Connect with us

Family and Community

Ramadhaan For Kids: Making It Count

Published

ramadankids.jpgAs adults, we look forward to Ramadhaan as a time of increased spirituality and a more concerted effort at increasing our ‘ebaadah. In preparation, we read books and articles, listen to lectures, plan goals and menus for the month.

But what about kids? What do they know about Ramadhaan, what do they think about it, and how special is it to them?

Some parents, masha’Allah, teach their kids all about Ramadhaan and have managed to impart create that “Ramadhaan atmosphere” so that their children can really feel how important it is. For others, though, it can be a bit more difficult – so insha’Allah this post will be focused on teaching kids about Ramadhaan, and making it an important and special part of their lives. We want to do our best to create fond memories that they’ll look back on happily and take a lesson from in the future, bi ithnillaah.

Help Us End Ramadan with 1000 Supporters!

Alhamdulillah, we're at 900 supporters. Help us get to 1000 supporters before Ramadan ends. All it takes is a small gift from a reader like you to keep us going, for just $2 / month.

The Prophet (SAW) has taught us the best of deeds are those that done consistently, even if they are small. Click here to support MuslimMatters with a monthly donation of $2 per month. Set it and collect blessings from Allah (swt) for the khayr you're supporting without thinking about it.

First and foremost, it is absolutely imperative that we make this effort in teaching the young’uns about Ramadhaan – and besides just teaching, about making them understand and feel it. For those of us living in the West, we know how the non-Muslims make a big effort with their special occasions, especially Christmas. Muslim kids can sometimes feel left out when “everyone else” (i.e. their friends at school) is busy with Christmas shopping, Christmas crafts, Christmas cooking… you name it. Thus, when Ramadhaan comes around, we have to explain to them that we’ve got something a kazillion times better than Christmas and all the other stuff they celebrate – but the only way to make them know that is to make it so.

I’ve personally found that there are two aspects to ‘introducing’ Ramadhaan to kids: the first is the technical education (what Ramadhaan’s all about), and then the implementation of that knowledge and creating the special environment. They shouldn’t really be separate, but in the case of Muslim schools or part-time Madrasahs, that’s how it is: the education is done at the school, and the implementation is something that needs to be done at home.

Anyway, here’s what we’ve been doing at the Madrasah to teach the kids about Ramadhaan:

  • Teach them the months of the Islamic calendar. This way, they’re aware that as Muslims we follow something separate from the non-Muslims in more ways than one. Allah chose the months of the Islamic calendar for us, even the months of days in the months! He also taught us how to figure out when the month begins and ends, by going out to look for the new moon.
  • Why is Ramadhaan special? Ramadhaan is a very special and important time – Allah commanded all the Muslims to fast during that month. Ramadhaan is also the “month of the Qur’aan,” because Allah sent down the Qur’an to Bayt al-‘Izzah on that night (this requires a bit of time to explain what Bayt al-‘Izzah is and what we mean by ‘sending the Qur’an down’). The first few ayaat of the Qur’aan were revealed to the Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) during the month of Ramadhaan.
  • What is fasting all about? The most obvious thing is that we don’t eat or drink from Fajr ’till Maghrib – but it’s more than just feeling hungry. When we’re hungry, we know how poorer people who don’t have much food feel, and we thank Allah for what He’s given us. We try to become better people, even if we’re cranky or grumpy. We do our best to be on our extra-good behaviour, all the time. Allah loves us even more when we do our best to do what He sell us, and He has promised to reward us with something really, really great when we fast properly for His Sake.

Now, here’s how to make Ramadhaan special:

  • I spy… the hilaal! Take your kids with you to sight the moon! One of my favourite memories is of my dad taking me with him to look for the moon (mind you, this was when I was really little – around 6 or so). Bring along special treats: samosas, gahwa and shai/chai, mithai, whatever! And don’t forget the binoculars!
  • Ramadhaan food – I think everyone already does this, but if you don’t, then you should! Whatever culture you’re from, choose some items of food that everyone loves and make it especially for Ramadhaan. Making a tradition of it will make sure that the smell and taste of that food will be forever associated with Ramadhaan in the minds of your kids.
  • Ramadhaan crafts. A quick Google search yields loads of results – whether it’s a hand-made Ramadhaan poster or calendar, mobiles or decorating a wall/ room/ the house, there’s a lot that you can do with the young’uns that’s both fun and educational (for both of you!).
  • Iftaar with friends: Choose a weekend evening to invite your child’s Muslim friends (and maybe even non-Muslim friends?) over for iftaar. Make a special menu, get them to do some Ramadhaan crafts together, get them to talk about Ramadhaan and what they love about it, etc. It’s also really cute when you get them to all pray together! :)
  • Ramadhaan “contests”: Help make memorizing more Qur’aan/ doing extra good deeds more fun by having a family ‘contest’ to see who does what during Ramadhaan. Of course, you have to explain that everyone’s a winner, and if you’re going to have prizes, then everyone should get something at the end.
  • Taraweeh: For older kids especially (12+), try to take them for Taraweeh – usually it’s only feasible on weekends because of school, but it’s still very important. Of course, you’ve got to teach them basic adab of the masjid (otherwise you’ll have them being loud and obnoxious, or running away to fool around with their friends).

Above all, make a point of praising your child for their participation, and let them know how happy Allah is with them also. Try your best to help your child also feel an increase in emaan! Let them be proud to be Muslim, and realize that Ramadhaan is truly an amazing time for us.

Excellent links:

Ramadhaan Fun with ModernMuslima

UmmLayla’s Date Chain and Felt Calendar

Ramadhaan Activities with MissionIslam (I love the Ramadhaan diary! Oh, and scroll to the bottom for the kids’ stuff.)

Ramadhaan Mubarak, Crayola! :P

More links and tips from OrlandoMuslimMama

See Also: MM’s Ramadan Coverage 

Help Us End Ramadan with 1000 Supporters!

Alhamdulillah, we're at 900 supporters. Help us get to 1000 supporters before Ramadan ends. All it takes is a small gift from a reader like you to keep us going, for just $2 / month.

The Prophet (SAW) has taught us the best of deeds are those that done consistently, even if they are small. Click here to support MuslimMatters with a monthly donation of $2 per month. Set it and collect blessings from Allah (swt) for the khayr you're supporting without thinking about it.

Zainab bint Younus (AnonyMouse) is a Canadian Muslim woman who writes on Muslim women's issues, gender related injustice in the Muslim community, and Muslim women in Islamic history. She holds a diploma in Islamic Studies from Arees University, a diploma in History of Female Scholarship from Cambridge Islamic College, and has spent the last fifteen years involved in grassroots da'wah. She was also an original founder of MuslimMatters.org.

8 Comments

8 Comments

  1. Sana K

    August 30, 2008 at 4:26 PM

    SubhanAllah just what I needed. I know I’m getting ahead of myself since my daughter is only 3 months old :) but its never too early to start…lol JazakiAllahu Khayr and a very warm Ramadan Mubarak to you.

    – Umm Zayna

  2. Redwan Ahmed

    August 31, 2008 at 10:38 AM

    Ramadan Mubarak to MuslimMatters

  3. nafsee

    September 3, 2008 at 1:39 AM

    Ramadhan Kareem.
    The crayola.com page featuring Ramadhan activities for children is awesome! JazakiAllahu Khayran for sharing =)

  4. Olivia

    September 4, 2008 at 12:22 AM

    One thing that I do is that throughout the year we “build up” to Ramadan and Eid. Whenever we talk about birthdays or other holidays that our Non Muslim family celebrate, I always remind my daugther that we have a special time to celebrate too-Ramadan and Eid! This way when it comes around its much-awaited!

    Also, I dont normally keep Coke in my house (i love it and so does my daugther lol) bc its unhealthy. However for Ramadan we get “baby cokes” (the ones in the mini cans theyre so cute!). The little things go a long way =)

  5. Pingback: Open Thread 9-7-08: MM Ramadan Recap | MuslimMatters.org

  6. Pingback: Ramadan for Kids - Making It Count - Islam for Parents

  7. Haseeb

    March 1, 2009 at 2:43 AM

    A good article, jazak Allah khair

  8. Islam4Parents

    June 5, 2009 at 2:02 PM

    Assalamualaikum,

    Very beneficial post and excellent website.

    Thanks for sharing.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

..
..
..

Ramadan Video Series

MuslimMatters NewsLetter in Your Inbox

Sign up below to get started

Trending