Kids and Salah: How to Inspire a Love of Salah in those Tender Hearts
Advice from Guest Contributor Faryal Mahmud
Looking back at the past 5 years, I reflect on the sudden growth of my children. How did they go from elementary aged children to teens? For healthy children, parents focus, and often believe, the most important growth is their spiritual growth. They want their children to grow up and be grounded, happy individuals.
As Muslims, we believe in the five pillars of Islam. The first pillar we teach our children is the Shahada, the testament of faith: There is no God but Allah ﷻ and Muhammad (saw) is His messenger.
Next, we teach our children about Salah (the five daily prayers). But what is the best way to teach our children? Should we buy books, videos or hire a tutor?
Here you will find five easy tips on how to plant the seed for a love of salah in children.
1. Love Salah yourself. Have you ever seen that dad that LOVES soccer and all his kids play soccer? Well, why is that so? It’s because kids will always try to emulate their parents. And if they do something enough, the repetition builds a familiarity that then turns into habit. The same goes for Salah.
If the kids see the adults in the home praying regularly and on time, that is something they will (InshaAllah) strive for. Also, if you say out loud “Oh, wonderful! It’s Salah time, it’s my time to connect with Allah ﷻ - I’m so excited,” the children will feed off this beautiful vibe.
2. Make it a family affair. If at all possible, try for everyone to pray together. Many brothers go to their local masjid for the five daily prayers, but try to pray together with whomever is at home. Or, the family can go to the masjid together. One interesting side effect of the pandemic was that our local masjid closed down and our family prayed together. Every. Single. Salah.
Alhamdulillah we are blessed with children who were raised to value a salah in congregation, even if it was just our family. Remind them that a congregational prayer is rewarded 27 times the amount of a regular salah. I asked my older kids if they would prefer getting $27 or $1 for every salah, and that really helped all of us focus on the magnitude of the reward.
3. If you have babies or young toddlers, allow your children to be in your arms or laps while you pray. This may come as a shock to some, but it does not break your Salah if your child is with you. When going down in sujood, lay your child gently on the rug and you can pick him/her back up on the way up.
My youngest was so used to this, that at the masjid she would go lay down right where my husband was to do sujood, even when she was at the end of her toddler years. She’s almost 7, and I’m sure she has jumped into my arms while I’m praying recently.
4. Quran. To be successful at praying, your child will have to have some portions of the Quran memorized. It doesn’t have to be long surahs. As soon as your child is born, recite whatever Quran you know by heart out loud. Let the children hear you and your spouse reciting Quran throughout the day. Then, when the children are old enough to articulate their sounds into words, gently teach them to recite.
Young children love repetition, so use whatever resources are available to you: YouTube audio of the Quran, a Quran Pen, or even just play from a Quran App and project onto a bluetooth speaker.
5. Dua. Probably the most importation advice I can give, is to make sincere dua to Allah ﷻ . Nothing is possible without His permission and he can make absolutely anything possible. Really trust in the power of Dua and teach your children to make dua at a young age.
May Allah ﷻ help you and your family love and establish Salah in your hearts and homes.
About our Guest Contributor