Assalamualaikum, my dear brothers and sisters.
My son said this in bed just now: “Mummy, I know why young children pray. It’s because they like doing what the older people are doing.” Albert Bandura’s theory of social learning (1977) states: “Learning would be exceedingly laborious, not to mention hazardous, if people had to rely solely on the effects of their own actions to inform them what to do. Fortunately, most human behavior is learned observationally through modeling: from observing others one forms an idea of how new behaviors are performed, and on later occasions this coded information serves as a guide for action.”
How wonderful for us that we actually have a blueprint of excellent behavior in the Prophet Muhammad s.a.w.! Allah Almighty said in the Quran, Surah Al Azhab, verse 21, ‘ Ye have indeed in the Messenger of Allah a beautiful pattern (of conduct)…’ And Aisha, may Allah be pleased with her, said: “He was a walking Quran.” i.e. embodying the Laws of Allah Almighty in his everyday life. Teaching children Seerah (life) of the Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. is a must in education. (I initially wrote ‘Islamic education’ but then thought, ‘Only during Islamic education?’)
I often say this to parents, ‘ Don’t practice double standards in your home.’ If you want your child to have certain behavior, then you yourself must practice that behavior. How often have we asked our kids, ‘ Have you done your prayers?’ when we ourselves haven’t done it. No wonder they are not learning to love prayers- we have turned it into a task (def.- a piece of work esp unpleasant or difficult) instead of an ibadah(act of worship)!
When I ask my sons this question, ‘ Have you done your prayers?’, their khalifah of Allah reply is, ‘ Have you done yours, Mummy?’…