I am doing a project on different cultures celebrating a child in their culture turning 16.years old. How does your culture celebrate a child turning 16 and going into adulthood? Are there any traditions?
Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds; and may His blessings and peace be upon our Prophet Muhammad and upon all his Family and Companions.
In our religion, there is no such thing like celebrating 16th birthday of children when they become 16 and reach the age of puberty, nor do we celebrate any other birthday. We are not concerned with these formalities which do not bring any moral or educational benefit to the child, adolescent or adult.
However, we are more concerned about taking care of our own children and guiding them to important matters from their early age, and throughout their youth. This is a religious obligation. Furthermore, we do not stop taking care of them and educating them even after they become adults.
We think it is appropriate to mention briefly the method of taking care of our children and educating them.
1. To teach the children everything that benefits them in this world and in the hereafter.
2. To sow the love of Allah and his Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam) and companions in their hearts.
3. To make them accustomed to cleanliness in wearing clothes and cleanliness of the home, and teach them purity (Taharah), ablution (Wudu) and prayers. We order them to pray when they reach the age of 7 years old and we encourage them to perform the prayer in congregation in the mosque.
4. To teach them what we can from the Qur'an and the Hadith (memorization).
5. To make them used to seeking the help of Allah alone, and make them accustomed to being truthful, trustworthy, kind and to keeping good relations with relatives and family members.
6. To make them distinguish between male clothing and female dressing, and teach them not to imitate the opposite sex, and make the girls be used to being modestly dressed from an early age and to wearing Hijab (the Muslim woman's dress) when they reach the age of puberty.
7. To keep them away from bad company, and amusement centers, and mischief.
8. To make them avoid alcohol and intoxicants, and whatever damages religion, body or morals.
9. To train them to become courageous and brave, and teach them sincerity in every act of worship.
10. To teach them the biographies of the greatest people and the pious people so that they would imitate them.
Allah knows best.
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