Being a parent in today’s world brings with it its own set of challenges. Let’s learn how to deal with them in light of divine wisdom.
By Fathima Jehan
Parenting is an awesome responsibility that Allah(سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) has enjoined upon us. I have Alhamdullilah given a brief introduction earlier. Let us move a step further as to how to complete this responsibility in a meritorious manner.
Parenting is nothing but the help that you provide your child to change from a dependent person to an independent person.
It has always had its highs and lows. From the Prophets till today, it has never been an easy job. Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) has made this path arduously challenging.
The Prophets were themselves tested tremendously, as fathers Prophet Yaqoob (عليه السلام) and as sons Prophet Ibrahim (عليه السلام) Have you come across the most heart touching story in the Noble Qur’an? This story is revealed in Surah Yusuf which is a timeless spiritual, literary as well as a moral lesson to us.
Yes, it is the story of Prophet Yaqoob (عليه السلام), a role model father for every man who lives on the face of this earth. The remarkable and supportive response that he provides Yusuf (عليه السلام) when told about the dream in which the sun, moon and eleven stars prostrate to Yusuf (عليه السلام) shows his unbeatable parenting skills.
[Of these stories mention] when Joseph said to his father, “O my father, indeed I have seen [in a dream] eleven stars and the sun and the moon; I saw them prostrating to me.”
He said, “O my son, do not relate your vision to your brothers or they will contrive against you a plan. Indeed Satan, to man, is a manifest enemy.
And thus will your Lord choose you and teach you the interpretation of narratives and complete His favor upon you and upon the family of Jacob, as He completed it upon your fathers before, Abraham and Isaac. Indeed, your Lord is Knowing and Wise.”
(Qur’an 12: 4-6)
And Yusuf (عليه السلام) approaching his father after seeing such a dream shows the strong bond that the father had developed with his child. From his story the moral that we derive is that, he could be such a wonderful parent only because of his unshakable faith in Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى).
This Muslim parenting book explains how to instil in children a strong connection to their Creator. Valuable advice for raising Muslim children of all ages: babies, toddlers, youngsters and teens. Click Here to know more…
Prophets always took their guidance from Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى), be it in any task they are doing. As parents, there is endless guidance we can get from the Qur’an. Advise your young ones the way Luqman (عليه السلام) advised his son.
“O my son, do not associate [anything] with Allah . Indeed, association [with him] is great injustice.”
“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, Allah will bring it forth. Indeed, Allah is Subtle and Acquainted”
“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.”
“And do not turn your cheek [in contempt] toward people and do not walk through the earth exultantly. Indeed, Allah does not like everyone self-deluded and boastful.”
“And be moderate in your pace and lower your voice; indeed, the most disagreeable of sounds is the voice of donkeys.”
This advice has it all. All the qualities that a child should develop when they turn into adults. Therefore, Allah(سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) has revealed his advice in the Noble Qur’an so that it remains as a guidance till the last day.
In order to raise a perfect Islamic society, we need to return to our Lord, Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) who is Al Haadi (The Guide).
The sunnah of our Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) is to show love and mercy to our children.
Anas ibn Malik said, “A woman came to ‘A’isha and ‘A’isha gave her three dates. She gave each of her two children a date and kept one date for herself. The children ate the two dates and then looked at their mother. She took her date and split in it two and gave each child half of it. The Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) came and ‘A’isha told him about it. He said, ‘Are you surprised at that? Allah will show her mercy because of her mercy towards her child.'” *
In another hadith, Abu Hurayra said, “The Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه وسلم), kissed Hasan ibn ‘Ali while al-Aqra’ ibn Habis at-Tamimi was sitting with him. Al-Aqra’ observed, ‘I have ten children and I have never kissed any of them.’ The Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه وسلم)looked at him and said, ‘Whoever does not show mercy will not be shown mercy.'” **
There was no need for our parents to tell us that they love us but yet we knew about the love they possessed for us.
But today, even if we hug and kiss our children and tell them we love them, there are times when they look at us with doubt.
Nowadays punishing doesn’t work as it only encourages your child to continue doing the wrong deed behind your back. Try to discipline them by showing them how to correct their wrong deed. If you praise your children for the good they do then you don’t need to tell them when they go wrong because they will understand it by noticing you not praising.
This is positive parenting.
Communication is one of the paramount factors that contribute to the downfall of good parenting. Please listen to them! How you react has a major effect on their minds. This is the main lesson from the story of Yusuf (عليه السلام) . He decided to share his dream with his father because he knew his father would positively respond. Give them attention by noticing their deeds and listening to their words. Showcase your acceptance by understanding them and showing interest in their matters. Your approval should be by valuing and praising them. Appreciate and acknowledge your child. Understanding your child’s mind is very important. If you don’t give attention to them then there are other ways that they will choose, which I’m sure as muslim parents we won’t prefer. We need to give extra importance to our children because they are our future leaders.
The main aspect of parenting is we ourselves — our behaviour and our character. At a very early age our children mimic what we do. They want to dress, talk, walk and even lead a life like us. So the way we behave is very important; be it at home or outside, especially with our spouse.
Children learn to handle relations mainly from the way their parents treat each other.
Teach them how to handle people outside the home from inside the home.
Be your child’s first friend. Discipline yourself if you want to discipline your child. Show them that dinner has to be done at the dining table and not in front of the television — a common mistake in most households. Successful childrens are mostly those whose role models are their parents. Don’t allow your child’s precious mind to be filled with so much filth of this world that there will be no place for useful things.
We need to concentrate a lot on our children because they are our future leaders. The only solution to so many social problems that are widespread today is proper Islamic upbringing. If every household is successful in achieving this then it would lead to a perfect Islamic society.
May Allah(سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) make this journey easy for us. Ameen!
*Al-Adab Al-Mufrad 89 (Looking after children), in-book reference:Book 5, Hadith 6
**Al-Adab Al-Mufrad 91 (Looking after children), in-book reference:Book 5, Hadith 8