Role of Parents: Danish Anwar Khan
All praise and thanks belong to Allah alone. The One, the Almighty, and All-Merciful and blessings be on Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), the last of His messengers and prophet.
Islam envisages the whole of humanity as one large institution, with its core foundation based on a family unit comprising of parents and their respective children. Allah has entrusted parents with their children. Parents bear the responsibility to raise their children in an Islamic way. If they do that they will be blessed in this life and Hereafter and if they don’t, they will get bad results in this life and the Hereafter.
Therefore, the reader of the Qur’an is overwhelmed with numerous verses replete with direct commandments to both the parents as well as the children to realize their obligations and responsibilities along with etiquettes of social interaction between each other so that never can the Satan (Iblees) dent any crack of weakness within this family institution, which is of paramount importance to the Creator of all humanity.
The hadith of Prophet (PBUH); Ibn Umar (RA) reported that the Prophet (PBUH), “All of you are shepherds and each of you is responsible for his flock. A man is shepherd of the people of his house and he is responsible. Woman is shepherd of her husband and she is responsible. Each of you is shepherd and each of you is responsible for his flock.”
Parents have a very great responsibility when it comes to raising their children. It is the parents who are the primary source of guidance for their children. In other words, it is the parents in their house that reform or change a particular society.
TEACH THEM TO WORSHIP ALLAH ONLY: “And (remember) when Luqman said to his son when he was advising him: "O my son! Join not in worship others with Allah. Verily joining others in worship with Allah is a great Zulm (wrong) indeed.”
It is by belief in Allah that the children find the truth and it is by that parents can actually acknowledge to the children that they also adhere to the supreme and in obeying them they are the same as their children.
KEEPING A CHILD’S CONFIDENCE
When prophet Yousuf (AS) had the dream that eleven stars, the Sun and the Moon all prostrated to him, he told his father about it. Anyone would think that this is a natural thing for a child to do. But this can only be natural if the child feels loved and safe with parents.
Prophet Yousuf’s (AS) father, who was also a prophet, in his wisdom kept this dream to himself and also encouraged his son not to tell his siblings. He did not dismiss Yusuf’s (AS) dream as childish neither did he make it the butt of a joke at the dinner table.
This is a lesson for parents, build a relationship where your child sees you as a safe zone. The parents should show their children that they can trust them with whatever is going on with them.
They said: "O our father! Ask Forgiveness (from Allah) for our sins, indeed we have been sinners." He said: "I will ask my Lord for forgiveness for you, verily He! Only He is the Oft-Forgiving, the Most Merciful." When a child has realized that he has done something wrong and sought forgiveness, parents should immediately forgive him and move-on from the incident. Try no to bring it up every time they do a mistake and don’t remind them of their failures and don’t continue to judge them based on whatever happened in past.
“Your wealth and your children are only a trial, whereas Allah! With Him is a great reward (Paradise).”
Therefore, being successful in this test would establish peace and harmony in the parent-children relationship, as children will grow up to respect and love their elders, and similarly, parents will keep on getting continuous good deeds even after death due to the good deeds of the righteous and pious progeny.
PRAYING FOR CHILDREN
It was narrated that Abu Hurairah (RA) that: The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said: “There are three supplications that will undoubtedly be answered: the supplication of one who has been wronged; the supplication of the traveler; and the supplication of a father for his child.”
Many parents fall into the trap of using negative words for their children or cursing them outright. As a Muslim, their speech should be dua. Even when they annoy you rather than calling them stupid, silly, etc. Why don’t you say, “May Allah grant you goodness.”?
TELL THEM THE PLACE OF PARENTS
“And We have enjoined on man (to be dutiful and good) to his parents. His mother bore him in weakness and hardship upon weakness and hardship, and his weaning is in two years - give thanks to Me and to your parents. Unto Me is the final destination.”
The advice of Luqman (AS) is the best parenting lesson that parents could receive. The parents need to tell their children that Islam has given the importance and respect and their children should treat them with it as well. However, the parents must not hold back full ayah and tell their children that their duty to Allah is greater than theirduty to parents. Thus, if there comes a point in life where they have to choose between the commands of Allah and parents, the former should always be given preference.
TELL THEM TO DO GOOD AND OFFER PRAYERS
"O my son! Aqim-As-Salat (perform As-Salat), enjoin (on people) Al-Ma'ruf - (Islamic Monotheism and all that is good), and forbid (people) from Al-Munkar (i.e. disbelief in the Oneness of Allah, polytheism of all kinds and all that is evil and bad), and bear with patience whatever befalls you. Verily, these are some of the important commandments (ordered by Allah with no exemption).
The path of righteousness and the offering of salah are two integral components of Islam. A Muslim parent also has the duty of teaching the path of righteousness to the children and making sure that children offer prayers regularly.
TELL THEM TO WORK HARD AND TRUST ALLAH
"O my son! If it be (anything) equal to the weight of a grain of mustard seed, and though it be in a rock, or in the heavens or in the earth, Allah will bring it forth. Verily, Allah is Subtle (in bringing out that grain), Well-Aware (of its place).
Muslim parents face another challenge when they fail to teach their children the right way of pursuing life. Muslim parents need to teach their children to create a balance between working hard and trusting Allah Almighty.
Children are easily influenced by their surroundings. These days, it is extremely difficult to expose children to an ideal Islamic environment given influences from media, friends, and even other members of the family. With television, radio, internet, and other forms of media mostly touting un-Islamic values, it is up to parents and adults close to children to set a correct example.
Teach them examples of Muslim heroes, instead of superman, batman, tell them about real heroes such as Ali ibn Abi Talib, Khalid bin Waleed, Salahuddin Ayyubi.
Tell them how Muslim leaders brought a real change in the world and won the hearts of Muslims and non-Muslims alike.
In short Muslim parents have to teach their children about the life and Islamic way of living it. The parents are not free to let children do whatever they want, rather the children need to be told about the path of righteousness and the Islamic ways of doing things.