I am a strong advocate for celebrating religious milestones! Just like with our dunya, (worldly) milestones and achievements, such as graduations, work-related recognition, baby showers, birthdays and so on, our deen (religion) is an integral part of our life as Muslims and should be celebrated. Performing Hajj, wearing the hijab
, memorizing Quran, and starting to pray are all Islamic milestones that are worth celebrating.
We all know the famous hadith
narrated by the Prophet Muhammad (saw) on ordering our children to practice praying at seven years old. While this hadith is hasan sahih
, meaning that the chain of narrators is not as well established as sahih, it is still credible to use as supporting evidence. Turning seven is a big step, and by this age many Muslim children have begun their Quran reading or memorizing journey and may even have started to fast some hours of the day in Ramadan.
I think it is a great age to introduce the concept of salah as well. It’s important to note that every child is at a different stage in their upbringing and willingness to learn and practice. The Prophet Muhamad (saw) is known to have been kind, gentle and practical, especially when it comes to implementing fundamental aspects of our deen.
Not only is salah part of our everyday life as Muslims, it is one of the five pillars of Islam, which makes highlighting this milestone all the more important and necessary. It’s hard to believe my own daughter embarked on her seventh year of life last October. Her father and I talked about planning a salah party as she begins to practice praying and making wudu. I’m excited to do this!
Whether you decide to revolve your child’s birthday party (if you celebrate birthdays) around salah or dedicate another special day for the festivities, let’s plan a Salah-bration!
Getting Kids Excited About Salah
Image source: Pinterest
While the main purpose is to get our little Muslims excited about salah, we can always incorporate their favorite characters, colors and activities to make a customized theme that is unique to your child. I love this
Tea Party Salah-bration and all the little details.
Centering your party around a specific theme will help you better plan the type of food, dessert and activities you want to prepare. With Ramadan closely approaching, it would be a great idea to incorporate a Pre-Ramadan celebration
with salah for the ultimate spiritual boosting party as we prepare ourselves for the month of worship and prayer.
Since this is a salah party after all, take the time to think about what type of lessons you want your child and their friends to take away from this celebration. The goal is to introduce the concept of salah and to hopefully instill a love for this obligation that they will carry with them as they grow and mature.
Here’s some ways to build upon the salah theme, starting with this
great post with bite sized information on salah, its importance and reward, that you can incorporate into your party.
1. Party games:
When thinking of party games, be sure to keep in mind the age group you are hosting. Islamic Jeopardy is always a fun and easy game to customize to your age group. For young children around 5-7 years old, some categories you can include are Salah, Prophets, Islam, Quran and Miscellaneous. Check out this
video for some examples of simple questions for each.
2. Wudu fun: Having a wudu demonstration is a great way to practice the steps of wudu while also discussing the concept and importance of cleanliness in Islam. Make it an activity by having your child demonstrate in front of their friends the steps they would do if they were in the bathroom. Afterwards, have a wudu chart making station, where everyone can write down and decorate their very own wudu chart to hang in their bathrooms at home to help them practice!
out visuals that align with each step, lay out some construction paper, add stickers to match your theme, and finally provide a protective sheet cover to keep the chart from getting wet. You can also print this
step by step wudu chart, laminate and gift to your guests as part of their party favors. A salah tracker is another great take home goodie to include as part of the kids’ favors or activity they can make at the party.
Image source: Pinterest
3. Crafts and party favors: It’s always a good idea to sprinkle some functional favors and crafts while keeping things exciting and fun. Adding a kid-friendly hijab, kufi or prayer rug is another great gift option for your guests and will allow your child to receive endless hasanat (good deeds) every time their friends use them for prayer.
4. Crank up the nasheeds!
Keep the atmosphere alive and fun with some of your favorite Islamic nasheeds playing in the background throughout your activities and while your guests are munching on all the yummy food and treats. My kids and I are huge fans of Mini Muslims
. Check out their prayer song, Yay! We Get To Pray!
5. Pray with your young guests! Don’t forget to include salah time in your activities! Plan your party time around one of the five prayers that best suits your schedule, and encourage your child to lead their friends in congregation after they’ve all learned and made their wudu. If your child is shy, that’s ok! Ask if any of the other guests would like to lead, or you lead them! It would be the perfect ending to your salah-bration and a beautiful way to instill the value of praying together versus alone whenever possible. Touch on this and talk about the multitude of rewards Muslims receive for praying together.
With Ramadan closely approaching, and our little ones growing up too fast, let’s build a loving foundation for one of the pillars of our faith that is our key to Jannah! Salah is a special time to connect with Allah (S). May He make our little ones of His righteous servants and of those who perform their salah on time. Ameen.