One of the best ways to guide a Muslim child regarding life after death and the afterlife in Islam is to simply ask questions. Children are naturally spiritual beings; asking questions is a positive approach that taps into your Muslim child’s surprising insight.
Questions also reveal how your Muslim child’s splendid, innocent imagination already conceptualizes the “where” of death, including places like the barzakh (intermediary realm), Jannah (heaven), and the grave.
If you’re looking for questions and ideas about how to help your children understand about life after death in Islam, Noor Kids’ Happily Ever Hereafter Islamic kids book is an invaluable, research-based resource that helps broach the subject and start a discussion.
Modern Muslim kids really click with these books.
Additionally, here are three more meditative questions to get you started:
3 Meditative Questions to Ask your Muslim Child about Life After Death in Islam
1 - What do you think happens after someone dies?
This critical thinking question skillfully gives children a moment to ponder the whole process of life after death.
It’s okay if your Muslim child says they don’t know, or even if they say something that is incorrect according to Islamic eschatology (Islamic beliefs about life after death).
Your child’s answer, even if limited, correct, or incorrect, can be used as a springboard for you to share more information.
A wise way to respond as a parent is not by stating a fact, but by asking a follow-up question such as, “Did you know that Allah says in the Quran that whoever believes in Him and does good things, will never be worried or sad after they die?” (Quran, 2:62).
2 - What do you imagine Jannah is like?
This positive, encouraging question is another great first question to ask Muslim kids to start a conversation about life after death in Islam. Children often answer with cute and unexpected ideas that reflect what they value. Mountains of Legos? Unending tea parties? Candy castles?
After they have a chance to answer, affirm their response. Then add, “I always imagine Jannah as filled with beautiful trees, palaces, and pure food because that’s how Allah describes it in the Quran.”
Select a few verses from Surah Rahman to read to your child at bedtime. Instruct him or her to close their eyes and imagine what the verses describe – the divine imagery will resonate with their soul as they fall asleep.
3 - Did you know our souls travel during sleep, just like at death?
Educators assert that all learning is essentially making a connection to something already known. Since sleep is a daily ritual that you and your Muslim child experience and understand, it is the perfect analogy by which to discuss life after death and the hereafter in Islam.
For centuries Islamic scholars have deemed sleep to be a “minor death.” Allah says in the Quran, “It is He, Who takes your souls by night (when you’re asleep) […]” (Quran, 6:60). Talking about where we “go” when we sleep will help your Muslim child begin to distinguish between “body” and “spirit” (ruh). These ideas are key to understanding life after death in Islam.
Continue the conversation by asking your Muslim child if they recall a dream where they felt like they went or traveled somewhere. Encourage them to realize that this, in fact, was their soul traveling!
Encourage your child to practice traveling with his or her soul.
Ask them to close their eyes and listen to you describe the inside of the Kaaba or a beautiful famous mosque (like Turkey’s “Blue Mosque”).
Tell them to focus on really trying to be there!
Asking questions is a powerful way to help your Muslim child use their natural imagination to understand life after death in Islam. This open-ended approach allows children to explore death in an empowering way that honors both the wonder of childhood and the wonder of life and death in Islam.
What are some ways you discuss death with your child?
Have you used the Noor Kids’ Happily Ever Hereafter Islamic kids book as a family or classroom tool to teach Islamic values? Comment below!