How to raise children
Cultivation in Islam is very important, for indeed all of the religion is based upon upbringing. It starts first of all with of our own selves, then of our families, and then of the community at large. But this cultivation is most important with respect to our children, so that they are brought up upon the correct path of Islam.
Having children is a blessing from Allah, therefore, it is obligatory for the parents to take care of their children as the responsibility for them is upon their shoulders. As the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa salllam, said: “All of you are shepherds and are responsible for your flock…” [Al-Bukhari]
The Qur’an and the Sunnah of the Prophet encourage us to bring up our children correctly; ordering us with righteousness and good conduct ourselves as well as ordering us to prevent our families from falling into that which would result in their own destruction. Allah says (which means): “O you who believe! Ward off from yourselves and your families a Fire (Hell) whose fuel is men and stones...” [Qur’an; 66:6]
What follows are some practical steps towards establishing the correct cultivation of children.
Seeking righteous children:
When an individual wants to get married, they should have the intention to have righteous children and supplicate Allah to this effect. They should seek their children with the intention to increase the number of the Prophet’s nation, and to get Allah’s reward in this life and the Hereafter. The Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa salllam, said: “Marry those women who are loving and fertile; for verily I want to be amongst those Prophets who have the most followers on the Day of Judgment.” [Ahmad and Al-Bayhaqi]
If one has the correct intention at the beginning of the action, then he will have its correct fruits at the end.
Setting a good example:
The parents should set the best example for their children. They should hasten to do that which is good and, likewise, hasten to abandon all that is evil. Children follow the example of their parents, and they love, respect and admire them. The parents are, therefore, the first and most lasting of examples for their children.
Putting emphasis on religion:
Parents should consider Islam the most important affair in their life. They should raise their child to know that the most important aspect of life is being upright in religion, clinging to it firmly. Allah says (what means): “And this (submission to Allah, Islam) was enjoined by Ibraaheem upon his sons and by Ya’qoob, (saying), ‘O my sons! Allah has chosen for you the (true) religion, then die not except in the faith of Islam.” [Qur’an; 2:132]
Parents should supplicate Allah to guide their children and keep them upright. Allah Says that the believers say (what means): “Our Lord! Bestow on us from our own wives and our offspring who will be the comfort of our eyes, and make us leaders for the Muttaqoon (i.e. pious and righteous persons).” [Qur’an; 25:74]
Besides supplicating Allah, parents should also take the necessary steps in bringing up their children upon this religion.
Showing love and kindness towards children:
The parent should treat his children with love and kindness, and should not always use harshness. However, if the situation requires harshness, and even hitting, then he should do so, as and when the situation requires it, but he should not make this his way (i.e. that he is always hard and harsh towards his children). We should not be like those people who are always hard upon their children as this may lead them towards further corruption and going astray.
On the other hand, we should not be like those who leave their children without any discipline so that they follow whatever way they like and do whatever they want.
Teaching good character:
The parent should aim to raise his children upon good character from a young age. He should teach them the Qur’an, the history of the Prophet and that of the companions as well. One should not leave his children to continue making mistakes saying that he will correct them when they get older, because indeed it becomes increasingly more difficult to correct a person when he has grown up adopting incorrect actions and bad characteristics. As a poet once said: “Whoever grows up upon something, he grows old upon that same thing.”
The Prophet used to train and bring up the children from a young age upon good manners and character. As can be seen in the Hadith of Al-Hasan in which he narrates how he once took a date from the dates of charity, and the Prophet stopped him and told him to take the date out of his mouth. The Prophet explained to him that the dates were for charity, and that charity was not allowed for the Prophet or his family.
The Prophet did not leave Al-Hasan without instructing him; rather, he stopped him from continuing in what he was doing and explained to him the correct way, in kindness and wisdom.
Being just with children:
The parent should neither oppress nor wrong any of his children. He should not show one of his children due favour more so than the others, by giving him more or praising him more than any of the others. Indeed this type of favouritism can be a reason for the children swaying from the correct path and developing personal problems later on in life.
Spending upon one’s children:
The parents should be generous and spend on their children. They should take the necessary steps to earn lawful money and spend on their children in a manner that is correct. Indeed, anything that one spends on his family with the correct intention will be rewarded. The Prophet said: “Two Deenaars (golden currency) which you spend by way of charity, or two Deenaars which you give to the poor, or the two Deenaars which you give to your family-indeed the greatest of these as regards reward is that Deenaar which you spend upon your family.” [Muslim]
In conclusion, everyone should take care of his family, for if everyone in the society was to take care of the upbringing of their families and take care of their financial needs, then this would prove good and beneficial for the society as a whole. And if everyone were to leave the affairs of their families and their children, then this would lead to the corruption of the society, and poverty would be widespread.
Article source: http://www.islamweb.net/emainpage/
Teaching good manners
Just as a child should be taught ritual acts of worship, he should also be taught good habits and etiquette until they become second nature to him.
The Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa salllam, said: “The believers who have the most perfect faith are those who have the best manners.” [Abu Daawood]
Good manners are an acquired trait that must be adopted from a young age. Of such manners are the following:
Being respectful and dutiful to parents:
The first person from whom a child learns good manners is the father. If a child is raised in a good Islamic home, then it would be natural for him to treat his parents respectfully.
Allah Says (what means): “And your Lord has decreed that you worship none but Him. And that you be dutiful to your parents. If one of them or both of them reach old age in your life, never say ‘uff’ (an expression of displeasure), nor shout at them but address them in terms of honour. And humble yourself to them out of mercy and say, ‘My Lord! Bestow on them Your Mercy as they did bring me up when I was small.’” [Qur’an, 17:23,24]
Maintaining good relations with relatives:
Sound cultivation also stipulates teaching children to maintain good relations with their relatives.
Allah says (what means): ‘’Worship Allah and associate none with Him in worship, and do good to parents, kinsfolk, orphans, the needy, the neighbour who is near of kin, the neighbor who is a stranger, the companion by your side, the wayfarer (you meet), and those (slaves) whom your right hands possess. Verily, Allah does not like such as are proud and boastful.” [Qur’an, 4:36]
The fulfilment of this Divine command can be accomplished only by sound cultivation which makes them grow attached to their relatives out of obedience to Allah.
Since relatives are an extension of the family, then strengthening ties with them strengthens the whole family and it is like strengthening the whole community and this reflects an Islamic community that enjoys a cohesive structure. The Prophet said: “The example of the believers in their reciprocal love and mercy is like a human body, when one of its organs suffers, the rest of the body remains awake and suffers fever.” [Muslim]
Inculcating brotherly love:
Brotherly love and believers’ solidarity must be embedded in children’s minds and that the believers are brothers-in-faith. For example to follow the pious predecessors, the Muhajireen and the Ansaar whose brotherly love and altruism Allah commands in His Book.
Giving a friendly gesture or a happy greeting to Muslim brothers generates friendliness in their hearts and, strengthens the love among the believers. This indeed is a fine trait, which is instructed by Allah, the Exalted. He describes the believers by saying (what means): “Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, and those who are with him are severe against disbelievers, and merciful among themselves…” [Qur’an, 48:29]
Allah also addressed His Messenger saying (what means): “Had you been severe and harsh-hearted, they would have broken away from about you…” [Qur’an, 3:159]
Guarding the tongue:
Giving a good word is a type of remembrance of Allah, telling the truth, guarding one’s own tongue against slandering other Muslims are good deeds. The best Muslim, according to the Prophet is the one from whose tongue the Muslims feel safe.
Parents should make their children aware of the gravity of abusing others with their tongue and of the fact that the tongue is a double-sided and dangerous weapon. Therefore, they should be warned in particular against abusing it.
Warning children against backbiting and slandering:
Children should be taught that backbiting is speaking slanderously about an absent person. The Prophet said: “Do you know what back biting is?” They (companions) said: “Allah and His Messenger know best.” He said: “It is to attribute to your brother what he dislikes.” He was asked: “What do you think if what I say about my brother is true?” He said: “If what you attribute to him is true, then you have backbitten him, and if it is not true, then you have lied about him.” [Muslim]
While talebearing is to circulate slanderous rumours between two persons to damage or sever the ties between them. The Prophet said: “Talebearer will not be admitted to Paradise.” [Muslim]
Deriding people in their presence by making negative facial expressions or by hand gestures while they are unaware is also forbidden in Islam.
Warning children against lying:
Children must be taught to tell the truth and to keep away from lying, which is the most horrible habit. The Prophet said: “There are four traits whoever possesses them is a sheer hypocrite, and he who possesses one of them, possesses a trait of hypocrisy unless he quits it. They are: when he speaks, he lies; and when he enters into an agreement, he acts unfaithfully; when he promises, he breaches his promise; and when he litigates, he behaves treacherously. While the liar receives the anger of Allah on the Day of Resurrection.” [Al-Bukhari]
Parents should not take this evil habit lightly, or consider it funny when their children tell lies because later on, it becomes easy for them to lie without any compunction.
Among the worst of manners is reviling people and swearing at them. If this bad habit is not redressed while the child is growing up, it becomes hard for him to avoid it later on.
Islam enjoins guarding the tongues. The Prophet said: “He who guarantees, what is in between his jaws (tongue), and what is in between his thighs (private parts), I guarantee Paradise for him.” [Al-Bukhari]
This means guarding one’s own tongue against uttering anything that displeases Allah, and guarding one’s own private parts against committing illicit acts or fornication.
Article source: http://www.islamweb.net/emainpage/
How to respect your parents
There are many days set aside in non-Islamic societies to honour and appreciate special people; for example, Father’s Day, Mother’s Day, Memorial Day and Labour Day. In Islam, however, respecting, honouring and appreciating parents is not just for a single day of the year, but rather for each and every day.
Parents in the Qur’an:
A Muslim child should respect and appreciate his or her parents on a daily basis. Allah mentions that human beings must recognise their parents and that this is second only to the recognition of Allah Himself. Throughout the Qur’an, we notice that parents are mentioned with appreciation and respect, even if they are senile. In the Qur’an, there is a very beautiful description of how parents are to be treated; Allah Says (what means): “And your Lord has decreed that you not worship except Him, and to parents, good treatment. Whether one or both of them reach old age [while] with you, say not to them [so much as] ‘uff’ [i.e., an expression of irritation or disapproval] and do not repel them but speak to them a noble word. And lower to them the wing of humility out of mercy and say: ‘My Lord! Have mercy upon them as they brought me up [when I was] small.’” [Qur’an 17:23-24]
The recognition and respect of parents is mentioned in the Qur’an 11 times; in every instance, Allah reminds children to recognise and to appreciate the love and care that they have received from their parents. One such example is when Allah says what means: “And We have enjoined upon man goodness to parents…” [Qur’an 29:8 & 46:15]
1. The demand for recognising parents is made more emphatic when Allah Says (what means): “And [recall] when We took the covenant from the Children of Israel, [enjoining upon them]: ‘Do not worship except Allah; and to parents, do good…’” [Qur’an 2:83]
2. Allah again emphasises in chapter An-Nisaa’ that children should be kind to their parents. He says what means: “Worship Allah and associate nothing with Him, and to parents do good...” [Qur’an 4:36]
3. In Chapter Al-An’aam, Allah reemphasises that people should be kind to their parents; He says what means: “Say: ‘Come, I will recite what your Lord has prohibited to you. [He commands] that you not associate anything with Him, and to parents, good treatment...’” [Qur’an 6:151]
Although Islam recognises both parents, mothers are given particular gratitude and respect. This can be appreciated if we reflect upon the hardships and suffering that mothers experience in their lives. In this regard, there is a Hadith of the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam: It was narrated by Abu Hurairah, radhiallah ‘anhu, that a man came to the Prophet and asked him: ‘Who is most deserving of my close companionship?’ He replied: “Your mother; your mother; your mother; then your father; then the next closest to you in kinship; then the one next closest.”
Islam has endorsed respect for parents by their children, even if the parents are non-Muslims. If parents strive to convert their children to non-Islamic beliefs, the children should not obey them, but must still maintain goodness towards them. In this regard, Allah says what means: “And We have enjoined upon man [care] for his parents. His mother carried him, [increasing her] in weakness upon weakness, and his weaning is two years. Be grateful to Me and your parents; to Me is the [final] destination. But if they endeavour 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.” [Qur’an 31:14-15]
Islam teaches us that of the most beloved deeds to Allah, having respect for one’s parents is second only to that of prayer and is greater than that of Jihaad (fighting in His cause). In this respect, Abu ‘Abdur-Rahmaan ‘Abdullaah Ibn Mas’ood, radhiallah ‘anhu, narrated the following: “I asked the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam: ‘Which deed is the most beloved to Allah?’ He replied: ‘Prayers performed on time.’ I then asked: ‘Which one is next?’ He replied: “Goodness to parents.” I then asked: ‘Which is next?’ He replied: ‘Jihad in the path of Allah.’”
In Islam, respect for parents is so great that the child and his wealth are considered to be the property of the parents: ‘Aa’ishah, radhiallah ‘anha, narrated that a man came to the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, in order to resolve a dispute that he had with his father regarding a loan he had given him. The Prophet said to the man: “You and your wealth are to (i.e., the property of) your father.”
We hope and pray that all of us will respect our parents while they are alive and after their death. One can honour his parents after their death through the following methods:
1. Performing daily Du’aa’ (supplication) for them.
2. Giving charity on their behalf.
3. Instituting a perpetual charity on their behalf, such as a mosque, an Islamic Centre, an Islamic library, an Islamic hospital, an orphanage, etc.
4. Performing Haj on their behalf, or asking someone to do so.
5. Distributing Islamic literature on their behalf.
Let us pray to Allah that we do our best to respect our parents, honour them, be kind to them, assist them, and please them so that we may attain the love of Allah.
O Allah! Accept our humble prayers and make us obedient slaves to You.
O Allah! Help us to be respectful children to our parents. Aameen.
Article source: http://www.islamweb.net/emainpage/
On missing the Friday prayer
Is there any excuse to miss the Friday prayer, due to work?”
Answer: It is a fundamental practice in fiqh (Islamic law) to pray the Friday prayer. It is an individual obligation that concerns every adult Muslim male (i.e. it is non-obligatory for females). The Qur’anic evidence is in Suratul Jumu’ah Verses 9-10: “Oh ye who believe, when the call is proclaimed to prayer on Friday, hasten earnestly to the remembrance of Allah and leave off business and that is best for you if you but knew (9) And when the prayer is finished, then you may disperse through the land, and seek of the bounty of Allah and remember Allah frequently, that you may prosper (10).”
In the Sunnah, Imam Ahmad and Muslim both narrated that Ibn Mas’oud (radiallaahu ‘anhu) reported the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) to have said for some people who missed the Friday prayer “I considered instructing a man to lead the prayer, then to set fire to the houses of those who miss the prayer on Friday.”
Again, Muslim narrated from Abu Hurairah (radiallaahu ‘anhu) and Ibn Umar (radiallaahu ‘anhumaa) heard the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) saying from the minbar (pulpit), “Those who are missing the Friday prayer should abstain from that or Allah may stamp on their hearts, then they will be among those far from Allah.”
Muslim scholars are agreed on the obligation of Friday prayer. However, there may be a legitimate excuse. That may be in the case of a person who is in charge of a security post during the last call for the prayer. This is applicable for any duty of national interest, e.g. police and traffic officers, wireless, telephones, intelligence officers or any others whose duty is of national security and welfare importance (During the last call for the prayer). Those could be excused from praying Friday prayer or any other prayer in congregation. Allah says, “So fear Allah as much as you can”. Surah At-Taghabun (64), verse 16.
Also, the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) said, “Keep away from anything that I have instructed you to avoid and fear Allah to the best of your capability”. This of course, does not mean that you may leave Dhuhr prayer. No. You should pray it in its time. Other excuses not to pray in congregational prayers are the likes of chronic diseases and fear (i.e. being harmed) to join the assembly.
We advise you as well as ourselves to fear Allah alone, and do decent works, recite the Qur’an frequently and do accordingly, read useful books and accompany good people. Hold to your religion. Look for another job that which does not contradict with your prayer time and religious rites. Allah will give you an alternative.
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The categories of Tawheed
Muhammad a perfect example of moderation
Contemplation and consideration
Belief in the Hereafter
The prohibition of abusive language, insults and curses
Knowledge of Allah is obligatory
Why do we delay repentance?
Seeking lawful earnings
Honouring the daughters in Islam