After Aaminah turned 3, I started narrating to her bed time stories of the the Prophets. I did not use any book, but just made it up myself to make it age appropriate. In the beginning I would keep it very short with minimum details and then add more and more details considering her age . She is 4.6 now Masha Allah and she knows the basics of the stories of Adam,Nooh,Younus,Ibrahim,Yaqoob and Yusuf ,Musa, Haroon,, Esa alayhim salam and Muhammad (sallalahu alayhe wasallam). I plan to add more and more details as she grows up and introduce other Quranic stories and stories of the Sahaba later.
Before I started narrating the stories, she was already aware of Who and Where Allah SubhanaWatala is. Allah is our Rabb..Who created us, who gave us eyes and hands and feet, who provides us with food and water and all delicious things to eat, Allah makes us grow big, from being a little baby to a big girl. He is our creator, provider and sustainer.
I began with the story of creation of how Allah created everything out of nothing and he created the angels from light and jinns from fire then he created Adam from clay. Then how iblees did not bow down and then how they all were sent down to earth.
Then after this it was Prophet Ibrahim (as) (from his birth to him being saved from the fire) – and I realized this was such an amazing story to explain the concept of Tawheed – which she easily grasped. She was around 3 that time and she asked me – Am I a prophet? then I explained to her who are Prophets – she asked me this a number of times and she does not ask this anymore. She also asked if the fire is cool -so I explained to her that if we touch it we will get burned but Allah saved Ibrahim (as) because he was a Prophet and he was Khalilullah. After this she would state while playing or if I asked her -that we should only Worship Allah.
Following are just some of the stories I narrate to her from my own knowledge and memory.
Story of Creation
Story of Adam and Iblees
Story of Nooh.
Ibrahim saved from fire
Hajar and Ismail
Ibrahim and Ismail bulid the Kabah
Story of Baby Musa
Allah talks to Musa
Musa & Haroon go to Firaun and the miracle of the sea
Story of Maryam and Baby Isa
Allah takes up Isa up into the heavens and bit about Dajjal and return of Isa.
Prophet Sulaiman and Bilqees
Prophet Sulaiman and the ants
Birth & Marriage of Prophet Muhammad (s) – basic facts about his family and their names.
First revelation of Prophet (s)
Isra wal Mairaj.
I have just recently started narrating the story of Yusuf. Though I am finding it a bit difficult to communicate and tackle, but she loves it and states things like jealousy is not nice na but I don’t know how much she is able to understand it.
I cant not explain HOW MUCH she enjoys listening to these stories – so much so that when I start – she asks for onestory after another and I get tired! This is mostly at bed time or after noon nap time. I must add that the darussalm and goodword books on Prophets are NOT at all well written – though they have colorful illustrations but they lack imagination and fail to engage the child. Though she has the books, she prefers my narrations. She also watches the DVDS of Story of Ibrahim , Nooh and Adam from one4kids which are without music. She does ask why there are no pcitures of the Prophets in the books and I have explained to her why we don’t make pictures of Prophets. I dont really know how much she understood though.
I was concerned that almost all the stories of the Prophets contain aspects of harsh punishment. Though I have not mentioned the sacrifice of Ibrahim because I know it will be a difficult concept at this age but have mentioned the fire of Ibrahim and why Allah saved Ibrahim was to display his love and mercy to the believers and other aspects of punishment such as drowning of firaun and his army , drowning of the disbelievers in the story of Nooh and the plot of the Jews against Isa (as) is also mentioned, where as no aspect of punishment has been mentioned in other stories. I don’t think it would be clear what and how I communicate unless I write these down…
I have and keep explaining to her how much Allah loves her and explain Allah’s mercy by examples that Allah has given us so many wonderful things and parents and all the naimats. I have also introduced some other stories from the Seerah and the Quran which focus on Allahs mercy. e.g:
It was Allah’s mercy that He saved the Ashab e Kahf and put them to sleep.
Allah’s mercy that he forgave the lady who gave water to the thirsty dog. A few days back, while playing in water in the paddle pool, aminah picked up her croc and filled it water and said that I am giving water to the ….i forgot what she said, but this shoe filling was certainly inspired by this story indeed.
Since its been almost one year since i started the stories I don’t really rememeber all the questions she asked me in the beginning, but these just some that I remember and some i noted down.
Can I see Allah?
Why cant I see Allah?
Why cant I see Prophet Nooh/Ibraahim/Muhammad – (as in why no pictures while reading stories from the books or watching the Zaky DVDs(
Does Allah have hands/face/feet? I dont really know what made her ask this
While narating the story of ibrahim she asked – my school Ibrahim? There was a boy in the prev school she attended
How will I go in Jannah? as in which means of transport.
She asked about Ibrahim’s father – why he worshipped idols and if he will go to Jannah or not.
She said she wants to be Allah’f friend, just like Ibrahim as.
she also asked me if Allah is in the Kaabah because that is Allah’s house, she already knows that Allah is up above the heavens on His Arsh, so I just explained to her that Allah is not in the Kabah, its the direction we pray in.
She once asked her father if he will take her to Masjid ul Aqsa.
Once i found her and her bro doing pretend tawaf around the kabah.
She wants to go for Hajj and was pretend going for Hajj with her brother once while playing.
She asked me a lot of questions about Buraq which i don’t remember now.
she knows angels come when you recite Quran and do zikr so when she recites Quran she says Allah is happy with me now right and angels are also coming.
She has asked many questions about drowning as it is mentioned in story of nooh and firaun. I dont think she really understands what drowning is but she does know its something bad. She know you cant drown in shallow water
What I know is that my daughter is very auditory and loves listening. these are not the only stories i narrate, I make up stories of children to counter any bad habit in her like eating junk food or hitting or writing on walls.. she enjoys these stories too, once i was telling her a story about a boy and she asked if he was a Prophet. She also asked once Am I a Prophet?
At bed time she chooses the stories she wants to listen to, sometimes she is obsessed with just one or two and repeated listens to them while ignoring some for a long time.
This was in reply to an email discussion about role models for very young children, quite a few months back. I have been very lazy when it comes to updating the blog and I really want to keep a record of our homeschooling journey, so here comes this post..better late then never!