Every year Muslims around the world get prepared for Hajj season, and those who intend to perform this holy ritual head to Makkah in a spiritual journey of faith.
In such days, our children get to hear lots of news about Hajj; however, most of them are not aware of many details related to this holy season. When they start to ask about Hajj, some parents find it a little bit difficult for young kids to understand.
In this article, we collect information from OnIslam.net’s counselors in a form of tips to help parents explain Hajj in a simple way to their children.
- Prepare Your Materials
- Prepare for the Hajj lesson very well before gathering your children for an introductory talk. Get children Islamic books or articles and read what young kids may say about Hajj. This will help you understand major points to be emphasized in your lesson.
- You will need more than just a talk. You can get photos of Muslims at Hajj, posters, maps, Web sites, book extracts, and video material for instance.
- Cover These Points in Your Lesson:
- The five pillars of Islam and where Hajj fits into the five. Hajj is a once-in a-lifetime obligation for Muslims who have the physical and financial ability to undertake the journey. It is also a form of worship that involves the entire being: body, mind, and soul.
- The story of Prophet Ibrahim (peace be upon him) and the sacrifice he was asked by Allah to make.
- Describe Hajj to your children and explain more about the diversity of Muslims who come together to worship Allah, and identify the reasons that Muslims give for undertaking Hajj.
1. Discuss Hajj by describing how it is exactly performed. Make a model of the Ka`bah: you can do it with a cubical cardboard box, some black paint, and a line of gold fringe material. If possible, get some dolls or action figures to demonstrate how Hajj is made.
2. Tell you children what Muslims wear on Hajj and why. Also, get one of your children to model ihram, the clothing men wear during Hajj and `Umrah.
3. Talk about the Talbiyah (what the pilgrims recite during Hajj) and recite together the Takbir of `Eid.
4. In addition to talking about how Hajj is performed, you can give details about the Ka`bah’s construction and its reparations.
5. Talk about what Muslims do at the Ka`bah.
- Explain how Hajj is different from a vacation trip.
- Explain what Muslims do at Arafat, Muzdalifa, and Mina.
- Encourag the children to reflect on the idea that Muslims travel with hope that the journey will change them, that is, that they will come back spiritually more developed by the experience.
- Discuss with your children the idea that, for many people, a religious life involves the sense of being engaged in a quest to develop as fully as they can.
- Time for Exercise
- Invite your children to explain or act out how a person may return from Hajj and how to feel transformed by the experience. Children may access a variety of resources you have such as the photos, maps, stories, video material, etc., in order to find answers to the following:
- Locate on a map the places of Hajj in and around Makkah.
- Who should go on Hajj, and when?
- What do Muslims wear when on Hajj to Makkah, and why?
- Where is the Ka`bah? What does it look like and who built it?
- What do pilgrims do when they first arrive at the Ka`bah in Makkah, and why?
- What do pilgrims do when they go to Arafat, and why?
By answering these questions, your children would have fully understood everything about Hajj and knew what does Hajj means.
Article source: onislam.net, Image: 17th–18th century AD. Nasser D. Khalili Collection of Islamic Art.