When I was in lower secondary school, I heard this tazkirah saying that with every bits of scraps you pick in a masjid, and you keep it, it’ll be a mahar for you to marry an angel when you’re in paradise later.
So guess what I did. Whenever I’m seating around in the masjid, after prayer or just hanging out, if I saw something, I’d pick them up and put them in my pocket. I’d be reluctant to throw them away, thinking about saving them till I get to paradise. Turned out most of my shirts and baju melayu, which all of them are white (school uniform, of course), will get black spots at the bottom of the pocket, usually the front ones, and it’s quite visible. What a kid I was…
Remembering that kinda made me think, be careful of what you say to kids, even to teenagers, because as innocent as they are, they’ll believe you. It’s not like I did that just for the mahar. I understood that the purpose is to let us keep the masjid clean somewhat voluntarily, but yeah, being a kid as I was, I just can’t help but to keep those scraps, just in case.
Encouragement, yes, important for kids. But let it be something sensible and preferably with a dalil, communicated with the language they’re familiar with, so that they’ll get the right message. Jannah, what could be better to give them the motivation to do good? Tell them about Jannah, as vividly as you can, so that they’ll dream of going there.
Make it clear for them who Allah is, how He is the ar-Rahman who would love them more you can ever do, He is the Sustainer for all the good clothes, good food you eat everyday. Let them know Allah, show them what He has given us. Answer their queer questions patiently and as clear as you can to them. Plant the seed of aqeedah, nurture it and let it grow, let the roots dig deep into their hearts that they’ll hold on to it till they’re all grown up when things will insyaAllah stay with them, till their last breath. “For His sake”, tell them this, in everything they do.
I remember when I was a kid, my parents would encourage me to fast in Ramadhan with a pact that they’ll give me 1 ringgit for each day that I “successfully” fasted. I remember at the end of Ramadhan, I’d claim my “wages”, obviously. I even negotiated, this so and so day I managed to fast half a day, so I deserve 50 sen for that day. It’s good that we are training to fast, but for what? One, we are giving the wrong idea about Ramadhan right when they were young. No wonder they enjoyed Eidul Fitri a lot more than Ramadhan. Two, we are nurturing materialism deep into their minds. Money here, money there. Everything is about money. And a “successful” fasting, what does that mean to them?
Again, for His sake, embed “For His Sake” in their innocent mind.
Make a change now, and they’ll make better changes for the generations to come and so on.
A medical student somewhere in Malaysia