Muslim parenting has been reflected over by many and yet it remains mastered by a few. To be fair and honest, it is a daunting task for parents to imbibe basic Islamic values in their children, especially when they are living in Non-Muslim countries. How do you make them strike a balance between the Dunya and the hereafter? How do you divert their attention towards Islamic knowledge in a world that offers them intriguing cartoons and games which are anything but Islamic?
The first thing is to get YOUR basics right. Islam is not something your child can imbibe “later on”. As a parent, the best gift you can give to your child is good upbringing. Children are an amanah, given to us by Allah. They are a beautiful gift from Allah to us but an even bigger responsibility. It is our job to raise them as principled, hard-working, and God-fearing individuals.
As the Prophet (peace be upon him) said,
“When a man dies, his action discontinues from him except three things, namely, perpetual sadaqah (charity), or the knowledge by which benefit is acquired, or a pious child who prays for him.”[Sunan Abi Dawud]
The Hadith is clear. Our intention should be to raise our children in a way that they become good human beings, good Muslims and a source of benefit for us and themselves for the Hereafter. To achieve this aim, one must remember the four principles of Muslim Parenting. Here they are!
1. Children are born pure and sinless
“No child is born except on al-fitra (Islam or primordial human nature) and then his parents make him Jewish, Christian or Magian, as an animal produces a perfect young animal: do you see any part of its body amputated?”[Sahih Muslim]
What this essentially means is that your children are innocent, even if they make mistakes. So deal with them gently. If they err, try to look for the reason they did what they did instead of scolding them right away. The problem could be in their environment or influence.
2. You are your child’s first role model
“Everyone of you is a guardian and is responsible for his charges. The ruler who has authority over people is a guardian and is responsible for them; a man is a guardian of his family and is responsible for them; a woman is a guardian of her husband’s house and children and is responsible for them; a slave is a guardian of his master’s property and is responsible for it; so all of you are guardians and are responsible for your charges.”[Sahih al-Bukhari]
Are you setting the right example for your children? If not, get your actions in order. This is the most important principle of Muslim parenting.
3. Kindness and mercy
One of the easiest Sunnahs to follow is to show kindness and mercy towards children. The Prophet (peace be upon him) would let them climb over him while he was in prostration because he understood that it is in a child’s nature to play. And thus we arrive at another principle of Muslim parenting of following his example by being kind towards children.
4. Drawing the line
Your child must be able to distinguish between right and wrong from a very early age. So don’t forget to set rules and limits for everyone in the family and make your child understand why he/she must adhere to them. Once they understand the principles, they’ll make the right choices when they grow up.
Also Read: Top 7 tips for Muslim Parents