*Train Them, Don’t Make Them Starve*

I was coming home today for iftar, when I was about crossing the road to the other side of the bus stop. A boy stood beside me waiting patiently to cross over, he should be around seven years of age.

I held his hand and we crossed together. He was happy and said Shukran (thank you), and I replied Afwan (never mind). 

One of the things I love about the Egyptian’s children, is their outspokenness. The next question he asked me was astonishing.

Are you fasting? I smiled and replied yes.

Then I asked him the same, but he raised his brow, I understood what he meant. He looked so weakened, he looked like someone fasting the way he sounded.

Asked him again, how many have you fasted, he said six. I bent down to his level. Really? He said yes. A seven years old boy fasting from morning till night is astonishing, even though it is not mandatory on him to fast, his try is commendable.

Then I remembered while we were small, we used to fast from Sahur till 12 noon and count it as half. The second day will be the same, so two days fasting will be counted as one for us. By the end of Ramadhan, we would have fasted 15 maybe.

That was how we were trained, most times then, Ramadhan a times used to fall during the schools’ holiday, so the atmosphere was always  different, bubbling and dazzling for children.

Eating the iftar during the day was really cool but as one grows up and knows more, your past a times look funny. I can speak for Lagosian children, but for other states… Hmmmmm, parents are more disciplined than each other, and our affections to religion or doctrines are of various levels, depending on family or community.

It is a good thing, if children try fasting but please don’t force them. Train them and go to mosque with them, attend lectures with them, let them grow in faith. Never make them starve.

I enjoyed my 10 mins stay with the boy. Our interaction wasn’t that long as he was in a hurry to go eat. But I played him to wait and he fell for it coz the time for iftar was near.

I love kids, I love been around them. But one thing I can’t do again is teach them in school. I once taught some, the likes of Hafsa Harun, Zainab Merald, Khadija Azraa, Muyideen, Fatiu and co, they could make you marvel.

Leaving the boy alone, Umar was his name, I bought date and juice and we broke together. He was lovely, we prayed together and we pathed ways in the course of Allah and in His love. Show them your love.


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