This morning when we got into our car and Yusra and I recited the travelling dua, Yahya was staring at his sister. With him staring, Yusra decided that she needed to give him a little explanation of what we were doing: “Yahya, we read car dua to make Allah happy. Allah then helps us.” The baby continued to stare at her.
I watched in the rearview mirror with my heart’s content and heard what every mother wants to hear – their child’s growing love for Allah. But then it got me thinking about how innocent children really are – how pure their minds and hearts are. And Allah gives them to us to nurture with what we have. Only Allah is aware of what the future holds for my children or any other, I would love for it to be filled with the love and servitude of Allah alone. But I’m not the decider or the controller of such affairs, I am only a tiny part of the bigger picture. Nonetheless, an important part, a part that plays an integral role in these very early years.
And just like that, I started to think more and more about what it is I’d like to see in my kids and myself. One of them being the love for our Prophet Muhammad (saw). A love that we can instil beyond our hearts, a love into our actions and deeds. So, in my little quest to bring and make the Prophet (saw) real in our home and lives, I’ve decided to include his (saw’s) advice, instructions and wisdom in our daily tasks.. Some in the form of duas but some others by implementing the Sunnah in our actions.
So today, we’re starting with our shoes. We all need to put our shoes on, we often do it without much thought, but add the correct intention to it, and inshaAllah there is reward for us in it. I’m still at a phase where I have to help Yusra with her shoes. I always put the right one on first. But from today I started to tell her that we do this because that’s what the Prophet (saw) told us to do. She in return said “because he wanted to make Allah happy too just like me!”
The Prophet Muhammad (saw) said: “If you want to put in your shoes, put in the right shoe first; and if you want to take them off, take the left one off first. let the right shoe be the first to be put on and the last to be taken off.” (Bukhari)
By building small connections, relaying the Prophet’s words and lifestyle into own lives, for me, it is making him (saw) the role model we want and need. It is very easy to memorise lots of duas. Tick lots of boxes off with our children’s “Islamic achievements” – but they mean very little, if firstly the child can’t comprehend what they all mean and secondly they don’t know who this Prophet even was.
Islam, truly is a religion of ease – it allows us to gain reward in immeasurable ways. One of the beauties of our Most Merciful Rabb, is that, He rewards out of His Kindness and has allowed for us to gain reward through small actions too. Allah loves small, regular deeds. And this always reminds me of Bilal (ra) – the Prophet (saw) heard Bilal’s footsteps in Jannah*. Why? Because he performed tahiyatul wudhu without fail everyday. A small, regular deed. How beautiful and motivating?! Imagine on the day of Reckoning being rewarded for an action that might have been small but our persistence in doing it, allows us a space in Jannah. The thought just melts my heart.
So this is my attempt at building a love for the Prophet’s (saw) words, a way to learn that we remember Allah more in everything we do and to make good habits that are liked by Him.
You can print a copy of the Hadith off here too: shoe-hadith. Stick it near your shoe rack, and read it often as a family. That’s what we’ll be doing now, because it’s not just the children that need reminders, the grown ups need it too.
*Abu Huraira reported that Allah’s Messenger (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said to Bilal: “Bilal, tell me which act you did at the time of the morning prayer for which you hope to receive good reward, for I heard during the night the sound of your footsteps before me in Paradise?” Bilal (radi Allahu anhu) replied: “I did not do any act in Islam for which I hope to get any benefit, but this, that when I perform complete ablution during the night or day I observe prayer with that purification, what Allah has ordained for me to pray.” [Sahih Muslim]