Reflections About Teaching Kids the Importance of Dua
During Ramadan we usually try to hype up the last 10 nights for our oldest son as well as get him involved in as many ibadaat as he can handle.One of our strategies was getting him to make a dua list for the last 10 nights then getting him to stay up as late as possible, reciting Quran, reading Islamic kids’ books and making the duas on his list all with lots of snacks on the side😅😆
During this time, I am reminded of the innocence of kids, their beautiful and imaginative soul is remarkable. I remember one Ramadan reading through his dua list and giggling silently inside because of some of the things he wrote down. One of his dua was "Oh Allah make mommy's plants grow". This was at the height of the pandemic, and I was home a lot with the boys, so I decided to do some backyard gardening. I planted some vegetables, and the day he saw the first tomato fruit yield he jumped with so much excitement, ran to me and shouted, " mommy Allah answered my dua, there is a tomato fruit". To see how excited, he was because of the manifestation of his dua was beautiful.
Another dua he made was he asked Allah for Legos. I laughed when I saw this dua because I knew I was not going to buy him Legos. As a pediatrician, I sometimes imagine all the horrible things I see in the hospital will happen to my kids. So sometimes I am too protective and excessively cautionary. I am personally not a fan of Legos because of some of their small parts. In my adult human mind, I am thinking “this is one dua that would not be manifested because mommy won’t be buying Legos” Subhan Allah, how forgetful we are as humans, that Allah is able to do all things. I assumed because I was his parent, I was the only one who could take care of his needs.
A few weeks after Ramadan one of my husbands’ aunts visited the boys. Before she left, she asked my son if there was anything specific, he wanted and he told her he wanted "Legos" specifically "Star Wars Legos ". When my son mentioned aunty asked if he wanted anything and he requested Legos I knew immediately his dua would be manifested. This aunty happens to be one of the most generous human beings I ever met, and she has always been someone very generous to our family. A week later we had Star Wars Lego waiting for my son in the mailbox. Subhan Allah! My son of course was ecstatic, he did not even remember he had made dua for Legos in Ramadan. I reminded him of his dua during the last 10 days of Ramadan and encouraged him to be thankful to Allah and say Alhamdulillah. I used the opportunity to remind him that whatever he needed, even if mommy and daddy cannot provide it, nothing is impossible for Allah, and we should always depend on Allah
My son was only seven at the time. We are slowly working on his art of making dua through practice. We try to keep a family tradition of making dua together after maghrib salah every day. My husband and I take turns each day, but we have also assigned him a specific day to make dua. He knows it is his turn to make dua on Saturdays and even though sometimes he is grumpy and makes it begrudgingly, he is learning and improving his art of making dua.
Now that he is getting older, he is starting to ask questions like “but I made this dua Allah did not answer”. SubhanAllah, even we as adults have similar thoughts. It can be a difficult concept to explain to children who usually want instant response to their asks. I try to reassure him that Allah answers all our duas and nothing is left unanswered. We keep having discussions repeatedly about how Allah can answer our duas in different ways; either he give us what we asked for at that time, or he may delay his response, or he might give us something better, or save it as a reward in the hereafter or may use it to ward off an evil. Anytime we escape a potential bad situation, I draw analogy for him about how that might be a protection from Allah from one of the supposed duas we think are not answered. I also reassure him that sometimes when he asks mommy and daddy for things, we sometimes give a list of conditions before we fulfil his ask, hence we delay the response.
These are very nuanced discussions even we adults struggle with it, much less a child but I try to open these discussions and discuss it as age appropriate as possible hopefully building that foundation to make them strong believers in the power of dua and to always depend completely on our Rabb.
A few ideas on how to get our kids on the path of dua:
- Make dua a part of family routine and have your kids participate, you may consider assigning them a specific day or take turns during a session. For example, you may say everyone make one dua each and ensure everyone says something even if it is for something very small or seemingly insignificant.
- When your kids make a request from you rather than just obliging, encourage them to make dua to Allah for it. For example, if our sons want something we sometimes tell them “You have to make dua that Allah gives mommy and daddy money to be able to afford that”
- Enroll them in fun and beneficial classes that teach the concept and art of making dua. DiscoverU founded by the late Shayk Muhammad Alshareef (May Allah have mercy on him) have a dua class for kids and it is so much fun. I had my kids take it and we still use some of the tools we learnt from that class in building our art of making dua.
- Practice what you preach and be a role model for your kids, let them see that you always rely on Allah for all your needs. Show them how to always hold on to the rope of Allah and to always rely on him as he is the only one who never disappoints us.
Ultimately teaching our kids about the power of dua from a young age will help them learn to rely more on Allah than humans. Not only would we increase their love for Allah, but it is also a way to teach them resilience that when mommy and daddy are not here Allah is always there for them.
May Allah always make us people of dua and tawakkul.
This is a blog contribution by Umm Z, a mother of 3 boys. The post was originally shared on her blog in February 2023.
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