The goal of the Muslim parent in raising Muslim children should be to raise righteous Muslims. Not merely children who identify culturally with Islam. Parents should have high goals and expectations from their children. For a true Muslim, the highest goal is Paradise.
The Prophet SAW said, “Seven are (the persons) whom Allah will give protection with His Shade on the Day when there will be no shade except His Shade (i.e., on the Day of Resurrection), and they are: A just ruler; a youth who grew up with the worship of Allah, […].
Al-Bukhari and Muslim
This should be our goal as parents; to raise children who will grow up worshipping Allah SWT. The reality is that most people have high expectations, which is purely focused on this life, like pursuing medicine, law and engineering, amongst other professions which would only earn them money and prestige. These goals are worth achieving from the academic perspective and are very much needed by the Muslim community. However, they should not take precedence over the primary goal, i.e, paradise.
As Allah says in the Qur’an:
As for those who believe and whose descendants follow them in faith, We will elevate their descendants to their rank, never discounting anything ˹of the reward˺ of their deeds. Every person will reap only what they sowed. [ Meaning, no one will carry the burden of another’s sins.]
Surah At Tur, 52:21
Dua is the critical aid for every Muslim. It is the right of the children that their parents pray for them even while they are unborn. Allah encourages us to make the following dua in the Qur’an:
رَبَّنَا هَبْ لَنَا مِنْ أَزْوَاجِنَا وَذُرِّيَّاتِنَا قُرَّةَ أَعْيُنٍ
“Our Lord! Bestow on us from our wives and our offspring who will be the comfort of our eyes.”
Surah AlFurqan, 25:74
This was the way of the prophets. We find Prophet Zakariya praying;
رَبِّ هَبْ لِي مِن لَّدُنكَ ذُرِّيَّةً طَيِّبَةً ۖ إِنَّكَ سَمِيعُ الدُّعَاءِ
“O my Lord! Grant me from You, a good offspring. You are indeed the All-Hearer of invocation.”
Surah Ali ‘Imran, 3:38
So parents should make sincere dua for righteous children. A dua which comes from the bottom of the heart, with certainty that our dua will be answered.
Abu Huraira RA reported: The Messenger of Allah SAW said, “Call upon Allah with certainty that He will answer you. Know that Allah will not answer the supplication of a heart that is heedless and careless.” [Tirmidhi]
When making dua for your children to be righteous, the dua should not just be rote-memorised quotations from Qur’an or the Sunnah that you repeat ritualistically. Rather, you should reflect on the dua, understanding what you are asking for, and aiming for the best possible outcome in this life and the hereafter.
This article is Part 2 of a 7 Part Series. Click here for Part 1.
Originally edited by Angelica Djanie.