Ramadan in the Life of Children and Adolescent

 

By Sheykh Prof: Khalid ibn ‘Abdur-Rahman Al Shayi‘

 

All perfect praise be to Allaah and peace and blessings of Allaah, The Almighty, be upon our Prophet Muhammad, and household and his companions.

It is very obvious that Ramadan is a universal Islamic, faithful, educational, moral, and social school. Everyone takes from it according to his determination, energy and interest.

Many generations have graduated from this blessed school, where there is a great opportunity for the serious only to move from wrong to right, from misguidance to guidance, from failure to success, from defeat to victory, from every fault to the complete perfection, not in only one field but in several religious, social, economical fields and the other fields of striving in the Cause of Allaah, The Almighty, and the like.  

It is actually sufficient to learn from this blessed school how to size victory over the soul that is a persistent enjoiner of evil, where Muslim individual, by fasting for his Lord, began to have victorious determination, the thing he enjoys and feels happy everyday at the setting of the sun for the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said: “The fasting person has two occasions for joy, one when he breaks his fast (because of his breaking it) and the other when he meets his Lord (because of the reward for his fast).”

It is a school that teaches people every virtuous manner as Allaah, The Almighty, Says (what means): {O you who have believed, decreed upon you is fasting as it was decreed upon those before you that you may become righteous.} [Quran 2: 183]  

Al-Haafith Ibn Katheer, may Allaah have mercy upon him, said: “In an address to the believers of this Ummah (Islamic Nation), Allaah, The Almighty, ordered them to fast, that is, to abstain from food, drink and sexual activity with the intention of doing so sincerely for Allaah the Exalted alone. This is because fasting purifies the souls and cleanses them from the evil that might mix with them and their ill behavior.”

This school opens its doors widely for enrollment once every year for a whole month. This chance may not be available for all people in the next time and thus one must invest and benefit from it properly.

In an important aspect of the educational lessons of Ramadan, it is more appropriate for us to analyze the conditions of children and male and female adolescents and how they deal with the blessed month of Ramadan. What really confirms the importance of such analysis, contemplation and studying is that those children and adolescent of both genders will be in the future the main pillars of society of men and women and according to the principles on which they are brought up they will behave tomorrow.

A topic like this is actually worrisome and has wide dimension; however, I will focus general and briefly on two important questions:

Firstly, how do our children view Ramadan?

In fact, children hold different perspectives about Ramadan and the meanings it carries with it according to what they learn before and during Ramadan and what their parents get them used to.

There are some children who view that Ramadan is a season of eating and experiencing different nice foods, especially if they saw that food substances brought to house in this month are greater than any other month in qualities and quantities.

For some other children, Ramadan became linked to what is displayed on screens such as dubbed [i.e. foreign] movies for children or films and serials made especially for Ramadan although they imply Tabaruj (i.e. impermissible exposure of women's adornment) and scenes of dissoluteness and impudence.

Some others view that it is change in sleeping times so that the night replaces the day and vice versa according to the way of the people in the house and amid what the society witnesses of changing the times of work, study and the like.

There are some other children view that Ramadan is a chance to train souls on hardship and testing their patience to prove in the end of everyday that they are included in the ranks of youthfulness and power so that they may be included in the ranks of men on whom people can depend and to decide that they are fully ready to carry the trust of the religious obligation powerfully. This category has gained a great share from Taraweeh prayer, reciting the Noble Quran and complete reciting it one and more times.

The difference between such categories is the attention that their parents paid to educating and instructing them or taking this matter lightly. 

This is what our Salaf (i.e. righteous predecessors) had realized and the great attention they paid to educating their children which is the practical directions and gradual training. This is what Ar-Rubayyi’ bint Mu’awwidh ibn ‘Afra’, may Allaah be pleased with her, narrated that they used to fast on this day (i.e. ‘Ashoorah - 10th of Al-Muharram), and they would make their children fast too, even the little ones in sha Allaah. They would make them toys out of wool, and if one of them cried for food, they would give (that toy) to him until it was time to break the fast.

We are in bad need to draw attention to such emotional and education aspects towards our children so that they may adopt the ways of glory and virtue.

Secondly, the mistake of mothers before girls

In every year, there is a question asked to our eminent scholars which reads:

The questioner said: “When I was young and reached the age of puberty and began to have period in Ramadan, I used to pretend with fasting even in such days as I used to do. I did not make up the days that I did not fast. Years passed until I became thirty or forty and I did not make up the missed fasts, what is obligatory upon me to do then?

Such question and the like clearly indicates the wide gap between girls and their mothers, where the girl hesitates to have a frank talk with her mother regarding many matters that she faces due to shyness. Therefore, girls especially those in the stage of adolescent may tell their secrets to their fellow adolescent girls who lack wisdom and experience. Thus, such consultation may bring many disasters.

What is required from mother is to be like the friend to her daughter. She should talk to her, treat her kindly, and assured her so that she may be very close to her especially in the stage of adolescence.

Whoever contemplates the Islamic texts of Quran and honorable Sunnah of the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, will realize that kind feelings and emotions are something inherent in women. Therefore, Islam came to encourage us to deal with women in many issues according to such inherent kind nature with which all women are created. 

When people neglect such consideration, they are afflicted with transgression due to their negligence to this principle. Today they adopt two contradictory approaches: firstly, there are some families give the girl all freedom in going and returning home and being away from the house whenever and wherever she wills. On the other side, we find something in the contrary to this which oppressing the girl to talk, wear and act in a way that deny her what Allaah, The Almighty, has allowed and made lawful. Because of this, searching for another refuge and alternative resort will start.

The right thing in this regard is to adopt a moderate approach between such two extremes. This is what actually stated in the guidance of the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, especially in his treatment with his daughters.

It was narrated that ‘Aa‘ishah (the Mother of the Believers), may Allaah be pleased with her, said: “I have not seen anyone closer in conduct, way, and manners to that of the Messenger of Allaah, peace and blessings be upon him, in regards to standing and sitting, than Faatimah the daughter of the Messenger of Allaah, peace and blessings be upon him.” She, may Allaah be pleased with him, said: “Whenever she would enter upon the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, he would stand to her and kiss her, and he would sit her in his sitting place. Whenever the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, entered upon her she would stand from her seat, and kiss him and sit him in her sitting place.” [Reported by Abu Daawood and At-Tirmthi]

Girls at our present times are really in dire need to such noble dealing that is filled of mercy and love more than any past time so that they may feel that their families taking good care and keen on them and thus they are saved from the ways of evil and gradually ascend the different ranks of virtue, generosity and nobility.

May Allaah guide us all to what may make us successful. Peace and blessings of Allaah be upon our Prophet Muhammad.

 

 

 

 

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