5 Ways to Make Your Child Love to Pray

Prayerfix

 

Like some mommies out there, ever since my baby turned ‘the big 7’, I’ve struggled on how to encourage him to pray consistently. I say the big 7 as a joke, because we all know they’re not so grown-up, actually quite far from it. However, we are well aware that this is the age we need to get a bit serious and encourage our kids to begin good, wholesome habits. And what better habit is there than our five daily prayers. Here are some things to think about when encouraging this wonderful habit.

1. Make prayer a priority for yourself first

When I think back to my childhood of one sweet memory which has connected me to prayer today, it is seeing my dad sitting peacefully in prayer every morning and every evening. I would stand there in awe, watching him from a distance, absorbing the peace and enjoying the beauty, SubhanAllah.

No matter where you are, if you’re outside or on the road, when you realize its prayer time, pull over and let your kids see you keep your prayer. Of course, choose a spot where you feel comfortable and safe, but don’t demand that your child pray. Focus on yourself. Rush to pray and speak aloud saying something like, “SubhanAllah, I need to pray asap, Allah is waiting for me!”

What does this display to your child?

You’re showing them your desire to please Allah (swt), your need to thank your Lord, your passion to keep a promise to perform an obligatory act, and your deep commitment to connect with the Creator, who is in charge of everything! Your willingness to stop what you are doing in order to pray, is totally crucial, especially when little wondering eyes are watching. So go on, walk the walk, and ease-up on, talking the talk. There’s much wisdom in this.

2. Be happy and display warmth when reminding your child to pray

In the morning, when you wake up for fajr, give yourself enough time to pray slowly and recite or listen to the Quran for a good amount of time, enough time for it to comfort your heart and soul. It’s different for everyone. I personally prefer reciting certain surahs of the Quran. For an idea on what starts my morning right, please refer to my article, 5 Ways to Naturally Start Your Day Right 

 

Once you’ve received your dose of energy, only then are you in the right frame of mind to remind your child of their obligation to pray fajr. How do you wake them up? Definitely not by yelling or banging on their door with a demanding tone. In my home, our rule is ‘no locking bedroom doors’, but we’ve formed a habit of knocking and waiting for permission before entering a room, even if the door is wide open. It’s from a hadith of our blessed Prophet (pbuh). The following Hadith is reported by Abu Musa Al-Ash’ari who says:

“I sought permission to see Umar and I did not have permission after three times. Hence, I left. He called me and said: ‘Abdullah, have you found it hard to wait at my door? You better know that people may find it hard to wait at your door.’ I said: ‘No. I have sought permission three times and I did not obtain it; so I returned, as we have been ordered to do so.’ He said: ‘Whom have you heard this.’ I said: ‘From the Prophet'”.

I knock on their door gently and say, “Assalamu alaikum my sweethearts. Rise and shine, it’s fajr time!” Then I sit at the end of their bed, and recite in my most comforting voice, a surah which I love. If it’s short, I just keep repeating it a few times, slowly allowing it to penetrate deep into my inner soul. It helps when I close my eyes. Alternatively, I will play the Quran on my phone, or read duas from a book. You can also use this time to teach your kids and yourself, the dua that is recited upon rising from sleep.

“All praise is for Allah who gave us life after having taken it from us and unto Him is the Resurrection.”

In either case, I’m using the beautiful words of Allah (swt), to carry my children from their phase of slumber to wakefulness. There are immense blessings in these words, which can bring ease to any difficult situation, especially a hard sleep. Try it, you’ll be quite surprised. My children appreciate this gentle nudge so much, that they peek their little heads from under their covers within minutes and say, “Asalamu-alaikum mommy! I’m awake, I’m awake!”, and willingly go on to their morning routine. No yelling, no pulling, and no stressful start for anyone – only good memories!

3. Draw a beautiful picture of prayer

Children love to hear a story which will forever paint a lovely picture in their mind. We should use stories as an alternative in teaching them something important, so that it can have a deep and meaningful impact on their lives. The Prophet Yaqub (a.s), used to tell his son Yusuf (a.s), stories in the most beautiful description. Many of us have not been given this gift by our parents. Instead, we have been told that we must pray, and if we don’t, we will be punished. Let’s avoid connecting prayer with punishment when addressing it with our children. Instead, describe to them the immense Love that Allah(swt) has for them. The love and beauty that can be found in prayer. Begin with explaining to your child what prayer means to you. When I spoke to my children I said,

“There are five daily prayers, because during the day we are so wrapped up with routine, running from here and there, we need to have breaks, catch our breath and think about what we have been doing. These little breaks (prayer time) are for us to re-energize. We speak to our Lord in His beautiful blessed words (prayer), then we make dhikr (SubhanAllah 33x, Alhumdulillah 33x and Allahu-akbar 34x) to praise and thank Him for all that He has given us. And in the end, we are given a wonderful opportunity to speak to Him in our own words (dua). We have this private time to tell Him how we feel, our troubles and our joys. What we need, our dreams and our hopes. And anything else that’s in our hearts and in our minds. When we pour our thoughts to Him, we feel better and we feel loved, because He loves us even more than our mother! So my dear, sweet children, no matter where you are, or what you are doing, always, always make time to pray. Allah (swt) loves you very much, and waits for the personal appointments you have with Him.”

How many prayers and at what age?

I’m sure we’ve all struggled with this idea. We listen to a lecture, or read about the fiqh rulings on prayer, and wonder, ‘What should I expect from my child or young adult?’ We’ve gone as far as telling our 7, 8 or 9-year-old, that they must pray 5 times a day or else! I have done it, and later felt terrible about it because the outcome was not positive, and my approach was all wrong. Let’s first look at what our goals and challenges are:

Our Goals

  •  We want our child to form a habit of praying.
  • We want our child to love to speak to their Lord.
  •  We want to implement in our child a desire to pray.
  • We want our child to understand that it’s an obligation and not a choice.

Our Struggles

  • Some of us have a few years of missed prayers, and find it a struggle to make it up, we don’t want our child to go through this.
  •  We don’t want our child to hate the idea of prayer or to attribute it to something negative.
  • We don’t want our child to lie about praying or say they prayed but did not perform the action.

Think about yourself and your ups and downs during the year, and be very honest with yourself. Throughout the 12 months, are you super-duper punctual and focused in every single prayer? Or are you an ordinary person struggling, but slowly improving by the years. You have your good days and your slip-ups. So how can we expect our children to be perfect? Our Merciful Lord knows that we are human and we will make mistakes. Allah (swt) Loves to forgive us. He (swt) has set up a designated special time to ask for forgiveness, every single night after Isha. Let us focus on what is important when it comes to prayer, i.e. to improve slowly, but consistently throughout our life.

4. Be gentle and patient when it comes to prayer

I know there are fiqh rules and obligations to prayer which we must follow. I also know that habits take long to form. Teaching your kids to pray at an early age is a great idea. The best way to implement a rule or to follow a law, is to be strict on yourself and patient and forgiving on others around you. When it’s time to pray,

  • Remind your child in a pleasant way.
  • Ask your son if he’d like to perform the adhan and call everyone to prayer.
  •  Encourage your children to pray in jammah (congregation) with one another to get more reward.
  • Perform your prayer in front of your children, whether they join in or not. (I am able to pray Fajr and Isha privately in a quiet room since my kids are usually asleep, but I make it a priority to pray my 3 other prayers in front of them. It’s not to show-off, but to display the action as a gentle reminder).
  • Then leave it at that.

5. If your child prays, praise and make dua for them out loud

A few things I say to my kids when they pray are,

  •  “MashaAllah, may Allah(swt) reward you. Your look so beautiful when you pray. May Allah(swt) fill you face with noor (light) ameen.”
  • “SubhanAllah, did you all see how lovely she performed her prayer, may Allah (swt) always protect and guide you my sweet, ameen.”
  • “Alhumdulillah, you make me so happy when you do things that are pleasing to Allah (swt). May He always guide you to do that which is pleasing to Him, ameen.”

Kissing or hugging your child, is another wonderful way to show your love and approval of them. A few years ago, I was very strict when it came to implementing prayer on my child. I would remind him over and over, and pick on what he did incorrectly when it came to the steps of prayer. I thought this was my duty, but I quickly realized it was doing more harm. So I stopped when I realized my error. It’s never too late to change your way and attitude. Now I follow these 5 steps, and over time, I have seen a change in how my son sees prayer, Alhumdulillah! Here is an example.

The other day, we were on our way to a swimming class for my kids, and were short on time. I had performed my prayer, but they hadn’t. While driving to their class, I asked them if they had prayed, and one of my kids exclaimed, “Oh mommy, I forgot”! My oldest child chimed in and said, You know what? We can pray in the dressing room after swim class when we take a shower, we will be clean and ready.”  I smiled and said, “MashaAllah! Thank you Abdullah, that’s a great idea!”

Alhumdulillah I thought, hand on my heart and feeling so good, patience, time and gentleness really do pay off! Oh, Allah (swt) please give us the patience to guide our children on the road which is most pleasing to you, ameen!

If you would like to get some ideas on how to teach your kids salaah please refer to my article,

Simply Teach Prayer to Your Kids

59 thoughts on “5 Ways to Make Your Child Love to Pray

  1. sabah says:

    JazakAllah-very beautifully expressed piece!

    1. SimpleTips says:

      JazakaAllah khair sweet sister. May Allah (swt) put love for prayer in all our children, ameen.

  2. S Amin says:

    What you said was 100% HAQQ!! May Allah make us and our children ones who establish salah. I am working on this myself … Your tips were just prefect!! Mash Allahhh!

    1. SimpleTips says:

      Thank you for your kind words. We all need to work on improving.

  3. fierial says:

    Lovely way of steering your kids in the right direction.Mashallah

    1. SimpleTips says:

      Alhumdulillah. How can we not connect Love with our Creator- He loves us. Thank you for the kind words. May Allah reward you, ameen.

  4. S says:

    Thank u very much dear sister for this great article. Its a great guidance to parents who dont know how to
    Deal with these kind of things. Brought a tear into me..thank u and Allah bless you.

    1. SimpleTips says:

      JazakaAllah khair. You’re too sweet.It’s all from Allah(swt)- His blessings.

  5. Najia says:

    MashAllah …. Keep up the great work

    1. SimpleTips says:

      Oh thanks you sweet sister:) May Allah (swt) reward you for your sweet words.

  6. Abeeda Peters says:

    Marshallah Sister, beautifully said and such an inspiration!

    1. SimpleTips says:

      JazakaAllah khair! Please share with others.

  7. Suad says:

    Mashallah, I loved it, I find that I will inshallah change my ways with my kids in regards to prayer. May Allah bless you and your family.

    1. SimpleTips says:

      JazakaAllah for your kind words. May Allah(swt) guide all of us and our children to do that which is pleasing to HIM, ameen.

  8. rashida says:

    Mashallah! jazakallah! today you taught me really how to treat my child.im strict to my son when its namaz time .he offers magrib and isha only.but sometimes he lies to me closes his door and start s doing his work but then i tell him that im cannot see you only Allah can watch you if you are right he will reward you for every good thing u do and punish for cheating your parents..
    Now ill treat him in a different way

    1. SimpleTips says:

      Alhumdulilah. We are all here to help one another, remind one another. Thank you for your sweet words.

  9. Sana says:

    Loved the article

    1. SimpleTips says:

      Alhumdulillah, please share.

  10. Skhan says:

    JazakAllah sister, this is very helpful as my daughter is soon turning 7 inshAllah. May Allah SWT protect us from the evil and guide is to the straight path. Ameen.

    1. SimpleTips says:

      Ameen. May Allah (swt)give us true guidance, ameen.

  11. Stephanie says:

    Salaam and jazaka Allahu khair for your article. My daughter, masha’Allah, just turned 7 about a week ago. Since then, I’ve floundered for positive ways to encourage her. Alhumdulillah, she prays Dhuhr at school, and I always invite her to pray with me. Sometimes she does, often she doesn’t. But at this point, I don’t believe in forcing her to pray (as we know, there is no compulsion, and like you said, example is better than demand). Question: at what age or point did you start waking your child(ren) up for Fajr?

    1. SimpleTips says:

      Walaikum aslam,
      MashaAllah, sounds like you’re doing a wonderful job.
      I would think that fajr prayer depends on the child’s schedule. As for me, I wake my kids an hour before their classes and ask them to pray whether its fajr or the time is sort of up. I think its more important to focus on having them enforce a beautiful habit than to be strict about the time. And Allah(swt) knows whats best. The age would depend on each child. Hope that helps 🙂

  12. rakhshanda bilal says:

    Thank u for sharing. I am sure doing it yourself first and being accomidative and tactful is the way to go

    1. SimpleTips says:

      You’re very welcome! Yes,learning from example will work inshaAllah. And actions speak way louder than words.

  13. zahida imran says:

    please help me with few tips to how to deal with my young adult daughter of 16 .She is going to public school and at times i am very upset about her changes .

    1. SimpleTips says:

      Thank you for your reaching out. May Allah(swt) make it easy on you, ameen. InshaAllah, I plan to write tips on dealing with young adults. Please keep everyone in your daus.

  14. Safiyyah says:

    What a beautiful post, and great advise! Thanks so much for sharing.

    1. SimpleTips says:

      Alhumdulilah! Anything good is from Allah(swt). Please share with others.

  15. Swaleha says:

    A very helpful article. JazakAllah Khair

    1. SimpleTips says:

      Wayakum. Please share with others.

  16. Asma says:

    JazakAllah khair. Please could you tell me how can I read your all article.

    1. SimpleTips says:

      JazakaAllah khair for you kind words. I suggest you subscribe your email, inshaAllah

      1. Faiza says:

        Jazakallah for such a wonderful article. Can you please advice on what to do and how to encourage children who are 10+.

        1. SimpleTips says:

          Please refer to the post, ” Simply Teach Prayer to Your Kids” http://www.simpletips4mom.com/?p=655.
          InshaAllah in the future I would like to address issues with teens.

  17. zaheer says:

    Jazak Allah…very beautiful article…
    share more and more of such… ( Y)

    1. SimpleTips says:

      Anything good is from Allah(swt). May He clear up our vision and open our hearts to the truth. And may He give us patience and love for our children, ameen

  18. Uğur says:

    May Allah be pleased with you.these ways to teach children how to pray are so useful.I really appreciate that.

    1. SimpleTips says:

      JazakaAllah khair! May Allah(swt) be pleased with all of us. And may He guide all our children and be pleased with them, Ameen!

  19. Naziroon Hosein Ali says:

    May Allah reward you greatly. Great advise. We’ve got to pray for our children all the time even when they’re all grown up we want to make sure they’re being obedient in their duty towards Allah SWT especially where salaat is concern.

    1. SimpleTips says:

      InshaAllah a mother and father duas are excepted. Always pray for your children, in silent and out loud.

  20. Mohammed Shafi says:

    Mashallah, Thank you sister for reminding me to demonstrate my commitment towards my submission to Allah (SWT) and lead by example so my children may follow the right direction.

    1. SimpleTips says:

      Alhumdulillah. We are all here to remind each other of the best example- Prophet Mohammad (saw)

  21. Zalinah says:

    Thank you sister! Perfect.

    1. SimpleTips says:

      Alhumdulillah. It’s from Allah(swt).Please share the gift 🙂

  22. Hina says:

    MashaAllah best tips. JazakillAhu khair.

  23. ibrahim says:

    mashaAllah you taught very important tips may reward for you

  24. Abrar Akbar of usa says:

    Mashallah very good article… very helpful tips but you didn’t need to state anything about showing off when praying in jamath/ congregation. There’s actually more blessings in congregation and something we should all strive to be part of. Setting up this structure in our families only unites us more.

  25. rianty mellantika ahmad says:

    Indeed parents modelling is the most effective ways to educate and provoke children to love their ibadah

  26. Habib says:

    JazakaAllah khair my sister for the beautiful advice.

  27. M Khan says:

    My daughter is 6 years old and I have her pray with me at least 2 prayers a day, usually Asr and Maghrib, on the weekends also Duhr. Alhamdulillah, she has memorized most of it by just praying with me. I recite the whole prayer out loud. My other 2 kids who are even younger join her too. They know the rules not to talk while praying and not to stand in front of the person who is praying. They know how to do wudu. I keep reminding them of the blessings Allah (swt) has given us and that we have fun all day long, we play and ride our bikes for hours, why can’t we spare 5 -10 min for Allah. My daughter gets it, (at least now) and I hope and pray that she will always keep that thought in her mind. May Allah (swt) keep our children on the right path and make them good Muslims (Ameen).
    I agree with the author that if we want them to be the good Muslims, we have to become the role model for them first. I grew up seeing my parents practicing the religion and I want my kids to grow up seeing me practicing it.

    1. SimpleTips says:

      MashaAllah, beautiful words. Thank you for sharing 🙂

    2. SimpleTips says:

      SubhanAllah such beautiful words. May Allah(swt) reward you for sharing them with us. Keep it up dear sister. InshaAllah, our consistent work will pay off, ameen.

  28. armin says:

    thanks for tips alhamdulillah

    1. SimpleTips says:

      You’er welcome. Thanks for visiting our site.

  29. muruoshu says:

    Thank u very much dear sister for this great article. Its a great guidance to parents who dont know how to
    Deal with these kind of things. Brought a tear into me..thank u and Allah bless you. I realy impressed the way you said how we can handle our kids.

    1. SimpleTips says:

      SubhanaAllah, your kind words mean a great deal to me. JazakAllah. May Allah (swt) build a beautiful connection between all our children and their Lord, ameen.

  30. Starlight says:

    Jazakallah. Lovely article, and so true. May Allah bless all our kids.

    1. SimpleTips says:

      Ameen! Please share with others who may benefit. Thanks for reading.

  31. nabila says:

    Mashallah n jazakallah khair. May Allah enable us to practice salah n teach it to our kids. Nice effort from you.

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