By Hasfa I
A community imbued with moral uprightness always ascends. This is a universal principle that holds true at all times. Children of good character are the building blocks of a successful community. Cultivating strong Islamic values and identity in early learning prepare children to be well balanced and nurtures healthy minds. We want to raise our children to be well rounded characters that are disciplined, responsible and contribute to the community, an asset to the ummah. The following are a few tips to help you build that strong character Insha’Allah.
The Foundation of Eman
Connect your child to the pillars of eman: belief in Allah, angels, books and revelation, messengers, the last day, divine will and predestination. Teach your child lailaha ilallah that there is no God worthy of worship except Allah. The first sound our newborn child hears is the testimony of faith via the adhan being read near his ear. Children are born on the fitrah so belief in the oneness of Allah is a part of their natural make up.[i] As an example the prophet Luqman’s (as) main focus was to establish Allah in his son’s heart by teaching him tawhid, that Allah (exalted he) is One and the Only and He has no partners or associates. That Allah has knowledge of everything and is aware of everything you do.[ii]
Your Child is Unique
Appreciate that your child is an individual and certain aspects of their personality traits you cannot change. This will allow you to work with your child to nurture him and guide him to reach his full potential that Allah has bestowed him with.[iii]
To Love and Rely on Allah
Remember Allah and his blessings together. Explain to your child that whenever you remember Allah, angels surround you, mercy covers you and Allah mentions you to his angels.[iv] Nurture your child to love Allah by teaching him through everyday conversation who is it that provides us with everything and why it is important to obey Allah. When your outdoors admire the creation and comment how beautiful it is and how Great and Perfect Allah is. Through your actions teach him how to make dua to Allah using His beautiful Names and Attributes, do a dua list together. Try to make a habit of reading 2 rakaats with your child and make dua to Allah, your child will soon pick up that when he wants something to first and foremost ask Allah.
And whosoever fears Allah and keeps his duty to Him, He will make a way for him to get out (from every difficulty). And He will provide him from (sources) he never could imagine. And whosoever puts his trust in Allah, then He will suffice him. Verily, Allah will accomplish his purpose. Indeed Allah has set a measure for all things.[v]
To Love Allah’s Messenger and His Companions
Children love stories, provide them with the best examples of role models. Teach your child according to his level of understanding the life of the Prophet (peace be upon him) alongside teaching them Quran. Tell them of the stories of the children around the Prophet (peace be upon him) how they fought those who tried to harm him, how quickly they responded to his call and obeyed his commands. How the Sahabah loved that which the Prophet (peace be upon him) loved and how they memorized the hadeeth.
Anas (ra) narrated that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said:
‘You will be resurrected with whom you love’[vi]
Build a Relationship with The Quran
Ibn Khaldun said teaching your child the Quran is among the banners that must be raised when raising him. Explain to your child what the Quran is and why he is learning to read and understand it. If you as a parent love and have a relationship with the Quran it’s so much easier for your children to have that as that love rubs off on them. Children love to imitate their parents. Teach Quran in a beautiful calm environment so that your child wants to stay there longer. Motivate your child by telling them that there is reward even for the one who struggles with his pronounciation of the Quran in fact that person’s reward is more since he is struggling to learn the word of Allah.[vii] Spend time with your child discussing the meaning and tafseer of what is being recited.
In conclusion, the Prophet (peace be upon him) said
“Shall I tell you who are the best among you? The best of you are those who when seen are a means of Allah being brought to mind.”[viii]
May Allah grant us the ability to raise our children with Ihsan (excellence) and who remind others of Allah and His Messenger (peace be upon him) ameen.
[i] Quran 7:172
[ii] Quran 31.16
[iii] Productive Muslim: Raising Productive and Confident Muslim Kids (part 1)
[v] Quran 65:3