Introduction

In the name of Allah the Most Merciful and the Most Compassionate,

All praises are due to Allah, the Lord of the worlds. And prayers and peace to Muhammad, the messenger of Allahcand the noble prophet, and his companions and family.

This book is directed to Muslim parents devoted in teaching faith to their children in the times of globalization and unlimited access - through technology - to all that is confusing and/or contradictory to the Islamic faith. As we know, Allah and His prophet have ordered us, Muslims, to take good care of our children and tend to their spiritual and physical needs. Muslim parents ought to teach their children, raise them, protect them from corruption, and instruct them to follow Allah’s orders. In fact, we are held accountable for this specific duty. In the Quran, Allah Subhanahu Watala says: “O’ you who have believed, protect yourselves and your families from a Fire (Hell) whose fuel is people and stones.” Allah also says, “Allah instructs you concerning your children.” In the Hadith, the prophet says “All of you are responsible, and all of you will be asked about what you’re assigned with.” If we raise our children to be good Muslims, Allah will reward us for our efforts. If we do not take care of our children, Allah will punish us. As one scholar explains, bearing parents the responsibility of caring for children proves Allah’s mercy because it makes caring a religious responsibility. In fact, raising children to become good Muslims is a blessing not only because it demonstrates our compliance to Allah’s commands, but also because good grown up children bring peace and satisfaction in our old age and constant reward after death. In the Hadith, the prophet says: Once a person dies, he or she can no longer gain reward for the Hereafter except through one of three: A recurring charity, knowledge that benefits people, or a pious child who prays for his or her parents.”

Raising children by parents, as educators agree, is crucial to their transition into successful life. Lack of parents in child’s life leads to challenges children may not be able to overcome. After all, children look up to their parents and their integrity – later in life - is contingent upon their parents’ upbringing. If parents raise their children well, the children will be better equipped to deal with the outside world. If parents fail to raise their children well, children will be ill-mannered and prone to failure.

In addition to teaching children the basic tools of life that include education and skills, parents should also pay attention to the spiritual needs of children. For Muslims, these needs do not only mean religious knowledge or practice, but also Islamic faith in specific. To us, Muslims, faith helps us understand the meaning of life, death, good time, and hard times. It gives us peace in mind and harmony with our surroundings. Teaching faith to children helps them overcome anxiety, uncertainty, and stress they might experience in this turbulent world. And the sooner children learn how to connect with Allah, the better; whatever children learn early in life stays with them and develops throughout their lives.

A lot of material by notable scholars and academics have discussed the importance and methods of raising Muslim children and teaching them Islam. This book, however, is focused on one particular aspect: developing faith in children and answering their questions about Islamic faith. Thus, it is limited in its scope and parents should also consult other books about raising children to practice Islamic rituals and morals.

This book is divided into two sections, the first section provides parents with the most important faith related information they need to teach their kids. The second part provides parents with ways to respond to questions children might ask about faith. Both sections complement one another. I hope that parents find the material here concise and useful. I would also appreciate any correspondence with my valued readers that help me improve the material presented and make it available to all Muslim parents looking for ways to improve the life and faith of their children.

May Allah Guide us to all that is beneficial in this world and rewarding in the Hereafter

Abdullah Arrakf