Our pious predecessors nurtured their children with good habits,
excellent character and good etiquettes, which also produced a
positive effect on the child.
Once, Hadhrat Abdullah bin Umar’s رضي الله عنه
grandson was seated next to him when a visitor came to meet him
and posed the following question: “What is the penalty for killing a
“Who are you and where did you come from?” Hadhrat
Abdullah رضي الله عنه
had lost his vision in both eyes at that time. The visitor
introduced himself and revealed that he was from Iraq.
Hadhrat Abdullah رضي الله عنه told him: “You do not ask about the penalty
for killing Nabi’s صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَم
grandson in the plains of Karbala, but you query
about the penalty for killing a mosquito?” The visitor became
infuriated and glared at Hadhrat Abdullah _.
Hadhrat Abdullah’s _ grandson upon witnessing this
commented to his grandfather:
نظروا إليك بأعين محمرّة نظر الذليل إلى العزيز القاهر
They are staring at you with bloodshot eyes like how a disgraced inferior
person will glare at his superior.
The grandson graphically captured the scene to his grandfather.
This was the level of intelligence and discernment of children who
were reared with the correct understanding of deen.
When Mahmood Ghaznawy came to India, he took a Hindu
youngster and raised him in a princely manner. He taught him the
royal etiquettes, the manner of addressing people, the way of
conducting oneself in the royal court, etc. When this was
accomplished, Hadhrat Ghaznawy crowned him as the royal prince.
At this point, the youngster began crying. When questioned in this
regard, he said: “My mother had always instilled the fear of
Mahmood in my heart. The cruelty of Mahmood was continuously
bandied around, such, that the children used to tremble at the very
mention of his name. If only my mother was still alive, then I would
have told her that Mahmood was not evil, but a kind person and he
has raised me in a manner that they would not have been able to
accomplish. This is why I am crying.”
Our pious predecessors imparted deen to their children
practically. The children observed the manner in which they were
leading their lives and learnt the correct etiquettes in every facet of
life; the sunnat manner of eating (washing our hands before
commencing to eat, reciting ‘Bismillah’ before eating, eating with the
right hand, drinking with the right hand in three sips, eating small
morsels of food, reciting ‘Alhamdulillah’ during the meals and after
drinking, etc.), the sunnat manner of wearing our clothes and the
masnoon du`aas to be recited on various occasions. In short, every
feature of their lives was led according to the teachings of Islam.
This is the very essence of rearing children and, if they are reared in
this manner, then they will become the flag-bearers of deen and a
source of guidance for all.
In contrast, if they are reared incorrectly, they will become a
source of grief and sorrow for their parents. Numerous parents have
complained to us about the insensitivity and downright arrogance
displayed by their children. Their attitude and mannerisms are
abhorrent. They do not desire to even talk to their parents, so much
so that, if the father enters the home, the child leaves the house in
order to avoid his company. If the child is raised correctly, then
he/she will respect and honour his/her parents and consider them
to be a boon from Allah Ta`ala.
Incorrect upbringing of children will result in our detriment in
this world and in the hereafter.
A certain youngster whose father is my friend, developed the
habit of stealing and pilfering. When he was caught and imprisoned,
his father announced that his son had passed away in order to
protect his honour.
Once, I asked a person whether he had attended to his children’s
“What can I do?” he wailed. “They have developed such bad
habits that I am even prepared to pay 100 000 rupees to someone
just to take them away from my sight.”
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This is the lamentable plight of today’s children. These very
children, who were supposed to be the comfort of our eyes, have
become the source of our grief and sorrow and, if we analyse this
situation objectively, we will realise that the fault invariably lies at
our feet. If they were brought up in the correct deeni environment,
they will naturally respect and honour their parents and the parents
as well will be compassionate towards them. Life will be pleasant
and trouble-free for everyone concerned.
But alas! We have not heeded the warnings of our pious elders
and our homes have been transformed into hellfire! When the
parents and the children have enmity for each other, the resultant
condition is the utter destruction of the family structure. The father
expels the son from the home and instructs every family member to
sever ties with him.
But the mother, because of her natural undying love for her child,
secretly arranges for the son to visit them when the father is not
around. Thus, the entire family structure is in tatters because of the
incorrect upbringing of the children.
If a warrant of arrest is issued – Allah Ta`ala forbid! – and the
child is thereafter incarcerated, how concerned do we not become
over this child’s plight? Every family member, relative, neighbour
and friend will endeavour to seek the child’s release from
imprisonment. But when this very same child develops evil habits,
then why is it that no one even blinks an eyelid at his actions?
Whereas the term of imprisonment for this crime is the fire of
Jahannum! Our primary concern should be to save our children from
the fire of Jahannum and, to achieve this, we need to communicate
with them and advise them with compassion and wisdom.
It is reported in a hadeeth that when the child reaches the age of
adolescence, he or she should be treated like a smaller brother or
sister. They should not be berated publicly or even within the
confines of the home and, when the child reaches a marriageable
age, then the parents must make the arrangements for their
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Thereafter, they should address him saying: “O my child!
Whatever rights you have over us, we have fulfilled it to the best of
our ability. Now you are married. May Allah Ta`ala save us from
the fitnah which may emanate from you.”
With regard to the relationship between siblings, the hadeeth
explicitly states that the elder brother enjoys the status of the father.
These concepts have to be instilled in the lives of our children. If the
correct Islamic ethos is not inculcated in our children, it will result in
the destruction and disgrace of the family honour which existed for
decades and, resultantly, the parents become ashamed of presenting
themselves in society because of their children’s actions.
A person does not unnecessarily amputate a troublesome or
infected limb. Similarly, the father cannot excommunicate his son or
daughter, but how does he interact with his child in a humane
manner? How does he exercise patience with these conflicting
conditions? All these types of problems are the direct result of
incorrect education and nurturing.
May Allah Ta`ala grant us all the
taufeeq to bring up our children correctly. Aameen.