Being a good parent is not an easy task. You are entirely responsible for the mental, emotional, and physical well-being and upbringing of your child from their moment of birth. This responsibility is even greater as a Muslim parent, because your biggest duty as a Muslim parent is to make sure to instill a solid understanding of the correct Islamic creed in your children. The Prophet ﷺ (Salalahu Alaihi Wasalam) upon his deathbed was especially concerned with how his family would worship Allah and practice Islam after his passing.
Below are 5 guiding factors Muslim parents should follow:
#1.Make Du’a (supplications) for your child
Parents’ Du’a for their children are never left unanswered. Making du’a for your child is the most powerful means by which a parent can ensure the guidance and spiritual well-being of his or her child. As mentioned in a Hadith:
“Three du’as are not rejected; a father’s du’a, a traveler’s du’a and the du’a of an oppressed person.” (Tirmidhi, Abu Dawud).
The du’a of a mother is also equally accepted and powerful. Parents must make it a daily practice to turn to Allah and implore Him to protect and guide their children. You can make du’a for your child in any language, as long as it is from the heart. We as mere creations don’t have the power to transform or guide the spiritual conditions of our children by ourselves. The Almighty alone has the power to change hearts and grant ultimate guidance.
#2.Educate your child
Making du’a for your child is powerful but requires human effort. Parents should make sure to at least provide basic Islamic knowledge to their children. It is required for every Muslim to know the basic Fiqh (rules) for purification, the recitation of the Quran, as well as Salah. Parents must also create awareness in their children about things that are forbidden and things that are allowed as mentioned in the Quran. By doing so, you enable them to carry out Allah’s commands and attain His pleasure.
#3.Teach your child Islamic manners
It is vital for parents to teach their children how to live Islam, which consists of the morals and manners of patience, tolerance, kindness, respect, humility, and gratitude instilled in them. It is the duty of parents to make sure that they raise children who will grow up to become positive, contributing members of the society. Parents must on a regular basis keep striving to impart these values into their children by establishing weekly talims, the study sessions using books to expound the virtues of good actions in our homes and communities. The famous Hadith collection Fada’il al-A’mal is one such book that could be used for this purpose.
#4.Parents must commit to positive reinforcement at home
The best way for parents to instill Islamic etiquette into their children is to actually practice the good things you preach to your children and being role models to them. Children learn to imitate every action of their parents. If a child sees his/her parents observing an Islamic and modest dress code, the child will also imitate such a good habit.
Same way, if a child sees his/her parents hurting another individual and using foul language, the child will also do the same. Parents must take their children to their workplaces or the places they volunteer so their children may learn from their behavior.
#5.Parents should try and bond with their children
The most important element in any parent-child relationship is probably the bond that binds them both. This bond needs to go beyond simply educating, feeding and clothing your child. Parents must provide their children with constant love, encouragement and support. It is against the example of the Prophet ﷺ (Salalahu Alaihi Wasalam) to degrade your children and being harsh towards them.
Parents should not push their children beyond their capacity, particularly in matters of religion. You should present Islam to your children in a loving manner, such that they genuinely wish to practice the teachings of Islam out of their own free will.
Anas Ibn Malik (may Allah be pleased with him) spent 10 years serving the Prophet ﷺ (Salalahu Alaihi Wasalam) and he reported that there was never a single occasion in the 10 years he spent with the Prophet ﷺ (Salalahu Alaihi Wasalam) where he was harsh with him or rebuked him. The Prophet ﷺ (Salalahu Alaihi Wasalam) would win children’s hearts with the gentleness in which he spoke to them and the compassion he would show them.
The Prophet ﷺ (Salalahu Alaihi Wasalam) would also be engaged in humor with the children and this should remind parents of the importance of having fun with their children. The duty of parents is not simply to educate and discipline their children, but also being supportive friends to your children not just as any other friend, but as a friend who will be there for your children’s needs. Parents must engage in enjoyable lawful activities with their children such as in sporting activities such as swimming, archery, hiking, etc. This way you will win over your children’s heart so they will look forward to spending time with you.