As part of the Islamic Manners for Kids series, we teach children the importance and meaning of Charity in Islam. We discuss the different types of charity as well as simple ways children can practice the art of giving.
As soon as I asked my children what C is for… they exclaimed Charity. I wanted C is for Clean but they made a big face. Oh well, I guess I’ll stick with Charity then. Here is teaching kids that Charity begins at home.
This post is part of the A to Z of Akhlaaq series or Islamic Manners for Kids Series. Every day, as part of Ramadan for Kids series we discuss the morals and manners in Islam that our children should know. We are now on Letter C.
The reason why Charity is my son’s favorite word is because he recently learnt how easy it is to give and that even the simplest of acts can be called charity. He was surprised that what he spends on himself is charity too. He didn’t think he was being kind to himself by eating. It really is easy.
When you smile at your parents with kindness, that is charity.
When you help mommy in the kitchen that is Charity
When daddy spends on you and buys you things that is Charity.
Everything that you give of your own free will is charity.
Charity is giving something that you have. We have so many things that don’t cost a thing and yet in the eyes of the Almighty no money can buy that. We have kindness and love in our hearts; we have knowledge that we can share. Some of us teach at schools but there are those who do it for free too. When you teach a person without asking for anything in return that is Charity. You are sharing something that you have.
When you help a person in need that can be charity too. You are giving.
There is a hadith:
Abu Tharr narrated that the Prophet said: “In every morning, charity is due on every joint of anyone of you. So, each Tasbeehah (saying Subhaanah Allah, i.e. glory be to Allah) is a charity, each Tahmeedah (saying Al-Hamdu lillah, i.e. All praise is due to Allah) is a charity, each Tahleelah (saying Laa Ilaaha illa Allah, i.e. None has the right to be worshipped but Allah) is a charity, each Takbeerah (saying Allahu Akbar, i.e. Allah is the Greatest) is a charity, enjoining good is a charity, forbidding evil is a charity. However, to fulfill that charity, it is sufficient to pray two Rak’ahs in the forenoon [Adh-uha prayer].” [Muslim and others]
When I read the A-Z of akhlaaq book, I had talked about this with my children. My son remembered this because he really loved the idea that simple random acts of kindness that he does could earn him good points with his Creator.
He loved the idea that every time he helped his little siblings he was being rewarded.
Activity to teach kids about Charity in Islam
We did a little experiment to prove how a smile too could be called as charity. I asked him to go to the next room and stand in front if his dad and do nothing but smile. I told him to say nothing. Just smile. ‘See your fathers reaction. Don’t answer him if he asks why you are smiling even but continue to smile’.
He came back laughing to tell me that his father had smiled back when he saw him smiling. I told our almost three year old to now run and go stand in front of daddy without smiling. ‘See what happens now’. I let son go with her but instructed him that this time he shouldn’t smile.
They came back laughing that daddy had smiled back even though they had not been smiling.
I asked them to notice how they had transferred their smile to their daddy. They made Dad smile by doing nothing. They cheered him up. He made Lil’ smile in return by doing nothing but smiling too. This is how cheer and happiness spread. You do nothing but be kind. I told son that even a deed as small as this earns him ‘points’.
When you clean your room and you make mommy happy. You are helping her and you are taking care of your things. When you keep clean yourself, that is charity to yourself. You have spent some of your time and energy to look after yourself. The Prophet (PBUH) said that if you have something spend on yourself. If you have a little more then spend some of it on your family. If you have even more, spend some of it on others. There are so many ways to give charity.
Isn’t that such a feel good thought? My kids have been going out of their way to help now… they want to see me smile. 🙂
Also, if you have older children, it is a good idea to talk to children about the different types of Charity in Islam. For example: Sadaqah, Fitra, Fe- Sabilillah, Zakat, etc.
Related reading: What is Fitra. I talk about in detail about Fitra and why we give it in Eid ul Fitr.
Do try the smile experiment with your children. They really enjoy it. Come on and tell me in the comments what their reaction was. I’d love to hear from you. 🙂