Parents play central role in the religiosity and moral upbringing of their children. It is not enough to just teach them words, parents need to be active role models for the future generation.
Bismillāhir Rahmānir Rahīm, As-salāmu ʿAlaykum wa rahmatullāhi wa barakātuh. Peace be upon you brothers and sisters.
Welcome back to the Muslim Converts Channel!
In this lesson, we’re going to go over some of the duties and responsibilities which God, through the Messenger of Allah and the Ahl al-Bayt (as), has ordained for families. Here you we will see how parenthood is integral to the salvation of the Muslim community as well as humanity.
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In a famous hadith, a companion of the Prophet (s) once remarked:
I never saw anyone who was more compassionate towards children than Allah’s Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him). His son Ibrahim was in the care of a wet nurse in the hills around Madinah. He would go there, and we would go with him, and he would enter the house, pick up his son and kiss him, then come back.
Our Duties As Parents: Mother and Father
There are a set number of parental duties that are well known to most Muslims. We know that it is obligatory for mothers to breastfeed their children when they are first born.
We also know that it is obligatory for fathers to provide for their children when it comes to clothing, shelter and food.
Parents, however, also have moral/religious duties to their children. (say moral slash religious duties)
Both parents have the responsibility of being moral examples for their children. An unfortunate reality today is that many kids pick up vices like lying from their parents. Have you ever seen a parent telling his or her spouse that “they aren’t there” when someone calls? Well, that’s a form of lying, and kids see that and pick up on it.
The same goes for other acts of dishonesty, such as parents lying to each other. Here is another example, angry children often pick up their anger from their parents. Similarly, anxious and fearful kids also inherit much of their fears and panic attacks from their parents.
Parents therefore have the duty to be proper role models for their children in Islam. Parents need to be morally upright and also be calm sources of emotional security, not emotional ruin!
Parents also have the duty to educate their kids about Islam. First, they need to teach them the basic principles of Islam, both the usul al-deen where the basics of Islamic creed are taught.
Second, kids need to learn the proper rituals and dos and donts of Islam. So they need to learn how to pray, fast, do wudu and also know what is impermissible and ritually impure.
Some parents think that by sending their kids to Islamic schools they’ve done their job and they don’t need to teach them anything. But remember that words can only go so far. If kids see their parents not practicing Islam, the teachings of Islam won’t mean anything.
When parents don't practice, kids often think about Islam the following way: "if Islam isn’t good enough for my parents to practice, why should it be good enough for me to practice?"
So you or a school can teach, but central here is parental practice of Islam.
Mothers and fathers also have their own specific duties.
Obviously there are many, and unfortunately we don’t have the time to go over all of them.
Here a few pointers:
Mothers Duties to Daughters
Mothers have the duty to teach their daughters the female-related rulings of Islam. It can be awkward for a father to teach his daughter about menstruation laws for example. So these things are best coming from a mother for Islamic law is not just about knowing things in theory, but also about getting practical advice!
Mothers must also be an example of modesty for their daughters. It is hard for a daughter to be modest if her mother is not modest.
The same goes for behavior. If a mother wants her daughter not to gossip, then she also needs to learn not to gossip herself!
Father’s Duties to Sons
Fathers have the duty to teach their sons about male related rulings in Islam. In this case its not really about the sense of awkwardness as many boys are still more comfortable with their moms. But like the previous point that was made, there is theory and then there is experience.
What fathers can offer their sons, in addition learning about Islamic rulings in theory, is practical advice which they had to go through themselves. These includes advice on various kinds of sins, temptation, and how to better control oneself. The practical advice that a father may give as a male may be more valuable than what a mother may say.
This is the necessary and difficult role a father must play in order to save his son from destructive sins and behavior. Often enough, friends, especially at a young age, won’t push their friends to abstain from sins. Unfortunately, they tend to encourage them! So developing a relationship of trust is very important.
Until Next Time, Thank you for watching. As-salāmu ʿAlaykum wa rahmatullāhi wa barakātuh
I am tired and I don’t have the energy to teach Islam to my kids, is it enough to send them to an Islamic school?
Kids must see passion for Islam in their parents. If the passion is not there and the responsibility is delegated elsewhere, they won’t take Islam seriously. If they see that Islam isn’t good enough for their parents, why should it be good enough for them?
Is it enough to teach my kids the basics of Islam only and leave it to them to practice?
As a parent, you must make the effort in practicing yourself. If parents don’t take practicing Islam seriously, the children won’t either.
Can both mother and father teach gender specific laws to their kids?
Yes, but it is better if mothers teach female specific laws to their daughters, same with fathers to sons. The reason for this is practical experience which theory alone won’t give.
What are some of the religious obligations mothers have in Islam when a child is born?
Breastfeeding at the time of birth.
Do mothers have to contribute financially to the wellbeing of their kids and family?
The responsibility is with fathers only according to Islam. This does not mean, however, that women are not allowed to contribute. The difference is that it is optional for women.
prophets of God
properly functioning families
adolescents in Islam
active role model for children
From Marriage To Parenthood The Heavenly Path by Abbas Merali