Sunday, 2 September 2012


Time has eaten into the new year, and the year isn't new anymore. We get older, and our time on this earth gets shorter. When our time here is up we take with us into the next passage nothing but three things: charitable deeds, useful knowledge and righteous offsprings who make du'a for us. It is the third of these three, righteous (soleh) children, that is the topic of my post today.

There is no parent that does not want children who do good deeds and be their parents' saviour in the next world, but bringing up children into people of taqwa is not easy, because parenting isn't only about providing food and clothing, and educating children isn't just about sending them to the best schools. Parenting is a job from God, that when we are blessed with a child essentially God has placed the child in our care, to be brought up into a righteous adult. It is not a job to be taken lightly.

A child not only biologically inherits but also picks up personality traits and qualities from the parents whether or not these traits and qualities are consciously passed on by the parents. Educating a child is always more effective by showing a good example than by scolding. Unfortunately we often forget and teach one thing but do another.

I believe in teaching good simply by being good: if you want hardworking children we first must be industrious. If we want our children to speak kind words we must watch what comes from our tongues. If we want them to treat others with kindness and respect we make sure to respect and treat kindly our spouses primarily and other people generally, whether or not our children witness these acts of righteousness. The Watcher sees, and these traits will be in our children's blood without us having to worry about them.

A father is the provider for the family even when the wife works. A lot of men I see take advantage of the working wife and conveniently neglect the provisions that they are responsible for. A man who realises this massive responsibility upon his shoulder will have no time for sitting idle; he would not take lightly the upkeep of his family, as they have been entrusted in his care by God. Men who neglect this ultimately means he is neglecting God's trust, and, just like any violator of trust, severe punishment awaits him in the next world.

A father while also the discipline master should be gentle and must learn to drown his ego if he has done something wrong. A father is not invincible or incapable of fault: when a father has wronged the children or the wife, there is nothing weak about admitting the fault and saying sorry. Likewise when he is wronged but his forgiveness is sought, being forgiving would be more productive for the whole family.

We often forget what we give out returns to us tenfold: before we complain about how our children (or wife) behave, think about our own conduct. I believe when we are honest with God, He will take care of our family. He watches constantly, and He gives to whom He wills without measure.

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