Talking to our children about the fallibility of human beings and their need for repentance and coming back to Allah (The Tawwab- He who beckons for your return and forgives) means we are providing them a compassionate means to learn and move on from their mistakes and teaching them about the importance of connecting to Allah, the most compassionate.
Benefitting from the Holy Month of Rajab for All the Family
Rajab has begun and so the spiritual season is upon us. Three consecutive holy months that commence with Rajab and end with the Eid Al-Fitr as we complete our fasts, in holy Ramadan. These three months are unmatched in their importance and each has a special significance and focus.
Rajab is likened to planting the seed, thus commencing the process of spiritual reawakening. The month is Shaban is likened to taking care of and nurturing the crop to ensure the best harvest. And Ramadan to picking the crop and reaping the spiritual reward.
Finally, Eid Al-Fitr sees us rejoicing as we eat and enjoy the crops having benefited from the process and achieved greater nearness and understanding of Allah through our efforts.
The Holy Prophet (SAW) has said: “Rajab is a great month of Allah, unmatched by any other month in the respect and significance (accorded to it); war with the infidels during this month is prohibited; Verily, Rajab is Allah’s month, Shaban my month and Ramadan the month of my Ummah; whosoever fasts a day in the month of Rajab will be granted the great reward of Ridwan (an angel in heaven); the wrath of Allah shall be distanced and a door of the Hell shall be closed.”
So how can we make sure we are able to gain benefit from this holy month of Rajab and how can we ensure our children, whatever their age, also benefit from it?
Here are 5 ways
1- Ask Allah for forgiveness
Istighfar: The Holy Prophet (saww) has said, “Rajab is the month for seeking forgiveness, so seek forgiveness from Allah (swt)”. We all transgress and we all make mistakes. Asking forgiveness is an acknowledgement of this but also an opportunity to reflect on what we need to seek forgiveness for. How have we wronged others, how have we neglected our duties, and how have we let our own selves down? In this process we are also acknowledging the glory of Allah, his abundant mercy and our desperate need of him. Talking to our children about the fallibility of human beings and their need for repentance and coming back to Allah (The Tawwab- He who beckons for your return and forgives) means we are providing them a compassionate means to learn and move on from their mistakes and teaching them about the importance of connecting to Allah, the most compassionate.
2- Give charity
Imam Ali (AS) has said: “Attract sustenance by giving charity”. (Bihar Al-anwar)
In the age of phone apps and online banking, it is not easy for our children to see us giving sadaqa. There is merit therefore in still keeping a sadaqa box or jar in our homes or being more candid infront of our children in giving to those on the street or during Friday prayers. Children will be curious about these habits, will ask you about them and adopt them themselves.
There is so much emphasis on giving sadaqa in Islam but especially so during the month of Rajab. Giving charity helps cleanse us from greed and attachment to wealth and softens the heart thereby increasing our compassion for others. It allows us to have gratitude for what we have and recognise it is all from Allah and therefore we are mere guardians.
Giving charity on behalf of others and especially those we love who have passed away is greatly emphasised also as it brings them joy and happiness and elevates their position after their actions have ceased and they are helpless.
3- Try to fast
Fasting is one of the most recommended acts during this spiritual season. It becomes Wajib during the month of Ramadan, but is highly recommended during the months of Rajab and Shaban.
Encourage your child to fast if he/she is old enough and explain the reward is elevated during this month. Create an atmosphere in the home around iftar time on fasting days, one that is calm and spiritual and the family eats together. If your child is young, explain that mummy or daddy is fasting because it is a special month to get closet to Allah and that one day you can fast together as a family.
Salmaan Farsi narrates that the final messenger of Allah (SAW) said that there is a day in the month of Rajab on which if a person fasts and does Qiyaamul Lail (night vigil) on that night, he will receive rewards like a person who fasts for 100 years and does Qiyaamul Lail for nights of 100 years. This night is the night of the 27th (Rajab) and the day of the 27th (Rajab). This is the day our beloved prophet Muhammad (SAW) was appointed to Messengerhood, (Ghuniyatut Talibeen, Tarteeb Shareef page 781)
4- Teach them about the Prophet and Imam Ali
This month is the month of Amir Al-Mo’minin Ali ibn Abi Talib (AS), our first imam. Describe the special circumstance around his birth with young children and that he was born inside the Kaaba! Create a connection from his inspiring story to build a relationship between your child and the imam from an early age. This will lay the foundation for benefitting from his great example and hadiths as your child grows older.
The 27th of Rajab marks the significant of the Mab’ath of the holy Prophet (AS). The day our noble prophet as appointed. Discuss this important day with your child, put up decorations and celebrate this wonderful day of mercy to all of mankind. Teach your child some of the prophet’s hadiths and relay his story, using books or cartoons if helpful.
5- Recite the Quran
It is true that Ramadan is the month of the Quran, but the Quran was sent to guide us and for us to benefit from every single day. Let us build a renewed relationship with the holy Quran through consistent recitation and reflection. This can be achieved through reading in your own language alongside the Arabic or better still, committing to learning a few words to elevate your enjoyment of the Quran in the original Arabic language and subsequently sharing these words or phrases with your child.
Many busy parents find reciting the whole Quran during the holy month of Ramadan too ambitious and too fast paced with little benefit and understand. So how about starting in Rajab and completing with the end of Ramadan? This provides more opportunity for reflection, understanding and implementing or sharing what you read. You will still complete before Eid and achieve the sense of accomplishment and joy but with a richer experience
In these holy months, let us remember and pray for all of our families and friends who are no longer with us as well as all those who are oppressed or in difficulty around the world. May Allah help us all to benefit from the holy spiritual months and help us achieve nearness to Him through our words and actions.