Children in present time are at the receiving end of their parent’s persistent negligence upon the parenting they are receiving. They are facing multiple challenges in their lives, which never faced by their ancestors. Parents of the current generation have great responsibility upon their shoulder to raise the sincere and true inheritors of Islam. They need to put their upmost efforts to safeguard the children from the tyranny of the world. Their prime duty is to raise them to the best of their ability to be leaders of this Ummah, to teach them how to live as a Muslim in all aspects of their lives-in school, in playground, with parents, siblings, and friends and in all other avenues of life as they grow up.
It is important for a Muslim to understand the significance of the parenting role, the importance of preparing children for the hereafter, and the obligation of protecting them from the hellfire. Allah (SWT) says,
يأيها الذين آمنوا قوا أنفسكم واهليكم نارا وقودها الناس والحجارة عليها ملائكة غلاظ شداد (التحريم : 6)
O you who believe, protect yourselves and your families from a Fire whose fuel is people and stones, over which are appointedangels, harsh and severe.[Qur’an 66: 6]
When we look at the meanings and implications of this verse, it becomes apparent that this is a dire warning. This constitutes a basic principle of parenting from an Islamic perspective.
The Prophet (PBUH) said: «Each of you is a guardian and is responsible for his ward. The ruler is a guardian and the man is a guardian of the members of his household; and the woman is a guardian and is responsible for her husband’s house and his offspring; and so each of you is a guardian and is responsible for his ward.» [Sahih al-Bukhari 5200]
The aforementioned hadith greatly emphasizes the fact that parenting is a crucial and supreme responsibility. Parents must focus on preparing their children for the life to come more immensely than just nurturing and protecting them in this life. Parents will be held accountable for how they carried out this responsibility; how much efforts did we parent exert to fulfill the rights of our children, to make them grow up as responsible and educated members of society? If our children keep going astray and are not on the right path in life, we Muslim parents would be failures.
It is vital for a parent to understand the fundamental concepts that children are a test, which hold them accountable on the Day of Judgment. Allah (SWT) says,
واعلموا انما اموالكم واولادكم فتنة وان الله عنده اجر عظيم (الانفال: 28)
And know that your properties and your children are but a trial and that Allah has with Him agreat reward. (Qur’an 8: 28)
The aforementioned verse stresses the point that the test is to determine how parents will raise their children. Will they observe all Islamic principles while raising their children i.e. being kind, loving and respectful? Will they prepare them for the hereafter and for paradise?
It is unfortunate to see that too many fail in this test. Muslim parents are losing an excellent opportunity for eternal and spiritual rewards by neglecting their children and failing in this test. Nothing is more rewarding and honoring for parents than watching their children grow into an obedient servant of Allah. The obedient children may also provide enduring good deeds to a parent’s record through supplication. The Prophet (PBUH ) said: «When a person dies, no good deeds will be added on his record except for three: continuous charity, beneficial knowledge, and a pious child who supplicates for him.» (Sahih Muslim).
It is imperative for the parents to understand that parenting does not start once the child is born. Islam goes far beyond this by teaching us that first and foremost, our parenting efforts must start with supplications to God and teaches us to pray for pure and righteous offspring, “My Lord, grant me from Yourself a good offspring. Indeed, you are the Hearer of supplication.”[Al Imran 3:38]
And those who say, “Our Lord, grant us from among our wives and offspring comfort to our eyes and make us an example for the righteous”[Al Furqan 25:74]
Once the parent’s supplication is heard and a baby is expected, the duty of mother starts right from here. The expectant mother should recites as much of the Holy Qur’an as is possible during pregnancy. It is, now proved by science that babies can hear from before birth and react with soothe pleasure after birth to recordings of sounds with which they have lived before it.
Supplication is particularly important as we are raising our children in a world with values contrary to our own.In order for us to help our children get rid of those bad elements widespread in the society that potentially, pose the profound challenge to them.
Now after the baby is born, what are the main responsibilities for the parents to carry out to raise the children to become a responsible and righteous adult? Let us talk about some of the critical areas related to raising children into responsible Muslim adults.
Giving Name: Providing child with a good name in accordance with Islamic traditions is first responsibility of the parents. The Messenger of Allah (SAW) said: “The most beloved of your names to Allah are ‘Abd-Allah and ‘Abd al-Rahmaan” [Narrated by Muslim, 2132].
Nursing: It is the right of the child to be nursed: Allah (SWT) says, “Mothers shall nurse their children for two complete years for any that wants to fulfill the period of nursing.” [2: 233]. Nursing is particularly important to strengthen the family bonds especially between mother and the child. There are so many scientifically proven advantages to breastfeeding.It is now an established fact that nursing has far-reaching physical psychological implications on development of the child’s health and personality.
Spending: Parents are obliged to spend appropriately on children in ways to raise them properly. It was narrated that ‘Abd-Allah ibn ‘Amr said: The Messenger of Allah (SWT) said: “It is sufficient sin for a man if he neglects those on whom he is obliged to spend” [Narrated by Abu Dawood, 1692; classed as sahan by Shaykh al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Jaami’, 4481]. However, many Muslim parents fall short and deliberately neglect this matter. Such parents ought to be reminded that they are obliged to do this duty in the fullest sense.
Fair Treatment: One of the rights of children is treating them fairly. This right is clearly referred to in the saying of the Prophet (PBUH) “Fear Allah and treat your children fairly” [Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 2447; Muslim, 1623].It is incumbent on the parents to treat all equally without giving any preference to their children based on their gender or other criteria. It is unfair treatment, which arouse a feeling of jealousy and hatred in children that often continue for life. It also leads the children to have bitter feeling toward the parents as well. It is rightly said, that if you want all of your children to honor you equally, then be equally fair to all of them. The Prophet (PBUH) said to the father of al-Nu’maan, “Would you like them to honor you equally? “He said, “Yes.” [Muslim 1623].
Bond with Children: Knowing that fathers are directly involved in character building, it is important to develop strong bond with children. Parents are encouraged to address them in the best manner. The first words that Luqman Hakeem used were “Ya Bunayya: O my Son!” It is, therefore, important for the parents to treat them with love and mercy. Children who received good treatment are expected to love and respect their parents and elders when they grow up. Alaqr’a Ibn Habis on seeing the Prophet kissing his grandson said, “I have ten children, but I have never kissed any of them.” The Prophet (s) replied, “The one who has no compassion will not be treated mercifully” [Sahih Bukhari and At-Tirmidhi]. Many parents, in present time, are often found complaining about their children’s misbehavior which prompts to punish them on pity offences. Such parents ought to be advised that instead of punishing children, a demonstration of mercy, kindness and gentle reminder coupled with supplication earnestly for their children,would serve the purpose. The supplications of the parents for their children are particularly accepted. Parents need to study the life of Prophet (SAW) as well as the lives of his companions, Sahaba to learn the great parenting tips. Anas narrated: “I served the Prophet (ﷺ) for ten years, and he never said to me, “Uf” (a minor harsh word denoting impatience) and never blamed me by saying, “Why did you do so or why didn’t you do so?” [Sahih al-Bukhari 6038]. There is a great parenting tip, parents can learn from the above narration.
Communicating with Children:Frequent communication is the basis of parent child relationship. It goes a long way to strengthen the parent child relationship. Parents should provide children with constant love, support and encouragement. It is also important to understand that parents need to be gentle and be a friend to their children. Winning the confidence of the children should be the prime concern for the parents. They must feel convenient to the extent that they look forward to spending time with us.
Fathers need to spend more time with their children. It is not desirable of being absent from one’s family without a purpose. If the head of the household is busied away from his family, lessens his presence at home, and does not sit with them, he will not be able to teach and guide them.A review on the impact on fatherhood by the “US National Institute of Child Health and Human Development shows that a child with an involved father has better social skills by the time s/he reaches nursery, performs better academically, and is less likely to have behavioral problems in the future. Once again, scientific research attests to the wisdom of Islamic teachings.” (Nurturing Eeman in Children-Dr. Aisha Hamdan)
Providing Good Education& Training: Another important matter, which is one of the rights of children to which attention must be paid, is educating and training them islamically. The acquisition of knowledge is an obligation for both men and women. The knowledge is very essential for the child development especially the knowledge of religion. It is to be emphasized particularly for parents who feel that educating themselves about Islam is not important. It is imperative for the parents to know that their primary duty is to take care of their children, physically, emotionally, spiritually, and intellectually. Education plays a vital role in all of this with the goal of raising healthy, knowledgeable, and strong Muslims. It is probably even more important for women to be knowledgeable due to their position in the family.
It is in the interest of parents to educate their children and themselves. The level of knowledge the members of Muslim community hold actually determines its status and prosperity. Parents need to constantly strive to nourish their intellectual growth. Acquiring knowledge both Islamic and modern is must. However, priority must be given to learning aspects of the religion. A Muslim child should be striving to learn the Qur’an, the Hadith, and the Seerah almost on daily basis. Parents need to be very careful while pushing their children beyond their capacity, especially in matters of religion. Not every child is born to be hafiz or scholar. Every one learns at his own pace. Pushing too hard may result in resentment towards parents and Islam. We need to present Islam in a loving manner such that they wittingly practice its teachings. All worldly sciences should always be linked to the original sources of Islam, the Qur’an and the Sunnah. Children must be encouraged to relate all the disciplines they learn to the Quranic principals. It is also important to recognize that knowledge without an end is completely unacceptable. Knowledge is obviously not the primary goal of life. It has no value if it was not connected to eeman, taqwa, sincerity, and belief in the oneness of Allah.
Right training is important for the children that can help them live as responsible Muslim adults fulfilling the rights of Allah and others. It is this training, which is deemed to be the best gift that parents can provide to their children. While educating children, parents need to target the success of both in this life and the hereafter. It is, therefore, important for the parents not to focus only on acquisition of modern education that can help them towards building the right careers, rather, the attention must be paid importantly to acquisition of Islamic education. Children deprived of proper Islamic teachings are not able to handle the calamities in life successfully. Contrary to this, children with good religious education are able to live a more peaceful life, deal with life’s challenges easily and maturely. Such adults are able to fulfill the rights and obligations of all around them. They grow up a better citizen and become an integral part of the overall Muslim Ummah.
A common mentality seems to have prevailed that by sending a child to a Masjid to learn Quran for couple of minutes, parents often feel as though they have fulfilled their Islamic obligations. It is wrong to assume that a child will learn and develop Islamic personality without receiving any training at home. It is the prime responsibility of parents to teach the children both in a literal sense and in terms of their character to be a pious Muslims. Attention must be paid to ensuring the children get the adequate learning opportunity about Islam at the hands of educated and well-qualified scholars. Parents need to be actively involved in studying the deen, nurturing Eeman in themselves and understanding the rights of children over them in order to be able to carry out the parenting responsibility honestly.
In relation to education, learning Arabic ought to be given the priority. In the life of a Muslim, the Arabic language holds enormous significance. It is the language of the Noble Qur’an, the language of the Hadith, and the language of Islam. An individual cannot truly reach the depths of knowledge and comprehension of Islam without the Arabic language. It is very sad to see that Muslims in our time seem to have turned away from the Arabic language to focus their energies more on ‘worldly’ knowledge. They seem to have literally forgotten the significance of Arabic language. There is a craze among the younger generation to learn foreign language, while at the same time ignoring the language of revelation. They seem to have succumbed to the propaganda that the Arabic language is outdated and insignificant for modern times. This conspiracy seem to have worked when we actually find Muslims in Arab countries who cannot speak, read, or write their mother tongue the Arabic. Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah said, “The Arabic language is from the religion, and the knowledge of it is an obligation. For surely the understanding of the Qur’an and the Sunnah is an obligation, and these two are not understood except through understanding the Arabic language, and whatever obligation is not fulfilled except by certain steps, then those steps themselves become obligatory (to fulfil of the initial obligation). [The Necessity Of The Straight Path by Ibn Taymiyyah ( 1/470)]
Inculcating Eeman: A supreme responsibility and noble task for the parents is to cultivate Imaan and Taqwa in the hearts of children. A constant approach has to be taken to instill the spirit of religion in them. In addition, remember that it is parents who lay down the initial foundation of their children’s personality. Inculcating in their children the correct ‘faith, the oneness of Allah is what is needed to make them obedient to Allah. Children must be taught all rights of Allah. Parents should exert to try to help the children to learn the principles of Tawheed. This should never be taken lightly as it constitutes the boundaries of Islam . Mu`âdh bin Jabal relates that the Prophet (PBUH) said to him: “O Mu`âdh! Do you know what is Allah’s right over His servants and what their right is over Him?” I said: “Allah and His Messenger know best.” He said: “Allah’s right over His servants is that they worship Him without associating any partner with Him in worship, and their right over Him is that He does not punish anyone who worships Him without associating any partner with Him in worship” [Sahîh al-Bukhârî and Sahîh Muslim].
It is quite essential for the children to learn exclusively about Aqeedah. It is only ‘aqeedah, that can remove all the doubts and answer questions that have preoccupied the minds of the human race for centuries. If this aspect is ignored or the importance of correct and resolute ‘aqeedah overemphasized, and focus remained on teaching children profoundly the practical aspects of the religion, it is most likely that the end result will be frustrating. It is as if building a house with a very weak foundation, which is bound to collapse. There is no denying that children should be taught how to perform certain rituals of worship including the five times obligatory prayers, fasting, charity, Hajj, reciting Quran, and so on, but prior to that, a great deal of time ought to be spent on teaching them “Adeedah”. What is needed is an understanding of the true meaning of being a Muslim, of being a righteous, and even of attaining the level of ihsan.
Beliefs direct practices. Unless children are taught to sincerely submit to Allah with their hearts, with their tongues, and with their deeds, they are not expected to strive to devote all their energies towards pleasing Allah. Their love of Allah should surpass love of any other person or thing in this world. Allah says,
والذين آمنوا أشد حبا لله (البقرة 165)
But those who believe are stronger in love for Allah [Quran 2:165]
True belief and sincere faith is the basis of inner contentment and authentic peace, which Islam represents. The Prophet(SAW) taught his companions ‘aqeedah for thirteen years before introducing the practical aspects of lslam. What is important to know that a correct ‘aqeedah with little or nothing of practice can still guarantee the paradise while a corrupt aqeedah will only lead to hell. Parents need to stress the importance of seeking the pleasure and reward from Allah, which, is greater than any material, or social reward in this life. It ought to be established in the mind of our children that the criteria of success in Islam is different. It is not measured by wealth or position, it is only measured by sincere obedience to Allah and the attainment of paradise in the next life.Whoever strives sincerely would have great reward in life hereafter even without achieving any substantial result in this life. Children must be told the inspiring story of “People of The Ditch” portrayed in Surah Al-Buruj [chapter 85, the Constellations], which depicts the insufferable persecution they endured for the sake of their faith. This story tells us the real meaning of success. The people of ditch were burned alive collectively yet their efforts did not go in vain. We see Allah (SWT) praising them for their firm and solid faith and unwavering courage.
Teaching the Rights of other fellow beings: It is also important for our children to learn what are the rights of fellow Muslim brothers and sisters from an Islamic point of view. This is particularly important for children raised in cultures contrary to Islamic one. Children should, therefore, be taught to be respectful and dutiful to their parents, maintain good relations with relatives, and neighbors. It is described in the following verse:
“Worship Allah and join none with Him in worship, and do good to parents, kinsfolk, orphans, Al-Masakin (the poor), the neighbor who is near of kin, the neighbor who is a stranger, the companion by your side, the wayfarer (you meet), and those (slaves) whom your right hands possess. Verily, Allah does not like such as are proud and boastful [An-Nisa 4:36].”
Guiding children to choose their role models: It is the prime duty of parents to guide their children to choose their role models wisely. It can be done practically while teaching about Islam and its teachings. Parents must stress the need to select role model from pious ancestors especially the Prophetand sahaba(prophet’s companions such as Abu Bakar, Umar, and so on), and the followers of sahaba, tabeen, and early Islamic scholars such as Ibne-Taymiyyah, Ibn Al-Qayyim, Ibn Katheer, and so on. Children should feel the strong urge to learn about these personalities of Islam who spent their entire lives serving Islamic cause. They need to be inspired by profound achievements and high status they enjoyed within Islamic circles. Our task is to plant the seeds of respect for such personalities at early stage.
It is also important for the parents to understand that they present themselves as role models to their children, for children look at their parents as first role models. This is why it is of upmost important for parents to constantly strive to developing righteous character.One of the most important rules in parenting is that children do not hear, they see. Hence, parents should understand that that from a young age a child learns to imitate their parent’s every action. Thus, if the child sees his or her parent doing all the good deeds he or she will automatically try to do the same. Similarly, if the child sees the parent doing all bad deeds, he or she will follow suit. What is deeply concerning that many parents are falling short in fulfilling their duty in this regard. They fail to realize that children are observing their every move. Such parents must be reminded that if we really want to educate our children to become good Muslims, then we will need to be a good role model to them. If we fail to do it, we will be criminally indictable in the sight of Allah.
Developing skills to earn Halal (Legitimate) Earnings: Parents must help their children to make right choices to earn their living through legitimate means. It is very unfortunate that parents who show a very strong commitment by putting a lot of time, efforts and resources to help their children acquire knowledge and skills to excel in professional career, fail to devote some time to teaching their children the importance of earning lawful sustenance. Parents should stress the need for their children to pursue career paths that can provide them solely with Halal (legal) living. Islam places enormous emphasis on this subject and these teachings are clearly stated both in the Quran and hadith. “Verily, Allaah accepts only from those who are Al-Muttaqoon (the pious)” [al-Maa’idah 5:27]
The Prophet (PBHU) stated that a response was unlikely for one who eats, drinks and wears haraam things. In the hadeeth it says: [The Prophet (PBUH)] mentioned the man who undertakes a lengthy journey and is disheveled and covered with dust, and he stretches his hands towards heaven saying, ‘O Lord, O Lord,’ when his food is haraam, his drink is haraam, his clothes are haraam. He is nourished with haraam, so how can he be granted a response? [Narrated by Muslim, 1015].
Character Building: One of the most critical and most significant point, which requires a great deal of attention, is Islamic morals, characters and etiquette. Muslims need to adopt and demonstrate the Islamic etiquette in present time more than any point in history. When teaching children the rituals of worship and the rights of individuals, parents should teach their children the importance of worthy values such as charity, altruism, empathy, peace, and justice from an early age so that it becomes part of their habits. We need to help our children to learn behavioral traits, which are helpful profoundly in dealing with difficult situations. Muslim children must be encouraged to read the life story of Prophet Muhammad and his companions. It is imperative on us to teach our children how to live Islam. In a practical manner,we can place into our children these conducts by providing them with opportunity to volunteer and spend time with less fortunate people.
It is important to understand that this nurturing towards Islamic etiquette is an on-going process. It is incumbent on parents to train their children in praiseworthy characteristics and good manners. Al-Nawawi said: “The father must discipline his child and teach him what he needs to know of religious duties. This teaching is obligatory upon the father and all those in charge of children before the child reaches the age of adolescence. This was stated by al-Shaafa’i and his companions. Al-Shaafa’i and his companions said: This teaching is also obligatory upon the mother, if there is no father, because it is part of the child’s upbringing and they have a share of that and the wages for this teaching may be taken from the child’s own wealth. If the child has no wealth then the one who is obliged to spend on him may spend on his education, because it is one of the things that he needs. And Allaah knows best.” [Sharh al-Nawawi ‘ala Saheeh Muslim, 8/44]
Developing the good manner is very crucial in the life of Muslim. It is through the manner, that the esteemed and noble scholars have come into this world and left an impact not only in their societies, but also in the history of the world.
Creating Positive Learning Environment at Home:Every child is born with inclination to believe in the Creator of the world. It is environmental factor, which shapes their attitude and behavior. They observe and absorb everything surrounding them. Parents have critical role to play in creating favorable environment to help nurture the inborn tendency of the disposition (فطرة)and to protect it from corruption. If it is achieved, the child will develop true faith and will strive to please Allah and it will be easy for him to develop Islamic thought and behavior effortlessly. Parents’ main responsibility is to be the gardeners and maintainers of this fitrah. It is also Important for the parents to present themselves a role models so the children can watch them practicing that which they are preached to. Disobedience of children which, appeared to be the prime concern for the parents today, can easily be associated with the failure of following Quran’s teaching, “Most hateful it is with Allah that you say that which you do not do.”[Al Saf.3] Children get conflicting messages and thus get confused when they do not see parents and elders following the instructions that they give to them. Consequently, they do not heed to parents demands.
The good environment plays a crucial role for the child development. It is required from the couple to work on their marital life for the sake of their children. Husband and wife present models of married life to their children. The parents’ behavior has a major influence upon the beliefs, attitudes of a developing child. The couples should avoid the conflict in front of the children as it has many negative effects upon them.
It is obligatory for the parents to strive to effectively create home environment filled with Eeman. There has to be an arrangement of a study circle within the home covering various topics. All family members at home should be encouraged to actively participate in it. All the resources available must be utilized to boost learning. There can be Islamic library in every home, which, consists of books, cassette tapes, and videos. When arranging material, care must be taken to ensure that only accurate and reliable material that adheres to the Sunnah are chosen. It is equally important to take extra care to remove all negative influences from the home, including television, unlawful music, dogs, statues, and pictures of animate beings. One very important aspect which generally ignored by parents is ensuring the physical aspects are conductive to perform religious obligation. For example, while planning to buy a home, the preference should be given to the one near a mosque. It has many advantages, e.g. easy to attend the congregational prayers and lectures, study groups and social gatherings. Similarly, it is also important to find an area where close neighbors are good righteous practicing Muslim.
Similarly, it is also important to provide our children with a proper community environment and nourishment for eeman to mature and flourish. It is the responsibility of every parents to contribute positively to making the community a better place by bringing up our children as Muslims. If we fail to do so, we not only harm our family, and ourselves but we also negatively impact the whole community.
It is also the responsibility of parents to encourage their children to be a part of Muslim community. It is the place where, youth interact with reference groups and adopt good values, morals, attitudes, and ideals through. In the absence of such Muslim community distinguished with Islamic values, the youth tum to other readily available options which potentially corrupt their character, and personality and turn them into bad elements of the society.
Supplication: Once of the best favor we parents can do to help our children to grow righteously and follow the footsteps of our pious ancestors in all the walks of life, is prayer and supplication for their well-being. It is mentioned in a hadith:
“Three du’as are not rejected; the du’a of a father, the du’a’ of a traveler and the du’a of an oppressed person.” [Tirmidhi, Abu Dawud]
It is advisable for the parents to make it a point daily to sincerely turn to Allah (SWT) and supplicate to guide and protect our children in all of the daily challenges that they face. Morning and evening supplications are of great benefit. Below are some of the great supplications from the Quran:
My Lord, make me an establisher of prayer, and [many] from my descendants. Our Lord, and accept my supplication. Our Lord, forgive me and my parents and the believers the Day the account is established. [14:40–41]
Our Lord, grant us from among our wives and offspring comfort to our eyes and make us an example for the righteous. [25:74]
My Lord, enable me to be grateful for Your favour which You have bestowed upon me and upon my parents and to work righteousness of which You will approve and make righteous for me my offspring. Indeed, I have repented to you, and indeed, I am of the Muslims. [46:15]
Helping Children in choosing righteous friends: It is the duty of parents to help their children develop friendships with honest and righteous Muslim peers. The criteria to choose the friends must be defined for the children. The one who believes in Allah and adheres to His commands strictly ought to be considered to be a friend. Parents have great responsibility to watch closely the character and manner of their children and influences of peers. It must be made clear to children that when it comes to character, no compromise will be entertained. If parents sense any danger for their kids in the company of any of their friends, children must be informed about it immediately and they should adhere to their parents’ advice and unfriend them, if necessary.
The Prophet(PBUH) said: «A man is upon the religion of his best friend, so let one of you look at whom he befriends..» [Sunan Abu Dawud 4833]
If good care is not taken in guiding children to choose friends and peer groups, the consequences will be disastrous and far-damaging to their lives. We should also encourage our children to be in the company of books, for the books are the constant companion that one can always fall back to unlike other relationships that have a time span. They are our life-long friends and companions. For, it is said people die but books never do. Children should feel relaxed and comfortable in the company of books. We need to promote the reading at our home and lead with example.
Inspire a sense of belonging to the Muslim nation: One of the responsibility of parents is to teach children the importance of brotherhood and sisterhood between Muslims. They need to feel a sense of belonging to the Muslim community and thus be motivated to support those who are suffering and need our care and assistance. The saying of Prophet(SAW) should be a guiding factor: «You see the believers as regards their being merciful among themselves and showing love among themselves and being kind, resembling one body, so that, if any part of the body is not well then the whole body shares the sleeplessness (insomnia) and fever with it.» [Sahih al-Bukhari 6011].It is currently trending in the society that youth do not seem to be moved by empathy for sufferings of others Muslims in other parts of the country or outside the country. They simply ignore it for it is not their problem. This is a very dangerous trend, which, is contradictory to Islamic teaching.
Inspire a sense of pride in being Muslim: It is also not appropriate for a Muslim to shy in demonstrating pride in the religion of Islam and in being Muslim. Children must be trained to feel proud of being Muslim. It must be established in their minds that they are fortunate and greatly blessed by Al Mighty to be among the followers of true religion, Islam.Itshould be a matter of dignity for them. This is the noble cause, which is worth striving. It is the only worthy cause for which a Muslim can give his own life to please Allah to attain a high rank in both lives.
Parenting is the most important responsibility one faces during a lifetime. Parenting in the current era is most challenging. A great deal of efforts, dedication, sincerity, rationality, and will power needed to carry it out. However, to make it easy to do, parents need to be sincere and be reminded every day that they will be called to account for even the slightest discrepancy left in giving their children their dues.
Parenting is all about preparing our children for facing the challenges of life and enlightening them with education in all branches of knowledge so long, they are not contradictory to Islamic principles. Learning different ideologies, faith systems, and other disciplines must be encouraged in order to help our children to grow intellectually, provide leadership to the world, and prove the superiority of Islam over the rest through logic, knowledge and wisdom.
Parents must realize that raising children on Islamic principles can be a source of their salvation in the hereafter. According to Prophet’s saying recorded in Sahih Muslim, one of the three deeds which will benefit the man after death, is a pious righteous and God-fearing child who continuously prays to Allah, for the souls of his parents. This is why it is so important to put efforts in inculcating the love of Islam and the desire to worship in the hearts of children in the right manner.
It is direly imperative for the parents to be righteous not only for the sake of themselvesbut also for the sake of their offspring as well. It’s stablished that the blessings of good deeds of parents is extended to offspring and relatives. Allah says in the Quran:
(كل نفس بما كسبت رهينة – إلا أصحاب اليمين سورة المدثر 38:74-39)
Every person is a pledge for what he has earned. Except those on the right. (Al Mudathir 74:38:39)
Commenting on the above verse, Ibn Kathir, explains: “every person will be tied with his evil deeds. But for those on the right-the believers-the blessing of their good works will benefit their offspring and relatives, as well.” (Tafseer Ibn Kathir)
Today, a renewed resolution is the urgent need of the hour, unwavering courage to combat the ideologies contrary to Islam, to wake up and strive to do what is most critical to do “Positive Parenting”. If we are able to do this, which is certainly possible with our sincere faith and our striving, our children will appreciate the gift that we have given to them, we will feel a sense of accomplishment. Most importantly, the rewards waiting in the hereafter (insha’ Allah) will be even greater.