At what age do you teach your children to fast during Ramadhan?
I see my sister training my nephew and niece who are 7 and 5, and man… sometimes it breaks my heart seeing them clutching their tummies moping around the house waiting for 7.30 pm.
“Why must I fast? Daniel’s not fasting! See, he’s drinking milk,” the niece points at the poor innocent newborn with much envy. As if Baby D can fast! He already looks similar to this now.
Then my sister has to explain to her the concept of Ramadhan and how it’s every Muslim’s duty to fulfill the 5 pillars of Islam.
And then what happens when you know they cheated and had a drink in school? Or they ask the nanny for food and tells her not to tell Mommy? Haha. Come on, don’t judge. We’ve all done that. (Well… I have, anyway…) So what then? Do we scold/punish them?
It was 6 pm and my nephew was almost dragging his arms on the floor, so weak and helpless.
“Mommy….” He begs softly. “Mommy, please, can I please have a drink please?”
I’ve never heard that many “please” coming from his mouth, I almost teared of joy. Haha.
My sister looked at me with a what-do-I-do-this-breaks-my-heart look. I gave her back the same look. We were both left with so much guilt seeing the little one in hunger. Dean came back and was adamant that he should fast through since he’s a big boy already. So he was left with Uncle Dean cheering him up and distracting him with funny conversations and well… the TV. Soon, the little boy fell asleep (and both my sister and I kept going to his nose to check if he was still breathing… haha).
They say the funniest things though.
“Mommy, the clock is moving so slow. Can you check if it’s spoiled?”
“Mommy I need aircond… I need air, Mommy… I need the air and the aircond, Mommy…”
“Mommy, you said I can eat when it’s dark,” niece then crawls under a bean bag. “It’s dark in here so can I eat in here?”
“I’m so mad at this spoiled clock!!!!”
And my personal favourite:
My nephew was grumbling so much so my sister explained to him that Allah swt loves the Muslims who fast and will put them in heaven.
“I can’t, Mommy… I really can’t.”
“Come on, baby. You can do it! Only a few minutes to go. Remember, do you want neraka or do you want syurga?”
Nephew let out a big sigh before saying, “Sugar, Mommy, I want sugar…” and he walks away dragging his feet to somewhere with aircond.
I’m sure he meant to say syurga.