A Short Conversation With My 3-and-a-Half-Year-Old Daughter: The Lessons

With My DaughterTavistock Avenue Park, Serangoon - Singapore

Usually, when I fetch my daughter from her nursery, I start the YouTube app on my phone, and on our way back home, I get for her some Islamic songs for kids. She asks that we sit in the upper deck whenever we coincide with a double-decker bus.

A few weeks ago, I thought of letting her enjoy the view between her nursery and home, hoping she could learn to appreciate the creations of Allāh, and create her own imaginations from that. This means there was not going to be YouTube, nor Islamic kids songs, on the way back.

That was a decision I took without discussing with her. As we boarded the bus, and in the upper deck, she started to tell me stories of things and showing me things she’s similar with. Five minutes later, she started the following dialogue:

The Dialogue

She: Abi
Me: Yes, Izzati

She: Why did we take this bus?
Me: Erm… because it’s going our way… It’s passing by our house.

She: Abi
Me: Yes, Izzati…

She: Why didn’t we take the other bus (in front of us, which is with a different service number)?
Me: That bus goes to a different destination. It will turn right ahead. Our bus will continue straight.

She: Abi
Me: Yes, Izzati

She: Can I watch ‘Akhi wa Ukhti’ (a kids’ song in Arabic, on YouTube. See video below)?
Me: Errm, you want to watch ‘Akhi wa Ukhti’?

She: Can?
Me: OK.

That was the end of the conversation. My plan was hijacked, although a little of it was achieved.

Moral of the story

Obviously, my daughter’s questions on why we took our regular bus, was nothing but an introduction to ask to be allowed to watch YouTube.

This means, when we need a favour from someone, we have to build a bridge, through which we can ask for his help. That bridge serves as a direct or an indirect introduction before going to the point. Human being, no matter how old, has a child self inside him. Nice words and getting close to him makes him feel appreciated, loved and perhaps valued.

Once we give him that sense of importance, it becomes difficult for him to reject us, unless he really can’t help.

This may also reflect the difficulties, which some of our teenage friends and students encounter with their parents, especially their fathers. In some cases, if not most, they ignore the presence of their parents, and will refuse to have any communication with them, until their needs (school fees or pocket-money) surface. This doesn’t mean they hate them, though. It’s rather age phenomenon which most of us have experienced. You can’t get your list of needs easily from your father (or mother) if you refuse to talk to him, and act sleepy whenever he initiates communication with you.

My daughter’s approach (which I believe to be a human nature –fiṭrah) has made me come to appreciate more, the importance of interacting with people with more respect, love, and compassion. Moreover, It has made me appreciate why we are encouraged to sing Allāh praises and send blessings upon the Prophet before we present our requests in our invocations.

Etiquettes of Duʾā

The Prophet, ṣallā Allāhu ʾalaihi wa sallam, taught us, that when we sit to make duʾā, we should start with songs of praises for Allāh. We should then send peace and blessings of Allāh upon the Prophet. Then, we can present our needs before Him.

Presenting our needs right from the beginning of our invocation without singing Him praises nor sending blessings upon the Prophet doesn’t nullify our Duʾā. It rather doesn’t allow us to create the good communication with the All-Loving, the Almighty. This implicates that our communication with Allāh has no direct or indirect introduction. Thus, a basic etiquette of duʾā will be missing.

May Allāh grant us the vision to appreciate His creations around us, beyond what our eyes can see. While doing so, may He grant us the knowledge and wisdom supported with righteousness. Amīn.

Allāh knows best.
Allāhu Ḥāfiẓ 🙂

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