By Bint Salman
We have a lot of material available in the form of books and articles on Islamic aspects of parenting. As we hear people concluding that the Islamic parenting entails that you work on your kids mainly by providing them Islamic education, however little do we realize what the exact meaning the term : ‘Islamic education’ has. Many parents create a great hype about it, they admit their kid in the most expensive of Islamic institutes or the kid is found enrolled in Tahfeez, Tafsir, Fiqh , Seerah and Aqeedah courses which is a good thing and not my point of objection here. However I simply intend to expose the loopholes in the Islamic education that we aim to provide our children. Unfortunately we don’t bother to ascertain whether our kid is correctly applying what he is learning, and even worse than this negligence is our own weaknesses that we fail to be those shining role-models for them. When we find our kids wining trophies or getting certificates in Qirah or other Islamic events we boast about their performances, assuming them to be too righteous to ever hold them accountable for their misdeeds.
I got to know about an incident which took place in the recent past. There was a boy who was a Haafiz and was considered to have accomplished much in deen. Despite all that, he would bully little kids and curse a lot behind his parent’s back. One day he got into a fight with a little boy and dashed to catch him. The boy ran speedily falling over his face and ended up having his teeth broken and bleed profusely. When the whole account was narrated to the elder guy’s parents they got too defensive and refused to believe that their son could do any such thing. Unfortunately such attitude from parent’s side makes the kids more courageous and daring causing them to persist in their bad habits till it becomes a second part of their nature.
The essential and integral part of education system is the practical demonstration of theories, facts and examples which reinforces the learning process. Little attention is paid on practical applications of the teachings of Islam. Would not the kids get a much distorted picture of the whole concept when on one hand they are made to learn about the spirit of sacrifice, brotherhood, mutual respect and love while on the other hand they see a totally opposite picture presented to them by their parents and elders? Don’t you think in this way we are transmitting this disease of hypocrisy in them?
Tarbiyah actually means to impart the Ilm in such a way that it motivates the child to act in accordance to what he is taught. Otherwise most of the kids are intelligent and capable enough to get a whole lot of certificates, excellent scores and recognition as young Aalims, but that is not really the purpose!
A few important things parents must practice while embarking upon the journey of Islamic parenting:
– Don’t merely tell your kids to practice Husn-e-Zun, middle path ,compassion and sacrifice when you constantly talk negative about your in-laws, indulge in back-biting, shop lavishly, treat your servants /lower class coldly, are not willing to make sacrifices for others.
-Teach your kids to respect and love their siblings, make sacrifices and uphold compromises. Encourage them to spend the things which they love the most in the way of Allah (Subhaanahu wa Ta’ala). Motivate them to choose/desire for others what they love for themselves.
-Take things to the next level, instead of just emotionally narrating to them the Tafsir and Hadith, train them on how to bring the teachings of Islam to life!
– Constantly remind them of their actual goal in this life, which is to worship Allah, till it gets infused in their conscious and sub-conscious and they learn exactly how to keep away from things which lie in contradiction to that goal.
– Instill in them the love, greatness knowledge and fear of Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta’ala).
– Train them on how to resist and despise the unIslamic trends, culture and evil practices prevalent in our society which are truly disgusting from the inside but nicely wrapped to deceive us, the tricks of shaitan, the modern age delusions such as fashion, movies, sex culture ( in modest/appropriate way).
– Show and teach them courtesy, respect and Islamic moral values and warn them against pride and arrogance.
– Constantly make Du’aa for your kids:
“…Our Lord! Bestow on us from our wives and our offspring the comfort of our eyes, and make us leaders of those who have Taqwa.” (Furqan: 74)
On the final note: Let’s us try to be the people of actions and not just words. May Allah protect us and our generations to come. Aameen.