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 Parenting in Islam (1)

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Obedient Angel

Join date : 2011-04-30
Posts : 2448

PostSubject: Parenting in Islam (1)   Sun Jun 26, 2011 3:28 am

Parenting in Islam (1)

Allah Almighty has entrusted parents with their children. Parents bear the responsibility to raise up their children in the Islamic way. If they do that they will be blessed in this life and in the Hereafter, and if they don't, they will get bad result during their life and in the Hereafter.

The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) is reported to have said: “All of you are guardians and all of you are responsible for things under your guardianship; the ruler is a guardian (managing his state’s affairs) and he is responsible for things under his care, the man is a guardian over his family and responsible for them, the woman is a guardian of her husband's house and she is responsible for it. All of you are guardians and responsible for things under your control.” (Reported by Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, did not excuse any one from responsibility that Allah has put on every individual to build the Islamic society: the ruler is responsible: the man and woman are responsible.... all within their capabilities, domains, and authorities... and the loss of Islam from our Muslim Ummah these days is nothing but a result of the neglect of responsibility.

Men and women, fathers and mothers share the responsibility to raise up, educate, and build the new generation in the correct method and the right way.

Man has in him the good and bad tendencies, so parents must encourage and grow the good tendencies in the child so he can become a useful person that helps himself and his people. Referring to this, Allah Almighty says: (O' you who believe, protect yourselves and your families from a fire whose fuel is men and stones. )
(At-Tahreem: 6)

The protection of yourself and your family from Hell-Fire won't be with anything but good education, the practice of good morals, and the guidance to nobility.

Islam does not distinguish between male and female with regard to the education requirements. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) is reported to have said: “Whoever has a daughter, tutors her on good morals, educates her well and feeds her properly; she will be a protection for him from Hell-Fire.”

What do we mean by good education? The good education means the physical, mental and moral preparation of the child so he can become a good individual in the good society.

Methods for Moral Upbringing

1- Showing the values of good deeds and their effects on the individuals and society; also showing the effects of bad deeds, all within the child's capability of understanding.

2- Parents should be a good example in their behavior because children like to imitate their parents in their sayings and their deeds.

3- Teaching the child the religious principles and tutoring him in worship, taking into account the child's capability of understanding. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) is reported to have said: “Order your children to pray at the age of seven.”

4- Treating children nicely and kindly. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) taught us that practically. When he was praying as an Imam with the people, his grandson Al-Hasan, son of his daughter Fatimah, may Allah be pleased with them rode his back while he was bowing. The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, lengthened his bow. When he finished his prayer, some attending Companions said, “You lengthened your bow?” Then the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, answered, “My grandson rode my back and I hate hastening him”

5- One of the important things that parents must teach their children is to choose the good company and to the avoid the bad one, because children are always influenced by the company they keep. The bad behavior can be easily transmitted through bad company. So the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, warned us by saying, “Man is inclined to get influenced by his friend's manners, so one must be careful in choosing friends.” (Reported by Abu Dawud & At-Tirmidhi)

Here is another article on the issue:


By: Umm Salihah

Thanks to a small number of Muslims and large chunks of the mainstream media, Islam has gained a reputation for severity and harshness. When it comes to the way we raise our children this can often be true – but usually due to our cultural backgrounds more than our faith.

My parents and grandparents grew up in Pakistan where it was the norm to be smacked by your parents, extended relations and anyone else that happened to be around and in a bad mood. It was also okay to be given a smack ’round the head for doing something you shouldn’t have, for watching someone else doing it, maybe for not stopping them or maybe again because someone was in a bad mood. Once they had immigrated to England, my parent’s generation did not quite realize that simply transferring the parenting methods of rural Punjab/Gujerat/Dhaka/Sylhett to East London might not be sufficient to bring up your child in the best possible way (I have so many happy memories of being chased by my mum flip-flop held aloft).

There is also the traditional South Asian thinking that a good child is an obedient child, smacked and yelled into submission by a parent who knows best. How do you tell such parents about feeling left out because you dress different, weighing up the way you feel about clothes, boys, life in general as a teenager with the need to please your parents and be a good Muslim? Who do you talk to about peer pressure, bullying or all the other things that confuse kids?

This is not to denigrate my parents or all the others out there who have struggled to reconcile two cultures, their faith, modern life and all of the issues that face immigrants, with bringing up their child in the best way that they could. At the same time they have also had to try and square Western and Eastern concepts of how a well-raised child should be. Is it any wonder that they and we were so confused?

What we have to examine is whether the new generation of parents who are disinclined to smack their children are leaving a vacuum with respect to managing the behavior of children. If we don’t smack, how do we get our children to listen to and respect us? Have we gone from physically abusing our children to setting no parental boundaries for them at all?

I love the Islamic concept that when we do things with the aim of pleasing Allah we engage in worship, even if they are just everyday actions. So cooking a meal is a chore, but cooking with the aim of pleasing Allah by feeding his creation and eating to take care of the body he gave you as an Amanah (trust) becomes an act of worship.

Similarly, child-rearing can be hard and challenging work, but when engaged in with the intention of pleasing Allah and carrying out the work he has assigned to us, it becomes an act of worship from beginning to end. The waking in the night, the cleaning of stuff that makes other people leave the room, the difficulties of breast-feeding, the fatigue, the duty to be mindful of what you say and do, having to constantly watch your little ones – all become living, breathing, walking, waking worship.

Muslims believe that through our words, our soothing, our chores, all of the small kindnesses of a mother and father, Allah elicits from us worship and forgives us our sins. With this thinking in mind, it becomes much harder to smack a child and much easier to take a breath and act rationally.

Islam encourages us to follow the example of the Prophet (peace be upon him) when it comes to our everyday lives including raising our children. His approach to his family was epitomized with gentleness and compassion. There is a hadith, or Prophetic tradition, in Islam that says:

Abu Salmah narrated that Abu Hurayrah said, “The Prophet of Allah (peace be upon him) kissed Hasan ibn ‘Ali (his grandson) while Aqra’ ibn Habis was sitting nearby. Aqra’ said, ‘I have ten children and have never kissed one of them.’ The Prophet (peace be upon him) looked at him and said, ‘Those who show no mercy will be shown no mercy.’” Bukhari (Volume No. 91)

This tells me that affection and mercy towards our children is a necessity if we wish for the same. The Prophet (peace be upon him) was also never known to hit a child. Instead a Muslim parent is encouraged to teach by good example and discouraged from disciplining until the child is 7 years old. At 7 years, the child begins the age of tarbiyyah, or good upbringing. These are the years requiring firmness and instruction in educating the child and teaching them good manners – again the focus is on firmness and not violence. Once the child reaches puberty, the parents’ role becomes one of friend and mentor as the child is considered to be old enough to be responsible for their own actions. I like this idea of a gentler, more peaceful parenting – less friction and more kindness.

I like the idea that it’s okay to indulge your children sometimes and say yes to them. We don’t have to behave like tyrants. It’s okay for the house to be a mess, for your kids not to be reading Shakespeare by six and joining Mensa by eight. It’s okay not to be perfect. I am coming to realize that parenting is a learning process; we are scared because we only get one chance with each of our children. But I realized sometime ago, thanks to my oldest daughter, that when we make a mistake, we can stop, apologize and agree to try again. Every day is a new day and a new chance at doing things in the best way we can.

So when we need to discipline our children, we could hit them, but how would it make us feel to make a mistake or disagree with our employers or spouse and be smacked for it? How do we prefer to be told? Discreetly, gently and with patience surely. Perhaps we could stop and do the same for our children, thinking of it as our daily worship.

My parenting style? Like my parents, a little confused. When I ask nicely, explain and let things go, my family calls me English mum. When I lose it and shout and issue orders, they call me Punjabi mum. I guess I am still learning, with my faith as a guide.
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