Raising Our Future Generations: (Part 1) A Great Responsibility

Since 2014-01-17

In the following articles, we will seek to raise points and offer practical solutions to implement regarding the raising of our children; so that inshaa Allah, on that great Day, we will have an answer to Allaah’s questions which we will not regret.

Younus Kathrada

 No doubt, as concerned parents, we are all worried about how our kids will turn out. More and more I have parents coming and asking for tips on raising their children. In the next few articles, we will speak about some important issues regarding the raising of our children. Inshaa Allaah, we’ll try to be as practical as possible, but bear in mind that as parents we need to be willing to admit to our shortcomings and not discount that which is “inconvenient” as being impractical. I am writing as a parent who faces the same challenges as all of you. I too am living in the West (and as a matter of fact was raised here) so it’s not as though I am “out of touch” with what is really out there.

Let me begin by reminding one and all of what a great responsibility raising children really is. Realizing this should drive us to making a greater effort. Responsibility is a word many like to avoid, but we simply cannot. Islaam teaches us responsibility. In the following ahaadeeth the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) draws our attention to the great responsibility of bringing our children up correctly.

Ibn ‘Umar (radiyallaahu ‘anhu) reports that he heard the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) say: “All of you are (like) shepherds and all of you will be asked about their flock (i.e. are responsible for them). The Imam (leader) is the shepherd of his subjects and he is responsible. A man is the shepherd for the people of his home and he is responsible (will be asked about them). A woman is the shepherd of the home of her husband and she is responsible. Each of you is (like) a shepherd and each is responsible for his flock.” Agreed upon

Furthermore, the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) more or less states that a child will grow up on the religion/way (deen) of his parents as they are the strongest influences over him. Al-Bukhaari reports from the hadeeth of Abu Hurayrah (radiyallaahu ‘anhu) that the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: “There is no child born except in the state of fitrah (pristine disposition, natural state of Islaam) then his parents make him Jewish or Christian or Magian. Likewise, the animal gives birth to a fully formed calf. Do you see in it the least disfigurement?" Then Abu Huraryrah recited (what means): “The fitrah of Allaah upon which He has created [all] people.” [30:30]

Allaah has ordered parents to raise their children well and placed this huge responsibility on their shoulders for He says (what means): “O you who have believed, protect yourselves and your families from a Fire whose fuel is people and stones, over which are [appointed] angels, harsh and severe; they do not disobey Allaah in what He commands them but do what they are commanded.” [66:6]

‘Ali (radiyallaahu ‘anhu) said regarding the (meaning of the) words of Allaah: “protect yourselves and your families from a Fire” that it means teach yourselves and your families good. Al Fakhr ar-Raazi said in his tafseer that it means protect yourselves by abstaining from what Allaah has forbidden. Others said it means to protect yourselves by abandoning sin and working righteousness and to hold your families accountable as you hold yourselves accountable.  

Clearly then, a great deal of effort is required and the process of correcting and training is an ongoing one. Always keep in mind that you, the parent, will be asked about your child(ren). Ibn al Qayyim (rahimahullaah) says that the father will be asked about his child before the child is asked about his father. So for a parent to neglect teaching their child(ren) that which is beneficial is indeed a great wrong. Most children are corrupted due to their parents’ shortcomings in raising them well (and neglect in teaching them their religious responsibilities and duties).  

O parent, understand well that raising your child upon the true religion (al Islaam) in accordance with the Quraan and Sunnah is your duty and the right of the child; it is not a favour you extend to the child! Allaah will ask you about how you raised your child and what you taught him. Therefore, keep this in the forefront of your mind always. Ask yourself, when I am brought before my Lord on that inevitable Day and asked about my child, what will my response be?

 In the following articles, we will seek to raise points and offer practical solutions to implement regarding the raising of our children; so that inshaa Allah, on that great Day, we will have an answer to Allaah’s questions which we will not regret.

Source: Al-Madinah Academy

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