June 19, 2011

Umm 'Abdillah al-Waadi'iyyah's 21 Points on Raising Children

The following post has been excerpted from the book My Advice to the Women by Umm ‘Abdillaah al-Waadi’iyyah, rahimahuAllah, lecturer and daughter of Shaykh Muqbil bin Haadee, rahimahuAllah. To view the full work online, including citations, please visit: 21 Points on Raising Children

Raising children is complex; hence they are in need of patience and management. Consequently, some children are in need of gentleness, kindness, not raising your voice at them, and they should be dealt with without stubbornness.

Other children are in need of sternness, but this sternness should not exceed the limit. If this is exceeded, then the child will become stubborn and non-compliant towards his parents’ guidance. We ask Allaah to provide us with  good protection and care since there is an immense responsibility around the necks of the parents.

Allaah, The Exalted, said: “O you who possess Eemaan (faith), save yourselves and your families from
the Fire.” [Sooratut-Tahreem (66): 6]

And in the Saheehayn (i.e. Bukhaaree and Muslim) from the Hadeeth of ‘Abdullaah bin ‘Umar that he said: The Messenger of Allaah, (peace be upon him), said: Each one of you is a shepherd and each one of you is responsible (for his flock). So the ruler is a shepherd and he is responsible, the man is the shepherd of his family and he is responsible, the woman is the shepherd of her home and she is responsible, and the slave is the shepherd of his owner’s wealth and he is responsible.  Each one of you is a shepherd, and each one of you is responsible (for his flock).”

It is imperative that the parents co-operate in raising their children.  If one of the parents is negligent of their responsibility then one side will become deficient except for what Allaah wills.

Point 1: The child should be taught according to his level and understanding.
For example in the first stage, you teach  the child about Allaah by pointing with your fingers up to the sky.

Point 2: Direct the child to eating with his right hand. 

Point 3: If the food is hot then do not blow on it. 
The Prophet (peace be upon him) prohibited this.

Point 4: If the child wants to eat or drink, teach him to say: Bismillah (in the name of Allah).
Thereafter, it will become a norm and the child, himself, will say: Bismillaah.

Point 5: When the child is ready and can comprehend, then teach him the pillars of Islam, Emaan, and Ihsan. Do not bind teaching to a set age because the fluency and intellect of children differ. 

So the pillars of Islaam are: On the authority of ibn ‘Abbaas that he said: The Messenger of Allaah, (peace be upon him) said: “Islaam is founded on five (pillars): Bearing witness that Laa ilaaha ill Allaah and Muhammad is the Messenger of Allaah, to establish the prayer, to pay the Zakaat, to fast Ramadaan, and to make the pilgrimage (Hajj) to the House (i.e. the Ka’bah in Makkah).”
And the pillars of Eemaan (faith) are: On the authority of Aboo Hurayrah, that he said: The Messenger of Allaah, (peace be upon him), said: “Eemaan (faith) is to believe in Allaah, the angels, the Books, messengers, and the Final Resurrection.”

And the pillar of Ihsaan (Perfection in worship) is: “It is to worship Allaah as though you see Him and if you are not able to (worship Allaah as though you) see Him then He sees you.”

Point 6: Teach him the legal rulings of Wudoo' (ablution).

Point 7: Teach him to eat from whichever vessel is closest to him.
In the Saheehain (i.e. Bukhaaree and Muslim) from the Hadeeth of ‘Umar bin Abee Salamah that he said: I was eating and my hands were moving frivolously around the dish, so the Prophet, (peace be upon him), said to me: O young boy, say the name of Allaah, eat with your right hand, and eat what is closest to you."

Point 8: Make him accustomed to good and excellent actions. When he reaches the age of seven, then train him to make the salah (prayer).
The Messenger of Allaah, (peace be upon him) said: “Order your children to make the Salaah (prayer) when they reach the age of seven. Beat them about it when they reach the age of ten and separate their beds.” [Abu Dawood]

Point 9: Separate the children's beds when they reach the age of ten.
The Hadeeth that proves this has already proceeded.

Point 10: Train him to fast, so long as it does not weaken him, so that when he matures he will be experienced.
The Prophet, (peace be upon him), sent a message to the towns of the Ansaar on the morning of ‘Aashuraa that whoever woke up without fasting, then he should continue the rest of his day (without fasting), and whoever woke up fasting then, he should fast. She said: So we would fast it (i.e. the day of ‘Aashuraa) thereafter, and we would have our children fast. We would give them a toy made of wool, and when one of them began to cry for food, we would give it to him (and continue like this) until it was time to break the fast [Bukhari].

Point 11: Teach your child the authentic ‘Aqeedah (creed and belief).
Say to him what the Prophet, (peace be upon him), said to ‘Abdullaah bin ‘Abbaas:  “I am going to teach you some words. Be mindful of Allaah, Allaah will protect you. Be mindful of Allaah, you will find Him in front of you. If you ask, then ask Allaah. If you seek aid, then seek aid in Allaah. Know that if the entire Ummah were to gather in order to benefit you with something, they could not benefit you with anything except that Allaah has written it for you. And if the entire Ummah were to gather in order to harm you with something, they could not harm you with anything except Allaah has written it against you. The pen has been lifted and the pages have dried.”

Point 12: Advise your children with the admonishment that Luqman gave his son.
"And (remember) when Luqmaan said to his son whilst he was advising him: O my son! Do not commit Shirk with Allaah. Surely, committing Shirk with Allaah is a great oppression. And We have enjoined on man (to be dutiful and good) to his parents. His mother bore him in weakness and hardship upon weakness and hardship, and his weaning is two years. Give thanks to Me and your parents, the final destination is to Me. But if they both strive hard to make you commit Shirk with Me others that you have no knowledge of, then do not obey them. But behave with them kindly in the world, and follow the path of him who turns to Me in repentance and obedience. Then your return will be to Me and I shall tell you what you used to do. O my son! If it be anything equal to the weight of grain of a mustard seed even if it be in a rock or in the heavens or the earth, Allaah will bring it forth. Verily, Allaah is Subtle and All Aware. O my son! Establish the prayer, enjoin the good, forbid the evil, and be patient with the calamities that befall you. Truly, these are some of the important commandments. Do not turn your face away from men in arrogance nor should you walk through the earth in insolence. Surely, Allaah does not like the arrogant boaster.  Be moderate in your walk and lower your voice. Verily, the harshest of all voices is the braying of the donkey." [Soorah Luqmaan (31): 13 – 19]

Point 13: Teach him to seek permission before entering.
“O you who possesses Eemaan! Let your slaves and slave-girls, and those among you who have not come to the age of puberty ask your permission (before they enter) on three occasions: Before the Fajr (morning) prayer, while you remove your clothes for the noonday (rest), and after the ‘Ishaa (night) prayer.  (These) three times are of privacy for you. After these times, there is no sin on you or on them to move about, attending to each other. Thus Allaah makes clear the verses to you.  And Allaah is All Knowing, All Wise.”
[Soorah Noor (24): 58]

Point 14: Teach him about the prohibited affairs so he can abstain from them.
And in the Saheehayn (i.e. Bukhaaree and Muslim) from the Hadeeth of Aboo Hurayrah that he said: al-Hasan bin ‘Alee took a date from the dates set aside for charity and put it  in his mouth. So  the Messenger of Allaah  (peace be upon him) said, “Take it out of your mouth. Take it out of your mouth and discard it. Have you not learned that we do not eat from charity?”

Point 15: Explain to him the meaning of the Ayah (verse) or Hadith that you say to him.

Point 16: Fasten his heart to Allah, the Mighty, the Majestic.
Some children, their hearts are fastened to the Dunyaa (i.e. the life of this world), diplomas, and degrees. Their hearts are filled with delusions, and it is feared that darkness may overtake them (i.e. their hearts).

Point 17: Concern for memorizing the Qur’aan 
Make your child memorize something light everyday even if it is only one verse. Those that busy themselves with the Qur’aan are the most excellent of the people. There has come in Saheeh Bukhaaree from the Hadeeth of ‘Uthmaan bin ‘Affaan that he said, “The Messenger of Allaah, (peace be upon him), said, ‘The best of you are those that learn the Qur’aan and teach it’”

The Qur’aan intercedes for the one who memorizes it. Imaam Muslim has stated (1/553): It has been relayed to me by al-Hasan bin ‘Alee al-Hilwaanee that Aboo Tawbah relayed to us and he is ar-Rabee’ bin Naafi’ that Mu’aawiyah i.e. ibn Sallaam relayed to us on Zayd that I heard Aboo Salaam saying: Aboo Umaamah al-Baahilee relayed to me that he said: I heard the Messenger of Allaah, (peace be upon him), saying, “Read and recite the Qur’aan since, on the Day of Resurrection, it will come as an intercessor for the one who memorizes it.”

Point 18: Do not allow your children to mix with incompetent foolish children
Since he (i.e. your child) will take from their repugnant statements and actions and what he (i.e. your child) has learned will be destroyed. As it is said: Engraving in the youth is like engraving in stone.

Point 19: Do not allow your children to remain outside at dusk since Shaytaan (Satan) disperses and goes out at that time, and it is possible that they may harm your child.
Imaam Bukhaaree has stated: It has been relayed to us by Ishaaq that Ruh informed us that he said that Ibn Juraij informed me that he said: ‘Ataa informed me that he heard Jaabir bin ‘Abdullaah that he said: The Messenger of Allaah, (peace be upon him), said, “When the darkness of the night comes or at dusk, bring your children in since the Shaytaan (Satan) disperses at that time. Then after an hour passes of the night then leave them, and close your doors mentioning the name of Allaah since the Shaytaan (Satan) can not open a closed door.”

Point 20: Sometimes, leave your child to play by himself since if he is constantly prevented from play, his intellect may become inactive and he will be stricken with boredom. 
So if the parents desire to raise their children, then they should strive hard to cultivate their children with an Islamic cultivation and teaching them the Book and the Sunnah. And from the causes of the parents being raised in the Hereafter is their children being righteous and supplicating for them (i.e. the parents). There has come in Saheeh Muslim from the Hadeeth of Aboo Hurayrah that the Prophet, (peace be upon him), said, “When the son of Adam dies, his actions are cut off except three: A continuous charity, or knowledge that is benefited from, or a righteous child that supplicates for him”.

Point 21: Encourage your child to sit amongst the righteous. 
So this is the righteous mother, Umm Sulaym, she brought her son, Anas, to the Prophet, (peace be upon him), and said, “Anas is your servant, O Messenger of Allaah, so supplicate  to Allaah for him”. So he said, “O Allaah grant him an Abundance of wealth and children and bless him therein.”

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