Nurturing sons – guiding principles
Upbringing of sons is a difficult and tiresome task . Many a parent suffer grief due to the transgression of their offsprings and are in agony because of it .
In respect of this issue Ibn ul Qayyim al Jawzi [may Allah be pleased with him] comments :
” Sometimes the grief faced by man due to his children is the expiation of some of his sins and nothing else ! Hence there is glad tiding for the one who tried to bring up his children on the ways preferred by Allah The Glorious and Exalted. And good news is for the one who endured the ordeal of bringing up his children and it becomes expiation for his sins. So, if you experience fatigue in rearing of your offsprings seek from your Lord forgiveness of your sins ” .
Maqatil bin Suleiman [may Allah have mercy upon him] visited Abbasid Caliph Mansur the day of his pledge of allegiance. Mansur said to him:
“O Maqatil! Admonish me about something.”
To which Maqatil said: “Do I advice you from what I saw or from what I heard?”
Mansur said : “From what you saw.”
Maqatil said : “Listen, O Amir ul Momineen!”
“Omar bin Abdul Aziz had eleven sons and he died leaving only eighteen dinars out of which five dinars were
used to shroud him, four spent to buy his grave and rest were distributed amongst his sons.
And Hisham bin Abdul Malik too had eleven sons. He left for each son inheritance worth ten lac dinars.
By Allah! O Amir ul Momineen! In just one day I saw one son of Omar bin Abdul Aziz giving away sadaqah in the way of Allah one hundred horses and I saw the son of Hisham begging in the bazar (markets)!!!”
When Omar bin Abdul Aziz was on his death bed people asked him,”what are you leaving behind for your sons?”
To which he replied :
” I have left behind for them Taqwa [piety/fear] of Allah The Glorious The Exalted, so if they are righteous, Allah The Glorious and Exalted is Friend / Guardian of the righteous and if they are otherwise, I shall not leave wealth for them which is helpful for them in the ways of disobedience of Allah.”
Point to Ponder
People usually work extremely hard to secure their children’s future; striving at great lengths; assuming, after their demise their offspring will only be well and at peace because of the wealth. Whereas they remain ignorant of the larger security which is in the Taqwa [fear / piety] of Allah. They don’t gift their children the piety which Allah The Glorious, The Exalted has mentioned in His book by saying: [And let those fear as if they had left weak offspring behind and feared for them. So let them fear Allah and speak words of appropriate justice]. [Al Nisa:9]
When a man would see decline in the character of his son he would do sadaqah / charity, would feed people reciting this verse: [take from their wealth sadaqah to cleanse them and to purify them with it].
And would pray,”O Allah! this charity from me is so that my son develops purity in character because this distortion of his is more cumbersome/ painful for me than his physical disease would be.”
Similarly it is said about another person whenever he couldn’t do sadaqah due to his poverty and his son would annoy him, he would stand in nightly salah, recite Surah Al Baqarah and invoke saying:
O Allah ! This is sadaqah from me. Accept it from me, and because of it, make him righteous.
Turn towards Allah by worshipping him with the intention for the righteousness of one’s offspring . Even if they overcome your efforts still they are not able to overcome your intentions.
Our Lord! grant us from among our wives/ spouses and offspring, comfort to our eyes, and make us a leader/ example for the righteous. Ameen.