Monday, April 18, 2011

The Daily Account

Bism Illah wa as salaamu alaykum wa Rahmat Allah wa Barakatuh.

"The good deed and the evil deed cannot be equal. Repel (the evil) with one which is better, then verily! he, between whom and you there was enmity, (will become) as though he was a close friend." [Quran 41:34]

One of the most valuable things we can do is assess our account at the end of each day; it's a long, hard look in the mirror. I have been thinking about how to make our children more aware of their actions and the fact that they will have an account with Allah.  After a couple or three months of intentions and running it by hubby and friends, I have finally launched The Daily Account for the children....and me, al hamdul'Illah.  It is, quite naturally, based on Islam and the fact that the good deeds erase the bad deeds.

To prepare, I sewed a little cloth "rack" with four pockets in it and each child's initial on a pocket. Then I cut up some thick construction paper into squares.  I also made a chart to keep a record of the daily account for each child. Here's how it works:

Red squares are for negative and haram behaviors, light blue cards for positive behaviors, yellow cards for completion of acts of ibadah.  From morning to night, children get cards in their pocket according to their deeds and behavior. The children have been shown the various cards, so they have a clear idea of what is considered unacceptable, good, and praiseworthy behavior. In addition, there are plenty of blank cards so I can add things to each category when an action or behavior arises that hasn't been included.

An example of  some red cards:

- Broke the rules
- Hurt someone
- Spoke rudely or with an attitude
- Did something makhrooh in the prayer
- Didn't listen to my parents
- Lied
- Was sneaky/deceptive

An example of some blue cards:

- Gave sadaqa - a smile, picked something up, a gift...
- Completed my schoolwork in good time
- Did something especially kind or helpful
- Kept room tidy and clean
- Did the right thing
- Got ready for bed on time

An example of some yellow cards:

-Prayed all 5 prayers well.
-Said daily dua' for waking up, getting dressed, etc.
- Said the istiaatha at a necessary time
- Read Qur'an
- Actively sought out Islamic knowledge.

Here is an example of how this works. As the day progresses, cards are placed in the children's pockets according to their behavior. They see the cards going in and can check their pocket periodically. When behavior is bordering on bad, they get a warning before the red card is given. They are told when they do something that warrants a blue card. When something happened last night and one child told a lie, they got a red card but were also told that if they tell the truth they would get a blue card for doing the right thing...which would offset that horrid red card. Worked like a charm, mashaa'Allah!

This is in it's early stages, but the atmosphere in our home and between the children is notably improved in their race to win on The Daily Account. I'm still considering what we will reward the child with the best daily account with. It will not be something to encourage materialism, but more along the lines of recognition perhaps with a badge or award to keep for the week, and a special dinner or a baked treat of their choice. On a monthly scale, perhaps a special outing or activity of their choice. This is a work in progress, so I expect it will need adaptations.

In truth, we adults could use this programme too, especially if we are trying to get a grip on several issues and have a clearer picture of ourselves. I am certainly very conscious of occasions when I need a card, and I am making a little pile for myself. It has already drastically reduced the amount of times I raise my voice, wa al hamdu l'Illah.

Inshaa'Allah, The Daily Account will help prepare us all for the day when our real account is handed to us - ameen.


  1. Assalamu alaykum.Fantastic idea,im definitely trying it!

  2. I think that it is very important for children to also learn not to boast or expect recognition of all good deeds.
    An act of charity is even more precious if kept secret.
    If they learn to do things because of the instant reward they get( a card) in my view it's not teaching them properly.
    They should try to please Allah ta'ala, not gain the most "cards".


  3. As salaamu alaykum Leyla,

    Jazaaki Allahu khayran for your input.

    The cards are a tangible representation that symbolizes an account. The children do not keep the cards, they are simply tallies of their good and bad deeds. As children do not have the ability to fully understand abstract concepts, this card/account system allows them to better understand the concept of having a list of good things and a list of bad. If I don't see them do khayr, then they don't come to tell me to get a card. It is when I notice something good, that I give a card. This helps them to understand what is good, as well as what their specific weaknesses are. If they find that the most cards they have are for not listening or speaking rudely, then they have something to focus on correcting. If they see that the only good cards they get are for completing their chores or schoolwork, they may look for other areas to improve or do good in. Inshaa'Allah, they will learn, through conscious thought and encouragement, good habits that will become a natural extension of themselves in time.

    It isn't about gaining the most cards; as all the children have been told, Aisha (radhi Allahu anha) said that the best thing to meet Allah with is few sins. It's about lessening the red cards and self-regulation.

    Just as Allah keeps a clear account of our good and bad deeds, these cards represent a tangible account of their good and bad deeds. Whereas their young minds cannot fully comprehend the book that will be given to them on the Day of Judgement, this is an attempt to draw a parallel between the two, which can be understood by the children.

    Barak Allahu Feeki

  4. as salaamu aalaykum mai, would you be able to email me? I am working on Islamic planner for new converts to practice the very basic aspects of Islam and I am hitting a road block.

    I created a planner for Ramadan yoou can check it out here but I think Its still missing something

  5. To follow up on this, the elevator in our building smelled horrible from some leaked garbage bag. I went out to mop it and my girls asked to come out and help me. While they were sweeping up, my five year old said, "We will get barakah from Allah for doing this." She didn't mention a thing about getting a card in her pocket, and she clearly understands that the deeds are done to please Allah, mashaa'Allah.

    I will give the girls a card for helping clean the elevator, but it's good to know that they understand who they are trying to please - Allah.

  6. MashAllah, may ALLAH make me a lady of wisdom like you and my kiddos children of obedience and understanding at such a little age like yours Ameen. may ALLAH increase your reward and make your kids a sadaqah e jariah for you and your husband Ameen.

  7. slm, jazakallah ghair Mrs Mai! this method is working on my kids REALLY WELL, alhamdulillah...
    u rite in short..the red card reminds them when they DISPLEASED ALLAH and the green card when they EARNED ALLAH"S pleasure insha-ALLAH...
    good motivation towards being ALLAHS beloved insha-Allah..
    wslm ...JUMMA MUBARAK
    la tansany fi duaik ghas....shukran

  8. As salamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

    Sorry I have been a stranger so much going on I will catch up with you soon.

    Masha Allah this is an excellent idea, I will try and do something like this for the boys and I as I think we need it LOL, my husband will have to judge if I have done something naughty?

    May Allah continue to bless and inspire you. Allahumma ameen.

    Will try and log into skype over the coming days.


  9. Wa alaykum as salaamu wa Rahmat Allah wa Barakatuh my dear sisters Bilqees, Umm Bilal, Umm Sabiha, and Umm Abdul Kareem.

    Subhaan Allah, this is an amazing tool for making everyone more aware of their actions. My 5 year old has become like a police officer, telling everyone what aspect of their behavior warrants a red card, LOL. Sometimes I reach for a card and she will look at the guilty party and tell them, "That was for ...."

    Most certainly it is resulting in far greater self-regulation and conscious effort to erase the bad deeds with good ones, mashaa'Allah!

    Ameen to your dua' and I pray you will all find success and Allah's Pleasure - ameen!

  10. salam alaikum,
    wonderful idea! mashaAllah!