As Muslim parents, the five pillars of Islam are one of the first things we teach our children about their faith. Muslim children will learn their deen initially from observing their parents and the example they set.
However, as they get older, choosing to teach them about Islam in a fun and hands-on way, will help children to stay engaged and enthusiastic about their Islamic education.
Here are 20 fun ways to teach the five pillars of Islam to children.
1st Pillar: Shahada
“ I testify that there is no god except Allah and that Muhammad (saw) is His messenger.”
The shahada is unequivocally the most important thing you will ever teach your child. Its meaning should become imprinted on his heart from a young age. The more your child hears the testimony of faith, from you or elsewhere, the deeper it will become a natural part of him insha’Allah.
One way to develop faith in a child is by telling him stories from the Quran. There are a multitude of picture books now available in English to teach Muslim kids the Quranic stories.
As parents, try to bring Allah (SWT) and His messenger (SAW) into your daily conversations. The more often your children hear Quran, dhikr and nasheeds, the more likely they will memorise them. This beautiful nasheed by Yusuf Islam will help your children become familiar with the testimony of faith.
2nd Pillar: Salaah
The second pillar of Islam is Salaah, or the 5-daily-prayers. As with all of the pillars, the best way to teach children the importance of salaah, is by example. Let your children see you praying and allow them to join in. What can be a more powerful lesson to a child, than to witness her mother crying in sajood, or sincerely making duaa for her children? As parents, we lead by example.
Picture books about salaah are also a fantastic learning tool for young children. They can spark an interest in the deen, without the need for formal teaching. Whilst you are reading to them, why not give them these Prayer Mat colouring pages to decorate.
Older children, who are beginning to establish the prayer, might enjoy using a ‘Salaah tracker’ to record their prayers.
This iPray salah pad teaches children all the steps of making wudu and salaah.
You could also encourage them to make this ‘I’m praying!’ door hanger to hang on their bedroom door during prayer times.
3rd Pillar: Zakat
Zakat, the giving of alms to the poor and needy, is the third pillar of Islam.
For younger children, the calculations of zakat may be too much for them to understand. Rather, what is more important to develop in them is a compassion for the poor, and making giving to charity a normal part of life.
This can be done by encouraging your children to donate clothes and toys to the mosque, or raise money themselves for charity, through sponsored walks, swimming etc.
For older children, who are receiving pocket-money or cash gifts, making a sadaqah box will encourage them to give some of their wealth to the needy.
Here are a few examples on hand-made charity boxes that you can make with your children:
4th Pillar: Sawm
The fasts of Ramadan are a time of great celebration and festivity for many Muslims across the world. It is so important, especially for families living in the West, to make this month exciting and memorable for our children.
One way of doing this is to decorate the house. Here are a few ideas for Ramadan decorations:
Ramadan is also a time to remember those less fortunate than us. Feeding the homeless, or elderly, is one way we can encourage our little Muslims to show gratitude to Allah. Alternatively, bake a batch of cookies and give them out to your neighbours with this sweet Ramadan gift tag attached.
5th Pillar: Hajj
The stages of Hajj, the major pilgrimage, can be confusing for young minds. There are so many steps and rules to understand.
A fantastic way of teaching children about Hajj is to re-enact it at home!
All you need are old sheets or towels for the ihram, and a few props, and you can re-enact the Hajj in your back garden!
These are my 20 creative ways to teach the 5 pillars of Islam. This style of hands-on learning is a great way to get your children excited about their religion, and keep them engaged and having fun!
Have you taught your children about the 5 pillars of Islam? What activities did your children enjoy doing? Please share your experiences in the comments below.