The human being is comprised of two entities: the body and the soul. What do you think is more important of the two: the body which acts as a container for the soul, or the soul that is responsible for all actions and deeds of a person? Indeed, it is our soul that is more important.
Get inside any supermarket and you will find a plethora of items, ranging from soaps and shampoos to pedicure and manicure kits, from whipped cream to bread and butter, everything for the needs of our body. No doubt, these cannot be altogether neglected, but it has something for us to think about: Do we spend an equal amount of time and energy on the health and hygiene of our souls, as we spend on our outward appearance? Is it that we are smart and shining from head to toe, but the soul inside us is suffering from malnutrition (Quran being its food)? It wasn’t cleaned (Tazkiyah) in ages and now has been infected with countless diseases. If our souls come out of the bodies, will they also look as beautiful as the body does or will they be stinky, lice ridden souls?
New and soon to be mothers are on the lookout for advice. Countless books, internet and magazine articles revolve around the topic of parenting. However, most of them only talk about the physical aspect of child rearing; health, hygiene, food etc. and the spiritual side is often ignored, or limited to some ritualistic deeds. Every child that comes in this world needs nutrition for the soul as well.
Choosing the spouse – The first step to parenting!
Parenting does not start with the child; it goes back to choosing the father or mother for the child. Children follow and absorb everything that their parents do, it is the parents that make the child a Majoosi or a Christian or a Muslim. The son will go to the Masjid if his father does (of course there are exceptions), a daughter automatically will love the hijab if her mother wears it and will try to imitate her. Thus, at the time of marriage priority should be given to Deen, instead of wealth and looks. This is the advice of our beloved Prophet (s.a.w):
“A woman is married for four things, i.e., her wealth, her family status, her beauty and her religion. You should marry the religious woman (otherwise) you will be a loser. “(Bukhari)
Umar bin Khattab was once asked about the rights of a child. He replied:
“That his father carefully chooses a mother for him, that he gives him a good name and that he teaches him the Qur’aan.”
Under the Umbrella of Duas
Throughout the Quran we find the anbiya of Allah praying for righteous children. Indeed, duas can work wonders. They act like umbrellas protecting from the rain and sunshine, from the fitnas of this world. Start praying for a righteous offspring before he/she comes into the world.
Zakriya (a.s) asked Allah for a righteous offspring:
“My Lord, grant me from Yourself a good offspring. Indeed, You are the Hearer of supplication.” (Surah Al-Imran 3:38)
The Mother of Maryam (a.s) prayed after her birth:
“and I seek refuge for her in You and [for] her descendants from Satan, the expelled [from the mercy of Allah].” (Surah Al-Imran 3:36)
The dua of Ibrahim (a.s) is recorded in the Quran in these words:
“My Lord, grant me [a child] from among the righteous.” (Surah Saffat 37:100)
Surah Furqan mentions the dua of the believers:
“Our Lord, grant us from among our wives and offspring comfort to our eyes and make us an example for the righteous.” (Surah Furqan 25: 74)
Make Duas for every problem that comes up, whether it is big or small. Be it fussy eating or abandoning the Salah, before complaining in front of every other relative, turn to Allah for help. Believe me, it works! This is a common mistake that we make; the door of dua is the last door that we knock.
Furthermore, from the time of birth let the children hear you recite the Masnoon Azkar and Duas loudly. Explain to them the translation of these duas in an easy manner. With toddlers, especially, emphasis should be on the meaning of the duas. Instead of merely repeating the words, connect the children to their Rabb through Duas. For example, while teaching the Dua after eating, tell them the story of a food grain that reaches us after going through countless processes. They will then truly feel thankful to Allah.[To be continued InshaAllah….]