This week, Crescent Moon Bookstore discusses six ways to boost Islamic values in your family.
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Cultivating a modern Muslim family is possibly one of the most arduous challenges we face today. In a world where you're criticized if you do and judged if you don't, raising children with strong Islamic and cultural values that are in line with societal norms has become nothing short of a herculean task. The destruction of the family unit, the unhinged consumption of social media, and the ever-declining standards of morality have added to our uphill battles.
Parents are the primary influence on a child's life. Rightly so, Islam encourages parents to be steadfast in instilling Islamic beliefs in children up until the age of seven. In this article, we will discuss six gentle ways through which we can defy societal norms in our own little way and strengthen Islamic foundations in the hearts of our children.
6 Ways to Strengthen Islamic Values in Your Family
Love, Bonding, and Trust
The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was exemplary in his treatment of family members. He (PBUH) was never shy of expressing his love and affection for children and was the best to his spouses. The saying of the Prophet (PBUH) proves the same:
“He does not belong to us who shows no mercy to young ones and respect to our old ones, who do not recommend what is reputable and prohibits what is disreputable.”(Sunan At-Tirmizi)
We cannot overstate the power of cultivating a harmonious home space where members respect and love each other, and the best way to teach our children this is to practice it ourselves.
To encourage trust-building and bonding in your family, you can:
- Use endearing terms when interacting with your children and spouse.
- Read books that talk about family bonding. We recommend ‘Baba’s Gift’ by Ariana Shaheen and ‘Raisah and the Boat Trip’ by Nadia Ali.
- Show respect to elders through how you speak to and treat them.
- Listen mindfully when your children talk to you.
- Do not pick favorites or belittle anyone.
- Have family discussions during decision-making.
- Give advice in a prophetic way.
Dhikr, Sabr, and Shukr
And remember that which is recited in your houses of the Revelations of God and prophetic wisdom. (33: 34)
Remembrance (Dhikr) of Allah SWT and His messenger (PBUH) is like a balm to our hearts. Dhikr requires us to be composed and in a receiving state, which can be incredibly calming for a family after a busy routine. Always encourage your children to take Allah’s SWT name before they start anything new. Read these Dhikr books to learn the most effective dua’s!
There are many Sunnah duas that you can teach children to make frequently as they go about their day. One of our favorite family dua’s is the one we recite when something is lost!
إِنَّا ِلِلَّٰهِ وَإِنَّا إِلَيْهِ رَاجِعُونَ
Indeed, we belong to Allah, and certainly, to Him will we return. (2:156)
Patience and gratitude are other excellent concepts to practice at home with your family. Gift your kids this 5-minute Alhamdulilah Journal so they can write down everything they are thankful for daily.
Children get understandably restless when they cannot figure out why Allah SWT is delaying granting their dua. At times like these, lovingly help them manage their feelings and reinforce their gratitude (Shukr) in Allah SWT. Read our blog to learn how to coach your kids to manage their emotions.
Iman, Islam, and Ihsan
The hadith of Angel Jibraeel AS is a comprehensible gist of what our deen is, what we must do as Muslims, and what the pillars of Islam are. Learn about this hadith and practice it with your family members. Five Pillars: Just to Please Allah by Rabia Bashir is an easy-to-understand book that explains the concept of Islam.
Laugh, Play, and Read
Spending quality time with your kids is irreplaceable. No number of books, toys, and friends will compensate for an emotionally absent parent. Having a good time unwinding with family members is critical to boosting Islamic values in your family, and it is also a Sunnah of our beloved Prophet PBUH. Try your best to keep your family time free from judgments and criticisms and focus on bonds and joy to thrive. Some simple ways we love to relax with our family are:
- Hikes in nature
- Having picnics and barbeque nights
- Reading books together
- Enjoying a good movie together
Connect, Greet, and Forgive
Islam encourages us to treat our parents with the utmost respect and tenderness. In fact, keeping good ties with our parents and extended family comes right after our worship of Allah SWT. The Holy Quran mentions,
Worship Allah and associate nothing with Him, and do good to parents and relatives, orphans, the needy, the neighbor nearby, the neighbor away, the companion by your side, the traveler, and those your right hands possess. Indeed, Allah does not like those who are arrogant and boastful. (4: 36).
Make sure you model the best behavior towards your relatives when your children are watching. You cannot be two-faced (kind in person but mean behind their backs) when you want your children to be compassionate and loving towards their own siblings once they are adults. Take the extra effort to meet up with aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandparents whenever possible, exchange gifts, give them their due rights, and make amends where necessary to uphold family ties and strengthen Islamic values in your family.
This teaches our children to recognize the importance of kinship and opens our homes towards abundance and mercy from Allah SWT.
Sadaqah, Sharing, and Giving
Show the importance of charity and sadaqah to your children by practicing it yourselves. Giving to the community teaches children to be humble and thankful for Allah’s SWT blessings. Participate in charity drives or kitchens in your neighborhood and take your kids with you. Amir’s Blue Jacket by Sarah Musa is a beautiful story about charity and kindness. You can buy it here.
Remember that even a smile is an act of sadaqah, so smile more often at your kids!
These were our top six ideas to boost Islamic values in our household. What do you do to cultivate an Islamically inclined family? Please drop us a comment and let us know!