If you ‘google’ or ‘bing’ bedtime story-telling, there are millions of results come out. Some of them talk about the tips of bedtime story-telling, benefits of bedtime story-telling and even some of them are good to be as the source to find the story itself. However, remember! That is all about their bedtime story-telling, not ours.
What do you mean by ours?
Well, ours basically should be different. We are not telling our children those imaginary thingy; fairytales, monsters and whatsoever. The children have got enough of those things from the media. And, those won’t ever help them to develop their Aqeeda (Beliefs), Sahsiah (Personality) and Fiqh (Understanding) which helps them to be good-practicing Muslims.
Then, what should we tell our children?
Based on my personal experience, I would like to suggest to the readers to fill-in your children’s mind before they sleep with our most valuable treasures which are our SEERAH/ our History and Historical Figures. Believe me, there are so much they can get only from that (Another article can be written just for this point = What Seerah can give to our children)
Here, I would like to share my personal experience based on what my mum did story-tell me when I was little. Every night, she’ll pick up a story from the collections of Beloved Prophet’s companions Seerah, such as Khalid Ibn Walid or Zubair Al-awam (my brother’s favourite one). As she began to tell the story, I still remember how fascinated and engrossed we were with the story. My mum loved to make various sounds to make the story alive, such as the sound of the Khalid’s horse, the sound of Khalid’s swinging sword and etc. At that time, all of us (my siblings and I) were just about three to six years old and we really really enjoyed it. As she finished telling the story and we went to bed, our dream was filled-in by the beauty of Khalid’s character, Khalid’s physical figure, Khalid’s bravery and so many others about Khalid.
As the impact, I still remember the time when I’d been thinking ‘how beautiful my life is if I’m able to meet Khalid by myself one day.’ The story was really meaningful to me when I was young till now... and Alhamdulillah, I do live with it, with the Seerah that my mum told me every time before we went bed years and years ago. And, till now, my friends keep asking me, ‘how can you remember lots of the Seerah?’ definitely, there is no other answer but ‘Alhamdulillah.. most of them ALLAH gave me through my mum’s bed-time story telling which then I find out more from the right sources.
Besides, I want to tell you that it’s not me only who experience as such. Here, in England, I met a little girl (about 4 years old) who suddenly said to me when I was playing with her, ‘Kak Maryam, you know that I miss Rasulullah very much? I will cry if somebody said to me that I can’t meet him one day.’ I was really fascinated to hear her words which then made me smiled and asked her, ‘Why, my dear Mayam (her name)? She said with confident, ‘You know.. my mom told me that, Rasulullah is the nicest guy ever especially to kids, like me! He used to say that ‘whoever does not love kids, Allah, the God wouldn’t love them’ which I think so sweet of him! But, he didn’t live long and he died already. So, I miss him very much and I really wanna see him one day.. in the heaven. My mum said, he’s living there right now.’ What a brilliant word she said and I was really really astonished till my tears almost slide down for gladness! I quickly asked her, ‘when did you mum tell you, Mayam?’ She said, ‘every time before bed!’ Subhanallah.. can you see readers? How big impact the bed-time story gives to the little kid. She just four years old.. but she has so much love and miss to the prophet just because her mom kept telling her how good the prophet was through bed-time stories. Hopefully, in future, she’ll live with all those Seerah too, insya-allah.
So, as conclusion, take some time to tell your kids stories from the Seerah before they go to bed. Let them know what they suppose to know and feel what all of us suppose to feel. Kids just like the sponge, whatever you give them; they’ll take it as it is. If you give them good things, they’ll take it and vice versa. Don’t worry if you feel like ‘I myself know nothing about Seerah, so how I gonna tell them?’ It’s never late to start learning from now on.. You live-in with Seerah, insya-allah your kids will do as well.
~Me; Wishing to write children’s Seerah story books in English for my own children to live-in with~