Parental competence

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
الحمد لله والصلاة والسلام على رسول الله وعلى آله وصحبه

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Allaah سبحانه و تعالى Said in Al-Qur’an:

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا قُوا أَنفُسَكُمْ وَأَهْلِيكُمْ نَارًا وَقُودُهَا النَّاسُ وَالْحِجَارَةُ

“O you who believe! Ward off yourselves and your families against a Fire (Hell) whose fuel is men and stones…” [At-Tahreem, 6]

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The Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said:

كلكم راع وكلكم مسؤول عن رعيته

“Each of you is a shepherd and (each of you) is responsible for his flock…”  [Agreed upon]

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1. Raising children is a responsibility that is shared by both parents. This is a trust which Allaah enjoins them to take care of, each according to his position and ability.

2. Commenting on part of the Ayah “Ward off yourselves”, Imam at-Tabari said this means to:

“Teach one another that which will protect those who do it, from the Fire and ward it off from them – if it is done in obedience to Allaah and they do it in obedience to Allaah. The phrase “and your families against a Fire” means to teach your families to do acts of obedience to Allaah so that they may protect themselves from the Fire…” [Tafseer at-Tabari, 18/165]

3. Imam al-Qurtubi said:

“Muqaatil said: This is a duty that he owes to himself, his children, his family and his male and female slaves. Ilkiya said: We have to teach our children and families religious commitment and goodness, and what they cannot do without of etiquette…” [Tafseer al-Qurtubi, 18/196]

4. Righteousness is something that should be inherited from the parents. It was Narrated by some of the Salaf that Dawud عليه السلام said:

إلهي كن لسليمان كما كنت لي  فأوحى الله عز وجل إليه: أن قل لسليمان أن يكون لي كما كنت لي أكن له كما كنت لك

“My illah, be to my son Sulayman, as you were to me”. So Allaah عز وجل inspired to him that: “Tell Sulayman to be for me as you were to me, and surely I will be to him as I were to you.” [Tareekh ad-Dimashq 22/238; Tafseer ibn Katheer 7/73; Bustaan al-‘Arifeen of an-Nawawi p. 45; Manhaj al-Tarbiyah al-Nabawiyah lil-Tifl, p. 33]

5. As for discipline and teaching, Imam Nawawi said:

“The father must discipline his child and teach him what he needs to know of religious duties. This teaching is obligatory upon the father and all those in charge of children before the child reaches the age of adolescence…” [Sharh Saheeh Muslim, 8/44]

6. Ibn Al-Qayyim al-Jawziyyah said:

وكم ممن أشقى ولده وفلذة كبده في الدنيا والآخرة بإهماله وترك تأديبه وإعانته له على شهواته ويزعم أنه يكرمه وقد أهانه وأنه يرحمه وقد ظلمه وحرمه ففاته انتفاعه بولده وفوت عليه حظه في الدنيا والآخرة وإذا اعتبرت الفساد في الأولاد رأيت عامته من قبل الآباء

“How many people have caused misery to their own children, the apples of their eyes, in this world and in the Hereafter, by neglecting them, not disciplining them, encouraging them to follow their whims and desires, thinking that they were honouring them when they were in fact humiliating them, that they were being merciful to them when in fact they were wronging them. They have not benefited from having a child, and they have made the child lose his share in this world and in the Hereafter. If you think about the corruption of children you will see that in most cases it is because of the parents.” [Taken from “Tuhfat al-Mawdood bi Ahkam al-Mawlood”]

5. Al-Manawi said:

عندما يبلغ من السن والعقل مبلغا يحتمل يحتمل ذلك بأن ينشئه على أخلاق صلحاء المؤمنين ويصونه عن مخالطة المفسدين ويعلمه القرآن والأدب ولسان العرب ويسمعه السنن وأقاويل السلف ويعلمه من أحكام الدين ما لا غنى عنه

“(For parents to discipline their child) when he reaches the age of discernment [e.g. 9 years of age] means that he should raise him with the characteristics of the righteous believers and protect him from mixing with evildoers; he should teach him the Qur’an and good manners and the language of the Arabs, let him hear the Sunnah and the sayings of the Salaf and teach him the religious rulings that he cannot do without…” [Fayd al-Qadeer, 5/327 – see also 2/574]

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6. There are a variation of da’eef ahadeeth that report the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم saying:

إن من حق الولد على الوالد أن يحسن اسمه وأن يحسن أدبه

“It is a right for a child that his father should choose a good name for him and teach him good manners.” [Al-Bazzar and others – please note: All isnad to such reports have been criticised and graded as da’eef by majority]

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7. With regard to the books one can refer to with regard to raising children, the following are highly recommended:

– “Tarbiyat al-Atfaal fi-Rihaab al-Islam” by Muhammad Haamid al-Naasir and Khawlah ‘Abd al-Qaadir Darweesh

– “Kayfa Yurabbi al-Muslim Waladahu” by Muhammad Sa’eed al-Mawlawi

– “Tarbiyat al-Abna’ fi’l-Islam” by Muhammad Jameel Zayno

– “Kayfa Nurabbi Atfaalana” by Mahmoud Mahdi al-Istanbuli

– “Mas’ooliyat al-Abb al-Muslim fi Tarbiyat al-Walad” by ‘Adnaan Ba Haarith

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And Allaah knows best.

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