Friday May 18, 2018
It may have come as a surprise to many residents of the Bay Area, San Francisco, to pass in front of a house glimmering with tiny tea lights and lanterns. They must have wondered: what is the occasion?
The home belongs to a Muslim family from Karachi, Pakistan. They had adorned their walls to welcome the most awaited Islamic month of Ramazan. Inside, delicious smells of kebab and vegetable rolls, wafted outdoors, inviting fellow Muslims from all nationalities to open their fast with them.
Arham and his wife hope to familiarize children with Islam, the spirit of Ramazan, fasting and praying.
In America, many Muslims families adopt creative ways to raise curiosity and interest among their little ones. This has led to small businesses sprouting all over the US during Ramazan. The demand for decorations – Ramazan-themed candles, tea lights and wall hangings - during the month has given an added push to a customized industry.
But today, through this blog, I would like to share a few interesting ideas that can positively influence young minds and behaviours and allow them to focus on ibadat during Ramazan and just to be a better citizen all year around.
Passing down our values to the younger generation can be a challenging task, especially if one is living in a non-Muslim country. It is a major part of parenting to teach something important to our kids in a way that they are proud of their values. But here are a few suggestions:
1. Ask them to help clean the house: Make sure the bed sheets have been changed and the closets are organized.
2. Decorate the house with fragrances, solar lights and candles. You can use Moroccan or Turkish Lanterns to decorate the interiors and use solar lights to decorate the exterior. During this, get the children involved. Explain to them why you are doing this, so the home is prepared for the angels to come and visit.
3. Familiarize your children with the holy book. There are now several editions of the Quran for children available in the market. Bring them home and let your child discover their favourite Surahs.
4. Let them make their own tasbeehs (prayer beads). One of the most favourite activity of my son has been to string a prayer bead at home. So buy colourful beads and a roll of knitting wool and make it into an activity the kids can enjoy with their friends.
5. If possible organize Ramazan play dates. Since this year, the children will be on their summer break during Ramazan, get the moms and the children together and read short stories of the Prophet (PBUH).
I hope these suggestions help. Ramazan Mubarak to all of you.