Inside: Wondering how to explain Hajj for kids? What should you teach them about Hajj, how to go about it..? Well, here are some of the things I recommend you teach them when talking about Hajj.
What is Hajj
Hajj is the last pillar of Islam. It is the pilgrimage to Makkah that is performed in the last month of the Muslim Calendar (Dhul Hijjah). It is obligatory on every Muslim to go on this Pilgrimage at least once in his life time if he has the means to do it.
Hajj is therefore the pilgrimage to Makkah that every able-bodied Muslim must make at least once in their life time.
Most children will not understand Hajj but teaching them about it is a part of teaching them about Islam. I am sharing with you a few ways how you can help your child learn about this last Pillar of Islam:
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How to explain Hajj to a child
Teaching little children about Hajj is actually not very hard. Most people start by buying books about Hajj, activities or toys or by crafting sheeps and the Kabaah. Well…
I agree and absolutely love hands on activities for children but when it comes to religious matters, I prefer that we should begin with the facts first before we make it “fun”.
You see, culture does not teach religion. When we focus too much on making memories or beautifying our religion, we sway from the main focus. So, start with the facts! And please… don’t think that facts can be boring.
I am listing below the five most important things you should teach your child about Hajj and how to make them interesting with activities but before that let’s answer some common questions that parents have.
What age should I start teaching children about Hajj:
The five things that I am listing below are things we need to teach our children about Hajj irrespective of age. Your child may be 3 or 13, they will still need to be reminded these things. Of course, the way you present them these facts will be different.
For little children, I prefer playful activity-based learning. For older children, it is better to have lesson plans with more focus on facts, vocabulary and thinking.
1. Start by teaching them the Five Pillars of Islam.
The first step to introducing Hajj to children is to talk about why it is important and why Muslims go on Hajj. The Five Pillars of Islam are the five things that Muslims must do to be called a Muslim.
These Five Pillars are:
- Proclaim that there is no God but Allah and Muhammad is his Last Messenger. This is called the Shahada.
- Pray the five obligatory prayers everyday. This is called Salah.
- Fast in the month of Ramadan.
- Pay obligatory charity every year. This is called Zakah.
- Go on a Pilgrimage to Makkah at least once in their life time if they have the means to do it. This is Hajj.
These Five Pillars are mentioned in the Quran (the Holy book of Muslims) and the Hadith– i.e, teachings of Prophet Muhammad peace and (blessings be upon him).
Activity: Looking to teach children the Five Pillars of Islam, I recommend these numbering puzzles.
2. Study the Story of Prophet Abraham and the Building of the Kaaba in Makkah
The next thing after you have explained to your child about why Muslims go on Hajj, is to explain where they go and “what’s the story” of the Kaaba.
The Kaaba is the ‘black cube’ that is called the House of God by Muslims. It is located in Makkah, in Saudi Arabia. Muslims go their for Hajj and Umrah (a smaller pilgrimage like Hajj). It is the direction towards which all Muslims face when praying their prayers.
The Kaaba was built by Prophet Abraham and his son Prophet Ismael. The story is mentioned in the Quran and there are many verses describing that God commanded Abraham (A.S)and Ismael (A.S) to go to Makkah and build it.
The best most authentic resource I recommend for teaching teh story of Abraham is the Qasas ul Ambiyah (Stories of the Prophet) by Ibn Katheer published by Darussalam Publication.
3. Read about the commandment of Hajj in the Life of Prophet Muhammad (Peace and Blessings Be Upon Him)
After you have talked about history, it’s time to bring the attention towards how Hajj came to be obligatory on Muslims. This is best done by studying the life history of Prophet Muhammad, his teachings (Sunnah) and the history of how Islam came to be.
One of our favorite resources to learn about the Life History of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) is this book for smaller kids by Darrussalam. For teens, we love Raheequl Maqtum (The Sealed Nectar) by Sheikh Safi-Ur Rahman Mubarakpuri.
4. Teach them the steps of Hajj through play.
The best way to teach the steps of Hajj to little children, is to invite them to imagine and enact the journey.
5. Talk about the Last Sermon of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).
One of the most important things you can teach your child during Hajj is the Farewell Sermon of Prophet Muhammad or the Last Khutbah as it is called. This is his last sermon before his death in which he summarized all what he was sent to deliver to mankind.
The Prophet’s Farewell Sermon are the most powerful words every Muslim should remember if he or she is to stay on the Right Guided path of Islam. It is a summary of our Islamic teachings that every Muslim should remember in his/her life.
Would you like a printable copy of the Farewell Sermon? Fill the form below and I will send it to you.