Praise be to Allah, the One who created offspring in the trusteeship of their parents, and made guarding them an obligation; so it is an obligation upon us to adhere to this. May Allah raise the rank of our Master Muhammad, His slave and Messenger, the best of all creations and the best of His creations, and may He protect his Al and companions and those who follow his path and direction.
Allah Ta^ala said in the Holy Qur’an:
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ ءامَنُوا اتَّقُوا اللَّهَ وَلْتَنْظُرْ نَفْسٌ مَا قَدَّمَتْ لِغَدٍ
وَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ إِنَّ اللَّهَ خَبِيرٌ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ
This means: O you who believe, fear Allah and consider what you have prepared for tomorrow (the Day of Judgement) and fear Allah for He is all Knowing about your deeds.
The one who truly fears Allah is the one who believes in Allah and lives his in compliance with fulfilling His orders and avoiding His prohibitions; while believing firmly that his beginning and end belong to Allah. As such, he makes upright what is between his beginning and end. The legacy of our life after the passing of years, are our offspring. They are entrusted to us and placed in our care. Raising children, caring for them and investing in them are among the most rewarding assets in this life and the Hereafter. Raising children means granting them the Islamic education and handing down the Islamic principles. The correct upbringing instils in growing children the morals appropriate for a virtuous society and instils all the virtues that protect them from obscenity.
The righteous offspring is the good of the world. If he is near, you are happy, if he is far, you trust him and are assured of him. He makes supplication for you in your life and after your death. The Muslim teaches his child to perform the religious obligations and fulfil the rights that are placed on him by Allah: Prophet Muhammad ﷺ said:
كُلُّكُمْ رَاعٍ، وَكُلُّكُمْ مَسْئُولٌ عَنْ رَعِيَّتِهِ
This means: “You are like shepherds and so, each of you is responsible for those in your care”.
You are the questioned, what is your response? Have you advised or have you neglected? When you see deviants, rebels without manners and principles and fugitives from the righteous path, do you inquire: Who raised them? Who is responsible for this generation? It is the poor upbringing that sunk to the lowest limits with moral breakdowns, lack of foundation and no objectives that has the generation have no regard for their community and is a burden to it.
How many children went astray due to guardians neglect and lack of discipline, and instead helping them to fulfil mischievous desires. Parents claim that they are honouring their children when in fact they have shamed them. They claim they have been merciful to them when in fact they have been unjust to them. As a result, they have lost the chance to reap benefit from their children and they have lost their opportunities from this life and the Hereafter.
Raising children is not just providing food, clothing and lodgement for them. Allah said in Surat al An^am, 151:
نَحْنُ نَرْزُقُكُمْ وَإِيَّاهُمْ
This means: We provide for you and them. Raising children is a responsibility to raise them on the belief and good deeds.
Moreover, the most critical stage where the child is highly impressionable is the school age. This is due to their high level of emotion and being extremely vulnerable to it, with a lack of knowledge and experience. The first years are the time of greatest development for the life of the individual. If the child is surrounded by the supportive and positive influence he or she will grow up to be successful and able to give, by the Will of God.
A primary pathway to a good upbringing of children and is pivotal to their discipline is for parents to be upright role models. After that is to teach them about the virtuous role models of the Companions and the honourable predecessors, to form a connection. Also, it is to select good friends to befriend, and the books and every source of influence. This is especially critical in this day and age, given the ease of social interaction and access to information via the world wide web.
All of this (widespread mischief) is a result of influential friendships and advanced technological devices which have invaded all homes. Protection from these is most difficult, except for whom Allah made it easy. Their consequences are like the one who sits in the physical company of the other. It is either a good company or a bad company. It is imperative that we take care of this and not be oblivious to it. Also, how many teachers complain that parents no little of what their children are doing. They handover everything related to the discipline to the school and teachers, while the family remains oblivious and the role of the parent is made absent.