In this counseling answer:
• Sit down with her and talk to her regularly about Islam. This would involve telling her stories about the Prophet (PBUH) and the Companions in a way that she can relate to them.
• Just as you chose Islam for its truth, you need to guide your daughter on this journey to see all the beautiful qualities that Islam encompasses, and hopefully, she will accept it in her heart.
• Talk to her about creation: the story of Adam, the angels and their duties, the creation of everything around her. Instill in her a sense of awareness that she is blessed with many things and that Allah deserves praise. Make sure that your read Qur’an regularly and that she sees you doing so, because children learn by example.
Truly, our children are the ornaments of this world. However much joy they bring us, they also bring with them responsibilities and concerns. May Allah guide us and them to the righteous path, and may He make our offspring of the mutaqun (upright).
Our hopes and aspirations for our children are great; we wish for them to be successful in this life and the Hereafter, and yet we sometimes forget that life is a journey. On this journey, there are steep, mountainous paths and relatively level trails, and we all must travel on or through them to reach the ultimate goal. No one can travel the road for anyone, but Allah has given us as parents the responsibility of being our children’s guides on their journey. A guide can show through actions and examples how to travel the path, but each person must travel his own route.
In the case of your daughter, it seems that your husband and you have been ultimate guides for her, but the journey is not over yet. Your daughter may be at a transitional stage, between the time when parents are always right, always know best, and the time when she is experimenting in independence, and perhaps questioning her previous beliefs that her parents are right about everything. Don’t worry though, this is just the time that one learns to think and appreciate for oneself. With the right guidance, she’ll soon learn to appreciate all that you’ve been trying to teach her.
This is not the time as a parent to become angry if you notice that your daughter has skipped a prayer, nor is it a time to relax and “not worry about it” until she is a teen. As she nears puberty, it is your responsibility as a parent to let her know in a loving yet firm way that praying five times a day is a household rule, and it is not to be broken. Praying together as a family as often as possible will often bring interest on the part of children.
I would advise you and your husband to sit down with her and talk to her regularly about Islam. This would involve telling her stories about the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) and the Companions (may Allah be pleased with them) in a way that she can relate to them. As you learn the meanings of the verses of the Qur’an, share them with your daughter. Make sure that your read Qur’an regularly and that she sees you doing so, because children learn by example. I understand that you have purchased some books and videotapes with Islamic themes, and that is a good start.
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The point that I would like to make to you is that you need to make the religion relevant to her. Of course, she will not understand on your level, and no one would expect her to, but if she has an idea that she is part of a bigger picture, she will begin to feel grateful to her creator, and thus see a reason for worshiping Him throughout the day.
Talk to her about creation: the story of Adam (peace and blessings be upon him), the angels and their duties, the creation of everything around her from herself to the birds to the trees. Instill in her a sense of awareness that she is blessed with many things and that Allah deserves praise.
In addition, you could talk to her about the stories of the prophets (peace and blessings be upon them all), including our beloved Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him), discussing his life story little by little. Children love to learn about the Prophet’s love for his brothers and sisters in Islam, for nature, for children, and for creation in general.
If you, as a newer Muslim feel that you don’t have adequate knowledge of these topics that I have mentioned, then it can be a journey of learning for you and your daughter. After all, we as Muslims are expected to seek knowledge in our religion, not to follow blindly. Just as you chose Islam for its truth, you need to guide your daughter on this journey to see all the beautiful qualities that Islam encompasses, and hopefully, she will accept it in her heart, in the same conscious way that you did.
Please remember that on life’s journey, our faith fluctuates and that it is always helpful to have a loved one remind us of the things that we should be thankful for. Be there for your daughter and she will be a source of reward for you in the Hereafter, in sha’ Allah.
I hope that this advice is of some help to you, and that your children are a coolness to your eyes and a source of joy and serenity for your family. If you feel that I haven’t answered your question sufficiently, please feel free to write back.
Finally, I would like to give praise to Allah the Almighty for guiding you to the light of Islam and I ask him to make your journey one that is filled with blessings and rewards.
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