Our question is regarding how we should go about raising our child. My baby is small and I try to save him from environments and people that could have a negative effect on him. Some family members have a television or their mindset is different. Therefore, in a subtle way, we stop them from taking our baby to their home.
Recently, someone who has already raised children said to me, “You cannot police your child forever. You will learn a lesson the hard way. I did not do this and my kids are good, and so-and-so did what you’re doing, and see how their kids are.”
This is worrying me. I am trying to do everything to give my children a good tarbiyah (upbringing). We make du‘aa, ta’leem and whatever else we can, but those words haunt me, that my kids won’t be pious. What can I do to ensure that I save my child from fitnah and give him good tarbiyah without being tooo strict?
Please make special du‘aa for my children to be pious, tolerant, forbearing ‘Ulama with ‘amal (i.e. practising ‘Ulama), huffaaz, muttaqis (i.e. Allah-fearing), daa‘ees (people calling to Allah), sahib-e-tarteeb (person with no outstanding salaah) and ahl-e-dil (person whose heart is filled with the love of Allah Ta‘ala).
Please advise me on striking the balance and please please make special du‘aa for my baby.
Wa ‘alaikumus salaam wa rahmatullahi wa barkaatuh
Respected Sister in Islam
The parents are responsible for the proper tarbiyah and upbringing of their children. While this should be done with love and compassion, it in no way means that the child should be exposed to things which are harmful or destructive to his imaan (faith), akhlaaq (character), hayaa (modesty), adab (respect), etc.
Exposing the child to television, movies, harmful literature such as novels, etc. is to lead the child towards the path of destruction. The parents will be answerable with regard to whether they made the correct effort in providing a proper upbringing to their children. Therefore, if the parents opened the door towards involvement in various sinful activities, they will be sinful and also responsible and answerable on the Day of Qiyaamah.
It does happen sometimes that a child who grew up with incorrect upbringing somehow receives some positive influence at a later stage in life and becomes pious and righteous. This in no way justifies the actions of the parents in allowing him to do things which are not permissible in the sharee‘ah. Sometimes, there are children who were given the best upbringing, but unfortunately they were somehow misled later on in life. This often happens because what they were protected from in earlier life was washed away by getting involved in some bad company, whether human company or the company of bad literature or some other devices. This in no way means that the parents wasted their time in giving them the correct upbringing or that they would be taken to task for his misconduct, as long as they did whatever was in their capacity to keep guiding him and advising him.
The general system nevertheless is that if a child has been given the correct upbringing, and taqwa has been instilled in his life at an early stage, insha-Allah with the grace of Allah Ta‘ala, he will continue on the straight path. Maktab (after school Islamic Madrasah education) is absolutely vital and essential.
In a similar vein, if a child has been allowed the freedom to do wrongful things in his early years, generally these habits get deeper over time and are very difficult to then change for the better. Hence, exceptions in any situation cannot be made the rule.
Masha-Allah continue with the effort to provide the correct tarbiyah for your child. Do allow him some healthy recreation and alternatives to the harmful devices, provided they are done within the limits of the sharee‘ah.
May Allah Ta‘ala make your children very pious and make them excellent huffaaz, ‘Ulama and servants of Deen.
Uswatul Muslimah Panel of ‘Ulama