From the day my daughter was born, my husband and I introduced simple ways to incorporate Islamic activities into her life. The following are some tips for 12-18 month olds.
We introduced Assalamu’alaikum with a wave to her along with hi and bye. She picked up hi from the park and play groups. However, she also knows to wave and that someone is coming or going when she hears Assalamu’alalikum. Obviously, it will take her a little while to learn how to say it as it is much more difficult to repeat.
Morning and Evening Dhikr (Remembrance).
Every morning when she wakes up and while I put her to sleep, I recite Surah Al-Ikhlas, Mau’awidhatayn (Surah Al Falaq & Surah An-Nas), and Ayatul Kursi. Usually, I do this while nursing. It is something we should do for ourselves and for our children for protection throughout the day and the night. In the past, I would make more of an effort to find time to make dhikr of the morning and evening from the Sunnah of the Prophet (peace be upon him). Unfortunately, it is something I have neglected but would like to start again, Insha’Allah.
There are many opportunities for du’a in our daily activities. Some of the du’as from the Sunnah that we make sure to recite in front of her are the following: when waking up, when sleeping, before eating, after eating, after adhan, and sneezing. They are simple to do and only take a few minutes.
We have always made it a point to pray Salah with her, even when she was a newborn. My husband was the one that started this with her. He would put her blanket down on the musallah (prayer mat) and lay her down right by him . It amazed us – and our family and friends – how quickly she would settle down if she was crying or upset. Lately, she copies us when she sees us go down in sajdah or rukoo. We just say “Allahuakbar” and she understands it is time for Salah. She doesn’t always stand with us, but she stays nearby and busies herself until we are finished. After Salah, one of us will do dhikr aloud and use her fingers to help us count. She quietly listens and tries to copy in her baby language. Again, I am in awe of her behavior during this time. She is incredibly calm, patient, cooperative, and seems to really enjoy it.
Recite Qur’an to Them.
Aside from Salah, one of my other favorite ways to involve her is to recite Qur’an to her. Sometimes, I will review what I have memorized by reciting to her while she is nursing. It is soothing and calming for both of us and the best addition to her nighttime routine. On Fridays, I sit her down on my lap and read Surah Al Kahf with her. She likes to touch the pages of the Qur’an while she listens. Some days, she sits quietly through the whole Surah, much to my surprise, and others she will hang out nearby in her play area. I hope that this develops a love for the Qur’an within her from an early age, Insha’Allah.
And those are it! Let me know if you have any other simple tips we can add to our routine in the comments below.