Praying five times a day can be a struggle for adult Muslims, but an even greater one for young people. At a time when texting and other technology offer fast-paced distraction, encouraging our youth to establish Salah can seem impossible.
But this pillar of Islam keeps us all grounded in our faith. It is that necessary daily reminder of Who we are accountable to, as well as Who is our greatest Benefactor. It keeps us connected to Allah in all circumstances, and it is a gift and obligation we must pass on to young Muslims.
Here are a few ways to start that process.
1. Set the example
As is the case with all other good habits, parents, mentors, teachers, and others young Muslims look up to must be praying themselves. But we need to not only be offering our prayers. We must also truly reflect the level of concentration and commitment it takes, by praying on time, doing our best to focus, and offering the prayers diligently.
2. Establish prayer in the home
Kids learn faith first and foremost from the family and within the home. This is where prayer as a way of connecting to Allah needs to be discussed and shown in practice. Make it a habit to pray in congregation when going to the Masjid is not possible. Avoid having everyone pray in their own little corner of the house. Start today by designating one space of the home for this purpose.
3. Don’t discourage even small steps toward prayer
Prayer is a long-term commitment that requires the kind of dedication that’s hard to muster for many older people, let alone young people distracted by the ding of texts on their phone or other issues. Praise even the performance of a short, two-Rakat prayer, and encourage youth to take it to the next level.
4. Don’t discount strength in numbers
Whenever possible, pray in congregation with other Muslims outside of the family, especially other youth. This can be at weekend school, or even joining one of the prayers at a full-time Islamic school with the administration’s permission. This will show that prayer isn’t something "weird" that only you and your family do. Rather, it is something other young Muslims do regularly, as well.
5. Make prayer time parent time
Spend a few minutes after each prayer with your young Muslim connecting, asking or answering questions about an issue of concern, or simply making it a time for hugs, jokes, and lighthearted hanging out.
Compiled From:"8 Ways to Connect Young Muslims to Prayer" - Samana Siddiqui