As Muslims, it is imperative that we understand the importance of the parenting role, Islāmic upbringing and the importance of protecting our families and children from the fire of hell.
Allāh Ta’ālā states in the Glorious Qurān:
O you who believe! Protect yourselves and your families against a Fire (Hell) whose fuel is men and stones, over which are (appointed) angels stern (and) severe, who disobey not the commands they receive from Allāh, but do that which they are commanded (al-Tahrim:6)
Hadhrat Rabi’ Ibn Sabrah (r.a) has reported that Rasūlullah صلى الله عليه و سلم said:
(Order your children to perform Salāh when they reach the age of seven and when they reach the age of ten, discipline them (if they are negligent in its establishment)
In another Hadīth, Rasūlullah صلى الله عليه و سلم has said: “Each one of you is a shepherd and each one of you is responsible for his flock…”
Whilst commenting on the upbringing of children, Hadhrat Qāri Tayyib sahib (Rahimahullah) said:
Along with education and other activities, special attention must be given to the Tarbiyah of children. Without proper Islāmic upbringing, education will be devoid of its benefits. The Tarbiyah of a child starts from the lap of the mother. It is imperative that as a child grows up, he be introduced to the company of the pious. Sadly, nowadays very little or no attention is paid in regards to this type of Tarbiyah.
There was a saint who instructed his wife at the advent of her pregnancy to refrain from any such action which could have an adverse effect on the child. She took all necessary precaution. She was careful to perform her Salāh on its prescribed time and she refrained from all vain and useless activities. When the child was born she taught and trained the child in the best possible manner.
One day the child stole an item. This action caused distress to the saint. How was it possible that after all these precautions and training the child stole. Finally, he approached his wife and questionned her. After some thought, she replied that she had committed a minor wrong during her pregnancy. She said: in the yard of our neighbour, there was a fruit tree, and its branched used to bend in our yard. One day, I took a fruit of this tree and ate it without their permission.” the saint exclaimed that the theft of their child was the adverse effect of the mothers negligence.
Some basic etiquette regarding the upbringing of children by Maulānā Ashraf Ali Thanwi (Rahimahullah):
- Do not speak shameful things in the presence of children
- Neither be too harsh nor too soft
- Teach them not to accept gifts without the consent of their parents and elders
- Do not assume that they will automatically acquire good manners when they grow up
- Do not punish them in anger
- Teach them modesty, especially when answering the call of nature
- Do not adorn girls with jewellery when they are about to leave the house
- Emphasise to girls that they must not play with boys. As intermingling from a young age will gradually corrupt their character.
- If a boy from another house comes to your house, instruct your daughters to go out of sight even if they are young and not Bāligh.
- When a child is obstinate in demanding something, do not fulfill his/her demands.
Many a time, proper arrangement is not made for the Tarbiyah of children during childhood. Parents defend themselves by saying:” They are still children.” Habits are inculcated during early childhood days. Those habits which are inculcated during childhood are enduring. Childhood is the time for developing moral character and for inculcating good moral habits and culture. It is of utmost importance that as parents we allocate time on a daily basis for the Tarbiyah of our children, just as we allocate time for their educational and sports activities.
Dear parents! Remember…
Our children are trials from Allāh Ta’ālā. If their Tarbiyah is done accordingly to the teachings of Islām, they will succeed and will become the coolness of our eyes in this ephemeral life and the forthcoming everlasting life. On the other hand, if we neglect their Tarbiyah, then we are similar to that person who deliberately sinks his own ship whilst he is in the middle of a raging sea…