All praise is due to Allah subhana wa ta’ala, Lord of the worlds.
Assalamualaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh, my dear brothers and sisters.
In my previous post, ‘Parenting and Prayers’, I mentioned that I had asked Adam and Daniel to do Quiet Self Contol Game for 10 minutes. In this post, I will explain further about the Self Control Game.
The Self Control Game was initiated by Allahyarham Dr. Muhammad al’Mahdi as a way for kids to manage their own behavior. The kids would be asked to sit still for as long as possible without moving, talking or making facial expressions. Usually, the children would be able to manage Self Control between 5 – 9 minutes.
Rashidah and I further developed the Self Contol Game in our children’s training programs in 2004. We would challenge the kids to Self Control for as long as possible. Usually, the first test trial would last only 5 or 6 seconds. The kids would start blaming each other for moving, giggling or talking and demand a second trial. This maybe lasts longer, up to one minute.
But we challenged the kids to beat the previous record so the kids got excited and wanted to try again. This is when we tell them the secret to Self Control: Dzikr. We got the kids to list the dzikr that they know:
Subhana’Allah, Alhamdulillah, Allahu Akhbar, Asmaul Husna, Astaghfirullah, Salawat, Shahadah and the list goes on.
So, the kids go on their third Self Control Game trial, but this time making dzikr. The result is always amazing! The kids sit so still and were so quiet, regardless of the distractions around them which did not bother them (and we made sure there were plenty!). Note: For the purpose of motivating the kids not to give up, we allowed very small movements so that the Self Control Game meets it’s objective of teaching kids to make dzikr for self control).
The record for the Self Control Game now stands at 21 minutes. It was achieved by the ACE Camp kids and what really impressed me was that they managed it under difficult conditions. After a whole day of programs, we did the Self Control Game at night, around 10 pm. The kids saw for themselves just how strong they are when they make dzikr under stressful conditions.
The power of dzikr in self control lies in the extraordinary benefit of mentioning Allah Almighty’s Name. On the authority of Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) from the Prophet (peace be upon him), who said:
Allah (glorified and exalted be He) has supernumerary angels who rove about seeking out gatherings in which Allah’s name is being invoked: they sit with them and fold their wings round each other, filling that which is between them and between the lowest heaven. When [the people in the gathering] depart, [the angels] ascend and rise up to heaven. He (the Prophet p.b.u.h.) said: Then Allah (mighty and sublime be He) asks them – [though] He is most knowing about them: From where have you come? And they say: We have come from some servants of Yours on Earth: they were glorifying You (Subhana llah), exalting you (Allahu akbar), witnessing that there is no god but You (La ilaha illa llah), praising You (Al-Hamdu lillah), and asking [favours] of You. He says: And what do they ask of Me? They say: They ask of You Your Paradise. He says: And have they seen My Paradise? They say: No, O Lord. He says: And how would it be were they to have seen My Paradise! They say: And they ask protection of You. He says: From what do they ask protection of Me? They say: From Your Hell-fire, O Lord. He says: And have they seen My Hell-fire? They say: NO. He says: And how would it be were they to have seen My Hell-fire: They say: And they ask for Your forgiveness. He (the Prophet p.b.u.h) said: Then He says: I have forgiven them and I have bestowed upon them what they have asked for,and I have granted them sanctuary from that from which they asked protection. He (the Prophet p.b.u.h) said: They say: O Lord, among then is So-and-so, a much sinning servant, who was merely passing by and sat down with them. He (the Prophet p.b.u.h) said: And He says: And to him [too] I have given forgiveness: he who sits with such people shall not suffer. [Muslim, Bukhari, at-Tirmidhi, and an-Nasa’i].
I remember a 10-year old boy who attended a Young Khalifah Training a few years ago. He had a condition where his eyes would weep tears constantly. In the first trial of the Self Control Game, his eyes kept watering and dripping tears. But after learning about making dzikr in Self Control Game, he managed to keep very still and his eyes did not drip tears at all during the dzikr self control! Masha’Allah. He looked amazed when I asked him if he had realised his eyes were dry ad he had such a great smile after.
Do teach children to do Dzikr Self Control. It is an effective way for them to manage their emotions and behavior under any circumstances but more importantly, it teaches them to love making constant dzikr (remembrance of Allah subhana wa ta’ala). In Surah Al Hadid, verse 16:
‘Has not the Time arrived for the Believers that their hearts in all humility should engage in the remembrance of Allah and of the Truth which has been revealed (to them)’