"Aunt Bedriya, can you drive me over to Muhammad's house?" asked 6 year old Zayed.
"You know I have my study group this afternoon, Zayed," Aunt Bedriya answered.
"You do that every week! You haven't been to visit Muhammad's mom in a long time. It's good to visit friends, remember? It's more fun to go visit than to sit around studying stuff," whined Zayed.
"Visiting has its place in life, but I like to go to my group meeting because the angels will visit there and bring blessing from Allah for our efforts."
"Angels?" asked Zayed. "I thought you just met with some of the sisters to study Quran."
"Well yes, but don't angels attend meetings where people are gathered for Allah? They greet those who go and bring peace and mercy from Allah for our efforts."
"Angels don't go to your study group! I've been there and I never saw any! It's just a bunch of ladies sitting around listening to somebody talking. And I haven't seen Muhammad in a whole week," pouted Zayed.
"You find angels all over Zayed. Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, told us that Allah sends angels all over the world looking for the people who gather together to pray, or to read Quran, or to learn more about Allah's message for us, and we do all of that in my study group. I always feel better and think more clearly about trying to be good after my meetings." Aunt Bedriya smiled.
This idea puzzled Zayed. Aunt Bedriya trying to be good? When was Aunt Bedriya bad? "You're always good. You don't need more classes," protested Zayed.
Aunt Bedriya laughed at Zayed's puzzled face. "Only Allah is perfect Zayed. Of course I make mistakes. Everyone does. Special angels will be there and will report back to Allah what we have done and, inshallah, He will send us forgiveness and blessings. I hate to miss that. Do you want to come with me? You used to come when you were little."
"No," said Zayed. "I'm big now."
"Of course, you have your own study group, at Quran school. Now I'm going, so I'll see you later."
She gave him a little kiss on the forehead just before she adjusted her scarf one more time and went out the door. Zayed watched her out of the window as she drove out of the driveway and down the street. Aunt Bedriya was going to her study group and after that the angels would go and report to Allah all about it. WOW!
Have you talked to your children about angels? Do they know how angels are around us? Aisha bint Abu Bakr is reported by Imam Malik to have sent a member of her family to be after evening prayer, saying, "Won't you let the recording angel rest?"
Be careful what you tell them because we actually know little about them and there are many false stories circulating. But there is one very important concept.
Do your children know that angels only record their good deeds, not their bad deeds? So every time they do a good deed they are that much ahead.
There are three (kinds of people) whose actions are not recorded: a sleeper until he awakens, a boy until he reaches puberty, and a mentally defective one) until he comes to reason. (Abu Dawud)
It is understood that the deeds referred to in the hadith are bad deeds because Allah promises us in Quran that our good deeds are never lost. (3:171, 3:195, 9:120, 18:30)
There are people in the world who believe that children are born in sin and are continually controlled by the Shaitan to do bad things. These people may scream insults and hit. It's like they are trying to hit the devil out of their children. But this is not Islam.
We know our children are born according to fitra, the nature Allah gave them. They are not evil and their bad deeds don't count. We are the ones responsible for guiding them to what is good. It is their nature to seek this guidance from us and to feel comfort when they follow it. We all feel good when we are generous for Allah, when we help others for Allah, when we treat ourselves and others with respect for Allah.
How are you teaching this important message to your children?