By Ruhaifa Adil
Hajj project by Sulayman Ali Samir
Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem
Alhamdulillah, the ten blessed days of Dhul Hijjah have arrived! These days are not only a great time to amass good deeds for ourselves, but also a great time to help our children gain a better understanding of Hajj and Eid-ul-Adha and the spirit behind it!
Here are some ideas for activities that you can do during these days and in preparation for Eid
1- Stories of Ibrahim (as) and Ismail (as)
Children love to hear stories! Every night, relate to them the marvellous stories of how the Kaaba was built, how Ibrahim (as) was willing to sacrifice his son, and how the Zamzam well came into being. Teach them that to be Khaleelullah (the friend of Allah) you need to trust Him completely and obey Him at all times.
2- Memorize the Talbiyah and Takbeer
Help the kids to memorize the talbiyah and takbeer by reciting it or playing it in the car or at home. Discuss what it means as well to give them a better understanding.
3- See the Hajj – Live!
Show your children the live transmission of tawaf (circumambulation of Kaaba), umrah and Hajj being performed. Talk to them about it as well. Relate to them your own experience if you have been for the pilgrimage.
4- Pretend to be Hajjis
Dress up your children in ihram, and explain to them what they can and cannot do in this state. Elaborate the different rituals of hajj through a role play activity or a craft activity.
5- Taking Care of Animals
If possible, buy your animals a week before the sacrifice and teach your children how to take care of them in the best possible way. Encourage them to play with the animals and love them because these will be a gift (offering) for Allah, and He deserves to be sent the best of what we have to give.
6- Go Shopping for the Fodder
Take your children to buy food for the animals so that they have greater involvement in taking care of them. Help them choose the better and more costly feed, if possible, to show them that you give the best to Allah.
7- Various Hajj and Eid Crafts
Help your children make various crafts such as a model of the Kaaba, Eid cards for their family members, or Hajj cards for the relatives who have embarked on this blessed journey this month. There are some very creative ideas and templates online that can be fun as well as a great source of learning for the kids.
8- Good Deeds’ Chart
The Prophet (sa) said: “There are no days in which righteous deeds are more beloved to Allah than these ten days.” (Ibn Majah, sound)
Make a chart of good deeds, and help the children tick off a good deed everyday! Come up with some innovative good deeds, such as surprising mom with a no-chore-today pass, or giving out gift packs to the poor, or even smiling at five people they don’t know in school or at the mosque.
9- Fasting on the Day of Arafah
It is narrated from Abu Qatadah that the Messenger of Allah (sa) said: “Fasting on the Day of Arafah, I hope from Allah, expiates for the sins of the year before and the year after.” (Ibn Majah, sound)
Help your children fast on the 9th of Dhul Hijjah. If your children are small, help them keep a mini-fast so that they feel involved.
10- Decorate the House
Get your children to help you to decorate the house for Eid! Show them that this is a special celebration! Let them make or buy small gifts for their siblings, parents, and grandparents if possible.
Ruhaifa Adil is a mother of four, a practising Muslimah, an avid reader, and a passionate writer. She works primarily as a trainer for mothers and teachers, advocating a multi sensorial, learner-centred approach, which she has learnt through her work as a remedial specialist for children with dyslexia. She is also an author of English textbooks, based on the teachings of the Qur’an (currently under editing), and creative director of a Tafseer app for kids (soon to be launched Insha’Allah).
© IIPH 2015