Many people hope for ourselves, family and children to do well in our worldly education to ultimately get a good job and a career or train to get a particular job. Many people in the world wish to invest in this life in a business venture of some sort to secure themselves in financial gains to live a good comfortable standard of life and in comfort. This is something we all want and hope to achieve and Islam does not censor this providing it is balanced, moderate and not contradictory to Islamic teachings and not going over board, to the extreme for the love of the Dunyah and neglecting learning and practising the deen. We are required to take a moderate middle course of the dunyah as a means to worship Allah and attain the akhirah.
Yet, many neglect themselves and their childrens Islamic education and upbringing and make it a secondary matter, they do not take the deen seriously nor give its due importance. Other families send their children to evening or weekend Madhrasa, yet the environment in their home is in most cases un-Islamic. Even many who send their children to full-time private Islamic schools fall short within their homes. For most of our children going to state schools, as parents we should take time out to ask them what they have learnt at school and anything we find contradictory and going against Islamic belief, principles, teachings we should correct that and instil in them the correct view. At the same time advising our children to be respectful, tolerant to others, their belief and culture, speaking to them according to their level of understanding.
When we educate our children and bring them up upon Islamic teachings and manners. Creating and maintaining an Islamic family, house hold and environment for our children, we are investing for the Akhirah. This will last forever insha’Allah. Our family will be a pleasure and reward (Sadaqatul Jariya)for us in this life and the next. With all the fitnah, temptations around us of the materialistic world, it is and can be very difficult to bring up our children Islamically, whether in the Muslims lands and particularly in the non-Muslim lands. And no doubt it is extremely difficult for our children and youths to remain upon Allah’s obedience and follow the Sunnah of the last Messenger of Allah sallallahualaihi wa sallam, having to face the various trials outside of the house, let alone in the house of TV, internet and Social Media. As specifically in the non-Muslim lands, where right is regarded as wrong and wrong regarded as right. Where youth look up and become influenced by so called celeb stars in music, movies, sports to be their example and role models. So how do we go about in after rectifying ourselves as husband and wife, as a mother and father striving to be knowledgeable educated religious practising Muslims, how do we build, rectify, correct and maintain our children and build a good Islamic home?
Indeed, guidance is from Allah the Lord of the Worlds and then the particular person who wishes to be guided. Upon us is to make constant Du’a and carry out our responsibility to bring up our children in a proper Islamic manner. We hope and pray for the good for our children that they become guided and adhere to the deen and specifically to the Sunnah and the Manhajus Salaf as-Salih when they grow older, and if they don’t then the responsibility falls off our shoulders as we tried our best to give them a good upbringing.
… Abu Hurairah, radhi’Allahu anhu, narrated that the Messenger of Allah sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam said: “When a person dies, his deeds are cut off except for three: Continuing charity (Sadakatul Jariyah, i.e. building masjid, school, water well etc), knowledge that others benefited from (Islamic ilm in books, Cd’s etc), and a righteous son (and daughter) who supplicates for him.” … Jami` at-Tirmidhi
Allaah subhana wa Ta’ala has said in the Qur’an:
“O you who believe, save yourselves and your family from a fire whose fuel is people and stones….” [Soorah At-Tahreem:6]
The Messenger of Allaah sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam said:
“Allaah the Most High, will ask every shepherd about his flock, whether he was heedful or neglectful of it, even to the extent of him being asked about his family.” [An-Nisa’ee]
Advise with regards to introducing Islam to your children making it appealing to them, includes the following:
1. Ensure your home is an Islamic home, in which all members of the family strive to be a good knowledgeble educated practising Muslim, adhering to the teachings of the deen. Learning and living by Islam. Being a living example for your children.
2. Teach them the basic principles of Aqeedah, the Sunnah and the way of the Sahabah in a simple and straightforward manner according to their ages, such as the Tawheed, Oneness and Uniqueness of Allah, may He be exalted, and that He knows everything, hears and sees them from above the seven Heavens, and that He rewards for good deeds and adhering to the rulings of Islam.
The fact that ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Abbaas was very young did not prevent the Prophet sallallahualaihi wa sallam from saying to him eloquent words about Tawheed and ‘aqeedah (belief). It was narrated that Ibn ‘Abbaas said: I was behind the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) one day and he said: “O young man, I shall teach you some words (of advice): be mindful of Allah, and Allah will protect you. Be mindful of Allah, and you will find Him in front of you. If you ask, ask of Allah; if you seek help, seek help of Allah. Know that if the nation were to gather together to benefit you with anything, it would benefit you only with something that Allah had already decreed for you, and that if they were to gather together to harm you with anything, they would only harm you with something Allah had already decreed for you. The pens have been lifted and the pages have dried.” Narrated by at-Tirmidhi, 2516; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh at-Tirmidhi.
3. Let them hear Qur’an recited in beautiful voices on Cd, tape MP3, phone, so that the Qur’an will be held in high esteem in their hearts. The Book of Allah is a Book of guidance and light for people, which will illuminate the way for them and make them steadfast in adhering to the straight path, by Allah’s leave. Gradually, comprehending the meanings of the Qur’an by reading the translation, while learning the Arabic language.
4. Create a connection between them and the Arabic language, and instil a love for it in their hearts and to learn it, because it is an important key to understanding and loving Islam. The key to the Qur’an, the deen is the Arabic language.
5. Present stories appropriate to their ages from the biography of the Prophet Muhammad sallallahualaihi
wa sallam and his noble Companions (may Allah be pleased with them), so that they will know that they belong to the best religion, the best Prophet, the best nation.
5. Help them get to know friends of their own age and background who are practising Muslims. It is essential that these friends should be of good character and righteous, so that they can influence your children and be an example for them in their righteousness and adherence to Islam, and the manner in which they interact with their parents.
The Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “The likeness of a good companion and a bad companion is that of one who carries musk and one who works the bellows. With the carrier of musk, either he will give you some or you will buy some from him, or you will notice a good smell from him; as for the one who works the bellows, either he will burn your clothes or you will notice a bad smell from him.”Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 1995; Muslim, 2628
6. Make them feel an attachment to the Masjid, by encouraging them to pray and attend classes; you can also make that attractive to them and encourage them by giving them gifts and prizes every time one of them shows some progress in his or her classes.
At the age of seven, the boys in particular should be taken to the Masjid for some of the Salah, to encourage them to go there and pray. If it is not easy for them to go to the masjid because it is far away or the route is not safe, then do not neglect to teach them to pray on time at home. Girls likewise at home with their mother.
The Messenger of Allah sallallahualaihi wa sallam said: “Instruct your children to pray when they are seven years old and smack them (not bruising or hurting them in order to show the serious mistake of not praying) if they do not do it when they are ten, and separate them in their beds.” Narrated by Abu Dawood, 495; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh Abi Dawood .
So from the age of seven until ten, children are to be instructed and trained to pray. This is just over three years of training, to become accustomed, adapted and habitual in our daily life which must be based on knowledge and an educational choice (not custom, tradition and blind following), it should be done based upon love of Allah, to please Him, attain His Mercy and Jannah by praying and doing all those things He loves and is pleased with and abstaining from all those things He has made prohibited and is displeased with. Our daily life is to revolve around the five Salah and not Salah revolving around our daily life. So around three years of training is required, just like in an educational field at University, a subject needs to be studied atleast for three years to be qualified and obtain the degree in that field.
This method should also be used for other acts of Ibadah, so that it becomes a habit based on knowledge and an educated choice and becomes part of the childrens life. Also it is easier at the accountable age to easily adapt. Other such ibadah as; fasting, giving charity, making the young girl who is seven to wear the Khimar (head Scarf), so that she gets used to it and is in the habit of wearing it and starts to love it. When she reaches ten years old, you can tell her to wear the proper correct Islamic Hijab.
7. Halal entertainment. Provide your children with an Islamic alternative. Most homes has a Television or some sort of screen to watch. Try to keep the T.V. out of your home, if not, then restrict its use and what is to be watched. Such as; only good cartoons that teaches good morals and manners, documentaries and news. Allow Nasheeds particularly by children without the musical instruments. Avoid the haram Nasheeds with music. Music is widespread as you know, calling to different sinful immoral acts, such as; fornication, adultery, drugs, alcohol, killing, gangster way of life etc. Give them the alternative, the Islamic halal Nasheeds, but do not go to the exteme, keep a balance and give priority to the listening to Qur’an more than Nasheed.
Play with them in the house and outdoors. Here you have an important role to play in explaining the differences between the two (haram and halal), and highlight how Islam encourages people to do good, uphold ties of kinship, hence go visiting relatives, close friends more often and show kindness and be merciful.
8. Show them Islamic websites that will be beneficial for them, each according to his age and whilst being careful not to let them roam freely on the internet; rather that should be through you.
9. Something that you should think about seriously and that will help you in what you are seeking to achieve is taking them to do ‘Umrah every two years or so, and visit the sacred House of Allah and the Prophets Masjid and other land marks, for these visits have a far-reaching impact on the hearts of young people as is also the case with adults. They will visually see the signs and symbols of Islam and appreciate who they are. Love of Islam will be instilled and develop in their hearts by the Will of Allah.
10. Put them in Islamic school/Madrasa if you are able financially, even if it may mean less standard or quality of National Curriculum subjects being taught. The Islamic environment at school will help the childs upbringing and complement the Islamic home. Though Islamic schools are not perfect, they will have good and bad children, the child needs to associate with the good children. Home schooling is also an option for other. The last resort out of necessity should be sending to state schools. But ensuring what they are being taught and then filtering it at home.
You should not be careless about two important matters:
-1- Pray that Allah help them and guide them; your supplication will be an important means of their being guided, so do not neglect it and do not think little of it. Be a living example for them. Adhere to what you teach.
-2- You should be a good example for them in treating them kindly and showing compassion towards them. That is not only part of parenthood; it is also part of being a Muslim who adheres to the religion of Allah, may He be exalted.
May Allah guide us all and our children to remain steadfast upon the deen and have zeal and enthusiasism to learn and act upon its teachings until death.