The Importance of Conscious Parenting in Raising Confident Muslims
Published: June 27, 2019 • Updated: December 2, 2022
Author: Roohi Tahir
بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمٰنِ الرَّحِيْمِ
In the name of God, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.
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The parent-child relationship is built upon faith at its core
And We have enjoined upon man, to his parents, good treatment. His mother carried him with hardship and gave birth to him with hardship, and his gestation and weaning [period] is thirty months. [He grows] until, when he reaches maturity and reaches [the age of] forty years, he says, ‘My Lord, enable me to be grateful for Your favor which You have bestowed upon me and upon my parents and to work righteousness of which You will approve and make righteous for me my offspring. Indeed, I have repented to You, and indeed, I am of the Muslims.’
The foundation for sound parenting in the Qur’an and Sunnah
And We had certainly given Luqman wisdom [and said], ‘Be grateful to Allah.’ And whoever is grateful is grateful for [the benefit of] himself. And whoever denies [His favor]—then indeed, Allah is Free of need and Praiseworthy.
And [mention, O Muhammad], when Luqman said to his son while he was instructing him, ‘O my son, do not associate [anything] with Allah. Indeed, association [with him] is great injustice.’ And We have enjoined upon man [care] for his parents. His mother carried him, [increasing her] in weakness upon weakness, and his weaning is in two years. Be grateful to Me and to your parents; to Me is the [final] destination. But if they endeavor to make you associate with Me that of which you have no knowledge, do not obey them but accompany them in [this] world with appropriate kindness and follow the way of those who turn back to Me [in repentance]. Then to Me will be your return, and I will inform you about what you used to do. [And Luqman said], ‘O my son, indeed if wrong should be the weight of a mustard seed and should be within a rock or [anywhere] in the heavens or in the earth, Allah will bring it forth. Indeed, Allah is Subtle and Acquainted. O my son, establish prayer, enjoin what is right, forbid what is wrong, and be patient over what befalls you. Indeed, [all] that is of the matters [requiring] determination. And do not turn your cheek [in contempt] toward people and do not walk through the earth exultantly. Indeed, Allah does not like everyone self-deluded and boastful. And be moderate in your pace and lower your voice; indeed, the most disagreeable of sounds is the voice of donkeys.’
All humans are born on the fitrah
What can go wrong?
The servants of God are inherently compelled by their fitrah to love God, though amongst them are those who corrupt this fitrah… and this love of God intensifies according to one’s knowledge of Him and the soundness of one’s fitrah. And it diminishes with diminished knowledge, and the pollution of one’s fitrah with corruptive vain desires.
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And the Messenger has said, ‘O my Lord, indeed my people have taken this Qur'an as [a thing] abandoned.’
Extremes and reactionary responses
But seek, through that which Allah has given you, the home of the Hereafter; and [yet] do not forget your share of the world. And do good as Allah has done good to you. And desire not corruption in the land. Indeed, Allah does not like corrupters.
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And those who say, ‘Our Lord, grant us from among our wives and offspring comfort to our eyes and make us an example for the righteous.’
The prophetic model as the solution for all times
Inculcating prophetic character traits
Abu Huraira reported that al-Aqra' b. Habis saw Allah's Apostle ﷺ kissing Hasan. He said: I have ten children, but I have never kissed any one of them, whereupon Allah's Messenger ﷺ said: He who does not show mercy (towards his children), no mercy would be shown to him.
The Prophetic model of teaching
The Prophetic methodology of correcting and advising
Planting the seeds of faith
One day I was riding behind the Prophet when he said, “O lad, be mindful of Allah and He will protect you. Be mindful of Allah and you shall find Him with you. When you ask (for anything), ask it from Allah, and if you seek help, seek help from Allah.”
1 Joseph Langston, David Speed & Thomas J. Coleman III (2018) Predicting age of atheism: credibility enhancing displays and religious importance, choice, and conflict in family of upbringing, Religion, Brain & Behavior, DOI: 10.1080/2153599X.2018.1502678
2 Dolan, Eric W. "How Parents Act on Their Religious Beliefs Linked to the Onset of Atheism in Their Children." PsyPost. August 26, 2018. Accessed October 05, 2018. https://www.psypost.org/2018/08/how-parents-act-on-their-religious-beliefs-linked-to-the-onset-of-atheism-in-their-children-52058.
3 Mohamed, Besheer, Elizabeth Podrebarac Sciupac. "Islam Gains about as Many Converts as It Loses in U.S." Pew Research Center. January 26, 2018. Accessed March 05, 2019. http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2018/01/26/the-share-of-americans-who-leave-islam-is-offset-by-those-who-become-muslim/.
5 Dolan, Eric W. "How Parents Act on Their Religious Beliefs Linked to the Onset of Atheism in Their Children." PsyPost. August 26, 2018. Accessed October 05, 2018. https://www.psypost.org/2018/08/how-parents-act-on-their-religious-beliefs-linked-to-the-onset-of-atheism-in-their-children-52058.
12 Qur’an, 30:30-33, “So direct your face toward the religion, inclining to truth. [Adhere to] the fitrah of Allah upon which He has created [all] people. No change should there be in the creation of Allah. That is the correct religion, but most of the people do not know…,” Sahih International, https://quran.com/30/30-32
13 Khan, M. Nazir, Dr. “Fitrah – The Primordial Nature of Man,” Spiritual Perception. January 01, 2015. Accessed March 05, 2019. http://spiritualperception.org/fitrah-the-primordial-nature-of-man/.
14 Qur’an, 31:32, “And when waves come over them like canopies, they supplicate to Allah, sincere to Him in religion. But when He delivers them to the land, there are [some] of them who are moderate [in faith]. And none rejects Our signs except everyone treacherous and ungrateful,” Sahih International, https://quran.com/31/32
16 Qur’an, 7:16-17, “[Satan] said, "Because You have put me in error, I will surely sit in wait for them on Your straight path. Then I will come to them from before them and from behind them and on their right and on their left, and You will not find most of them grateful [to You],” Sahih International, https://quran.com/7/16-17
17 Ibn Taymiyyah, Dar’ ta’arud al-Aql wa’l-Naql, http://spiritualperception.org/fitrah-the-primordial-nature-of-man/
20 Qur’an, 17:70, Sahih International, “And We have certainly honored the children of Adam and carried them on the land and sea and provided for them of the good things and preferred them over much of what We have created, with [definite] preference,” https://quran.com/17/70
21 Cragun, R. T., Hammer, J. H., Nielsen, M., & Autz, N. (2018). Religious/secular distance: How far apart are teenagers and their parents? Psychology of Religion and Spirituality, 10(3), 288-295. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/rel0000205
22 Qur’an, 17:36, Sahih International, https://quran.com/17/36 , “And do not pursue that of which you have no knowledge. Indeed, the hearing, the sight, and the heart - about all those [one] will be questioned.”
24 Landry SH. The role of parents in early childhood learning. In: Tremblay RE, Boivin M, Peters RDeV, eds. Tremblay RE, topic ed. Encyclopedia on Early Childhood Development [online]. http://www.child-encyclopedia.com/parenting-skills/according-experts/role-parents-early-childhood-learning. Updated December 2014. Accessed March 6, 2019.
25 Meltzoff, Andrew M. "Born to Learn: What Infants Learn from Watching Us." 1999. Accessed March 7, 2019. http://ilabs.washington.edu/meltzoff/pdf/99Meltzoff_BornToLearn.pdf.
26 Hamdan, Aisha. Nurturing Eemân in Children. Riyadh: International Islamic Publishing House. https://d1.islamhouse.com/data/en/ih_books/single/en_Nurturing_iman_In_Children.pdf , pp. 28-31
27 The Prophet ﷺ said: “Faith [imaan] has over seventy branches or over sixty branches, the most excellent of which is the declaration that there is no god but Allah, and the humblest of which is the removal of what is injurious from the path; and modesty is the branch of faith,” Sahih Muslim, Book 1, Hadith 60, https://sunnah.com/muslim/1/60
28 Sahih Al-Bukhari, Hadith 6465, “The Prophet ﷺ was asked, ‘What deeds are loved most by Allah?’ He said, ‘The most regular constant deeds even though they may be few.’ He added, 'Don't take upon yourselves, except the deeds which are within your ability,’” https://sunnah.com/bukhari/81/54
29 Ibn Qayyim Al-Jawzīyah, Muḥammad Ibn Abī Bakr. Characteristics of the Hypocrites. Birmingham: Daar Us-Sunnah Publications. https://maktabahassunnahblog.files.wordpress.com/2015/10/characteristics-of-the-hypocrites.pdf, pp. 21-28
30 Ibid., p. 28, see also [4:142], “…And when they stand for prayer, they stand lazily, showing [themselves to] the people and not remembering Allah except a little.”
34 Dolan, Eric W. "How Parents Act on Their Religious Beliefs Linked to the Onset of Atheism in Their Children." PsyPost. August 26, 2018. Accessed October 05, 2018. https://www.psypost.org/2018/08/how-parents-act-on-their-religious-beliefs-linked-to-the-onset-of-atheism-in-their-children-52058.
35 “Anas bin Malik narrated that a man said: ‘O Messenger of Allah! Shall I tie it [my camel] and rely (upon Allah), or leave it loose and rely (upon Allah)?’ He said: ‘Tie it and rely (upon Allah),’” Jami’ At-Tirmidhi, Hasan, Vol. 4, Book 11, Hadith 2517, https://sunnah.com/urn/678230
38 Hamdan, Aisha. Nurturing Eemân in Children. Riyadh: International Islamic Publishing House. https://d1.islamhouse.com/data/en/ih_books/single/en_Nurturing_iman_In_Children.pdf, pp. 38-42
42 Hamdan, Aisha. Nurturing Eemân in Children. Riyadh: International Islamic Publishing House. https://d1.islamhouse.com/data/en/ih_books/single/en_Nurturing_iman_In_Children.pdf, p. 180
44 Hamdan, Aisha. Nurturing Eemân in Children. Riyadh: International Islamic Publishing House. https://d1.islamhouse.com/data/en/ih_books/single/en_Nurturing_iman_In_Children.pdf, pp. 73-76
46 See Qur’an, 2:219, 4:43, 5:90 and Tafsir Ibn Kathir, http://www.recitequran.com/tafsir/en.ibn-kathir/5:90
47 Muslim, Book 1, Hadith 429, Messenger of Allah ﷺ said, “The five daily Salat (prayers) are like a great river running by your door in which you take a bath five times a day, https://sunnah.com/riyadussaliheen/1/429
49 Al-Munajjid, Muhammed Salih, Sh. The Prophet’s Methods for Correcting People’s Mistakes. www.islamhouse.com,2005. https://d1.islamhouse.com/data/en/ih_books/single/en_Correcting_People_Mistakes.pdf, pp. 4, 13-15,17-21,28,35,39,43,62,103.
50 At-Tirmidhi, 1931, Hasan Sahih.