ON UNITY WEEK: 10 TIPS FOR CHILDREN TO COMMEMORATE PROPHET’S LIFE
We continue to love, respect and obey Prophet Muhammad, as the human being who was chosen by our Lord to perfect the religion of Islam.
Here are ten tips to have your children learning about and the loving Prophet Muhammad, which can be used all year round.
And for those who are homeschooling, these tips can add to the enriching experience of home-based education, nurturing the family to grow into a cohesive unit that loves and hates for the sake of Allah.
1. A Deed a Day
The "A Deed a Day" initiative is a good way to start emulating the Prophet, as he (peace and blessings be upon him) encouraged believers to engage in good deeds even if it was as small as smiling to another brother or sister.
Consciously thinking of a good deed every day raises awareness and love of Prophet Muhammad's life, as it stated repeatedly in the Qur'an that we are to follow the way of Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him).
Having children think up a Deed a Day and see it through imbues their love for Allah's Messenger, and to stand by his teachings of the Prophetic Sunnah. Of course, it pays to get creative thinking of good deeds that are a little different or out of the way, like calling on a neighbor to help clean his or her yard. And if a Deed a Daybecomes too easy, one can always upgrade to "Two Deeds a Day," and so on so forth.
2. Bedtime Seerah Stories
Bedtimes stories are a norm in close-knit families. Instead of reading Goodnight Moon and the like, replace bedtime stories with stories of Prophet Muhammad's life.
Listening to stories of Allah's Messenger before dozing off, allows children to take messages of the Prophet with them, after a long busy day.
3. Travel the World
Prophet Muhammad spoke at lengths about the great diversity found in this world, and how we should seek knowledge all the way to China. And sure enough, it's a great, wide world out there, with so many things to learn
Create your own passports and decide where you wish to go, maybe on a monthly basis. And with the help of a globe, atlases, encyclopedias and the internet, do some research on the communities within the country.
Learn about their ethnic breakdowns, their languages, and their folklore. Learn about their geographical make-up and what makes their economy tick. Learn about their Masjids (if it is a Muslim country) or learn about their different festivities.
Understanding that the world is made out of the diverse human race helps imbue the sense of humility and appreciation for others, as well as for ourselves. If there are opportunities for your children to have pen pals, look up like-minded parents who wish for the same.
Travelling the world from the comfort of your home helps increase knowledge and brings us closer to Allah, the way Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) would have wanted.
4. Be the Advocate in Green
Prophet Muhammad loved the earth, as it was prescribed as the largest Masjid for us to worship Allah. He encouraged the planting of trees and kindness to animals. He also loved sports and being outdoors, appreciating Allah's beauty in this temporary abode.
So get your children out and about and in tune with nature. Let them appreciate flowers and insects.
Start an organic garden. Take up a family sport. If your children are old enough, get them networked with green activists so they can be part of something bigger.
Have them take part in neighborhood clean-ups and other initiatives. Everything they do to save the earth will bring them closer to Prophet Muhammad, who would have supported Earth Day, any day.
5. Get in Touch with an Orphanage
Getting in touch with an orphanage to play a role in the upbringing of orphans is a great way to emulate Prophet Muhammad, who was an orphan himself. Prophet Muhammad declared his love for someone who strokes the hair or an orphan child.
Getting into orphan-friendly programs teaches our children the feelings of gratitude and humility. It helps us raise compassionate children who love to give to charity and appreciate all that they have.
Older children may be able to help teach classes at orphanages or organize fundraisers. Younger children may enjoy collecting donations for orphanages or participating in educational trips that are arranged by their parents and caretakers.
The list is endless when it comes to coming into contact with orphanages, and this is one of the best ways to illuminate our love for Prophet Muhammad.
6. Write a Letter to a Loved One
Keeping in touch with loved ones and acquaintances is part of the Prophet's sunnah. Prophet Muhammad encouraged keeping in touch with friends and family at all times in order to build a healthy ummah (nation).
Have your children write letters or post cards to loved ones who are far away. Not only does this allow them to keep in touch, but also it encourages them to express themselves in writing.
7. Read a Surah and Study the Tafseer( Qur’anic interpretation)
The most obvious way to commemorate the life of Prophet Muhammad is to read the Qur'an.
There are plentiful of blessings in reading the Qur'an alone, and there are even more when it comes to understanding the message behind each surah (chapter) and thetafseer (interpretation) as this allows us to practice the principle within the surah.
So learn a new surah and study the tafseer, this will surely bring our children closer to the piety of Prophet Muhammad and his love for Allah.
8. Make Du'a All the Time
Prophet Muhammad was known to make du'a (invocations) for everything. And there is a list of du'as available to Muslims that they can practice in their daily lives.
However, du'as, or invocations, are not limited to those alone, and Muslims should call upon Allah all the time, as Prophet Muhammad did.
A du'a can open doors for guidance and protects us from evil, with Allah's will.
9. Meet Friends at the Masjid
Have your children meet with friends at the Masjid.
The Masjid, during the time of the Prophet, was the meeting point for Muslims, so it's great to make hanging out at the Masjid a social norm.
Besides meeting for prayers and Qur'anic / Islamic classes, encourage your children to bring their own books or simple crafts projects.
The more children enjoy being in the Masjid, the more likely will they find themselves returning, to find solace and relaxation and nurturing their love for a healthy social life, much like the youth during Prophet’s time.
10. Enjoy Some Dates
Lastly, one of the best ways to harness our love for Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) is to harness our love for dates. There are plentiful of health benefits in enjoying dates on a daily basis and that is why it is an important sunnah. Children who eat dates are also reportedly more calm and at peace.
To put an interesting spin on things, try out date-based recipes that include puddings, cakes and stir-fries.
Definitely, there are many ways to imbue our love for Prophet Muhammad all year round.
Speaking to our children about Prophet Muhammad in everything we do helps them follow the footsteps of the final Messenger of Allah to do it conscientiously and with full of love. We should also continuously invoke blessings upon the Messenger of Allah and pray that our final abode in Jannah (Paradise) is as close as possible to his.