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Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 04 June 2017 12:23


In addressing the believers, Allah said in Surat at-Tahrim, Ayah 6:

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آَمَنُوا قُوا أَنْفُسَكُمْ وَأَهْلِيكُمْ نَاراً وَقُودُهَا النَّاسُ وَالْحِجَارَةُ

which means:  O believers, protect yourselves and your families from Hellfire which will be fueled by people and stones.  Al-Hakim reported that Imam ^Aliyy explained this ayah to mean:  “Learn the good deeds and teach them to your family.”

In the hadith related by Muslim and al-Bukhariyy, through the route of Abu Hurayrah, the Prophet, sallallahu ^alayhi wa sallam, said:

مَا مِنْ مَوْلُودٍ إِلاَّ يُولَدُ عَلَى الْفِطْرَةِ فَأَبَوَاهُ يُهَوِّدَانِهِ وَيُنَصِّرَانِهِ وَيُمَجِّسَانِهِ

No child is born except on the Fitrah (the readiness to believer in or to comply with the oath his soul took in the past )and then his parents make him Jewish, Christian or Magian.It is the parents of the children who misguide them towards Judaism, Christianity or fire-worship.

Know, Brother Muslims, raising the children correctly is one of the most important and emphasized matters in the Religion of Islam.  The child is a trust in the hands of his parents.  His heart is a dear and precious jewel which can become decorated with different things.  It can become shined or tarnish.  If the child is encouraged to do something, then he is likely to be inclined towards that thing.  So if the child is given the opportunity to do good deeds, he becomes accustomed to performing them.  He will grow up doing those good deeds--hence will be a winner in this world and in the Hereafter.  Moreover, the one who contributed towards teaching this child and raising him the right way would share the reward acquired by the child.

The Prophet said:

الدال على الخير كفاعله


The one who points towards something good for another to do gets the very close reward as the one who did the good itself.

It is also mentioned in the hadith:

من كان له ابنتان فأحسن إليهما كن له سترا من النار

<<Whoever had two daugthers, raised them well, and taught them good manners, will be rewarded Paradise for that.  Related by Abu Dawud.

On the other hand, a child exposed to wrong doings becomes accustomed to it.  If the parents neglect to teach the child the good deeds, rather they just care of his physical well-being, i.e., they provide food, clothing, and shelter (just as they do with their pets), he is likely to get into trouble and be among the losers,  Moreover the guardian of that child would be sinful for neglecting the obligations concerning how to raise that child properly.  (his obligation of teaching the child the religious matters).  the matters required in the religion.

Protect your children by raising them properly.  Teach them the good manners by practicing good manners yourself.  By this, your child will naturally learn and become accustomed to being good-mannered.

Don’t let your children become accustomed to enjoying too many material comforts-even those that are permissible.  The Prophet said:

إياك والتَّنَعُّمَ ؛ فإن عبادَ اللهِ لَيْسُوا بالمتنعِّمِينَ

Beware of enjoying many material comforts.  Enjoying these material comforts is not one of the traits of the pious Muslims.>>?  Don’t let your child love wearing clothing to show off.  Don’t let his heart get attached to nice clothes, nice cars, or nice houses.  As well, discourage him from becoming attached to the means of acquiring these material comforts so that he will not waste his life chasing after money or ways to acquire these comforts.  So many people today waste their time chasing those material comforts because they grew up accustomed to having them.

Parents should be keen on the child’s upbringing from the moment he is born.  The child should not nurse except from a pious woman who eats lawful (halal) food.  The breast milk of a woman who eats unlawful (haram) food has no blessings in it.  If the child drinks such milk, then his body is nourished and develops from it, and he inclines towards the unlawful (haram) and evil things (khabith).

It is a good sign for the parent if he sees his child shy to do certain bad deeds and enthusiastic to do good things.  Such behavior indicates that the nature of the child is to accept learning and the parent should take advantage of this shyness in raising his child.  Then, it would be hopeful that this child would have a strong, well-balanced mind when he is pubescent.

One of the early developmental stages for the child by the age of two or three, when the child develops a desire to eat a lot.  At this time, one should teach his child to be polite in asking for food and to take food and eat only with his right hand.  Abu Dawud related that Lady ^A’ishah said the Prophet used to use his right hand for eating and for performing his ablution and his left for istinjaand the like.  It was reported that once Prophet Muhammad, sallallahu ^alayhi wa sallam, saw a man eating with his left hand.  He advised him to eat with his right.  That man told him,  “I can not.”  The Prophet made a supplication (du^a) against him and said,  <<May you be unable to do that (eat with your left hand).  Nothing prevents you from doing that except arrogance.>>  Immediately, that man was unable to raise his hand to eat with it.

Teach the children to say ‘Bismillah’ before eating.  The devil eats with the person who does not mention the name of Allah before eating.  When they eat with others from the same plate of food, teach them to take from the side that is closest to them, and not to reach and take from the opposite side of the bowl.  Teach them to eat using the thumb, index, and middle finger of the right hand only.  Teach them to chew their food well and not to eat too fast.  They should not take one bit after the other without stopping in-between.  On occasion, give them only bread and water as a meal.  This teaches them not to expect meat at every meal.  The child who always eats meat gets attached to it.  Our master, ^Umar used to teach the people not to get used to having meat all the time.  He saw one of his chidden wanting to buy meat and he asked him,  “do you always buy everything you desire?”   because getting always what the self desires is not a good thing, and usually  it might lead one to commit sins.

Teach the children overeating is something ugly and praise the child who is satisfied with a little food.  It is the animals who primary interest is eating.  It is important to teach the children not to love and desire overeating, and rather be content with a little.  If the child eats just enough  to keep his body in good shape, then the parents should not encourage the child to eat more.  This is for the benefit of the child himself.  Filling the stomach is the cause of many evils. Imam Ahmad, at-Tirmidhiyy, and an-Nasa’iyy related the Prophet said:

بحسب ابن آدم لقيمات يقمن صلبه، فإن كان لا محالة فاعلا، فثلث لطعامه، وثلث لشرابه، وثلث لنفسه

<<A few lobes of food is sufficient to support a person’s body.  However, if one wants more, let him have one-third of the space in his stomach for food, one-third for drink, and one-third for air to breathe.>>

Protect your children from those who are bad company for them.  Prevent them from associating too much with those accustomed to living and dressing luxuriously. and from those who pay a great deal of attention to such things or those who would encourage them to want such luxuries.

Most of the children neglected in their early years grow up with bad manners.  They tend to lie, be envious, argumentative, and noisy.  Often they get involved in things which are not their business.  (They unrightfully stick their noses into other people’s business).  They may end up as people who laugh and joke too much.  Excessive laughing and joking This is not only a waste of time, it hardens the heart.  Excessive laughing is not the same as smiling at another Muslim, which is a rewardable act if done with a good intention.  Disciplining our children properly from an early age will protect them from falling into such things, in sha’allah.

When the child reaches the age of mental discrimination, at about seven, let him be occupied with learning the Islamic Knowledge. First teach him that Allah does not resemble any of His creation as well as the other essentials of belief.  Teach him the rules of purification and prayer and the like.  After that, order him to pray and fast.  Teach him what is unlawful to eat and teach him the sins of the tongue, the hand, the foot, the eye, the heart, and the body. Children need to be taught the dangers of these sins and to fear falling into them.  those who say,  “They are only children and cannot comprehend what you are saying,” should be reminded what Imam al-Ghazaliyy said in Ihya’ ^Ulum ad-Din after he mentioned the issues pertaining to the belief.  “You should know what we mentioned from the matters of the belief should be offered to the child at the beginning of his growth. At first, he would just memorize them.  Then, as he grows, the meanings of these matters would be come clear to him bit by bit.”

After teaching the child these matters, teach him the Qur’an, then about the rigtheous Muslims and their sayings.  Telling stories of the pious Muslims to the children increases their love for them and makes it firm in their hearts.  If the children learn about them and love them, it will be easier and more natural to follow their example.  Hifdhul-^Ilm, a book authored by Ibn al-Jawziyy, includes a list of things which should be memorized.  Ibn al-Jawziyy said children should be taught to memorize matters about the belief, then the summary of the rules of fiqh he needs, then the Qur’an.  If children memorize these matters early in their life, memorizing them later on will be easier???

Imam ash-Shafi^iyy memorized the Qur’an by the age of ten because his mother took special care of this matter.  His father died when he was young and his mother took on the responsibility of his religious education. Similarly, Imam Malik’s mother took care to properly educate her son.  When Imam Malik was seven years old, she used to dress him in the clothing of the students of Islamic knowledge and send him to teachers.  She watched him carefully and followed up on his learning.

Children who do good deeds and show good manners should be rewarded with something that makes them happy. If a child makes a mistake one time then regrets and makes a great deal of effort to hid his mistake, he should not be exposed and told,  “We know about what you did.”  On the other hand, one should not carelessly ignore the issue.  Rather, one should let the child know in an indirect way this was a bad deed.  If the child repeats the deed, he should be scolded and told not to do it again.  However, be careful of scolding too often out of place, for constant scolding will lessen the effect of the words.

Parents should treat the children in a way which shows a great deal of respect for the father.  By this, the father will have a stronger positive impact on his children when he speaks to them.  At times, it is appropriate for the mother to threaten the children with their father’s authority.  The children should have a healthy fear of their father--so his words to them will be more effective.

Prevent children from sleeping out of laziness during the daytime--like which usually results from overeating.  However, note that sleeping during the daytime with the intention to be able to wake up to pray at night is something which is praiseworthy.  Prevent the children from sleeping on soft beds all the time.  In this way, their bodies will be tough.  Let them get accustomed to rough clothing and food.  Our Master ^Umar said,  “Get used to a rough life.  Follow the example of Ma^add.”[1] The Prophet was asked which person is among those having the best of deeds, and he said:

أي الأعمال أفضل ؟ قال : " من قل طعمه وضحكة ، ورضي بما يستر عورته

which means:  <<He whose food and laughing is little and settles for what covers his unlawful nakedness.>>

Children should have some physical activity during the daytime so they do not become lazy.  After a certain period of study-time, the child should be permitted to play in any good way that does not make them too tired.  Teach children not to walk fast sot hey don’t trip and hurt themselves.  The young boy should be taught not to cry if he is hit like babies or cowards do.

Teach children not to boast or brag among their friends about something owned by their father.   Teach them that the high rank lies in giving to others and not just in taking from them.  Al-Bukhariyy related the hadith:

اليدُ العُليا خَيْرُ مِنَ اليَدِ السُّفْلى وابْدَأ بمنْ تَعُولُ


<<The upper hand is better than the lower one.>>  This means it is better to pay in charity to other people, then to ask for things from them.  If the one asking for things was not a poor person, his asking for things from others is sinful.

There are many stories of generous Muslims.  One is of Layth Ibn Sa^d, one of the followers of the companions.  It was related that when he used to go to perform Pilgrimage, he would travel with three ships;  one for himself and his family, one for his kitchen and those who worked in it, and a third for all the guests he was taking with him to Pilgrimage.  being generous was easy for Layth because he grew up knowing that the high status was in giving and not taking.  One time while Imam ash-Shafi^iyy was riding an animal, his whip fell from his hand to the ground.  One man picked up the whip and handed it to Imam ash-Shafi^iyy so he would not have to get down from his animal.  For this, Imam ash-Shafi^iyy told his servant to give all the money he was carrying for him to this man.

These are a few examples of pious people who were accustomed to giving because they grew up as such. They knew the weight their deeds would carry on the day of Judgment.  may Allah enable us to pass this wisdom on to our children.

Teach the children to love white clothes, because the Prophet praised the white clothes.  Teach the children to sit properly; not to extend their legs or cross them in the presence of others., nor to sit with their backs to people.  Teach them not to yawn in front of others, and if they are unable to prevent themselves from yawning, then to cover their mouths with their hands.  Tech them to stand up for pious Muslims out of respect for them and to make room for the pious Muslims to sit.

Prevent children from excessive talking, i.e., talking with words which have no benefit in them.  Teach them that talking a great deal is impolite and a sign of imperfection.  Do not let children get into the habit of swearing for every little thing by saying,  “I swear by Allah”  or “Wallahi” for fear they might swear about something that is not true.  Teach them not to be the ones who initiate a conversation--if the conversation is not beneficial.  Teach them not to talk except when asking a question, and to answer only as much as the question requires.  Teach them to listen carefully to the people who are talking--especially to their elders.  Prevent them from saying words which have no use and prevent them from cursing.  Do not let the children mix with those people who have the habit of cursing and saying useless and ugly words.  These types of words have an effect on the children and eventually they will start to repeat them.

Teach the children to obey their parents, their teachers, and those who teach them good manners.  The essence of teaching the children good manners is to show them the good manners and to protect them from bad company.  Abu Dawud related the Prophet said:

المرء على دين خليله فلينظر أحدكم من يخالل


<<The person is affected by those whom he accompanies, so let everyone be aware of whom he is accompanying.>>

The children need to be taught death interrupts the enjoyments of this life.  They need to be reminded this world is a place we just pass through and is not a place where we will stay.  Teach the children to not let their hearts get attached to loving this world (dunya) nor attached to loving gold and silver.  The Hereafter is a place where we will remain forever.  Death is expected at any time, so teach the children that the wise person is the one who takes caution in this world and prepares himself for the hereafter.  The one who does not waste his time on things that will not last, rather spends it in this world in preparation for the Hereafter is wise.

We would do well to benefit from the story of Sahl Ibn ^Abdullah at-Tustariyy.  When he was only three years old, he would get up at night and watch his uncle (from his mother’s side) pray at night.

One day this uncle told him,  “You should remember Allah, the One Who created you.”

So he said,  “How would I remember Allah?”

His uncle said,  “In your bed before you sleep, say three times in your heart without moving your tongue--Allah sees me, Allah knows about me.[2]

Sahl Ibn ^Abdullah at-Tustariyy said those words in his heart for many nights.  One day he told his uncle about it.  This time, his uncle told him,  “Now say it seven times every night.”

Sahl did that for a time.  then his uncle told him to say those words eleven times every night, which he did.  After a period of time the sweetness of the words he repeated each night entered his heart.  One year later, this uncle told him,  “Memorize what I told you and keep on repeating those words until you enter the grave.  It will be beneficial to you in this life and in the Hereafter.”

Sahl Ibn ^Abdullah at-Tustariyy did this for many years and said it gave him great enjoyment.  One day his uncle said to him,  “O Sahl , if someone knows Allah knows about him and sees him, would he disobey Him?  Beware of sins!”

Sahl Ibn ^Abdullah at Tustariyy was a person who grew up properly and whose religious upbringing was Islamically correct. his family took care of his Islamic upbringing from early on. He reached a high rank among those whom Allah loves.  He learned the Qur’an and memorized it by the age of six or seven .  He used to fast a great deal and his basic food was plain, unsalted barley bread, without the food usually eaten with bread.  He traveled for many years from one place to another--seeking good things. Eventually he returned to his home town of Tustar.  He would stay up all night praying as often as Allah enabled him. Ahmad Ibn Hanbal said he never saw Sahl eat salt.

What is more precious to us then our children? Take care to raise these most precious jewels so they will shine with the love of Islam.  Exert effort to raise them in the manner which will yield success for them in this life and in the Hereafter.  Let the Islamic teachings be engraved in their hearts like words engraved in stone.  Don’t neglect them.  Take care of the basic matters.  Children are creations of Allah and their inclinations may tend towards good o evil.  Most often the parents are the ones who make the children inclined more to one side than the other.  If the upbringing of the children was in accordance with what was mentioned, then as the children become pubescent the results of this upbringing will be apparent and they will emerge successful.  On the other hand, if children get used to playing and grow up arrogant, braggarts, desirous of worldly luxuries and the like, then their hearts might repel the truth.

Remember the saying of the Prophet related by Muslim:

إذا مات ابن آدم انْقَطَعَ عَمَلُهُ إلاَّ مِنْ ثَلاَثَةِ: إِلاَّ مِنْ صَدَقَةٍ جَارِيَةٍ، أَوْ عِلْمٍ يُنْتَفَعُ بِهِ، أَوْ وَلَدٍ صَالِحٍ يَدْعُو لَهُ

<<When a person dies, whatever he did that earned him rewards will stop--except for three things:  a continuing charity, knowledge taught that people benefit from, and a rigtheous child who would make supplication to Allah for his parents.>>  This means after one’s’ death, the parents can benefit from the du^aof his rigtheous child.  Most of the time this will not be the case unless work and effort was exerted by the parents.  One should not make excuses about being too busy to raise his children correctly.  Raising the children correctly is worthy of the parent’s time and effort, and is fruitful for him in this life and in the hereafter.

[1] Ma^add was one of the forefathers of the Prophet.  He was famous for living a very austere life.

[2] If the child had been taught Allah does not resemble any of the creation, then he would be told to say,  “Allah ma^i,” and if he was not taught about tanzih, tell him to say,  “Allah knows about me.”