Our Lord! You truly know all that we may hide in our hearts as well as all that we bring into the open, for nothing whatsoever, be it on earth or in heaven, remains hidden from Allah. {Quran, 14:38}


Teach Kids Death

How many of us talk with our kids about DEATH? DEATH is such a normal thing. Actually, death is the biggest reality of life but we totally downplay it. Then when Azraeel/Angel of Death is appointed to take one's soul, we all do something..we just pause. SubhanAllah/Glory belongs to God. None of us has a clue as to when we'll die or when our children will or our husbands. It can happen tonight, tomorrow, so soon. This is why we need to try to remind ourselves of it. We can do this by aiming at not preoccupying ourselves with the materials of this life. Every single fraction of an action should be directed at pleasing Allah. I know I struggle with this. $5.00 spent on stickers the other day for my kids..I'm not sure if that deed is accepted or not especially when I think of what 5 bucks can do for someone, or even for a family in other parts of the world. Its not easy to live a humble life here, I'm assuming anywhere anymore, truly a Jihad. But during that pause when one thinks of DEATH, I can't help but feel pretty insignificant infront of my Creator/Allah.
Last night after 'Sincere Devotion' fell asleep, 'Sign' and 'Mercy' were talking about a friend they have who is an orphan, and so much that Mercy began pretending "I don't have a mommy & daddy anymore so i'm going to live with you(Sign)". This happened during the day. I didn't comment of at the time because I want them to feel that DEATH is normal. So before bedtime, I was on the couch with my little team, when I began talking to them about Jannah, it was storytime. They were indulged by possibilities of trees made out of gold and swimming in rivers of milk. 'Sign', my oldest who's 6, she didnt want to see dinosaurs in Jannah, but my 4 1/2 yr old 'Mercy' wanted to see dragonflies. This is typical talk that we've done on several occassions before. They love it. So then I asked them what do they think happens to our bodies? 'Sign' was able to tell me that it gets buried. So I went further with that because my chatty preschooler 'Mercy' had nothing to say as she was awaiting the next vivid description. "...It's put in a a box underground, waits for Judgement Day, and then the gets lots of presents if the person was a good Muslim and Allah gives the Muslims lost of things...". I tried telling them about al -Ruh/The Soul. You know, that it is something we can't see but we all have a different one inside our bodies. MashaAllah, I think they got it, to the extent a little kids can.

I'm telling you all this because I swear by Allah, He is the BEST of Timers and Planners. After Salat-Jummuah/(Friday Sermon & Prayer) today, there was a Janazah (Funeral). SUBHAN'ALLAH. Everything I explained to the kids just last night happened before their eyes today. YES. I let them see the box. Allah, the Lord of this Universe, even made our car park beside the hearse as we were waiting for the final paperwork to be completed so the burial could start.

This was my golden opportunity. I was so humbled and tearful yet excited and encouraged. 'Mercy' asked what's the man's name that is in the box? (which we didnt know). While 'Sign' said: "I want to see the box go underground..". 'Strong Beleiver' was just hungry and wanted to go home to eat, (can you blame him, he's 2!). My husband turned up the Quran and told the kids to be quiet so the deceased Muslim can listen to the Quran (as you know they can hear us before we leave the funeral-hadith/Allah knows best). The girls ended up seeing the "box" being put under and people shoveling dirt on it.

I have so many things I need to improve on. Allah knows I am far from fault-free, especially when it comes to mothering..the list goes on & on. But one thing I know for sure, and I encourage ALL of you to do is talk to your children about DEATH!. Even a very young age, especially at a young age! Not only should they know about Jannah(Paradise) & Hellfire...they NEED to know about Angels, Cursed Shaitan. Try to teach it to them in ways you know they will understand. Never underestimate the ability of your children to understand Allah's Laws, even about DEATH.

Maybe if a bug dies, or a flower is no longer blooming can be a way to introduce DEATH. Allah grants us these opportunities to teach and explain to our blooming children that this donia is temporary and we are actually on are way to a permanent home. But what we do on this trip will determine where are home will be. The last thing young kids need is a scare of Hellfire. Let them be aware of it, definantly, but make a huge deal of Jannah, get them psyched about Jannah. Make them beleive that its the coolest place to be. 'Mercy' told us she wants a trampoline in Jannah, even bigger the biggestone she's seen. 'Sign' really wants to fly like birds.

I would also like to remind you of a some words of wisdom. Prophet Muhammad (peace & blessings be upon him) taught us that we should ask Allah for 4 things at the end of each prayer right before we say salaamat to the Angels: (after you say "innaka hamidun majeed"):

Ibn 'Abbas reported that the Messenger of Allah (may peace he upon him) used to teach them this supplication (in the same spirit) with which he used to teach them a surah of the Qur'an. He would thus instruct us: "Say, O Allah I we seek refuge with Thee from the torment of Hell, and I seek refuge with Thee from the torment of the grave, and I seek refuge with Thee from the trial of Masih al-Dajjal. and I seek refuge with Thee from the trial of life and death." {Sahih Hadith: Muslim}

By talking to our kids more about the realities of this Life and the truth of the Hereafter, we remind ourselves of the inevitable.

May Allah forgive me if I've said anything in error; and may Allah bless all children with the proper Islamic upbringing so they keep their Fitra (natural love for Islam & Allah).


At February 16, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jazak Allah Khayrun Sister Suha....

At February 16, 2006, Blogger SUHAA said...

and likewise, may Allah reward you as well..ameen.

At February 16, 2006, Blogger Edward Ott said...

Fantastic article. By some bizare chance of fate i have actually had to talk to my kids about death this very day. and they had several questions.

At February 16, 2006, Anonymous Um Ibrahim said...

salamz, lol on the kids' code names :)

At February 16, 2006, Blogger SUHAA said...

salaam edward, that's not bizzare that's Allah working was planned..! may Allah reward you..

um ibrahim,
about the names..i have to keep them discreet you know?! you can see them in my 'about me' too..
may Allah reward you

At February 17, 2006, Anonymous Um Ibrahim said...

that's so cool!

At February 17, 2006, Blogger SUHAA said...

salaam Um Ibrahim, yeah, their names are my goals for them in life, for all Muslims inshaAllah :-)

At February 23, 2006, Anonymous Um Ibrahim said...

The other day i was asking my daughter what she wanted in Jannah and you know what she said??!! A crown and a dress!! I was in awe, my jaw dropped. because.. last year i was researching the benefits of quran memorization, and one of the points said that if you teach your children Qur'an then Allah will give you a crown to wear in Jannah. So i told her that if she teaches her children Qur'an then Allah will give her a crown. It was soo cool. SubhanAllah.

At February 23, 2006, Blogger SUHAA said...

jazakAllah for sharing that with me. subhanAllah i recently heard that too. id like to do a search on that and teach it to my girls will especially love that inshaAllah..


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