Monday, September 7, 2009

A Muslim Parent


The Child in Islam



Each one of you is a shepherd and is responsible for his flock. The ruler is a shepherd of his subjects and is responsible for them; a husband is a guardian of his family and is responsible for it; a lady is a guardian of her husband's house and is responsible for it; and a servant is a guardian of his master's property and is responsible for it.” (Bukhari, 3.592)

A Muslim parent should desire both the good of this world and the good of the hereafter for his or her child. If a choice must be made between these two, the life-to-come is eternal and it is the most important goal for us. In practical terms, this may mean giving up or leaving off something that may be seen fine for the child in terms of this world's life but which will lead him to unhappiness Hereafter.

If we ask Allah for guidance in all our affairs, we will be able to know the difference between what is good in the everlasting perspective and what is good only temporarily and materially.In Islam, we do not segregate children out of the world of adults, for our children are integral parts of our world as adults, both in our families and our community.

Our children are born pure and free of sin, but they lack knowledge and experience.

From the Quran and hadith we know that Allah recognizes and takes into account the complexity of rearing children, and we pray that His leniency is greater for those of us who are rearing our children in this extremely difficult time.

Parenting is not a minor, insignificant matter, but a tremendously important, time consuming task for which there is, justifiably, the promise of great reward. It is hoped that more and more Muslim parents will educate themselves about how children develop, take note of their children's unique personalities and abilities, and try to find the best way to rear them accordingly.

Children are a trust from Allah, both a test and a joy. We will be judged according to our intentions and efforts as parents, and we pray that we may be able to make Allah Taala pleased with us and with them.

Kindness & Affection

In their striving to follow the example of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), Muslim parents should be kind and affectionate to their children as is naturally expected. The Prophet (peace be upon him) used to kiss his grandchildren and openly display his great affection for them. For example:Once the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) kissed his grandson al-Hasan (R) while a companion named al-Aqra (R) was sitting beside him. At that, al-Agra(R) said,

"I have ten children and I have never kissed any of them." The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) glanced at him and said, "The one who is not merciful will not be shown mercy." (Bukhari, 8.26)

This is the Prophet (peace be upon him) - tender, tolerant, endlessly loving to the young of his family and to all humanity. This is the holy Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him), whom we love and revere above any other human being and whom we are honoured to take as our example. This is how a Muslim father (or grandfather), husband, and kinsman are supposed to be.May Allah help us to be faithful followers of his blessed example, manifesting love like this in our own lives.

Trust & Test

“And know that your possessions and your children are a test, and that with Allah is a mighty reward. No soul shall be taxed with more than its capacity. No mother shall be injured on account of her child, nor a father on account of his child.” (Quran 8:28; 2:233)

Islam makes it clear that children are, at one and the same time, a blessing, a trust and a test from Allah Taala. That we instinctively love our children and want to protect them and have the best for them, Allah knows. As a rule, children are greatly sough after among Muslims. Many childless couples experience a great feeling of emptiness, and this is a severe test for them.Sometimes we may feel overwhelmed by the seriousness of our responsibility toward our children, especially at this difficult time in history. Allah knows the task He sets before us in each child.

We will surely find within ourselves the patience and love needed; we will find the wisdom, the resources, and all that is necessary to care for this child Allah sent to us. This is part of faith.

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