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Islamizing the taleem ….. – 81 (Educating small children – right age for introducing role models, etc)

27 Jan

(My dialogue through email with a group on the Topic: Islamizing the Taleem and Tarbiyah of our children)

(from a sister)
Assalam u alaikum Abid uncle,

Isn’t 6 yrs. too late to introduce role models? With so many pseudo role models to idealize these days, shouldn’t we expose our children to the people we want them to look up to earlier than that? A 4-5 yr. old child is old enough to think, who should I eat like, who should I pray like, how do Allah’s friends practice their trust in Allah, how do they serve His people, how do they work for His cause, who were the people who conveyed Allah’s words to us and how. What if we don’t and someone else does this job – in the wrong direction?

Also isn’t nature itself enough to create the awe of Allah? Real gardens, real bee hives, trees, waves and rainfall, clouds and snow, animals, birds and their nests, spider webs, the roots and shoots of plants and the soil and worms in our backyard, and above all our lives and the natural systems that work within and around us can become part of our conversation with our children. Please correct me if I am wrong, do we need books for everything?


(my response)
Assalamu Alaikum sister,

Here I will agree with you. If you think your children are matured enough to receive effect of external role models one should introduce them. I take the affective reading age to be around six to seven years. At very young age normally very close relatives are role models for the children, specially the parents. Children mimic father and mother a lot.

Direct observation of nature is probably the most effective teacher. Nature is very effective for creating the awe of Allah subhana wa ta’ala, but external education, like teaching of the parents and school too are quite important. ‘Subhan’Allah’ is a beautiful word to be used by the elders to express awe of the Creator. This re-enforces a child’s faculty of inspiration, Which I feel too is quite important in the development of awe of the Creator. Another thing the awe is not only for in the observation of nature around, any event occurring in the environment too calls for our being inspired towards the creator. Be it death, birth, any mishap, any good news, any event, is all Allah subhana wa ta’ala’s and his power’s manifestations. Do you all agree?

Jazaki’Allah for this valuable input as a mother. Mothers, if a little shrewd, can contribute very valuable observational input for the development of an effective educational system. Presently the parents are more carried away by their emotion towards their children. This makes them commit a lot of educational errors. Which sometimes are quite detrimental in damaging to their children’s personality/perceptional development

Br. Abid