You and I have a common goal and duty to raise responsible, confident Muslims who will reflect their upbringing and contribute to society in productive ways, yet we struggle day in and day out to get them to obey us. I could go on and on about punishments, timeouts, threats, and rewards to get them to listen to you but no, let’s first get to the root cause of the problem, which is us, parents. Yes, mama and papa, we may have a problem we need to fix.
No doubt, parents are the first and primary influence in a child’s life. And we are busy people but that does not stop children from being the natural copycats they are. We tell them to go pray on time while we continue working on a project that is due tonight or just carries on with cooking maybe. The children, see you delay the prayer for what’s important to you. Now they would think it’s okay to pray later as long as one prays. Action, dear mama and papa, is what matters. Children will be watching and analyzing your behavior. So our problem is that we talk the talk but don’t walk the walk. This is one of the main reasons children raised on faith choose to leave or be careless with religious obligations as they start to live on their own.
Parents who actively live the life they teach to children, with commitment and regularity, tend to raise them with the same moral values and discipline. The behavior of parents has a direct impact on the habit formation in children. Good habits are formed and reinforced through religiously and morally driven actions and interactions of the parents, such as being mindful of Allah (سبحانه وتعالى) consistently truthful, charitable, and just—at home and other social places.
Ibn ‘Umar reported that the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said “All of you are guardians and are responsible for your subjects. The Ruler is a guardian and responsible for his subjects; the man is a guardian of his family; the woman is a guardian in her husband’s house and responsible for her wards; a servant is a guardian of his master’s property and responsible for his ward. So all of you are guardians and are responsible for your subjects.”
In another Hadith, the prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said “Any governor in charge of Muslim subjects who dies while acting dishonestly towards them will be excluded by God from paradise.”
No doubt, parenting is an innumerable blessing from Allah (سبحانه وتعالى), and as the quote goes on “every blessing is a test and every test is a blessing” parenting comes with extreme hardships. Allah (سبحانه وتعالى) states in the Quran, “And know that your properties and your children are but a trial and that Allah has with Him a great reward.” Allah, the Lord of the Worlds, appreciates the devotion and the hardships parents go through in this self-sacrificing venture by honoring us with tremendous rewards.
Islamic principles are made convenient for all aspects of life, including the hurdles of parenting. It is of utmost importance for parents to gain correct Islamic knowledge and to understand the responsibilities Allah (سبحانه وتعالى) has assigned to us to achieve the goal of raising righteous, upright children. With this, in sha Allah, may our children raise to become the nation builders of the generations to come.
Good luck, mamas and papas 😉