack placed inside a turnip as a lamp to light his way. Since that day, he has traveled the world over with his Jack-O’-Lantern in search of a resting place. Irish children carved out turnips and potatoes to light the night on Halloween. When the Irish came to America in great numbers in the 1840′s, they found that a pumpkin made an even better lantern, and this “American tradition” came to be.

Islamic Perspective

Thus, we see that all Halloween traditions are based either in ancient pagan culture, or in Christianity. From an Islamic point of view, they all are forms of shirk. As Muslims, our celebrations are the two Eids that honour and uphold our faith and beliefs. How can we worship only Allah, the Creator, if we participate in activities that are based in pagan rituals and the spirit world ? Many people participate in these celebrations without even understanding the history and the pagan connections, just because their friends are doing it, and because “it’s fun!”

As parents, what can we do, when our children see others dressed up, eating candy, and going to parties? While it may be tempting to join in, we must be careful to preserve our own traditions and not allow our children to be corrupted by this seemingly innocent and harmless fun. When tempted, remember the pagan origins of these traditions, and ask Allah to give you strength.

Make the Eid celebrations a special time for fun and games. Try to engage children in other activities on Halloween Day so that they don’t feel that they are missing out on the fun. Some scholars state that if kids come to your house and ask for candies and you happen to have a treat, you can give them something and wish them a safe night. This is not a form of celebration in their opinion, rather it is good manners to not let those knocking on our door leave empty handed, and it makes us more accepted and trusted by our neighbors.

If you have young kids and feel that they might be tempted by looking at all the trick and treaters, it’s recommended that you shut off the lights in your front porch and keep yourself away from all such activities. And Allah knows best.

 

About the author:

Sadaf Afshan is an editor at MuslimMoms.ca

 

What is your opinion about celebrating Halloween ? Please share your views in the comments section below.

How to Raise A Righteous Child

By Sumaira Zaheer

Image: Salam Stock

Subhan’Allah, as Muslims, we recite the Adhan into their ears of our children as soon as they are born so that the first words they hear are those of Islam. As our children grow up, it is our duty to educate our children about Islam; but we must do so with so with love and kindness. Our goal should be to teach our children about our religion, in a loving matter, and in a way that will create righteous children. Furthermore, our objective should be to show our children that Islam has all the answers, and within Islam you will find peace. The following are five key tips to keep in mind when bringing up our children as righteous Muslims.

The 5 Pillars of Islam

Our children need to have the knowledge and understanding of the five pillars of Islam, for it is this very knowledge that will provide a foundation for our children’s lives.

Declaration of Faith (Shahadah) – The belief that there is only one God (Allah) , and Muhammad (may peace be upon him) is his messenger.

Prayer (Salaah) - As Muslims we are obligated to pray five times a day: Fajr, Zuhr, Asr, Maghrib, and Isha.

Charity (Zakah) – We must give a percentage of our wealth to the needy and less fortunate.

Fasting (Sawm) – Fasting in the month of Ramadan is obligatory for all healthy Muslims.

Pilgrimage (Hajj) – Hajj is the pilgrimage to Makkah made by Muslims that are financially and physically able to do so.

Islam is a way of life

It is our duty as parents to teach our children that Islam plays a huge role in our daily lives; we must speak, eat, dress, and act in an Islamic matter. For instance, as Muslims we should try to say Alhumdulillah, Masha’Allah, and Insha’Allah whenever it is appropriate; and we must eat with our right hand, and drink sitting down in addition to eating halal foods and abstaining from haram foods. We must also take care to dress modestly, and talk to others in a respectful manner.

Reading the Holy Quran

It is important to teach our children how to read the Holy Quran at an early age, for the younger the children are, the easier it will be for them to learn the Arabic alphabet. In addition, we should strive to teach our children to read with Tajweed; if you feel as if you are not able to give your child proper instructions on how to do this, you can contact your local mosque to enquire about Quran classes. Equally important, is  teaching our children the meaning of what is written in the Holy Quran, for when we read the Quran while knowing the meaning it brings peace to our hearts and soul.

Salaat

Once children learn how to read the Quran, they will be able to memorize how to pray Salaat. Before that, we should make it a habit to have our children pray with us, or at least observe us in prayer. We need to teach our children that praying is an act of worship; they should also know that when we make dua at the end of our daily prayers, we are asking for forgiveness and seeking guidance from Allah SWT.

Be a role model

All these things are rendered ineffective if we do not practice them ourselves. We will be our children’s first role models; therefore our children will learn most, if not all, of their habits from us. We must be aware of our actions, and take note of how we are behaving in front of our children. We must practice ahsan Islamic behaviour if want our children to become righteous children. If we practise Islam from our hearts, insha’Allah our children will too.

 

About the author:

Sumaira Zaheer is bringing up her three children in Edmonton. She blogs at themuslimahmommy.com

 

Ramadan For Children In Canada

By Muneezah Jawad

Ramadan For Kids

Growing up in Dubai, one could simply not miss the arrival of Ramadan – it was evident in street decorations, in grocery store sales, in schools and just about everywhere else.

My parents didn’t have to make too much of an effort to make sure I understood its significance. For one whole month, the whole country got into the Ramadan spirit. Restaurants closed all day and were open all night. No one was allowed to been seen eating out doors during daylight hours or you would be fined. Offices had shorter working hours. My school had a special room for the non-fasting kids to go to during lunch hours and those fasting would be allowed out of gym and physically exhausting activities. All in all, the world revolved around us and Ramadan.

I love Canada and feel blessed to be in a country with such a large Muslim population. Mosques, Islamic schools and halal restaurants can be found at every corner! However I feel that my children are missing out on the nuances of Ramadan. It needs to be celebrated because here is a joyous month where our good deeds are multiplied and people strive to be the best version of themselves.

For a lot of us, what made Ramadan special was the atmosphere and our families. Since most of us have left family behind and our routines do not change here, how do we ensure our children eagerly await and participate in Ramadan as we did?

In the kitchen

All children love to cook. From chopping, dicing, mixing and laying the table, involving the children in preparation of the food achieves many things. It shows them that both women and men should work in the kitchen. There is no stigma in it. It also encourages team work amongst even the most squabbling of siblings. It teaches them to resist temptation and makes it more challenging by handling food and not being able to eat rather than just sleeping through the day. It makes them feel genuinely needed – honestly, with the long summer fasts we are having I am grateful for an extra set of hands to peel a few potatoes and they can see they were really being useful.

Ramadan menu for Iftaar and Suhoor is always different than other months, we make special food and snacks. In our house these include samosas, pakoras and rolls. These deep fried delicacies rarely show up during other months and children love them and look forward to it eagerly each year.

One thing that I particularly missed is neighbors sending us Iftaar. Almost every other evening a half hour before sunset the doorbell would ring and my dad would bring in a tray the neighbor had delivered filled with goodies.  For the past two years I have taken to sending Iftaar out to our Muslim friends who are nearby. Iftaar distribution day is an eventful one for us with the kids running around, helping package dates, filling up and labelling food containers and arranging them in trays. Then we pile into our car two hours before iftaar and kids deliver the meals. It teaches them the joy of sharing food in Ramadan and also about how to love and take care of others.

Charity

We all know that all our good deeds multiply during this blessed month. This is the perfect time to teach children how to give to the needy and appreciate what they have. My children are encouraged to donate their pocket money to the mosque. We go on weekly grocery shopping trips and load up on staples like rice, oil and flour, then we go fill up an empty food bin for one of the Muslim organizations.  Something about watching an empty food bin fill up makes their eyes light up. When I tell them how many families it will feed they are astonished and humbled.

Charity does not have to be about money. It could be about donating your time. We spent an entire afternoon at the ISNA mosque preparing 520 Ramadan food hampers for their food bank. Four hours of standing continuously doing physical work while fasting and my children didn’t complain once. They were so dedicated and determined. When the job was done and they saw the mass of food hampers they helped create, their pride in themselves could not be contained.

Ramadan For Kids

Spiritual development

Ramadan is the month where the Quran was revealed to the Prophet (pbuh) for the first time. It is a time for us to strive to strengthen our faith. Those who are not diligent in prayers make sure to fulfill their religious obligations. People go to the mosque for taraweeh and tahajjud. They stay up nights praying and reading the Quran. They pray incessantly and ask for Allah to forgive them and bless them.

A pleasant difference I have found here from Dubai and even Pakistan is that women go to the mosque. I had never stepped into a masjid in Dubai for the purpose of praying. Here we try to go for Jumuah prayers every week. During Ramadan, there are  babysitting services for younger kids to facilitate mothers who want to go for taraweeh. There are numerous camps and courses for children of all ages at the mosques. Introduce your children to the mosque and make them familiar with it. Have them volunteer at the community iftaars or even take down some food during iftaar time and open your fast there and share your food with the others. Take them late during the last 10 nights. Explain to them their significance and show them the people standing all night in prayer. The mosque is alive and aglow those nights.

At home devote time to pray, sit and read the Koran together. Pick a Surah from the Koran and explain its meaning and relevance. Close or limit TV time and instead play games revolving around Ramadan. Make this month different from your regular routine and take advantage of the fact that the kids are off for the summer. A lot of nights my children have stayed up till suhoor just to play around and then slept in till 1 pm. It is all about making it fun, making it special so that every year they look forward to it.

We have to make the extra effort to make sure our children grow to love Ramadan and don’t see it as a hindrance to their activities. They have to feel pride at their participation and they have to understand why it is an important month. It is our job as parents to fill in the gap that living in Canada has created and to enhance the opportunities it has given us to fulfill our religious duties.

 

About the author:

Muneezah Jawad is the Social Media Manager at MuslimMoms.ca.

Tell us how you involve your children in Ramadan, are there any special traditions you follow. Do you have to struggle to get your children excited and interested in this blessed month? We look forward to hearing about your experiences.  

 

Five Ramadan Activities – A Must For Every Muslim Mom

By Hafsa Taher

ramadan banner

The holiest of months is finally here. Most often, in households with young kids, we find that the little ones are left out of the whole Ramadan experience. They watch their elders and learn from them, but there should be other ways to get them into the spirit of things and more involved in celebrating Ramadan.

It’s not just about abstaining from eating and drinking during daylight; there is so much more to Ramadan. Here are five activities and crafts that can make this Ramadan as memorable for the young ones as for their elders.

Welcome Ramadan

Ramadan preparation for the kids in our house means making a “Welcome Ramadan” banner and ordering a “Welcome Ramadan” chocolate cake. As kids devour the cake, I find it a perfect opportunity to start conversations about what Ramadan means to them. We start with discussing the banner we made and then move on to other topics related to the month.

The best part about this banner is that it is perfect for all ages. The kids can be as creative as they want – or parents can make it as quickly and simply as they want. welcome Ramadan

You can make your own welcome Ramadan banner by downloading this simple template here. You can also download a professionally designed Ramadan Banner by Sakinah Design.

I feel this is really important because you want your child to know that Ramadan and Eid are very special holidays for Muslims just like other non-Muslim holidays are for the other children they know. Take time to decorate and prepare your home for Ramadan and Eid.

Ramadan Calendar

To make each day fun and interesting, make a 30 days calendar, Advent-style. Last year we made 30 paper cones using construction paper and taped them to a poster board. The paper cones were numbered, so on day 1, I would place a task / challenge for my niece to complete or a treat for her.

Ramadan Calendar

Jannah Steps has compiled a list where you can buy one easily or make it yourself.  Here are some Amazing Ramadan Advent Calendar Ideas.

Ramadan Crafts

Download printable and craft activities for kids to do during Ramadan.

MyRamadanFun.com has a great collections of crafts for all ages. If you are a Pinterest-er, you  can follow my Free Printables board.

Good Deeds Jar

Based on your child’s age, brainstorm a list of good deeds they can do. Write them on individual slips of paper – 30 in total. Throw them in a jar, and every day the child picks a good deed to do for that day and one for each of the 29/30 days in Ramadan.

Good Deeds Jar

Good Deeds Jar

Prepare for Eid!

Eid preparation should really be done now and not during the last 10 nights. Decide on what you and family will wear, Eid gifts to buy – get it done now!  Have your children help you make shopping lists, shop and pack gifts. Prophet Mohammed (saws) said, giving gifts increases love. Save something they really want for Eid.

Here are my Top 6 Eid Gift picks.

The Prophet Muhammad (saws) said:

“Upon death, man’s deeds will stop except for three deeds, namely: a continuous charitable fund, endowment or goodwill; knowledge left for people to benefit from; and a pious righteous and God-fearing child who continuously prays to Allah, for the souls of his parents.”

- Muslim

May Allah (SWT) help us raise children who love his deen, who are God-fearing and amongst the leaders of this ummah. Ameen. Wishing you all a productive and blessed Ramadan!

About the author:

Hafsa Taher is the founder of HafsaCreates, an online store for handmade greeting cards, card-making kits and tutorials. Crafting for over 10 years, her goal is to make card making convenient, easy and fun for all. Check out her Ramadan blog at MyRamadanFun. You can also follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr and Instagram.

Do you have some more craft and ideas to involve your little ones in Ramadan festivities? Do share with us on our special Ramadan forum.

Jum’uah With Kids: You Can Do It!

By Aaisha Zafar Islam

Image: SalamStock

Image: SalamStock

 

With summer vacations and the Holy Month of Ramadhan starting together this year, it is a great time to make sure you keep your children connected to the deen and foster a healthy sense of community in them.

Friday, or Jum’uah is the one day that has a whole chapter in the Qur’an named after it. Allah swt Himself has emphasized the importance of this congregational prayer in the Qur’an:

O ye who believe! When the call is proclaimed to prayer on Friday (the Day of Assembly, yawm al-jumʿua), hasten earnestly to the Remembrance of Allah, and leave off business (and traffic): That is best for you if ye but knew!
And when the Prayer is finished, then may ye disperse through the land, and seek of the Bounty of Allah: and celebrate the Praises of Allah often (and without stint): that ye may prosper.

—Qur’an, Chapter 62 (Al-Jum’uah), verse 9-10

Taking children to the mosque for Friday prayers can be a daunting task, more so if they are young ones under the age or five. However it is important to keep them connected to their religious roots right from the start. Here are some pointers on making your next Jum’uah in the mosque prayers an easy one.

Preparing for Jum’uah

The Prophet (SAWS) has mentioned special preparations be made for Jum’uah prayers:

O Muslims! Allah swt has made this day a day of Eid. So have a bath on this day, whoever has perfume should apply it, and use the Miswaak.

- (Ibn Maajah)

As parents, it is important to lead by example. If you make an effort to show how special the day is and establish a routine of bathing and wearing clean clothes to go to the mosque, chances are your kids would get in the spirit as well. They have to learn to celebrate the day and accord it the right respect.

Make sure that they have eaten or snacked so hunger doesn’t make them restless during prayers. Give them something healthy and filling instead of sugar-laden cookies or soda. You will need them nourished and settled, not bouncing off the mosque walls in a sugar rush!

Children will have the urge to use the washroom just as the jamaat is about to begin. After bathing them and just before getting out of the house, make sure they’re done with all their needs to last through at least an hour. Change your toddlers diapers at the last moments. Next you can perform your own wudhu and if your children are of appropriate age, supervise their ablutions as well.

In the mosque

While it is good to bring some small toys to the mosque to keep your toddler busy, please refrain from bringing toys or rattles that make a loud noise and disturb other prayers. Dolls and soft toys should NOT be brought to the mosque. I was once aghast when I went for a Jum’uah and saw a toddler pushing her doll in a toy stroller. Yes, we all have them and let our kids play with them, but need we bring such items to the mosque? It doesn’t matter how attached your child may be to her doll or teddy, she can surely stay away from it for the duration of the jamaat?

If you absolutely have to bring a snack to the mosque to keep your child or toddler busy, please make sure it is nut-free and not something that makes a huge mess. Sticky candies and chocolates, cream biscuits should not be brought as a snack to the mosque. And if you do bring in something to eat for your child, keep some extra to offer to other children as well.

Leave the bright/lit spots and spaces under the fan for ladies with little kids. The first time I took my one year old daughter for Jum’uah, we could only find space in a dark spot where it got stuffy. Needless to say it was one long prayer! These are highly coveted spots, but as Muslims we should spare a thought for new mothers and their comfort as well. We should facilitate and appreciate that they have brought their little ones for prayers, instead of ostracizing them. The mosque is for everyone.

You are in the house of Allah swt, nothing else is important, respect the sanctity of a mosque and switch off your cell phones. Silent mode does not count. Also avoid checking on your social media as you wait for the jama’at to begin. You can last that long without connectivity, focus on connecting with your Rabb. Also, do NOT give your cellphones to the kids as a means to keep them occupied.

The mosque is not a place to wear make up! Yes, you should make an effort to come for Jum’uah prayers, it does not mean copious lashings of mascara and the brightest lip possible. We are not here to judge, but loud make up is distracting in a mosque. Same goes for fragrances. The Prophet (SAWS) did say that applying itr was mustahab, not that others in your vicinity should gag on it!

Little Acts of Kindness

Be kind to the little ones. Kids will be kids, they will run around, wiggle through and in between feet, cry, yell, shout and on occasion poke their fingers in places they should not. As adults it is our responsibility to keep them safe. However be gentle on them. Do not admonish them or scold them, reserve your remarks for their guardians to be more vigilant. If they have been busy praying, be more considerate. Mind their child instead of scaring them to cry up a storm! A smile never hurt a child and it is a sadaqah, an easy way to earn your daily quota of hasanat.

Make an effort to come early and stay a while in the mosque. Hurrying to and from the mosque teaches our children that praying in the mosque is an obligation to be performed quickly and cursorily. Again, lead by example, come early enough to listen to the Khutbah, pray and then complete your prayers after the congregation is over. Hurrying out the door as soon as the imam says salam and rushing out is plain bad manners, to others and mostly to Allah swt, the One who created you.

Things happen, as you come to the mosque, you will be met with red signals, traffic snarls, no parking spots left or little children blocking your way as they hop and skip to the mosque. Keep calm, you are with your brothers and sisters in faith and need to be patient with them. All the while remember those tiny faces that are eyeing you for modelling their behaviours on in the coming years.

Scores of believers bowing before Allah in unison is a soul-stirring sight. Being able to participate in it is a privilege, learn and teach your kids to treat it as a way of coming closer to Allah and fellow Muslims as well as strengthen your own ties to deen.

 

About the author:

Aaisha Zafar Islam is the executive editor of MuslimMoms.ca. These are observations culled from her own trips to the mosque.

 

What are your tried and tested safe-ways to take your children for Jum’uah prayers? Do you have any pointers to share with other Muslim Moms? Head over to our forums for a lively discussion on all matters parenting and deen.

 

 

With Caution, for Muslim Parents

By Rumina Rizvi
Child Abuse 
As Muslim parents, we have an obligation to bring up our kids in the best manner, to teach them right from wrong and to show them what Allah SWT, parents, as well as the society expects from them.

It was narrated that ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) said: I heard the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) say:

“Each of you is a shepherd and each of you is responsible for his flock. The ruler is a shepherd and is responsible for his flock. A man is the shepherd of his household and is responsible for his flock. A woman is the shepherd of her husband’s house”.

- Bukhaari, 853; Muslim, 1829 

Kids see strangers every day . Most of these strangers may seem nice but few may not be. Parents need to protect children from dangerous situations by teaching them about strangers, suspicious behaviour and by taking a few precautions of their own.
Ibn al-Qayyim (may Allah have mercy on him) said:

Whoever neglects to teach his son that which will benefit him, and ignores him, has done something very bad indeed. Most children go astray because of their parents who neglect them and fail to teach them the duties and Sunnahs of their religion. They neglect them when they are young so they do not benefit themselves or benefit their parents when they grow up. 

 - Tuhfat al-Ahwadhi, p. 229 

There’s a list of things that needs to be taught to kids from a very young age to develop into a habit. Basics first.

1. A girl child should be taught to avoid sitting next to a male acquaintance and also on the lap of any male . It would teach them to develop basic modesty and maintaining distance from men at an early age.

 

2. As a parent, we would need to dress them modestly. It’s important to cover the Awrah of girls from a young age to develop into a habit for later on.

 

3. If and when your child complains of an individual person or a group of people, take it seriously and be cautious. Speak out to your child and don’t keep quiet about it.

 

4. If you notice your child becoming quiet or withdrawn from being a lively active child, you must TALK patiently and softly  asking questions for their displeasure.

 

5. Don’t forcibly take your child to visit someone (adult) if he/she not is comfortable with and if you do then you must observe and never leave the child out of your sight. Also be observant if your child becomes too fond of someone in particular. One must keep this notion for surveillance.

 

6. Children should be well aware of their private parts. They should also be taught how to wash them properly. Warn them to NEVER allow anyone else to touch or see those areas except for you yourself, someone you trust like a grandparent or a doctor in your presence. In case anyone  tries to touch any part of their body inappropriately, they must immediately say ‘No’ loudly or shout out to get attention of another individual. They should not be scared to report to their parents, teachers or any adult they see around (in case a teacher or parent isn’t available).

 

7. Teach children to trust their instincts. Explain if they ever feel scared or uncomfortable, they should get away as fast as they can and talk to an adult they trust. Tell them that sometimes adults they know may make them feel uncomfortable, and they should still get away as fast as possible and tell someone what happened. Reassure children that you will help them when they need it.

 

8. Parents should be cautious of possible dangerous situations. This will help them in dealing with strangers as well as with known adults who may not have good intentions. Help children identify the warning signs of suspicious behaviour, such as when an adult asks them to disobey their parents or do something without permission, asks them to keep a secret, asks children for help, or makes them uncomfortable in any way. Teach them to find a trusted adult right away to tell what happened.

 

Show your children safe places to play, safe roads and paths to take, and safe places to go in case of trouble.

 

9. Develop their confidence in you, so that they can share everything with you. For that you have to be attentive when they speak. Listen to their activities at school and outside. Ask questions. When your child wants to talk to you, shun all your work, TV, phone aside and be attentive. That will increase their trust and confidence.

 

10. You must keep a check on the content of what they see and read. Ensure parental locks on cable networks and website contents. Moreover the books the child gets, or those assigned by  schools should be monitored as well. Parents should not hesitate to enter the child’s room. Discuss openly about things not being appropriate for them with logical explanations. Don’t shy away from answering their questions. You need to address issues with them in a mature way, while building their trust in you.

 

11. Try and avoid adult talks and jokes in front of children. Ladies giggling and passing remarks on clothing or mannerisms  may intrigue a child’s mind to notice those things. When a boy is ten years or older, he should not be allowed to enter a place where women are gathered, especially if they are with their beautiful attires and have adorned in make-up and jewelry.

 

“O you who believe! Let your slaves and the children among you who have not come to the age of puberty ask your permission (before they come to your presence), on three occasions: before Morning Prayer (Fajr), and when you put off your clothes for the noon rest, and after the late-night prayer (Isha). These three times are of privacy for you, outside these times, there is no sin on you or on them to move about, attending to each other. Thus Allah makes clear the Signs to you. And Allah is All-Knowing, All-Wise.” [Qur'an 24:58]
12. When children are old enough to differentiate between right and wrong,  understand and follow directions, usually around the age of seven, they should ask permission before entering a room. This should be emphasized at times when the parent(s) is usually undressed, bathing or changing clothes. This teaches them decency and helps to protect from accidentally stumbling upon sights that may prove uncomfortable to both.

 

13. It is very important that the child should fear Allah’s Punishment if he commits this abominable sin. Allah says:
And those who invoke not with Allah any other god, nor kill such life as Allah has forbidden, except for just cause, nor commit illegal sexual intercourse; and whoever does this shall receive the punishment. The torment will be doubled to him on the Day of Resurrection, and he will abide therein in disgrace.“ [Qur'an 25:68-69]
14. Connecting children to religious backgrounds. Parents should teach children Islamic culture and values. They should also know the social norms in a Muslim community and the way social activities and gatherings are performed according to the Islamic Values.

 

15. We need to carefully educate children about  right values of sex according to their age . If we won’t talk about these matters, they might learn wrong values from other sources. The correct attitude should be to give children the right sexual education, one that is derived from the Qur’an and the Sunnah.

 

Instilling moral & values with love for Allah, Prophets, Sahabas, and the great heroes of Islam will teach strength and perform good when alone. The realization of self-discipline and concern for doing righteousness whether they’re alone or in group. The above stated practices are just means to achieve this end.

 

About the Author:

Mother to two wonderful kids, Rumina Rizvi works for an Islamic Education Academy, catering to a large community of Muslims, conducting Quranic and Islamic studies. She also works with New Muslim Care Halton Chapter for our New Muslim Revert brothers and sisters and feels privileged to be living in this part of world, learning and exploring knowledge of Deen and contributing to her community.

Do you have any other tips to keep children safe from abuse? Please share them in the comments section or on our forum. 

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By Sadaf Afshan

Smartphone-parents-007

Status updates can wait. This parenting article can be read later. It’s not important to take a dozen photos of our kids every day or comment on every photo that our friends post. As Moms the only thing that holds precedence is to nurture and cherish each moment of our children’s growing years.

How often have we been guilty of saying, ‘Let me finish this’ while they are all excited to tell us about what they did at school?  As we continue to read about all those wonderful tips on how to raise a happy kid on our smartphones, the poor kids turn away disappointed and slump in front of the TV or tablet.

While our children squeal with glee at the playground we are busy glued to our screens instead of cherishing that moment of togetherness. In some families, even mealtimes, which are said to be the most important time for bonding as a family, are not free from distractions presented by cellphones.

Teaching Our Kids the Attitude of Gratitude

By Fariha Asif

Thanks to Allah

Gratitude means being able to feel blessed for all that you have and if that displays in your everyday routine and your gestures that’s is an attitude of gratitude.

As Muslims we know how much Allah emphasizes on being grateful not only to Him but the people around us as well. As narrated by Abu Hurairah,Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) said:

“Who ever does not thank people does not thank Allah.” (Ahmad, Tirmidhi)