Don’t you just wish that we can just send our children to the ‘ulama (scholars) just like how imam Malik’s mother did, or like Ummu Salamah who sent Anas to Rasulullah (salallahu alaihi wasalam). However, not all of us have that kind of opportunity.
But let’s not get stuck with our limitations. The important question for us now is, what can we do to raise our children with the right Islamic values.
I wanted to share a little insight I learned recently about how the Prophet (salallahu alaihi wasalam) raised a generation of righteous young companions, from the likes of Anas ibn Malik, Ibn Abbas and his grandchildren Hassan and Hussein.
Displaying affection to children
One of the most prominent characters of our beloved prophet was showing how much he loved and cared about the children around him. He would show so much affection to them like allowing them to play on his back while he was leading the prayer, and displaying his affection to his grandson publicly for his other companions to follow (source).
A generation which consisted of the Prophet and his companions showing mercy towards the children built a strong foundation in raising the best generation of righteous Muslims like no other.
The testimony of a child who spent 10 years with the Prophet (ﷺ)
I served the Prophet (ﷺ) for ten years, and he never said to me, “Uf” (a minor harsh word denoting impatience) and never blamed me by saying, “Why did you do so or why didn’t you do so?”
Tarbiyyah is built upon gentleness
The Prophet (ﷺ) said,
“Whenever gentleness is added to something, it adorns it; and whenever it is withdrawn from something, it leaves it defective.”
Building a connection
So this is my takeaway for all of us. To raise our children right, one of the most important blocks that we must focus on is the connection that we have with our children. Show them much mercy and love. Restrain our anger and forgive them much. Get used to kissing and hugging them lots. Play with them, laugh at their silly jokes and give them our full attention when they speak to us.
This is the first step. Only then, will they care when we begin telling them about Islam, Iman and Ihsan.
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