How to raise a family? An Islamic Perspective.

How to raise a family? An Islamic Perspective.

If we are honest with ourselves, we'll realize that our family system is collapsing. The sacred institution of marriage, is on the verge of becoming obsolete.
We are living in a time where adultery costs a movie ticket and popcorn while marriage costs us thousands of dollars.
When in reality, Allah made adultery forbidden and marriage easy and inexpensive.
Islam encourages men to treat their wives well and vice versa.

Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said: “Each of you is a shepherd and is responsible for his flock. The leader is a shepherd and is responsible for his flock. The man is the shepherd of his family and he is responsible for his flock. The woman is the shepherd of her husband’s household and is responsible for her flock. The servant is a shepherd of his master’s wealth and is responsible for his flock.” (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 853; Muslim, 1829)

Islam paid a great deal of attention to implanting the principle of respect for fathers and mothers, taking care of them and obeying their commands until death. Allah says: “And your Lord has decreed that you worship none but Him. And that you be dutiful to your parents. If one of them or both of them attain old age in your life, say not to them a word of disrespect, nor shout at them but address them in terms of honor” Qur'an[17:23]

Islam protects the honor, chastity, purity and lineage of the family, it encourages marriage and forbids free mixing of men and women.

Islam gives each family member an important role to play. So parents take care of the children and give them an Islamic upbringing; children are to listen and obey, and respect the rights of parents, on the basis of love and respect. Even our enemies have borne witness to the strength of family ties among Muslims. Let that sink in.

How to raise your children

Bad behavior in most cases is in accordance with a person’s whims and desires
 It is essential to point out that bad behavior in most cases is in accordance with a person’s whims and desires; hence the child will pick up bad behavior with the slightest influence and the most insignificant of reasons. On the other hand, good behavior means disciplining oneself and restraining oneself from whims and desires that are detrimental to one’s own best interests. Good behavior means following a path that is contrary to the whims and desires of the self, so it is a constructive process that requires effort and striving. 
A sound upbringing is one that instills good attitude and behavior firmly in the child’s heart and mind so that he will be able to resist corrupt whims and desires, and he will not feel comfortable except with things that help him adhere to the path of righteousness and will despise anything that is contrary to good values. 
In order for the child to accept this good attitude and behavior, it is essential to make that beloved to him. Love cannot be instilled by means of force and harshness; rather it needs the following: 


1. Kindness and gentleness 

There are a number of hadiths in which the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) teaches us to use kindness and gentleness when interacting with others, such as the following: 

‘Aishah(ra), the wife of the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: The Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “Verily Allah loves kindness in all things.” Narrated by al-Bukhari, 6024. 
Muslim (2592) narrated from Jarir that the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “Whoever is deprived of kindness is deprived of goodness.” 
‘Aishah, the wife of the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said, narrating from the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him): “There is no kindness in a thing but it adorns it, and it is not taken away from a thing but it makes it defective.” 

‘Aishah(ra) said: The Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “When Allah wills good for the members of a household, He instills kindness in them.” Narrated by Imam Ahmad in his Musnad, 40/488, no. 24427; classed as sahih by al-Albani in Sahih al-Jami‘ as-Saghir, no. 303 
Children by their nature love the parent who is kind to them and helps them, and who cares about them, but that should be without yelling and getting angry, as much as possible; rather it should be with wisdom and patience. 
The child is at an age where he needs leisure and play; he is also at an age where discipline and teaching are appropriate. Hence everything must be given due attention, within moderation. 

Because children love kind parents, this love gives them a strong motivation to obey their parents. In the opposite scenario, if kindness is absent and there is violence and harshness, that will lead to alienation, which in turn will lead to stubbornness and disobedience, or the prevalence of fear which will generate an attitude of lying and deceitfulness in the child. 

2. Kind treatment does not rule out the use of punishment when necessary.

But it should be noted that punishment, when bringing up children, must be used wisely. It is not right to punish the child for every misdemeanour on his part; rather punishment is to be used when kindness is of no benefit and when advice, instructions and bans have been to no avail. 

Punishments should also be useful. For example, if you have the problem of your children spending a long time in front of the television, then you can dictate to them which programs they may watch, that will usually be beneficial and not harmful, and that are free of problematic material as much as possible. Then if they go beyond the stated time, you can punish them by depriving them of TV for an entire day. If they go beyond the stated time again, then you can deprive them of it for a longer period, according to whatever will achieve the aim and be of benefit in disciplining them. 

3. Setting a good example 

The parents must first of all adhere themselves to the attitude and behavior that they are trying to instill in their children. For example, it is not appropriate for a father to forbid his child to smoke when he himself smokes. 

Hence one of the early generations said to his children’s teacher: “Let the first thing you do in setting my children straight be mending your own ways, for their faults will be connected to your faults; in their eyes, what is good will be what you do and what is bad will be what you refrain from.” (Tarikh Dimashq, 38/271-272)

4. A Good Environment.

This is the environment in which doing good deeds is praised and the one who does them is respected, whereas bad deeds and those who do them are criticized. In current times this good environment is often lacking, but we can try hard, physically, psychologically and financially, to create it, in sha Allah. 

For example, if a Muslim family is living in a neighborhood where there are no other Muslim families, this family should try hard to move to a neighborhood or city where there are a lot of Muslims, or to a neighborhood where there are mosques or Islamic centers that are active in running programs for Muslim children. 

For example, if a child is interested in a specific sport or other activity, the family could look for a suitable sports club or similar organization run by committed Muslims, that is attended by Muslim families who are keen to give their children a good upbringing. Mixing plays a major role, as you say, so try to reduce the negative effects that you are seeing as a result of mixing, by mixing in a positive way with Muslim families. 

If the father is spending on nice clothes, delicious food and a comfortable home, he should also spend on means of acquiring good attitude and behavior, and let him seek reward for that with Allah, may He be exalted. 

Offer sincere du’a to Allah to make your children righteous

You have to offer du‘a constantly, especially at times when supplications are answered, such as the last third of the night, when prostrating and on Fridays. Call upon Allah, may He be exalted, a great deal and ask Him to make your children righteous and guide them to the straight path. Supplications for their children is one of the characteristics of the righteous slaves of Allah. Allah, may He be exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning):

“And those who say: ‘Our Lord! Bestow on us from our wives and our offspring who will be the comfort of our eyes, and make us leaders for the Muttaqoon (pious)” [al-Furqan 25:74]. 

Shaykh ‘Abd ar-Rahman as-Sa‘di (may Allah have mercy on him) said: “the comfort of our eyes” means a source of joy. 

“If we examine the situation and characteristics of the ones who offered this du‘a, we will realize, based on their qualities and high ranking, that they would not be content until they see their children obeying their Lord, knowledgeable and actively striving. As this is a supplication that their wives and children would follow the path of righteousness, it is also a supplication for themselves, because the benefit will come back to them too. Hence they regarded that as a gift to them and they said “Bestow on us (lit. give to us).” In fact their supplication brings benefit to all the Muslims, because the righteousness of those who are mentioned will bring about the righteousness of many of those who are connected to them, and will benefit them.” (Taysir al-Karim al-Mannan fi Tafsir Kalam ar-Rahman, 587) 

Allah's Divine Law is there for our own good. If only we could realize it!  

And Allah knows best.

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