Ever since Khairaldin was a baby, we made sure that before we put him to sleep we read Surah Al-Fatihah, Al-Ikhlas, Al-Falaq and An-Nas. Alhamdulillah when he turned 3 years old he was able to read it together with us. Now at 4 years old, his reading is fluent, Masha'Allah. Sometimes we feel that it is too early to teach them these surah because no doubt it is difficult. But we'll never know if we don't try. I have to say it wasn't a smooth journey teaching him Surah Fatihah but it was worth the time.
Other than teaching him the Arabic saying, we also tried to teach him the meaning. It is such a waste to read and yet not know the beautiful story behind what we are reading. We also do bedtime stories when he was younger, we let him choose whatever books he wants us to read. Normally he'll choose a picture dictionary or football tactics book. Yes I had to teach him all those penalty kicks why it happens and bla bla bla. Definitely not my cuppa tea. Hehe Then we bought him some Islamic books, like stories about Surah Baqarah, Kahf and a few others. To be honest, I learnt about these surah from his books as well. Sometimes I find it so hard to open the translation and read through it, Alhamdulillah, with the help of these books I learn more about these Surah. I would recommend every parents to own this book and make it an attempt to read to them before bedtime. Khairaldin thoroughly enjoyed these books because he could use his imagination more.
There are gradual steps that need to be done though. Kids are just like us. When it come to Islamic books he was rather reluctant at first. But we didn't give up. We started off with showing him pictures in the book. Making up stories about why Noah built his ark. We didn't read it word to word as how it is in the book because it was too many words and he gets bored easily. Once he's interested in knowing more about the book rather than the pictures, we then read to him from cover to cover. Alhamdulillah it built his interest from then on.
Truthfully, I haven't read to him for quite a while because there wasn't any books that is suitable for his age in this house for now. We are still waiting for our shipping to arrive (which hasn't been shipped yet hehe). Yesterday, Khairaldin caught me off guard after we read Surah Fatihah. He said to me, "Mommy can you tell me the story about Surah Fatihah?" The thing is, Iskandar is so much better at Qur'an translation than I am. So when he asked me that, I had to convey it in confidence just in case he knows I don't really know and yet I am "preaching" to him to be a good boy.
So I took a breather and begin to explain. We started off with Bismillahirahmannirahim. Then I explained each and every Surah at his level of understanding and in this case, it's my level of understanding too since I only just learnt it. I explained to him the need to read this surah every night and every solat. We need to be thankful for everything that we've done throughout the day. No matter how boring our day was we need to still be thankful that we get to at least go up and down the stairs (their favourite routine). If you know Khairaldin, he is such a thinker and a chatterbox. The story of Surah Fatihah wasn't like "it's about this this and this. Ok done letss sleep". For every word that I uttered he had questions to it. I was so scared if I don't manage to answer his questionSSS. Alhamdulillah I managed to make him get excited about Jannah and how amazing it is. Since he's into Power Rangers, I told him how easily he can get it from there. He doesn't even need d work for it over there but all his has to do is Solat and be good in this world. Then he went "oh noo, but I didn't solat yesterday." I had to explain to him it is ok now but not when he is bigger. He got the idea and was happy with himself. But it didn't stop there.
He then told me, "but Mommy, Allah is not real! We've never met him." THIS was difficult. I didn't wanna make it sound that we should believe regardless of anything and yet I didn't want to make it sound vague as if I'm trying to cover myself up. So then I told him "Of course Allah is real. We don't see him because he is busy preparing the things that we ask from him every time we solat and du'a. There are so many people in this world and everyone is asking for things. If Allah comes and see us, who's gonna get the things ready? Allah doesn't need help, he can do it himself. Like when you ask for Power Rangers, Allah might not give it to you now. But when you die and you have been a good boy, solat etc, you will go to Jannah and it's already there." I also said "It is like when Uncle Ha (my brother) wants to come over and we have to vacuum the house and we are so busy. Uncle Ha cannot see us because we are preparing for his arrival AND we are real right?" Then he understood and said "is Jannah like a really really long house that everyone will stay in there and Allah has to prepare the house?" Alhamdulillah I thought at least he gets the point! I replied "Jannah is so huge we can't even imagine how big it is, people Solat and do good things because they want to live in Jannah." He said "but there are so many people?" I answered "yes, but not everyone is doing good things. Sometimes you'll see those who doesn't solat. That's why we cannot copy them because they don't know how beautiful and amazing Jannah is. Remember solat and do good things Insha'Allah you'll have a place there."
Ya Allah thank you so much for giving me the knowledge to answer all of his questions. I was scared that I will only push him away and show him difficulty but SubhanAllah with your help I managed to build his interest in Islam. Alhamdulillah!! I also told him, if you want Mommy and Abah and everyone in Jannah with you, you have to help us be good too. If mommy do something wrong you have to say, Mommy do u wanna go Jannah? Of course in his eyes Mommy can't do wrong so I wanted to teach that I am also human and sometimes make mistakes. I told him,"like if you hear the Azan and see Mommy still not done my Solat, you should say "Mommy go solat, u wanna join me in Jannah?" "
And he continued "Oh, like the other day when I heard the Azan and said, go solat, you said you were tired and wanted to rest first. if you wanna go Jannah you have to solat straight away Mommy." Yes boy, that's exactly what I mean! Hehehe So I gave hin the upper hand to advise me when I do wrong so that it will be fair when he does something silly, he gets told off as well. He can then see that we are not just scolding him but are actually advising one another for JANNAH!
May Allah continue to help me bring my children up the right way. And may my readers benefit from this post in case they get asked the same question. I didn't mind writing it out because I'm sure there are a few of us struggling in this field. May Allah make it easy on us. Amin ya Rabbalalamin!