بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
By Sadaf Farooqi
Some more practical ways to ingrain the belief of Allah’s oneness into children’s minds and hearts are as follows:
During Pain, Sorrow, Illness, Loss, and Calamity
Children ask a lot of questions whenever they behold any kind of grief, illness, destruction, or pain, for example, upon seeing a dead cat run over by a car, watching people cry at a funeral, hearing about acts of violence, getting news of natural disasters around the world, or witnessing a family member writhing in pain due to disease.
At such times, children come to adults with a simple question, “Why does this happen?”
These are golden opportunities to teach children about tauheed, by explaining how Allah decrees loss, pain, illness, death, and grief for a purpose. Children should be taught why:
- Bad things happen for apparently no reason;
- Why Allah makes people endure painful events and happenings;
- Why death, sorrow, calamity, and hardship are interspersed into our lives along with phases of wellbeing, joy, ease, and abundance.
- Allah decrees pain for some people in order for others to come forward and help them, and earn numerous rewards.
- It makes us appreciate our blessings, and cherish them even more.
- It enables us to turn to Allah with humility, and repent to Him, as bad times bring a slave closer to His Lord like good times never can.
- Allah wants us to express gratitude to Him for the good times that come after phases of hardship are over.
Teaching children the positives of hardship and suffering is also important at such times. For example, you can tell them:
Teaching and training children to turn only to Allah during any kind of painful or tough period in life is a crucial lesson that should be imparted to them by adults at the appropriate time.
This will guide children to believe, without a shadow of a doubt, that only Allah can decree as well as alleviate all suffering, pain, loss, and grief, and that no one else has even an iota of power or control to do this.
While Observing Nature and Creation
Children love to marvel at everything they observe almost as soon as they are born.
Every single object that they behold is nothing short of a unique wonder for them at this stage, due to which they gaze at it with a combination of curiosity, awe, and amazement. This is simply because they are seeing it for the first time.
An example is the way an infant looks at a swirling ceiling fan with a wide-eyed, transfixed gaze, or the way a toddler tries to grab hold of running tap water with his hand, repeatedly, in a naive effort to ‘hold’ the thick ‘rod’ of running water.
Whether it is the sun, moon, stars, animals and birds, trees, grass, sea, sand, mountains, clouds, sky, stones, mud, rain, or any other natural creation of Allah, children ask incessant questions regarding the natural things that they observe during the first 5-10 years of their lives.
Whenever they ask such questions, parents and other adults should teach them about tauheed: that only Allah created all these things. This is in order to make the earth a lovely place for us to dwell in, by using these things for our benefit, or simply to behold them and feel amazed by their picturesque beauty.
Children should be taught that every little or large created thing (animate or non-living) has an extremely complex and intricate process of birth (which children study under “science”), and that, if the birth process of these created objects can be so complex, then how great must be the god Who created them all, including the innumerable objects in other galactic universes that we do not even know of?
Lessons such as these will add to the amazement that children feel about the greatness of Allah as the Creator and originator of everything. They will grow up believing that He is the only god whose greatness and powers are supreme; they are unfathomable and unsurpassable beyond our wildest imagination.
When they will be in awe of Allah, they will feel even more submissive and humble before His majesty as they bow and prostrate to Him during their acts of worship.
Conclusion: Capitalize on the Formative Years
Childhood is a golden phase of learning and absorption of moral values from the environment. It is also a phase that passes very quickly and never comes back. Therefore, inculcating a strong belief in the oneness of Allah into a Muslim child’s heart is the most pivotal parenting task to accomplish successfully during childhood.
Nothing else regarding a child’s education and moral training comes even close in comparison to the importance of achieving this goal.
Read Part 1 of this article here: http://blog.iiph.com/raising-children-upon-tauheed-part-1/
Sadaf Farooqi is an accomplished author and writer. She is the author of Traversing the Highs and Lows of Muslim Marriage published by IIPH. She has written for several online and print Islamic publications, such as Saudi Gazette, and Hiba Magazine. She also has her own blog, Sadaf’s Space.
© IIPH 2014
(No copyright infringement intended, image taken from www.flickr.com)