Inculcating the habit of making Salaam and being thankful in children

picsart_12-28-08-40-37(From the lectures of Shaykh Zulfiqar Ahmad Naqshbandi D.B)

Allah’s Messenger (Sallallahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) said:

Afshus-Salaama-Baynakum.

Spread salaam amongst yourselves. (Muslim)

Get little children into the habit of making salaam with both hands whenever they greet someone. Get them into the habit of making Salaam as much as possible. Inculcate this culture in your communities. This boosts the child’s confidence and frees him of inhibitions. He isn’t fearful in the company of other people because he is used to making Salaam. The proper method of making Salaam should be taught to the child. This creates confidence in the child and removes cowardice and fear from his heart.

In the same manner, the child should be taught to be grateful to others from a small age. As soon as he reaches the age of understanding, explain to him that whenever someone does him a favour, he must thank him/her. Inculcate the habit of thanking others into the child from a young age. When the child gets into the habit of thanking people, he will automatically learn to thank Allah Ta’ala as well.

Allah’s Messenger (Sallallahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) said:

Man-Lam-Yashkurin-Naasa-Lam-Yashkurillaah.

He who does not thank people has not thanked Allah. (Ahmad)

It is amazing how even though Allah Ta’ala has ordered us to be thankful on so many occasions, there are very few mothers who teach their children the words of gratitude. “Jazakumullah”, “Jazakallahu Khayran”, teach these words to your children so that they know the Sunnah way of showing gratitude. This practice was supposed to be ours but today the non-Muslims have adopted it.

A strange story regarding the teaching of gratitude.

This humble servant was on a flight from Paris to New York in 1997. When I took my seat in the aircraft, a French lady with her three or four year old daughter came and set on the seat next to mine. There were only three seats, so the mother sat on one, the daughter on the next one and this humble servant sat on the last seat. This humble servant has a habit of taking a kitab to read on flights. This helps in lowering the gaze and passing time. For these reasons, this humble servant began reading a kitab. After a while, an airhostess arrived to serve food. This humble servant declined the offer because he was not sure about the Halal status of the food. I normally take my own packed food with me on flights, and if I do not have my own food with me, I bear the hunger and partake of something when arriving at my destination.

Anyway, the French lady took some food and began feeding her daughter and at the same time partaking from it herself. Now, because she was sitting on the next seat, even though I was reading my kitab and not paying attention to her, I could make out what she was doing by her movements. She put a morsel of food in the girl’s mouth and after she had eaten it, the lady said, “Say Thank You”. Her daughter replied, “Thank You”. She then put another morsel in the girl’s mouth and made her say Thank You again. After putting each morsel of food in her daughter’s mouth, the lady would make the girl say ‘Thank You’. According to my estimation, the lady made her daughter say the words ‘Thank You’ thirty six (36) times during the course of the meal.

I noted with amazement, that this habit of showing gratitude would surely become part of this child’s character and she will be thankful to everyone for the rest of her life. This is an Islamic habit but alas, our Muslim daughters have forgotten it and the non-Muslims have adopted it. This is why we should teach children these habits from childhood. Inculcate the habit of making salaam and showing gratitude in our children. When a mother does not teach the child to be grateful, when he grows up he doesn’t show gratitude to his parents or his siblings and some are so ill-mannered that they are not grateful to Allah Ta’ala for his bounties as well.

Whose mistake was this? It was the mother’s fault for not teaching her child to be grateful when he/she was small.

Whenever you give your child something; feed him food, make him wear his clothes or do anything for him, tell your child to say “Jazakallahu Khayran/May Allah reward you well”. This is a good habit and must be inculcated in children.

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