Fruits for the Week

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Children are the apple of a man’s eye, the source of great joy and companionship. They make life sweet and, after Allah, they are the ones on whom he pins his hopes. Their blessing brings rizq (sustenance), mercy, and an abundance of reward.

But this depends on the children having a good, solid upbringing, which will make them respectful, kind, and a source of happiness. If a man’s children have these good attributes then they will truly be joys of his life, as Allah described them in the Qur’an: “Wealth and sons are allurements (joys) of the life of this world.” (Qur’an 18: 46)

For this reason, the Prophet (saw) used to pray for those whom he loved, that Allah would grant them wealth and children in abundance.

Anas (ra) reported that he went to the Prophet (saw) with his mother and maternal aunt. The Prophet led them in prayer, then he prayed (made du’aa) for them. Ummu Anas said, “O Messenger of Allah, your little servant, pray for him.” So the Prophet (saw) prayed for him, and at the end of his du’aa said: “O Allah, grant him wealth and children in abundance, and bless him.” (Bukhari and Muslim)

But if the parents neglect their children’s upbringing, the results will be disastrous. Their children will be a source of annoyance, frustration, and constant concern, not to mention nights of lost sleep and days of worry

He understands his great responsibility towards his children

The true Muslim understands his great responsibility towards the children he has brought into this world, as the Qur’an tells him: “O’ you who believe! Save yourselves and your family from a Fire whose fuel is men and stones.” (Qur’an 66: 6)

He also appreciates the responsibility that the Prophet (saw) has placed upon him: “Each of you is a shepherd and is responsible for his flock. The leader is a shepherd and is responsible for his flock; a man is the shepherd of his family and is responsible for his flock.; a woman is a shepherd in the house of her husband and is responsible for her flock; the servant is the shepherd of his master’s wealth and is responsible for it. Each of you is a shepherd and is responsible for his flock.” (Bukhari and Muslim)

Islam has placed a burden of responsibility on the shoulders of all people, from which none may be excused. Above all, parents are responsible for providing their children with a sound Islamic education and upbringing, based on the noble characteristics which the Prophet (saw) mentioned that he had been sent to complete and spread among people: “I have only been sent to make righteous behavior complete.”

There is no greater proof of the gravity of parents’ responsibility to bring their children up to obey Allah and His Messenger, than the verdict of the ulama that every family should heed the words of the Prophet (saw): “Instruct your children to pray when they are seven years of age, and hit them if they do not pray when they are ten.”

Every family which is aware of this hadith but the parents do not teach their children to pray when they reach seven or hit them if they do not do so when they reach ten, is a family that is failing in its duty and neglecting its children. These parents are sinners who are responsible before Allah for his failure and neglect.

The home is the first environment in which these little ones grow: it is the milieu in which their inclinations, attitudes, and personalities are formed. This explains the importance of the parents’ role in nurturing their young ones and paying equal attention to their physical, mental, and spiritual well-being.

by Muhammad Ali Al-Hashimi

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