The Prophet Muhammad taught that every faith demonstrates a hallmark characteristic. He shared that the hallmark characteristic of Islam is shyness (haya) and natural humility.
Humility (tawadu or khushu) is a virtue nearly every Muslim parent desires to develop in their Muslim child.
The Modern Challenge of Teaching Humility
It’s true that teaching little Muslim kids how to be humble can be challenging. Especially because bold, assertive self-confidence has become a parenting buzzword in recent decades. Acting boldly is praised in both modern Western culture and business.
But must the subtle virtue of humility necessarily be at odds with self-confidence?
Many have begun to ask whether self-confidence and humility can co-exist. We’ve also discovered that “humility both promotes and requires strength of character.”
This means that teaching our Muslim children humbleness empowers them with increased confidence and a more positive sense of self!
These are the very values the Noor Kids team had in mind when crafting our latest Muslim children’s book about humility, “Not So Smartypants.” We want to help Muslim kids love humility and decide for themselves that being humble is both good and right.
Natural Humility in Context
The best way to learn is in context. And the Islamic lifestyle already has built-in settings in which children can be encouraged to be humble.
For example, visiting an elderly, sick, or poor person (a sunnah of the Prophet) is a natural way for your child to see and reflect upon their own blessings or privileges. This naturally produces humbleness in a child.
Another natural context for humility is helping others. Muslim children can help smaller siblings with difficult tasks. They can also perform tasks around the house like taking out the trash or helping wash dishes.
While these may seem like indirect ways of teaching natural humility, they create a lasting imprint that helps your child learn how to be humble of character.
Enjoying this article? For more motivation check out our related piece, How to Teach Muslim Kids Humility with the Prophet’s Life.
How to Praise Humility in the Right Way
When our Muslim children perform acts of natural humility in or outside the home, they should be affirmed, encouraged, and praised immediately. Yet this praise should not necessarily use language that tells the child that they are great, good, or virtuous.
Instead, the praise parents give should focus on how the child helped the other person or made him or her feel.
Giving praise like, “You really allowed me to relax when you cleared the table,” or “Grandma cheered up so much when you gave her that picture,” develops a humble ethos within our Muslim children.
Praising God and Not Ourselves
A final way to praise our children for being humble is simply by praising God.
As parents we can say, “I’m so thankful that Allah gave me such a helpful son,” or “You did great in your soccer game, let’s pray to thank God for giving you success.” In doing so, Muslim children will learn that any goodness is only due to God’s grace.
Of course, children’s efforts should be acknowledged too. However, by connecting success with how great Allah is, parents can give Muslim kids an even more meaningful way to celebrate their accomplishments.
The fact that God is God and we are human is the ultimate reason for humility in Islam.
Kids who learn this will become both confident in their faith, and confident that God loves them and is super proud of them when they choose to be humble!
Give your Muslim child the opportunity to see humbleness modeled in a fun, memorable way. Gift them Noor Kids’ new research-based Muslim kids book on humility, “Not So Smartypants.”
We also have fun Islamic activities designed to teach Muslim kids natural humility! They are great activities to complete with your child.
Click here to access the free activities and other parenting articles that can help you instill the Islamic virtue of humility in your Muslim child.