3rd Apr 2012
Astaghfirullaah!! How can people think this topic is wasteful!! Khair...we should pray for their correct guidance, Inshaa-Allaah.
Previous Experience (if it's of any relevance): I have a 7 year old brother who is like my own son, as bringing him up is my responsibility, also Working in an Islamic Primary School, we have to deal with this issue on yearly basis with 60 NEW kids every year, AND the existing students who are currently getting older (Year 1, 2 and so on..) and ask these type of questions.
I wont go in to much detail at the moment in regards, but will highlight a few key points, Insha-Allaah.
1) First and most important, we have to explain to the children in a way which is suited to their intellect (all children are different), i.e. the words we use, etc. Try to be and keep it as simple as possible, without using any NEW words. The reason for this, is that you are teaching them very important and fundamental things, which will not be as straight forward for some to understand, and having to learn new words can make it harder - So just for this type of questions keep it basic.
2) Try and use examples of their interest. For example, if they like playing hide and seek, explain to them how at times when they hide and think we can't see them, but at times they cant see us from where they are hiding but we can see them, and try it in a practical way, like tell them to hide next to the side of the sofa, they won't be able to see you from there but you can see them. Also, this will indicate to them, that Allaah is at a high position where he can see everything. (The reason why I would say 'at times' is because if we say we always see them, they may get upset that you can always see them and would not want to or be able to play these games with you - These are merely games, but it creates a bond with the children in a very unknowing way)
3) In our daily activities, try to include these things. Obviously we may not get a situation every day, but when we do get a chance, we should always utilise it for their education and benefit.
4) Try to narrate stories of pious predecessors who had similar incidences and explained to the children. A famous incident comes to mind about the person who gave the children a sweet to it and said to eat it somewhere anybody can't see you, or the one of the scholar who told his students to slaughter the chicken in a place where no one can see them...etc.
5) Sometimes children do things behind our back, like maybe eat a sweet when they're not meant to, or watch cartoons at home and the father advises not to but the mother is more chilled out about it or vice versa, and they may be watching it when you (the disapprover of it in the family) walk in or they try to quickly change it. You may stop them, or tell them they should not fear you as you cant always see them and its not you who has said it is wrong, but it is Allaah who has said it is wrong, and instead of telling them that Allaah is watching you. When you see them do this, ask them were you watching it coz I couldn't see you? they will most probably in their naivety reply "yes", or you ask them "I did not know or could not see you, but who can see the smallest and most tiny ants or insects in the darkest room/night?" They will reply "Allaah" then you ask them, "so who was watching or could see you and knew what you were even thou I couldn't? Then you can ask them, "so should you be not watching coz of me or because it upsets Allaah?" and just remind them, they should not fear us but should fear Allaah, as he sees and knows all that we do - This is basically creating Taqwa (Allaah consciousness) in them from a very young age.
6) The key thing is always have this concern and Allaah will indeed bring things in to your mind that you never even thought of, and will also make this task easier, Inshaa-Allaah. And you will notice amongst children and siblings they will eventually remind each other of this, either the older will tell the younger but at times vice versa, as at times younger one's seem more enthusiastic and fascinated about these sort of things, and this is when we start reaping the fruits of our effort upon seeing this.
NOTE: At times they have understood, but will still may pose a question like "can Allaah even see TINY TINY ants when its REALLY REALLY DARK?" or "does Allaah know how many people are in the world, or does he know all the animals in the world, etc".
Just a few points that came to mind at this time of night. I hope and pray this will be of benefit to some.
If anything good has been said then it is from Allaah, and if anything incorrect has been said then it is due to lack of knowledge.
Please fell free to comment, add or correct me, for us all to benefit from.
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