I was sitting on the floor of the living room with two of my kids, the oldest and the youngest. I was doing the homeschool Quran class with my 9-year-old as 4-year-old Khalid spun in circles around us.
At one point, I looked up from the mushaf in front of me to see Khalid twirling so enthusiastically and energetically that I was worried he’d smack himself into the wall.
“خالد، بطل لف لحسن تلبس في الجدار! ده خطر.”
“Khalid, stop spinning or you’ll run into the wall! That’s dangerous.”
The 9-year-old laughed as his younger brother tumbled to the ground and dissolved in giggles at his own dizziness.
He said as he observed Khalid,
“اه، هو اسمه خالد وعشان كده بيحاول يدرب نفسه للقتال. زي ما خالد بن الوليد كان بيدرب للحرب من صغره بتدريب الخيل الشرس!”
“Yes, his name is Khalid and this is why he’s trying to train himself for battle. Just like Khalid ibn Al-Waleed was training for battle from a young age by breaking in wild horses!”
As we laughed, another one of my sons entered the room and asked,
“ماما، هم الناس بيأكلوا البط؟”
“Mama, do people eat duck?”
I said yes.
His face lit up in a grin.
“طيب ممكن تطبخي لنا بط؟”
“Then can you cook us some duck?”
“ماشي، روح انت اصطاد لنا بطتتين من الملعب وأنا أطبخهم!”
“Sure, you just go hunt us a couple of ducks from the park and I’ll cook them!”
There’s a park we go to that has a pretty pond and many ducks.
The 7-year-old laughed and said,
“آه أنا هروح الملعب واخذ بطة تحت كل ذراع، زي الصحابي اللي أخذ خروف تحت كل ذراع لما جاع المسلمين في غزوة خيبر!”
“Yes, I’ll go to the park and grab a duck under each arm, just like that one Sahabi who grabbed a sheep under each arm when the Muslim army was hungry in the battle of Khaybar!”
Kids remember the smallest, seemingly most random details of whatever they hear.
So teach your children stories from the sirah of the Beloved عليه الصلاة و السلام , stories from the Quran, stories of the lives of the Sahaba, the prophets, Muslim history.
You’d be surprised at just how much your children retain and bring up casually in relevant everyday situations.
Instead of having kids who refer to “superheroes” like Batman or Ironman or Superman, we Muslims are striving to raise children who refer to actual heroes like Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم and Abu Bakr and `Umar ibn Al-Khattab and `Uthman ibn `Affan and `Ali ibn abi Talib and Khalid ibn Al-Waleed.