Developing Contentment as a mindset
How many of us mislead ourselves by wishful thinking: “I will be happy once I have achieved this particular goal or when this certain desire is fulfilled?” We might not even realise that we think like this actually. This mindset is a huge obstacle for feeling content and at peace. If we look at the mindset of the prophet Muhammad sallallahu alayhi wa sallam, we will find out that his mindset was to be content, regardless of one’s health, financial or social circumstances.
Abu Hurairah has narrated that Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) said: ‘’Richness is not in plenty of provisions; the (real) richness is the richness of the soul.’’ Al-Bukhari and Muslim
The prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam states here that a rich soul is a content soul. A content soul can be best defined as a soul that is at peace, filled with love and and not much attached to physical wealth.
I know that sounds simply amazing, but how can one soothe his soul to this level of contentment? How can you guide your child to being a content soul too?
A content soul is pleased
Thawban (ra) said: “The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: ‘Whoever says when he reaches the evening: “I am pleased with Allah as (my) Lord, with Islam as (my) religion, and with Muhammad (ﷺ) as (my) Prophet (Raḍītu billāhi rabban wabil-Islāmi dīnan wa bi-Muḥammadin nabiyyan) it is a duty upon Allah to please him.’” (Hasan Gharib)Reference : Jami` at-Tirmidhi 3389In-book reference : Book 48, Hadith 20English translation : Vol. 6, Book 45, Hadith 3389
These three elements form the foundation of a deep soul level of contentment. It is through reading the Quran that one’s soul instantly connects with them. Finding the time to read with (young) children demanding your attention can be challenging though. So how else can one nourish the soul to keep it content?
Be Amazed about Allah’s Creation
There is so much around you to get amazed about and your child can explore so many wonderful things if you bring him or her in a natural environment. The leaves, snowflakes, little insects, wind and puddles of rain, are for especially young children a world of amazement. Join them and nurture your soul with surrounding yourself in Allah’s Beautiful Creation. It will feed your soul with contentment and Allah as Your Lord, Al Khaliq.
Share your knowledge through play
Involve your child in daily Islamic rituals, good deeds and manners, applying the teachings of the Quran. It will feed your soul with love for the Deen and make it content with it. Your child is unique, so let him join in at his own level. Understand his level and energy and make things practical and visible for him. Train yourself to be sensitive to your child and listen and observe attentively. His spontaneous actions and talks will give you indications on how to expand, carry on play activities and conversions. When you join in and adjust your interaction to your child’s interests and abilities, you and your child will both enjoy and benefit more.
An example is that your daughter puts on her scarf, you smile at her and say ‘’Mashallah you look beautiful’’. If she is walking around, you can add ‘’O I’ll get mine!’’ and follow her. Or you pick her up, look in the mirror and point to your and her Hijab saying: ‘’You have hijab, Mommy has hijab.” These playful moments are golden moments together.
Feeding your soul by connecting with the sunnah of Muhammad ﷺ
Nothing is more satisfying than making real connections between knowledge and real life and it nourishes your soul with the love and contentment for Muhammad sallahu alayhi wa sallam as the final and last prophet. Eventually it is all about applying his teachings. When you have read about the gems of Rasūlullāh’s mindset, try to reflect and make notes on how implement them and how they can also be part of and impact your child’s daily life. Don’t overdo it, because certain topics take time and can return in play. Repetition is anyway fun for young children. By just make small changes in the play activities, you keep things exciting and engaging. Bring in some new items and see how your child responds and what interests him or her.