‘Read! In the name of thy Lord and Cherisher, Who Created-‘
(SurahAl Alaq, verse 1, the first Revelation)
The call for prayers (athan) had been made and I reminded the boys to prepare for prayers. After 10 minutes later, they were still playing around in the kitchen (Adam had even taken his wudu’ earlier). I knew I had to intervene so I took a deep breath and said, ‘ Okey, everyone. Let’s sit in a khalifah circle‘ right there in the middle of the kitchen floor.
A khalifah circle is where everyone sits in a circle, with our knees touching, as close as possible, with no gaps in between. This khalifah circle represents a strong bond and love between everyone in the circle, sharing of knowledge and a hope for change.
I reminded them about the du’a I make after my prayers where I pray to Allah Almighty to ‘make me and make my family constant in our prayers’ like the du’a Prophet Abraham alayhi salam made, in Al Quran in Surah Ibrahim, verse 40, ‘O my Lord! make me one who establishes regular Prayer, and also (raise such) among my offspring’.
I told them my hope was that making salah (prayers) would be a characteristic of everyone in our family. Then I told then what we should do when we hear the athan or we know the time for prayers have arrived.
We stop what we are doing, listen and answer the athan silently to ourselves. Then we say the du’a for Prophet Muhammad (may peace be upon him) and I shared with them a hadith about the benefits of making this du’a everytime after athan.
Abdullah b. Amr b. al-As reported Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying:
“When you hear the Mu’adhdhin, repeat what he says, then invoke a blessing on me, for everyone who invokes a blessing on me will receive ten blessings from Allah; then beg from Allah al-Wasila for me, which is a rank in Paradise fitting for only one of Allah’s servants, and I hope that I may be that one. If anyone who asks that I be given the Wasila, he will be assured of my intercession.” Sahih Muslim
I could see this was making an impact on Adam; there was a light of inspiration in his eyes. I asked the boys what we should do after that and Adam replied, ‘ Stop and leave what we are doing, take wudu’ and make sure we are wearing proper clothes.’ Daniel said, ‘Wait for everyone to begin prayers.’
Alhamdulillah. My boys just needed a reminder using kind words and beautiful wisdom to recall them to their duties. They made salam (held my hand and kiss it) as I kissed gently kissed each of their foreheads. We all got up and began our preparations for salat’ul jemaah and Masha’Allah, it was one of the calmest jemaah prayers we had made in a very long time.
I’ve used the ‘khalifah circle’ many times before to resolve issues, manage behavioral problems, for transmitting knowledge, for strengthening Ukhwah among my students and training participants, sometimes even just for a chat!
Somehow, it just seems to work beautifully…Allah knows best.