Five things every Muslim parent needs to do
Being a good parent isn’t easy and we all know that. From the moment of birth, you are entirely responsible for the physical, mental and emotional well-being and upbringing of your child. As Muslims, this responsibility is even greater because your main duty is to ensure that you inculcate an understanding and practice of Islam into your children. To preserve Islam in our children, as parents we should:
Educate your children
We must ensure that we are able to at least provide basic Islamic knowledge to our children. This would include that which is mandatory or fard-ain for every Muslim to know such as the basic Fiqh of purification and Salah as well as Quran recitation. We must also create awareness in our children about that which is Halal and that which is Haram. By doing so we enable them to carry out the commands of Allah and attain His pleasure.
Pray for your children
A parent’s dua for their child is one that is never left unanswered. It is the most powerful means by which you can ensure the guidance and spiritual well-being of your child. We do not have the power to guide or transform our children’s spiritual condition by ourselves. The power to change hearts and grant ultimate guidance lies with Allah alone. It is mentioned in a hadith: “Three duas are not rejected; the dua of a father, the dua of a traveller and the dua of an oppressed person” (Tirmidhi). Likewise, a mother’s dua is also equally as powerful and accepted. Thus we must make it a point daily to sincerely turn to Allah and ask Him to guide and protect our children in all of the daily challenges that they face. Dua can be made in any language as long as it is from the heart, however, there are Quranic supplications that would greatly benefit us to memorise in Arabic, learn the meanings and incorporate them into our daily lives.
Teach Islamic etiquettes
Beyond the basic teachings of Islam, it is imperative for us to teach our children how to live Islam. This includes the manners, morals and character we instil within them such as kindness, respect, humility, tolerance, gratitude and patience. It is our duty to ensure that we raise children that will grow up to be positive, contributing members of society. It is important to remember that this tarbiyyah (nurturing) towards Islamic etiquettes is an ongoing process. We must keep striving on a regular basis to impart these values by establishing weekly study sessions expounding the virtues of good actions in our homes on a regular basis.
Positive reinforcement at home
The best way to instil Islamic etiquettes into our children is to simply “walk the walk”. This means that we must become role models that actually practice what we preach to our children. It is important to note that from a young age a child learns to imitate their parent’s every action. Thus, if the child sees his or her parents praying, or observing a modest and Islamic dress code, he or she will automatically try to do the same. Similarly, if the child sees the parents using foul language or hurting another individual, he or she will follow suit.
Bond with your children
We must provide our children with constant love, support and encouragement. It is against the Prophetic example to be harsh towards children or to degrade them. We must not push our children beyond their capacity, especially in matters of religion. We should present Islam in a loving manner such that they genuinely wish to practice its teachings out of their own free will. The Prophet (peace be upon him) would also be engaged in humour with the youth and this serves to remind us of the importance of having fun with our children. Our duty is not simply to educate and discipline, but also to be a friend to our children. We must engage in enjoyable lawful activities such as sports, archery, swimming, hiking, etc. By doing so, we win over the heart and mind of the child such that they look forward to spending time with us.
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