Educating Your Children About Ramadhan
By Nur Husni, Mukmin.com
In Islam, children who have not reached puberty are not required
to fast. However, as parent or guardian, we are encouraged to
guide them in fasting. This is like a practice for them, and
will let them know the acts of fasting at an early age. Ar-Rubayya'
bint Mu'aawiyyah reported:
"The Messenger of Allah SAW sent a man on the morning of
the day of Ashura, to the residences of the Ansaar, saying: 'Whoever
has spent the morning fasting is to complete his fast. Whoever
has not spent this morning fasting should voluntary fast for
the remainder of the day.' We fasted after that announcement,
as did our young children. We would go to the mosque and make
toys stuffed with cotton for them to play with. If one of them
started crying due to hunger, we would give them a toy to play
with until it was time to eat." [Bukhari and Muslim]
The hadeeth above explains that the Prophet Muhammad SAW encourages
all to fast, even those who did not fast in the morning, where
they should voluntarily fast for the remainder of the day. For
children, you should provide something to keep them occupied,
so that they will forget that they are hungry. Narrated Abu Hurairah
(r.a.), the Prophet SAW said:
"Seven people will be shaded by Allah (SWT) under
His shade on the day when there will be no shade except His."
The seven as stated in the hadeeth includes a young man who
has been brought up in the worship of Allah SWT sincerely from
his childhood. Therefore, you should guide your children in being
the one who will be shaded by Allah SWT on the Day of Judgment.
You can try various methods to encourage your children to
learn about Ramadhaan and fasting. Of course, as a parent, you
must play a good role model, where you fast properly and behave
according to the teachings of Islam. Your children will learn
from your example faster than if you were to teach them. Here
are some ways you could try on your children (or nephews, nieces,
- You can encourage young children to fast every fews days
and as they grow, encourage them to fast more. Wake them up for
the suhoor. For young children, when they have gone through fasting
for a few days or so, praise them in front of friends and relatives
for their achievement. This gives them a sense of acknowledgement,
and they will feel that they are grown up to be able to perform
the obligation towards Allah SWT.
- Bring the whole family to the mosque for the Maghreeb prayers
and break the fast with the Muslim community. Feeling the beauty
of fasting where all Muslims rich and poor unite to worship one
God, Allah SWT, they will feel encouraged to fast with other
- You should let your children to eat with you during Maghreeb
even though they do not fast. Let them know that you are breaking
the fast and teach them the supplication of breaking the fast.
You may bring your children to the mosque for the Taraweeh prayer.
This will give them the opportunity to learn and get used to
it from an early age. If they feel tired, let them sit at the
back of the room.
- Teach them the importance of charity in the month of Ramadhaan.
You should tell them that Allah SWT increases the reward of those
who gives charity in Ramadhaan. If they behave wrongly, remind
them that they are fasting. Allah SWT may alter the reward of
those who behave wrongly during the fasting month.
- Finally, on the Eid day, dress the children in the best clothes
and take them with you to Eid prayer. Teach them that the Eid
is the special feast for Muslims around the world.
Try these tips to educate your children, both boys and girls,
in the month of Ramadhaan. InshaaAllah, you will be rewarded
in paradise by Allah SWT for bringing them up according to the
rules of Islam. Remember, Prophet Muhammad SAW once said:
"One who is given the responsibility of the bringing
up of daughters and treats them well, there will be a shield
for him from Hell." [Bukhari and Muslim]