Mommy, lets go to Jannah together (Part 1)

– by Ayesha Zaka


Observing two 7 year-olds, one immersed in the love of Allah and his Prophet (pbuh), and the other immersed in the love of Thunder Cats and Harry Potter makes you contemplate about the role their mothers have played from Day 1.  Children do not grow up in a vacuum.  They think what they think, they feel what they feel, and they are who they are mostly because of the training they receive and the influences upon them.

Based on my experience of teaching at Islamic summer camps for children aged 4-12, I’d like to share some insights about the Islamic upbringing of kids.  This article is actually a collection of beautiful and cute memories from those summer camps.  Part 2 will inshaAllah focus on what practical steps you, as a mother, can implement for a healthy and Iman-filled upbringing of your young kids.  Here, I will merely share some incidents which will serve to remind us how far a sound upbringing can go, and how much khayr is buried in our kids which we need to bring to the surface.  There were countless moments during the camp when I felt that the roles had been reversed: the kids had become my teachers. I got to learn so many valuable lessons from them!  Read on.


Who gives us food and water?

One mother narrated to me how she felt that her youngest daughter Ayesha always had a sound, living ‘Aqeedah as compared to her other children.  Ayesha had heard the recitation and tafseer of the entire Quran while still in the womb, as her mother had been doing a Quran course at that time.  Now, when this girl was about three years old, her parents were having a heated fight and Ayesha’s father was threatening her mother with divorce and the difficulties she would face after it.  He said to her: “Then soon you will know who is it who gives you food and water!” At that, young Ayesha piped up: “Who gives us food and water? It is only Allah who gives us food and water.” SubhanAllah! The woman was later divorced but her daughter’s timely words always remained a source of strength and comfort for her.

“(Ibrahim said): Who created me and it is He who guides me and Who gives me food and drink.” (ash-Shu’ara 27-28)


Mommy, do you remember the answers?

One day, we taught the children the three questions that would be asked in the grave (Who is your Rabb? Who is your Prophet? What is your Deen?).  The mother of a 4 year-old girl Saleeta later told me that her daughter had memorized the questions and answers, and went home and told them to her mother.  Then, throughout the day, she would come to her mother after brief intervals and ask her if she still remembered the answers.  To ensure that she did, Saleeta repeated the questions and her mother answered them.  SubhanAllah! Amazing is the yaqeen of the little girl, as well as her desire for her mother to pass the test in the grave.  How much of the Deen do we learn, but how much do we share with our families, whom we claim to love? How eager and sincere are we for their salvation??

“O you who believe! Save yourselves and your families from a Fire whose fuel is Men and Stones..” (at-Tahreem: 6)


I want to meet Prophet Muhammad (sallalahu alaihi wasallam)

Story time was always the most enjoyable time for me.  We would sit in a circle and some of the kids would climb in my lap.  They would get immersed in the story and ask about every minute detail, often leaving me dumbfounded.  Their facial expressions as the story progressed was proof that they were actually living it.  I still cant forget their anguish when Prophet Ibrahim was thrown into the fire, and their anxiety about the fate of baby Musa when he was put in the river.
Whenever, I would start narrating the story of any Prophet, there were always kids who would say: “Nooooo, we want to listen to the story of Prophet Muhammad (sallalahu alaihi wasallam).” Every Single Day.  Everyday, it was something from his story that they wanted to know.  Such was their love!
One day, when I finished the detailed story of Prophet Musa (alaihis salam) and felt satisfied that the children had bonded deeply with him, I asked them: “Do you want to meet Prophet Musa? You can meet him in Jannah! And talk to him and ask him about…”.  I was interrupted by a tiny voice: “No, we want to meet Prophet Muhammad sallalhu alaihi wasallam in Jannah!”  Nothing could defeat this bond and this love!
“Amongst the people who love me the most from my nation are people who will come after me, one of them would sacrifice his children and family just so that he could see me.” (Muslim)


They were foolish people

During the story of the discussion between Ibrahim and his idol-worshipping nation, I encouraged the kids to give their views about idol-worship, and their fitrah really manifested itself.  They presented much of what the Quran presents as proofs.  They spoke so confidently about how idols can not see, nor hear, nor protect themselves, and humans make them with their own hands.  SubhanAllah! What will be the excuse of adults who fail to understand the pristine doctrine of Tawheed which even a child’s mind can grasp and testify to.  As I told them about the idol-worshippers and how they argued with Ibrahim and persecuted them, six-year old Amna would interrupt me after every few minutes to give the verdict: “Bifkooof log thay” (They were foolish people) in her cute accent and the rest of the kids would solemnly nod their heads in agreement.


What do you want in Jannah?

On of the most memorable days was when we talked about Jannah in detail and the kids listed all the things they wanted in Jannah.

“To fly, to be Superman, to have a computer that doesnt hang even for a second, limitless icecreams, houses of chocolate”, but when it was 6 year old Azka’s turn, she poured out her heart’s greatest desire: “In Jannah, I’m going to invite Prophet Muhammad (sallalahu alaihi wasallam) to my house,… and I’m going to gift him Shalwar Qameez.”
SubhanAllah! This was her greatest desire in Jannah. May Allah grant us the true love of our Beloved Prophet (sallalahu alaihi wasallam).

And then things got excited as all the kids jumped in and planned to host a surprise party for the Prophet.  I asked each of them: “What would you gift to him then?” I myself couldn’t for the life of me think of anything worthy enough to gift to him.  The kids spoke up according to their innocent minds: “Nashpati (Pears)” “Chappal (Shoes) and perfume”.  Then, a 4 year-old boy said: “I will ask him to take anything that he likes, everything that he likes from my house and my things.”  For a 4 year-old to sign a blank cheque like this was indeed a supreme sacrifice and a supreme manifestation of love.
“None of you will truly believe until I am more beloved to him than his father, his son and all of mankind. (Bukhari, Muslim and others)


Shaitaan is eating with us

I saved the best story for the last- I find it a lasting inspiration for myself!  There was this 4-year old boy Sarim.  His story is as narrated by his aunt: “We had gone to dine at Monal (a famous restaurant in Pakistan).  We were seated and waiting for our order when all of a sudden, this child got up silently and left the table.  His parents followed him, worried and annoyed.  Sarim went up to the manager and said to him in all seriousness: “Please switch off the music.  Shaitaan is eating with us.”  And the manager, dumbstruck, did just that. There was no music played at Monal that night!”

“You are the best of people, evolved for mankind, enjoining what is right, forbidding what is wrong and believing in Allah..” (Ale Imran: 110)


Not all rosy

Yes, there are times that are truly annoying for the parents and teachers of young kids.  During the summer camps, there were times when the stubborness and squabbling of the kids would drive the teachers to nuts, when the kids would scare the living daylights out of us by injuring themselves or their friends, when power outages, non-cooperative administration and busy schedules would bring us to the verge of tears.  Yet, one thing was always enough to comfort us: “This is all for the sake of Allah alone.  This is Sadaqa Jariyah. THIS is the future of the Ummah!”

And, I would often think, if at the end of the day, the sparkling eyes and smiling face of the kids can warm a teacher’s soul, how much more would it mean to a mother?  If a hug followed by a “I love you, Teacher” or climbing in the lap followed by “Teacher, I want to take you home with me!” can melt a teacher’s heart, what would it do to a mother’s?

So, Mothers of the Ummah, cherish the gifts Allah has given you, feel the honour Allah has bestowed on you, feel the weight of the responsibility that He has placed on your shoulders, ponder deeply over your role and wait for Part 2 of this article!

Meet the author:

Ayesha Zaka has done her her M.Phil in Molecular Biology. She is a student of the Quran, and has a passion for teaching

Read Part II here

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One Response to Mommy, lets go to Jannah together (Part 1)
  1. mashaAllah i am so touched. very wll narrated. waitng to read many more 🙂

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