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 Encouraging Children to Pray

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PostSubject: Encouraging Children to Pray   Encouraging Children to Pray EmptyTue Dec 29, 2009 1:00 am

assalamou aleikoum wa rahmatoullah wa barakatou


I found this extremely beneficial article on the Homepage of Islamway Sisters


Encouraging Children to Pray Teachchildrenpray



Encouraging Children to Pray


Posted byadministrator on Tuesday, August 10 @ 02:52:07 AST
Contributed by administrator

Practical Tips on Getting Your Little Loved Ones to Make and Enjoy Salah



By Maysoon Zaza




In a hadeeth narrated by Abdullah ibn Qart the Messenger of Allah (saws) said,


"The first act that the servant of Allah will be accountable
for on the Day of Judgment will be salah. If it is good, then the rest
of his acts will be good. And if it is evil, then the rest of his acts
will be evil." (Tabarani)


Furthermore, salah was the
first act of worship that was made obligatory by Allah. Therefore, due
to its extreme importance to the Believer, salah should be one of the
first acts of worship that parents should teach their children.

When
discussing teaching children how to make salah parents typically ask
when is it necessary to begin teaching their children. Let us be
realistic; learning how to make salah is not easy for children or in
some cases adults. It can take a lot of work to master even the
simplest elements of salah. The learner must memorize the various du'aa
and Surah's of the Qur'an- not to mention the other required portions
of the salah. Furthermore, there must be work on proper pronunciation
and rules on how, when, and what makes salah valid. This is not an
overnight process but rather one that takes times. Therefore, this
leaves us with the question-when should children learn how to make
salah?



Abdullah ibn Amr ibn al-As, narrated that the Apostle of Allah, sallallahu alayhe wa sallam, said, "Command
your children to make salah when they become seven years old, and spank
them for it (salah) when they become ten years old, and arrange their
beds (to sleep) separately."
(Abu Dawud).
This does not
mean that parents can only start teaching their children how to perform
it when they reach the age of seven. Rather, informal instruction
should start when a child starts to show an interest in salah, which
usually occurs around the age of two. It is only human nature that
children love to imitate their parents. In fact, this is one method
that Allah has provided us for teaching our youth.

Therefore,
it is important for parents of small children to let them "pretend" to
make the salah along side of the parents. The benefits for this are
twofold. First, it teaches children that it is necessary to make salah
everyday five times a day. And second, it helps children learn the
physical movements of the salah. It really is amazing how fast a
two-year-old will learn the phrase Allahu-Akbar when he performs salah
along side of his parents!

The next step is to teach your child al-Fatihah. This should begin
around the age of three or four. When teaching children Surah's or any
other portions of the salah that must be memorized; it is important to
remember to break down the instructions by using a reasonable number of
verses or small segments. In other words, teaching a child how to
perform the salah should be done progressively in small steps. It is
important to practice reciting the previously learned material
consistently everyday along with any new material. These practice
sessions should only last between 5 to 15 minutes. At this age, length
of practice is not as important as consistency. Also, it is important
to note that not everyday will your child be ready to learn new
material. Work on mastery of material not quantity. The other question
many parents ask is whether or not to teach Surah's using Tajweed.
Actually, many parents find it helpful to combine the two. Children
have an amazing ability to remember songs in commercials or various
children's song. For many children, the act of singing actually makes
it easier to memorize. However, at this age it is important not to
focus on the rules of recitation but rather on the content.

While the presence of a teacher or parent teaching children the proper
method of making salah can not be underestimated, many parents find
supplemental materials helpful in teaching their children how to make
salah. Every year new educational products are being introduced into
the Muslim market. Today, Muslim parents have available coloring books,
storybooks, developmentally appropriate teaching videotapes, audio
tapes, and computer programs to enhance the learning process. Generally
children learn new tasks best if teaching material is presented in a
variety of formats. The use of such material will only help increase
the speed and amount of learning for your child not to mention that it
will make the experience more enjoyable.

Lastly, one of the most important aspects of successful teaching is
praise and encouragement. Remember that children like to please their
parents. Also, it is really important that parents praise and celebrate
their children's accomplishments. This is especially true for learning
how to make salah. After the mastery of a section, children typically
feel a strong sense of achievement. Praise motivates the child to
continue to learn and accomplish new goals.


Published in Al-Jumuah magazine.


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