A while ago, I was walking with my four-year-old nephew when we stopped by outside a store with faceless mannequins displayed on the storefront.
Out of the blue, he nudged me and said, “Hmm I think this is Allah because Allah doesn’t have a face.”
His statement took me by surprise. I probably had this look of horror but he couldn’t see it because I was in my niqab. So, I giggled as I tried to keep my composure, not wanting to overreact. Now just to get things clear, I did clarify his confusion afterward.
Since then, I kept on thinking how I should talk to him more about the first pillar of faith; believing in Allah. I wanted him to know who Allah is, about how we should worship Him alone, and about His names and attributes. But how do I break it down for him?
How do I make a four-year-old know about the greatness of Allah, who can’t be seen or pictured in our heads? Who can’t be physically felt by our 5 senses?
Which got me here. After researching and listening to some audio lectures by students of knowledge, it got a whole lot clearer for me when it comes to teaching kids about Allah. Here is what I found.
Btw if you understand Indonesian, you can listen to the series of lectures here.
Children are born with the inclination to accept the Truth (Fitrah)
It’s so easy to overthink when it comes to introducing what seems like an abstract concept to young children. But in reality, half the job is done. Allah has created us in a pure state, naturally inclined to the truth when we are born.
كُلُّ مَوْلُودٍ يُولَدُ عَلَى الْفِطْرَةِ، فَأَبَوَاهُ يُهَوِّدَانِهِ أَوْ يُنَصِّرَانِهِ أَوْ يُمَجِّسَانِهِ، كَمَثَلِ الْبَهِيمَةِ تُنْتَجُ الْبَهِيمَةَ، هَلْ تَرَى فِيهَا جَدْعَاءَ
The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “Every child is born with a true faith of Islam (i.e. to worship none but Allah Alone) and his parents convert him to Judaism or Christianity or Magianism, as an animal delivers a perfect baby animal. Do you find it mutilated?”
[Sahih Bukhari 1385]
Now the remaining job for us parents is to cultivate this natural inclination of children to accept the truth. This is done by nurturing them with what is right and what is wrong in accordance to Quran and what is taught by our Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wasalam).
Discussing with kids about the Existence of Allah
So how do we introduce Allah to kids when we can’t see Him or picture Him in any way to them?
The way to go by helping them observe the creations of Allah. Show them how the presence of the creations can only mean that there is a Creator. Guide them to observe the things around them and engage them in a simple discussion.
Here are some examples:
- Ask them to ponder upon the creations such as the sun, the sky, the moon, mountains, trees, the sea, etc.
- Let them look within themselves, i.e their hands, legs, fingers
- Look at the animals
Tell them how these are all creations of Allah and that everything is created by Allah. You can also ask them questions such as “Who created the sun and the sky?” Get them used to ponder upon the creations of Allah through questions.
For example, “Do you think this car can come out of nowhere? Or someone has made it? Likewise, the trees and animals do not come out of nothing. They are all created by Allah.”
Teaching the Categories of Tawheed
After which, you can begin introducing to them the three aspects of Tawheed (Oneness of Allah); Tawheed Rububiyyah, Uluhiyyah and Asma’ wa Sifat. Teaching them the 3 categories is a simple method for kids to understand about Allah.
If you do not know what these are, and seem intimidated by the terms, I assure you that it is not difficult to understand. A good start to understanding the categories of Tawheed is to read this short explanation. Take your time to learn or relearn this because this is an important aspect of believing in Allah.
A quick note before we dive into how to teach them these 3 categories of tawheed: Your kids do not have to know or remember the terms such as Rububiyyah and such, especially for the younger one. What is important is that they know what each category consists. However, if you think they are ready, go ahead!
How to teach about Allah’s Lordship (Rububiyyah)?
This is from the first category of Tawheed and it consists of believing four aspects:
- Allah is the Creator of everything.
- Allah provides sustenance for all of His creations
- Allah is the one who gives life and death to His creations
- Allah has control over everything
All of these can be taught by actively engaging with them whenever an opportunity arises. For example:
- asking them who created all that they see from the sky to sun to the sea
- during meals, remind them that Allah is the one who provides food for them to eat
- Looking at every living being from the trees to animals to people and teaching them that Allah is the one who gives life and death
- To ask them to observe how the sun that never fails to rise every morning, an indication that Allah controls everything
This printable activity book is available in our free resource library here.
Practicing to worship Allah alone in their daily lives
The second aspect of Tawheed which is Tawheed Uluhiyyah means to worship Allah alone. This is the practical aspect of Tawheed which includes:
- To direct all acts of worship for Allah alone
- To be sincere to Allah by hoping for His rewards
- To fear Allah’s punishment
- To love Allah the most
- To rely upon Allah and hope from Him alone
As children, the way to let them practice these has to be simple and something that they can do everyday; which is how the prophet (salallahu alaihi wasalam) taught ibn Abbas at a young age.
- To ask Allah alone when making do’a
- To seek help from Allah alone
This can be found in a long hadith where the prophet salallahu alaihi wasalam told ibn Abbas;
إِذَا سَأَلْتَ فَاسْأَلْ اللَّهَ، وَإِذَا اسْتَعَنْتَ فَاسْتَعِنْ بِاللَّه
If you ask, then ask Allah [alone]; and if you seek help, then seek help from Allah [alone].
[From Imam Nawawi’s 40 Hadith, source]
Teaching about who Allah is through His names and Attributes
The whole point of teaching your kids about Allah’s names and attributes is for them to really get to know who Allah is. So that they will love Allah and realize his Greatness. Because how can they love whom they don’t know?
Some of the names Allah that you can introduce to them is:
- Ar-Rahman- the Most Merciful, explaining how much Allah loves us more than anyone else in the world
- Al-Qowiy- the Most Powerful, how Allah is able to create this whole world
- Al-Sami’- that Allah hears us even when we speak in our hearts
Planting the seed
Teaching kids about believing in Allah is something that should be nurtured every day. Think of it like planting a seed. You water it daily so that the roots will grow, strengthening their foundations. We must be zealous in planting the seed of tawheed because this is the thing that will save us and our children from the hellfire and ultimately attain Allah’s pleasure and His paradise.
Free printable activity to teach kids about Allah
This printable activity can be used to teach kids the first category of Tawheed (Tawheed Rububiyyah). It requires little preparation, and simple enough even for your 3-year-olds to do. If you have older kids, they can definitely do it too.
You can download this activity book from our resource library for FREE.
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