Consistency – Allah’s (swt) Favourite Trait

ConsistencyAllah (swt) says in the Holy Quran: “Verily! In the creation of the heavens and the earth, and in the alternation of night and day, there are indeed signs for men of understanding.” (Al-Imran 3:190)

Staying consistent is one of the most difficult jobs in this world. Look around yourself, and it will not be long, before your gaze discerns innumerable dissatisfied souls ambling away towards unknown worlds. Not long will it take for the same gaze to discover a similar ailment within yourself, too. Have you ever wondered, as to why the percentage of truly successful individuals/ states/ organizations/ entities is very small! The secret of their success undoubtedly rests very plainly in this seemingly simple word – consistency.

Consistency all around us

Allah (swt) is Consistent in all His traits. We definitely cannot be Allah (swt), but He who has created us wants to see this quality in us. Several times the Quran has enjoined us to perform certain obligations (Good deeds, Sabr, Salah, Zakat, Dhikr, Taqwa) with great emphasis. The repetition of these instructions shows us that they are not a one-time duty that Allah (swt) wants us to perform but a repeated series of acts, the repetition of which may make them a part of our character. And when these acts become intrinsically attached to our souls, the change will surely surface, followed with immense blessings and success in both worlds. Insha’Allah.

Life warrants one thing, death, day – night, and disaster – happiness; each follows a set pattern again and again. This consistency in their occurrences, promise a continuation of life. The day even a single atom terminates its action or changes course, Doomsday shall descend.

Nature shows it too very plainly. The bird flap flaps and flies, the baby suck sucks and drinks, the wave roars and hits, the river swishes and cascades, the cuckoo coo-coos and sings; hence, life  goes on and on for as long as it is ordained to. Repetition, being a constant characteristic everywhere!

We all harbour an innate desire and tendency to do good. We are success mongers. And for it, we strive surely but not consistently – and here is where the flaw lives. We work hard, promise help to the needy, stay positive, exhibit compassion, prevent gossiping, pray sincerely, recite Quran; but all of this we may do for a day, two days or may be a month beyond which our strength to struggle dissipates and our yearning for a grand result explodes.

Stay consistent and succeed

In short, the small word ‘consistency’ holds the key to success. Whether it be good grades, more wealth, knowledge, happiness, internal satisfaction or piety, consistency is the magical word that can make all happen. For it is in the nature, around us, within us, in every living cell/atom of the universe. Every particle is harmoniously synchronized to repeatedly sing a similar melody, and complete the beautiful picture called life.

This task may not be simple, but we have examples of truly successful people and a perfect example of our beloved Prophet (sa) to guide us along this road, as in it lies our true and sure salvation.

How to Raise our Children

serviceLife is a precious gift from Allah (swt) to all human beings. It is upon us as to how we spend this gift, whether we earn the blessings of Heaven or the torment of Hell fire. The truth is that we all should spend our life according to the Quran and Sunnah in order to make our life, our homes and our society- peaceful.

As parents, we have a huge responsibility on our shoulders to raise our children and so we put in endless efforts to bring them up in an Islamic manner. But the question is that even after all the efforts put in by the parents, why don’t our children learn good Islamic manners?  After a session of contemplation and thorough survey, I ended up with the answer that since we as elders are not implementing those things that we teach our children in our lives, then how can we expect them to act upon them. And if we just say something that does not reflect through our deeds and actions, then how will our kids learn the application of those teachings in their life? It’s basically “Walk the Talk Rule” that should be followed! Hence, before anything else, we have to take care of this issue.

Children are great imitators. Therefore we should give them something great to imitate. And the most important point to remember in raising kids is that we should not scold them if they do any mistake. Instead we should stay calm and try to teach them with great love. This will build our respect in their mind. And if they start respecting us, they will respect other people also.

A mother is better than a thousand teachers. It is said that home is the first school of a child. So we should make our home the house of Allah (swt) by instilling Islamic teachings in it and inculcating them in every single aspect of our life.

When a kid is in early childhood, he or she is very sensitive and is building a whole personality which thoroughly depends upon what environment he or she gets at home and what lessons are being taught. So we should give them self confidence by treating them nicely in front of others. We should trust them so that they never lie to us and make ourselves their best friends so they love us. And whenever we do something for them, our intention should be that we are doing for the sake of Allah (swt) and not to receive any kind of future reward from our kids. As a result, you will see how Allah (swt) helps you and makes life easier for you.

There is no better companion for a kid than a mother- the most pure and sincere relationship in the world. And there is no better guide and mentor for a child than his father, but everything should be done in a limit and only for Allah (swt).

We must appreciate kids when they achieve something. This will make them happy and give a robust to their self-esteem and help them put trust in their own abilities for further achievements.

Little angels are interested in stories so we should tell them the stories of our prophets, his companions (Sahaba) and the Islamic history so that the love for Islam nurtures in them.

These are the little things I feel that if we implement and apply them, our lives will be very peaceful and our kids will Insha’Allah become good human beings and true Muslims.

Developing Reading Habits in Children

booksImportance of reading

The first revelation of the Quran was the first five verses of Surah Al- Alaq:

“Read! In the Name of your Lord, Who has created (all that exists). Has created man from a clot (a piece of thick coagulated blood).Read! And your Lord is the Most Generous. Who has taught (the writing) by the pen (the first person to write was Prophet Idrees (Enoch)). Has taught man that which he knew not.” ( Al-Alaq 96:1-5)

“Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body.” (Richard Steele)

“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more you learn the more places you’ll go.” (Dr. Seuss)

Early bird catches the worm

Many parents are concerned about how to develop reading habits in their children and save them from unnecessary and time wasting activities. When your child is still a baby, there are some things you can do to help him or her learn! The first three years of life are very important in developing your child’s mind and abilities. Here are some ways to give your child an early and strong start.

1. Capture with picture

Picture reading can be started at a very young age i.e. from the age of 6-six months.

2. Bed time stories

Every night before sleeping, one of the parents can read a book to a child. Initially, the book should be pictorial. Then a book having few words, followed by a book with simple to complex sentences, as the child grows older.

3. Read and teach

Children are quite observant and love to explore everything around. So whenever they pick up a thing and if there is something written on it, adults can help them read in a playful manner.  Such as the text on jam jars, bottles of lotion, powder, water, packets of biscuits, rusk, chips, etc.

4. Read together

Every morning, when you read newspaper, make your child sit with you and play a game of reading headlines one by one. First you read one heading and then make the child read the other. Cuttings of interesting and knowledgeable sentences along with pictures can be pasted in a journal, as children love cut and paste activities.

5. Reading on-the-go

When going outside to Masjid, restaurant, shopping mall or any place, where you can utilize the time constructively, play reading games on way by reading the names of shops, banks, grocery stores, billboards, banners and slogans to enrich child’s vocabulary and observation.

6. Introduce reading etiquette

Establish a library area in the room. Encourage children to bring books, read them and put them back later on. Show them, how to hold and open a book, without spoiling or tearing it. Also, demonstrate as to how to turn the pages with care. Tell them about the different parts of a book in a conversational tone such as the cover, the end and the spine. When reading out a story, show them from where a sentence begins, in which direction do we read and how we read from top to bottom,  without expecting them to understand or remember straight away. Talk to them about different kinds of books like story books tell us stories, dictionaries give us the meanings of different words, encyclopedias tell us about so many different thing like animal, plants, buildings, history. This way you can introduce the Holy book Quran as well by telling them that this is the Book of Allah (swt) which is a complete and authentic guide for us, it is our Manual Book! It tells us how to spend our lives and most importantly Allah (swt) talks to us through it.

7.  Reader-friendly environment

Provide a print rich environment. Children learn to read fast by trying to make sense of the print they come across. We can support their efforts by labeling objects and areas in the house.

8. Flash cards rule

Making flash cards is a great help in learning letters and vocabulary. Prepare square cards with alphabets (any language you want your child to learn: Arabic, Urdu, English, etc.) and play matching games. Match the cards to objects and pictures which begin with a particular letter. Say the initial letter sound of objects and match it to the object that the letter represents. Begin with words that are personally meaningful for the child like his/her own name, name of family members, pets, favorite food and places. Keep an ear open for children’s interest and use words that are important for them to help them “read” letters of the alphabet and sight words.

“Once you learn to read, you will be forever free.” (Frederick Douglass)

Happy reading!