Posted on Dec 19, 2016
Our latest blog post comes from Samira Zaidi Rizvi, of Houston, Texas. A former newspaper copy editor, Samira is a mom of three kids, and is currently studying at the religious seminary in Qom, Iran. In addition to writing stories for Little Muslims Books, she blogs about life in Qom and parenting. You can read more at Qomlife.wordpress.com and Mamasfeet.wordpress.com.
When my daughter started asking questions about moral issues like lying, jealousy, being kind to animals, etc., I didn't want to just say, "This is what Allah wants. And that's it." I wanted to make sure that I explained the concept in a way she would understand, so later when confronted with the same issue, she herself would know how to respond.
That's how the concept of Little Muslims Books, a new initiative focused on creating a strong Islamic foundation among Muslim children, started. At the time, I was working on some story concepts for a novel, but I changed tracks and figured our little Muslims needed interesting stories in a language they could easily comprehend.
Our goal is simple: To encourage discussions and communication, and raise children who are able to think for themselves.
What we have found is that often Muslim children are simply "told" what and what not to do. But they are not taught to understand our moral code as Muslims. For example, we are told lying is bad and it is a sin. But how about teaching kids about why lying is bad? How does it make them, and others, feel?
With the Little Muslims Books Grow and Learn series, each story has questions and discussion topics throughout the story to allow for an interactive storytime. We want parents to engage their kids, and even siblings to discuss with each other! At the end of each story are ayats from the Holy Quran to help kids also get acquainted with what our religion, Islam, says about different life lessons. I have found that communication is vital when it comes to raising spiritually-connected children. Our young ones have questions, and we should be ready and willing to answer them. Here is a list of 5 ways to help raise spiritually-connected children:
2) Storytelling - Kids love to listen to stories, and what better way to teach them than to engage them while reading stories. Little Muslims Books are a great way to start!
3) Reminders - Put up small signs around the house with simple reminders about saying Bismillah, remembering Allah during prayer, etc. Have your kids help make the signs!
4) Daily Rituals - It's important to show kids that a family that worships together, grows closer together. Pray together as a family and read Quran together at night before bed.
5) Stay Connected -
No matter what age, kids love to engage with their friends. Find like-minded Muslim families to help establish a strong foundation. When kids see you share the same values they'll be more encouraged and feel more proud of their identities. And get them involved with volunteer work at the masjid, local charities, etc. It will help them gain confidence and teaches them how Islam advocates community service.
One thing we strive for at Little Muslims Books is a good approach. Written in a simple and easy-to-comprehend language, our books are available in paperback, and also ebook format to allow for easy reading while on-the-go. All our young Muslims need a strong Islamic foundation to thrive, and we would like to be a part of that through encouraging reading, and communication, as a family!
Be sure to check out the LaunchGood