Just over a month to go before Ramadan begins… how? how can that be possible when it seemed like last years Ramadan was only yesterday? My thoughts quickly turn to the need to start preparing activities for the kids, practical preparation for the family and my own spiritual preparation.
We are currently in Rajab, one of the four sacred months in the Islamic year. One of the early Muslims, Abu Bakr b. al-Warraq al-Balkhi said:
“Rajab is the month to plant the seeds of good; Sha’ban is the month to nurture the crop; and Ramadan is the month to reap the harvest (fruits of those seeds).”
So, we need to start planting these seeds now, during Rajab, to get the maximum benefit and blessings during the month of Ramadan. Let us also help our children with small stepping stones to prepare for the month ahead. This is particularly important whilst living in the West, where they are surrounded with all the western festivals such as Christmas and Easter. Building an anticipation and longing for the blessed month in our children is crucial to how they embrace the month and their motivation and success during the month. Of course, if your children are still quite young then these teachings will insha’Allah prove invaluable to them as they grow to reach the age of accountability.
Let us start to encourage our children to do good deeds, such as being kind to others, giving in charity, reading more Qur’an, being good to neighbours, making dua, helping parents around the house etc. An easy good deed to encourage in your children is gratitude, simply, thanking others. Abu Hurayrah narrated that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said:
“The one who does not thank people for the good things they do for him, is not thanking Allah”.(Ahmad, Abu-Daawood and At-Tirmidi)
It is interesting to note that he did not mention a limit to this attitude of thankfulness, instead it refers to all human beings, which includes relatives, neighbours, Muslims and non-Muslims. So one way to be thankful to Allah (SWT) is to count the jewels of humanity that are all around us and start recognizing the good things they offer. This can start with those nearest to us including family and friends and then extend to those around us in the community.
Here in Thurrock, we have the opportunity to take part in ‘Giving for Thurrock’ day on Friday 29th March 2019. We have decided to join in by giving out ‘gratitude notes’ to community workers. This is an excellent way for our Muslim children to start getting in the spirit of doing good deeds in preparation for Ramadan, recognise gratitude as an important part of Muslim character and learn to extend goodwill to non-Muslims as a form of dawah also.
Please click below for more information on how to take part and download your FREE printable. It’s extremely easy, simple and fun for your kids too. We’ve done all the work so you don’t have to. Watch your children light up as they spread kindness and bring joy to others!