Believing in the unseen is a prerequisite to be a Muslim. Little children do not understand abstract concepts as easily as concrete ones. Ghaib is sometimes a difficult concept for adults to grasp as well, and tackling this topic with kids can be tricky. However, the earlier the concept is established, the easier it is to accept the reality of the unseen. The following are some ideas to help children understand the concept of ghaib
Introduction: The Ghaib Envelope
Take an envelope and write Ghaib on top. Place six cards inside with the following words on them: Allah, Angels, Books of Allah, Prophets, Day of Judgement, Qadar (predestination).
Tell the children that the word ghaib means unseen. Tell them that six cards are inside this envelope. Can you see them? The children will say no. Tell them: Just because you can’t see them doesn’t mean they don’t exist. Then open the envelope and take out each card and explain what each word means. Ask them if they have ever seen any of these. The children will say no. Let them understand that just like when these cards were inside and we couldn’t see them similarly, these six things are hidden and we will eventually see all of them.
Story time: The Parable
Narrate this story to the kids:
In a mother’s womb were two babies. The first baby asked the other: “Do you believe in life after birth?”
The second baby replied, “Why, of course. There has to be something after birth. Maybe we are here to prepare ourselves for what we will be later.”
“Nonsense,” said the first. “There is no life after birth. What would that life be?”
“I don’t know, but more light will be there than here. Maybe we will walk with our legs and eat from our mouths.”
The doubting baby laughed. “This is absurd! Walking is impossible. And eat with our mouths? Ridiculous! The umbilical cord supplies nutrition. Life after delivery is not possible. The umbilical cord is too short.
The second baby held his ground. “I think there is something and maybe it’s different than it is here.”
The first baby replied, “No one has ever come back from there. Birth is the end of life”
“Well, I don’t know,” said the twin, “but certainly we will see mother and she will take care of us.”
“Mother?” The first baby guffawed. “You believe in mother? Where is she now? I don’t see her, so it’s only logical that she doesn’t exist.”
To which the other replied, “Sometimes when you’re in silence you can hear her. I believe there is a life after birth and we are here to prepare ourselves for that reality when it comes….”
Discuss the story with the kids. Ask them how this is the same as believing in the Day of Judgement
Game: Hot – Cold
Hide an item in a room. Call the children in the room and ask them if they can see that item. When the children say they can’t, tell them that just because you can’t see something doesn’t mean it’s not there. Now proceed to play the hot-cold game. The children search for the item, while you assist them with verbal clues. When the children are not close to the item, say, “You’re cold”. As they get closer to the hidden item, respond, “Getting warmer…” When they are very close to the item, say, “You’re hot!” The verbal temperature indicators aid in finding the item. Once the item is found, tell the children that the only way they found the unseen item was when they listened to your instructions carefully. Tell them we must believe in the unseen and listen to what Allah (swt) says about them so that in the life hereafter, we can see all of them. Tell them that only those who make it to Jannah will be allowed to see Allah (swt) himself.
Concept: Authors and Books
Bring four books by the same author and show the children. Explain that one person writes many books and he is called the author. Similarly Allah has written four books. The Quran is the only one we have. Let the children leaf through it. Explain that the other three are no longer available in their original form but we should respect all of them equally because they are the word of Allah
Game: Who are the Prophets?
In this game, choose a leader, and ask the other children to line up behind the leader. The leader then moves around and all the children have to mimic the leader’s actions. Any players who fail to follow or do what the leader does are out of the game. When only one person other than the leader remains, that player becomes the leader, and the game begins again with all players joining the line once again.
After this game, talk to the children about the Prophets and that they are the leaders Allah (swt) chose for us. And we should imitate them because Allah (swt) had told them what to teach us. Tell them that we must follow Prophet Muhammad (sa) and his teachings to gain success.
Qadar: Allah Knows Everything
Bring out 4 or 5 flavours of ice-cream and ask children to choose a flavor. After everyone has chosen, question them if they made a choice or were they forced to do so. Once they say they were free to choose, tell them Allah already knew which one each would choose. Tell the children that Allah knows everything that has happened and will happen. And Allah has already decided what will happen. But this doesn’t stop us human beings making free choices. Remind the children about this concept every time they make a decision.