Happiness through ideal parentship:
There must be an introduction to our topic, so I would like to start this lesson with the gold rule, "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure"." The higher the level of the father's education, comprehension, consciousness and perception is, the better his performance will become towards raising his children. Also, when the father complies with the responsibilities he is assigned to by Allah, most likely he will follow preventive ways with his children before following the curing means, for "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure."
Once Mu'awiyah bin Abi Sufian met Umr bin Al-A's, one of the sliest Arabs, and he asked him, "O Amr, what is the limitation of your slyness?" He replied, "By Allah, I have never made any entry, still I can craftily get out of." Mu'awiyah replied, "You are not a sly then. For me, by Allah I never make any entry (to do thing) that I need to get out of." This is a higher level.
There are countless problems in every household, but let me tell you without preservation or shame that we should all know that most of children's errors are the outcome of their parents' errors. Fatherhood in its gist is but responsibility, trust and a mission to fulfill. Also, the ideal parenthood is the path to acquire happiness in the worldly life and in the Hereafter, and the parent will be Divinely rewarded in the worldly life before the Hereafter, but what is the worldly reward for it? Its worldly reward is that your son will be as you wish. In fact the overwhelming feelings of the father who looks after his children till they become well-mannered, religiously committed, and upright are priceless and indescribable. You should know dear father and mother that you are the utmost winner if you look after your children.
((It was narrated that 'Aishah said: "The Messenger of Allah said: 'The best (most pure) food that a man eats is that which he has earned himself, and his child (and his child's wealth) is part of his earning,"))
Your son is your best earning, simply because he is your continuity.
The errors of children are the results of their fathers':
I keep saying repeatedly that by being upright, you will achieve the safety of your existence, and by offering good deeds, sacrificing, giving and drawing close to Allah, you will achieve the perfection of your existence, while by raising your children (according to Islamic teachings), you will achieve the continuity of your existence (after you die).
Believe me dear brother, when a father dies leaving behind him a pious son, this father actually never dies, because his son will follow his steps by adhering to the Islamic teachings. Hence, you should admit the fact that most of your children's errors are the outcome of yours. Along with the same line, most of the students' errors are the outcome of the teachers', most of the individuals' errors are the outcome of their leaders' and most of the religious knowledge seekers' errors are the outcome of the scholars' errors who failed to build up their souls correctly. This is the bitter truth, which you should know and make your slogan, for the bitter truth is much better than the comfortable delusion.
One of the father's errors is treating children harshly, for this will make the son lie to his father. Therefore, the father should be moderate, calm, forbearing and forgiving in dealing with his children. Thus, if something bad happens, he should address his son and say, "Tell me son, what happened?" I am your father, so I will advise you and guide you". This way of dealing with the children is better than punishing them or calling them bad names, lest the children will be scared to such an extent that they will hide what happen and will not tell the father about their problems. Therefore, take your son and daughter as a friend in order to keep telling you everything happens to them.
Raising children (according to Islamic teachings) is the best deed ever:
Dear brother, taking extreme measures is easy, for neglecting following up on your children and inspecting their behavior is very easy to the negligent father.
Dear brother, I for one define the orphan child as the one whose father and mother are negligent and busy. This is the real orphanage, and so the orphan child is the one whose father is busy and whose mother is non-religious. In such a case all what the mother cares about is her social position, make up and boasting about her husband, trips, banquets and jewelry, whereas the father spends his entire time in picnics and with friends. This sort of household produces lost children. The Prophetic Hadith goes as follows:
((The woman who stays at home to look after her children is with me in Paradise.))
The other Hadith I mention a lot is reported in Al-Bukhari:
((The first one who opens the gate of Paradise is me, but there will be a woman who struggles with me to enter Paradise before me. Then I said, "O Jibril, who is she?" He said, "She is a woman whose husband died and left children behind, so she refused to remarry because of her children (she prefers raising her children to getting married.))
Raising children (according to Islamic teachings) is the most serious deed at all especially in our era where dissoluteness and half-naked women are everywhere, and where there are internet, TV channels, magazines, bad companies, cellular phones and immoral videos and photos. The efforts parents should put in raising their children in our era must be manifolds, so that their children can be the comfort of their eyes.
Treating children too softly or too harshly are two easy extremes; it is easy to the angry father to hit his children severely in order to cool his anger, but actually he makes the situation worse and more complicated besides building a wall between him and his son. This kind of behavior puts the father and the son in a vicious circle, for the father is careless, negligent, soft on his children and he does not follow up on them, and the son becomes more dissolute upon seeing that his father is not following up on him, so he might even spend the night outside the house, and when the father finds out that he lost his son completely, he treats him harshly. Thus, he moves from being negligent to being harsh in an unbelievable way. Unfortunately, this is the mother of problems in today's households, given being too soft spoils the children, and being too harsh will build a barrier between the father and his son, and this is a real situation.
Your son is your continuity, so you should follow up on him and guide him:
Dear brother, following up on your children is a burdensome mission since you are supposed to accomplish it while you are calm and in control of yourself. If there is a problem in the house, you should deal with it wisely and calmly, and you should advise, follow up on and guide your child by keeping him close to you, so that you can educate and lead him to the right path. Hence, following up on children is very hard as it requires a lot of efforts, only the results will be outstanding.
Let me tell you this fact: You can be a great help to other people, but those people might already have someone else to help them, whereas your children have only you, haven't they? Who is responsible for them other than you? Who will be reckoned for their upbringing other than you? Who will be in pain if they become deviated other than you?
If, for example, you are walking in the street and you see three adolescents smoking: one of them is your son, the second is your nephew and the third is your friend's son,, your blood will boil because of whom? Your blood will boil out of anger because you see your son smoking since he is the closer one to you, he is your continuity and he is your destiny. Well, you will get angry upon seeing your nephew smoking, but your anger will be lesser, and your anger upon seeing your friend's son will be much lesser, and you might say to him go home, but your utmost anger and pain will be because of seeing your son smoking since he is part of you, he is your continuity and he is your fate and destiny.
Dear brother, I have been working in Da'wah for 35 years so far, and by Allah some fathers call me, and they are almost dying because of the pain their sons caused them due to their dissoluteness, straying, failure and misery in the worldly life and in the Hereafter.
The wise father deals with his children's problems at their beginning:
There are gentle indications in the Quran regarding this point:
﴾ As to those women on whose part you see ill-conduct ﴿
Committing sins has steps and signs before the sins are committed, and the wise, educated and devoted father is alerted upon observing these signs which are but detectors of coming ill-conduct.
﴾ As to those women on whose part you see ill-conduct ﴿
I am focusing on one point in the above-mentioned Ayah which is that the educator should detect any deviation at its early stage. For example, if upon entering the house your daughter hangs up the phone suddenly, showing signs of fears, you should ask, "Who were you talking to?" Also, if your son gets home late you should ask him, "Where have you been?" If your son or daughter is given a watch as a gift, you should ask, "Where did you get from?" and if he/she is confused, it means that there is something wrong. As a father, your success lies in dealing with problems at their early stages before they become serious.
﴾ As to those women on whose part you see ill-conduct ﴿
What I am concerned about in this Ayah is that things should be dealt with at their beginnings. Even in medicine, the doctor detects a disease from its early stages, and treating it early is easy, but after it gets worse, the treatment will become very difficult. Whom am I addressing? Listen carefully, please because I am addressing fathers, teachers, educators, scholars, those in leading positions, managers of hospitals, deans, principals and factory owners, but I am addressing parents at top of those.
The prudent is the one who knows his children's friends:
According to a psychological study, the effect of the father, the mother, the brother, the big sister and the scholar on the young child is only 40%, but the effect of those he befriends is 60 %. I know a teacher who teaches Islamic education in a deprived area in the north east of our country, and he has a son who enrolled himself in an Islamic institute. That son had a bad friend who taught him smoking, and later on, he had a great influence on his conducts till he became a drug dealer. After a period of time, he traveled to a foreign country in the far East, and he was accused of spying for the favor a foreign country. As a result, he was executed. I read this story in a website. As you can notice, one bad friend led that person from smoking to sins to drugs to spying and finally to execution.
Allow me to say tell you this out loud, you should know your son's friends and your daughter's friends, and this is a priority for you as a father. What I am telling you is not something you read in books, but they happened in reality.
There was a student in the Masjid who used to be a devoted young man, a repentant guy, an observer of Sawm, a regular performer of prayers and an outstanding person at all levels. One day, he disappeared, and when I asked about him, I was told that he used to be with theft gang, and his mission was to watch out for his friends while they were stealing houses. When they were apprehended, they gave his name while they were interrogated, and he was apprehended as well and was sentenced to 6 years in prison. I looked after him in prison, and I sent him people to look after him, but the bad consequences of his wrongdoing took place.
Man's success is to know the means of happiness:
Dear brother, I am not exaggerating when I say that if your house is humble, your food is poor, your cloths are old, but you are married to a devoted pious wife who puts your household in order, and you have a dutiful child, you must know that you are a king. A king asked his minister, "Who is the king?" He answered, "You, your Majesty! There is no king but you." The king said, "The real king is someone we do not know and he does not know us, but he owns a house he dwells in, he has an obedient wife, and he gets a satisfactory income." Hence, your success lies in reaching the means of happiness for the latter is found through chastity, uprightness, honesty, religious household and prevailing affection and love.
I follow up what happens to some families when the father dies, do you know what happens? In some families, glory be to Allah, the household stays religious, the family members remain on the same page and they keep cooperative with one another, while in other families, the minute the father dies, they fight one another over the heritage, they quarrel and they reach the court to find solution to their conflicts till they become the society's top story.
Wrongdoing should not be punished before knowing it:
Dear brother, there is a note which is considered a rule in criminal law: "The error is not an error before acknowledging its bad nature Fathers usually are taken aback by their children's errors, and they tend to be harsh on them, but did they tell the children that they make a mistake? Did they explain to them why it is a mistake? Did they guide them to avoid committing mistakes? Did they warn them about wrongdoings? Did they tell them about the mistakes to avoid them? They did not, yet they hit the child harshly upon erring. This is but the worst kind of upbringing children. The father should explain to his son the right thing to do, the right way to deal with people and the right way to treat them. Do not punish your son for an error before telling him that this is an error, and you should not do this only one time, but twice and thrice, for man tends to forget. Therefore, make reminding your son of the right thing to do your method.
Man should be keen on his career so that he can meet his family's needs:
Today's topic is about stealing, whereas the previous topic was about lying. If you ask me how a father can prevent his son from stealing, I tell he can keep his son away from stealing by mastering his career and by striving in it, so that he can make Halal money with which he meet his family's needs. When you do so, as a father, your son will love you, will love his mother and will love the house, given I am not talking here about a luxurious house, but an ordinary one with the least levels of reasonable life like providing food, clothes, heat and reasonable allowance, and all of that are the results of mastering your career. It is reported in the relic:
((Whoever passes his day till the evening working to gain his livelihood from his own hands; Allah forgives his sins))
I am practical (when it comes to my pieces of advice), so if you have a job, a craft, a high scientific degree, a clinic, an engineering office or a humble business, which provides you with an income, you should be punctual in your business hours, you should master your craft and you should treat people nicely, and upon doing so, your Rizk (provision) will increase, and the benefit of this will go back to your children. Regarding this point, a notable companion said a statement that should be written in gold, "Great is the wealth that helps me protect my honor and get closer to my Lord."
When the father perfects his career and earns lawful money with which he provides his son with good clothes, a coat in winter, basic needs, a room in the house, good food and a computer for his ambitious child, by Allah the father's career turns into an act of worship because he fulfills his mission as a father.
The lawful career is an act of worship:
Please, pay attention to what I am saying. If your career, from which you make a living, is lawful, like selling fabrics or working in wood trading, you are on the safe side, but if your work is in renting indecent movies, selling cigarettes or opening an internet café where people stay up till midnight watching pornography which does not please Allah, you are not on the safe side.
Actually, there are thousands of careers that do not please Allah, but if your job is in a lawful business which pleases Allah, if you follow lawful ways in your domain like being honest, trustworthy and artful, if your prices are reasonable, if you do not let gossip, mocking, taunting or suspicious looks from a young man to a young woman take place at your work, if you offer Salah at work or you can go to the Masjid to offer it during it, if this work is disciplined, if you intend to provide yourself and your family with the basic needs through it, if you want to serve believers and all people through it and if your career does not distract you from a religious duty and Fard or from seeking religious knowledge or offering good deed, your career will turn into an act of worship. It is said, "The believer's habits turn into acts of worship, whereas the hypocrite's habits turn into bad deeds."
If one of you goes for a decent picnic with his family, feed them tasty food and plays with his children, by Allah he is in the summit of worshiping Allah, simply because he brings joy to his family, and he is an ideal father. This joy can also be brought when the father looks around all the markets in order to get the clothes his son loves, and the son will be pleased and proud of his father.
Do not be offended by what I am going to tell you. In the Muslim world the father is usually respected due to the nature of our culture, but as a father it is not enough to be respected, but you should be loved by your family as well, and this is achieved if you are generous. Hence, your success as a father is gained not only by being respected by your family members, but also by being loved.
Happiness has nothing to do with money:
Some families feel like they have Eid, but do you know when? Is it when the father leaves the house or when he enters the house? Herein lies the success of the father. In some families when the father leaves the house, troubles, shouting, hitting and badmouthing disappear, and so it is like the family celebrates Eid. In other families when the father gets home, they feel like they are celebrating Eid upon his arrival, and the members of the family are about to dance out of joy. These fathers are successful.
It is in your hand to make your house like Paradise. If you say, "My financial resources are limited", I will say to you that if your children eat the poorest food, if they wear secondhand clothes and if you live in the smallest house, all these things do not matter as long as there is love and affection in your household. Happiness cannot be bought by money, but it can be gained by having exalted humane values, and it is strongly related to affection.
((Aishah, may Allah be pleased with her, love the Prophet PBUH greatly, and often would seek reassurance from him that he loved her. Once she asked him: "How is your love for me?" "Like the rope's knot." he replied meaning that it was strong and secure. And time after time thereafter, she would ask him: "How is the knot?" and he would reply: "Ala Haaliha (in the same condition)"))
By Allah, each one of us, with no exception, is able to turn his house into Paradise whether it is small or big, owned or leased, facing the south or the north, an apartment or a basement or whether the head of the house earns limited income or hefty one. This can be achieved by being compassionate, tender, kindhearted and believing and by loving your children.
The household is one of the sources of happiness to every human being:
When you are able to have peace of mind in your house, the efforts you pay outside the house might be doubled, simply because you are at ease, your wife is a loving one, your son is dutiful and your household is full of discipline and affection. I would like to repeat again this outstanding quote, "Great is the wealth that helps me protect my honor and get closer to my Lord." I admire the father who is ideal, who meets his children's needs, whose household is disciplined and who follows up on his children's study and actions. Once I met a scholar who said to me, "I have 38 grandchildren; 13 of them are doctors and most of them are Quran Huffaz (they memorize Quran by heart)." This is the ideal fatherhood.
Dear brother, your house is one of the sources of your happiness, regarding this point, it is said, "The believer's Paradise is his home." Frankly, the successful believing father should be very cheerful inside his house by entertaining his children and playing with them. The Prophet PBUH used to play with Al-Hasan and Al-Husain (sons of Faitimah), and he used to carry them on his back given he is the Master of mankind and the dearest to Al-Haqq (i.e. Allah). The Prophet PBUH taught us to play with our kids.
Whenever I see a child I say, "O Lord, this child is the gift from Allah given to his parents, and he might be the reason of their happiness or miser". A father once said to me, "By Allah, if a car runs over my son, I will rejoice his death and celebrate it out of joy." That father told me unbelievable stories of the disasters his son did. This kind of kids is but an affliction from Allah.
((The Hour (Day of Judgment) will not come till the child becomes undutiful, the rain becomes little, the despicable people increase and the generous people decrease.))
Man should be considerable with regard to sh3er' feelings:
I am discussing the topic of stealing implicitly, but what I am concentrating on is the preventive means which are represented by mastering your career, earning Halal money and meeting your children's needs. As a result, your children will love you and become like dough in your hand, so that you can shape them and guide them correctly.
Being generous to your children does not mean giving them abundant allowances, because this will spoil them. Thus, if you are rich, do not give your son 500 liras as an allowance when he goes to school, because this will break the heart of his friends. Also, when you send expensive snack with your son to school, and he brags about having 4 or 5 pieces of this expensive candy, the heart of other students will be broken. Listen to this Hadith which is reported in the relic:
((Do you know what a neighbor's rights are? If he asks you for help, you should provide help for him, if he falls ill you should visit him, if something good happens to him, you should congratulate him, if something bad happens to him, you should console him and if he dies, you should participate in his funeral procession. You should not raise your building so high that you obstruct the blowing of wind to him unless he gives his permission and you should not hurt him with the smell of your cooking pot unless you send him some of the food. If you buy fruit send him some as a gift, otherwise you have to bring it into your house secretly and not allow your children to take it out to vex his children with it.))
Give your son the same amount of pocket money other fathers can afford, give your son the same fruit other fathers can send with their children and give him a simple sandwich. You are free to feed him at home the most expensive food, but at school do not give him what makes other children embarrassed.
Dear brother, I tried to address the issue of stealing (among children) indirectly by referring to the fact that if all parents meet their children's needs, they will be more attached to them, to their values, to their religion and to their culture. I invoke Allah the Almighty to make this lecture an awakening call to all fathers and to make them cautious to the crucial mission of raising their children according to Islamic teachings.