Developing Character and Faith in our Children

A very serious issue confronting the world of Islam today is the character of our youth, which is far removed from the teachings of Islam. Nowadays Muslim youths do things that are not in line with the Islamic teachings; a prime example is listening to music.

Some Muslim youth drink nowadays; have no respect towards their elders and exhibit bad character everywhere they go. All these ignore the fact that our holy Prophet Muhammad ﷺ (Sallallahu ‘Alayhi wa Salam) was sent to correct the conduct and morals of all human beings. As said by the famous poet Shauki “In the world communities are raised with noble conduct, communities are obliterated with bad character.”

The biggest responsibility for Muslim parents is to provide correct Islamic teachings and for them to instill the best morals and character in their children. It is important that children develop strong Islamic moral character, no matter the kind of education they pursue.

We should teach our children not to lie, never deceive anyone, and also not to look towards women. A community that is infused with good morals will always rise. And a community that is morally bankrupt will not prosper and will degenerate. Parents must inculcate good habits in their children and is essential for the progress of Islam and mankind.

Sadly, people send their children between the ages of 6 and 7 to Maktabs (supplementary religious schools), and when they attain the age of 12, they remove them from the religious studies and focusing the children more on pursuing worldly knowledge. Such children hardly have any more contact with any Islamic books or the noble Qur’an.

The ages between 12 and 24 are when a young person is most susceptible. Educationalists have affirmed this.  If the guidance and upbringing of a child is neglected during this period, he/she will not remain firm on Islam. Yet this is the time that most parents divert their children’s attention away from studying beneficial knowledge of the deen (religion).

Our noble Prophet Muhammad ﷺ (Sallallahu ‘Alayhi wa Salam) will sit with children and observe their eating habits. We should also do the same, so they will grow up to become responsible adults. Children will nowadays talk while eating. We should teach them that this is not in line with the lifestyle of Muslims.

Once the noble Prophet ﷺ (Sallallahu ‘Alayhi wa Salam) was eating with a boy and instead of eating food which was close to him, the boy was taking food from different places. So Muhammad (Sallallahu ‘Alayhi wa Salam) gently explained to the kid, “My dear son, first recite Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim, eat with your right hand, and eat from in front of you.”

Our Prophet ﷺ (Sallallahu ‘Alayhi wa Salam) taught us a way of life which is supreme and distinct. We should adapt that way of life and make sure our children do the same.

Muslim parents owe their children a sound Islamic upbringing- a life of good morals and character. Our Prophet ﷺ (Sallallahu ‘Alayhi wa Salam) was sent to teach good character to humanity. He established splendid characters in his Companions within a short period of time. The people who sat with the Prophet ﷺ (Sallallahu ‘Alayhi wa Salam) had their character raised to sublime heights. They would never again speak a lie or oppress anyone after departing prom the company of the Prophet ﷺ (Sallallahu ‘Alayhi wa Salam).

The Companions of the Prophet, May Allah continue to have mercy on them, were very remorseful whenever they uttered anything wrong. Sayyidina Abu Bakr, Radhiyallahu Anhu, for example, was once seen pulling his tongue and reprimanding himself saying “How could I have said a harsh word to my fellow Muslim brother.” People nowadays tend to gossip, lie, and backbite, while forgetting they are hurt the heart of a fellow Muslim.

Muslim parents should impart correct Islamic education to their children and inculcate good Islamic character in them. We should have such a good character that humanity will be drawn to Islam.

We should learn to have the great character of our Prophet ﷺ (Sallallahu ‘Alayhi wa Salam) and also inculcate such good character in our children. There was so much injustice perpetrated against our Prophet  ﷺ (Sallallahu ‘Alayhi wa Salam) in Makkah such as the placing of thorns were in his path and other forms of persecution.

A lady that used to lay thorns in the Prophet’s path, when she got ill, the Prophet (Sallallahu ‘Alayhi wa Salam) himself went to visit her. She asked, “Who are you?” Muhammad ﷺ (Sallallahu ‘Alayhi wa Salam) said to her: “I am the same Muhammad for whom you lay thorns.” The lady started to weep profusely. The Prophet exemplified the noblest character.

Prophet Muhammad ﷺ (Sallallahu ‘Alayhi wa Salam) was sent as a mercy for mankind and also to guide humanity to the truth and beauty of Islam. Good character, patience and steadfastness are fundamental to being a good Muslim.



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