“Accumulating evidence has observed that having a higher sense of purpose is associated with better biological functioning and lower risk of chronic disease and mortality.” Source: NCBI
As parents, we want our children to grow up purposefully and confidently. But we are busy. And our kids are busy. Yet, if we even look back at a year ago, we wonder, “Are my children learning enough of Islam? Am I doing enough to instill Islam in their lives?”
Time escapes us all, and we miss opportunities to instill lessons and learning we want to ground our children. This summer, save your children’s free time. Summer Quran classes for kids and Muslim summer camps are a great start.
Here are three recommendations to help you steer your family on the straight path (siratul mustaqeen).
1. Keep Scheduled Summer Quran Classes for Kids
The best way to keep children grounded in remembering Allah is through Quran. Having scheduled summer Quran classes for kids is vital to their success. Why? Because you are instilling three very foundational principles in their lives.
Three Easy Steps
Scheduling for children is very important, as it gives them structure. Both internally and externally. They know what to expect and what is expected of them. A schedule helps them have a purpose when they wake up and feel grounded.
Some parents like to abandon their children’s Quran classes in the summer because they feel it’s the holiday, so they can “take a break.” Please, don’t do this. You are telling your children that Islam has an on-and-off switch and that we worship Allah only when it fits into our schedule. It also teaches them that learning Quran is a burden and work, and one cannot be content or enjoy life when sitting with their Quran.
Even if you do not maintain the same schedule as during the year, be sure not to let go of their Quran classes. Islam is a way of life, and staying consistent with Quran instills these values in children.
Consistency is a big part of our religion. And is it a characteristic that Allah loves:
Aisha narrates: The Prophet (SAW) was asked, “What deeds are loved most by Allah?” He said, “The most regular constant deeds even though they may be few.” He added, ‘Don’t take upon yourselves, except the deeds which are within your ability.” Sahih al-Bukhari 6465
Consistency is the key to success in our goals and dreams for ourselves and our children. The power of small, consistent actions is underrated. People feel lazy to begin something because the task will take forever. But those who keep making small steps daily achieve great things. They look back and realize, “Wow, I managed to do so much just because I didn’t give up!”
For our IQRA Network students, keep your classes going; otherwise, you risk losing your teacher. But you know what’s worse than that? The risk of losing the knowledge you’ve already gained because you’ve stopped practicing and learning.
2. Family Seerah Night
Children crave attention! And what better way to spend time with them than learning about Islam together? Every night, or every other night, or every week make it a “Family Seerah Night.” Either read from a book together and learn about Prophet Muhammad’s (SAW) life, join an online course, or tune into a lecture series online. The beauty of learning seerah is that it is relayed as storytelling and completely captivates children.
Building an Islamic foundation starts at home, and how you spend your free time with your family tells them what’s important in life. Not only does it create a special bond between each other, but it also forms positive memories about our beautiful religion.
3. Community Connections – Mosque Involvement
Making time to get out of the house, especially getting off devices, is essential for children (and adults). Alarming studies conducted in the United States show a steady rise in depression, suicide, and anxiety among youth.
“In the USA, depression diagnoses among youth increased from 8.7% in 2005 to 11.3% in 2014. Additionally, suicide is the second leading cause of death among youth between the ages of 10 and 34, with a 47.5% increase since 2000 (One suggested cause for this rise in adolescent depression and suicide is the advent of social media (SM).” Source: NCBI
Muslim communities are suffering from similar effects. Our children need a place to socialize and connect with like-minded people. Islam encompasses our entire life, from how we eat, to what we say when we enter the house, so it only makes sense that our children frequent the mosque.
Getting children involved in volunteer activities at the mosque is an excellent way to socialize and feel purposeful. Humans are social creatures that need social connections to be our best. The better our social relationships, the better we function in life.
Our children will soon blossom into adults, and free time becomes sparse. Instilling a sense of purpose by ensuring they use their time correctly will help them through life. So, consider summer Quran classes for kids, a family night learning about the life of the Prophet (SAW), and getting involved in mosque activities.
Each step we take with our purpose as a Muslim (worshipping Allah alone) builds stepping stones towards our goal of Jannah, InshaAllah!