EVERY child is born on Fitrah (man’s innate disposition to Monotheism), his parents make him Jewish, Christian or a fire worshiper.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim ) Allah Almighty has entrusted parents with their children. Parents bear the responsibility to raise up their children in the Islamic way. If they do that they will be blessed in this life and in the Hereafter, and if they don’t, they will get bad result during their life and in the Hereafter.
The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) is reported to have said : “All of you are guardians and all of you are responsible for things under your guardianship; the ruler is a guardian (managing his state‚s affairs) and he is responsible for things under his care, the man is a guardian over his family and responsible for them, the woman is a guardian of her husband’s house and she is responsible for it. All of you are guardians and responsible for things under your control.” (Al-Bukhari & Muslim)
The Prophet (peace be upon him), did not excuse anyone from responsibility that Allah has put on every individual to build the Islamic society: the ruler is responsible: the man and woman are responsible…. all within their capabilities, domains, and authorities… and the loss of Islam from our Muslim Ummah these days is nothing but a result of the neglect of responsibility.
Men and women, fathers and mothers share the responsibility to raise up, educate, and build the new generation in the correct method and the right way.
Man has in him the good and bad tendencies, so parents must encourage and grow the good tendencies in the child so he can become a useful person that helps himself and his people. Referring to this, Allah Almighty says: “O you who believe! Ward off yourselves and your families against a Fire (Hell) whose fuel is men and stones . . .” (At-Tahrim, 66:6)
The protection of yourself and your family from Hell-Fire won’t be with anything but good education, the observance of good morals, and the guidance to nobility.
Islam does not distinguish between male and female with regard to the education requirements. The Prophet (peace be upon him) is reported to have said: “Whoever has a daughter, tutors her on good morals, educates her well and feeds her properly; she will be a protection for him from Hell-Fire.”
What do we mean by good education? The good education means the physical, mental and moral preparation of the child so he can become a good individual in the good society.
Methods for moral upbringing
1- Showing the values of good deeds and their effects on the individuals and society; also showing the effects of bad deeds, all within the child’s capability of understanding.
2- Parents should be a good example in their behavior because children like to imitate their parents in their sayings and their deeds.
3- Teaching the child the religious principles and tutoring him in matters of worship, taking into account the child’s capability of understanding. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) is reported to have said: “Order your children to pray at the age of seven.”
4- Treating children nicely and kindly. The Prophet (peace be upon him) taught us that practically. When he was leading the prayer, his grandson Al-Hasan, son of his daughter Fatimah, may Allah be pleased with them, rode on his back while he was bowing. The Prophet (peace be upon him), lengthened his bow. When he finished his prayer, some attending Companions said, “You lengthened your bow?” Then the Prophet (peace be upon him), answered, “My grandson rode on my back and I hate putting him down quickly.”
5- One of the important things that parents must teach their children is to choose the good company and to avoid the bad one, because children are always influenced by the company they keep. The bad behavior can be easily transmitted through bad company. So the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, warned us by saying, “Man is inclined to get influenced by his friend’s manners, so one must be careful in choosing friends.” (Abu Dawud & At-Tirmidhi)
6- Encouraging the child’s sense of belonging to the Muslim Ummah, by teaching him about the brotherhood among Muslims, teaching him to care for Muslims in any land, and that he is part of the Muslim body, to feel joy when Muslims are joyous, to feel sad over Muslims’ sadness, and to do best to achieve the Muslim Ummah’s goals.
All of this can be done practically through:
A- Taking children to Mosques and introducing them to their brothers in Islam regardless of race, language, or origin.
B- Teaching the children the life history of the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, and his Companions and the history of Islam, bearing in mind the child’s capability of understanding.
C- Encouraging children to sympathize with Muslim problems and to contribute to the solutions such as the poverty problem and to donate some money to the hungry Muslim children.
D- Taking part in the celebrations and festivals with Muslims, and joining in picnics and developing ties with their Muslim brothers of the same age.
7- Teaching children the love of Allah, His Prophet (peace be upon him), Muslims, and all people. This love will lead to special behavior towards all those loved people.
These are general guidelines to raise our children Islamically, so every Muslim must take care of his children and know the correct path that must be followed. This will help us do the job we are entrusted to do as Allah prescribed, as well as the responsibility the Prophet (peace be upon him), has clarified, with aim of protecting the future generations of Muslims.
Islam is a complete way of life. It considers the family the cornerstone of Islamic society. It bases the atmosphere in the family on sacrifice, love, loyalty, and obedience. When we say “family” we mean the traditional definition of it, namely husband, wife and children. Grandparents are also part of the extended Muslim family.
It may be asked here: how does Islam organize family relationships? To answer this, we have to concentrate on husband-wife relationship and parent-children relationship.
As for husband wife relationship the following verse portrays the right Islamic atmosphere:
“And among His Signs is this: He created for you spouses from yourselves, that you may find rest in them, and He ordained between you affection and mercy.” (Qur-an, 30-21)
If we contemplate the Noble Qur-an, we find that it refers to parents-child relationships in four main places. Before it asks children to be good and loyal to their parents, it requires parents to be extremely careful in upbringing their children. In other words it asks parents to do their duty before asking for their rights.
These are the two main chapters of the Noble Qur-an that decide and clearly depict the Islamic relationship between parents and children. It is a relationship based, as we see, on belief in Allah, and feeling that He observes all that we do and that we are accountable to Him even in the bad breath that we may release against our parents when we are angry. Even this has to be controlled.
Let us remember, however, that it is only parents who do their duty, who deserve this honorable treatment of their children. That is why when a parent came to the Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) and complained to him about the ingratitude of his son, the son said: He was ungrateful to me oh Messenger of Allah, before I showed ingratitude to him. So the Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) did not blame the son but disliked the attitude of his parent. This is a message to all parents.
The third place in the Noble Qur-an that refers to parents child relationship is in chapter 46 called Al Ahqaf where Allah says:
“And We have enjoined on man to be dutiful and kind toward his parents. His mother bears him with hardship and delivers him with hardship. His bearing and weaning are thirty months, till when he attains full strength and reaches forty years, he says: ‘My Lord! Arouse me that I may give thanks for the favor where with you have favored my parents, and I may do right acceptable unto you. I have turned unto you repentant and Lo! I am one of the Muslims.”
Concerning this type of child the Noble Qur-an has the following comment: “Those are they from whom We accept the best of what they do, and We overlook their evil deeds among the dwellers of Paradise – a promise of truth, which they have been promised (in the world).”
The Noble Qur-an then turns to the other category of or children who are disbelievers and are, as a result, ungrateful to their parents. It declares:
“As for him who said to his parents: Fie upon you both! Do you threaten me that I shall be brought forth (again) when generations before me have passed away! While they too cry unto Allah for help and say: Woe unto you! Believe! Verily, the promise of Allah is true. But he says: This is nothing but fables of the ancient.”
Commenting on this attitude Allah says:
“Such are those whom the Word concerning nations of the jinn and mankind which have passed away before them has effect. Verily, they are the losers. And for each there will be degrees due to what they did; that He may recompense them in full for their deeds! And they will not be wronged.” (Qur-an, 46:15-19).
The forth and last place in the Noble Qur-an that refers to parents-child relationship is what is mentioned briefly in chapter 29 that says:
“We have enjoined on man to be good and dutiful to his parents. But should they strive to make you join with Me that of which you have no knowledge, then obey them not. Unto Me is your return and I shall tell you what you used to do.” (Qur-an, 29:8)
Hazrat Ibn Umar (Radiallahu Anhuma) reported Allah’s Messenger (Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) as saying, “The believer is not given to cursing.” A version has “It is noy fitting for a believer to be given to cursing.”
Hazrat Samura Bin Jundub (Radiyallahu Anhu) reported Allah’s Messenger (Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) as saying, “Do not invoke Allah’s curse, Allah’s curse, Allah’s anger, or Jahannam on one another.” A version has, “or Hell.”
Hazrat Abu Dardaa (Radiyallahu Anhu) told that he heard Allah’s Messenger (Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) say, “When a man curses anything the curse goes upto heaven and the gates of heaven are locked against it. Then it comes down to the earth and its gates are locked against it. It then goes right and left ,and if it finds no place of entrance it returns to the thing which was cursed, and if it deserves what was said (it enters it) ; otherwise it returns to the one who uttered it.”
Hazrat Ibn Abbas (Radiyallahu Anhu) told that the wind snatched away a man’s cloak and he cursed it, so Allah’s Messenger (Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) said, “Do not curse it, for it is under command, and if anyone curses a thing undeservedly the curse returns upon him.”
(Tirmizi Sharif,Abu Dawood)
Reflecting on the Quranic instructions and prohibitions, a Muslim will get convinced with the fact that it is his duty to keep himself away form all sins, minor and major. This emanates from the fact that it is a Muslim’s first priority to gain Allah’s pleasure by doing what He likes and steering clear of what He dislikes, irrespective of the gravity or the simplicity of the sin.
Coming to the question on which major sin stands in next to polytheism, in terms of its gravity, we may as well infer that from the order adopted by the Quran when dictating the duties of every Muslim. In the Quran immediately after the duty of worshiping Allah comes the duty of showing dutifulness to one s parents: And your Lord has decreed, that you worship none but Him. And that you be dutiful to your parents. (Al-Isra : 23)
It is well-known that Islam urges every Muslim to be dutiful to his parents, extending to them the kindest treatment possible. Failing to treat one’s parents kindly makes one guilty of disobedience to those parents as well as to Allah, and this may deprive one of a chance of being admitted to Paradise. So it goes without saying that disobedience to parents or mistreating them is the second major sin after polytheism. The first commandment in Islam as revealed to all prophets is to worship Allah and the second is to treat one’s parents kindly. Accordingly, the first major sin is Shirk (association of partners with Allah), and the second major sin is mistreating one’s parents.
The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: Shall I tell you of the three most heinous sins? He repeated this question three times and then said, They are: to associate partners with Allah, to mistreat one’s parents, and to bear false testimony. In another tradition, the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, One who mistreats his parents cannot hope to enter Paradise. He also said, The pleasure of Allah is in the pleasure of one’s parents and the wrath of Allah is in the wrath of one’s parents.
Abu Saeed Khudri (radhiyallahu anhu) reported that Rasullullah (The Messenger of Allah) has said that whosoever spends anything on his family members for reward, will enjoy the divine credit of charity. (Bukhari, Muslim)
It is described by Abu Huraira(radhiyallahu anhu) that Mohammed (sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) has said that, to spend on one’s wife, has great merit than giving charity to male and female slaves and beggars. (Muslim)
Abdullah bin Masood (radhiyallahu anhu) reported that the greatest preference is to spend on one’s wife and children which is necessary and then it should be spent on close relatives. (Tibrani)
It is narrated in the extract of Arbez bin Saarya(radhiyallahu anhu) that even to give water to one’s wife is charity.
Abu Huraira (radhiyallahu anhu) reported that someone asked Rasullullah(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) that he had one gold coin with him, where should he spend it ? Rasullullah(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) said that he should spend it on himself. The man said that he had one more and Mohammed(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) said that he should spend it on his wife. The man again said that he had yet another and Rasullullah(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) said ,that he should spend on his servants. The man said that he had a fourth and Rasullullah(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) said that he should spend it, on whatever he preferred. (Ibn Habban)
Sa’ad bin Waqqas(radhiyallahu anhu) reported that Mohammed (sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) said that whosoever spends his money to gain Allah’s pleasure and goodwill, gets the credit of charity so much that even a morsel which he puts in the mouth of his wife, has the credit of charity. ( Bukhari, Muslim)
Abdur-Rahmaan Ibn Sahl, Huwaisah Ibn Masood, and Muhaisah Ibn Masood – when these three went to the Prophet (saas) in regard to a dispute, Abdur-Rahmaan, the youngest among them, began to speak. The Prophet (saas) said to him words to the effect of,
Let the oldest one speak (first) 1
The Companions (ra) honored their elders and showed mercy to the young among them, which is perhaps why Ibn Umar (ra) refrained from coming to the forefront when he was the youngest in a gathering. This occurred when the Prophet (saas) said to his Companions (ra)
Inform me of a tree, the example of which is the example of the Muslim. It bears its fruits at all times by the permission of its Lord, and its leaves do not wear away.
Ibn Umar (ra) knew the answer to this question, for he later said it occurred to me that it is the date-tree, but I disliked to speak when Abu Bakr (ra) and Umar (ra) were there without any of them speaking (with the answer). The Prophet (saas) (then) said.
It is the date-tree.
When I left with my father (i.e., Umar (ra)), I said, O my father, it had occurred to me that it is the date-tree. He said, what prevented you from saying it? Had you said it, that (i.e., the honor you would have earned for giving the right answer) would have been more beloved to me than such and such. Ibn Umar (ra) then said, The only thing that prevented me was that I Saw neither you nor Abu Bakr speak, so I disliked (putting myself in a place of prominence – by speaking – before such distinguished company).
1 ) Related by Bukhaare (6142), Muslim (1669), Al-Tirmidhee (1422
A pious woman’s priority is to seek the pleasure of Allah. She tries acquiring the qualities of a good wife by following the examples set by the Prophet (Sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam – may the peace and blessing of Allah be upon him), and obeying what is commanded in the Book of Allah. Complete obedience and adherence to the Sunnah of the Prophet (Sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) and Quran is the best of a woman’s qualities.
A woman is married for four reasons: for her wealth, for her fame, for her beauty and for her religion. So marry one for her religion and you will successful. [Bukhari & Muslim]
Therefore the righteous women are devoutly obedient (to Allah and to their husbands) and guard in their husband’s absence what Allah orders them to guard (e.g. their honor, husbands property, etc) [4:34]
An-Nasaii narrated that the Prophet(Sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) was asked “Who are the best of women?” He replied, “The one who pleases him (her husband) if he looks at her, obeys him if he asks (her) and does not subject her honor or money to what he dislikes.”
Ibn Hibban narrated that the Prophet(Sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) said, “If a woman prays her five prayers, fasts in Ramadan, protects her honor and obeys her husband; then she will be told (on the Day of Judgment): enter Paradise from any of its(eight) gates that you wish.”
If a woman harms (in any way) her husband, then his wife in Paradise tells her: “Do not harm him, May Allah fight you, he is only staying temporarily with you. Soon he will come to us.” [Ahmad & At-Tirmithi]
If a man calls his wife to bed and she refuses till he slept while angry, then the Angels will curse her till the morning. [Muslim]
Allah does not look to the woman who does not appreciate her husband while she cannot stand his departing her. [An-Nasaii].
Any woman who asks her husband for divorce for no reason will not smell the fragrance of Paradise. [Sahih Al-Jamii]
The Prophet (Sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) said, “If I were to order anyone to bow down to other than Allah, I would order the wife to do so for her husband. By the One who owns the soul of Muhammad, if a wife does not fulfill her obligations towards her husband, then she will not have fulfilled her obligations towards Allah.” [Ahmad]
Ibn `Abbas (May Allah be pleased with them), Reported in Connection With The Case Of Barirah (May Allah be pleased with her) And Her Husband :
The Prophet (PBUH) Said To Her,
” It is Better For You To Go Back To Your Husband.
” She Asked: ” O Messenger Of Allah, Do You Order Me To Do So.
” He Replied, ” I Only intercede”
She Then Said : ” I Have No Need For Him “.
Commentary : Barirah (May Allah be pleased with her) Was A Slave-Girl Of `Aishah (May Allah be pleased with her). Barirah Was Married To A Slave Named Mughith (May Allah be pleased with him). She Was Freed By `Aishah (May Allah be pleased with her). Now, Islam Has Permitted A Slave- Girl That After Being Freed, She Can Break Her Matrimonial Bond if She Does Not Like To Live With Her Husband. Mughith Was Madly in Love With Her And He Would All The time persuade her not to break their bond of marriage. When the Prophet (PBUH) came to know the condition of Mughith, he interceded for him and asked Barirah to restore her matrimonial connection with her husband. Since this was an advice and recommendation, she did not think it suitable for herself and regretted that she could not accept it. The Hadith evidently shows that Islam accepts legitimate rights of individuals and honours personal freedom, provided they do not exceed the limits of Shari`ah.