by Arfa Saira Iqbal, head of Pure Matrimony– the world’s largest matrimonial service for practising Muslims.
Parenting is one of the most dauntingly scary, yet one of the most rewarding things you can ever do in your life – provided you do it right. Allah (swt) places a huge responsibility upon the parents of children to raise them righteously, in accordance to Islamic principles.
Allah (swt) says in the Quran:
O you who believe! Ward off yourselves and your families against a Fire (Hell) 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. [Quran, 66:6]
In this astounding verse, Allah (swt) clearly places the burden of responsibility very squarely on the shoulder of parents to protect their families from the punishment of the fire, with a stern warning served to those who choose to ignore these commands.
It’s important to understand the long-term implications of raising your children righteously. Never in the history of Islam has the ummah been collectively attacked and humiliated on a global scale as it has been in the last few decades, and I don’t think this is an accident.
Ameer-ul-Mu’mineen Umar-ibn Al-Khattab (ra) said, We were the most humiliated people on earth and Allah gave us honor through Islam. If we ever seek honor through anything else, Allah will humiliate us again.
How eerily accurate was Umar (ra)’s summation of the current state of our affairs? Here’s something to ponder: If we don’t raise our generation of children to be God-fearing, with the love of Islam and the pursuit of the truth in their hearts, then what hope is there for the future generations of Muslims to come?
Do we really want to stand before Allah (swt) on the Day of Judgement – the day when our soul will surely get what it deserves— with the weight of our irresponsibility towards our families tipping us dangerously into the fire? No Muslim who truly believes in Allah (swt) would ever want this for themselves or their families.
If you have yet to marry, then you should know that one of the most basic and fundamental rights of your unborn children is the right for you to choose a practising spouse when it comes to marriage.
As a bare minimum, this is the very least right that your future children have. Once they come into the world, the onus now falls upon you to teach them about Islam properly and help them create a deep and lasting connection with their creator.
The prophet (saws) said: Every one of your (people) is responsible, and everyone is responsible for whatever falls under his responsibility. A man is like a shepherd of his own family, and he is responsible for them. [Bukhari and Muslim]
Therefore, you must teach your children about the greatness of Allah through His names and attributes; that He lives above the heavens and above the throne and that He, Azzawajal, is the master of the entire dominion.
In fact, Allah (swt) gives us several examples in the glorious Quran of how the prophets taught their children. Prophet Luqman (as) is recorded in the Quran teaching and warning his son against the evil of shirk:
And [mention, O Muhammad], when Luqman said to his son while he was instructing him, ‘O my son, do not associate [anything] with Allah . Indeed, association [with him] is great injustice.’ [Quran, 31:13]
In addition to this, children need to know the following as a minimum before the age of puberty, because after this age, they will be held accountable by Allah for their deeds and actions. And yes, this includes the five daily prayers!
- Who the prophet (saw) was
- The five pillars of Islam
- The six articles of faith
- How to perform salah when they reach the age of 7
- How to make dua sincerely to Allah (swt)
- How to read the Quran correctly with Tajweed
- Understand the concept of haram and halal
- Know who Shaytaan is and how to protect oneself
If parents are not practising Muslims or have no knowledge of these things, then how do they expect to teach their children? Sending children to a mosque or religious study program would certainly help, but if this is not re-enforced in the home with the parents and their behaviour, then unfortunately children will learn that following the commands of Allah is not important.
Always remember the golden rule of parenting when it comes to your children: Children do as they see, not as you say. Therefore, if you want to change the world and make it a better place, start with yourself and make an active intention in your heart to be the best Muslim role model you can be for your children.
Learn the Quran properly with tajweed if you don’t know it already. Establish the salah within the home, and get used to living your life in according to the Sunnah. Learn about Allah (swt) and the prophet SAW and make every attempt to enjoin the good and forbid evil.
If every home implemented just these basic principles, the Ummah would be strong and rise again as just, trustworthy and intrinsically excellent in everything.
Written by Arfa Saira Iqbal
Sister Arfa Saira Iqbal is Head of Pure Matrimony – the world’s largest matrimonial service for practising Muslims. Sister Arfa Saira has appeared on Islam Channel and is a published author as well as being a prolific writer on marriage and family life for the Muslim Marriage Guide. You can download the astonishing FREE report which reveals the three most important things you need to look for when searching for a spouse at www.MuslimMarriageCrisis.com.