Salah (Payer), is the most essential pillar of Islam apart from Shahadah. It is a connection that must be established with Allah five times daily. No one is exempted from observing Salah - rich, poor, young, old, etc. Although menstruating women and women suffering from post-natal bleeding can take a break from praying for that period. All the same, it's necessary to pray by facing the Kaa’bah in Mecca(Qibla). The prayer times include:
- Fajr- Dawn before sunrise
- Dhuhr- After midday till a shadow has the same length as its true self
- Asr- From when Dhuhr ends till when the shadow is two times its length
- Maghrib - After sunsets till Isha
- Isha- After twilight till the second part of the night
Many Muslims find it hard to incorporate these prayer times into their day-to-day activities. But this is an obligatory action that must be done, hence the need to establish a great connection with Salah from childhood. In Islam, a kid is eligible to pray when he clocks seven years old, and his parent should beat him if he refuses to pray when he's ten years old.
Really, the act of observing Salah can prove tedious for adults so, what should we say about kids? It is necessary to teach them this connection even before they clock seven years. Here is where some parents get stuck. They ask questions like “how do I get my kids to pray? How do I make Salah fun and engaging for my kids? How to make them love Salah? Not to worry though this post will provide answers to your questions.
How to Keep Kids engaged & Build a love for Salah
- Develop a good habit toward Salah
Before you scold your kids about neglecting Salah, check yourself. What kind of example do you set for your kids regarding Salah? Do you neglect prayers or do you pray in a hidden room where your kids can’t see that you're praying? It’s incumbent on you to create the perfect example of Salah. Make it the opportunity to talk to Allah, let your children know that when you pray to Allah during Salah, He answers your prayers and fulfills your needs. Let them understand the beauty of Salah and take them to the mosque if you can.
- Teach them Salah step by step
The first thing to do whenever you want to observe Salah is to make the intention, then perform ablution. Let them understand these steps and teach them to make Wudhu(ablution). Make sure they understand how essential it is to purify themselves before praying to the Almighty. Then, let them participate in the prayer. Teach them the Adhan and Iqamah and bestow them with the responsibility of doing this every time you observe Salah. These are the first steps toward engaging kids in Salah.
- Give them their prayer mats, caps, tasbeeh, Quran and hijab
Another way to build the love of Salah in children is to give them reinforcements they’ll need to pray. When you get them prayer mats like Color Me Salah mats which allows them to design their prayer mats and buy their caps, hijabs, tasbeeh, etc., this will show that Salah is incumbent upon them. Hence, they’ll pray in their excitement to use these gifts and might even start to call you for prayer. How to make them love Salah? This idea is a great one.
- Structure your kids' routine around Salah
One of the major reasons some adults don't establish prayer today is the inadequate planning of their time around Salah. You need to instil the notion that Salah is a way of life that can't be ignored in your children To do this, make sure their routine leaves room to pray at the right time. If you can, send them to a Muslim school where prayers will be observed at the right time, and you won't have to worry about them missing a prayer time. Also, this will help them in the long run when they become adults and can make their decisions.
Lastly, these tips may not work if you're not consistent as a parent. It’s either you’re consistent in your prayer to set a good example for your kids, or your consistent in teaching them about Salah or even about planning their routine such that it won't affect prayer times. Consistency is important in any step you're taking to engage & build your kids' love for Salah so don't slack. When you're consistent, also remember to be patient. They're kids, they need love and patience to confidently pray themselves and never neglect the Salah which is a connection to Allah(SWT).