I have a young child who is three years old, and I want to instill faith in his heart. What should I do?
Praise be to Allaah. A child who is three years old should see his mother and father praying and he should hear them reciting Qur’aan, for if a child hears his parents and brothers reciting Qur’aan and daily dhikr repeatedly, this nourishes his soul and brings his heart to life as the rain brings life to a dry barren land, because when a child hears his parents remembering Allaah and sees them worshipping him, that has an effect on his own words and actions.
An example of that is the following story of a young girl:
Her mother finished her wudoo’, and her three-year-old daughter washed her face and hands, copying her mother, then she raised her forefinger saying, “Laa ilaaha ill-Allaah”. This indicates that the little girl had been watching her mother and noticed that there was a specific dhikr to be said after making wudoo’.
In another story, a mother did the Sunnah of wudoo’ (saying “Laa ilaaha ill-Allaah”) one day, then she got up to finish her housework. Her daughter has gotten used to seeing her mother sitting after praying until she had finished reciting the du’aa’s to be said after prayer, and she noticed that her mother had got up straight after doing the Sunnah prayer, so she said to her, “Why did you get up before saying “Astaghfir-Allaah”? This attitude indicates how closely children watch their parents.
She was widowed, the boy orphaned. She traveled with him to Makkah so that he could receive an Islamic education. She arranged for him to attend the circles of the scholars and in those circles he excelled in the science of hadith. He traveled to distant villages in search of the most authentic sayings of Rasulullah (salallahu alayhi wa sallam). He would pray two raka'at before accepting a hadith. His mother named him Muhammad ibn Isma'il. And many of us know him today by the book he compiled the book that stands after the Qur'an in authenticity: Saheeh AI-Imam AI-Bukhari!
In another land, in another time, chilly Baghdad winds would wake up another boy. Much before Fajr, his mother would bundle him in warm shawls and escort him through the darkness, making sure he reached the Masjid safely. After Fajr, she would wait for him as he read hadith to the biggest scholars of the land. Then, long after the sun had come up, she would meet him outside, and together, they would walk home. She was a strong mother indeed, for her son grew up to become an Imam of the Muslim Ummah, an Imam by the name of Ahmad ibn Hanbal.
How great your child will be sometimes is the right choice that you make right now for them. May Allah make us among those who are sincere, and whom protect the deen and inherit the inheritance of the Prophets, ameen!
This article was culled from the publications of Deen Communication Limited