‘If you fail to plan you plan to fail’. We all have heard this quote in some setting or the other. It has mostly been used for worldly goals. But Muslims have a bigger goal. We have been warned that our time will be questioned. And our goal is to work for our akhirah. Should we not be more conscious of how we plan to use our time to the optimal use?
Ramadhan is very close. May Allah swt make us all witness the coming Ramadhan and may He give us the health and taufeeq to make best use of this blessed month. May this Ramadhan be the best so far.
Every Ramadhan we try to do a little more than what we did in the previous one. This Ramadhan can also be different and more productive if we prepare well in advance for it. Let us plan this Ramadhan as a family.
Allah loves us immensely and is waiting to reward us for the smallest of good deeds. The following hadith is one such example of His love for us.
In a Hadith, the Prophet (PBUH) said: “The one who intends to do a good deed and he does not do it, he will get rewarded for it as if he did it. And if he does it, his reward will be multiplied ten times.” (Muslim, 130).
Isn’t this hadith a huge motivator for us to plan every minute of our Ramadhan in the best possible manner. If we can execute the plan, then double reward, but for some unseen circumstances, if the plan doesn’t go as planned, then we will still be rewarded by the One, for whom we are planning all this.
Yes, Ramadhan is the month of Quran, and it is recommended that more and more Quran be recited in this month. But young children who cannot read a lot of Quran, need to see that the pleasure of Allah can be attained through so many ways. Children might need more variety to stay productive throughout the month. And it is a great opportunity to explore and practice different ways of pleasing Allah.
As a parent you must help the child devise the month’s target plan. This activity needs to start well before Ramadhan and not after Ramadhan has started. Parents should also have a plan. Everyone should sit and plan as a family and show others their plans. Let children see and realize that every person has a different target to achieve and a different way to please Allah swt.
Of course, one can add more in the plan, but I feel these are the basic areas for anybody to work on.
Salah and Quran – The child can plan to make small changes in his/her salah routines – pray on time, pray without reminders from parents, pray with concentration. Similarly, with the Quran, the child can decide to do some research or spend some time understanding an ayah a day. He/She can write the ayah on a poster and make a Ramadhan ayah book.
Relation with family, relatives and neighbours – Ramadhan is a beautiful opportunity to strengthen or fix the family ties. Adults should work on it more thoughtfully and actively, but on the same hand, they should also help children maintain healthy relations. Love needs to be expressed and there are multiple ways one can express it. Ask children to make small iftar notes for neighbours. Or small gift notes for their grandparents. They can make handmade gifts or buy gifts with their own pocket money. Ask children to write down different approaches they will use during Ramadhan to please their friends and family.
Sadaqa – At the behest itself make this point very clear with your child, ‘every good deed done for the sake of Allah is Sadaqa’. You can ask the child to list a few good deeds and from that ask the child to write down a few that he/she finds very easy to perform and some that he/she finds very difficult to do. For example, a child might find smiling and saying salams very easy, but when it comes to sharing toys or snacks, he/ she struggles. Ask the child to make sure he consciously carries out a couple of easy deeds along with some difficult deeds of goodness.
Self-check – Ask your child to do a self-check on his habits, strengths, weaknesses. Ask him/her to identify 3-4 areas where improvement is needed. Maybe he is very disorganised, or is bad at time keeping, or takes offence to every small comment, or loses his/her cool at the slightest provocation. This will help the child to overcome his/her weaknesses and since it is the time of Ramadhan, the child would want to work on them purely for the sake of Allah swt.
You can extend this activity further and invite your building children and have a Ramadhan Target Planning session with them. Or do it for the children of your extended family.
You will gain sawab for every plan that a child makes regardless of him acting upon it or not.