Praise be to our Lord, Allah Ta’ aala, Who has disclosed to us the best system of raising and upbringing children through His blessed and excellent Book, the Qur’an. He explains in detail the principles of goodness and guidance, which are put forth by the laws of the Shariah. May the blessings, peace, and prayers be upon our Prophet Muhammad, sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam, his family, companions, and righteous followers until the Day of Judgment.
Through this reformer and illiterate educator, Allah has revealed the most complete and honorable law, the Shariah, for the benefit of mankind. Among the countless blessings of Islam to the children of Adam, are the methods and principles for the continuous prosperity and growth of civilizations and peoples. The only reason behind this remarkable system is to draw mankind out of the darkness of shirk, ignorance, and disbelief into the light of Tawheed, guidance, and the knowledge of Allah. This concept is mentioned in Surah Maidah, in ayahs 15 and 16, when Allah says:
“…Indeed, there has come to you from Allah a light and a plain Book wherewith Allah guides all those who seek His Good Pleasure to ways of peace, and He brings them out of darkness by His Will unto light and guides them to the Straight Way.”
Furthermore, Allah says in Surah Taubah, ayah 105:
“And say (O Muhammad), “Do deeds! Allah will see your deeds, and (so will) His Messenger and the believers. And you will be brought back to the All-Knower of the unseen and the seen. Then He will inform you of what you used to do.”
Based on this ayah and many others, it has been made clear that a Muslim is encouraged to action and striving hard to achieve the righteous and good deeds, which are rewarded by Allah and to restrain himself from the wicked and indecent deeds, which incur the punishment of Allah. Islam is the religion of justice and knowledge and not a religion of injustice and ignorance. Islam is the religion of action and earning halal, and not a religion of laziness and carelessness.
Therefore every single power or tool needed to establish these two principles become the primary responsibility of the Ummah of Muhammad, (PBUH) in general, and its youth in particular. However, these youth must be sound in deen and aqeedah, strong in body, mind, intellect, and every other aspect of life. The reason why the youth are given the sacred obligation of establishing these principles is because the elders cannot lead the society much longer since their term is drawing near. So naturally the youth become the people depended upon to carry the wills of the society into the future. Since they are viewed as the heart of the body and if the heart is strong, able to pump the required amount of blood to the body, then the entire body will be strong and functioning. However, if the heart falls ill and weak, then the whole body becomes weak and ill.
Therefore, it is absolutely and vital that these category of youth be exceptional strong physically, mentally, morally, especially trained and raised according to the pristine teachings of the Qur’an and Sunnah of the prophet (PBUH). Be aware that every system aside from the Qur’an and Sunnah, without exception, is predestined to failure, error, and eventual disappearance.
The system derived from the Qur’an and Sunnah is from Allah, the Lord and Creator of the universe. So who to know a machine better than its designer? Likewise, who knows human beings better than the One Who originated and brought them into existence? Allah knows us better than anyone else and designed for us a system that is logically the best and most appropriate one to follow. For Allah says in Surah Mulk, ayah 14:
“Should not He who has created know? and He is the Most Kind and Courteous.”
Also, Allah says in Surah Fatir 35, ayah 31:
“ Verily! Allah is indeed All-Aware, and All-Seer of His slaves.”
It has been made evident that no system, ideas, or philosophy existing on the face of the earth that can be successfully depended upon to ensure the health of future generations like the system created by Allah. Not only the best way to bring up the Muslim youth in according to the teachings of the Qur’an and the example of Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him but the only way. The youth of every, single nation on earth are the power, the energy and the strength that push the wheel of that nation towards the future. However, their power and strength lacks wisdom and someone possessing power and strength but lacking wisdom automatically becomes a dangerous individual.
Therefore it is necessary for parents and those in charge of the youth to orientate them in the direction of the Qur’an and the Sunnah of the Prophet, peace be upon him. Otherwise, they develop into a problem and fitnah for the society. Allah says in the Qur’an concerning this matter, in Surah 64 ayah 14 and 15:
“O you who believe! Verily, among your wives and your children there are enemies for you; therefore beware of them! But if you pardon and overlook, and forgive, then verily Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful. Your wealth and your children are only a trial, whereas Allah! With Him is a great reward.”
Every aspect of human life, which includes economics, educational, cultural, industrial, and political, falls within the wisdom of the Shariah. Allah reinterates this point in surah Imran ayah 101, when He says:
“And Whoever holds firmly to Allah, then he is indeed guided to the Right Path.”
So, the Shariah of Islam is exactly the way out of every difficulty. Be extremely cautious of every destructive movement, particularly Western culture, which is directly opposed to the Shariah of Allah. When these foreign methodologies are presented to our youth, they negatively disrupt the fitrah (character), upon which they were created. The Prophet (pbuh) said, ” All human beings are born with fitrah, the nature (Islam).
The first recommendation of Shariah for the production of righteous offspring is:
1. Careful selection of their mothers. Therefore, the actual upbringing begins before the child is born. A righteous salaf once said, “The mother is a school which not only prepares your home, but the entire nation.” The wife chosen should be sound in deen, pious, with a beautiful character. The woman must also be fed from halal, because if she is not fed from halal, then she comes from haram. So the milk used to nurse the baby will also be haraam, which will result in a baby of poor quality.
Allah says in Surah A’raf ayah 58, concerning this matter:
“The vegetation of a good land comes forth (easily) by the Permission of its Lord; and that which is bad, brings forth nothing but (a little) with difficulty.”
In other words, if the land is bad, that which springs from it will also be bad. In a hadith related by Ibn Majah, the Prophet, peace be upon him, says, ” Be very selective of where you inject your nutfah, (sperm) because the blood goes too far and can be traced a long way.
2. To be very discriminating in terms of the education the child receives. Knowledge and conduct go together hand in hand. Knowledge cannot be taught without conduct because the later is the means in which the beneficial knowledge is deciphered from the unbeneficial knowledge. The Prophet, peace be upon him, said, “There is no present given to the child by the parent which is better than good character.” Parents must be extremely careful of the educational system and curriculum in which their children are placed. Destructive books, newspapers, and other outlets which preach a kafir philosophy such as religion is superstition, nature governs, and that humans are the descendants of monkeys must be strictly censored. In conjunction to this principle, the teachers as well must be checked. As the Arab poet once said, “The teacher has almost become prophet. ” Ibn Masoud said, “This knowledge is the deen itself, so be very selective of who you take your deen from.” Perhaps the worst source of kufr is the television, which has contributed greatly to the poor character seen in many Muslim youth.
Let us now examine the factors that can secure righteous character in our youth.
First, attach the child to the principles of faith such as belief in Allah and His Oneness, belief in angels, messengers, the Resurrection and Judgment Day, the punishment of the grave, the Paradise and Hell. The first things to place into the mind of a child from the beginning are the words of, “La ilaha illa Allah.” The hikmah (wisdom) behind this method lies in the fact that the things that are first heard are usually the ones that settle and reside in the mind, and never wait until the age of seven to introduce the child to Allah, rather, from birth orientate him towards Islam so that he will view Islam as his deen and Qur’an as is his guide, and the Prophet (pbuh) as his leader and example.
Second, then the detail of the faith to be taught at the age of ten, the understanding of salah, fasting, zakat, and Hajj, and the concepts of Halal and Haram. Ibn Abbas said that Prophet (pbuh) said, “Protect yourself through obedience to Allah and fearing His Punishment and instruct your children to comply with the commandments of Allah and stay away from His Prohibitions. That is the cure and protection of the Hell-fire for you and them.” The teachings of haram and halal will open the eyes to the Commandments of Allah and among the best guides to piety.
These principles must be instilled in such a manner that they actually mix with the flesh and the mind from the age of Seven. Prophet (pbuh) is reported to have said, “Command your children to pray when they reach the age of seven and hit them if they leave it off when they reach the age of ten and separate them from each other in the beds.” The enjoining of good to children is not only beneficial to the child who acts upon it, but is also a source of blessings to the parents. And all success is with Allah.
And now we would like to provide you with several examples from the Noble Qur’an, which instruct us as to how to raise our children according to the Shariah and Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah, sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam.
Allah says in Surah Ta-Ha, ayah 132,
“And enjoin As-Salat (the prayer) on your family, and be patient in offering them.”
Furthermore, in Surah At-Tahrim, ayah 6, Allah says,
“O you who believe! Ward off yourselves and your families against a Fire whose fuel is men and stones, over which are (appointed) angels stern and severe, who disobey not, (from executing) the Commands they receive from Allah, but do that which they are commanded.”
In ayahs 92 and 93 of Surah Hijr, there contains a clear proof of the obligation one has towards those he who has been made stewards over, when Allah says,
“So, by your Lord, We shall certainly call all of them to account, for all that they used to do.”
The Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him, said on the authority of Bukhari and Muslim, “Every one of you is a protector and guardian. A ruler is also a steward, a man is a steward in respect of the family members of his house, and a woman is a steward in respect of her husband’s house and his children. Every one of you is a steward and is accountable for those who are placed under his care.”
Another hadith showing the importance of parents raising their children according to the teachings of Islam is the Messenger of Allah’s, peace be upon him, saying, “Teach your kids and family good and train them in goodness.” According to Tirmidhi, Rasulullah is reported to have said, “The teaching of good manners by a man to his childrenis better for him than to give a sa’a in charity.
Furthermore, careful consideration must be made in terms of selecting the correct environment for education. In this context, environment refers to both inside and outside the home. The deen is the criteria used to determine the quality of a particular environment. First and foremost, the lifestyle of the parents must completely conform to the teachings of the Qur’an and Sunnah. This lifestyle, which is entirely free of bidah and shirk, must be carefully passed down to the children. In Surah Al Baqarah, ayah 132, Allah says,
“And this (submission to Allah, Islam) was enjoined by Ibrahim upon his sons and by Ya’qub (saying), “O my sons! Allah has chosen for you the (true) religion,then die not except in the Faith of Islam.”
Ayah 133 of Surah Al Baqarah provides an excellent example of the diligence parents should have to ensure that the Islamic lifestyle is instilled within their children. Allah says,
“Or were you witnesses when death approached Ya’qub? When he said unto his sons, ‘What will you worship after me?’ They said, ‘We shall worship your God, the God of your fathers, Ibrahim, Isma’il, Ishaq, One God, and to Him we submit (in Islam).’”
The outside environment is no less important than that of the inside. Pay close attention to your children’s selection of friends and associates. Remember that a child’s heart is like a blank sheet of paper only waiting to receive an imprint. Rasulullah, peace be upon him, says, “Man is on the religion of his friend. Therefore let everyone of you look with whom he keeps company (Tirmidhi and Abu Daoud).” A child’s friend should be one possessing strong intellect and clear thinking. The silly and foolish friend will transfer that exact silliness and foolishness to your child.
Secondly, the character of the friend must be taken into careful consideration because character itself is the deen of Islam. You will never be completely safe from the sins and immorality of a person with bad character. Furthermore, the friend cannot be muqalid, or the one following bidah.
As mentioned earlier, the child’s heart is clear and pure and must be treated accordingly. Similarly, bidah is usually discreet and subtle and can be easily transferred to the child. Avoid allowing your children to form friendships with those who are over inclined towards the dunya. Do not allow children to be accustomed to too much comfort and luxury, because decorating their faces and clothes while their deen is blemished will lead to the child spending the rest of their life trying to maintain that comfort instead of utilizing their life for the purpose they were designed for which is the worship of Allah.
So beware of the trust in your hand that possesses a heart ready to gravitate towards any direction shown to it. If we train and instruct them to goodness, then Insha’Allah, we will have a share in those blessings. Likewise, if we accustom them to wickedness and its people, we have in fact caused their wickedness and we will suffer along with them the consequences in. We must protect, discipline and educate them with the best of manners Islam is the religion of excellent character.
As for what follows, are the most common means, which result in bad children, neither, being a benefit to themselves or their parents.
1. The household afflicted with poverty. A child not having enough food and clothing will begin to explore many unIslamic avenues and come into contact with various personalities and lifestyles that are in opposition to the deen of Truth. The solution to this dilemma lays in Islam’s principle of giving each person its right to food and drink. These rights stem from the collective responsibility of both government and society. For example, when poverty is the result of a person’s carelessness, then the government would force that individual to work. Reasons outside of laziness would usually be fulfilled by society through virtues such as Zakat and sadaqah, or voluntary charity.
2. Unnecessary disputing between parents creates an environment devoid of love, honor, and understanding. Soon, the child will begin searching for those virtues from sources that are contrary to Islam. This solution lies in the husband choosing a righteous and pious woman as a spouse. As the Rasullah said, “The world, the whole of it, is a commodity, and the best of the commodities of the world is a virtuous wife (Muslim).” Likewise, the husband must also be pious and even natured. The Prophet, peace be upon him, said, “If a man comes to you and you are satisfied with his deen and character then give him a wife.”
3. Righteousness and piety are extremely valuable in marriage because problems always occur when one or both partners are not following an aspect of Islam. Obviously, divorce causes children to feel lost and displaced and to seek happiness from almost anywhere. The solutions to divorce are the preventive measures specifically mention in several ayats of the Qur’an. Furthermore, counseling should be sought from individuals well grounded in the knowledge of Shariah.
Once again, bad company is among the factors that contribute to poor quality children. The Rasullah, peace be upon him said, “Be careful of the bad friend, because through him you will be known.”
And as the old saying goes, ‘show me your friends and I’ll tell you who you are,’ is imbedded with wisdom. Next, poor treatment of the children by the parents contributes to unbeneficial children. Refusing toraise them according to the teachings of Islam, which are guided by mercy and patience results in children possessing unstable, angry, and rebellious characters. Actually, to neglect and abandon the responsibility of teaching your children the deen is viewed as a crime in the Shariah. Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, said, “Allah’s forgiveness is on the parents who help their children to obey Allah.”
In another the Rasullah, peace be upon him, is reported to have said, “Whoever is merciful, Allah will be merciful to them (Abu Daoud and Tirmidhi).”
Once a man complained to Umar bin Khattab about his disobedient son. The son questioned Umar as to whether or not children have rights on their parents. Umar answered in the affirmative. The son requested Umar to mention those rights. Choosing a good mot[her, a good name, and to teach the Holy Qur’an are the rights Umar taught the man’s son. However, the young man informed Umar bin Khattab that his father married a slave idolatress, named him after a despicable animal, and had taught him nothing of the Qur’an. Umar looked at the father and said, “You complain about your son’s disobedience but you have been disobedient to him from the beginning.”
Perhaps the most destruction force upon the religion of our children is the media in general, and the television in particular. Movies filled with crime, sex, and foul language cause children to become rebellious and even kafir.Similarly, explicit literature and music lyrics must all be barred from Muslim youth.
4. Joblessness and idleness also absorb the strength and talent of our children. On the authority of Bukhari and Anas, a man came to the Rasullah, peace be upon him, and informed him that he has nothing at home to eat. The Rasullah, peace be upon him, requested the man to bring all his belongings and then asked the people if they wanted to purchase any of it. One sahabah bought the property and advised the man to buy food with half the profit and establish a lumber business with the remainder of it, and to not return until 15 days. After 15 days elapsed, he returned with money to buy clothes and food. The Rasullah, peace be upon him, told his sahaba that the selling of firewood was better than to be hungry and asking of people and that the people that ask will come to the Day of Judgment with no meat on their faces. Umar bin Khattab once found jobless men walking around and questioned them as to what they were doing. They replied that they were relying on Allah. Umar Khattab said, “You have lied. The person who relies on Allah is the one who throws the seed into the ground and waits for that seed to sprout.”
Children are among the trusts, which Allah will enquire about on the day of Resurrection. Neither parents nor their children will completely follow the teachings of Islam until we understand that this religion is the one of power, knowledge, responsibility, striving, and sacrifice. When Muslims stop being lazy and honor and respect the principles of Shariah. When this ummah, especially the religious scholars, becomes liberated from the love of dunya, bidah, and bad interpretations about the deen, and begins to call to mind the noble purpose for which we’ve all been created, only then can we benefit ourselves and bring love, prosperity, stability, and tranquility into our homes and then the Islamic lifestyle to the entire planet.
May Allah make us among His sincere worshippers and help us to raise our children according to the teachings of Islam and make the Prophet, peace be upon him, and the sahabah, not the Non Muslims, their only role models. (Ameen)