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Ramadan 2017: 'This is the time to pass right message to our son'

Ramadan 2017:  This is the time to pass right message to our son
Asiya Rafiq with her son, Zaid

Abu Dhabi - To Asiya Rafiq, this is a month of spirituality, patience, forgiveness, charity, love, self-control and purification of body mind and soul.


Ismail Sebugwaawo

Published: Fri 9 Jun 2017, 8:15 PM

It is that time of the year again when everyone is busy devoting their time and obeying Allah in their own way. But for one Indian family in the Capital, instilling the love for the holy month in their small boy is of utmost importance this month.
Asiya Rafiq said she and her husband Dr Sajid, who works as a paediatrician in Abu Dhabi, are trying hard to introduce their son Zaid to the concept of fasting, worshipping and the essence of the holy month of Ramadan.
To Rafiq, this is a month of spirituality, patience, forgiveness, charity, love, self-control and purification of body mind and soul. And these are the morals and virtues that she and her husband try to teach little Zaid, who will turn four by the end of this Ramadan.
"It is said that learning good habits from a young age can help kids to have a more fulfilling and happy life," said Rafiq, who is in her 30s.
"I am very proud and grateful to Almighty Allah who blessed us with a wonderful son, Zaid.
"As a mother, I believe that it's my duty to inculcate the wonderful virtues of the holy month of Ramadan to our kid from his early years of life." 
The Indian expat said though her husband is often occupied with his work, she decided to take on herself the task of teaching her son and planning Ramadan activities for him.
"I began with teaching him the basic pillars of Islam, making him learn and understand the meaning of Tawheed (monotheism). I always make him sit by my side to observe the rituals of Salah (prayers) during the day and for taraweeh prayers. Most of the times, he tries to follow and do as I do, especially with the rosary beads which is his favourite part," said Rafiq who hails from Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir.
She said she tried to make Zaid understand what the Holy Quran is in the little ways that he understands. "He even loves to listen to the recitation when I recite it melodiously," she said. 
"Although he is very young to understand the concept of fasting and I don't wake him up for Suhoor, I make it a point to make him sit with us for Iftar. That is one time when we all eat together and it is the best time of the day. Zaid thoroughly enjoys the meal with us," she said.
Making Zaid aware about charity is however not an easy thing for his parents as he is still very young and it's very difficult for a child to part with things that he loves the most like toys, chocolates, sweets, clothes, and others.
But his mother said she tried her best to make him understand the importance of sharing things like his food and toys with kids from neighbourhood.
"I believe that slowly, we will make him aware of charity by doing some activities that we've already started like taking food from home and distributing it to worshippers who come to end their fast at the mosque in our neighbourhood," said Rafiq.
The family is also planning to organise a charity event for kids where friends and children from the neighbourhood will bring at least one toy from their homes, gift wrap it with their hands and distribute or donate it to the needy and poor children.
At the beginning of this Ramadan, the parents made a few stickers and pamphlets at home which talk about Ramadan. They distributed these to other kids in a mall. 
"With this activity, I tried to make my son and other kids learn the way to pass on the right message. I also took him to a recently held charity event of Make a Wish foundation. I always ensure that I take him along for such events so he can observe and learn," she said.
Zaid is also made to dress traditional Islamic clothes to feel the spirit of Ramadan and his parents also plan to organise a get together with other kids to do activities like Ramadan Arts & Crafts.
The family also recently visited the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque where Zaid is always excited to go to and had a chance of seeing the big Ramadan tents and hundreds of worshippers and visitors.
"We also try to teach our child not to waste food, which is rampant in many families during Ramadan, by seeing us sharing food with others and keeping the leftovers properly for future use," said Rafiq. 
Rafiq, a former model, and musician said she has a great attachment to Ramadan because it was in the holy month that she fully transformed and was shaped into a different person.
"To me, Ramadan is a month of sacrifice and training on how we can do more good deeds throughout the year," she said.
"I had to quit the music and modeling careers after I learned from the religious scholars during Ramadan preachings that music and musical instruments are not allowed for a true Muslim. 
"I am now fully devoted to worshipping Allah and don't want to do anything that annoys Him."
She said she's currently planning to start up a charity foundation with her husband so she can care for the poor and the needy.
And speaking about how they spend their day in Ramadan, Rafiq said besides work, most of their time is devoted for prayers, reciting the Quran and visiting friends.
That's also her duty to prepare Iftar meals for her family, which she loves doing though with the help of their housemaid. Fruit salads, basil seeds drink and dates are part of their Iftar meals every day.

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