A father should give Tarbiyyat (training) to his child in the matter of eating and drinking (water etc.) too. It is harmful to eat and drink all the time unnecessarily and eat out-of-season food items and those which are not suitable for one’s body. So, it is necessary for a father himself that he should not keep eating untimely in front of his child. Imam Ghazali رَحْمَةُ اللهِ تَعَالٰی عَلَيْه has stated: Out of evil traits, the very first thing that empowers a person is the greed for eating. So firstly, it is reasonable to teach the child manners of eating. (Ihya-ul-‘Uloom, vol. 3, pp. 89)
(For details, please read ‘Islamic Manners of Eating’, a chapter of Faizan-e-Sunnat and Ihya-ul-‘Uloom, volume 3, from page 220 to 228)
Some people do not treat their children equally. Giving prizes and gifts and showing affection towards only the intelligent children whereas scolding and taunting the unintelligent ones all the time about being slow learners is not an appropriate behaviour at all. Remember! The child who will be given more affection comparatively violating others’ rights may turn out to be stubborn and obstinate whereas other children may feel inferiority complex.
Some people show such a high level of irresponsibility that when their younger children shout and show discourtesy towards the elders or sing a song (مَـعَـاذَ الـلّٰـه عَزَّوَجَلَّ), dance in front of people or swear with lisp then they express great happiness. In fact, it is a blunder. It has been repeatedly observed that those who become happy over such acts of children, complain (others) about their same acts in their youth.
The Beloved Rasool صَلَّى اللهُ تَعَالٰى عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم has stated: ‘لَيْسَ مِنَّا مَنْ لَّمْ يَرْحَمْ صَغِيرَنَا’ Whoever does not show mercy to our young ones is not one of us. (Sunan-ut-Tirmizi, vol. 3, pp. 369, Hadees 1927)
Dear Islamic brothers! Some people treat their children with unnecessary strictness, inflict heavy punishment or scold them severely over petty issues, and as a result they face irreparable loss. Here is the news of such a strict father, published in a newspaper, read it and learn a lesson from it: A man purchased a new car; his youngest son who was hardly 3 and a half or 4 years old had ripped car seat with a kitchen knife. When his father saw this, he flew into rage and beat him violently he even hung the child tying his arms with ceiling fan and kept him in this state for hours. The poor mother kept beseeching but the father of the child did not listen to her. When the child was brought down, his both arms became non-functional. He was rushed to the hospital where doctor said, ‘Both arms of the child have gone numb (lose the ability to function) and there is no alternative left than to cut off his arms.’ Exactly at the time when the child was undergoing the operation in the operating theatre, father of that child committed suicide by hanging himself from the same fan; thus, a peaceful and happy family ended up in destruction.
A father should never reproach and swear at his children because they will adopt the same behaviour after growing up. Those children, who witness violence and abusive language in their homes, have hot temper outside too; resultantly, they not only create problems for themselves but also cause trouble to their parents too.
Clothing of children plays a very important role in their Tarbiyyat (upbringing). In order to show themselves to be a modern, most of the people try to adopt western life style, and provide same way of life to their children. Remember! Children will become habitual of wearing the clothes of the same style in future whatever they are given in their childhood. So, this is a responsibility of a father to dress their children in the clothes in conformity with social way of life and according to Islamic culture. Do not let the girls wear the clothes of boys at all. As the boys and girls grow up, parents should pay attention to refrain them from immodesty. Do not let the boys wear such clothes which leave their knees uncovered; whereas urge the girls to cover their heads etc., so that after being Baaligh (adult), they do not face problems or issues while fulfilling the commands of Satr (those body parts which must be kept covered) and Hijab.
In order to persuade the children, a father should recite Glorious Quran in front of them; give respect to the Glorious Quran and the other books. When a child becomes 7 years old, his father should command him to perform Salah and when he becomes 10 years old then, within the boundaries of Shari’ah, he should strictly make him perform Salah. The Beloved Rasool صَلَّى اللهُ تَعَالٰى عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم has stated, ‘Command your children to perform Salah when they become 7 years old, and discipline them for it when they become 10 years old, and separate their beds.’ (Abu Dawood, vol. 1, pp. 208, Hadees 495)
The best method of making children Salah-performing is to perform Nafl Salah at home also, in this way; children will become habitual of performing Salah. Sayyiduna Sa’eed Bin Jubayr رَحْمَةُ اللهِ تَعَالٰی عَلَيْه said, ‘Due to my (this) child, I perform (Nafl) Salah abundantly.’ Mentioning the reason why Sayyiduna Sa’eed رَحْمَةُ اللهِ تَعَالٰی عَلَيْه used to perform Salah at home, Sayyiduna Hishaam رَحْمَةُ اللهِ تَعَالٰی عَلَيْه has stated, ‘Hoping to develop the eagerness in his child for Salah.’ (Hilya-tul-Awliya, vol. 4, pp. 309, Raqm 5659)
When the Madani children (boys) gain some maturity, a father should take them to Masjid for congregational Salah and as far as possible father should keep them in his company when they attend Ijtima’aat of Zikr-o-Na’at and go in the blessed court of pious people, and should pay especial attention to the manners and etiquette so that a child, since his childhood, becomes an individual with good manners, and habitual of attending the blessed gatherings. Remember! A child, in this society, learns basic manners and etiquettes from his father. The connection between a father and his son makes a deep impact on the son’s future life.
A father’s responsibility does not end by simply enrolling his child in Madrasah or school and sending him daily with punctuality. What is the child learning in that institution? Which children do his child befriends with? How is his attitude in the institution? All these things are important to notice. Those parents who do not notice these things in early stage, they sometime suffer a big loss. Observing the company of the son is a very important and a big responsibility of a father because “A man is known by the company he keeps”, so, a father should always provide his son with a good company, keep him away from bad friends, forbid him to join the company of bad friends, forbid him to sit in the streets and roam in markets without any reason.
A responsible father always keeps an eye on the activities of his children that what kinds of books and magazines etc., are they reading? What kind of things are they using? What devices and items they use for playing games? What type of mind-set they are gradually developing? Remember! Do not adopt such a strict way of keeping an eye on children that they feel themselves captive.
Responsibility of a father regarding giving Tarbiyyat to his child is more than an educational institution because a child spends more time at home than educational institution, so, a father should develop a Madani environment at home so that along with other family members, Tarbiyyat of children could be carried out in the light of the teachings of the Holy Quran and Sunnah. For developing Madani environment at home, read ‘19 Madani pearls for developing Madani environment at home’, presented on page 37 of the book ‘Jannat kay Talabgaraun kay Liye Madani Guldastah’, publication of Maktaba-tul-Madinah. Moreover, watch only Madani Channel at home and block all other channels.
(To be continued in next month’s edition)