Time flies. It feels as if we just celebrated Eidul Azha some time ago, and now we are in the midst of another month of Ramazan! Soon Eidul Fitr will be upon us.
Ramazan is a special month, different from the rest of the months of the Islamic calendar, full of reward and blessings for the righteous.
“When the month of Ramazan comes, the doors of Heavens are opened and the doors of Hell are closed and the devils are chained,” said our Holy Prophet (PBUH).
The common perception is that only those who fast from dawn to dusk are eligible for the privileges associated with this month. Consequently, children feel as if they have nothing to do with this holy month, as most of them do not fast because they are not obliged to do so. Nevertheless, there are many good deeds children can do to earn the reward and blessings, some of which those who fast are unable to do, owing to being tired, hungry and thirsty during the day and exhausted at night after Taraweeh.
Here let me suggest some things that children can easily do to gain the rewards Allah bestows in this month on those who follow His teachings.
Help your elders
Most children do not fast because it is not yet obligatory on them and also because of the hot weather. However, it is obligatory on the adult members of their families to fast. As a result, the adults easily become tired and the hot weather these days makes the fast more difficult for them.
Thus, children who are not fasting should help out and serve adults who are fasting. This serving can be in innumerable ways, such as lending mothers a hand in performing household chores and preparing food for Iftar and Sehri, going to the market to fetch some items of daily use or serving food to the family at the time of Iftar and Sehri.
Remember, serving someone even a glass of water is worth 10 good deeds and the reward of each good deed is multiplied 70 times and above during Ramazan, making it at least 700 altogether!
Focus on prayers
Those who fast, in most of the cases, are unable to recite as much Qur’an as a person who is not fasting due to the lethargic feeling, hunger and thirst one feels, particularly after midday. Hence, it is a golden opportunity for the children who are not fasting to recite as much Qur’an as possible and offer all the five daily prayers.
Apart from offering the obligatory five daily prayers, nawafil can also be offered to gather extra good deeds. Unfortunately, some people sleep late at night and get up late in the morning, so they miss the Fajr prayer. Ramazan brings a golden opportunity to offer Fajr prayer on time, even in the mosque, because everyone gets up for Sehri. Remember, getting up for Sehri, even if a person does not intend to fast, is itself rewarding! So, do not miss the ‘Sehri’ and the Fajr prayer in this holy month.
Utilise your free time well
In Ramazan, our daily routine is very different from that during the rest of the year. One gets a lot of free time due to this change of routine. Unfortunately, this free time is mostly spent on useless activities, like surfing on the internet, spending hours on social networking sites and playing video games. Though these activities are not, as such, prohibited, wasting a lot of time on them certainly leaves less time to do good deeds and earn reward. Therefore, in this way, one is unable to enjoy the essence of Ramazan.
Furthermore, the leisure and worldly activities can be pursued throughout the year; however, the reward for doing good deeds is multiplied many times only during the month of Ramazan. So it is only wise that one utilises the free time in prayers to gain maximum reward and leave all leisure activities for the rest of the year.
Refrain from committing bad deeds
Our Holy Prophet (PBUH) clearly said: “If a person does not abstain from telling lies or doing wrong when he is observing fast, let it be known to him that Allah does not want that he should stop taking his food.”
This shows that doing good deeds and abstaining from wrong deeds is as important as fasting itself. It is very unfortunate that using a foul word in every other sentence, and telling numerous lies on one pretext or the other, has become a norm today. Ramazan brings a chance of a lifetime to replace our bad habits with good ones.
So let us make it a point from today that we will speak the truth in all circumstances and refrain from using foul language. Once developed, good habits go a long way in determining the overall personality of a person.
Be kind to all creations
The best way to earn Allah’s pleasure is to do charity towards His creations. While it is important that one fulfils the rights of mankind, it is as much binding on us to be good towards animals.
On the streets, one finds many stray dogs, cats roaming here and there. Giving them water and food, and arranging for a proper shelter from the scorching sunlight are deeds very easy to do and very rewarding, too.
The Holy Prophet (PBUH) clearly said: “Be kind to those on earth, the One in the heavens will be kind to you.”
Fast only for Allah’s sake
Children as young as six and seven years should start to fast a few times in Ramazan. This helps to get them used to fasting and they also enjoy being part of this religious practice which everyone else is taking part in.
It is important to keep in mind the fact that our intention for doing any good deeds should be to please Allah and it is only He who will give the reward. Fasting, or any other good deed, should never be done to show-off, and one must not expect any reward for the good deeds from any person.
None of us knows how many more Ramazans we will get to see, since life is totally unpredictable. So let us realise that each Ramazan is a splendid gift from Allah, a chance to gather as much rewards as possible for our life in the Hereafter.
Therefore, make full use of it and do not let even a moment pass without gaining Allah’s blessings in any way.
Published in Dawn, Young World, April 16th, 2022