One Simple Way To Teach Your Toddler Reliance On Allah



There was this one book I had been trying to read for the longest time, I was a first time mum and my son was just over his first birthday. After what seemed like years I held a book in my hand that wasn’t meant for him but for me!  It was the bestselling ‘Happiness Project’ by Gretchen Rubin. I’ll tell you now my ambitions, considering my motherhood situation at the time,  were a little too high.

The library sent many reminders and I had already renewed it the maximum number of times, so on our next library trip I reluctantly returned it (having never reached the end!). However, not before I had read this one tip in the book that I thought was genius and would stay with me forever in its truth and simplicity.

The writer described what she called one of the ‘Facts of Life’ as ~

‘When you lose something – tidy up, you will most likely find it’

Bam. That was it. It’s one of things that you know is true but you just never, as my son would say, ‘thinked’ it for yourself.

So even before I had heard of that ‘Clean Up’ song every preschooler and their grown up, ever, learns,  I had the best reply for my toddler whenever he came to me asking me to find something for him –

“If we lose something we have to tidy up and then we will find it! Lets tidy up!”

Whenever I had lost something as a child, I would relegate the task of finding it to my little sister. In every family there is always one ‘finder’, and she was ours. Later Mama told me of the simple dua’ (prayer) to recite for this very purpose.  (It is one most of us are familiar with saying at the time of learning about a person’s passing but did you know it is also a Du’a for finding things?)

Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji’un

إِنَّا لِلَّهِ وَإِنَّا إِلَيْهِ رَاجِعُونَ

“Truly! To Allah we belong and truly, to Him we shall return.” 

Surah Al-Baqarah (The Cow) 156

There are others, but this is the shortest and simplest, so simple in fact that even a child just learning to talk could repeat it. And he did.

I have talked before, about how I tried to instil, in the kids,  this idea that we should always ask Allah FIRST and turn to Him first for anything at all. But, truthfully, it was this, this moment on reading Gretchen Rubin’s tip, which was my light-bulb moment in realising  how to capitalise on the idea, and really show my child, not only the power of PRAYER but the power of ACTION with prayer.  

Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji’un

While we tidied up we would repeat this rhythmic line. Sing it, in fact. Even as a 15month old he would smile at the beautiful sound of it and soon he was trying to imitate the sounds “inalilahii…lihai… lihai…lihai …(the lihai could go on for a while) until a triumphant –  “RAJIOOOON”

In my heart I would make that extra dua’ that ‘Oh Allah keep his faith intact’

And … It worked. Every, single, time. (As a bonus we started fostering the habit of ‘tidying up’ too!) Allah is “Al-Wajid”The Perceiver, The Finder, The Unfailing”, who never failed a diaper wearing toddler in finding that small thing. As my son grew older, he found it natural to turn to his Creator. Once whilst driving  and worrying out loud ‘hoping’ to find a parking space on reaching our destination, I heard a voice pipe up from behind me ‘mama let’s ask Allah to help us find a parking space’.

This is a real thing that your child can understand. In fact the younger the child the more readily they will feel this truth. And don’t worry about what your child will think if his ‘dua’ isn’t answered immediately. If love of Allah and a reliability on God has been fostered from a young age – as your child gets older they will start to understand about patience and timing.  As Aiysha mentioned recently  that despite her refusal to  allow her kids to have a pet kitten,  her 6 year old daughter has ‘firm belief’ that her dua for a kitten will be answered one day.


And who knows, you might even get a tidy room out of it!

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  • Reply M H December 23, 2016 at 10:54 pm

    MashaAllah, beautiful story! Kids really are little sponges and absorb everything they’re told. A teacher mentioned how she taught her daughter that Allah is everywhere, a Witness to everything, He Is with you wherever you are. One day when she was going out, leaving her daughter home, she said “I’m going to be alone, I’m going to miss you.” Her daughter said, “No Mama, you won’t be alone, Allah will be with you!”
    The same daughter, upon going to her friend’s house, noticed the friend’s mother trying to unsuccessfully open a jar. She offered. And managed to open it! The friend’s mother, surprised, asked how she managed to open it. This 5 year old said (with a ‘duh’ expression), “I recited ‘Bismillah.'”
    One day this girl and her sister were coming down the stairs when she slipped a bit and started crying. Her little sister (probably about 4 then) said, “Don’t worry, I’ve made dua, you’ll be fine.” Once someone in the family hurt themselves and the kids asked how the wound would heal. They were told, through their duas.

    I realised that kids look for comfort and when they hurt themselves, they look for comfort/healing in the parent’s kiss. So I’m trying to teach my almost-two year old too to make dua whenever he hurts himself, telling him Allah Taala will Make him be fine. And that raising the hands in dua and wiping the hands on the face (for Ameen!) is followed by the kiss that he actually came looking for, and all is fine, always alhamdulillah! 🙂

  • Reply Zaid October 4, 2016 at 12:15 am

    Beautiful advice, thank you!

  • Reply Sumayya October 1, 2016 at 4:42 am

    Subhanallah I really enjoyed this. May Allah reward you for sharing

  • Reply Asma October 1, 2016 at 12:22 am

    Ameen! Just the best advice ever!

  • Reply Ayesha September 30, 2016 at 10:44 pm

    This is attitude is much needed in our society today. Kids with stronger Imaan will be much prepared to face the negativity in the coming years. May Allah keep them on the right path and make them coolness of our eyes. Aameen

    • Reply Sumaya October 7, 2016 at 9:57 am

      Ameen to your dua Ayesha!

  • Reply Miriam Malik September 30, 2016 at 10:03 pm

    How beautiful, I will try this at the earliest opportunity Inshallah! A few weeks ago i would have thought that this may be “too much” to try with my children. However, ny three year old daughter started asking about what happens to people when they die. I talked to her about how we return to Allah because we belong to Him, just as she always returns to us if she has been at nursery, or anywhere. This seemed to make perfect sense to her and she accepted it. I think that turning to Allah for help first is a brilliant and vital thing to introduce to our children and something that I has not thought to introduce so thank you for the inspiration.

    • Reply Sumaya October 7, 2016 at 9:58 am

      Miriam what a lovely and calming explanation you gave your daughter! Thanks so much for your comment.

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