A Father in Islam – Responsibilities
The importance of the father is not less important than the mother. In Islam’s view, the father’s role is as the head of the family who is responsible to both his wife and children. The presence of a father figure is vital in the family system, especially as breadwinner.
Below here are the 20 responsibilities/roles of a father in Islam.
1. Become a family leader
The most important role of a father is as a family leader. As a leader, the father must set a good example to his family, both wife and kids. This is the word of Allah in the Holy Book of Quran.
“And it is He who has made you successors upon the earth and has raised some of you above others in degrees (of rank) that He may try you through what He has given you. Indeed, your Lord is swift in the penalty; but indeed, He is Forgiving and Merciful.” (Verse 6:165)
2. Give all the best for the child
A father has rights to do for his children. These rights are giving them a good name, educating the child, and giving a good position. Below is one of the hadith that states this.
3. Father as breadwinner
The role of father to be the backbone of the family was already written in the Holy Book of Quran. Father is obliged to support his wife and children with a lawful sustenance. Below here Allah Almighty says in the Quran.
“Men are in charge of women by (right of) what Allah has given one over the other and what they spend (for maintenance) from their wealth…….” (Verse 4: 34)
4. As a fair husband
The others important role of father as the husband is to be a fair husband. A husband must be fair to his wife. Especially if he has more than one wife. Allah Almighty says in the Quran.
“And you will never be able to be equal (in feeling) between wives, even if you should strive (to do so). So do not incline completely (toward one) and leave another hanging. And if you amend (your affairs) and fear Allah then indeed, Allah is ever Forgiving and Merciful.” (Verse 4:129)
5. Looking for a groom for his daughter
In addition to being the backbone of the family, one important father role is to find a good groom for his daughter. Below here is one of the hadiths of the Prophet Muhammad narrated by Abu Daud.
“The Messenger of Allah Sallallahu ‘alaihi Wa Sallam said:” He who keeps three daughters (or two also), then he educates and marries them, and does well with them. then he will get heaven.” (Abu Dawud)
6. Father’s duty to his wife and children
The duty of a father is to feed and clothe his wife and children as well as possible. This obligation has been written in the Quran. Allah says in the Quran.
“….. Upon the father are the mother’s provision and their clothing according to what is acceptable…. ” (Verse 2:233)
7. Dad’s advice
This Quranic verse from Surah’s Joseph is proof of the prophet Joseph AS is a dutiful son to his father. He listened to his father’s advice not to tell him about his dream to his other brothers.
“He said (Joseph’s father), ‘O, My son, do not relate your vision to your brothers or they will contrive against you a plan. Indeed Satan to man is a manifest enemy.’” (HQ 12 Verse 12:5)
8. Obey your father’s words
Father is one of our parents, just like a mother, we must always be filial and obedient to them. One example is the following story of Nabie Ibrahim and his son Ishmael. Here Allah says in the Quran.
“And when he reached with him (the age of) exertion, he said, ‘O, my son indeed I have seen in a dream that I (must) sacrifice you, so see what you think.’ His son’s said, ‘O my father, do as you are commanded. You will find me if Allah wills of the steadfast’.” (Verse 37:102)
9. Pray for the father
Praying for both parents is highly recommended by our Prophet (PBUH), including to the father. This statement is already written in Quran. Allah says in Quran.
“Our Lord, forgive me and my parents and the believers the Day the account is established.” (Verse 14:41)
10. Being fully responsible
Every parent including a father should be fully responsible for the Islamic development of their child and future. In the Hereafter, every father will be held accountable for this. Below here is the following hadith.
“Every one of you is a caretaker, and every one of you will be held accountable for what is the responsibility of his care: A leader is a keeper, he will be held accountable for what is the responsibility of his care. A man is also a keeper in his family, he will be held accountable for what is the responsibility of his care. And a woman is a keeper in her husband’s home, she will be held accountable for what is the responsibility of her care.” ( Bukhari)
11. Reminds family members to perform prayer
In addition to providing formal education for children, the father also plays a role in teaching the religion of his children. The faith given since childhood is the foundation of religion. With religion, it is expected that children can be a pious child.
“O my son, establish prayer, enjoin what is right, forbid what is wrong, and be patient over what befalls you. Indeed, (all) that is of the matters (requiring) determination” ( Luqmaan Verse 31:17)
12. Honoring the daughters
Having one or two girls is a test. However, if parents can do good, give a good living and be patient with them, Almighty God will set a heaven for him and free them (the parents) from hell.
“A poor woman came to me with two daughters, and I gave her three dates. Then she gave for her daughters each a date, and a date she would put into her mouth to eat alone. But her two children asked for the dates. So the mother also divides the date that she originally intended to eat to give to her two children. That incident amazed me so I told the woman’s actions to the Prophet (PBUH). So the Prophet (PBUH) said: ‘Allah has established for her Paradise and delivered her from hell’”(Muslim)
13. The punishment of ignoring parents
Have you ever left and ignored your own parents? We as Muslims should not do that. Here is the following hadith which mentions that anyone who hates and ignores his own parents then he is like a disbeliever.
“Do not neglect (hate and stay away from) your parents. Whoever neglects his parents then he is (like) a disbeliever.” (Muslim)
14. The reward applies the virtues to the parents
For anyone, a Muslim whose parents died or one of them died and they (father or mother) have not performed Hajj or have debts, if (the child) is capable, is obliged to pay off the debt or perform the pilgrimage for both of them. Allah Almighty will promise them to belong to the people who practice virtue.
“Whoever pays for both his parents or pay off his debts then he will be raised by God on the Day of Judgment from the group of people who practice virtue.”
( Ath-Thabarani and Ad-Daar Qutni).
15. The decision is in the hands of the father and mother
Parents, fathers, and mothers are the people to determine the future of their children. In a hadith mentions that every baby born is sacred (natural disposition). However, the decision to make their child a Muslim or not is their decision.
“Each baby is born in a holy state (sacred). His father and mother were the ones who made them Jews, Christians or Magi (worshipers and idols)”.(Bukhari)
16. Love and give affection
Although a father is busy earning a living, the father must still give love to his children. Because the children still need love and care from their father. Below is the following hadith.
“Love your children. When promising something to them, fulfill it. The only thing they know is you who give them sustenance.”(Narrated by Ath-Thahawi).
17. Fair in giving gifts
As a parent, the father is required to give gifts such as; food, clothing or toys to his children, especially if they have daughters. Below here is the following hadith.
“Equalize your gift to your children. If I was going to give priority to one another I would give priority to giving to the women.”(girls) ( Ath-Thabrani)
18. Celebrate the newborn baby with aqiqah
Any capable Muslim parent is required to perform aqiqah. Aqiqah is a celebration of newborns and usually this celebration is identical to slaughtering goats/lambs/sheep and it will be cooked to be distributed to the neighbors/family etc. If your baby is a girl, just one animal and if its a male then two animals. The implementation of this celebration is usually done at 7 days after the child is born.
“Every child is liable with (ransom) aqiqah (one or two goats/sheep/lamb) slaughtered at the age of seven days and shaved head hair (partially or wholly) and named.” ( An-Nasaa’i)
19. The position of a father figure
If your father was dead and in your family members you have the oldest brother, then he takes the position of your father as a leader. This is already explained in a hadith.
“The eldest brother (eldest)has his position as a father.” (Al-Baihaqi and Ath-Thabarani)
20. The attitude that fathers must have
Fathers should learn from a young man named Luqman Al-Hakim whose name is enshrined in the Holy Book of Quran. This young man always used the call of love for his child. In addition, he also taught his son to not associate partners with Allah SWT and taught his children to always be humble. Below here Allah says in Quran.
“And (mention, O Muhammad), when Luqman said to his son while he was instructing him, ‘O my son, do not associate (anything) with Allah. Indeed, association (with him) is the great injustice.” (Luqmaan Verse 31: 13)
Hopefully, the existence of 20 The important roles of a father in Islam will provide lessons and insights on how important the role of father is as a parent in the family system.
Honor your father as you honor your mother, for without them, we will not be a successful and pious person.