Wealth and children are the adornment of this worldly life”

~Reference: The Holy Qur’an, Chapter no. 18, Verse no. 46  

One of the greatest gifts ever given to humankind are in the form of children. Untiringly so, they are one of the most angelic form of purity and tenderness. Even those with no faith find their ultimate comfort within their families. What then should be our stance with our families?  As muslims, shouldn’t we find within our families the best of all comforts, even more so? And especially from our children, May Allah make them the coolness of our eyes. Allahumma Aameen. 

New parents or not, we all worry for the future of our children, considering the adverse times we live in, in which everything seems like its designed to lead us astray. But with every problem, Allah has given us a solution, the only wait is unveiling it, In Sha Allah. 

This hadith of the prophet, (SAW) should not only motivate us, but also scare us for the consequences it may lead to, if we didn’t do what we’re asked to appropriately. But also remember, Allah, He looks at your efforts and not necessarily the outcomes, unlike this world that always upholds your achievements than your efforts.  

“Every one of you is a shepherd and is responsible for his flock. The leader of people is a guardian and is responsible for his subjects. A man is the guardian of his family and he is responsible for them. A woman is the guardian of her husband’s home and his children and she is responsible for them. The servant of a man is a guardian of the property of his master and he is responsible for it. No doubt, every one of you is a shepherd and is responsible for his flock.”

~Reference: Sahih Bukhari, 7138 // Sahih Muslim 1828

We all know that our children are a very valued blessing that we’re highly encouraged to revel and enjoy, within the boundaries our Lord has set for us, but we should also know- if we don’t already, that they’re a huge trial as well, as Allah states in the Qur’an,

O believers! Do not let your wealth or your children divert you from the remembrance of Allah. For whoever does so, it is they who are the true losers.” 

~Reference: The Holy Qur’an, Chapter no 63, Verse no 9

And so, here I have a 7 point, all inclusive, yet a promising, all time applicable plan that will help every new parent or old, get through this overwhelming obstacle, in the light of the spectacular speech of Allah Azza Wa Jal, and the teachings of the most beloved to Him, (SAW) bi idhnillah Allah. 

1. Ain’t No Rules.

Yes! You got me right, there are absolutely NO rules when it comes to raising our little ones. There is no one right way to raise a child, because this, is a lifetime, and an experience that’s felt. You and I are not robots and neither are, our children. So don’t try looking up a constitution that’ll help you raise your child in the perfect manner, there is no such book. 

Its undoubtedly one of the greatest blessings of Allah that He hasn’t given us a book or a guide to follow when raising our children. It would be a disaster, because every child has a unique personality, a specific way of looking at things, learning them and getting used to them. So don’t yearn for something your not given, go with the flow. Somethings might work out for your first child which can never work on your second and vice versa! The more experience you have with them, the better it gets. It all depends on the time, the place and the culture your nurturing your child in. 

Whether your already a parent (Barakallahu feek) or soon to be (Rabbi yassir), you need to start believing you can do this. And trust me you can. Stop being over insecure and doubtful, because Allah’s given you this and He will, also give you the strength to get through it. 

~A LIFETIME LONG

Stop considering this a job! Its not, its a subjective rollercoaster of emotions and tiredness and sleepless nights. Its an art! that you determine and design and add color into, something that can never be taught or memorized or dictated. Its a learn as you grow situation and not science/mathematics where you just put in that formula and you get your answer. Nope! Its an  O N G O I N G  job training, that is anything but decisive.  

~ KNOWLEDGE AND PARENTING?

Another, very important thing that parents stress on is acquiring as much as knowledge as they possibly can before having a baby. Well let me tell you, your knowledge is NOT and is never going to be a criterion to you becoming a good parent, rather I’d say that its the effective implementation of this knowledge that renders you the best or….May Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta’aala protect us all. 

A perfect example for you from the Qur’an, comes from the story of Asiya, the wife of Firawn and how she turned out even after staying with him for almost forever and yet, being absolutely unaffected by his disgusting behavior. Likewise, from the story of Nuh and his son that refused to board the arc, becoming a disbeliever, even though Nuh (AS) was a great father. 

Your knowledge is not the salvation for your children to becoming the best, its like saying I’m sending my son/daughter to the best school and expecting him to get mind blowing grades. That’s not how it works. Application is key, always remember. 

Your knowledge is going to do no good, unless its not appropriately implemented.

2. The Golden Three’s: Ikhlaas, Ilm, Amal.

These three steps are ingenious and work in beautiful sync with every part of a Muslim’s life in that exact order, for whatever you want to do.  

I. IKHLAAS
  • It means purity or refinedness or sincerity, i.e. in your intentions.
  • Your intentions should be clean and you should want to have righteous children or for that matter anything.
  • Allah does not force things onto people, if you want something, you ask Him, and He’ll probably bless you with it, if In Sha Allah, your sincere.
II. ILM 
  • Ilm, as we all know is knowledge, beneficial knowledge so to speak.
  • That really means involving yourself with the role your going to have, i.e. researching, reading and exploring what kind of parents we had amongst the sahaaba or what kind of a father was the Prophet? (SAW) or what kind of a mother was Khadijah? (may Allah be pleased with her).
  • Participating in workshops if you find any, investing into becoming a good parent, and showing active interest or communicating with those with experience. 
  • Again, going back to the previous point, this is not learnt, but an experience that is acquired, so for example you could ask your close circle of friends and family about things that’ll come in handy, and so on. When it comes to parenting, nothing beats experience. so beware.
III. AMAL
  • Implementation, or Amal, is the application of that knowledge, whether its about the deen or duniya.
  • Yeah, I said it, because our success as muslims should be getting the best of both worlds and being able to stark a clear balance between the two. So observe your child, test and try new skills. See if he/she is being responsive, if not, look up a new skill and try to implement it. 

3. Your Actions speak louder than Your Words. 

~YOUR THE MUM/DAD!!!

Your child, obviously, whether your the mum or the dad, looks up to you before he looks up to anyone else. And your activities sooner than later are automatically reflected in your son/daughter. So its important, extremely so that we learn to live by example and lead by it too. Your talks will fall on deaf ears if they’re not seen happening. 

Far more important than all the rules you put into place, far more important than the lectures you give, far more important than anything else is your actions! Your child needs to feel and sense your actions. He/she should be so exposed to them, that they’re forced to remember the way you moved, the way you presented yourself and so on. 

~YOUR ADAB, IS THEIRS TOO

Your children should be exposed to the best of your adab and akhlaaq. You should present to them the best persona/version of you. Your own conduct should be your priority way before theirs does. And it is, no doubt difficult, because this thing ain’t one off, its a lifetime of seeing you, a lifetime with you. There should be a realization of someone looking up to to you as a father or mother. 

Hence, arrange yourself, for now you’ll/you have tiny toes following in your footsteps. Better later than never.

An insignificant example could be you taking them to the masjid with you, instead of ordering them to. Be regular with your prayers, do involuntary good stuff in front of them, so that they, even if, Allah forbid go down a little discourse they’ll still, unconsciously come back to those memories with you, of sharing good in the path of Allah.

4. Think Long Term and Not Short Term. 

~THINK, BEFORE YOU SPEAK

When your child messes up, how do you respond? in an eruption of anger and harshness? or a series of unnecessary profanities and curses leaving your mouth? I ask you my respected parent, to stop for the sake of Allah. Be a little cautious of the words that leave your mouth. Try to think of the situation from their perspective, get in their shoes. 

~A LONG PATH TO TRAVEL

Someday, 20 years later or 50 years later, they’ll remember this and act the exact same way you did, they’ll say exactly what you said, they’ll use the vocabulary you did. Sometimes its okay to loose a battle to win the war. When, because of you, your child is merciful to their child, that’s your win, when they remember your smile and smile at their young one, that’s your win, when they remember your akhlaaq and put it into practice, that is your WIN! and not when you humiliate them and put them down and make them feel worthless.

~A GIFTED TRUST

Wallahi, your children are an amanah and you don’t have any right to curse them and hurt them and traumatize them. You’ll be asked of how you treated them, and if those things are going be to your response, it might get a bumpy road for you. 

Don’t scar your child’s memories with all that furiousness and negative emotion. They might act out later or sooner, and it all is going to be your fault. I’m not telling you to turn into a big softy, but rather adopt the middle path, for we are indeed, in Allah’s words, are a middle nation. I’m not telling you to always be merciful and kind and sweet, no! sometimes tough love is necessary, sometimes harshness and discipline is, but don’t let that become a habit.  They’re your mirror image, so when your treading difficult emotions, make sure you don’t fall down too deep, stumbling, for someday, they’ll fall too, exactly like you did and perhaps even deeper, having no one to get them out.

5. Spending Quality Time is Key.

~BEST MEMORIES

Have you ever found yourself thinking about the best memories that remain from your childhood? I’m not going to be called mystical if I say a big chunk of them contain small fleeting moments from the time spent with your parents, or am I?

That’s exactly what’ll happen to our children too. If want for them to have a laugh way after your gone, share the most lamest dad jokes with them. If they’re playing video games, you need to start playing with them. You need to master them more than they do.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “Any act devoid of the remembrance of Allah is void except four: shooting, training a horse, playing with one’s family and swimming.” And this, this should be one of the greatest motivations for a man or a woman to spend time with his/her family. Your not only investing in your little one’s future, but also your bank of good deeds. 

~Reference: Al Bayhaqi and At Tabarani 
~ITS ALL ABOUT YOU AND THEM

Remember when they’re tiny they crave your attention, and when you’ll start wilting, you’ll crave theirs. What goes around, comes around, so be watchful of your time and where your spending it. Sometimes its okay to give up that part time and not make money. The luxuries you provide them with will wither away, but those teeny tiny details of the way you played, or how you ran, or how you laughed, those little things will pass on.

Make your child yearn for you. When your away make him/her miss your presence. Be their best friend!!!!!!! Especially my dearest fathers, you need to be really really close to them. Hangout with them, guide them with your own finger, have talks with them, just, V O C A L I Z E as much as you possibly can. 

If you don’t become the shoulder they’ll lean on, then they’ll find another, and that should be something we should be alerted off, for indeed, bad companionship leads to bad deeds. 

The Prophet (SAW) said: “The similitude of good company and that of bad company is that of the owner of musk and of the one (iron-smith) blowing bellows, and the owner of musk would either offer you free of charge or you would buy it from him or you would. smell its pleasant odor, and so far as one who blows the. bellows is concerned, he would either burn your clothes or you shall have to smell its repugnant smell.”

~Reference: Sahih Muslim, 2628

6. Have a Good Social Presence and Community

Interaction is a key to having an exemplary societal experience. Your child will not go to school and magically know how to be respectful to his or her elders. You need to show him. Have a good friend circle. Make sure the people that you visit share the same thought process you do. 

Common interests lead to greater achievements! Assess your surroundings and everything within them. Your aim is to make your child the best in character and mannerism and this goes without saying, a better Muslim. Purify your surroundings, just as you want your child’s heart to have.

~AN ADVICE, UNBEATED

Imam Ghazali said, “Children are one of the most pure creations of Allah, and very easily impressionable.” and he advised parents to prevent from them sin and avoid bad afflicting them in every way possible. 

7. Constantly make Dua.

Dua, the weapon of the believer, should not only be used to protect ourselves but also our young ones, who don’t have enough knowledge to supplicate by themselves. A hadith of the Prophet (SAW) tells us, i.e. the parents to supplicate for our children, 

~ALWAYS FOR

The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Three prayers are undoubtedly answered: the prayer of one who is wronged, the prayer of the traveler and the prayer of a father for his child.” 

~Reference: Ibn Majah, 3862

Mothers, its not like your prayers aren’t answered, but exceptionally so, the father’s is always answered for his child. So, my dearest fathers, please, invoke your Lord for the best for your children, (at tahajjahud) both in this duniya and aakhirah, and ask Him to make you and your wife, a perfect example to them and always keep you both united in the best interest for them. 

~NEVER AGAINST 

My beloved parents, be cautious, and DO NOT, under any circumstance pray against your child no matter how much they’ve angered you. Stop them from bad in greed of entering Jannah due to them. For both your Lord and His beloved have forbidden me and you from it. 

The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Do not pray against yourselves, do not pray against your children, do not pray against your wealth, lest that coincides with a time when Allah is asked and He gives, so He answers your prayer.” 

~Reference: Sahih Muslim, 3014

“And were Allah to hasten for mankind the evil (they invoke for themselves and for their children, while in a state of anger) as He hastens for them the good (they invoke) then they would have been ruined. So We leave those who expect not their meeting with Us, in their trespasses, wandering blindly in distraction.”

~Reference: The Holy Qur’an, Chapter no. 10, Verse no. 11

 

In my conclusion I’d like to end with a tiny piece of poetry, 

“A hand raised to thee, a gift given to me, 

of responsibility and nurturing, a tiny little bee,

A little to rewind, a little to relive,

that precious time, gone, so fast, now its time to give,

tough love and goodness and collaboratively forgive, 

those hands as gentle as the raging water, found at sea

and the sounds as calming as, the rustling of a tree,

for someday through you, I pray I enter with gracious glee, 

into the gardens that your Lord has beautified, for both you and me.”

Coming up next: Spousal Relationships
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Bint Misbah

A writer by day, a poet by night.

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