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One of the most important responsibilities Muslim parents may feel is ensuring that their children hold fast to their practice of salah. There are so many components to this! Making sure your kids remember to pray, pray on time, have wudu, pray even if it’s embarrassing, pray mindfully, pray in the mosque, be willing to stick their feet in a public sink to make wudu. The list goes on. The more you think about it, the more daunting it can be. We took a look at some of the resources available on the internet right now on kids and salah. Honestly the quality resources available aren’t much but we did a round up of what’s there and put the following together. We hope these can give you a little support.
Putting the Parent Back in Parenting
Though for many parents, the urgency of wanting to find a solution for a kid who won’t pray feels imminent, the best place to start with addressing it is actually in oneself. It can be easy to forget, but for children, parents are a huge influence on their religious worldview1This concept is discussed at length in this great article by Yaqeen Institute. Actions, more than words, tell your children about what salah means and value it should hold in their lives. Check this article and this one for some ways to revive your own perspective on prayer life. For more practical tips look here and here, and for new mothers especially, check out this article. All of these links can help address some issues that may unintentionally translate into one’s children.
If you’re only going to read one thing …
We know parents don’t have a lot of time to be searching through articles and trying to sift out the useful from the not. If you’re only going to read one single article, then we recommend this one. It manages to convey so much so eloquently while still giving practical advice. It provides a general framework for thinking about salah and one’s children, can be applied over multiple age spans, and is something that is worth revisiting when you feel stuck with your kids. This is definitely a top pick!
Tips and Tricks
If you’re the kind of parent who likes to have lots of tricks up your sleeves then reading one single article won’t work for you. Though our research didn’t find too much in terms of variety there are a handful of good resources on how to get kids engaged in salah. Check out any of these articles here, here and here. This short video also gives small tips. These resources largely apply to younger children (probably toddler through elementary) and checking one or two should suffice. Hopefully they can also be a good jumping point for inspiration on how to engage older ones.
Praying with Teenagers
Parents with teenagers face a special challenge in engaging them with salah. Motivating a teen can feel like an exercise in futility, furthermore, sometimes when parents address things directly with teens that can cause them to increase their defiance. Salah though, is extremely important for teens and it’s also a time when many become lazy or disinvested in salah. As for solutions, the best we could find is something that discusses the larger issue of teens who might begin to resist their Islamic upbringing. If you’re interested in that, check out this article. Additionally, some good resources for how to communicate and build relationships with teens generally can be found here and here. Beyond that, and specific to salah, the best resource we found for this issue was a short video. This article also has some tips for fajr prayer specifically. We wish we had more to offer on this topic, but our research yielded little. May Allah grant us the opportunity to provide more in the future.
We hope these resources help you on your journey of inspiring your children to a life filled with transformative salah. If you know of any other resources that are useful please share in the comments below. May Allah bless your efforts and grant you the joy of seeing your family grow in submission to and worship of Him.