Muslims parents across the world wish to raise their children with faith and imbibe the love of Allah in their hearts from a very young age. Parenting is a tough task and Islamic parenting is even more daunting, considering the not-so-Islamic influences your little love is subjected to everyday. While we look for Muslim parenting tips and inspirations here and there, let’s take a minute to reflect at how the Prophet (peace be upon him) dealt with children. From his relationship with his daughters to that of his grandchildren, Hasan and Hussain, there are a lot of parenting lessons which the Prophet (peace be upon him) teaches us. In fact, being merciful to children is one of the easiest Sunnahs to practice.
1. Teach them the Deen
Many Muslim parents wonder when it is best to start to introduce their child to Islam, what is the best age to send them to a madrasah or attend the masjid.
The Prophet (peace be upon him) would take his grandsons to the masjid when they were perhaps toddlers. They would play on the Prophet’s (SAW) back while he prostrated and he would wait for them to come down.
If we want our children to love Islam, we must introduce them to it right from their childhood. A child who sees his family practicing Islam, ingrains Islamic etiquette from the very beginning of their life. Let your children accompany you to the masjid, let them see you pray and recite the Quran.
2. Make Dua for them
The best gift parents can give their children is Dua. The Prophet (peace be upon him) would pray for his grandsons and once when he saw Hasan and Husain, he said:
“O Allah, I love them, so love them.”(Jami at-Tirmidhi)
Follow this Sunnah and make ample Dua for your children. Ask Allah to send everything good their way.
3. Encourage them towards goodness
Help your child see the path of goodness when they are not able to see it themselves.
One particular instance, Faatimah, the daughter of the Prophet (peace be upon him) went to meet him and asked for a maid because she was tired of all the household chores. The Prophet (peace be upon him) could have granted her wish but instead he guided her to something that he thought was better for her hereafter – to praise Allah.
4. Fulfill their Haqq
Our children have a right to be raised properly, to be listened to, to be played with, fed, clothed and protected. And if we are to follow the Sunnah, we should make sure that all these obligations are met to the best of our abilities.
Ibn ‘Umar said,
“Allah has called them the ‘dutiful’ (al-Abrar) because they are dutiful (birr) to their parents and children. Just as you have a duty which you owe your parent, so you have a duty which you owe your child.”(Al Adab Al-Mufrad)
5. Express love towards your children
Whenever Fatimah would enter upon the Prophet, that he would stand up to greet her out of love.
In another instance, ‘A’isha said,
“A bedouin came to the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and asked, “Do you kiss your children? We do not kiss them.’ The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, ‘Can I put mercy in your hearts after Allah has removed it from them?’”(Al Adab Al-Mufrad)
So the next time you find it embarrassing to tell your children you love them, think of the example the Prophet of Allah (peace be upon him) has set for you.
There are so many Muslim parenting tips out there. But the best ones are those which have been demonstrated by the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him). So introduce your child to Islam at a young age, play with them, pray for them and above all, be affectionate and merciful towards them.