3 Secrets to raise a pious child by Shaykh Zulfiqar Ahmad.
I have found 3 advice to be very crucial with regards to the upbringing of children in my 33-40 years experience of teaching boys and girls, travelling to various countries and various madrasas, these 3 advice are the synopsis of it all.
If parents were to safeguard these 3 points, then the child will have such a strong foundation that he/she would not waiver from Islam. Otherwise there are many things that can be said i.e. be careful of this, be careful of that e.t.c.
There are plentiful books written on the subject of upbringing of children. So this what we call the rule of thumb. These 3 points need to be given priority such that there is no compromise on such issues with the children.
(1) Make it a habit for the children to always tell the truth.
The first thing of three is making it a habit for the children to always tell the truth. This may seem very basic, but to Allah the truth is so blessed through which a person attains the success of this world and the hereafter. If we grasped the external benefits of the truth as well as the blessings that come through it, then we would be willing to die for the truth. Effort is not put into this because it is so difficult. The reason is that the parents must also speak the truth.
Now, how’s this going to happen when there’s a phone call and the father says, ” Tell them i’m not home”, how will the son speak the truth?
(2) Inculcated into the child is the respect of salah (prayer)
The second thing which should be inculcated into the child is the respect of salah. Indeed kids pray salah, but from childhood teach them the respect and value of it. To do wudu’ calmly, remaining clean and pray on time. A benefit in this is that cleanliness becomes inculcated into that child, because a child who doesn’t pray will not even take care of Istinjaa (cleanliness). And if he prays he will look after the purity of his clothes as well. He will also become punctual. Do not be happy if the child just pray salah, no, rather look for the respect of it.
Look to see if the child prays quickly, if so, say “No, there is no compromise on this”. From childhood the value of such a thing should be inculcated, ” I need to pray salah with tranquility and relaxed”. Ask the child, ” You prayed your salah, but with which temperament or frame of mind did you read it?” . So if he hears this from childhood he will think back, my father would ask about the temperament of my salah, so surely this must also be of importance. Today we are forgetting this.
(3) The importance of serving others and the virtues of chores which are done at home
The third thing is teach children the importance of serving others and the virtues of chores which are done at home. Looking after and serving the mother, father, elders and teachers. The enthusiasm to serve others should be inculcated into the child from a small age. Nowadays the kids can’t even drink the water themselves, even that they ask others to bring. This is why parents complain that children don’t take interest in doing chores. But they should be asked, “What did you teach them about service in their childhood?”. Who knows he may serve a friend of Allah through which he receive a dua (of jannah). Teach him that one should serve the disabled and the elders as well. Through this he will develop mercy, compassion and empathy. Due to this one act of service, a good character will develop in him as well. When he listen to others, surely he will listen to his parents as well. Today he has not been taught service; so as a result, he doesn’t even do it for his parents.