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.