Raising a child with good character in Islam
Islam for Kids,  Manners

10 Points to raising a child with good character

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Whenever I notice a well-mannered child, I will wonder who their parents are, and what exactly they did to raise a child with such a fine character. After all, raising a child with good character is not the easiest, especially in our day and age.

 

Help your kids memorize these ahadith to build on their good character

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Unfortunately, we will not encounter these kinds of children often. They are rare and finding them is like finding a precious gem. 

Do not blame the children

Maybe you have heard people saying that children today are just spoiled, or that children today are not like the children last time.

Truth is, it’s not about children today or children 10 years ago, or 20 or even 50. Children are children. They have always been the way they are.

The Prophet (ﷺ) said;

 كُلُّ مَوْلُودٍ يُولَدُ عَلَى الْفِطْرَةِ
“Every child is born with a true faith of Islam (i.e. to worship none but Allah Alone)…”

[Sahih al-Bukhari 1385]

Children all are born in the state of ‘fitrah’ which means that they are born inclined to accept the truth and whatever that is good.

Who is responsible when raising a child with good character?

The fact is, raising a child with good character is the responsibility of parents. 

As mentioned in the same hadith, the one who has a great impact on the child’s upbringing is the parents themselves.

The Prophet (ﷺ) said, 

“Every child is born with a true faith of Islam (i.e. to worship none but Allah Alone) and his parents convert him to Judaism or Christianity or Magianism, as an animal delivers a perfect baby animal. Do you find it mutilated?”

[Sahih al-Bukhari 1385]

Whatever we teach our children, nurture them with, or expose them to, will ultimately shape them as they grow older. In general, children are a reflection of their parents’ upbringing. So our job is to make the effort in cultivating them upon good character.

Here are 10 points to raising a child with good character

1. Parents as examples

Children are great imitators. Like it or not, children will take in our traits because they are with us 24/7.  In the end, when we strive to nurture our kids upon good character, we must first nurture ourselves.

5 Steps to begin raising righteous children

2. Following the best examples

Having said that, we are not the best in terms of character and we will never be. There will be times where our lack of good character will show.

Alhamdulillah, Allah has sent us the best of examples; a man who is praised for his character in the Qur’an.

وَإِنَّكَ لَعَلَىٰ خُلُقٍ عَظِيمٍ

And verily, you (O Muhammad SAW) are on an exalted (standard of) character.

[Surah al-Qalam:4]

When teaching our kids about containing our anger, teach them what the Prophet () has taught us when we are angry.

“When one of you becomes angry while standing, he should sit down. If the anger leaves him, well and good; otherwise he should lie down.”

[Sunan Abi Dawud 4782, graded saheeh by Al-Albany]

 

“When one of you is angry, he should be silent.”

[Al-Adab Al-Mufrad 245, Graded saheeh by Al-Albany]

 

“If a man gets angry and says, ‘I seek refuge with Allaah,’ his anger will go away.”

[Saheeh al-Jaami’ al-Sagheer no. 695]

When teaching our kids to always tell the truth, tell them about the hadith, 

The Messenger of Allaah ( said: 

“You must be truthful, for truthfulness leads to righteousness and righteousness leads to Paradise…”

[Muslim, 4721]

When teaching our kids about sharing their toys, tell them about the hadith where we should love for others what we love for ourselves. 

“None of you [truly] believes until he loves for his brother that which he loves for himself”

[Bukhari and Muslim]

SubhanAllah, there is so many more that we can relate. 

 

3. Setting the environment from home

The environment is the second teacher. Whatever we expose them to will eventually shape their minds. Therefore, be absolutely selective when exposing them to the media be it from the television or mobile devices.

Do not counter attack our efforts by allowing them to watch and listen to the haram. 

How do we expect our children to speak that which good when we show them personalities who would not think twice to swear or use curse words?

How do we expect our boys to lower their gazes and our girls to don the hijab when we expose them to a hyper-sexualized media?

 

4. Letting them mix with the righteous

“A man will follow the way (religion) of his close friends, so let one of you look to whom he takes as a close friend.” 

[Narrated by al-Tirmidhi Classed as saheeh by al-Albaani]

One of the points mentioned in Ummu Abdullah’s book “My sincere advice to women”, is for us to be zealous in giving our children opportunities to sit with the people of righteousness. 

This was what the companions used to do for their children. 

Ummu Sulaim sent her son, Anas to the Prophet () and offered him as a helper. And we all know how Anas turned out to be, a great companion who is noble in character and knowledgeable.

Ummu Huzaifah, the mother of the famous companion Huzaifah ibn Al-Yaman, was always concerned about making sure that he was in the company of the Prophet (), and she would ask his son when was the last time he met the Prophet. 

And there are many more examples where the young companions sat in the gatherings of the Prophet ().

5. Detecting a bad trait

We must always be attentive to our children’s manners and address them accordingly. 

For example, do not turn a blind eye when your child is easily angered with minor things. Teach them about anger management according to the Sunnah (as mentioned in point no. 2).

Or if they expressed disgust towards the food on their plate, tell them that the Prophet () never commented anything bad about his food and that he would just leave it if he has no desire to eat it. 

The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) never expressed disapproval of food; if he desired it, he ate it, and if he disliked it, he left it alone.

[Sunan Abi Dawud 3763, Graded sahih by Al-Albani, source]

16 Sunnah of Eating for Kids [Free Printable]

Or if they stumble upon a foul word, teach them that it is not from the character of a Muslim to say such things and relate to them the hadith or speaking good or remaining silent.

مَنْ كَانَ يُؤْمِنُ بِاللَّهِ وَالْيَوْمِ الآخِرِ فَلْيَقُلْ خَيْرًا أَوْ لِيَصْمُتْ

He who believes in Allah and the Last Day should either utter good words or better keep silent

[Sahih Muslim 47A]

 

6. Communication

Sharing stories of the prophets and the righteous before us is a great way to build on your child’s good character.

 

7. Providing opportunities

Give your children opportunities to practice whatever that has been taught.  For example, if you see that your child has difficulty in sharing, encourage them to pick a snack for their friends or siblings to gift them with.

 

8. Relating back to Allah

Inculcate the love of doing good deeds and having good character by always reminding them that they will be loved and rewarded by Allah. 

Teach them to do good for the sake of Allah and that Allah is Ever-Watching by teaching about Ihsan. 

What is Ihsan?

“It is that you should serve Allah as though you could see Him, for though you cannot see Him yet He sees you.” 

[Muslim]

 

9. Treatment towards children

What is the key ingredient of the prophetic way of raising a child with good character? It is his treatment towards the children.

Our Prophet () used to play with the children around him, and joke with them. He used to smile at them, and show them affection. He visited them when their pets died, he let them climb his back when he was praying in the masjid in Jama’ah.

The children loved him and felt close to him. Due to that, it was easier for them to receive whatever that the prophet wanted to inculcate, and due to that, he raised a whole generation of companions who were excellent in character. 

 

10. Do’a and putting our trust in Allah

But why do we see some parents who are righteous while their children are not, and why do we see the contrary too?

Take the example of Prophet Nuh (peace be upon him) where one of his sons disbelieved, or Prophet Ibrahim (peace be upon him) where his father disbelieved. 

Does it mean that all our efforts will be in vain even if we try our best to raise our children right?

No. Rather, the wisdom behind all these is to show us that no matter how much effort we put in, the One who is truly in control is Allah. Therefore, no matter how much effort we put in raising a child with good character, we must always make do’a to Allah and trust Him in all our affairs.

May Allah grant us all righteous children with noble character. Allahumma Aamiin!

 

Help your kids memorize these ahadith to build on their good character

16 Ahadith for kids on building good character ebook cover

Download this FREE ebook from our free resource library.
What’s inside? Short Ahadith with illustrations which are easy to understand and memorize!
Simply click the link below to join our newsletter, and we will email you the password to our library.

Email me the password, please!

 

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Raising a child with good character in Islam

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