We are approaching the time in the year in which people celebrate the Births of Allah’s two great Prophets. These messengers hold a great status by our creator and our hearts and minds are in utmost respect and love for them both. When a Prophet is born it is indeed a great blessing to humanity. However as Muslims we celebrate a Messenger, by following and emulating his message rather than indulging in ceremonial events. Our belief is that Allah has no partners, no equals and no progeny.
I would like to use this time to remind us of the beautiful gifts some of us have been given in our homes. These gifts are in the forms of the children chosen for us by our Creator.
Whenever Allah refers to children in the Quran he mentions the word “Wahaba” which means an unexpected gift.
“He gifts to whomever he wants male offspring and he gifts to whomever he wants female offspring.” (Quran 42:49)
Allah mentions the prayer of Ibrahim A.S for children:
“Oh My Lord! GIFT me with pious children” (Quran 37:100)
He also mentions that amongst the qualities of the ‘Slaves of the Merciful’, is that they pray to Allah saying.
“And those who say ‘OUR LORD! GIFT us from our children and spouses that which will be the coolness of our eyes and make us leaders for the pious’” (Quran 25:74)
The point is, every child Allah blesses us with regardless of their gender, looks, ability, behaviour or talent are indeed a GIFT from Allah. We must learn to cherish this gift.
Honour your gift
When someone gifts you with something, we are full of appreciation and mostly treat the gift with care, love and protection. Especially if it is given to us by someone close to us. Children are a gift from Allah who knows perfectly well, what is best for us. Unfortunately many of us take this gift for granted and are commonly ungrateful in the manner in which we treat them.
If we reflect on the teachings and the blessed practices of the Messenger (Peace and Blessings be upon him) we will find great honour towards children.
The prophet once mentioned.
“Honour your children and give them the best manners”(Ibn Maajah)
This following narration reflects the amazing relationship the Messenger (Peace and Blessings be upon him) had with his children. ‘Aishah (Ra) narrated:
“I have not seen anyone closer in conduct, way, and manners to that of the Messenger of Allah in regards to standing and sitting, than Fatimah the daughter of the Messenger of Allah (Peace and Blessings be upon him).” She said “Whenever she would enter upon the Prophet (Peace and Blessings be upon him) he would stand to her and kiss her, and he would sit her in his sitting place. Whenever the Prophet (Peace and Blessings be upon him) entered upon her she would stand from her seat, and kiss him and sit him in her sitting place.
So when the Prophet (Peace and Blessings be upon him) fell sick and Fatimah entered, she bent over and kissed him. Then she lifted her head and cried, then she bent over him and she lifted her head and laughed. So I said: ‘I used to think that this one was from the most intelligent of our women, but she is really just one of the women.’
So when the Prophet (Peace and Blessings be upon him) died, I said to her: ‘Do you remember when you bent over the Prophet (Peace and Blessings be upon him) and you lifted your head and cried, then you bent over him, then you lifted your head and laughed. What caused you to do that?’
She said: ‘Then, I would be the one who spreads the secrets. He (Peace and Blessings be upon him) told me that he was to die from his illness, so I cried. Then he told me that I would be the quickest of his family to meet up with him. So that is when I laughed.'”(Tirmidhi)
The Prophet (Peace and Blessings be upon him) taught us to always love our children by making them feel special. If we make this the focus of our parenting then indeed they will prosper from the good we teach them. Of course as a parent myself, I understand the challenges we have in our times. I know that children and parents are suffering from challenges that are unprecedented, especially for Muslim families. However the Prophetic method of love and compassion will always be the most effective way. His Sunnah is a universal method befitting to all times and circumstances.
The strength and bond you can create with your children by showing them respect and honour cannot be achieved by over-discipline. Sometimes the goals and targets we set for our little loved ones can create a negative environment in the home. The children can feel unwelcome and the pressure of letting you down can cause a distance. They should know that they are important to us no matter what. Yes, all of the above and more are necessary in upbringing children as I have discussed in previous articles however this is the most essential ingredient for our intentions when parenting.
If they feel special they will become special insha’Allah.
–By Mawlana Thaqib Mahmood (Zuhri Academy)