Nurturing The Next Generation to Pray

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By Pure Matrimony -

Author: Hafsa Waseela

Source: www.aaila.org

Allah subhanahu wa taala has entrusted Muslim parents with their children and made them responsible to raise them in an Islamic manner. They are the model to their children whom are the next generation. It is important to be cautious in our actions and manners especially in front of them. Think before you speak. Think before you act. For instance, when a father backbites another individual in front of his child; no amount of advice from him to refrain from backbiting will work.

It may seem a huge task to be able to be a good model for the children, but one should also know and realize that it is the only way we can really teach our children.

Both Allah subhanahu wa taala and our Beloved Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) have mentioned the importance of raising and educating children.

In Surah Al-Tahreem 66:6, Allah the Exalted said:

“O you who believe! Ward off yourselves and your families against a Fire (Hell) whose fuel is men and stones, over which are (appointed) angels stern (and) severe, who disobey not, (from executing) the Commands they receive from Allaah, but do that which they are commanded”

Imam al-Tabari performed a commentary on this verse and stated that when Allah subhanahu wa taala says ‘Ward off yourselves’ teach one another that which will protect those who do it from the Fire and ward it off from them, if it is done in obedience to Allaah and they do it in obedience to Allaah. The phrase “and your families against a Fire” means, and teach your families to do acts of obedience to Allaah so that they may protect themselves from the Fire. [Tafseer al-Tabari, 18/165]

Our beloved Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said

“All of you are heads of a group and all of you are responsible for your groups; the ruler is the head of state and he is responsible for his people, the man is head of his family and responsible for his family, the woman is the head in her husband’s house and she is responsible for the house. In short all of you are heads and responsible for your group.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

This implies that every individual is responsible in building an Islamic society and what occurs around the Ummah today only indicates the neglect of responsibility.

The Importance of Prayer:

Prayer is one of the five pillars upon which Islam is founded, and how can anyone build a building without foundations, and how secure is a building without its foundations?

On the Day of Reckoning, each and every Muslim will first be asked about his/her prayer before any other actions. Imagine a scenario, when failing in the first exam paper, how you will be able to perform the upcoming exam papers that are even more difficult to answer.

In Surah Al Baqarah, Allah subhanahu wa taala stressed the importance of prayer

“Those who believe, and do deeds of righteousness, and establish regular prayers and regular charity, will have their reward with their Lord: on them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve.” (Al-Baqarah 2:277)

Prayer purifies our souls and is a direct communication between a servant and His Lord. No matter what the circumstances are, it cannot be waived as other pillars of Islam fasting in Ramadan, Hajj (pilgrimage) and Zakat that can be waived under certain conditions.

Not only prayer is important, but also praying on time. Allah subhanahu wa taala said in Surah An-Nisa, Verse 103:

Indeed the prayer has been enjoined upon the Believers at stated times’

Abu Amr ash-Shaybani said: The owner of this house – and he pointed to the house of Abdullah ibn Mas’ood – said: I asked the Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) ‘Which action is most loved by Allah?’ He (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Prayer at its proper time.” Then he said: What next? He (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Righteous conduct towards the parents.” Then he said: What next? He (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Jihad in the path of Allah.” He (Abdullah) said: He informed me with them, If I asked him for more he would have told me more.

This emphasises that praying on time is the most beloved action that he (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) even before righteousness to parents and Jihad. This can seen by the use of ‘What next’

Importance Of Teaching Our Children How To Pray:

It is crucial that we teach our children how to pray, as we have a duty to ourselves and family in relation to religious commitment and goodness. Allah subhanahu wa taala said in Surah Ta-Ha:

 “And enjoin As-Salaat (the prayer) on your family, and be patient in offering them [i.e. the Salaat (prayers)]” [Ta-Ha 20:132] 

It was narrated that Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Teach your children to pray when they are seven years old, and smack them (lightly) if they do not do so when they are ten, and separate them in their beds.” 

Narrated by Abu Dawood, 495; classed as saheeh (authentic) by Shaykh al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Jaami’, 5868 

Tips on How to Teach Our Children How To Pray

When teaching and reminding children of obligatory duties such as prayer or any other good action even voluntary, it is important that the educator should be approachable and easy-going, and not foul-mouthed, beat or even threat their children.  However, if the child neglects his/her duties and continue to do prohibited actions, then one needs to firm and use stern measures without causing harm. Here are several tips:

1)      When young, children imitate what they see in front of them, so you can pray in front of them. This will ignite an interest in them that they would like to join the salah.

2)      Teach them Quran slowly, starting with Surah Al-Fatiha. Break it down.

3)      Invite your children 7+ to pray alongside the family congregation prayer (Jamaah).

4)      Teach your children that they are praying to the Provider (Al-Raziq) and that when we pray, we give thanks to Him for the blessings He has provided for us.

5)      Children ask a lot of questions; so when they see you pray, they will want to question, why, when, how, who and what for. Do not ignore their questions. The more they ask, the more they learn; which will help the child develop his mental and intellectual abilities.

If you don’t know an answer, it is better for you to ask or research from authentic sources and respond to them.

6)    Children love bed-time stories. Instead of princess and action man stories, narrate to them stories in which they can benefit and learn lessons from them; for example parables of the Prophets  (peace upon them) how they supplicated and prayed during good and testing times; the advice of Luqman (the wise one) to his son when he stressed the importance of prayer.

Ultimately, Allah subhanahu wa taala has given each and every one of us good and bad tendencies to choose and decide and we will be tested, the more we are tested, the more Allah loves us as Allah subhanahu wa taala tests those He loves. The role of the parents is to encourage the good tendencies in their children so that one can help themselves and their families and follow the correct path.

“And Say Do deeds! Allah will see your deeds and (so will) His Messenger and the believers. And you will be brought back to the All-Knower of the unseen and the seen. Then He will inform you of what you used to do.” [Surah At-Tawbah verse 105].

This article serves as a reminder; one can only remind, the rest is up to you to think, act and implement. We need to revive Islam within our hearts and actions. Don’t leave it too late.

Pure Matrimony

….Where Practice Makes Perfect

Article from-Aaila- The Muslim Family Magazine  – brought to you by Pure Matrimony- www.purematrimony.com – The World’s Largest Matrimonial Service For Practising Muslims.

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