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Islamizing the taleem ….. – 83 (Educating small children – right age for introducing role models-2)

7 Feb

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

(from my son)
Assalamualikum Abujan (father),

Why can’t external role models be introduced to children before the age of 6?
Though I haven’t followed what you wrote to Sister, I deduced that this is what you meant?

(my response)
Assalamu Alaikum baite (son),

Normally a child of up to 6-7 yrs is engrossed in their internal activities and start looking outside after this age. We have been asked by our prophet (may peace and blessings of Allah be upon our best role model), to introduced salah to children at the age of 7 yrs. Further, I feel, a child starts reading and comprehending external activities at around six years of age. But as earlier mentioned by sister, if one feels the children are comprehending at an earlier age it is certainly better to introduce them to good literature of the stories of our role models rather than putting them into unhealthy literature which depicts alien culture, thought and philosophy.

I feel at a very early age the children should be kept close to nature, and introduced to natural phenomena. Parents should themselves expressively appreciate and show awe of the Creator over the natural phenomena. The parents and elder siblings to play role models. I hope parents are more cautious that the children are watching and copying them very closely. At this age they are the most sought for role models by their young children

Abbu (father),

(from my son)
Waalikumusalam Abujan (father), but what about introducing them (role models) in bedtime stories. Introducing role models is not just limited to the literature that we give to the children.

Instead of senseless bedtime stories about chira and chirya (he and she sparrow), which I don’t believe play a huge part in developing the child’s personality and even dangerous bedtime stories of princes and princesses and “happily ever after” we can introduce Muslim Heroes in these stories. Like I remember you telling me the story of Salahuddin (Saladin) and Saifullah and the coin incident from a very long time ago. I believe that will be much more beneficial than the stories that are narrated these days May Allah guide us all to the right path.

(my response)
Assalamu Alaikum baite (son),

How old were u when I introduced you to Salahuddin’s (Saladin’s) stories?

Should be around five six yrs at least I believe. But as I said earlier if one feels that a child is matured enough to ingest such stories one should introduce the child to such stories.

And you are so right that these stories are certainly better than introducing children to stories which make no sense from developmental or Islamic perspective. Specially the fairytales and the stories of prince and princes. They are quite harmful to an health perception development. Yes I feel stories about the Muslim heroes are among the best of literature, provided they are written in a natural way and not made a fairy tale out of. Children are extremely intelligent and I feel the world should be projected very correctly and naturally to them. Illogical and unnatural literature takes them away from realities of world and make them acquire illogical approach towards life and this world. I can see this has happened to most of us. We are quite far from the real, the logical and the natural world. We mostly live in dreams. Don’t we? We want every thing to turn OK without our trying much for same. Is it a misstatement???

Abbu (father)