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Connecting our Children to the Best of Generations

The celebrities of our Ummah are of a different, pure kind. They are the outstanding elites that were chosen by Allah SWT.

“And remember Our servants, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob – those of strength and [religious] vision. Indeed, We chose them for an exclusive quality: remembrance of the home [of the Hereafter]. And indeed they are, to Us, among the chosen and outstanding. And remember Ishmael, Elisha and Dhul-Kifl, and all are among the outstanding.” (Surah Sad 38, 45-48)

From all the thousands of people that came to pass this world, these prophets were certified by the Lord of the worlds with His pleasure; radhiallahu anhum. Yes, our heroes are the Prophets of Allah,AS the last prophet Muhammad SAW and his righteous companions, the Sahaba small - radi-allahu-anhum. Our heroes are those who followed them in goodness and piety, the tab’ieen and those that came after them, the taba’ tab’ieen, for these were declared as the best of generations by the tongue that never lied. Our heroes are those who served the religion and strove for its life in every era.

Prophet Muhammad SAW said: “The best people are those of my generation, and then those who will come after them (the next generation), and then those who will come after them (i.e. the next generation).” 1

A Dilemma

In a Muslim country, a professor asked the students appearing for an admission test in his medical college about the names of the first four caliphs of Islam and unbelievably many of them answered him wrong! Similarly, when asked simple questions like names of Prophet Muhammad’s SAW children or the ten given glad tidings of Paradise, they were clueless. Not that they had never heard about them, for they had all passed twelve years in educational institutions with Islamic Studies as a compulsory subject. However, they were never made to connect with them emotionally; only a few facts had been rote learned to pass the exam.

As a whole, the Muslim Ummah has been slyly cut off from it’s past. Our youth can easily relate to players, singers and actors  because they are projected by the media. They not only know their names but elaborate information like their favorite celebrity’s favorite color, and aim to imitate them in every way possible. If you were to mention a Sahabi in front of them, he’ll just be an ancient holy figure that they don’t know much about.

The question arises: what can we do? How can we undo our mistake and make the best people come alive for our children? How can we make them likable to our youth?

Parents: Pay Attention!

blog-image-insideThis responsibility lies heavily on your shoulders. Parents are not only accountable for providing their children with the best food and clothing but also for presenting to them the best role models. No school, no television program, no media and no society today is going to teach your offspring about Sa’d bin abi Waqas RAu or Imam Bukhari. To raise exemplary leaders of tomorrow, YOU have to strive to become an exemplary parent; invest double the time (Hint: time, not money!) and double the energy.

First and foremost, we must straighten out our own role models and equip ourselves with the love of the best generations. We can only inspire our children if we ourselves are inspired. Following is an exercise for both parents and their children, to learn and grow together in faith.

A Celebrity a Week

Every week, choose a celebrity. You may follow some sequence i.e, starting from Adam Alayhi salam, then the rest of the prophets, Prophet Muhammad SAW, his companions and then the tab’een. Or, you may choose according to the personalities and likes of your children. For adding some fun element to the activity, you can also write the names of some celebrities on little pieces of paper and draw out a name each week. These celebrities can be people from the best of generations or other Muslim personalities like the Imams of fiqh, the scholars of hadeeth (e.g. Imam Muslim) and Muslim commanders (e.g. Salahuddin al Ayyubi)

After the celebrity has been chosen, dig out information and stories that inspire awe and love in the hearts. If the children are old enough to read, parents can provide them interesting books about these figures. And if they are young, then parents should read and re-tell in their own words, keeping in mind the mental level of their child. Discuss about them as a family and share the inspiring events or words that you may have come across.  Highlight their prominent characteristics (for e.g. courage, wisdom, patience etc.), their struggles and their services for Islam. The purpose is not to learn each and every ‘fact’ about them, it is to instill their love in our hearts and aim to be like them.

Also, introduce these Muslim personalities in your daily conversations. If your girl is being inquisitive and asking good questions, you can complement her like this: “Masha’Allah! You are asking questions just like Aisha FEMALE Radi Allahu Anha!”  and definitely she would like to know more about Aisha FEMALE Radi Allahu Anhaand her questions.

A few days ago, an acquaintance found her little son being particular about his appearance and especially his hair. So, she took out some Seerah books and read to him the appearance of Prophet Muhammad SAW and some of his companions and how their hair looked like. When they read that Prophet Muhammad SAW had long eyelashes, she told him that he too has long eyelashes and this made him really pleased. We just have to grab the opportunity to capture our children’s hearts.

When they are knowledgeable enough, games about these figures can also be played. For e.g. asking 20 questions to guess the personality.

Aim High!

Let us all aim high; our ummah needs rebuilding. Let us all re-connect to our past glory. Let our hearts fill with the desire to regain it. Let us raise the future of tomorrow with great care. However, don’t forget, we can get nowhere without the help and permission of Allah SWT. So keep the oars of Dua in your hands, making sure that the last part of your nights are dynamic and your tears flowing in abundance; seeking His mercy and guidance till the last breath, for yourself and your children.

And be of those who say, “Our Lord, grant us from among our wives and offspring comfort to our eyes and make us an example for the righteous.” (Surah Al-Furqan, 25: 74)

Please share your views about this article in the comments section below. What kind of fun activities can we introduce to our children?  🙂

  1.   Sahih Bukhari

Comments

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If you liked the article, do leave a comment down below

84 Responses

  1. laila.mostafa@hotmail.com'
    laila

    assalamo alaykom
    i have been trying to tell my kids stories about sahaba and tabeen but can’t find a suitable material for their age, a simplified one i mean, can you guide me to some links. JAK

    1. Umm Salih

      Wa alaykum Assalam sister,

      You can find some useful books from Darussalam, Learning Roots and The Islamic Foundation. However, unfortunately its true that most Islamic children books available are either boring or they have difficult vocabulary. What I find best is to read a story and retell in my own words using appropriate expressions and extracting lessons at the same time. This is a beneficial article in this regard: http://blog.iiph.com/introducing-children-to-the-stories-of-prophets/

  2. eastwint_96@yahoo.com'
    Safia Ansari Saba

    Alhamdulillah. I come to know the those information and I also worried about my children how to lead them ahead and to give Islamic culture when you find different picture around you. But I also search ways and technics to keep them in right path from very early age. Thank you for sharing such article.

  3. Adamajang1@gmail.com'
    Adamajang

    Masha’Allah
    Islam is indeed beautiful if only we the youths seek a beneficial knowledge in the deen and apply it in our daily life and activities

  4. Abdulkaderik@gmail.com'
    Abdul Kader

    Now a days children usually like to attend more to their friends than to their parents,so the parents has to be like friends,in order to have a good communication.secondly,we pray to Allah,who answers parents’ prayers regarding their children,to lead them to goodness(khair).your article is very useful and I suggest the above matter to be included.

    1. Umm Salih

      Precisely! Parents need to spend more time with their children; listening to them,talking and playing with them. Children should love being in their company. Parents must also make an effort to provide righteous company to their children.

      Jazak Allah Khair for your input.

  5. azeezatsalau@yahoo.com'

    Lovely post, masha Allah. The problem is that most times, even we parents are guilty ofvthus things. You will be surprise to see how many of these so called ‘celebrities’ an average Muslim mother follows on social media. May Allah help us to raise a pious ummah. I will share this on my blog

  6. sjdabdullah@yahoo.com'
    sajid abdullah

    Excellent article I extend my heartiest thanks to the author foe bringing to us this highly useful piece of information and enlightening us about who should be our heroes and role models . I request my all muslim brothers and sisters particularly young ,youth and student who are aspiring for career and their future to must go through this article before deciding on their career . Insallah they will get their answer .jazakallah.

  7. mrsnorynali@gmail.com'

    Assalamu Alaykum…….sometimes in your life you just think of something and Allah grants it to you without waiting for your praying for it, this article is one that thought answered by Allah to me. Beautiful piece of work MashaAllah.
    One thing I always wonder about that why don’t we like minded Muslim parents have an online group where we can post our kidz achievements related to Islam? Like book club offered by Scholastic Books England etc. Where parents read books or tell real life stories or can do story trailing. We can have competition among our kids too.
    I have tried a few things but we all await initiatives by big names like Bilal Philips or Zakir Naik etc.
    See if this sounds feasible to you people then I’ll b the first one to volunteer. InshaAllah

  8. s.eldesouki@icloud.com'
    sally eldesouki

    Salamalaikum,

    The article was very beneficial and a great reminder on the importance of the type of information that is being fed to our children by society and media . The small things as mentioned in the article can really impact on them on the longer run . Mashallah . May Allah guide all parents to become better teachers in Islam for their children and make it easy . Aameen.

  9. sazamoki@hotmail.co.uk'
    Umm Zaid

    Asalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu. Jazaki Allahu khair for this beautiful article, a very interesting perspective. Ameen to all the duas. One idea is to invite your children’s friends over, teach them and then let them eat food and pudding together so they really enjoy it. There are hundreds of games, memory game with matching names on cards, draw pictures and/or words for a story and get the children to put them in the right sequence, posters, quizzes etc. We can give out certificates, treats and trips as rewards for the children who do the best job- best memorisation, most improved, best manners etc! May Allah guide all our children to the right path. Ameen.

    1. Umm Salih

      Wa alaykum assalam warahmatullahi wabarakatuhu,

      Jazakillah Khair sister! This is a great idea and not difficult either. We can hold weekly/monthly classes for our children and their friends.

  10. Nathaniel.lane.1176@gmail.com'
    Ayyub Abdullah

    Masha’allah. Jazakallah khayr for the article. My family and I are relatively new Muslims and we live in an area where there are no Madrassas or Islamic learning centers. We have young children who we dearly want to raise to be good knowledgable Muslims, but we lack a reliable Internet connection as well. Any suggestions would be much appreciated. As for the article it is exsctly in the spirit of what we like to do. I feel sad for those who have the knowledge or resources and do not use them. May Allah (swt) keep us all on the straight path. Ameen.

    1. Umm Salih

      Assalam u Alaikum,

      Masha Allah! May Allah grant you and your family steadfastness in faith.

      In this case that you have no Islamic centers etc in your area I would advise 1) Try your best to move to a locality that makes it possible for your children to mingle with righteous and knowledgeable Muslims. This has very far reaching effects. 2) Invest in authentic Islamic books and read them as a family. There is no alternative to books; the internet does provide access to knowledge but it is also a big source of distraction.

      I hope this is helpful..
      Jazak Allah Khair

      May Allah

  11. yuanitasj@gmail.com'
    Yuanita

    im a mother from 2 sweet son fachri akbar ibrahim,ziyad akrom muhammad. Alhamdulillah my son respect on great muslim figure,every night insyaallah i read for them about a great figure.my son always question for me about his name,for this situation i explaind “makna” his name.how about prophet ibrahim n prophet muhammad.im a gree this article,love prophet have from kid may baby. I am sorry my engls is not good,i want explain many word but i cant becouse now i want study everything.salam alaikum

    1. Umm Salih

      Wa alaikum Assalam,

      Jazak Allah Khair for your comment Yaunita! May Allah accept your efforts with your children and make them righteous Muslims! Ameen

  12. m_suchedina@yahoo.com'
    Bint Suheil

    As Salaam alaikum dearest Sister,
    Jazzaki Allahu Khairen for this well written and informative article. As a homeschooling mom of three daughters, I always worry about the material to cover with my girls. I get confused as to how to make it interesting and fun. Alhamdulillah this article was very helpful. May Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala guide us, our children and our future generations to the straight path, the path of those whom Allah favored, aameen. May Allah bless you and your family Sister and raise your ranks, aameen.

  13. Umm Salih

    Wa alaikum Assalam sister,

    Wa iyyaki! Nice to hear that you homeschool (I do that too!). And I feel the best part of it is how easily we can integrate Islamic teachings in our curriculum, spending as much time we want on things like this.

    Jazak Allah for your Duas. Ameen!

  14. muniraayub@gmail.com'
    Munira Ayub

    Asalaam aleikum. Jazakillahu kheiran, beautiful piece. Being a new mother alhamdulillah it has come at the right time. May Allah accept it from you.. Ameen

  15. ruki_sham@yahoo.com'
    Rukaiya

    Assalamualaikum, this article gives valuable information for all the parents. The stories of prophets and sahabas give us lots of useful lessons. Today I shared the story of fathima raliyallahoo anha with my kids. Alhamdulillah feeling so satisfied.

  16. zubaida_masood@hotmail.com'
    Zubaida

    Very good article.
    But for parents to whom it will be a starting point for themselves can you give further guidance….. how they can increase their own knowledge
    Like you said choose a personality. So you give unfo about a personality everyweek & we can learn n teach kids

  17. sabasaleem30nov@gmail.com'
    saba saleem

    jazak Allahu khairan for this beautiful article .i always try to lnow abot homescholing given to children and you hane given a good help to me

  18. sadia.anis@gmail.com'
    Sadia

    Assalamo alikum I found your article really interesting and awakening.really our ummah requires a reunion and remeberance of great people.jazakallah for your effort

  19. Pingback : Connecting our Children to the Best of Generations | kokicat222

  20. Aminabedru@gmail.com'
    Amina

    May ALLAH guide Us to z right path of life we must have to work to return back our real Islamic personality and way life continuously by avoiding effect of z broadcast and social media and implementing sahaba’s way life by exercising in our home by our self as much as possible and creating Islamic culture to family may ALLAH ‘s help be with us to return back our fantastic adorable and hormounios life of z Islamic era ameeeeeen

  21. narrimandavids@gmail.com'
    Narriman

    Jazakallahu Khairun, just today I was trying to find solutions to help a sister with a task, her being a single parent with four very challenging kids ages, boy 14, girl 10, boy 9 and boy 6. This has been by far the most rewarding information to share with her. My dua would be that she finds comfort in telling them stories, and having fun time doing it. May Allah reward you Ameen

  22. Info@iou.edu.gm'
    A A VADIYA

    Asslamu Alaikum w.w.
    Masha Allah Sister very inspiring,may Allah give us abilities tomake the best tarbiyyah of our children who will be the leaders of tomorrow.for me telling stories of to my kids works the best,specially when they are in bed before sleeping.first we(me &my husbend)make them read all sleeping Duas,ayatu kursi etc.&than specially my husbend tells them story of sahaba, some times story about prophets etc.they fall a sleep while listining to good stories from Quraan&Hadith it has a great effect on they hearts&minds..may be won’t see so much motivation right now but as they grow old these great personalities will come in them Insha Allah..jazakallahu khairan…

  23. sahera.jamal@gmail.com'
    Sahera

    MarshaAllah!! Truly inspiring and much needed in the current times..May Allah(swt) grant you success in all your endeavours. Jazakallah for your ideas and the links you have provided.

    Jazakallah Khairan to all the believers who have been kind enough to share their ideas and information. May Allay (swt) reward you for your efforts.

  24. wadani3333@gmail.com'
    Warsame

    Jazaka Allah Kheyr

    My view about this Artical is that it’s a very good effort from well trained soul.

    What we can teach our children is about technology which made our Muslim world behind

    Today the world is in a technology era. Let us compete our competitors, and challenge then in every field of development.

  25. Pingback : Restyle yourself this Ramadan - A Righteousness Makeover Program for Believing Men and Women! - IOU Blog

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