This week, Crescent Moon Bookstore dives into the world of everyday Sunnah acts that can bring your family closer to the deen and the Prophet Muhammad PBUH!
What is a Sunnah?
The term Sunnah refers to ‘habits’ or ‘acts’ that were put in place by the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ through his words, acts, and tacit. He PBUH practiced these acts and recommended that his followers make them a part of their lives. There are several authentic, recorded Sunnah acts for almost everything the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ did during his life and encouraged Muslims to abide by. From the proper eating etiquette to the appropriate way of greeting someone, you will easily find beautiful Sunnahs to follow daily.
What are the Benefits of Practicing the Sunnah?
The traditions of the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ play an essential role in strengthening the bond a Muslim has with their family members. The Sunnah falls right after the Holy Quran when it comes to its value in Islamic Law.
Observing and emulating the habits of the Prophet Muhammad PBUH is so highly encouraged in our deen that they are included under “recommended acts of worship."
Practicing Sunnah acts in your home can be a powerful yet subtle way of raising children who grow to love and live by Islam. Following the Sunnah is one of the simplest ways to increase our Ibadah and a sure solution to invoke Allah’s SWT barakah in our family life.
The Holy Quran mentions:
Say, [O Muhammad], “If you should love Allah, then follow me; Allah will love you and forgive your sins. And Allah is Forgiving and Merciful. [3: 31].
With this success formula in our parenting arsenal, we have rounded up a list of simple Sunnah acts that you can teach your little ones so they can enhance and embrace their relationship with Allah SWT. Read on to know what these are!
Simple Sunnah Acts to Incorporate in A Muslim Home
Be Kind to your Parents
If you want to teach your kids a Sunnah, they must watch you practice it yourself. Even though our beloved Prophet Muhammad ﷺ lost his parents very early during his childhood, he always advised and ordered us to treat our parents with love, respect, dignity, and kindness. If you live close to your parents, let your kids watch you behave the most beautifully with your parents. Your kids will pick on your compassion and respect for your parents, and their demeanor towards you will reflect the same.
If your parents live away, encourage your kids to be in touch with them regularly by doing so yourself. Greeting parents with warm gestures and words can be an invaluable act of Sunnah. Heaven is at Mamas Feet by Shifa Saltagi Safadi is a colorful and unique story that talks about the roles and responsibilities of a mom and how we may try, but we can’t ever fill mama’s shoes! Click here to buy the book!
Eat Like the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ
The Prophet Muhammad ﷺ, modeled perfect behavior even as he ate and drank. He said,
"Mention Allah's Name (say Bismillah before eating), eat with your right hand, and eat from what is near you." Bukhari and Muslim
Practicing the proper etiquette for eating at the table is very easy, and some of it can be summarized as follows:
- Wash your hands before eating
- Recite the dua for eating.
- Eat/drink while sitting down and using your right hand.
- Eat what is in front of you first, rather than reaching out and over.
- Chew your food well and try to avoid talking.
- Avoid eating food that is too hot and wait for it to cool down instead of blowing over it.
- Take as much as you can eat, and do not waste food.
- Drink water in three sips or more, not in one gulp.
- Say Alhumdulillah - all praise and thanks be to Allah - when you are done.
Eating Just Like the Prophet is a handy book by Moin Uddin Khan that talks about all the Sunnah traditions of the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ that relate to eating.
Make a Routine for Bed Time Sunnahs
If you have children who struggle with nighttime terrors, teach them to practice bedtime Sunnahs each night before they sleep. The Prophet Muhammad ﷺ, would practice certain acts to ward off evil thoughts and negative influences and invoke Allah SWT’s mercy and pleasure.
Some well-known bedtime Sunnah acts are:
- Fulfilling the evening obligatory prayers
- Making wudhu before you sleep
- Dusting your bed before you lie in it
- Reciting Ayatul Kursi, Surah ikhlas, Surah Falaq and Surah Nas.
- Reciting the Tasbeeh of Subhanallah (33 times), Alhamdulillah (33 times), and Allahu Akbar (34 times)
- Sleeping on your right side and avoiding sleeping on your belly
Let’s Not Forget the Toilet Sunnahs!
Is That a Tea Pot by the Toilet by Rabia Bashir is a light-hearted book that conveys a crucial message about the etiquette of using the toilet in Islam. Encouraging our children to adopt the Sunnah acts of using the restroom is just as important as teaching them about any other sunnah, and probably even more so, because it encompasses an element of physical hygiene and cleanliness. The Prophet Mohammed, please be upon him said,
“Cleanliness is half of Faith.” Sahih Muslim
And so, holding firm to the Sunnahs of using the toilet is extremely important.
Another rhyming book on this topic is My First Muslim Potty Book by Yousfa Janjua. It is an excellent resource for kids who always seem to be in a hurry when using the toilet and serves as a reminder to enter with the left foot, exit with the right one, recite the dua’s each time, and do istinja after we are done.
Sunnahs about Sharing, Giving, and Sadaqah
Sadaqah and charity are major Sunnahs of our beloved Prophet Muhammad ﷺ, and are highly encouraged, even if it is a smile that you can offer as charity.
Abu Huraira narrates:
The Prophet said, "The one who care for a widow or a needy person is like a (warrior) who fights for Allah's religion, or like him who performs prayers all night and fasts all day." Sahih Bukhari
Parents who model a giving and generous personality towards their families and the community will notice that their children naturally pick up on the akhlaq of sharing and providing. The Akhlaq Building Series by Ali Gator Publishers is a unique set of books for little Muslims that introduces this Sunnah of sharing what you love, helping others, and giving generously. Click here to view the complete collection.
Sunnah of Good Akhlaq and Adab
The Prophet Muhammad ﷺ was a living epitome of good manners, akhlaq, and adab. He, peace be upon him, demonstrated utmost respect and humility when dealing with people, Muslims and otherwise.
A hadith by Sahih Bukhari mentions:
The Prophet (ﷺ) said, "Make things easy for the people, and do not make it difficult for them, and make them calm (with glad tidings) and do not repulse them.
The most effective way of teaching good manners to children is to exemplify it ourselves. As parents, we must be mindful of how our children overhear us talking about our family, friends, and neighbors in their absence. To practice Sunnah in your akhlaq, try the following:
- Begin all tasks with Bismillah - in the name of Allah.
- Say Salaam frequently, even when entering an empty house.
- Respond generously to a salaam when you receive one, as it is an obligation.
- Always speak the truth and encourage your children to do the same by not reacting harshly when they admit their mistakes.
The Box of Manners by Learning Roots is an invaluable resource set of thoughtfully illustrated that depict Islamic adab and etiquette. Families can use the cards in three exciting games that develop interpersonal and social behavioral skills.
This was the Crescent Moon Bookstore list of daily Sunnahs we love practicing with our families. What sunnah acts do you teach your children? Do you know of more children’s books that talk about prophetic traditions? Share a comment and let us know!