The Quranic Guide to Parenting
Mufti Muhammad Qasim ‘Attari
Allah Almighty said:
اِذْ قَالَ لُقْمٰنُ لِابْنِهٖ وَ هُوَ یَعِظُهٗ یٰبُنَیَّ لَا تُشْرِكْ بِاللّٰهِﳳ-اِنَّ الشِّرْكَ لَظُلْمٌ عَظِیْمٌ(۱۳)
“Remember, when Luqmān said to his son, and he was advising him, ‘My son! Never ascribe anything as a partner to Allah; indeed, ascribing partners to Him is a grave injustice.’”
Sayyidunā Luqmān was a virtuous servant of Allah, and his wise counsel to his son is highlighted in Surah Luqmān. The following is a paraphrased summary of that counsel:
Do not take anything or anyone as a partner unto Allah Almighty—polytheism is a grave injustice. Avoid the smallest of wrongdoings, for even if a sin is as small as a mustard seed, whether it is on the mountains, in the sky, above the earth or beneath it, Allah Almighty will bring it before a servant on the Day of Judgement.
Establish the salah, encourage good, forbid evil, and exhibit patience in the face of problems. Only the strong-willed are able to do this. Do not be arrogant and haughty or speak rudely to others. Shouting is a despicable trait, so speak in a moderate tone. The worst of these is the sound of a donkey, which brays screamingly. Walk humbly, not arrogantly, as Allah Almighty does not like the arrogant.
In light of Sayyidunā Luqmān’s golden advice, think about the correct way to raise your children. His words reveal four essentials of parenting:
1. Instilling the fundamental tenets of faith in the hearts and minds of children.
2. Encouraging them to offer salah correctly whilst observing its outer and inner etiquettes.
3. Children’s spiritual wellbeing should not be neglected. When their hearts are brimming with conviction in Allah’s omnipotence and omniscience, and blooming with unwavering belief that Allah Almighty sees their every action and they will be accountable before Him, they will naturally work to please Him and observe His injunctions.
4. Lead by example to teach them good character, important life skills, good morals, and ethical behaviour.
The first of these four essentials pertains to beliefs (ʿaqāʾid): True faith and correct beliefs equip us with reliance on Allah Almighty and equip us to boldly face the challenges of this life. Incorrect beliefs cause emotional turmoil and an inability to deal with calamities. Possessing correct beliefs is a strong cause for attaining Allah’s mercy and pleasure, as well as earning entry into Paradise in the Hereafter. Corruption in one’s belief and dying in a state of misguidance leaves a person eligible to enter Hellfire, and he who dies in a state of disbelief will be punished therein forever.
The second relates to worship: Worship affords the worshipper honour in this world and the next. Worship strengthens your relationship with Allah Almighty, brings you closer to Him, and fulfils the purpose of your existence. Adversely, heedlessness in worship brings one closer to Satan, not Allah Almighty, and causes dishonour in this life and the next.
The third relates to spiritual excellence: This means to keep a firm relationship with Allah Almighty. Contemplating over the attributes of Allah Almighty is a powerful way to cleanse the heart, purge the carnal self (nafs), and experience spiritual unveilings. It is these inner deeds that are a major facet in the elevated ranks of the Prophets and saints.
The fourth pertains to good character: Children raised with good morals and character grow up to be respected by others. Behaving with good character pleases Allah Almighty.
Unfortunately, in our society, parents look at how astute and aware their child is in terms of secular education and worldliness, but they give very little attention to what his beliefs and views are, and in which direction his outward and inward actions are aligned.
All too often, parents focus on the worldly success of their children but neglect their success in the Hereafter and pay little attention to their child’s spiritual wellbeing and relationship with Allah Almighty and the beloved Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم.
Parents want their children to progress in the world, so that along with their children, they can also enjoy worldly success and indulge in comforts obliviously. But they do not give any consideration to their children being a source of peace for them in the life of the grave, and a means of their intercession and forgiveness in the Hereafter.
Do not merely give your children a small amount of time when you are exhausted after work. Instead, give them plenty of time whilst you are fresh. Talk to them and ask about their current engagements. Speak to them about the Islamic faith, virtuous deeds, the life of the beloved Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم, the Companions, and the saints رَضِیَ الـلّٰـهُ عَنْھُم. Gift them books and plant the passion for reading in their hearts. Quiz them about the books they have read; listen to them read; praise them for good character and good actions; reprimand them for their bad character and wrongdoings and inform them of its harms.
Tell children about the importance of health and cleanliness; inform them about moderate and healthy foods, get them into the habit of eating wholesome foods, and accustom them to being clean. Advise them regarding the difference between beneficial and useless works, for example, reading, reciting the Quran and worship are beneficial, and likewise, exercise and permissible entertainment is a good thing, but excessive usage of the mobile phone and internet is a bad thing. Effort, determination, and enthusiasm are means of success, while, laziness, idleness and shirking one’s responsibilities leads to failure in life.
In short, if they give time and attention to their children, the life of the parents will become easy and the life of the children will be a success. Otherwise, the parents will remain anxious in life, and so will their children. May Allah Almighty allow us to educate and raise our children in such a manner that it leads to their success in this life and the Hereafter, and by this, may we become successful too.
اٰمِیْن بِجَاہِ النَّبِیِّ الْاَمِیْن صَلَّی اللہ تَعَالٰی عَلَیْہِ وَاٰلہٖ وَسَلَّم
 [Kanz-ul-Irfan (translation of Quran)] (Part 13, Surah Luqman, verse 13)