By IOL Islamic Researchers
We all love our Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him). Simple because he brought us Divine guidance and helped us a lot find our way to Truth. He is called the light, as Almighty Allah says: “Now hath come unto you light from Allah and a plain Scripture” (Al-Ma’idah: 15) It is thus natural to instill into our kids the Prophet’s love. We also should make sure that his love grow daily in our heart.
But we'd like to stress that our love for the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) should be a motivation for us to follow the noble principles he set to govern our lives. It's inconceivable for us to be claiming of loving the noble Prophet and, at the same time, doing all what contradicts his teachings. That is not love. That's self-deception!
“The tongues of Muslims all over the world never cease to mention the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) and send blessings to him. But why not organize a week-long family activity around the life of the Prophet? Why not spend one day of the week on each of these activities, devoting the whole seven days to a different project? Or we could incorporate some aspect of each activity daily. Whatever method we choose, these are rather token present we could offer in showing acknowledgment to the great role the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) played in our life.
In order to promote such noble feelings inside one’s family, let every one sit down with a pen and a paper, think and decide together about the activities you can do concerning the life of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him).
Following are some tips that help in this concern:
1. Travel with the Prophet:
Get a map of Arabia, or better yet, get the kids to draw or trace one from an atlas. Then, note down the different places he traveled to from Makkah or Madinah. Each voyage should also be researched and presented to the whole family by one person in the course of a family discussion or meeting.
2. Wake up with the Prophet:
The Prophet would wake up everyday before Dawn (Fajr), to worship Allah through and make Dhikr (Remembrance of Allah). While looking at the sky, he would read the last portion of Surat Al `Imran, thinking and reflecting on the universe and its Creator. This is an excellent way to get closer to Allah, at a time when concentration is at its peak, minds are clear of daily worries and according to one Hadith, Allah is very close to us. Once Fajr began, the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) would pray and then chat with people who stayed behind for some time.
Get the whole family to get up in time to perform this special prayer. Encourage them, to the best of their ability, to awake to worship Allah as the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) did.
3. Organize Storytelling Night:
This can be done at bedtime, after the kids come home from school or any other time conducive to learning. The first step of loving and learning from the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) and his life is to know about him and what made him great. You can buy children’s books about his life, or even listen to them on a cassette tape while you are in the car on your way to or from school. Maybe each person in the family can choose their story to tell. This will allow some research and reading as well.
4. Sleep Like Him:
The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) used to sleep in a unique way and would say a supplication or two before it. Maybe as a token of your love you want to sleep one night the way he slept. Some Muslims do sleep that way all the time, although it is not a requirement of our faith. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) used to sleep on his right side, with his right hand under his right cheek. He used to make Wudu' before going to bed also. He used to recite one or two supplications before sleeping and recite a few short portions of the Qur’an.
If you adopt this item, you can memorize the supplications, understand their meaning and make copies of them for everyone.
5. Eat Like Him:
There are reports about the type of food he used to eat or liked most. Make a list of those items. Once the whole family is together with a selection of his/her favorite food, why not have one person talk about it and remind everyone of his table manners? A young person may be the best one to do that. For instance, he advised Muslims to eat in a way that after eating, the stomach is only one-third full. We also should wash our hands before eating, recite “Bismillah” (in the Name of Allah) and other supplications before we begin, as well as eat only with our right hand. These are just some of the ways the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) ate.
6. Pray Like the Prophet:
During the lifetime of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) if a person made a mistake in the recitation of the Qur’an, he would be corrected by others present during the prayer. This is exactly the way it is done throughout the Muslim world in Ramadan. During this week when you're teaching your kids how to live like the Prophet, have a different person lead prayer each day and correct their mistakes if they make any. This will not only be an exercise in one aspect of the Sunnah, it will also be one teaching humility.
7. Play like the Prophet:
The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) understood the importance of fun and games. He would race with his wife `A'ishah who used to outpace him most of the time (may Allah be pleased with her). He would swim and wrestle with his Companions. He would joke with them too. He played with and loved children. Muslims mustn't forget this aspect of his life. Race with your spouse in your backyard; set up a swimming pool for the kids; enroll the kids in an archery class.”