It has been my intention ever since R turned 7 that we would do more formal Islamic Studies but she seems bored with the textbook work. However, when she reads on her own or we have discussions then it is seems to be much more meaningful for her.
At dinner last night, we were talking about my husband’s ‘youth’ ending (he’s turning 40 soon inshaAllah). Its kinda a running joke in our family that he is now getting ‘old’. He joked with R and said thats it now – he’s old and death is getting closer. This led to a discussion on death. We’ve always been very honest with our children about death. We talk about the fact that we might die any time and that she too might die and the importance of trying to do as much as good as possible and to make dua for us should they outlive us (!). I think its important to talk to my children about the reality of life and death from a young age as who knows if Allah will take my soul when my children are young.
As the discussion progressed, R asked me about the stages after death. We had a detailed conversation about the stages – death, the janazah, the grave, the barzakh, resurrection, the day of judgment, the books in the right hand, the 7 under the shade of Allah, the siratt, al qantarah, jahannam and jannah. I talked about all of these stages in light of what happens to believers, sinners and disbelievers. She was particularly intrigued about the 7 under the shade of Allah and al qantarah (the bridge where we will get the rights from others). She ‘confessed’ that she had told another girl that another girl didn’t share. She asked me if she would be punished and I told her that there are 2 angels – one who writes down the good deeds and one who writes down the bad deeds. The one who writes down the bad deeds hasn’t started working yet but the one who writes the good deeds has. So, no she wouldn’t be punished but its important that whilst the angel who writes the bad deeds is off work that she doesn’t get into bad habits. I advised her to speak well of the little girl to others and to try her best not to do it again. We then watched this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xlXbLmxfB6U&feature=player_embedded (she found it hilarious but I think def got the message!)
It was a really fruitful discussion mashaAllah and definitely a reminder for myself. So, she suggested we make a poster displaying all the stages of life after death. We’re starting on that today inshaAllah. I can see that she seems to learn Islamic Studies better when it is based on an interest and a desire to create something afterwards.