Earlier this evening, my husband was talking to the kids over dinner about the coronavirus (COVID-19) when the topic of how it started came up. He told them about the “wet markets” in China and further explained how different people across the world eat wild animals or bushmeat to survive.
Despite my subtle attempt to change the subject, which I found too revolting over dinner, they were eager to hear all the gory details about different types of animals that humans were known to eat.
I eventually walked away but first asked my husband to teach the boys about the incredible wisdom of our faith in prohibiting the consumption of specific types of animals, mainly carnivorous ones.
Right now we have a golden opportunity as parents to make the most of this global catastrophe. Here are some ideas:
1. Teach children about the fiqh of food consumption which includes the different categories of permissible/impermissible meat.
2. Teach children and re-emphasize the importance of cleanliness in Islam, not just to wash their hands frequently.
3. Teach children the importance of wanting for “your brother what you want for yourself,” and sharing/caring in this “nafsy nafsy” climate.
4. Teach children the power of the prayer of Istikhara in times of uncertainty.
5. Teach children that despite technology, modern science, etc., human beings will ALWAYS be weak and dependent on God, and this is PROOF. When a small invisible virus can bring the world to its knees, never underestimate the power of Allah. We will always be in need of Him whereas He is free of all needs!
6. Teach children the value of time, because they will feel it being stretched in the next few weeks, months, etc.
7. Teach children the value of the elderly, for they have been unjustly erased in our world and now many people will live to regret pushing them away.
8. Teach children the value of their Masjid and community centers as events will be shut down and they will realize how much value being with fellow community members even for a few hours every week brought to their lives.
9. Teach children the importance of saying “Bismillah,” and “Insha Allah”, as anything void of the name of Allah has no blessing.
10. Teach children that this world is temporal, death is a transition and NOT an end, and no matter how one dies or when, the only thing that matters is that they die with the Kalima upon their lips.
May Allah increase us all, draw us closer to Him, and protect us from harm. Ameen.