Will Our Children Love Ramadan?

Fatma Bayram

Friday, March 15, 2024

Will Our Children Love Ramadan?

As Ramadan begins, our friends with children express concerns about how to raise awareness among them and foster a love for Ramadan. They seek advice from us in this matter. Although we attempted to convey something vaguely, we couldn't find an answer that resonated with us. I've been pondering this issue for a few days now.

What is Ramadan? It entails strict control over eating and drinking, managing challenging impulses such as anger and desire, increasing worship, and diminishing worldly distractions. It's a period of psychological training that enhances reverence for Allah, reinforces submission, and fortifies one's character. Additionally, it's a month in which the poor are more closely attended to, zakat is calculated and distributed, loved ones are contacted and visited, and our tables become more crowded. Encouraging people to love Ramadan means encouraging them to love these virtues. Otherwise, it does not entail transforming worship into entertainment, decorations, and ceremonies, as practiced by some. It's about elevating our souls to appreciate these noble deeds, rather than adjusting our understanding of goodness to suit our desires. When we suggest doing whatever children enjoy during this month to help them love Ramadan, we mean we are focusing on nurturing their souls, not just on Ramadan and fasting. No one can claim that this method fosters true improvement.

We love Ramadan with our souls, not with our egos. If we can lift the veil of self-indulgence that clouds our children's souls, they too can experience the honorable satisfaction of self-restraint. If we can demonstrate and explain that this is a virtue…

But what is Ramadan for a child in a world where people don't wake up for sahur, where crowded iftar tables are absent, where respected elders don't attempt to steal a chair on the table from children, where people don't attend tarawih prayers and explore every corner of mosques? How can a child develop an affection for this month, which even frightens their parents, when all they hear are complaints about the length of the days and the heat of the weather, instead of expressions of gratitude, praise, and excitement about Ramadan from their family and friends?

In other words, let's take care of ourselves! How deeply do we love Ramadan? How enthusiastic are we? How much do we miss it? What subconscious messages do the words we casually utter about Ramadan convey to the young hearts around us, often without us even realizing it?

Even though we may not have understood it at the time, our grandmothers, who were saddened by the end of Ramadan and therefore didn't fully celebrate during Eid to avoid overshadowing Ramadan, how did they influence our emotional world, teaching us what to mourn and what to rejoice in? So, let's take care of ourselves! Especially in two respects: how much our children love us, and how much we - truly - love Ramadan! If you are solid about these two issues, do not be afraid, children love what the person they love loves.

عن أبي هُرَيْرَةَ ـ رضى الله عنه قَالَ:
قَبَّلَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم الْحَسَنَ بْنَ عَلِيٍّ وَعِنْدَهُ الأَقْرَعُ بْنُ حَابِسٍ التَّمِيمِيُّ جَالِسًا‏.‏ فَقَالَ الأَقْرَعُ إِنَّ لِي عَشَرَةً مِنَ الْوَلَدِ مَا قَبَّلْتُ مِنْهُمْ أَحَدًا‏.‏ فَنَظَرَ إِلَيْهِ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم ثُمَّ قَالَ ‏"‏ مَنْ لاَ يَرْحَمُ لاَ يُرْحَمُ ‏"‏‏
God's Messenger kissed Al-Hasan bin Ali (his grandchild) while Al-Aqra' bin Habis At-Tamim was sitting beside him. Al-Aqra said, "I have ten children and I have never kissed anyone of them", God's Messenger cast a look at him and said, "Whoever is not merciful to others will not be treated mercifully." (Bukhari, Good Manners and Form (Al-Adab), 18)


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