Alhamdulillah Ramadan has come once again.
It is a really very special time for us Muslims around the world.
It’s the time we get closer and closer to our Lord. It is the time for spiritual healing. It is also the time for asking for forgiveness. One who can really benefit from this holy month will be blessed with the forgiveness of all of his past sins Insha’Allah.
Our children necessarily realize the change in the month of Ramadan. They pay close attention to this change. They ask many questions.
So how should we help children understand and love Ramadan? The following are some steps to prepare children for Ramadan.
Tell our children, first, what Ramadan is in Islam and its importance for Muslims in general terms. That it is a worship for one month every year, that Allah loves those who fast and gives blessings in abundance, and that fasting helps Muslims in this life, too, with many benefits.
Compare the arrival of Ramadan to your kids’ cousins or best friends coming with some gifts and staying over in your house. Of course you should do some extra things with your kids during Ramadan like games, fun activities, and eid preparations so that they can enjoy their days in Ramadan.
Explain them the reason for fasting. The good pleasure of Allah being in the first place, tell them about the wisdoms behind the month of Ramadan. We better understand the value of foods, notice the poor people’s needs, our stomachs rest and our bodies become healthier.
Read about the Ramadan days of our Prophet (asw), his companions and his grandchildren.
Help the children feel the excitement of the time for breaking the fast. Show your thankfulness to Allah in an open way and tell how happy you are for the time of iftar. Yes, just as our stomach and body, after a day of hunger, become happy when they get food, we too must express this plainly with our tongue too. State how delicious is every type of food and thank again for them to Allah.
Go to masjid with your kids. (Obviously this is not possible right now due to Covid-19 but at least get them to pray with you at home. You can make a small masjid at home with a few prayer mats easily.)
Propose them to fast for a short period of time in the day – which is called “tekne orucu” in Turkish. It can be from lunch time till iftar. This works quite well for smaller children. Thanks to this small fasting children get use to fasting much earlier than they reach the age of religious obligation.
Make them realize foods are a lot more delicious when you are hungry. Water is much sweeter when you are thirsty. This will help them understand the value of the blessings and be thankful to Allah.
Have a tafakkur with family members at the time of iftar when everything is ready and you are waiting for the adhan. Although the foods are all on the table and you “can” actually eat if you wish but you “cannot”; this means these blessings are not ours in reality but created for us by our Creator. This will really help your children to realize the greatness of Allah and the value of precious gifts He created for us. This will lead Insha’Allah to the love of Allah in their hearts.
May Allah help us and our children to be among the Muslims who truly spend Ramadan days in the way that Allah is pleased with! May Allah accept our fasts and other worships in Ramadan! May Allah forgive all of our sins at the end of Ramadan!