5 Basic Principles of Islamic Parenting
Children are an Amanah (trust) to us as Muslims and the best gift a parent can give to a child is a proper upbringing.
"When a person dies, his deeds come to an end, except for three: ongoing charity (Sadaqah Jariyah), the knowledge that is benefited from, and a righteous child who prays for him.” (Sahih Muslim)
If a person leaves pious children, he will continue to receive rewards as long as his children keep on doing good deeds, regardless of whether they make the intention of sending the rewards to their parents or not.
This shows that proper upbringing is highly beneficial not only to the child but also to the parents both in this world and in the hereafter.
Here are 5 basic principles of Islamic parenting that will in sha Allah make it successful journey for us all.
1.Children are born pure
The Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, “No baby is born but upon Fitra (as a Muslim). It is his parents who make him a Jew or a Christian or a Polytheist.” (Sahih Muslim, Book 033, Number 6426).
This Hadith indicates that children will only imitate what is done around them whether it is good or bad. A child is not capable of doing right or wrong on his/her own accord but will replicate the actions he/she sees.
By understanding this, parents will quit blaming their children for wrongdoing but will instead, notice their environment to see what the cause of a problem may be and solve the problem from its root cause.
2.Parents are guides and role models
Children learn best from their parents' actions. Since they spend the majority of their infancy with their parents, it is not surprising that they will pick up the most from them.
Parents must make an extra effort to do what is good and refrain from what is bad when they are around their kids. The kids are always watching and even if they don't immediately imitate bad habits, those habits will be manifested at some point. It is important to control your words and actions in the presence of your kids.
“Every one of you is a guardian and is responsible for his charges. The ruler who has authority over people is a guardian and is responsible for them; a man is a guardian of his family and is responsible for them; a woman is a guardian of her husband’s house and children and is responsible for them; a slave is a guardian of his master’s property and is responsible for it; so all of you are guardians and are responsible for your charges.” Sahih Bukhari.
3.The essentials of upbringing are kindness and mercy
Compassion is the key to proper upbringing. It is only through compassion that parents can be understanding and affectionate to their children.
Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) was known for his love and kindness towards children. He would stroke their heads out of love and pray for them.
“O Muslims, O father and mother, O my followers, be kind and compassionate towards children, for someone who is not kind to children has no place amongst the Muslims.”
4. Children need boundaries
As important as it is to show love, you should know when and where to draw the line. Children are pure but they are not perfect. They will make mistakes as they learn to be responsible adults.
Every institution needs rules and regulations. As the family is an institution, it needs laws to thrive and will breed chaos if left lawless. Rules like a specific bedtime, cleaning their rooms every day, brushing their teeth before they go to bed, waking up for Fajr Salah, eating with their right hand, and saying Assalamu alaikum before entering a room will help your family maintain order.
5.Children need responsibilities
The goal of parenting is to raise independent and responsible human beings, people that will show up in the world and make a positive impact.
You can nurture the sense of responsibility in your child from early on by asking them to complete small tasks. For example, putting away their toys once they are done playing or taking their plates to the kitchen once they are done eating. This will make them feel like responsible people from an early age.
Finally, parenting is a lifelong journey and parents learn as they go. There is no one size fits all hack to parenting and you may experience anxiety while trying to raise your kids in the right manner and not knowing exactly what works. By following these basic principles, you will In sha Allah stay on track and have peace of mind knowing that you are doing the your best and putting your trust in Allah SWT.
And most importantly, you have to continuously make dua for your children and ask that Allah - Ar Rashid, the one who guides - guides your children to the right part and guides you in making the best decisions for them.
May Allah bless and protect our children and make them righteous Muslims. Ameen.