When we think of Islam as a way of life, many of us often overlook how we can turn our day-to-day routines such as bedtime rituals into a source of (ibaadah) worship. While most families have a bedtime routine that consists of brushing teeth, putting on pajamas, then cuddling in bed with a story, in a Muslim household you may find that bedtime routines require a little more discipline if we want to follow the way of the Prophet (sallalahu alaihi wasallam) and get the full benefits (inshaa Allah).
Creating a Bedtime Routine:
Before we share the 5 things you should add in your child’s bedtime routine, you have to remember that anytime you want to start a new habit, it requires:
…patience, as every child is different and you may find that one of your children memorizes all the athkaar within a couple of days while the other one struggles. So it’s important to be patient and understanding.
…a plan, as with any new endeavors. Have a plan in place and involve your kids so they know about the changes that are about to take place.
…consistency, as this is almost always the hardest one to implement. But because this (high- five bedtime routine) is something you should want your children to commit to, you as the parent can be there to remind them that Allah loves acts that are consistent.
Now, let’s jump into the High-Five Bedtime Routine, which I am very excited about! A while back, I came across a High-Five morning routine and thought it would be perfect to use as a reminder for the bedtime sunnahs our kids should follow before going to sleep. So after reading a good bedtime story (we recommend 365 Days with the Prophet Muhammad), the idea is to put your kids in charge of making sure that they do all five things every night as part of their bedtime routine. Of course, once they are done, they get a “high five!” 😉 .
Our chosen Bedtime High- Five includes:
1. Making wudu & before climbing into bed, dusting the bed three times with the corner of your clothes while saying BISMILLAH.
2. Holding your palms together, while reciting (Al-Ikhlaas, Al-Falaq, An-Naas), and then spitting (only air) and wiping over entire body hands, beginning with head and face and then all parts of the body, do this 3 times.
3. Reading your adhkaar and ayatul kursi
4. Say: ‘SubhanAllah’ thirty-three times, ‘Al-hamdulillah’ thirty-three times, and ‘Allahu Akbar’ thirty-four times.
5. Sleeping on your right side
You can download the free poster (HERE) that we have made to help simplify the process, which contains the adhkaars, surahs and dua’s they can read before sleeping. You can also introduce the idea to your kids through this fun video we have made 🙂
If you want to make things more interactive, you can also have your child make their own poster by:
1. Securing two different colored card stock paper (one for your child’s hands’ outlines and the other to have the hands glued on to).
2. Writing shortened version of what you want your child to remember
3. Decorating the poster.
Note: Bedtime routine tips with preschoolers
You can start some of these bedtime routines with kids as young as 2 ½, but this is only to get them familiar with it and it will require you to be very consistent until they memorize the adhkaar and dua’s. The good thing about starting early is that your child may even memorize the adhkaar by just listening to you every night.
So, what are some of the bedtime routines you can implement with preschoolers?
1. Dusting the bed with them while saying bismillah
2. Allowing them to sit up, hold their hands out as you read the three qul’s (Al- Ikhlaas, Al- Falaq and An-Naas) and then blowing in their hands. Ask them to wipe it all over their bodies starting with their face.
3. Asking them to sleep on their right.
While there are other bedtime sunnahs, this is a good starting point, as introducing too much at once can make it overwhelming for our little ones. Once the “High-Five” is established, you can always add more to the routine further down the road inshaAllah. And as always, if you found this helpful you can join or start the discussion by commenting below.
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