In part 1 of the article on cornerstones for raising and educating children, we presented 3 cornerstones that will help parents in raising righteous and well mannered children according to the Sunnah of the Prophet (salla Allaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam). In this post, we continue with the last 3 cornerstones for raising your children.
There are many great duties and trusts that the slave must take heed of in regards to children. It is a major responsibility of parents to raise, educate, discipline, advise and direct their children. Allaah (Ta’ala) says:
يَـٰٓأَيُّہَا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ لَا تَخُونُواْ ٱللَّهَ وَٱلرَّسُولَ وَتَخُونُوٓاْ أَمَـٰنَـٰتِكُمۡ وَأَنتُمۡ تَعۡلَمُونَ
وَٱعۡلَمُوٓاْ أَنَّمَآ أَمۡوَٲلُڪُمۡ وَأَوۡلَـٰدُكُمۡ فِتۡنَةٌ۬ وَأَنَّ ٱللَّهَ عِندَهُ ۥۤ أَجۡرٌ عَظِيمٌ۬
“O you who have believed, do not betray Allaah and the Messenger or betray your trusts while you know [the consequence].
And know that your properties and your children are but a trial and that Allaah has with Him a great reward.” [Surat al-Anfaal (8:27-28)]
Fourth Cornerstone: Advise and Guide
Be constant in directing, correcting and advising your children in regards to the utmost righteous matters and noble manners. Advise them of the great religious creed, Islamic obligations and its strong duties. And forbid evil and strongly warn against major sins and the rest of the legal prohibitions. Among the great duties and advices of the parents for their children is the advice and the right admonitions given by Luqman al-Hakeem (the wise) when he was advising his son. Allaah (Ta’ala) mentioned it in His great Book in Surat Luqman as a noble example and model for advising, educating, and disciplining them by virtuous mannerism and good character. Among the parents’ greatest matters is raising their children, from the beginning of their childhood, upon the correct creed –belief in Allaah and all that He commanded His slaves with, from faith in Him, monotheism in Him (Ta’ala) and sincerity in worshiping Him.
Among the main advices that Luqman gave his son:
ۥ يَـٰبُنَىَّ لَا تُشۡرِكۡ بِٱللَّهِۖ إِنَّ ٱلشِّرۡكَ لَظُلۡمٌ عَظِيمٌ۬
“O my son, do not associate [anything] with Allaah. Indeed, association [with Him] is great injustice.” [Surat Luqman 31:13]
After advising with monotheism and faith, there comes the advice of the great Islamic obligations and essential duties, such as dutifulness to parents and establishing the Salaat, which is the greatest bodily act. He ended his advice with some highly recommended conducts and matters. He (Ta’ala) says (31:14-18):
وَوَصَّيْنَا الْإِنسَانَ بِوَالِدَيْهِ حَمَلَتْهُ أُمُّهُ وَهْنًا عَلَىٰ وَهْنٍ وَفِصَالُهُ فِي عَامَيْنِ أَنِ اشْكُرْ لِي وَلِوَالِدَيْكَ إِلَيَّ الْمَصِيرُ
“And We have enjoined upon man [care] for his parents. His mother carried him [increasing her] in weakness upon weakness, and his weaning is in two years. Be grateful to me and to your parents and unto me is the final return.
وَإِن جَاهَدَاكَ عَلَىٰ أَن تُشْرِكَ بِي مَا لَيْسَ لَكَ بِهِ عِلْمٌ فَلَا تُطِعْهُمَا وَصَاحِبْهُمَا فِي الدُّنْيَا مَعْرُوفًا وَاتَّبِعْ سَبِيلَ مَنْ أَنَابَ إِلَيَّ ثُمَّ إِلَيَّ مَرْجِعُكُمْ فَأُنَبِّئُكُم بِمَا كُنتُمْ تَعْمَلُونَ
But if they endeavor to make you associate with Me that of which you have no knowledge, do not obey them but accompany them in [this] world with appropriate kindness and follow the way of those who turn back to Me [in repentance]. Then to Me will be your return, and I will inform you about what you used to do.
يا بُنَيَّ إِنَّهَا إِن تَكُ مِثْقَالَ حَبَّةٍ مِّنْ خَرْدَلٍ فَتَكُن فِي صَخْرَةٍ أَوْ فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ أَوْ فِي الْأَرْضِ يَأْتِ بِهَا اللَّـهُ إِنَّ اللَّـهَ لَطِيفٌ خَبِيرٌ
[And Luqman said]: ‘O my son, indeed if wrong should be the weight of a mustard seed and should be within a rock or [anywhere] in the heavens or in the earth, Allaah will bring it forth. Indeed, Allaah is Subtle and Acquainted.
يَا بُنَيَّ أَقِمِ الصَّلَاةَ وَأْمُرْ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ وَانْهَ عَنِ الْمُنكَرِ وَاصْبِرْ عَلَىٰ مَا أَصَابَكَ إِنَّ ذَٰلِكَ مِنْ عَزْمِ الْأُمُورِ
O my son, establish prayer, enjoin what is right, forbid what is wrong, and be patient over what befalls you. Indeed, [all] that is of the matters [requiring] determination.
وَلَا تُصَعِّرْ خَدَّكَ لِلنَّاسِ وَلَا تَمْشِ فِي الْأَرْضِ مَرَحًا إِنَّ اللَّـهَ لَا يُحِبُّ كُلَّ مُخْتَالٍ فَخُورٍ
And do not turn your cheek [in contempt] toward people and do not walk through the earth exultantly. Indeed, Allaah does not like everyone self-deluded and boastful.’”
Allaah (Ta’ala) also mentions the advices of Prophets Ibraheem and Ya’qoob:
وَوَصَّىٰ بِہَآ إِبۡرَٲهِـۧمُ بَنِيهِ وَيَعۡقُوبُ يَـٰبَنِىَّ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ ٱصۡطَفَىٰ لَكُمُ ٱلدِّينَ فَلَا تَمُوتُنَّ إِلَّا وَأَنتُم مُّسۡلِمُونَ
“And Ibraheem [Abraham (‘Alayhis-salaam)] instructed his sons [to do the same] and [so did] Ya’qoob [Jacob (‘Alayhis-salaam)], [saying]: ‘O my sons, indeed Allaah has chosen for you this religion, so do not die except while you are Muslims.’” [Surat al-Baqarah (2:132-133)]
Among the greatest of advices is advising children with prayer. Allaah praised His Prophet Ishma’eel for commanding his family with Salaat and Zakaat, as He (Ta’ala) says in Surat Maryam (19:55):
وَكَانَ يَأْمُرُ أَهْلَهُ بِالصَّلَاةِ وَالزَّكَاةِ وَكَانَ عِندَ رَبِّهِ مَرْضِيًّا
“And He used to enjoin on his people prayer and Zakaah and was to his Lord, pleasing.”
Also, Allaah (Ta’ala) commanded Prophet Muhammad (Salla-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) to maintain the performance of obligatory Salaat and to order his family and urge them upon it. He (Ta’ala) says in Surat Ta-Ha (20:132):
وَأۡمُرۡ أَهۡلَكَ بِٱلصَّلَوٰةِ وَٱصۡطَبِرۡ عَلَيۡہَاۖ
“And enjoin prayer upon your family [and people] and be steadfast therein.”
In Musnad Ahmad and Sunan Abu Dawoud, the Prophet (Salla-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: “Command your children to pray when they become seven years old, and beat them for it (prayer) when they become ten years old; and arrange their beds (to sleep) separately.” [Authenticated by Al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Jamie’, no. 5858]
Fifth Cornerstone: Righteous Companions
Counsel your children regards their friends/ companions. Without a doubt, companions have an effect on whom they accompany. A sublime example that clarifies this is what the Prophet (Salla-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said in explaining the effects of the good and bad companions.
Abu Musa (Radia-Allaahu ‘anhu) narrated that the Prophet (Salla-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: “The example of a good pious companion and an evil one is that of a person carrying musk and another blowing a pair of bellows. The one who is carrying musk will either give you some perfume as a present, or you will buy some from him, or you will get a good smell from him; but the one who is blowing a pair of bellows will either burn your clothes or you will get a bad smell from him.” [Al-Bukhaari, no. 5534]
And he (Salla-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: “A man is upon the religion of his friend, so let one of you look at whom he befriends.” [At-Tirmidhi, no. 2378 and authenticated by Al-Albaani in Saheeh Abu Dawoud, no. 4833]
Beware of new types of friendships and gatherings in our present time that were not there in previous times; such as the gatherings for watching satellite channels, social media and gaming websites, etc. through modern technological devices that are in the homes these days. Because of this, parents should monitor their children’s friendships because they can be dangerous. These relationships have a huge impact on the children’s minds, religion, manners and discipline. How many youth went astray and were afflicted immensely because of these means, to the extent of which nobody knows except Allaah (Ta’ala).
Sixth Cornerstone: Set a Good Example
Be positive role models for your children. Avoid ordering them to do good and not doing it yourself. And avoid forbidding them from evil while doing it yourself. In these cases, the manner of calling children towards good and disciplining them comprises many contradictions. When what the parents say is different from what they do, they become bad role models for their children. Then they grow up under the likes of those parents with a contradictory, unstable upbringing. That will have an evil (harmful) effect on them; therefore, it is upon the parents when they discipline and direct their children to always remember Allaah (Ta’ala)’s Words:
أتَأۡمُرُونَ ٱلنَّاسَ بِٱلۡبِرِّ وَتَنسَوۡنَ أَنفُسَكُمۡ وَأَنتُمۡ تَتۡلُونَ ٱلۡكِتَـٰبَۚ
“Do you order righteousness of the people and forget yourselves while you recite the Scripture?” [Surat al-Baqarah 2:44]
And the saying of Shu’aib (‘Alayhis-salaam) to his people:
مَآ أُرِيدُ أَنۡ أُخَالِفَكُمۡ إِلَىٰ مَآ أَنۡهَٮٰڪُمۡ عَنۡهُ
“And I do not intend to differ from you in that which I have forbidden you.” [Surat Hud 11:88]
While taking into consideration these great matters in disciplining and directing children, the parents should ensure that their hearts do not attach to them (i.e. the means) and should put their trust in Allaah, rely on Him, turn towards Him Alone in His Highness to reform their children and protect them with what He protects His righteous slaves with.
If the parent (father) is guided in this matter of educating, nurturing and guiding his children and he is patient on that and Allaah (Ta’ala) bestows upon him the reformation of his children, there will be many praiseworthy impacts and blessed returns (yield and benefits) which the parent will reap in this worldly life, in his grave and on the Day when he meets Allaah, the Blessed the Most High.
In his life, his son will be dutiful to him, fulfilling his duties towards him, avoiding un-dutifulness. This is because the religion of Islam which he (the parent) brought up his son on, commands him with that.
After his death, his son will exert his utmost to pray for him.
Abu Hurairah (Radia-Allaahu ‘anhu) reported that Prophet Muhammad (Salla-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: “When a man dies, his acts come to an end, but three, recurring charity, or knowledge (by which people) benefit, or a pious son, who prays for him (for the deceased).” [Muslim, no. 1631]
Similarly, if the parent is negligent in disciplining and educating his children, then he will be exposed to evil consequences (end) and calamities in this world and the Hereafter.
Let us fear Allaah with regards to our children, and be observant of Him (Ta’ala) when raising them. Let us persistently call Him in our supplications to reform, guide, and protect them from wrongdoing and corruption. Let us take care of raising them with correct guidance and ask Allaah (Ta’ala) for support in that.
O Allaah! We ask You, O our Lord with Your Perfect Names and High Attributes, that You, O Allaah (Ta’ala), the Ever-Living, Eternal, Lord of the Worlds, reform all our children. O Allaah! Bestow upon them guidance, reformation and protection; and keep them on the Straight Path and protect them O Lord from corruption and going astray. O Allaah, we do not hope for that except from You. We do not put trust in that or in any matter of our matters except in You. You Alone are the One Whom we seek and You are the Provider. There is no power or strength except by Allaah, the Most Great, the Most High.
- Cornerstones for Raising and Educating Children, by Shaikh ‘Abdur-Razzaaq al-Badr
- Tayseer al-Kareem by Shaikh As-Sa’di
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