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[Part Three] Muslim Parenting – Whats and Hows

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Love of The Prophet (s.a.w)

A teacher once asked her young students to write an essay about their grandmothers. As they began to write one of the girls started crying. After school the teacher discussed this with the girl’s mother. “Actually, she is very attached to her grandmother. Her grandmother passed away before she was born, but because I keep telling her about her she loves her so much. This is why she was crying.” The mother explained.

Parents play a strong role in molding the character of their children.

Parents play a strong role in molding the character of their children. It is they who teach how to love and whom to love. Mothers especially have a greater influence; it is often observed that children are attached to the people with whom the mother is attached. Why not develop the love of Rasulullah (s.a.w)? Why not talk about him and how amazing he was. Mention him repeatedly; tell your young ones how Muhammad (s.a.w) loved kids and used to play with them. Relate the Ahadeeth that depict his playfulness and affection. Tell them he used to wake up in the middle of the night to pray for you. He worked hard and faced trials only so that the true message of Islam could reach you. Most definitely they’ll become eager to meet him after all these conversations.

Don’t assume that your toddlers and young children are ‘under-age’ for this kind of conversation. This is the best time to plant that the seed of the love of Allah and His Prophet (s.a.w) in the hearts. Don’t expect an immediate outcome that they become all goody- good and obedient, they are children after all! Keep planting the seeds and inshaAllah harvesting season will come soon.

Furthermore, read aloud or narrate stories from the Seerah. Do Seerah related activities; make lap books, read together, listen to lectures and take notes, make games and quizzes. Seerah is the road map that shows us the conduct of the Prophet. It guides us on how the Prophet (s.a.w) endeavored to spread the light of Islam. We don’t want our kids, the future of this Ummah, to just be good at their prayers and fasting. Rather, we want them to lead the Muslims out of the present state of misery and humility. We need wise Da’ees, patiently persevering Mujahids and knowledgeable Scholars.

Inculcate simple Sunnahs in your everyday life in the same manner. Plant the seeds of affection and prepare the soil before expecting results.

We also need to teach our kids the importance of obeying the Prophet (s.a.w). Everything that he commanded us to do is for our own benefit. His Ahadith and Sunnah are a source of salvation in this world and the hereafter. His love does not mean mere lip service and reciting anasheed, it lies in obedience and emulation. The Prophet (s.a.w) said:

“The person who loves my Sunnah loves me, and he will be with me in Jannah (Paradise)” (Tirmidhi)

He also said:

“Everyone belonging to my Ummah shall enter Jannah except those who refuse (they will not enter Jannah).””Who are those who refuse?” someone asked. Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w) replied, “Those who obey me shall enter Jannah while those who disobey me are the ones who refuse.” (Bukhari)

The Quran states:

Say, [O Muhammad], “If you love Allah, then follow me, [so] Allah will love you and forgive you your sins. And Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.” (Surah Al-Imran 3:31)

Travellers to Akhirah

 Sahl bin Sa’d narrated that the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w) said:

“If the world to Allah were equal to a mosquito’s wing, then He would not allow the disbeliever to have a sip of water from it.” (Hasan) [Chapters on Zuhd: Jami At-Tirmidhi]

Allah (s.w.t) has said in the Quran:

“Are you satisfied with the life of this world rather than the Hereafter? But what is the enjoyment of worldly life compared to the Hereafter except a [very] little.” (Surah Tawbah 9:31)

“And what is the life of this world except the enjoyment of delusion.” (Surah Ale- Imran 3:185)

The Quran again and again reminds us of the true worth of this world and our position and purpose in it. This dunya is not even worth a mosquito wing in the sight of our creator! It is a delusion. Compared to it is the hereafter that is eternal and everlasting. We were not sent on earth to get lost in its mesmerizing beauty and to run like a clock work robot behind it. Our real purpose in life is to worship Allah and please Him. Allah sent us for an examination; which of them is best in deed.

He says:

“Indeed, We have made that which is on the earth adornment for it that We may test them [as to] which of them is best in deed.” (Surah Kahf 18:7)

In another place in the Quran, Allah says:

 “[He] who created death and life to test you [as to] which of you is best in deed.” (Surah Mulk 67: 2)

We are travellers towards Jannah, this world is our examination hall and our aim is to please our Rabb by living the way He loves.  These are the foundational facts which if not set straight from day one, the whole life can pass away wandering haphazardly in confusion. We’ll simply keep going here and there, wherever the scenario of our life takes us without a clear understanding of our journey.

‘Akhirah Driven’ Kids:

 The materialistic aspect of this world is what keeps the majority away from practicing the deen. The Deen may seem dry and may contain momentarily loss of worldly pleasures. We need to characterize our kids into ‘Akhirah driven’ kids; those who walk on the earth but their hearts are attached to the afterlife. They know and believe that the truest and purest pleasures, the real FUN lies in Jannah only. They can see the afterlife from the eyes of their heart like the window of their room. Behind every step and every withdrawal, the reason is Allah and remembrance of the Akhirah.

Parents need to instill these three concepts within themselves and their children:

  1. Jannah is our eternal abode:  Children live in a world of their own; the world of imagination. Instead of fairy lands and scary ghosts give them Jannah to imagine. Relate to them the accounts of Jannah as described in Quran and the sayings of the Prophet (s.a.w). Read to them this ayah and ask them what they would want in Jannah.

    “They will have whatever they wish therein, and with Us is more.” (Surah Qaf 50:35)

    In the life of this world, with pleasures come sadness, behind every gain there is pain and nothing is perfect. On such occasions remind the children that our true abode is in the hereafter and for it we have to prepare hard. With constant repetition make children enthusiastic and homesick for Jannah!

  2. To please and meet Allah is our ultimate desire: When you go through the names and attributes of Allah and keep mentioning and pointing out to His love, His mercy and His bounties children will have formed a strong bond with Allah. They do ask and will ask you ‘how and where can we meet Him?’
    Narrate to your children the ahadith about the market in Jannah and the meeting with Allah. You can read with them or retell in our own words. For younger children especially, narrate with enthusiasm and remember to use a lot of expressions!
  3. This life is an examination: School going children become well aware of the concept of tests and examination. This is the time to teach them about the real examination that they are going through. Everyone has a different personalized test, given according to their abilities. We have to race towards Jannah and become a top achiever in this exam.

Parents worry and work hard for the academic success of their children and want the very best results. Why not aim for best results in Akhirah too? Why not aim for the company of the top achievers in terms of Akhirah and follow their footsteps?

“And whoso obeys Allah and the Messenger (Muhammad SAW), then they will be in the company of those on whom Allah has bestowed His Grace, of the Prophets, the Siddiqun, the martyrs, and the righteous. And how excellent these companions are!” (Surah Nisa 4:69)

With the ever increasing fitnas and bombardment of materialism, our duty as parents becomes manifold. We are surrounded by a world that acknowledges only the outwardly appearances and denounces the spiritual needs of a human being. Our children are being introduced to numerous un-Islamic concepts through the media, internet and the people around them.

 The 24/7 shift in front of Ipads, laptops and play stations should be over now. The ummah is in dire need of the Abdullah bin Mubarak, Ismael Bukhari, Salahuddin Ayyubi and Muhammad bin Qasim of tomorrow, and they for sure will not emerge out a sudden from in front of the screens! Parents need to put forward their best efforts and time in order to nurture Imaan in their children and themselves. Empower them with knowledge and with the oars of Dua in hands, let the journey begin…!

 “Our Lord, accept [this] from us. Indeed You are the Hearing, the Knowing. Our Lord, and make us Muslims [in submission] to You and from our descendants a Muslim nation [in submission] to You. And show us our rites and accept our repentance. Indeed, You are the Accepting of repentance, the Merciful.” (Surah Baqarah 2: 127-128)

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2 Responses

  1. ashi_in@hotmail.com'
    Ayesha

    MashaAllah wonderful article.. Perfectly written and quite inspiring too… May Allah help us in the upbringing of our children in the best possible manner..and May Allah help us all to achieve highest level of success here n hereafter Ameen

  2. Umm Salih

    Alhumdulillah that you found it inspiring, do share with others! Ameen to your dua!

    Jazakillah Khayr Ayesha 🙂

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