By: Kanwal Malik Saba
Perhaps the most innate ability of a human is to express affection and love for others. This ability manifests itself in the strongest form when a person becomes a parent. Our desire for love translates itself in a whole new way. This feeling then turns into responsibility and obligation towards our children.
The Quran depicts this duty by stating that “O you who believe! Ward off yourselves and your families against a Fire (Hell) whose fuel is men and stones, over which are (appointed) angels stern (and) severe, who disobey not, (from executing) the commands they receive from Allah, but do that which they are commanded” (Tahrim 66:6).
The Prophet PBUH also said “Every one of your (people) is responsible, and everyone is responsible for whatever falls under his responsibility. A man is like a shepherd of his own family, and he is responsible for them” (Bukhari and Muslim). This confirms that it is the job of a parent to raise their children in the best way possible. A parent’s job is never ending and sometimes leads to many trials. These trails can become easier if the teachings of Islam are incorporated in their upbringing every day.
Consequently, it is always a parent’s obligation to treat their children in a just and fair manner. Islam forbids favoritism among children, strictly. A classic example of this is regaled by Al-Nu`mân b. Bashîr. “He once addressed the people from the pulpit and told them about what took place between the Prophet (PBUH) and his father, saying: My father gave him a gift. Then my mother, `Amrah bint Rawâhah, said: “I will not be satisfied until Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) is a witness to it.” So my father went to Allah’s Messenger and said: “I gave a gift to my son from `Amrah bint Rawâhah, and she told me to have you be a witness to it, O Messenger of Allah.”
The Prophet (PBUH) asked: “Did you give your other children something similar?” He replied that he had not. So the Prophet (PBUH) said: “Fear Allah, and be just between your children.” [Sahîh al-Bukhârî (2587) and Sahîh Muslim (1623)] (Iqra Sense.com).
Of course loving our children and creating a path of discipline for them goes hand in hand. It is the moral obligation of every parent to teach their children about Islam. Our kids can be a means for us to enter Jannah or they can lead us to the hell fire. The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said: “Upon death, man’s deeds will stop except for three deeds, namely: a continuous charitable fund, endowment or goodwill; knowledge left for people to benefit from; and a pious righteous and God-fearing child who continuously prays to Allah, for the souls of his parents” (Muslim).
May Allah SWT give us all the wisdom to love our children in the best of ways! May our love towards them entail affection, equality and discipline. May HE allow us to raise them in a pious manner! May our children become a source of Sadqah Jariah for us all. Ameen Ya Rabbul Ameen!