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In the Name of God بسم الله

How To Teach Kids

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  • Advanced Member

Salam alaykum everyone

How do people go about teaching their young ones about Islam?

I have a 4 year old daughter, and although she copies praying (and uses a sibbeh!) I feel as though the conversations I have with her about Islam are bigger than her little brain.

Please don't move this topic into the family section - I want to know from other reverts!

Thanks

Kelly

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  • Advanced Member
I have the same problem.

My kids enjoy stories, and I've found that I do them better than the kids Islamic books that I've found - and I definitely do not have a knack as a storyteller, the books available are just not very good.

Teach by example, and pray for her guidance. :)

Have you considered joining us on the forum at www.revertmuslims.com? It is a growing community of reverts to Islam and born Muslims who are interested in issues that reverts face.

She wears hijab when she is "praying", so I guess I'm on the right path. Maybe you and I need to write some kids books :lol:

I have joined revertmuslims.com - I just don't get much time to be there. Insha'Allah I will be able to manage my time a little more easily soon.

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  • Veteran Member

I just heard a terrific speech by a scholar on this very subject. He said people often make the mistake of trying to dump Islam all at once on their children. Too much at once of anything can be very overwhelming even for adults and may cause your children to have unpleasant memories about their experience with religion which can lead them to abandon it when they grow up. The key is to feed them Islam little by little.

The Prophet (pbuh), for example, didn't force Islam in its entirety on the Arabs. Islam is a very difficult thing for anyone to adopt overnight. Its a complete and total lifestyle change. Thus, he started with prayers and then over time added things fasting and zakat and finished with hajj in the 10th year. Similarly start off kids with small things that have built in incentives like playing with water to teach them wuzo. As they grow older, gradually introduce them to other facets of Islam all the while never focing them but instead setting an example for them.

Your daughter has, mashallah, started off on the right foot by mimicking you pray. At 4 years old, you shouldn't burden her with much more than that. The scholar told us that he used to be shocked when he would see the young daughters of senior ayatullahs who looked and dressed like western girls. You would expect an ayatullah's daughter to be praying and wearing hijab as soon as she was was a toddler but the ayatullahs response was that Allah has not made these things wajib for them so there no reason to force it upon them earlier than you're supposed to and just let them be children.

Edited by Talib-e-Ilm
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  • Advanced Member

salaam alaikum

Well here we have a group of familys that get together for tafsir and two of the parents started a little madressah for the kids. They go to another part of the house that we meet at and they hold a school session. So far they have covered the story of Adam and Eve (hawwa) and shaytain. They have started the arabic alaphabet. Also Taught shahada, and islamic manners,etc. Here's the review questions they sent to the parents for the test the just took 2 weeks ago. Just so you kinda have an idea.

DEENYAT

---------

1.a. What is the 1st Kalimah / Kalima-e-Tawheed?

La-Ilaaha Illalah.

1.b. What does it Mean?

There is no God but Allah.

2.a. What is the 2nd Kalimah / Kalima-e-Risaalah?

Muhammad ur Rasoolullah.

2.b. What does it Mean?

Muhammad is the Messenger from Allah.

3.a. What is the 3rd Kalimah / Kalima-e-Wilayah?

Aliyan Waliullah.

3.b. What does it Mean?

Ali is the Leader (Imam) from Allah.

4. Who was the first Prophet?

Adam.

5. Who was the last Prophet?

Muhammad.

6. Who are the 5 Ulul-Azm (BIG) Prophets in Order?

a. Nuh

b. Ibraheem

c. Moosa

d. Isa

e. Muhammad

ISLAMIC HISTORY

--------

(Exam Administration Note:

Throughout administering the questions,

the examiner must NEVER mention the words: Haabil and Qaabil)

1. Who were the first two sons of Adam?

a. Haabil

b. Qaabil

2. Which of the two was the good son of Adam?

Haabil

3. Which of the two was the bad son of Adam?

Qaabil

4. What was the good sacrifice of the Good Son?

He sacrificed good animals of his herd for Allah.

5. What was the bad sacrifice of the Bad Son?

He sacrificed bad crops / vegetables from his garden for Allah.

6. Which son of Adam was Humble and Nice?

Haabil

7. Which son of Adam was Arrogant and Jealous?

Qaabil

8. What bad act did the Jealous son do in his jealousy?

He killed the good son.

9. When Adam's good son died, what did Adam and Hawwa do?

They cried.

10.God then gave Adam another good son. What was he called?

Sheesh.

AKHLAAQ

1. What are the 3 rules of Good Akhlaaq for DRINKING?

Say Bismillah before Drinking & Alhamdulillah after drinking, Drink while Sitting at Night & while standing during day, Drink in 3 sips.

2. What are the 6 rules of Good Akhlaaq for EATING?

Say Bismillah before Eating & Alhamdulillah after Eating, Eating with Right hand, Starting meals with pinch of Salt, Washing hands before meals & not drying them, washing hands after meals & drying them, not over-eating, finishing up all the food in our plate & not wasting it, not talking while eating, eating small bites, not eating too hot food, chewing our food properly.

3. What are the 3 rules of Good Akhlaaq for SLEEPING?

Sleeping Early, Going to Bathroom before Sleeping, Brushing Teeth before Sleeping, Reciting Kalema & Dua before Sleeping.

4. What are the 3 rules of Good Akhlaaq for USING THE TOILET?

Wearing Slippers before entering, entering with Left foot & Exiting with Right foot, using Water to clean oneself, we shouldn’t Stand on the lavatory.

ARABIC / QURAAN / NAMAAZ / DUA

1. Reading Jeem, Haa & Kha

2. Writing Jeem, Haa & Kha

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  • Advanced Member

(salam)

The best thing that I remember in my life is my mother teaching me about Islam. I think I was 4-5 year old, when my mother read me Surah every night. I memorize some surah by heart because we do one surah every night and we repeat every day. My mother introduces me to God at 4/5 year old. And I remember I always looked at the Sky, hoping to find the God. I followed my mother at each prayer..to me it was a game. She also thought me how to do wudu, pray, the Arabic letters and how to read. Of course we always have home-schooled classes where we learn about Tahara. And we also go to Quranic reading classes.

If there is one advice I can give to anyone..Start them young. It doesnt work when they are old.

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(salam)

keep it at her capacity but remember that kids are often deep thinkers with simple vocabularies. since kids have an innocent fitrah, try to draw the answers out of her when talking to her (such as "how do you think Allah wants us to treat our mommies and dadies?") also pictures, stories, songs, and movies can help a lot.

i believe the hadith says to teach la ilaaha illa Allah first, wudhu by the next year, and then salaat, so don't push for all of the details... go for concepts and whichever of the details she is interested in at that age (like if she wants to imitate you doing wudhu that's good, but don't force her). also doing what u can to remind them that they have an islamic identity is good.

but mostly kids learn by example :)

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  • Advanced Member

Thank you everyone. Keep the advice coming! Seems like I'm going along this the right way.

I want her to learn and grow as a Muslim and learn to love Islam. I never want to force too much on her and scare her off or make her hate Islam. I think the speech by the scholar was fantastic - baby steps.

I guess I have to keep in mind that kids learn most things by imitating their parents. Therefore, if I am a good Muslimah, Inshalla my daughter will grow to be one too.

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  • Advanced Member

salaam alaikum

Wow smiley, mashallah. It reminds me when my daugthers pre k had a sub and when I went to pick her up, she was like "I knew your daughter must muslim" I was like oh yeah because of her name. she said "No she told the cafeteria people she can't eat "outside meat".lol =0)

wa salaam

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they said "We just want him to be the same as everyone else."

i am really surprised at that! most schools i know of in america do their best to respect families' religious beliefs and individual cultural practices, so if the parents tell the teacher that the kid's not supposed to eat pork, they don't eat pork. for example, at the elementary school by my house, there were enough muslims (apparently the jews didn't care) that they started asterisking the meals that contain pork on the lunch menu. maybe it's different out there :wacko:

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  • Advanced Member

(salam)

I imagine its like that in areas in the USA where there is a lot of diversity (i.e. the larger cities or known areas to which people from diverse backgrounds flock). However, there are some corners and outbacks here in the USA where diversity is NOT the norm, and/or may not even be respected/appreciated or understood.

Dear Sis Hijabikel, all of the suggestions offered here seem sound and wonderful, mashaAllah! Here in the USA, there are private schools in some of the larger cities that are Islamic in focus. They teach the typical school subjects as found in any other private or public school (i.e. math, reading, science, grammar, etc), but they also have an Islamic focus as well. Many people call them 'Islamic Schools'; but they are not to be confused with Islamic schools whose only focus is Islamic Studies (and no other subjects) like those found on weekends at the masjid, etc. Some of these schools have websites highlighting what they cover and how they cover certain subjects - and more specifically to your topic - how they begin with teaching young children (i.e. pre-k children) Islamic concepts. You can do a google search for links to some of these schools to see at what age certain concepts are being taught, and the way in which they are being taught. Of the more advanced 'Islamic Schools', the staff are usually all certified trained teachers or early childhood development specialists (for pre-k classes), with years of learning and training in understanding how a child's mind may typically process certain concepts during the learning process; and thus they often gear their subjects around these childhood developmental milestones. Many of them are also very well-trained in basic Islamic concepts and principles. It may give you ideas on how to explain certain concepts in a child-friendly manner, or ideas on activities to do with your child to learn of Islamic principles and practices.

My son recently turned four. He has learned to mimic how "mommy and daddy make saaalaaaaaaaahhh", as he says it ^_^ . We practice with him Surat-al-FatiHa, and some of the smaller suraat so that he learns what they are and how to say them. I had read a tradition once that when I child begins reciting Quran from young, the words somehow fuse with him as a part of his being - ayat fusing with his flesh. I don't know the exact translation or the authenticity of what I read, but it touched my heart; so we began to encourage listening to the suraat, then reciting them. We also discuss with him in english what he is saying, so inshaAllah, he will grasp the meaning as well as memorization. I did, however, find out the hard way that it does not pay to force them at such a young age to do so. I used to make him recite surat-al-fatiHa, until I felt he got it right, until one night he became so frustrated he was tearful :cry: . I stopped that moment, and decided to make things fun and never push/force him to learn these Islamic concepts.

He now knows how to pray, although he is still very rough around the edges when it comes to reciting ^_^ . We never force him to pray (he's only four, and was three just a month and a half ago). He just feels left out when we pray, and he is not praying. So, he usually joins in of his own accord. Most of the Islamic concepts are learned through coloring, singing, role-play, and glitter, glue, and all sorts of messy but fun crafts. It gets him extremely excited, and he cannot contain it so he becomes excited to learn about Islam; and to share it with ANYONE. He says "salamananaykum" to everyone in the store, post office, bank, or wherever I go with him ^_^ . So, over the past week, we learned how to differentiate between those we say hello to and those we say salam to. Now, whenever he sees a hijabi, a man with a kufi or turban and beard, or if someone says salam to us, he will immediately and happily say "salamananaykum" ^_^ - he's still learning how to pronounce english, let alone arabic! We still haven't got down to a science how to say Eid Mubarak to muslims only though - so he says it to everyone when they say happy holidays or meryy christmas or something.

He is learning arabic in pre-school. They cover about three letters or so a month. He knows the arabic alphabet up to "saud" now; and he can name things in arabic at the supermarket! That totally shocked me, mashaAllah! At jumaa, he now knows how to pray in the row, quietly, and follow all the movements; although I'm pretty sure he's not reciting everything. That's OK though! He has also verbalized a belief that when we pray "we are praying to Allah and talking to Him." So, inshaAllah is is learning WHY we pray, and in addition to HOW we pray, inshaAllah.

As far as children's Islamic books: I, too, have found many lacking. You can make your own (with construction paper, yarn or staples, and beautiful colorful pictures you can find online to print and paste in your homemade book to decorate, or just draw the pictures yourself). Your child will enjoy making the book with you, usually, and then you will enjoy the satisfaction of knowing your collection of homemade books teach exactly what and how you would like them to, inshaAllah.

You are not alone sis. We Muslims in the West (revert or not) are searching for the best way to teach our children. We may be successful or we may learn where we went wrong later; but just try to the best of your ability - and capability - to help them, and sincerely pray for guidance, as Sis Smiley so wisely encouraged in a previous post. Allah ta'ala knows ALL things, and may Allah ta'ala make accessible to us all those things necessary to raise knowledgeable, wise, and faithfully balanced servants of Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala.

wasalaam

Edited by Muslimah_IBe
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  • Advanced Member

(bismillah)

(salam)

I have 1 boy 22yrs and three girls 19/13 & 10 & and thanks to Allah they are allvery good with their Islamic studies.

I have found that the best way is to be stright with them from the begining, explain why we do things and why others may not be so bothered about it, its no good telling a child we dont eat haram food because we are muslim, we must say in basic way at first, in a way that they understand and then later on you can go into more details.start by saying god wishes us to say Allah u akbar befor we kill our food. if the child asks why then say to make god happy, at four yrs this may be enough.

I rember my elest daughter at about 5yrs asking why nanny eats haram food, Iexplaind she was a christian and they can eat anything they want they don't bother asking God to bless their food before they kill it. the next day she went to her Nans and said you don't love God like us, you just kill any animal you like because you're a christian, my Mum was very up set and asked me what I had been telling her when I explained she laughted and saw the funny side, but I had to tell my daughter that you can not say this kind of thing to people because they might get up set and angery. the following week she went to her Nan and said she was sorry, and she thinks god won't mind if she eats haram food because she was a christian and that what christans do, and God knows that but he stills loves her Nan because she loves her!

one good site that you can get islamic lessons to help teach your child is www.madressa.net they do coures notes on Akhlaq,Fiqh, Qur'an & Tareekh from 4yrs they start off very simple and have things to colour etc. realy helpful.

Edited by Advocate of Islam
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Salam,

I've gotta admit, this is such a silly question! She's only 4!! damnit

it's important! kids may not remember a lot about when they were 4, but at that age they will internalize who they are, what is normal, what is right and what is wrong. they are a blank slate waiting to be written on, and if the parents do not inscribe their ways, the outside world will mold them the way it wants to.

it definitely is more complicated for kids that age who have to recognize the fact that some people are muslim and do things the "right" way and others (especially relatives) are not and do things the "wrong way"... but they can do it. of course as mentioned they will proselytize :)

Edited by BintAlHoda
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  • Advanced Member

Thank you so much. You have all given such wonderful advice and such lengthy replies (and a few laughs along the way).

My little one knows how to say "sayayayaykum", she always reminds me that she needs to pray before it gets dark (she forgets the rest of the times, but it's a good start!) and loves her turbah and her "stafralah" (that would be her sibbeh!).

BintAlHoda - I second that response to newsbot!

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