(Asma Rubab, Hyderabad)
Muslims firmly believe that every child is born on fitrah. Fitrah is the state of purity that gives the ability to choose Good or Evil. But gradually, the child absorbs different behaviors and treatments from the people he interacts with and develops another character accordingly.
If we want to help children remain on Fitrah, connecting them to Allah (swt) at a young age is crucial. Alhamdulillah, most of us realize this, but we do not know how to do it. Social Media and television are doing enough damage to the character-building of young children. The parents need to take charge and engage their children from a very young age in productive activities which connect them to Allah (swt). The traditional way of doing tarbiyah for children doesn’t bring the desired result in our times. Parents need to integrate productive activities with Islam. Islam and everyday learning are not two separate areas, and they are the same. Parents need to understand the importance of using the prescribed tarbiyah approach.
A few activities of the integrated tarbiyah model are mentioned below:
1. Reading: This is the best activity to train tiny brains. Parents should begin reading aloud to their children when they are babies. And what better stories than the stories from Quran and Islamic history. And through the Quranic stories, the parents can discuss the qualities every Muslim should have; trust in Allah swt, courage, truthfulness, gratitude, and humility are just a few areas a parent can steer the discussion towards.
2. Art And Craft: While doing simple art and craft, we can explain Allah’s creation’s vast uniqueness. We can quote relevant the Quranic Ayat in this context, and children would admire Allah swt for His unique attributes.
3. Cooking and Serving: This is another excellent activity to impart many good values to children. Cooking interesting dishes can be fun. But it would become more meaningful if it is connected to Islam and its importance. Going over the fruits and vegetables mentioned in the Quran and using them to cook something nice can be an activity. Feeding people have great significance in Islam. Encouraging children to serve food with love and humility to the needy would extend the same activity.
The list can be endless. But these few suggestions might have given the reader a fair idea of integrating the two areas in bringing up the children.
Learning doesn’t start at schools, it begins at home. It is essential to engage our children in productive activities that help them develop their moral values.