(Photo credit: AcrylicArtist @ Morguefile.com)
Although they might not realize it, children are normally exposed to the concept of pairs at a very young age. They know that when a new sibling is born, the baby can either be a “boy” or “girl”, brother or sister. They also know that there is such a thing as “day time” and “night time”. (By the way, if you missed the post about the day and night miracle, you can read it here.)
In this post, we’ll see how we can approach this subject with our children. It’s an amazing thing really, which is why I’d love to share this particular Quranic gem with you.
Let’s take a look at verse 36 in surah Yaa-Seen:
“Glory be to the One, who created in pairs all things that the earth produces, as well as themselves, and other things they do not know.” (Yaa-Seen: 36)
In another verse, Allah subhaanaahu wa ta’aala also says:
“And of all things We have created pairs, so that you may remember.” (Adh-Dhaariyaat: 49)
SubhaanAllah. Just think about that. Allah has created people and things in pairs as a sign for us to remember and ponder upon.
Now, how do we go about teaching and encouraging our children to appreciate this fact?
I always prefer to start with what they already know (something like a “warm-up”, if you will). For instance, you can ask your kids to list as many things that “come in two” that they can think of: shoes, socks, hands, feet – anything.
Once they’ve listed what they know, explain to them how a pair is incomplete and might not work nice and well if they don’t come in two. They might be opposites and very different from each other, but both are needed nevertheless (One helpful example is a soccer game. Two teams are playing against each other but you can’t have a game if there’s only one team, can you?).
InshaAllah, once they get this idea, we can move on to explain that Allah has also created people as well as so many other things on earth in pairs, and there is a wisdom behind this. Always keep in mind that the main goal is to let our children see this as a sign of the Greatness of their Creator.
Here’s my suggestion for a list that you and your kids can work on together to illustrate the concept of pairs to your children:
- Humans (male & female)
- Animals (male & female)
- Plants (Yes, there are male and female flowers, too! Read more about it here.)
- Bitter and sweet
- Fresh and Salty (sea water)
- Day and Night
- Darkness and Light
- Sun and Moon
- Earth and Sky
- Fire and Water
- Good and Bad
- Heat and Cold
- Happiness and Sadness
- Anger and Pleasure
(You can always be creative; use colors, pictures, cut-outs or anything that can make your list look nice.)
Ask our children to think: what if one exists without the other?
Do bear in mind that this is by no means an all-inclusive, comprehensive list. As mentioned in verse 36 in Surah Ya-Seen, the pairs that Allah has created are not limited to those mentioned above, i.e. those that we already know. It’s important to let our children know that every now and then, a new discovery is made somewhere in the world. So, just because we haven’t figured them out yet does not mean they’re not out there!