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Parenting in Islam (part 1 of 2)

Description: Basic steps every parent needs to know in order for success in parenting.

By Abdurrahman Murad (© 2013 NewMuslims.com)

Published on 17 Sep 2013 - Last modified on 01 Oct 2013

Printed: 297 - Emailed: 1 - Viewed: 11439 (daily average: 9)

Category: Lessons > Social Interaction > The Muslim community


Objectives:

·       To learn the importance of Islamic ethics and ideals of the family.

·       To learn the importance of allocating certain time to study the deen as a family.

·       To understand the importance of effectively communicating with your children.

Arabic Terms

·       InshaAllah – God willing, if God wills it to be so.  It is a reminder and acknowledgment that nothing happens except by the will of Allah.

·       Sunnah – The word Sunnah has several meanings depending on the area of study however the meaning is generally accepted to be, whatever was reported that the Prophet said, did, or approved.

·       Deen – the way of life based on Islamic revelation; the sum total of a Muslim’s faith and practice.  Deen is often used to mean faith, or the religion of Islam.

Introduction

The key to a pristine Islamic society starts with the family, for it is the nucleus of a healthy society. The Prophet, may the mercy and blessings of Allah be upon him, gave detailed steps on raising a family properly; no doubt, it is a great responsibility. He said:

“Anyone who is responsible over others, but fails to uphold this responsibility properly, he would be barred from the Jannah (heavenly abode).” (Saheeh Muslim)

Parenting is indeed an immense task; specifically, parenting in the West. What should a parent consider, how should they raise their children? In this article we will explore a few practical tips that should be in the minds of every parent.

Create a Proper Homely Environment

Children raised in a ‘happy’ home usually become stronger, better Muslims. They more easily adopt the Islamic ideals and uphold common courtesy and etiquette that should be the standard for every Muslim.

To ensure that a home is ‘happy’, the parents themselves should uphold proper Islamic ethics. As well, parents must communicate with each other, in a clear, open manner. When children see that their parents are communicating in this method; neither of their parents become agitated, angry or violent, it would provoke children to share their feeling and thoughts and they will feel safe and secure. This step is absolutely imperative, as one of the lead causes of problems starts with the lack of this. If a child feels that they cannot communicate with their parents, they will seek attention elsewhere, be it from friends, who may influence this child in a very negative manner. Drug addictions, unlawful pre-marital relations and worse may be the result.

The next step that should be taken to ensure this environment is to love your children and show them that you love them.  The Prophet, may the mercy and blessings of Allah be upon him, kissed his grandson, Al-Husain, in the presence of al-Aqra bin Habis, may Allah be pleased with them both. Al-Aqra said: “I have ten children and I have never kissed any of them!”  The Prophet, may the mercy and blessings of Allah be upon him, then said: “The one who shows no mercy, shall not be shown any mercy.”[1]

Children who feel loved will return the compassion they receive. This is evident from the Prophet’s manner in dealing with children. One day while the Prophet was praying, he prolonged his prostration and the Companions began to worry; after some time, the Prophet resumed the prayer as normal. Of course, the Companions asked the Prophet about the prolonged prostration; they said: “O Messenger of Allah, you prolonged the prostration and we thought that you had either received revelation or that something bad had happened to you!”  He smiled and said: “It is neither of the two, but my grandson climbed on my back and I disliked shortening his enjoyment.”[2]

Another step for a ‘happy’ home is to have both parents equally involved in raising the children. Too often we witness one of the two parents becoming more involved, while the other becomes distant. A child brought up with the love and affection from both parents would prosper far greatly on a mental, psychological level than one that only has one parent.

Study Time

A home without proper knowledge of Islam is a home of hopelessness and misguidance. Studying the deen will help guide and nurture children to become upright Muslims. This ‘study time’ should include teachings from the Quran, Sunnah and stories of the Pious Predecessors.

If the parents are not well versed in reading the Quran, they should register them in a Quran class in a local Mosque. If the parents are lucky to find one in their area, they shouldn’t stop there; this is only a beginning. The family as a whole should continuously strive to study Islam together. Due to the presence of many resources today, this shouldn’t pose as a problem. There are many websites such as (newmuslims.com) that give important, fundamental teachings of Islam in an easy, direct manner.

It is important that the parents do set aside a portion of time, every week, wherein the family gets together and learns together. This would help to solidify the family unit. Children would not feel they are ‘burdened’ in the learning process, as adults are taking part in the process.

Due to the many distractions in our society, teaching methods should be made interesting. Parents should diversify and teach in a fun manner; be it through game or by giving prizes to the one who is able to achieve the most. 

Parents always aspire to have their children become better than themselves. This attitude is a very good one, but should not lead the parents to become over-demanding. Consistency is the key to success.

Listen to your Children

In a Western society, it is absolutely imperative to have an open line of communication with your children. Children need to be heard and understood and parents need to view what they say without becoming judgmental.

If children feel safe to open up to their parents when they have problems, if they feel ‘welcome’ to ask questions when they are in doubt, this would strengthen the bond between parents and their children, it will also distance negative influences that may impact the child at this critical stage of growth.

Many parents speak to their children, but forget to listen, leaving their children to their own devices and forcing them to make their own decisions when they need guidance. The more you involve your children at home, the less likely it is that they will go down the wrong path, InshaAllah

Listening to your children is a very important tool at the disposal of the parents; it serves as a ‘reality check’ for children are a mirror of their parents’ behaviour.

One of the best ways to cement this relationship between children and parents is through the biography of the Prophet, may the mercy and blessings of Allah be upon him. Stories can be read before bedtime and the children can be asked what they liked most about the story. They can also be asked to implement basic lessons from the stories in their own lives. They will be able to make better decisions for themselves, stand up against wrong-doings, and will also be able to express themselves effectively.



Footnotes:

[1] Saheeh Al-Bukhari

[2] Ahmed

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