Raising children: “Your children are but a trial…”
We read in the Holy Qur’an that children are a trial for their parents, and parents will receive a great reward for all that they do for their children:
“Your wealth and your children are but a trial, and Allah has with Him a great reward.” (Qur’an 64:15)
Our religion teaches us that parents who raise their children to practise Islam well, are rewarded continuously after the parents have passed away.
We read in a hadith:
Abu Huraira reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “When the human being dies, his deeds end except for three: ongoing charity, beneficial knowledge, or a righteous child who prays for him.” (Sahih Muslim)
We know that parents have a responsibility to guide their children, but alongside this, there is a great positive influence when children feel that they have a good friendship with their parents.
When children are not overly afraid of their parents, they are more likely to share their thoughts and opinions with them without feeling hesitant.
We read in a hadith:
Abdullah ibn Umar reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Every one of you is a shepherd and is responsible for his flock. The leader of people is a guardian and is responsible for his subjects. A man is the guardian of his family and he is responsible for them. A woman is the guardian of her husband’s home and his children and she is responsible for them. The servant of a man is a guardian of the property of his master and he is responsible for it. No doubt, every one of you is a shepherd and is responsible for his flock.” (Sahih Bukhari and Sahih Muslim)
Children pick up habits from what they see around them, but when their parents explain to them properly what is right and wrong, they will be reminded of what they should be doing. Through putting effort into the explanations that the parents give their children, they will be fulfilling one of their duties in Islam. We read in a hadith:
On the authority of Abu Thalabah al-Kushani — Jurthoom bin Nashir (may Allah be pleased with him) — that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Verily Allah ta’ala has laid down religious obligations (fara’id), so do not neglect them; and He has set limits, so do not overstep them; and He has forbidden some things, so do not violate them; and He has remained silent about some things, out of compassion for you, not forgetfulness — so do not seek after them.” (An-Nawawi)
As much as parents have a responsibility over their children, they do not need to feel overwhelmed, as indeed Allah is the best of Helpers.
He can see what a person is enduring. When parents put in their best efforts, and put their trust in Allah, that is better for them. We read in the Holy Qur’an:
“O you who have believed, let not your wealth and your children divert you from remembrance of Allah. And whoever does that – then those are the losers.” (Qur’an 63:9)
Children have many questions about their surroundings and the world, as there is so much for them still to learn. Naturally, they will also ask their parents about Islam and any practices they see happening around them. When they are in a nurturing environment where they are welcome to ask questions, it will help them to properly understand their religion and give them the roots for a thorough understanding of the Deen.
May Allah reward the parents among us for all that they do, and may He grant them ease on their journey of raising children. May He make their efforts a means for them to enter Paradise. Aameen.