Helping our children to develop their Imaan
We can help our children to develop their Imaan (faith) in a variety of ways.
Sometimes, we could decide to have a discussion about an Islamic topic instead of spending that time watching the television or doing something else to pass the time together. This will also be setting an example to our children, as they will see that we ourselves are interested in speaking about Islamic topics, and it is not just something we are convincing them to do. Children learn from what they see around them.
We could also help them to establish a habit of reading the Qur’an daily, even if it is just for a short while. The regularity of this action will be beneficial for them, as opposed to reading large amounts on a rare occasion. They will also grow up feeling the importance of reading the Qur’an daily.
Together with reading the Qur’an, it is also important for them to understand the meaning. As it is only for a short while daily, there is more flexibility with when they can read. Perhaps we could give our children some options and then help them to choose out of them. They could decide to read when they wake up or before they go to bed. By establishing a routine, with the original intention to help our children, we will also be refreshing our own Imaan. Even when we are speaking to our children about the translation of parts of the Qur’an, or we are reading the Qur’an alongside them, we ourselves are building on our own Ibadah.
When our children are young, we could tell them to follow us as we pray. This will give them the opportunity to see how we pray and then copy us. They will also see the importance we give to prayer, seeing that it is indeed a huge part of our lives, and they will understand that it is not just another general task we are asking them to do.
When we speak to our children and perhaps compare them to others or give them examples of people, we could try to be more careful about who we suggest. We may not realise, but children pay close attention to these examples, so it will be far more beneficial for them if the examples we use are those who we ourselves are taught to follow in Islam.
For instance, we could give the example of Khadija (RA), or the Prophet (SAW) himself. This will also make our children become much more familiar with important people in Islam. Our children will feel like they know these people, instead of just perceiving them as people they read about or hear of. It will help to prevent the feeling of disconnection from our role models in Islam. In the same way, this is why it is so important to be careful of who our children watch on the television or who they read about in books, as unknowingly these people may become those who our children look up to.
May Allah make it easy for us to raise our children to be righteous and practising Muslims. Aameen.