Duties of parents towards their children

By Imam Lavdrim Hamja – Kenosha, October 07, 2011

Full praise is to God, The Creator of universe, Which He says in the Quran: وَإِنَّهُ لَذِكْرٌ لَّكَ وَلِقَوْمِكَ ۖ وَسَوْفَ تُسْأَلُون “The (Quran) is indeed the message for you and for your people; and soon shall you (all) be brought to account.” (Zuhruf: 44)

Peace and blessings be upon our messenger, Muhammad (a.s), which has said:“Each one of you is responsible and everyone will be asked about his responsibility.”

Peace and blessings be upon his family, upon his companions and upon all of those who pursue his path with justice and wisdom until the Day of Judgment.

For your child to be a good person as you would wish and as it requires, this is indeed a great pleasure and an abundant wealth for a parent in this world, it is indeed a pleasure of the eye, as God teaches us to pray saying: وَالَّذِينَ يَقُولُونَ رَبَّنَا هَبْ لَنَا مِنْ أَزْوَاجِنَا وَذُرِّيَّاتِنَا قُرَّةَ أَعْيُنٍ وَاجْعَلْنَا لِلْمُتَّقِينَ إِمَامًا ﴿٧٤﴾

 “And those who pray, “Our God! Grant us wives and offspring who will be the comfort of our eyes, and give us (the grace) to lead the righteous.”(Furkan: 74)

Any good work that your child does in this world, praying, fasting, reading Quran, seeking knowledge, promoting the good and forbidding evil, having a good character and good behavior, a portion or a part of those good deeds and rewards passes to the parent, because the parents have educated him with a proper religious education.

Further, not only you receive a reward from your child, but also from your nephew and nieces and from their descendants until the Day of Judgment. For this we have an argument God’s word which He says in the Quran:

﴿ وَالَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوا وَاتَّبَعَتْهُمْ ذُرِّيَّتُهُمْ بِإِيمَانٍ أَلْحَقْنَا بِهِمْ ذُرِّيَّتَهُمْ وَمَا أَلَتْنَاهُمْ مِنْ عَمَلِهِمْ مِنْ شَيْءٍ كُلُّ امْرِئٍ بِمَا كَسَبَ رَهِينٌ((21) سورة الطور(

 “And those who believe and whose families follow them in faith, to them shall We join their families; nor shall We deprive them (of their fruit) and have not reduced anything for them from their deeds. Every man is a pledge for that which he has earned.” (Tur: 21)

The Prophet (a.s) tells us that the greatest wealth, in which a person can attain, is his children. He (a.s) says:

أفضل كسب الرجل ولده

 “The best wealth a person can achieve is his children.”

Respected brothers and sisters, indeed the children are the parents’ pleasure, but at the same time they are their responsibility, of which we will be asked in front of Allah in the Day of Judgment. The Prophet (a.s) has told us about this while saying:

كلكم راع وكلكم مسؤول عن رعيته، فالإمام راع ومسؤول عن رعيته، والرجل راع في أهله ومسؤول عن رعيته، والمرأة راعية في بيت زوجها ومسؤولة عن رعيتها، والولد راع في مال أبيه ومسؤول عن رعيته، والخادم راع في مال سيده ومسؤول عن رعيته، وكلكم راع وكلكم مسؤول عن رعيته.

 “Each one of you is responsible and every one of you will be asked about his responsibility. The imam is responsible and he will be asked about his responsibility. The man is responsible and he will be asked about the responsibility of his children. The woman is responsible for her husband’s household and she will be responsible and she will be asked of her duties. Children are responsible for the wealth of their fathers and they will be asked for that. The worker is responsible for the wealth of his employer and he will be asked about that responsibility. That is why every one of you is responsible and each and every one of you will be asked for his or her responsibility.”(Buhari)

Responsibility or the first duty of a parent toward his child is the choice or the selection of his or her mother, because the child’s first education comes from the parents even before they are born. Therefore, when a person decides to create a family, should inquire as to what qualities a woman or a man should have. If a person decides and determines to select as a primary quality its faith, he has indeed chosen a good selection for the future of his children. When a person is inspired by faith, he with the help of God will have a righteous descendants as Umer ibn Abdulaziz, because his grandfather, Umer Ibnul Hatabi married his son with a poor woman, but she was religious and pious, which said to her mother, when her mother tried to deceive her: O my mother, if the Emir of the believers does not see us, the God of Umer sees us.

In such a time that we are today, even to be in a Muslim country it is hard to educate our children with a proper Muslim education, because manipulations, deceit, and evil deeds are present all over, further they have entered every household through television, internet, radio, cellular phones, newspaper, brochures, books and so on.

But what do you think, how difficult is to be in a western society and to educate your child with an Islamic education? Certainly nothing is impossible, but we should know, that the smallest negligence and any carelessness towards your child, he or she deviates from the right path and only God knows where it ends in the steepness of so – called human rights of the west.

With this, I’m not trying to say that a Muslim should not migrate, to live and to work in a place which is far from Islamic environment, because we know that the earth belongs to Allah and we can live anywhere on it, but we should be very careful and whoever wishes to protect his faith and religion, his children and their descendants, let this advise be as an example which a muslim caller said to a couple during their marriage: If you cannot guarantee that your children’s children will be a Muslim in this place, that it would be better for you to return wherever you came from and do not stay here any longer!

Perhaps we may not like this statement, but starting with that which I said before, the responsibility which we have towards our children and our descendants this is a proper decision for those who wish to be together with all his descendants in heaven. Let us not forget that our Messenger has said:

قال رسول الله صلّى الله عليه وسلّم :الرجل على دين خليله فلينظر أحدكم من يخالل(رواه الترمذي وقال حديث حسن ) والحاكم وصحّحه

 “The person is in his religion or faith with those which he befriends, therefore everyone should look with whom they befriend.” (Tirmidhi, Hakim)

However, we find ourselves in this country and we should try at the maximum to educate our children in our Islamic faith and religion. And at all times our best example is our beloved Prophet (a.s) for the education of our children in which he said:

لاعب ولدك سبعاً، وأدبه سبعاً، وراقبه سبعاً، ثم اترك حبله على غاربه

 “Play with your child until he attains the age of 7, educate him for 7 years, supervise him for 7 years, then leave him free to go wherever he wants.”

So, de we act in this manner with our children? Do we spend enough time with them? Do we befriend them such as going together to an entertainment, or playing? Do we bring them to the mosque when we come to pray? Do we teach them the duties of our religion? And many more questions which a good parent should ask themselves daily, in a manner that his child may be his wealth and pleasure in this world.

Respected brothers and sisters, the biggest problem and mistakes the children have are from their parent’s problems and mistakes, because when a parent has strong faith and well educated the child will follow his mother or father.

Indeed the Prophet (a.s) has said: “Teach the children to pray at the age of seven and whom they attain the age of ten, then make it a duty for them to pray”, but if the parent does not pray himself or herself, then how can he teach his children to pray?

Indeed the Prophet (a.s) has said: “Respect your children and educate them properly”, but if the parents are not respected and educated, then how their children can be respected and educated?

Indeed men boasts and has pride in his wealth and children and Allah tells us in the Quran that children and wealth are our pleasure in this world saying: “Wealth and sons are ornaments of the life of this world; and good deeds that last, their reward is better in the sight of your Lord, and are better in respect of hope.” (Kahf: 46)

Do we ever read the Quran to find some advises for our children? Have we ever read the chapter Lukman and to receive advice from messages which a parent should give to his children? Listen how Lukman advises his son:

يَا بُنَيَّ لَا تُشْرِكْ بِاللَّـهِ ۖ إِنَّ الشِّرْكَ لَظُلْمٌ عَظِيمٌ ﴿١٣﴾

 “O my son, do not associate [anything] with Allah. Indeed, association [with Him] is great injustice.” (13) The father therefore, teaches his son pure worship of God Almighty.

يَا بُنَيَّ إِنَّهَا إِن تَكُ مِثْقَالَ حَبَّةٍ مِّنْ خَرْدَلٍ فَتَكُن فِي صَخْرَةٍ أَوْ فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ أَوْ فِي الْأَرْضِ يَأْتِ بِهَا اللَّـهُ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّـهَ لَطِيفٌ خَبِيرٌ ﴿١٦﴾

 “O my son, indeed if wrong should be the weight of a mustard seed and should be within a rock or [anywhere] in the heavens or in the earth, Allah will bring it forth. Indeed, Allah is Subtle and Acquainted.” (16) The father teaches his son that God is aware at all times, nothing is hidden from Him.

يَا بُنَيَّ أَقِمِ الصَّلَاةَ وَأْمُرْ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ وَانْهَ عَنِ الْمُنكَرِ وَاصْبِرْ عَلَىٰ مَا أَصَابَكَ ۖ إِنَّ ذَٰلِكَ مِنْ عَزْمِ الْأُمُورِ ﴿١٧﴾

 “O my son establish prayer, enjoin what is right, forbid what is wrong, and be patient over what befalls you. Indeed, all that is of the matters requiring determination.” (17) The father teaches his son the duties and the path of success in this world and in the hereafter.

وَلَا تُصَعِّرْ خَدَّكَ لِلنَّاسِ وَلَا تَمْشِ فِي الْأَرْضِ مَرَحًا ۖ إِنَّ اللَّـهَ لَا يُحِبُّ كُلَّ مُخْتَالٍ فَخُورٍ ﴿١٨﴾

 “And do not turn your cheek [in contempt] toward people and do not walk through the earth exultantly. Indeed, Allah does not like everyone self-deluded and boastful.” (18) The father teaches his son as how to act in front of other people.

وَاقْصِدْ فِي مَشْيِكَ وَاغْضُضْ مِن صَوْتِكَ ۚ إِنَّ أَنكَرَ الْأَصْوَاتِ لَصَوْتُ الْحَمِيرِ ﴿١٩﴾

 “And be moderate in your pace and lower your voice; indeed, the most disagreeable of sounds is the voice of donkeys.” (19) The father teaches him as how to walk and talk with people.

Brothers and sister, if we want or children to respect us and honor us in this world and in the hereafter, let us teach them these messages and advices, and let us not forget that before we can ask our children to respect and honor us, we should fulfill our duties towards them, to show them the right path and to act rightly with them and indeed this is the secret of success.

I know, this is a broad and a long subject, it is delicate and very important subject, but let me close this speech with some advice from our beloved Prophet (a.s), a lesson for the parents wherever they may be:

أدبوا أولادكم على ثلاث خصال على حب نبيكم وعلى حب آل بيته وتلاوة القرآن )) أخرجه الطبراني عن علي]

 “Educate your children with three things: The love for your Prophet, for his family and for recitation or reading of the Quran.” (Tabarani)

لأن يؤدب الرجل ولده خير له من أن يتصدق بصاع ))  أخرجه الترمذي ]

 “It is better for a person to educate his child than to give sadaka.” (Tirmidhi)

مَنْ عَالَ ثَلاَثَ بَنَاتٍ فأَدّبَهُنّ وَزَوّجَهُنّ وَأَحْسَنَ إِلَيْهِنّ فَلَهُ الْجَنّةَ

 “Whoever raises three daughters (girls), educates them well, marries them and acts righteously towards them, that person has earned paradise.”

مَنْ قَالَ لِصَبِيٍّ تَعَالَ هَاكَ ثُمَّ لَمْ يُعْطِهِ فَهِيَ كَذْبَةٌ)) أحمد

 “Whoever says to child: Come, and get this thing then he does not give it that is considered a lie.” (Ahmed)

إذا مات الإنسان انقطع عمله إلا من ثلاث: صدقة جارية ، أو عمل ينتفع به أو ولد صالح يدعو له ))أخرجه مسلم

 “When a person dies, all his deeds cease, except three things: Sadaka, good deeds in which have benefits, and good child who prays for him.”

O Allah guide us in the straight path, protect us and our families and protect our children. Amin!

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