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Parenting in Islam (part 2 of 2)

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

By Abdurrahman Murad (© 2013 NewMuslims.com)

Published on 23 Sep 2013 - Last modified on 23 Sep 2013

Printed: 287 - Emailed: 1 - Viewed: 7050 (daily average: 5)

Category: Lessons > Social Interaction > The Muslim community


Objectives:

·       To know that good parenting begins before pregnancy. 

·       To know that the responsibility of good parenting falls on both parents.

·       The importance of giving good names to children.   

Arabic Terms

·       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.

·       Du’a – supplication, prayer, asking Allah for something.

Find Good Company

Parenting2.jpgHaving good friends is imperative in building a strong family.  The Prophet, may the mercy and blessings of Allah be upon him, said:

“A person would be influenced by his companions, so let one be watchful as to whom they accompany.”[1]

This is true for both parents and children.  Children are easily influenced by those who surround them; if the parents keep good company, it will encourage the children to do likewise.  In the West, this is absolutely imperative, as one’s friends may be very anti-Islamic in their ideology and behaviour, so it should be clear to the parents that keeping good company and avoiding bad company will help their children in distinguishing between what is permissible from what is not.  It will help children understand that though there are those who drink alcohol or do unlawful things, these are not good things to do and there are lawful alternatives.

Parents should be active in choosing the best companions and friends for their children.  If the children wants to bring their friends home, it would be wise to allow this, so that the parents can see who they are and become actively involved with their children.   

Supplications to Allah

Allah, the Exalted, says:

“…Call on Me, and I will answer your prayers…” (Quran 40:60)

Asking Allah to grant success to one’s children is the greatest thing a parent can do for their kids.  The parents’ du’a is accepted by Allah, the Prophet, may the mercy and blessings of Allah be upon him, said:

“Three du’as are accepted by Allah, without a doubt, the du’a of one who is wronged, the du’a of one who is travelling and the du’a of a parent for their children.”[2]

So far we discussed key points that should be in the mind of every parent.  Now we will be discussing a step that is as important, but is a step that precedes having a family. 

Choosing a Spouse

This is the most important step towards having a successful family in the West.  The Prophet, may the mercy and blessings of Allah be upon him, said:

“Choose the best spouse to start your family.”[3]

The Prophet, may the mercy and blessings of Allah be upon him, went further to explain who the ‘best’ spouse was.  He explained that the best spouse is one who is religiously motivated and possess a good character.   He said:

“Women may be married for four things: their wealth, their lineage, their beauty and their religious commitment.  Choose the one who is religiously-committed, may your hands be rubbed with dust (i.e., may you prosper).”[4]

From these two texts, it is clear that a Muslim should choose a good spouse; this goes for both men and women. 

If a choice is made simply on account of worldly matters, that relationship will not be fruitful in terms of raising a good family. 

Both husband and wife must look beyond the initial stage of marriage to what is to come; the family.  How will the environment that is being created through this bond of marriage be conducive in raising a good family? This is a very important question that must be answered.  In a properly functioning relationship, both spouses work together to raise a good Muslim family.  It is a great responsibility; one that the Prophet clearly indicated through his words, he said:

“Everyone of you is responsible for those under his care.  A leader of a nation is responsible for those under his care; a man is responsible for his family; a woman is responsible for those under her care.”[5]

There are many basic mannerisms that are important for both spouses at the beginning of their relationship; when they are implemented, it would ensure for them a good start in their lives.  One such mannerism is that the Prophet told us that a husband should put his hand on the forehead of his bride and say:

“O Allah I ask you for her goodness and the goodness that is within her nature and I seek refuge with you from her evil and the evil of her nature.”[6]

There are many other basic mannerisms that both husband and wife should learn and uphold.

Children

After the critical stage of choosing a good spouse, both husband and wife should work on upholding the mannerisms mentioned within the Sunnah in rearing a family. 

The Prophet, may the mercy and blessings of Allah be upon him, said:

“Indeed you shall be called on the Day of Resurrection by your names and the names of your fathers, so choose (for your children) good names.”[7]

Today, some of the names that are given to our children are atrocious!  At times, parents would choose names that are held by non-Muslim celebrities, or they would search in their culture to choose odd ‘unique’ names that have a cultural root. 

Names given to an individual have a profound effect on their upbringing; a name that has a bad meaning or a negative one should be avoided.  The Prophet gave us very clear instructions on how to choose names.  The Prophet demonstrated this; once one of his companions, Zaid al-Khail, was renamed by him to Zaid al-Khair; Khail means horses whereas Khair means goodness.  He also actively instructed his companions to avoid using names that held odd meanings.  This advice is very important, especially with the rise of the issue of bullying in schools.  If a good name is chosen, this would safeguard the child from that negative factor they may go through at school. 

The Prophet, may the mercy and blessings of Allah be upon him, directed us saying:

“The most beloved names to Allah are Abdullah and Abdur-Rahman.”[8]

Abdullah means the ‘Slave of Allah’ and Abdur-Rahman means the ‘Slave of the Most-Beneficent’.   

Don’t Forget the Little Things

Every stage of growth children go through should be monitored closely by the parents; they should teach them the necessary skills as they progress.  For example, when children are younger, the proper etiquette and mannerisms should be instilled in their children.  Later on, they can be taught the reason they should behave in a certain manner.  Stories told at this stage are rarely forgotten. 

A child should also be urged to memorize the dua and the Qur’an.  If they are brought up with these ‘little things’, they will surely be able to progress forward in their lives in a most wholesome manner.

 



Footnotes:

[1] Abu Dawood

[2] Ibn Majah

[3] Sahih al-Jami

[4] Saheeh Al-Bukhari, Saheeh Muslim

[5] Sahih al-Jami

[6] Abu Dawood

[7] Abu Dawood

[8] Saheeh Al-Bukhari

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