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 every Muslim, the highest goal should be 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. These goals are worth achieving, however, they should not take precedence over the primary goal, i.e, paradise.
Parents should desire paradise as the biggest goal for their children.
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
4. Attachment Parenting
It is the right of the children to be loved. This begins with breastfeeding the child. Allah prescribes two years for breastfeeding in the Qur’an. Breastfeeding puts them in direct physical contact with the mother which is important for their psychological development.
Scientifically, it is proven that the first 5 years are the most crucial in cultivating the future personality of the child. Most of the problems teenagers and young adults face stem from the early period of childhood. Therefore, children need love, guidance and positive role models from the early years of their childhood to have stable lives ahead. The research shows that an accurate predictor success at age 25, is how the child is at 5 with regards to their overall development.
The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said, “Anyone who does not show mercy to our children nor acknowledge the right of our old people is not one of us.”
[Sahih Al Bukhari]
In the time of the Prophet ﷺ and still, to this day, some considered kissing and cuddling children as not something the men do. However, the Prophet SAW came as a role model for new behaviour and conduct towards children.
It was narrated that Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her), said: “Some Bedouin people came to the Prophet ﷺ and said: ‘Do you kiss your children?’ He said: ‘Yes’. He said: ‘But we, by Allah, never kiss (our children)’. The Prophet said: ‘What can I do if Allah has taken away mercy from you?’” [ Sunan Ibn Majah]
Guide your children in the most loving way possible.
Quality time and personal attention should be given to them. Lines of communications should be developed with them, not just a brief daily catch-up. Dialogue should take place in real-time to ensure an effective and healthy parent-child relationship.
When dealing with children, one should know what to focus on and avoid being harsh or reactive. Soft and kind approaches should be adopted when dealing with the children even in situations where they fall short rather than using harsh and ugly words on them.
Ultimately, parents should develop a strong bond of attachment with their children or risk being detached from them.
This article is Part 4 of a 7 Part Series. Click here for Part 3.
Originally edited by Angelica Djanie.