Inspire True Purpose & Grow Stronger as a Muslim Family
Islam is the fastest-growing religion.
But have you also heard, “Islam gains about as many converts as it loses in the U.S?”
“A 2017 Pew Research Center survey of U.S. Muslims, using slightly different questions than the 2014 survey, found a similar estimate (24%) of the share of those who were raised Muslim but have left Islam. Among this group, 55% no longer identify with any religion, according to the 2017 survey.”
A sobering statistic.
We’re losing Muslims because they have lost connection with the seerah of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh).
They grow up or convert, thinking Islam is a bunch of rules, heavily emphasizing what they can’t do.
- Don’t eat that!
- Don’t wear that!
- Don’t say that!
Even as parents, we struggle to connect to our Prophet (peace be upon him) because we were never taught the seerah (life of Prophet Muhammad – peace be upon him).
Seerah of Prophet Muhammad is a Key to Everything
If we’ve never learned about his life, why bother teaching it to our children?
The answer is simple.
How can you love a man you don’t know?
How can you revere a man you’ve never heard of?
To know Islam is to know the seerah of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh).
The seerah is critical to understand why we do what we do. By knowing the root of something, we can appreciate, respect, honor, and emulate it.
Knowing the history of Islam is an integral part of our religion and cannot be underestimated.
How Seerah of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) Changes Your Life
My parents took me to Umrah when I was 12 years old.
They were not well versed in Islamic knowledge at the time.
Sure, they prayed, performed Hajj, paid Zakat, and had strong values. But my dad never had a beard, nor did my mom wear a hijab, and she heard the hijab was for “religious” people, which my mom didn’t feel applied to her.
In my childhood, I struggled to learn Quran.
My parents were busy working, so it was a delayed, drawn-out undertaking.
However, despite all this, Umrah was the only vacation they planned and eagerly anticipated.
So, in preparation, they drove to the nearest English Islamic bookstore about an hour from where we lived. They bought books on Umrah and one on the seerah of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).
After all, we were going to the birthplace of the Prophet (peace be upon him), so it only seemed fitting for our’ vacation.’
I recall the seerah of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) being full of complicated names.
At times it was confusing, but every night we had to sit at the dinner table, and someone read a chapter.
It was just something we had to do, but I enjoyed that we got together as a family and did it. Little did I know, those family read-alouds are what led me toward my conscious decision to be and live a life as a Muslim.
Going to Umrah
When we went for Umrah, the events came to life, and Islam became real to me.
We went to visit the Prophet’s Mosque, where he was buried. I wanted to see him and say salam to him. These streets I am walking are where his companions walked too.
I felt a belonging. And this is something that has stuck with me until today.
My parents never told me to, but I started wearing a hijab when we returned. In high school, my twin sister and I wore an abaya as our choice and making us the only visible Muslims for the first few years.
We wanted Islam. We wanted to be Muslim.
No matter how much my siblings and I groaned when it was time to read together or how we had to pull ourselves away from whatever TV show occupied us, my mother stayed consistent.
Three hundred pages later, and a trip to Mecca and Medina, my life changed.
It wasn’t just my life, but my family too. Islam is fundamental in my entire family, and I credit it to my parents’ efforts (bi’ithnillah) despite not having that knowledge themselves.
Learning the seerah or the Life of Prophet Muhammed (peace be upon him) helped us and our family to grow spiritually.
With consistency in learning the seerah, you can expect three shifts to take place:
- Develop gratitude, empathy, and a love for our Prophet (peace be upon him).
- Feel that your purpose is defined by knowing the Prophet’s purpose.
- Sense of belonging and affiliation to something greater than what we see around us.
Three FUN Ways to Learn Seerah
Taking from my childhood experience, I tried to do the same for my children. Unfortunately, we only learned the seerah of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) as a family after we took them for Umrah. And I used a video series online instead of a book.
But by the end, my children knew the names of companions like they knew the names of sports players. They knew tribe names like YouTube groups. They’d be the ones to ask me, “Can we watch seerah today?”
We’d gather our snacks and stop for prayer breaks.
It was fun.
But more than that, it solidified who we are as believers and why we do what we do. To them, Islam was no longer mom’s or dad’s “strict” rules; it was the mission of our beloved Prophet (peace be upon him).
I strongly encourage every Muslim to make it a point to learn seerah, especially as a family. The effects are priceless, InshaAllah!
Some parents worry it’s too long and takes too much commitment that they might not be able to do. Don’t worry; you can do it! The power of storytelling is amazing, and what more captivating story than the life of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him)?
Your children will want to know more (and so will you!). Depending on your family and schedules, you might want to try:
- Reading a seerah book together
- Watching a series on Seerah of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him)
- Joining a flexible course program, so you don’t miss out on details, and it offers visuals
Do you learn the Seerah of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) with your family? What ways do you find effective to keep yourself consistent and your children engaged?