Children can get very excited about Ramadan because they know it’s a time of celebrating for them, a bit like Christmas or Hanukkah. It’s a really good idea to get your kids Ramadan ready by equipping them with the correct information.
Important for Children to understand Ramadan
The holy month of Ramadan is fast approaching and it is the perfect time to get your kids ready for Ramadan. Ramadan is bringing with it a sea of opportunities to attain Allah’s love and blessings. While Muslim adults engage in more charity, prayer, and recitations to prepare themselves physically, mentally and spiritually, it is important to begin preparing the little ones for the blessed month as well. You can start by getting them a Ramadan girls or boys gift box which is loaded with so many things to do and fun stickers.
If children do not grasp the purpose and significance of this month, before long they may lose interest to learn and take part in Ramadan activities. Your little one may not be fasting this year or even the next, but it is never too early to begin instilling the importance of Ramadan through simple Islamic stories and engaging them in interactive Ramadan activities.
This will not only enable them to understand the fundamentals of the holy month but also build a love for Ramadan and Islam in their minds. It will also ensure that they have something to look forward to. Fasting with their family is a good way for them to do this. We have also included a free activities pack for kids. Download it here.
Listed below are ways you can get your kids ready for Ramadan:
Discuss the Purpose and Benefits of Fasting during the month of Ramadan
Before children begin fasting, they must gain an understanding of the purpose and significance of fasting during Ramadan. You could begin by explaining the following to your child:
- Ramadan is the 9th month of the Islamic calendar where Muslims all over the world fast from dawn to sunset—this could also be a wonderful opportunity to introduce your child to the Islamic lunar calendar!
- Laylatul Qadr- It was during an odd night of the last 10 days of Ramadan that the Quran was first revealed to our beloved Prophet Muhammad. And it is due to this reason that Muslims recite more Quran during this month.
- Make them aware that the reward for good deeds performed during Ramadan is multiplied and discuss with them few simple acts of Ibadah (worship) that they can engage in to increase rewards, such as: smiling, being kind to others, helping prepare food for iftar, helping with the house chores, etc.
You may also discuss some of the benefits of Ramadan, such as:
- Fasting is beneficial for our body and makes us healthier.
- Give us a glimpse of what the poor go through every day, which in turn helps us feel grateful for the things Allah has blessed us with. It also helps us sympathize with the poor and inspire us to assist them in any way possible.
- Staying away from food, drink and bad deeds teaches us patience and self-control.
- Muslims fast to please none but Allah, and only Allah knows if we have kept our fasts—hence, teaches us honesty.
- Ramadan is one of the best times to seek forgiveness from Allah. The child could also be encouraged to forgive and show mercy towards others.
Invite them to help out with the Preparation of Meals
Each family has a unique way of celebrating the month of Ramadan. This uniqueness is especially reflected in the meal preparation for Suhoor and Iftar. Although it may not be possible to involve your little one in preparing Suhoor meals, you may always request their assistance in preparing meals for Iftar—and they will no doubt be thrilled to help out! You could use this time together with your child to teach them about:
- The importance of being humble in our meals and not being over-indulgent or wasteful.
- Giving thanks to Allah for the meals He has blessed us with. Alhamdulillah!
- Duas to be recited before Iftar.
You could also use this precious time with your little one to share a few memories of Ramadan when you were just a child— this will most definitely enrich their experience making the moment even more special!
Let them learn the process of fasting
Sometimes children are keen too fast but don’t manage to get through the whole day. In this case, it’s the trying that is counted. Still make the day extra special for them by e.g. making them their favourite food and rewarding them for trying.
You could also encourage them to get up and go through the motions of keeping the fast, this could be a good introduction for them. Let them go at their pace. In the evening you could open the fast together with your child/children. This teaches them about the sunnah of eating just before keeping fasting and opening a fast.
There are a few other ways that you could encourage your child to fast with you without making it burdensome:
- Let them fast half the time so they get used to it
- Let them keep a liquid fast so that they are not overburdened
- Offer them a reward incentive for keeping a full fast – do this only for children around the age of 11. This is simply because you don’t want your child to fall sick. Young children are exempt from fasting anyway, so encouraging them to fast is good, but pushing them too much may make them unwell. Keeping the right balance is key to teaching your kids about Ramadan.
Importance of Giving Charity
During this blessed month, speak to your child about the importance of giving charity and sharing one’s blessings with the less fortunate. You may encourage your little one to share Iftar meals that you prepared together with them with friends, neighbours or the poor in your neighbourhood. Observing others enjoying meals that they prepared will most certainly nurture a sense of satisfaction within them that will inspire them to continue such acts of generosity.
Teach your child that charity is not just about sharing our wealth, food or toys, but also about being kind to others through our words and actions. You may speak to them about:
- The Sunnah of smiling and how smiling was among the most prominent characteristics of the Prophet (PBUH).
- Helping elders or those in need.
- Being patient with others, controlling anger, and avoiding arguments and squabbles.
- Showing compassion and love toward siblings and other family members.
You may also encourage your child to maintain a Zakat throughout the month of Ramadan, which can be then donated to a local mosque or underprivileged family in the neighbourhood. You also may help your little one maintain a Journal where they can document their daily acts of kindness.
Introducing your child to Salah
Ramadan could be the ideal month to introduce your child to the beauty of Salah. Take your child to the local mosque for Taraweeh prayers, where he/she can observe the rows of devotees praying in a congregation—which will most certainly instil a sense of fascination and love for prayer. Invite your little one to join in and if he/she feels tired, encourage him/her to be seated, while listening to the recitation of the Quran.
You may also speak to your child about the vital components of Salah such as the purpose of the Azan, making Wudu, facing the Qiblah, the five daily prayers, rewards for praying in congregation, etc.
The Month of the Holy Quran
Narrate the story of the first Quranic revelation, Surah Al-Alaq, to your little one— make sure that you don’t skip through the miracles of this story! Also, inform your little one that this miracle occurred on an odd night during the last 10 days of Ramadan—hence, Muslims across the globe recite as much Quran as possible, daily during this month. Allah has also promised greater rewards for every letter of the Quran that is recited during this month.
Take some time to recite a few simple Surahs with your child (you could begin with Surah Al-Alaq) and make sure that you read through the translations too!
Parents must teach their little ones the essence of the holy month of Ramadan first before waking them up for Suhoor meals or involving them in full-day fasts; because, if children do not comprehend the purpose of fasting during Ramadan, they will before long react with frustration and lose interest in this spiritual obligation. This blessed month is a wonderful opportunity to begin introducing your child to the foundations of Islam, and inculcate in them essential values such as kindness, generosity, love, humility, self-control and good health. These will certainly ensure that they grasp the values and beliefs that Islam upholds at an early age while sustaining love for Ramadan.
Read together & Learn together
With so many Ramadan books out there now, read with your child and teach them about Ramadan. You might be surprised and learn something yourself! You can read books on fasting, how the prophet (saw) used too fast, the sunnah and hadith of fasting. With so many options you will be spoilt for choice.
Don’t stop there you can also read and help them understand the Quran, this story collection for 3-8-year-olds is a brilliant way to encourage them to learn about the Quran, duas etc.
But even teaching them about the stories of the prophets, your own stories… They all teach children to learn.
Don’t forget to leave comments below.
If you are interested in reading further about Ramadan, here are fascinating blogs by some amazing writers!
Umm Afraz shares the review of the book Ramadan Around the World by Nada Hassan
Muslim Mommy shares a list of Fun Ramadan Activity Books for your children
Jeddah Mom shares 10 Ramadan Activities for Teens and Tweens