I have many nephews and nieces (aged 6-13) but it hurts me to see them spend their time away during vacations in useless pursuits like – watching cartoon , playing video games, watching T.V. serials, reading novels like Harry Potter etc.
I have many times told my siblings to keep their children away from such things (as mentioned above) but still I see it happening again and again and I feel bad that our children are going in the wrong direction.
My siblings sometimes tell me that even I would do the same when I was a child and even though their respective children are doing it now, they will leave it when they gain understanding. (I am the youngest)
They also tell me that they do tell their children but the children do not do as asked to do and in fact some of them even give back harsh replies.
I would like to know in the light of Shariah, how should we utilize the time which the children get during vacations?
I have always pressed on this point and tried to explain to my sisters and brothers that if their children become obedient now and they start learning the basic aspects of Shariah (like learning the tajweed of quraan, masnoon duas,) it would be more beneficial to both the children and parents.
So please guide as to how should I make the children more fond of deen and make them abstain from the useless pursuits they engage in?
In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.
As-salāmu `alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh.
Children are the leaders of tomorrow. Therefore, they should be treated with great care and love. One should demonstrate affection and compassion for children as far as possible. As seniors, we should imbibe within them proper Islamic values and manners. The hearts of children are like bare fields, we need to cultivate their hearts with the correct seeds of true Islamic values, ethics, morals and mannerisms.
Children are playful and energetic by nature. The parents should try to channel that energy into Halal avenues. The parents may consider the following:
1. Taking out the children on nature trips to a nature reserve where they can do hiking, walking, cycling, e.t.c. You may consider other alternatives for them during the holidays/vacation.
2. Creating a general atmosphere of Deen within the home. Have a fixed time when Yaseen is recited, Durood Shareef is recited, e.t.c in the house.
3. Take them to the Musjid from an early age so that they get used to the environment of Deen.
4. Invite an Aalim to your house once a week.
5. Buy some Islamic literature which would appeal to the minds of youngsters.
6. Make them more active in the household chores.
7. Those that are little bit older make them earn some money so that they understand the value of money and they appreciate their parent’s Ihsan on them.
8. Win the heart of the child over with love and affection and then the child would be ready to accept anything you say.
9. Reward the child for reading a certain amount of Qur’an, Zikr, e.t.c.
10. The above are all alternatives to the frivolous pursuits that your nephews and nieces are currently engaged in. Deal with them with wisdom and diplomacy, talk to them and convince them over a gradual period of time.
And Allah knows best.
Mufti Ebrahim Desai