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Parenting in Changing times
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Parenting in Changing times

By Fatima jehan

Our children, though it is we who give birth and nurture them life long , they are a gift from Allah which belongs to him alone. When Allah gifts us with them, they are as pure as snow. It is our responsibility to maintain the purity in them and see to it that when they return back to Allah, they are in their best form. Islam teaches us to give the rights of parents the way they deserve them. In an authentic hadith Abdullah bin Amr narrated that the Prophet (PBUH) said,

“The Lord’s pleasure is in the parent’s pleasure and the Lord’s anger is in parent’s anger.”

(Hadith No. 1899, Chapters on Righteousness, Jami’ At-Tirmidhi, Vol. 4).

But with every right comes a responsibility which is stated in the following hadith narrated Ibn Umar (RA): The Prophet (PBUH) said,

“All of you are guardians and are responsible for your wards. The ruler is a guardian and the man is a guardian of his family; the lady is a guardian and is responsible for her husband’s house and his offspring and so all of you are guardians and are responsible for your wards.”

(Hadith No. 5200, Book of Nikah, Sahih Bukhari, Vol. 7).

Today bringing up children in this westernised society, with islamic values, has turned out to be the most challenging task. Its become a nightmare for today’s muslim parents.

The present muslim society we live in is too far from the society that our Beloved Rasool (sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) left behind. It was a society whose environment was filled with peace and serenity. Before we move too far to the society during our Prophet’s ( sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) time just move a few years back to our time.The way we have to raise our children is far different from how our parents raised us.When we were raised up as muslims by our parents it was like an automated mode, the environment was completely Islamic. People dressed with modesty. There was a level of respect that was maintained. To talk to our parents with respect was the norm and we never thought anything beyond. Islam was sensed everywhere. Not only in the house were the Islamic values followed but also in the society. Its prevalence could be directly or indirectly sensed. Yes ! We must agree that there were alcohols ,pornography etc back then too but it did not affect the society as much as its now affecting our Islamic world.

We must agree that in a last few decades we have experienced a drastic and speedy change that has made parenting more difficult.Today children find their parent’s advice boring and prefer the advice of their friends and from what they are getting exposed in the internet to be more interesting and logical.  A child today, is living in a world of facebooking tweeting youtubing dating etc in which he/she hardly finds time and space to fit his/her old generation parents. These words were unheard when we grew up. And if we still remain unfamiliar to them, today’s society will call you an alien. Mind it what today’s technology provides is more haram than halal stuffs and protecting your child from it is your responsibility. As Allah warns us in His Noble Book ,

“O you who believe! Ward off from yourselves and your families against a Fire (Hell) whose fuel is men and stones, over which are (appointed) angels stern (and) severe, who disobey not, (from executing) the Commands they receive from Allâh, but do that which they are commanded.”

(At-Tahreem 66:6)

You can’t blame your children, as they cannot help themselves, it’s become their norm. Its we who have to change ourselves and fit us into their world in order to instill and keep the sunnah alive in their life.

Many muslim parents turn away from the advancing technology in the name of Islam. But remember whether you like it or not your child is surely going to get exposed to it. Islam does not prohibit it, instead it promotes technology and modernisation in a way that we move closer to Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) eg : youtubing for listening to lectures that took place at some corner of the world, at home itself. Obviously in some small way it helps you to move closer to Allah. As muslims let’s not just use technology but also develop it. If you are going to throw a blanket of haraam on technology then you’re not going to live. Its like a knife whose good and bad depends on how we use it. Islam is about enhancing and progressing but that shouldn’t make us forget that we’re a part of the ummah of Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa sallam). Never ever  lose your identity.It is our duty to teach them at a very early age to use this technology in a halal way. It is not wrong for your child to have a mobile phone but you must teach them and tune them to use it in a halal way. This prevents them from using them behind your back without your knowledge.

Parenting gets even more difficult if you are in a society where you’re the minority group. Your culture will seem weird to your children – eg . Hijab, riba, zakat etc. Let me explain. When we teach them that interest is haram they would be so confused thinking when so many people are using interest why are my parents so weird. Why are they  making life so complicated. It becomes difficult for them to accept it and pass it on to the later generations. The generation gap and the changing society has made parenting in Islam so challenging that things that are normal to us are no more normal to our children and vice versa.

Remember, guiding them to the right path is not only a duty or responsibility that burdens our shoulder. It’s our love for them. Don’t you want your children around you in jannah too. Look at Allah’s Promise

“And those who believe and whose offspring follow them in Faith, to them shall We join their offspring, and We shall not decrease the reward of their deeds in anything. Every person is a pledge for that which he has earned.”

(At-Tur 52:21)

Also this is a trial set for us by Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) which we must face with full confidence. Get back to the Sunnah of our beloved Rasool (sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) because the lessons are there. And to pass this test you really need to know your lessons well.

About Fathima Jehan

The writer is a civil engineer and mother of a beautiful princess. Pursuing a higher diploma in Islamic studies, she has a passion for writing and teaching. She loves to travel and explore the beauty of Allah's creation.

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