How can we not talk about Masajid when we talk about Ramadan?! Masajid are filled in Ramadan like in no other month.
Before I begin to talk on the subject, I request you to kindly ask yourself a question and genuinely answer it:
Is Masjid a second home for your children or is it a tourist spot for them?
What answer did you get? Unfortunately, for many, the answer is the latter one; whether your heart is able to admit it or not.
Masaajid are often not taken care of or loved as homes, rather our children treat Masajid as tourist spots. Where they go and do whatever they want and leave it in worse condition than it was before they came in. And it doesn’t seem to bother them or their parents at all. #Painful
It would be such a dream come true when children clean Masajid on their own. #Hopeful #InshaAllah. Some of you might say, “well, they are kids.” True that.
But is a ten year old or even a five year old too young to comprehend the difference between clean & unclean? Do you not expect your children of that age to clean up after themselves when at home? You do! (If you don’t, then there is an even bigger problem you need to solve sister.)
So, for now let’s stick to the age range of 5 years and up. Why can’t these children clean up in Masjid? Or be mindful of not making it dirty in the first place?
In my opinion there are 5 reasons for this problems, I have listed them below with some practical advice to solve them (in sha ALLAH).
We do not take them to Masjid when they are babies:
Firstly, it all starts with our own laziness. We don’t bring them to the Masjid when they are young. They are being shushed away, for which many times community is to be blamed, and when they are old enough they no longer connect with the Masjid.
Children as small as one month old can start going to Masjid with ease, rather that is the age when they do not even disturb people. However, it is an extra effort on the parents part e.g. feed before coming, leave musallah right away if child cries, etc. It is all well worth it, trust me on that.
We do not regularly bring them to Masjid
Secondly, we don’t bring them regularly to the Masjid. We do not commit to it. Kids who come daily and kids who hardly show up on Fridays are not at all equal. Their relationship with the Masjid will be like day and night.
The children who come daily to the Masjid are familiar with the details such as which lights are turned off when leaving, where to throw trash, where are the cleaning supplies, etc. Just like they are familiar with those details of their own homes. It is knowing those details that makes Masjid feel “like home” to them.
The solution is clear like water. Children need to be brought to Masjid regularly – DAILY.
Parents Neglect teaching their kids to cleanup after themselves
Thirdly, parents don’t teach them to keep Masjid clean. As offending as it may sound to the parents, it is a harsh reality for many of us. This is the part of Tarbiyah that very few pay attention to. May be because we ourselves do not realize the blessing of having a Masjid & do not appreciate it enough.
While there are no specific virtues of cleaning Masajid stated in authentic ahadeeth, Prophet Muhammad (salla ALLAHu alayhi was sallam) did command us to clean Masajid and perfume them. The hadeeth stating our Prophet’s command and others related to cleaning Masjid can be found here. Obeying Rasoolullah is our duty and we will be rewarded for it. Emphasis on this matter needs to be put. We need to make our children of those who serve Masajid.
Children are not taught to clean Mess that They didn’t make.
Fourthly, nowadays while parents emphasize to clean up after oneself, they do not encourage children to clean up even if it is not their mess.
It seems like while we are encouraging kids to do chores on their own from a young age, we are also instilling some sort of a selfishness. “Just throw away your plate.” (I have personally seen some mothers getting offended if their kids are requested to help around and clean with others. They feel their children are way above it to do these tasks.)
Akhlaq is shedding away from the Ummah. This post is not about Akhlaq, so I wouldn’t go in detail on that but let’s just get a glimpse of the problem.
We were taught by our parents to feel the responsibility of the place we were sitting in. “I didn’t do it,” was not an excuse acceptable to my parents – they would always counter it with “do you not see it? is it not mess? will you become small if you clean it?”
The only reply to those questions was: us apologetically getting up and cleaning it (WITHOUT GIVING LOOKS TO OUR PARENTS!). At our times, it wasn’t about “whose mess it was,” rather about “mess.” There is mess and the people there have to clean it – PERIOD. When Rasoolullah saw some sputum on the wall of Masjid He scratched it off Himself! This is something we HAVE to teach our children.
Uncleanliness doesnt bother the kids in the first place
Lastly, which moms will get offended over, uncleanliness doesn’t bother them. Due to our own tough lives and inability to keep house clean, our children become desensitized to uncleanliness.
Earlier, I said I will give practical advise, and to have home spot on clean 24/7 is not practically possible for many. With kids, that is an unachievable task. It will just exhaust you physically, which will be followed by depression due to failure in achieving your high impractical goals.
What should we do then? I suggest having a system which allows you to tidy the living area and commonly shared spaces quickly without much effort.
- Let kids make mess, don’t stress over it – but teach them that there is a time for playing (during which some mess is expected) and there is a time for cleaning too.
- Talk to them about how much you would want home to be clean,
- Tell them benefits of cleanliness
- Make cleaning a family activity (if your children are old enough for it)
- Instill daily habits that encourage cleanliness (tissue paper goes in the trash can – right away, not later on).
- Be an example, they will follow you.
Do share your thoughts and any advise you may have on the subject in the comments below 🙂 Would love to learn from you guys.
May ALLAH help us to do tarbiyah of our children in a way that would be pleasing to ALLAH & put love and respect for Masajid in the hearts of our children (aameen).
A full time home maker & mother, Umm Ruqaiya completed her intermediate education from Pakistan and is currently pursuing a communication degree in the United States. A part time blogger and a business woman, she has volunteered for IOU, ICNA & AlMaghrib Institute. Umm Ruqaiya also invests her time in giving classes online and on-site classes for kids in Sunday Islamic School. She can be found writing at her blog Here.
Disclaimer: The images used in this post are taken from Google.