Being Concerned about the Deeni Education of the Child – The Orchards of Love – Part Thirty

A nation blessed with deeni knowledge and sound understanding is a progressive and productive nation with a bright and promising future. On the contrary, a nation deprived of deeni knowledge and sound understanding is a nation heading towards destruction and failure.

It is for this reason that when any Nabi would be sent to a nation, then one of the primary duties of the Nabi would be to enrich the people with deeni knowledge and understanding, and instill within them sublime morals and values. Hence, the concern of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) was always directed towards teaching the Sahaabah (radhiyallahu ‘anhum) good character and showing them how to conduct correctly in various spheres of life.

The importance of imparting deeni knowledge to the child can be understood from the fact that whenever any person accepted Islam, then one of the first concerns of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) was to educate him regarding deen. Hence, before the hijrah, when the first group of the Ansaar accepted Islam, then Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) sent Hazrat Mus’ab bin Umair (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) to Madinah Munawwarah to teach them deen. (Tabaqaat Ibnu Sa’d 3/87)

Similarly, Hazrat Umar (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) also understood the great importance of imparting deeni education to children. Hence, apart from the general concern that Hazrat Umar (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) showed for teaching deen to the ummah, he had a specific concern for the deeni education of the young children. Thus, it is reported that Hazrat Umar (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) was the first person who instituted the deeni system of maktab madrasahs. He appointed teachers to educate the children and stipulated an allowance for them from the Baytul Maal. (Al-Fawaakih Ad-Dawaani pg. 50-51)

Likewise, many Sahaabah (radhiyallahu ‘anhum) from the Muhaajireen and Ansaar were concerned regarding the deeni welfare of their children and their receiving the correct deeni education and understanding. Hence, they encouraged their children to pledge allegiance at the blessed hands of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) and benefit from him, thereby acquiring the knowledge and understanding of deen from him. Among the young Sahaabah who pledged allegiance were Hazrat Abdullah bin Zubair (radhiyallahu ‘anhu), Hazrat Abdullah bin Ja’far (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) and Hazrat Umar bin Abi Salamah (radhiyallahu ‘anhu). At the time of pledging allegiance, Hazrat Abdullah bin Zubair (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) was approximately seven or eight years old. (Saheeh Muslim #2146 and Tareekh Dimashq 28/161-162)

Imparting deeni education to one’s child is so important that the Hadith explains that on the Day of Qiyaamah, a person will be taken to task for neglecting to attend to his child’s deeni education. (Shu’abul Imaan #8295) In another Hadith, Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) said, “Instill three qualities in your children. Teach them the love for their Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam). Teach them the love for the family of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam), and teach them the recitation of the Qur’aan Majeed, for indeed the bearers of the Qur’aan Majeed will be under the shade of Allah’s throne with the Ambiyaa and chosen ones, on the day in which there will be no other shade.” (Faidhul Qadeer #311)

In regards to the education of the child, there are four important aspects that should be taken into consideration:

Imparting Deeni Education to the Child with Love and Compassion

The first aspect is to impart deeni education to the child with love, compassion and affection. This was the manner in which Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) imparted education to the young Sahaabah (radhiyallahu ‘anhum). Hazrat Umar bin Abi Salamah (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) narrates, “On one occasion, when I was a child and was eating with Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam), he said to me, “O young lad! Commence eating by taking the name of Allah Ta‘ala, eat with the right hand, and eat from your side of the plate.”” (Saheeh Bukhaari #5376)

This approach of love that Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) showed this young Sahaabi became the means for him loving the sunnah and practicing on it throughout his life. Thus, he says that from that day onwards, he ensured that he always ate in the manner taught to him by Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam).

Explaining to the Child According to His Level of Understanding

The second aspect is to open the heart and mind of the young child by explaining the lesson to him according to his level of understanding and comprehension.

It is reported that on one occasion, a young person came to Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) and sought permission to commit zina. The Sahaabah (radhiyallahu ‘anhum) became upset and angered at this, however Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) addressed him saying, “Come close to me.” Thereafter, Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) asked him, “Would you like someone to commit zina with your mother?” He replied, “No, O Rasul of Allah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam). May my life be sacrificed for you!”

Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) then explained to him, “Just as you do not like it for your mother, others also do not like someone to commit zina with their mothers.” Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) then repeated the same question, asking him whether he would like someone to commit zina with his daughter, sister and aunts. Each time, he replied that he would not like someone to commit zina with his daughters, sisters and aunts. Then, Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) explained to him that others would not like that zina be committed with their daughters, sisters and aunts.

Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) then placed his blessed hand on the chest of this Sahaabi and made dua for him saying, “O Allah! Forgive his sins, purify his heart and safeguard his private parts from zina.” The impact of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) explaining to this Sahaabi in this loving manner and making dua for him was such that from that day onwards, he felt great disgust for committing zina. (Shu’abul Imaan #5032)

Adopting Halaal Means in Educating the Child and Exposing him to an Islamic Environment

The third aspect is that halaal means should be adopted to educate the child and the child should be exposed to an Islamic environment. Adopting haraam means in the education of the child or exposing the child to the wrong environment will only bring about the wrong effect and cause the child to grow up with the wrong morals and values. Exposing the child to the co-ed educational system or university system, or leaving the child in the care of people who lack Islamic values, leads to the degeneration of the child’s morals and character.

Spending Quality Time with the Children

The fourth aspect is that the parents should show love and affection to their children and spend quality time with them. During this quality time, if they find that their child has shifted from good character and morals, then they should correct them and guide them. Similarly, in this time, they should bond with them, creating the love of deen and the sunnah within their hearts. Rather than the discussions in the home revolving around worldly achievements and the acquisition of wealth, parents should discuss the achievements of the Sahaabah (radhiyallahu ‘anhum) and the manner in which they upheld the sunnah of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) in their lives. By doing this, the goals which the Sahaabah lived for and died for – of serving humanity, upholding deen and justice – will then pass onto them and become their goals in life.

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