Sunday, October 4, 2009
Upbringing of Children
Upbringing of Children by Moulana Moosa Olgar
PARENTS AND THEIR ROLE IN THE UPBRINGING OF CHILDREN
Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) said: "All of you are guardians and
are responsible for your subjects. The ruler is a guardian of his subjects
and the man is a guardian of his family, the lady is a guardian of her
husband's house and his off-spring and all of you are guardians and are
responsible for your subjects'.
After having children the first and foremost desire of parents is to prepare
them for a bright and successful future. Thus every parent hopes and wishes
that their children be pious with excellent character but this can only be
achieved if the correct method towards this goal is adopted and the right
environment created from the very beginning. It is very important to note
that the spiritual upbringing is far more important than the physical
Although the environment prior to the child's birth is very important, so
too is the environment into which the child is born, as the actual
upbringing starts in the mother's lap which is the first MADRASAH for the
Although the father plays an important role in educating the child, the
mother plays a more important and greater role in this process. Rather it
can rightly be said that the mother contributes the greater share and plays
the best role in the early training and education of her children. Moreover
the mother is more loving, kind and patient than the father, she is nearer
to the children and they are more free and attached to her. This makes the
mother more capable of educating and training her children in the most
The meaning of this is: Every child is born pure. It is the environment
created by his parents that determines his future. It is absolutely
necessary to understand that before you expect your child to learn the ways
of Islam, the parents have to be practising Muslims themselves. Parents
should set a good example in front of their children. Therefore for the
parents to be practising Muslims is of utmost importance for the Islamic
upbringing of their children. Regarding parents, this poem is best suited:
"The parent is like a mirror, the reflection it gives, the child adopts. If
the reflection is good, the child is good. If the reflection is bad, the
child is bad".
Remember, the entire future of the child depends entirely on the parent's
teachings, training and environment in which the parent's bring up their
child. The home environment and the parent's upbringing of the child either
makes or mars the child's future. If the home environment is Islamic, then
the child will be religiously inclined, but if the home environment is
unIslamic, then the child will develop irreligious traits and habits in
himself. Because the child does not come from a solid Islamic home, he is
unaware of the gems and jewels of Islam due to lack of Islamic knowledge and
education. Copper, brass and gravel of other religions look dazzling and
beautiful in his eyes.If the child hears music and watches television, then
he will want to imitate the singers and the T.V. stars. On the other hand,
if the words of Allah Taa'la (i.e the Quraan) keeps falling in his ears and
the lives of Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) and the Sahaaba
(radiyallahu anhum) are related to him, then he will develop good qualities
and try to imitate Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) and the Sahaaba
(radiyallahu anhum). Remember, if the home environment is not Islamic, how
do we expect the child to become a fine and respectable Muslim servant of
If religious education and training are given from childhood, the child on
growing up will definitely understand the rights of the parents and elders
and will respect them. If the child has been deprived of religious education
and training by careless and neglectful parents, he will not discharge the
rights that he has to towards his parents^Many parents complain that their
children are ill-mannered, disobedient and disrespectful. The cause of their
disobedience is only the fault of the parents, as they, on account of their
greed for worldly things and love for money, kept their children blank in
religious education. To earn their livelihood and to fill their bellies,
parents are keeping their children aloof from religious education, and
instead involve them in profane education and worldly pursuits, thus making
them irreligious. There is none to educate these innocent children and to
train and inculcate Islamic morals into them. How will the fear of Allah be
instilled into their minds? Since attaining the age of sensitivity, the love
of money, beautiful clothes and houses, fast cars etc. has entered his heart
and he now remains occupied day and night with the thought of these things
only and keeps trying to acquire them. He cares not if in acquiring these
things, he may be depriving or destroying the rights of others.(In his greed
of acquiring worldly goods, high medical, legal and engineering degrees, he
is ready to waste the invaluable wealth of IMAAN. Such men can cause ruin to
the community and in creating a struggle for power, are in fact proving to
be the disintegrators of institutions. What now can the religion and
community expect from this kind of upbringing?-! How can the parents then
say that the youth "the fresh blood" do not obey the parents, do not help
the weak, the widows and the orphans, and do not take interest in works
concerning the masaajid and madaaris? The parents themselves have not taught
them to do these acts. The young people are even ignorant of the reward for
obeying their parents and of the punishment for disobeying them. How many
Ahaadith do they know? And how many Ahaadith have they been asked to
memorise? Not a single answer will be received to any of these questions.
Then what else can you expect from such ignorant youth?
Nowadays parents say: O' look at my son, he shows no respect to his parents
or they say: look at what my daughter has done, she has no DEEN in her. But
alas! do they ever ask themselves why? Why has my child no DEEN in him? The
parents eventually refuse to take the blame for their son's or daughter's
evil actions. But, ponder, whose fault is this? This fault is none other
than the parents themselves. To them it is definitely not their fault, as
they brought their child up, nurtured him, gave the best food, the best
clothes, took him wherever he wanted gave him plenty of money, and did
whatever he wanted, as he was their special child. But the main and
essential thing the parent forgot or rather did not feel it necessary to
give the child was religious education and tarbiyat. Now as the child grows
up, his greed for worldly material things has blinded his sense of morals.
Oh yes! you wonder what morals? That's right, the child has no Islamic
morals or education whatsoever. So now, how can you expect morals and good
habits from him, if you did not inculcate it into him. The child now feels
that there is nothing wrong in disobeying his parents. He now adopts the
western ways which are prevalent today and which has no place for parents as
Amongst westerners when their parents reach old age they no longer care for
them. Instead in a cruel way, they place them in old age homes. The very
same parents who brought them up, fed them, clothed them, gave them
everything, the same mother who gave birth to him, nurtured him, spent
sleepless nights, and now all of a sudden they are considered too much of a
burden to be cared for. This my dear reader, is the western attitude and if
you as a parent fail to impart deeni education and training to your
children, then they will definitely receive education and influences of a
different standard. A way of the westerners! and due to your negligence you
may also be thrown out by your own very special child. The difference
between Muslims and non-Muslims is that Muslims impart religious education
and training to their children, thus making them successful in both the
worldly life and the life of the hereafter. So remember parent's, it is YOU
who make a big difference ! It is your teachings and tarbiyat which will
mould your child into a respectable Islamic conscious person. But Alas! the
parent, harpe upon their own rights and grumble against the children.
Likewise, think of the basic cause whereby the children became disobedient.
No doubt the parents have a right to claim the fulfilment of their rights
from their children. But since the parents are unaware of the children's
rights and their rightful demand, they do not discharge their own
responsibility and as a consequence the children become disobedient. It was
the parent's primary duty to give religious education and training to the
children, but instead of that they made them become involved in worldly
However by paying attention to the crucial necessity of giving religious
education during childhood, an effort should be made to create an emotion
and fervour for IMAAN in the hearts of the children. (The imparting of
religious education will make them conscious of Allah's rights, the rights
of elders, widows, orphans and parents, whereby they will consider the
discharging of these rights as an act of reward and the cause of success and
prosperity in the world and religion.
But if children are kept away from religious education, then what we are
observing today is definitely going to happen. Parents and elders who do not
discharge the children's rights and miss the opportunity of acquitting
themselves of their responsibility, will not find the children fulfilling
their parent's rights when they grow up. Such children rather than being
useful will prove to be harmful to the community.
The following two stories (anecdotes) refer to those parents who fail to
impart deeni education and training to their children. Read them carefully
and take lesson from them!
Abul Laith Samarqandi (R.A) has related that a man brought his son to Hazrat
Umar (radiyallahu anhu) and said: "My son does not obey me, he! is
disobedient to me". Hearing this Hazrat Umar (radiyallahu anhu) said: j "O'
boy, don't you know what rights a father has on his son?" Thereafter he
narrated the rights of a father on his children. The boy said: "O' Commander
of the faithful! Do the children too have any rights on their; ; father?"
Hazrat Umar (radiyallahu anhu) said: "Yes! the children too have! i rights
on their father". "What are those rights"? asked the boy. Hazrat! < Umar
(radiyallahu anhu) replied: "First of all, he should search for a good; ]
mother for his son. He should marry with a virtuous, religious woman,! i and
must not marry any woman of questionable nature and doubtful! ] character.
The second right is that when he begets a child, he should name it with a
good name, and the third right of the child is that he should ' impart
religious knowledge to him and teach the Quraan". The boy said:i; "O'
Commander of the faithful! my father has not discharged any of these! i
rights. Firstly, the woman who is my mother is a negress, a slave woman! 1
that he has bought for 400 dirhams. She is a neophyte Muslim slave woman 11
who is quite ignorant of religious education, Islamic civil manners and''
morals. It is in her laps that I have passed my infancy. She has not givenj
i me any religious education. What should I do? Secondly, they have not
named me with a good name. They have named me Jo'al meaning black, ugly man.
I should have been given a good name which was my right, but my father did
not discharge his responsibility towards me. The third is the right of
religious education, which they did not give me at all. Now whatever
decision you give, I will accept it".
Just ponder over it. A great man like Hazrat Umar (radiyallahu anhu) at[ the
very mention of whose name people shudder even today said: "O'; boy's
father, first of all, you have been neglectful regarding the boy's rights
which you did not discharge and now you tell me that your son does not obey
you. GET OUT! It is you who have disobeyed first".
Ponder over Hazrat Umar's (radiyallahu anhu) decision. Just as we have given
up discharging the responsibility regarding our children, what is our
condition? Then we consider our children to be disobedient and unworthy.
Parents should remember that they became disobedient first. Children are a
trust, and this responsibility came upon the parents and they did not
discharge it, but instead they engaged their children in worldly things.
Hating knowledge and the assemblies of Ulema, parents have attached their
children's hearts to the bazaar and the motor stand. How then can you expect
to reform the children? . So if parents remind their children during their
childhood itself about religious responsibility and make an effort to attach
him to religion, then Insha-Allah, by such training, the children will
become virtuous and pious. So if you want to live an honourable life in this
world, engage your children in religious education.
The second anecdote is regarding a son beating his father. A man came to an
Aalim and said: "My son beats me and beats me very much". "What! the son
beats his father", exclaimed the Aalim. "Yes!" replied the man, he beats me
and beats me too much". The Aalim said: "Have you imparted to him deeni
education and have you taught him manners?" The man said: "No". The Aalim
then asked : "Have you taught him the Quraan?" When the man again said no,
the Aalim asked: "What does your son do?" The man replied: "He is a
cultivator". The Aalim asked: "Do you know why your son beats you?" The man
said that he did not know. The Aalim then said: "It seems to be that your
son must be going to the field sitting on a horse or a donkey, an ox must be
in front of him and a dog in his rear. The son has not read the Quraan and
does not know what the Quraan is. You must have asked him at that time as he
was going to the field to read the Quraan and therefore he beat you. Thank
Allah that your head did not break.
Yes! the reality here is that religious education was not given to his son
in his young days, with the result he is unaware of his father's rights.
ITis therefore the right of every child upon the parents that he be given a
sound Islamic education and be taught good manners. This in turn will ensure
that they lead a proper Islamic life and be saved from hardships in this
world, and more important in the hereafter.
The Quraan says:
"O! You who believe, save yourself and your family from afire whose fuel is
men and stones". (Surah Tahreem)
Hazrat All (radiyallahu anhu) interprets this to mean that you must save
your family by giving them good education and good manners. Therefore to
make children's lives successful according to standards set by Islam,
parents should devotedly train and educate them. Parents should carry out
their duty with wisdom, affection, patience and steadfastness. By doing
this, their position will be exalted in the eyes of Allah, and their status
will be raised in society.
Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said: If Everyone of you is a
shepherd and everyone of you will be answerable for his flock".
The mother in particular is responsible for the correct upbringing of the
child. It is stated in the Hadith about the mother: "and she is a
shepherdess over the house of her husband and of his children, and she is
Basic Islamic education and good morals could only be taught am practised at
home. Therefore the first MADRASAH for the child is the mother's lap. The
mother contributes the greater share and plays the best role in the early
training and education of her children.
By imparting Deeni knowledge to the children, parent's positions will be
exalted in the eyes of Allah, and their status will be raised in society,
Know that the state of one's religious and worldly affairs depend upon soundness of one's reflection. Anyone who has a share of it has an abundant share of everything good. It has been said : 'An hour's reflection is better than a year's worship.' 'Ali, may God ennoble his face, has said: 'There is no worship like reflection.' And one of the gnostics; may God have mercy on them all, said: 'Reflection is the lamp of the heart; if it departs the heart will have no light.' Reflections by Imam Al-Haddad (ra)