"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
- 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.