We recently published the How to Pray book, to give Muslim children a strong resource for building their relationship with prayer (salah), but of course, there are lots of other things we suggest you do, to bring your child closer and closer to prayer insha’Allah.
1. Pray with them
Every child loves time with their parents. Kids often ask us to play with them; read to them; watch something with them; and the list goes on! This is because doing anything with a parent makes a child all warm and fuzzy inside. Why not make praying one of these wonderful experiences for your child. Most families will eat dinner together at the table, but not all of them extend the concept to praying.
Obviously, praying together in Jam’at is more rewarding, but even if you’re not praying in Jam’at, simply calling your child to you at prayer time and laying a mat for them and then making dua with them is magical!
2. Make dua with their little hands in your hands.
We love inspiring children to connect with Allah through Dua. To be extremely aware of Allah’s presence and the fact that he is listening intently to your dua is very empowering. We suggest, with younger children, to sit in a way in which you can lift your hands to make dua and your child can lift theirs, cupped in yours. Then pour your hearts out! Be your most vulnerable and show your child that they can ask for absolutely anything from Allah. Take it in turns to ask. Be close. Cry. You’ll love it.
3. Stimulate their senses.
Our brains make associations with stimuli connected to things that we do – including prayer. So, if your praying environment is not very pleasant, or unremarkable, children will associate that with praying.
We suggest creating a special prayer space and using a lovely scent, that is unique to your prayer area. Spray some on the prayer mats. Put up some inspirational quotes/posters. Keep it super clean!
4. Gift them the How to Pray book.
If we didn’t believe that this book could transform your child’s relationship with praying, we wouldn’t have published it! We wish that growing up, we had had a step by step guide to prayer, with easy, child-friendly language, a bit of humour and lots of inspiration. The book actually goes further than just instructions on how to pray. There are lots of snippets of inspiration, explaining to children why they are carrying out certain parts of the prayer, or what the words they are uttering, actually mean! We believe that that is invaluable, because knowing why you are doing something, is the first step to really feeling it.
5. Always call them to prayer with love and no threats.
You want your child to love to pray, and eventually do it without a prompt from you. This won’t be achieved if your child sees praying as a chore. Needless to say, if you’re always very harsh with your children about praying, telling them that they must pray, that they are bad for not praying; they won’t have a very positive association with praying. They might do it just to get it over with, which is the last thing you want.
Use patience in copious amounts, when asking them to pray. The beauty of it all is that if you’re doing all of the above, they’ll be jumping to do it anyway!
So there we have it - 5 easy things that you can start applying from now to bring your child closer to prayer, with the grace of Allah.
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