On Our Children
ON OUR CHILDREN: THE JEWELS OF OUR EYES 9/87
" Our Lord, grant us from our wives righteous children to be jewels of our eyes and make us leaders for those who love and fear you."
Allah calls your children the jewels of your eyes. The gentle Prophet (s.a.w.s.) called them the jewels of his eyes; Sheikh
Muhyiddin called them the jewels of his eyes. But these children must be righteous; otherwise they could be our worst trial.
Allah tests His servants with the goods of this world and their families and their children. If you are world‑bound in raising your children, they will forget Allah and they will make you forget Him.
"Let not your wealth nor your children divert your attention from Allah and whoever does that they are among the losers.”
If your child becomes your trial, it is because you have betrayed that which Allah has entrusted to you.
"Be not unfaithful to Allah and His Messenger nor be unfaithful to your trusts while you know. (If you do,) know that your wealth and your children will be your temptation (and trial)."
Remember the children of so many men greater than you, even of prophets, of Lut (a.s.) and Nuh (a.s.). Neither his son nor his wife believed in Nuh's Lord; they drowned with the rest of the non‑believers during the flood. Then Nuh asked for Allah’s mercy upon the soul of his son, saying:
“My Lord surely my son is of my family and your promise is true and You are the most just of the Judges.” Allah said, “Oh Nuh, he is not of your family for he is unrighteous, so ask not of Me that of which you have no knowledge."
Even when Hadrat Ibrahim (a.s.), the tenderhearted, forbearing friend of Allah, asked for the forgiveness of his father, by the order of Allah,
"...it became clear to him that he was an enemy of Allah, he disassociated himself from him..."
How can one bear to have one's child as one's enemy, or be an enemy to one's child, especially if it is one's own fault?
"Take not your fathers and your brothers for friends if they choose disbelief over faith, and whoever of you takes them for friends, such are the tyrants.”
"Oh you who believe, save yourselves and your families and children from a fire whose fuel is men and stones.”
If you are taught that which Allah wants you to do and that which Allah forbids you to do, and if you obey, you hope to be saved from that fire. Allah also renders an obligation upon you as a condition of safeguarding yourselves from that fire: to teach your family and your children right and wrong, and about the One who orders it.
All the "fakih" of Islam are united in declaring that the head of the family, the father, is responsible for applying this obligation. Irresponsible parents will face the worst of pain on the day of last judgment.
"The irresponsible ones surely are those who lose themselves and lead their children to perdition on the day of last judgment. Beware; surely that is the manifest loss. They shall have covering of fire above them and covering beneath them. With that Allah makes His servants fear, so keep your duty to Me oh My servants."
The Holy Qur'an also indicates and specifies the responsibilities of parents. The first is to satisfy the children's worldly needs to the best of their ability, to furnish them with a clean home, good and lawful food, proper clothing, etc; then to secure them spiritual education, teaching them their religion, its requirements and morals.
The primary objective of the education of the children is religious. Secular education in order to obtain a profession secondary, for the life of man is guided by his religion; only his profession is enhanced by his secular education. Allah, in the Holy Qur'an, gives Hadrat Ibrahim (a.s.) and Hadrat Yaqub (a.s.) as examples:
"When his Lord said to Ibrahim, ‘Submit,’ he said, I submit myself to the Lord of the worlds, and the same did Ibrahim enjoin on his sons, and so did Yaqub who said, 'Oh my sons, surely Allah has chosen for you this religion, so die not unless you are submitting ones, (Muslims).'
And don't forget:
"Surely the only religion with Allah is Islam, and whoever disbelieves in the messages of Allah, Allah is quick in His reckoning.”
There may come an evil thought in the minds of parents, to leave the child to choose his religion when he is able to choose.
"And whoever seeks a religion other than Islam, it will not be accepted from him, and in the hereafter, he will be one of the losers."
"How shall Allah guide a people who disbelieved after their believing and after they had born witness that the Messenger was true and clear arguments had come to them, and Allah guides not the unjust people. As for these, their reward is that on them is the curse of Allah and the angels and of man altogether."
Let us pray:
"Save me and my sons from worshipping the idols (of my ego)."
"And make me keep up prayer and my offspring also, Oh Lord, and accept our prayer and grant me protection and my people and the believers on the day when the reckoning comes to pass."
The first condition of religious education, and the first responsibility that befalls the parents, according to the Prophet (s.a.w.s.), is to give their children beautiful names, which will help them to acquire beautiful characters, with which they will be called on the Day of Last Judgment; then to feed them with lawful sustenance, starting with their mother's milk.
The second is to provide an environment in which to live that is beneficial to the children’s' education.
Ibn Haldun says: "Man is not a product of his nature, nor of disposition; he is a product of his environment and of the habits which he acquires from his environment." After Hadrat Ibrahim built the Kaaba, although the region was barren and unsuited for agriculture, he settled his son Ismail in Makkah because of its divine atmosphere and he prayed to his Lord,
"Our Lord, I have settled a part of my offspring in a valley unproductive of fruit near Your sacred house, that they may keep up prayer. So make the hearts of some people yearn towards them and provide them with fruits. Haply they may be grateful.
The first formal religious education of the child is the Tevhid, profession of the uniqueness and the Oneness of Allah. It is reported that the Prophet (s.a.w.s.) did this himself, and requested that others teach the blessed phrase La ilaha illa llah as soon as a child began to talk. It is said that he repeated it seven times and the child would learn it.
Along with the Oneness of Allah, the child must be taught about the disasters of "shirk", of running partners to Allah, the worst manifestation of which is man's unforgivable sin of thinking himself as a god.
Luqman (a.s.) said to his son when
"He admonished him: Oh my son, ascribe no partner to Allah. Surely ascribing partners to Him is a grievous tyranny."
He taught his son not to ascribe partners to Allah by teaching him to, "Give thanks to Allah," (31/12) for all and everything.
Then the reflection of Allah's attributes on everything and on the child should be taught through the beautiful names of Allah. What is important is that this and everything else should be taught to the child within the framework of the Holy Qur'an, and the traditions of the Prophet (s.a.w.s.) Then, the belief in and love of Allah's Messengers and the Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.s.) should be taught, for without this, faith is incomplete. For Allah says,
"Those who disbelieve in Allah and His Messenger and desire to make distinction between Allah and His Messengers and say, 'We believe in some and disbelieve in others,' and desire to take a course of their own in between, these are truly disbelievers, and we have prepared for the disbelievers an abasing chastisement. And those who believe in Allah and His Messengers and make no distinctions between any of them, to them He will grant rewards. To them He is ever forgiving, merciful."
Then children should be taught formal worship, the salat. They should be taught that the salat is the foundation of one's religion, of ones life, that nothing, no worldly obligation should prevent one from meeting with one’s Lord in the salat. In the Holy Qur'an, Allah orders, for it is this which will protect your children against evil,
"And enjoin prayer on your people and your children and steadily adhere to it yourself. We ask not of you sustenance. We provide for you and the good end is for guarding against evil."
The Prophet (s.a.w.s.) says that children should be taught and made to do their salat at the age of seven, and if they do not do it by the age of ten, they should he punished. As soon as a
child is able to fast three consecutive days, he should be made to fast during Ramadan.
Above all, the children should be taught ADAB, morals and good behavior. Hadrat Luqman (a.s.) addresses his son in the Holy Qur’an,
"Oh my son, even if it be the weight of a grain of mustard seed, even though it be embedded in a rock or in the heavens or in the earth, Allah will bring it forth; surely Allah is Knower of a11. He is the Most Beautiful and Gentle."
"Oh my son, keep up prayer and enjoin good and forbid evil and bear patiently that which befalls you. Surely this is an affair worthy of great resolution, and turn not your face away from people in contempt, nor go about the land exultingly; surely Allah loves not any self‑conceited boaster, and pursue the right course in your going about and talk softly. Surely the most hateful of voices is the braying of donkeys.'
Ibn Abidin, a "fakih" of the Hanafi school, says, " As it is an obligation to learn about the five pillars of Islam and apply them, it is also an obligation to learn about righteousness, truthfulness and sincerity, because it is only with sincerity that one can perform one's worship properly. As it is an obligation to learn about right and wrong, lawful and unlawful, to learn about hypocrisy is an obligation, because a right course taken hypocritically is not worthy of Allah’s reward. So it is for envy and arrogance, for they, like frie consumes wood, consume all good deeds.
"It is also an obligation to know about the relations of parents and children, husbands and wives, friends and social obligations, trade and work. It is an obligation to learn to speak properly, for a word misused could be a greater sin than a harmful deed." The first thing to be taught about ADAB is to teach children to love, care for and obey their parents.
"And do good to parents, if either or both of them reach old age with you say not even "fie" to them, nor chide them and speak to them a generous word and lower to them the wing of humility and mercy and say, 'My Lord, have mercy on them as they brought me up when I was young."
" Say: Come, I will recite what your Lord has forbidden you: Associate naught with Him and do good to your parents.
Allah also says:
“And We have enjoined on man goodness to his parents, but if they contend with you to associate others with Me of which you have no knowledge, obey them not."
Look around yourself and pray:
"Oh Lord save me and my family and my children from them and from the harm which they do."
and be thankful to find yourself in the castle of La ilaha illa llah.
Do net look down on the one who tells you these things, for the Prophet, (s.a.w.s.) said: "Even if you have a leader appointed to you who is an Abyssinian slave with his nose cut, listen to him and obey him, continue obeying him even if you come to a point where you have to choose either to abandon your religion or to lose your head. If you come to a point where you have to decide whether to give up Islam or to lose your head, stretch your neck to be beheaded. I curse you, may you be
motherless. Don't you see, if your religion leaves you there will be nothing left for you of this world nor of the hereafter”?
As you have built this dergah and hope that your children will continue it, make the prayer of Hadrat Ibrahim (a.s.) when he built the Kaaba with Hadrat Ismael (a.s.).
"Oh Lord, make us both submissive to You and raise from our offspring a nation submissive to You."
For what can this fakir do but obey, when we are told by Allah:
"So warn, you are only one to warn, you are not to force....’
"Surely you cannot guide whom you love, but Allah guides whom He pleases and He knows best those who walk aright."
Amin. Bi hurmati sayyid al Mursalin. Ta Ha wa Ya Sin.