My oldest son, prince 1 turned seven years old and it was a big deal in our home. Turning seven was an important milestone and the beginning of his prayer journey. The prophet Muhammad (peace upon him) advised that a child is taught to pray when he is seven years old. With prayer being the most important act of worship next to belief in Allah, I was determined to reinforce this. The fun, creative parent in me was not going to let it pass without a fuss and an exciting prayer party!
Sleepless nights spent compiling a surprise prayer journal with inspiring verses from the Quran and messages of encouragement from family members were worth the red eyes. Reading through messages advising him to make Allah his best friend and that prayer was his special time with Allah made me teary.
As a born Muslim, for many years I had no connection with my Lord and did not understand the essence of the prayer until my spiritual awakening. I wanted my children to have a different experience and was determined to nurture strong faith in them from a young age.
While we planned the fun filled ‘prayer party’ for prince 1, my mind was filled with 101 questions and worries. Were we as parents doing enough to nurture strong faith in our children? Would they grow up to be good Muslims?The feeling of not doing enough has haunted me since I became a mother.
My prince’s eyes light up with excitement as we celebrated his prayer milestone. We discussed the importance of prayer with him and told him to protect and cherish the prayer as his own special time with Allah. He chose to commit to the evening prayer everyday and was excited with the idea of learning to do ‘grown up things’.
My spiritual journey had taken a different turn, my children were now a crucial part of it. I prayed for their journey to be different from mine, for them to form a personal relationship with their Lord and to make regular prayer a crucial part of their daily lives.
Reflecting on my journey so far, I was thankful for the gift of guidance and knowing my Lord. Without the gift of guidance, my focus in raising my children would have been very different.