“How can I really live without understanding death?” writes Amin Aaser, Managing Director of Noor Kids, after his mother passed away. While having a conversation about death with Muslim kids can be tough, the value is incredible — we are able to help children understand purpose.
Our belief in Qiyamah, the Day of Judgement, fundamentally changes how we live our lives. We didn’t come into this world simply to go to school, get a job, have a family, and then die. Allah (SWT) tells us that He created death and life as a test to see who is the best in deeds (67:2).
As a part of this conversation, parents and teachers have the opportunity to teach children about sadaqah jariyah (ceaseless charity).
We have created this activity below to: (1) help your child learn about the concept of sadaqah jariyah, and (2) provide your child the opportunity to spread the knowledge learned from a loved one, and gain that loved one sadaqah jariyah.
This activity relates to our story, “ Life After Life,” in our most recent book, Happily Ever Hereafter.
Activity Overview: The Good Story Challenge
Age: This activity is suitable for 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8 year olds.
Time: Depending on age, this activity could take anywhere between 15-30 minutes.
- Camera phone or camera
- Optional: paper, markers, picture of loved one or a memorable token
Conversation about the Hereafter
Have a conversation with children about belief in the hereafter. If you have the book, Happily Ever Hereafter, read it with your child. Otherwise, follow this three-question guide.
Talking Points about the Hereafter & Sadaqah Jariyah
- Similar to the way that a baby leaves the womb of his/her mother to enter this world, when we depart we will be leaving this world and entering the hereafter.
- What will our hereafter be like? Will we have a beautiful home with rivers running through it? Or will it be old and dilapidated? In this life, we have a chance to build our hereafter based on our deeds. (Note: Check out this activity about “Building an Amazing Home in Jannah.”)
- However, when we pass away, our chance to build our hereafter is finished, except for a few things. The Holy Prophet (SAW) says, “When a man passes away, his good deeds will also come to an end except for three: Sadaqah Jariyah (ceaseless charity); a knowledge which is beneficial, or a virtuous descendant who prays for him (for the deceased).”
- Examples of ceaseless charity include: building a well from which people drink water, planting a tree from which people eat fruit, and creating a school within which people learn, as the individual will gain good deeds even after they pass away.
Part Two - Making Your Video (10-25 Minutes)
1. Today we will help create sadaqah jariyah for one of our grandparents by sharing a piece of beneficial knowledge (e.g. a good story) that they told us. (Note: If you have had a family member pass away, feel free to do sadaqah jariyah for him/her instead.)
2. Brainstorm 2-5 stories or pieces of beneficial knowledge that the grandparent has taught.
3. Choose one story or piece of advice and share it by video recording your child relaying that message.
**Optional** The child may draw a picture of themselves and their loved one, hold a picture of their loved one, or share a memorable token from their loved one. The child can then also show it in the video.
4. Complete the recording. It doesn’t need to be edited at all!