Ramadan is a time for spiritual reflection, self-improvement, and increased worship. For most Muslims, this includes attending taraweeh prayers at the mosque. And for parents of young children, taraweeh can be a whole other ballgame. Trying to pray with a toddler in tow can feel like a Herculean task, with distractions aplenty and a constant battle to keep them quiet. In this post, we’ll take a humorous look at the five stages of grief parents may experience while attempting taraweeh with toddlers. So if you’ve ever found yourself chasing your little one around the prayer hall instead of focusing on your worship, this one’s for you.
Denial: You’re excited for Taraweeh with your toddler. You want to raise them to be people who are connected to salah. You’ve got the snacks, the toys, and water, and everything else you need to keep them entertained for the next hour or so. You confidently walk into the mosque, feeling like a super mom. “This is going to be a piece of cake,” you tell yourself.
Anger: Three minutes into the first rakah, your toddler starts getting antsy. They start kicking and chatting and pulling the hijab of others or climb the back of others in sujood, and you feel your blood boil. “Why can’t they just sit still?!” you think to yourself. You start to get angry at your toddler, at yourself, and at the entire situation.
Bargaining: You start bargaining with your toddler. “If you sit still for just one more rakah, I’ll give you a whole bag of sweets” you plead. You remind them of boundaries set before but they don’t seem to remember. You try everything to get them to calm down and behave, but nothing seems to work.
Depression: At this point, you’ve given up. You’re feeling defeated and depressed. You look around the mosque and see other parents with their well-behaved children, and you can’t help but feel like a failure. The glaring eyes dont make it any easier and you start to wonder if you’re a bad parent and if you’ll ever be able to enjoy Taraweeh again.
Acceptance: Finally, after what feels like an eternity, Taraweeh ends. It is time for a deep breath of relief and you realize that you’ve made it through. You accept that Taraweeh with a toddler is just going to be difficult, and that’s okay. You smile and feel a sense of accomplishment knowing that you ALL survived.
Taraweeh with toddlers can sometimes feel like going through the five stages of grief. First comes denial, as you naively convince yourself that your little one will quietly sit through the lengthy prayers. Then comes anger, as your toddler decides to play peekaboo during the quietest parts of the night. Bargaining follows, as you try to bribe them with snacks and toys, only to have them throw a tantrum mid-rakah. Depression sets in as you realize you’re only on the second of eight or in some cases, twenty taraweeh raka’ats. And finally, acceptance, as you resign yourself to the fact that your taraweeh experience will involve chasing your child up and down the mosque. But hey, at least you’re burning some calories, right?
Just remember, you’re not alone. May Allah grant ease.
In the hadith about the those who will be under the shade of Allah on a day when there is no shade, two are most relevant here…
“A youth who grew up in the worship of Allah and one whose heart is attached to the mosques”
So this is the work.
And to whom it may concern, a reminder….
The Messenger ﷺ said, “Those who do not have mercy for our young and respect for our elders is not of us.” [Tirmidhi]
The month of Ramadān was fast approaching and Nana, like most other Muslim mothers, was filled with a mix of joy and anxiety about having her children home for the month of Ramadan.
She wanted to make sure that the month was filled with special moments and memories that her children would cherish forever. She knew that it was her responsibility to create a Ramadan experience that her children would enjoy while also teaching them something valuable about their faith.
To do this, Nana created a Ramadan plan that included activities and traditions that both she and her children could enjoy. She planned books, some cooking activities, special evening sessions, and fun activities that allowed her children to explore their faith in interesting and creative ways.
Nana also made sure that her children were aware of the significance of Ramadan. She explained to them the importance of fasting and the impact it can have on developing a sense of empathy and understanding for those less fortunate. She employed books and stories for that. She told them stories of Ramadān from her childhood. She prayed with them and listened to them.
By the end of the month, Nana was filled with a sense of accomplishment. She had managed to create a meaningful Ramadan experience for her children that was both enjoyable and educational. She was also grateful for the opportunity to introduce her children to Ramadān in a way that allowed them to embrace it in its entirety.
Nana’s story serves as an encouraging reminder to all Muslim mothers that it is possible to make Ramadan a special and meaningful experience for their children. With a little planning and creativity, it’s possible to make a lasting impact on your children’s understanding and appreciation of Ramadan.
As a parent or caregiver, few things are more rewarding than watching a child’s eyes light up as they discover the world through books. Books are so much more than a source of entertainment – they can be powerful tools for teaching and learning. Whether it’s through stories that encourage empathy and understanding, or non-fiction books that open up new worlds of knowledge, books have the power to shape a child’s worldview in countless ways. Ramadan is a special time for Muslims all over the world. And it is an important pillar of our faith. It is a time of reflection, prayer, and has some acts of worship unique to that month. One of the best ways to teach children about Ramadān or even just show them the beauty that is the month is through books.
Here are five books, we currently love about Ramadān:
My First Book About Ramadān by Sara Khan – I love how it simplifies the concepts of Ramadān in a way that’s easy for young children to understand and so making it accessible for children who may not be familiar with the customs and traditions of the month. It includes Ramadān-related vocabulary. The book includes a glossary at the end, which defines terms such as “iftar,” “suhoor,” and “taraweeh.” This is a great way to introduce children to new words and concepts, and to help them build their vocabulary.
Hassan and Aneesa love Ramadān This book follows the story of two siblings, Hassan and Aneesa, as they experience the traditions of Ramadān. With bright and colorful illustrations, it introduces young children to the customs and practices of Ramadan in a fun and engaging way. It is a great way to help your child learn about the importance of family and community in Ramadān,
Under the Ramadān Moon” by Sylvia Whitman – Is a beautifully illustrated book that follows a family through the month of Ramadan. The book uses lyrical language to capture the essence of Ramadān and the joy of spending time with family and friends.
It’s Ramadān, Curious George by Hena Khan – This book features the beloved character Curious George as he learns about the customs and traditions of Ramadān. It provides an engaging way to teach young children about the significance of Ramadān. Children can relate to George’s curiosity and eagerness to learn, and his experiences provide a fun and engaging way to introduce them to the concepts of Ramadān.
Ramadān Moon by Na’ima B. Robert – Here, children can follow a young girl as she experiences the sights, sounds, and emotions of Ramadān. The book features beautiful illustrations and lyrical language that makes it a perfect read-aloud for families.
Bonus – because we are in the business of surpassing expectations. Alhamdulilllah!
6. Ramadan Around the World by Ndaa Hassan is a beautiful picture book that explores how Ramadan is celebrated in different countries and cultures around the world. The book provides an opportunity to teach children about the diversity and richness of the Muslim community.
7. Once upon an Eid – more for older audience and would make a great read aloud for families. Once Upon an Eid is an exceptional collection of short stories that showcases the diversity and richness of the Muslim experience during Eid celebrations. Written by 15 Muslim authors from around the world, the book includes heartwarming and thought-provoking stories that touch on various themes such as family, friendship, love, loss, and identity. The stories are well-written, engaging, and relatable, making it easy for readers of all ages to connect with the characters and their experiences.
As a passionate reader, I truly believe that there’s nothing quite like getting lost in a good book. Whether it’s a thrilling page-turner or a thought-provoking piece of non-fiction, reading has the power to take us on journeys we never could have imagined. That’s why I believe in nurturing readers – not just by encouraging them to read more, but by creating a culture that celebrates the joys of reading. Whether it’s by sharing your own favorite books with the children around us, joining a book club like Nurturing bookish besties, or simply setting aside time each day to dive into a new story with the family, there are countless ways to foster a love of reading in yourself and the children around you.
As adults, we have the opportunity to guide children through the world of books, to share our own favorite stories and help them discover new ones. By nurturing a love of reading in children, we can help them become more curious, more empathetic, and wholesome individuals. Books provide an avenue to start the conversation around some hard-to-discuss topics as well.
So take the time to read with the children in your life, and watch as they grow and learn through the pages of their favorite books.
Books are great resources for introducing your little ones to the beauty of this holy month in a fun and engaging way. So, go ahead and grab a book and start reading and learning together! And feel free to shop for books at The Dotted Pearl and use code “NBBRAMADAN” for a discount at checkout.
Have your read any of these? Is there any you think should be included to this list? Drop a comment below.
Ramadān is a very special month for us. And I try to make it very significant in our home. It’s a time of reflection, prayer, and worship, and we are trying hard to create a spiritual environment in our home that helps us focus on our faith during this month.
One of the ways that we intend to do this is by setting up a Ramadān Ibadah corner in our home. This is a dedicated space where we can pray, read Quran, read books to the children, listen to the Qur’an together and engage in other acts of worship throughout the month.
Setting up an ibadah corner doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive. In fact, it can be a fun and creative project that you can work on with your family. Here are some tips to help you get started:
Find a dedicated space: Look for a space in your home where you can set up your ibadah corner. It could be a corner of your living room, a spare room, or even a nook in your bedroom. Choose a space that’s quiet, private, and free from distractions. Walls are great to be used as borders.
Gather your supplies: You’ll need a few supplies to set up your ibadah corner, such as a prayer mat, Qur’an, tasbih, and a small table or shelf or small baskets, to hold your supplies.
Decorate your space: Add some personal touches to your ibadah corner to make it feel more special. You could add candles, or even some fresh flowers to create a serene and calming environment. If you get into crafts with the children, can hang some of it on the wall. As the saying goes, less is more. Sometimes, just a whiff of incense does the trick. The purpose of this space is worship, so try to avoid pictures, electronic devices (unless used for Qur’an recitation), avoid stuff and clutter. Small baskets or low lying shelves can be used to hold needed items. For moms, designating a basket with stuff to keep younger children engaged during salah. Try to stay clear of items that make a sound so others are not distracted as a result.
Use this space: It is so easy to do so much in terms of preparations but we now get too lazy to follow through. The adults remain the greatest models for the children. Once you’ve set up your ibadah corner, make sure you use it throughout the month. Try to spend some time in your corner every day, even if it’s just for a few minutes. Use this time to read Quran, pray, dhikr or engage in other acts of worship.
For us, setting up an ibadah corner has been a wonderful way to create a spiritual environment in our home and the children have loved seeing the space change. We moved things around to make the space Alhamdulillah. If you’re thinking about setting up an ibadah corner in your home, I highly recommend it. It’s a simple yet powerful way to create a space for prayer, reflection, and worship during this special month and for the family to connect as well. And maybe creating a physical space just might make it easier to make the time and create the space for these ibadah we so badly want to do. Do not be too focused on what you do not have, start with what you do have. May we always find Allah ﷻ sufficient for us.
May Allah ﷻ allow us to reach the blessed month and get the blessings of it. Amin!
Ramadān is a very special month, and as parents, we want to share the blessings and importance of this holy month with our children. How do we explain the concept of fasting, prayer, and charitable giving to young children? To be honest, you would think you understand something until you are trying to explain it to a young child. May Allah ﷻ guide us.
Start early: One of the best ways to introduce Ramadān to children is to start early. It is not until they reach an actionable age that we inform them. This will give children plenty of time to learn about the importance of fasting, prayer, and charitable giving. It also serves to help them understand the expectations or flow of things. Also, make it personal. Share your own experiences of what it was like when you were young and explain what this month means to you through stories. Be aware of traditions you want to keep and traditions you want to start to build on. It is also important to explain it in a way that children can understand as it is not very easy to grasp. Also, as much as possible, use simple terms. A good underrated way of achieving this is by reading books about ramadan. A few favourites are;
Make it fun: Learning about Ramadān doesn’t have to be boring! You can make it fun and engaging for children by incorporating fun activities into the learning process. For example, you can organize a Ramadān-themed scavenger hunt, decorate the home with Ramadān decorations, and again, books. For younger children, could make special Ramadān crafts together, like creating our own Ramadan calendars and for older children, can make fun projects and presentations.
Encourage Questions: Children are naturally curious, and they may have a lot of questions about Ramadān as they have about everything. Encourage them to ask questions and provide honest and straightforward answers. If you don’t know the answer to a question, do some research together, and learn something new! Encourage your children to ask questions about Ramadān and their religion. Answer their questions honestly and openly.
Lead by Example: This is the crux of our roles as parents. The best way to teach children about the importance of Ramadān is to show them. Let them see you fast and pray and engage with the Qur’an and do what is right and keep aside what is wrong. Let them see you improve, change and be your best self for Ramadān. Let them see you give out of what Allah has provided you as well. And show them Mercy, teach them that the month is one of mercy in your being merciful to them. And seek knowledge. Know more, unlearn certain traditions, relearn the sunnah and revive it in your homes.
Introducing Ramadan to children is an important part of of our roles as parents, and hopefully, we can make it can make it a fun and engaging experience for all our children. And In sha Allah we can help our child develop a deeper understanding and appreciation of this pillar of our faith.