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What Is Ramadan All About, Mom?

Questioner

S (29-female-US)

Reply Date

May 04, 2019

Question

How is it possible to tell our children what is Ramadan all about? As a mother, I am very much concerned to teach them the spiritual benefits of Ramadan: It is not about starving ourselves, it is about getting closer to our Creator, to discipline our body and to enhance our spiritual status. What tips and advice can you give us?

Counselor

Answer


Ramadan

In this counseling answer:

•Help the children make the most of Ramadan by getting them excited about the fasting and the breaking of the fast. Get their help in preparing of the sahur and iftar meals. Get them to give in charity so that they realize all of the blessings of Ramadan.

•And especially remember to talk to them about zakat al-fitr since every member of the household is responsible for that payment. The children should know that their parents are paying the zakat al-fitr on their behalf and that it is going to help the poor, the needy, the orphans, etc.

•Tell them about the reward and encourage them to do that first on your behalf and then gradually on their own. Doing that in the company of friends and relatives makes the task of giving out food to the needy not only easier but much more enjoyable.


As-salamu `alaikum dear sister, 

Thank you so much for this question. To begin with, it is important for children to understand what Ramadan is all about and how it fits into the overall life of a Muslim. We strongly recommend that parents sit with their children and have a talk about Ramadan, now, in the last few days of Sha`ban.

If this is not possible for you to do because of time or whatever other reasons, then we strongly suggest that you work with other parents and arrange for a special “Welcoming Ramadan” program just for the young children. Have some college students available who are knowledgeable in the basics of Ramadan and fasting and let them present to the children. Then have a question/answer session. We suggest college students so that the young children can relate to the presenters.

Remember also to take the children with you to the masjid. Depending on your masjid policy, it might be possible to have the children join you in Prayer. Other masjids have a separate room for the young children and a brief Tarawih Prayer is conducted, with smaller portions of the Qur’an being recited.

karim serageldin & naaila clay

Help the children make the most of Ramadan by getting them excited about the fasting and the breaking of the fast. Get their help in preparing of the sahur and iftar meals. Get them to give in charity so that they realize all of the blessings of Ramadan. And especially remember to talk to them about zakat al-fitr since every member of the household is responsible for that payment. The children should know that their parents are paying the zakat al-fitr on their behalf and that it is going to help the poor, the needy, the orphans, etc.

Teach the kids to make du`aa’. Let them know they can ask for anything they want. Teach them to ask for things for others as well as for themselves.

Make the day of `Eid special for the children as well. You are in America, make sure to talk to the teachers to let them know that if the `Eid is on a weekday, your children will not be in school because they are celebrating the end of Ramadan! May Allah accept our fasting and our praying. Ameen.

Yes, Ramadan is not just about one month of fasting or praying. It is about acquiring training and self-discipline so that we might use that training and self-discipline in Ramadan and throughout the remaining 11 months of the year.

That is precisely why it is important to prepare for Ramadan. It is very important in the West, especially, to have a schedule ready. Otherwise, we are just starving ourselves and doing nothing to increase our iman (faith). The Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “It may be that a fasting person receives nothing from his fast, except hunger and thirst.”

Sister, remember always that we parents are the models for our children. If we raise our iman and succeed in that, we will give the needed example to our children. There are several ways to increase our iman in Ramadan. We learn from the Prophet Muhammad’s (peace and blessings be upon him) life history that he actually started training himself for Ramadan in the month of Sha`ban by increasing his fasting.

This fasting in Sha`ban helps tremendously because then the heart and soul are already prepared for the upcoming Ramadan fasts. Some people have a hard time getting into the fasting mode in Ramadan because their first fast is usually the first day of Ramadan. This is not helpful to increasing one’s iman.

This is important, especially for our kids. Just train them bit by bit to abstain from eating and drinking a couple of days before Ramadan.

Talk to your children about what is going to be different in Ramadan.


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Tell them, for instance, that we should also improve on our reading of the Qur’an, on establishing the night prayer, and on giving in charity. These are all aspects of the life of our beloved Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him). He was ever so generous in Ramadan, and we should strive to give more in charity as well. Let them be engaged in that: giving out food, clothes, money.

Tell them about the reward and encourage them to do that first on your behalf and then gradually on their own. Doing that in the company of friends and relatives makes the task of giving out food to the needy not only easier but much more enjoyable.

It is challenging to fast in America or anywhere where the majority of the people are not Muslim and are not familiar with Islam. However, with enough effort, many Muslims in the West are finding that they can have a very special time during Ramadan. Their struggle to get closer to Allah, to increase their iman, is even more sweet precisely because they are overcoming such great odds.

May Allah accept our fasting and our praying. Ameen.

***

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Read more:

How to Teach Kids Ramadan Isn’t Just About Eating

Child Feels Inferior in Ramadan

 




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