Making the right friends and being a good friend is a life skill that we need to teach our children. As part of the A to Z of Akhlaaq series, I chose to teach my children the qualities of a good friend using the example of Abu Bakr (RA) so that they can practice being better friends themselves first before expecting others to do their duty.
The past year since my eldest turned 7yrs old, he has been struggling with making friends at school. One of his best friends recently went back to his homeland. He had been sad and the one true friend that he had, had been making new friends. My son was of the opinion that his friend should be only friends with him and not others. This was making him resentful and angry. D, although doesn’t appear shy, I have noticed that he is very cautious about making new friendships. He is more comfortable talking to adults than he is with children his age. The past year, we have been trying hard to educate him about stranger danger too and about not giving too much away about himself. I chose this topic for my three year old also because she is at an age when she is just realizing what friendships are and how friends are different from siblings.
Talking about the topic of Friendship with both my children was different. I chose to use a book to start the conversation with my son and then followed it up with a card making craft. The craft was basically for my daughters who are too young to understand from a book so we just involved her with the card making activity.
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The book that I chose was The Great Caliphs by Nafees Khan, as my son was already reading it that week. I chose to talk about Abu Bakr As Siddiq (RA) and his friendship with the Prophet (PBUH). The reason I chose this book and particularly the first Caliph was because this is a real life friendship that talks about hardships and unwavering faith in each other.
The friendship of the Prophet (PBUH) and Abu Bakr As Siddiq (RA) is truly a model friendship that we can all learn from. I confess I had never dwelled on this aspect of the Seerah (the prophets biography) before. It was an eye opener for me as an adult too. I really wish I had had a chance to understand friendships this way when I was growing up.
Since it is Ramadan, I am short on time these days, I am unable to write in detail but here are the highlights of what I told my son:
- Abu Bakr As Siddiq was the first person to believe in the Prophet’s prophet-hood apart from his family. He didn’t question the prophet or waste time doubting whether his friend was telling the truth. He only said, ‘I believe’. How beautiful is a friendship that has such faith?
- He accompanied the prophet in his Hijra to Madina and he protected him from all sorts of danger.
- We discussed the incidence of people coming to tell Abu Bakr against the prophet and how he quiets them. We talked about defending your friend in his absence.
- Friendship since boyhood. His friendships stand the test of time.
- His role after the prophet’s death. How he carried the prophets message and stood strongly to hold the Ummah.
- Different ways he advised the prophet and helped in his work. The duties of a friend are to advise, guide and listen. Be the sounding board.
- The difference in status between the prophet and his best friend. One was poor the other one of the richest men. How he helped the prophet with everything that he had.
My son loved this comparison. He recalled that one of his friends at school was just like this advising him in matters and helping him. We talked about all the ways they were different but still the same.
Activity for F is Friends
After the talk we made a card for his friend. We have been taking interest in quilling this month. Our card was based on this art. Lil’, also made a card for her friend. She said her best friend is her cousin who lives next door and always plays with her.
I gave my children some craft material and a flower punch to punch out flowers from old magazines. They had a lot of fun with this activity. We involved our 18 month old toddler in making a cute little card for her siblings too. The siblings cut flowers for her and she dumped them on to the glued part. Yes, that is all it takes to make a toddler happy! You can check out more greeting card ideas to make with toddlers here.
Did you like this post? Have you talked about the qualities of a friend with your child? I would love to hear from you. Join me on Facebook too!