Pious Children – An Investment for the Hereafter
Among the invaluable bounties of Allah Ta‘ala upon man is the bounty of children. The bounty of children is among the special favors of Allah Ta‘ala mentioned in the Qur’aan Majeed. Allah Ta‘ala says: “Allah has created spouses for you from among yourselves, and created for you sons and grandsons from your spouses, and granted you pure sustenance.” (Surah Nahl v. 72)
Many favors of Allah Ta‘ala are such that their benefits and good are confined to one’s lifetime. However, the benefit of children is such an investment that it does not only accrue goodness for a person during his life, but also continue to benefit him after his demise.
However, this investment will only accrue goodness for a person if he instills deeni values in his children and connects them to Allah Ta‘ala. So long as his children uphold deen in their lives and practice upon the teachings of deen which he had imparted to them, his investment will continue to accrue him goodness and reward, even after his demise.
Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) said, “The best things which a person can leave behind after his demise are three; a pious child who makes dua for him, sadaqah-e-jaariyah (the good and righteous deeds) – the rewards of which continue to reach one after his demise, and the knowledge of deen (which he imparted to people) that people continue to practice after his demise.” (Targheeb #125)
In another Hadith, Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) said, “No father can give his child a better gift than the gift of good manners.” (Sunan Tirmizi #1952)
In yet another Hadith, Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) mentioned, “Treat your children with honor and dignity, and teach them good morals and values.” (Sunan Ibnu Maajah #3671)
Instilling deeni values within one’s children is such an important duty upon parents that Allah Ta‘ala has commanded them to fulfill this duty in the Qur’aan Majeed. Allah Ta‘ala says: “O you who believe! Save yourselves and your family from the fire of Jahannum…” (Surah Tahreem v. 6)
In other words, you should guide your wives and children towards deen and protect them from treading on the path of misguidance. Hence, on the Day of Qiyaamah, a person will also be questioned regarding this duty and responsibility. Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) said, “Every one of you is a shepherd, and every one of you will be questioned regarding his flock. The Muslim leader is a shepherd and will be questioned regarding his subjects, and a husband is a shepherd who will be questioned regarding his household, and a wife is a shepherd in her husband’s home and will be questioned regarding her flock…” (Saheeh Bukhaari #893)
On the contrary, if a person neglects to give his children the correct Islamic upbringing, and fails to instill deeni values within them, or is not concerned regarding the company they keep, thereby allowing them to be exposed to the wrong elements, then instead of them being a means of benefit and goodness, they will become a calamity for him in this world and the next.
It is reported that among the duas which Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) taught the ummah to make, for protection from rebellious children, is the following dua: “O Allah! I seek protection in You from an evil neighbor, from a spouse who will make my hair become white before old age, and from a child who will dominate me (thereby causing me pain).” (Al-Du‘aa li-Tabraani #1339)
Similarly, it is reported that among the duas that Nabi Dawood (‘alaihis salaam) would make was, “O Allah! I seek Your protection from a child that will be a calamity for me!” (Majma‘uz Zawaa’id #17429)
Through his Mubaarak Ahaadith and sublime conduct, Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) taught the Sahaabah (radhiyallahu ‘anhum) and the ummah the manner in which they should impart good morals and deeni values to their children and instill within them Islamic etiquettes.
There are many dimensions of life that need to be focused on when instilling good values, morals and etiquettes in a child. Some of these dimensions are:
(1) Teaching the child the correct Islamic beliefs and strengthening his imaan
(2) Instilling in the child the importance of fulfilling the rights of Allah Ta‘ala and abstaining from sins
(3) Impressing on the child the importance of fulfilling the rights of the creation
(4) Teaching the child respect, etiquette and good character when dealing with people
(5) Highlighting to the child the importance of external and internal purity
(6) Creating hayaa and the fear of Allah Ta‘ala in the child
(7) Emphasizing on the child the importance of always remaining in good company and abstaining from bad company
(8) Teaching the child the special ways to draw the mercy of Allah Ta‘ala
Insha Allah, in the coming articles, some of these dimensions will be discussed.