The Responsibility of the Parents and Teachers
Allah Ta’ala says, ‘Fear the fire whose fuel is men and stones.’ (V2:24)
The mother, the father, the teacher and the community are all responsible before Allah for raising children. If they do well, they gain happiness in both worlds, but if they neglect their duty towards them, they suffer misery and will be charged with the sin of negligence. It is for this the Prophet [Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam] said, ‘All of you are guardians, and all of you are responsible for your subjects.’
To emphasise this fact, the Prophet [Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam] draws the parent’s attention to the following fact, ‘When man dies, no good deeds will be added on his record except for three; continuous charity, beneficial knowledge, or a pious son who supplicates for him.’
Being an educatory, you should start with yourself first, for you stand as a model before your children. To them, the good is what you do, and the wrong is what you shun. Good conduct is the conduct of the parents and teacher. This is an ideal method of education.
The Duty of the Educator and the Teacher
1. To teach the child to pronounce the Testimony of faith, ‘There is no true god except Allah, and Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah’ which means, there is no god who deserves to be worshipped except Allah.
2. Instil the love of Allah and the belief in His Oneness in children’s hearts, for He Alone is our Creator and Sustainer.
3. Teach children to ask and seek the help of Allah Alone.
Warning Against the Prohibited Things
1. To warn children against infidelity, coarse language, swearing, and vulgar manners, for all such things are conducive to loss and lead to destruction. Parents should control their tongues in the presence of children to set a good example for them to follow.
2. Warn against Shirk, the manifestation of which is calling on dead people seeking their help, because they are only humans who can neither harm nor benefit. Allah states, ‘And do not call other than Allah those who can neither benefit nor harm you. If you do, you will be among the polytheists.’ (Yoonus 106)
3. Warning children against gambling and all games of chance even those for fun, for they generate hatred and waste time and wealth, and become a means for neglecting Salaat (prayers).
4. Prevent children from reading indecent magazines and publications, or looking at lewd pictures and literature. Monitor their watching movies, films or TV shows that have negative effects on their character and their future.
5. Warn children against smoking and explain to them that medical people have unanimous agreed that smoking is hazardous to the health and causes cancer and other diseases.
6. Train children to tell the truth, while parents should always be truthful to them, and not to tell lies even while joking, and when they promise their children, they should always keep their promises.
7. Feed children lawful food, food obtained through illegitimate sources like bribery, usury or larceny is a major reason for misery, rebellion and disobedience.
8. Avoid supplicating to Allah against your own children, for your prayer may be answered whether in their favour or against them. The best is to say to a child, ‘May Allah guide you aright’ or ‘May Allah set your affairs aright’.
The Duty of Teaching Children Salaat
1. It is the duty of the parents to teach their children how to pray from a young age so that they grow up accustomed to it. The Prophet [Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam] said, ‘Teach your children how to pray when they reach the age of seven, and spank them for neglecting it when they reach the age of ten, and separate them into different beds.’
Perform Wudhu and prayer in front of them and take them with you to the mosque, show them how to enjoy the prayer, reading the Qur’aan, and reading the prayer manual so that all of the family knows the rules of prayer well. This is the responsibility of the parents and teachers for which they will be held accountable by Allah.
2. Teach the children the Qur’aan starung with al-Faatiha and the short Surah (chapters), and the necessary supplications of the prayer. This may require assigning a tutor for Qur’aanic recitation and the Prophetic Traditions.
3. Encourage children to attend Jumu’ah prayers and other congregational prayers in a mosque, and correct their mistakes and advise them gently. Doing otherwise may turn them away from you.
4. Teaching children the rules of prayer, its conditions, prerequisites, prohibitions, manners and supplications.
5. Encourage children to fast from a young age to get them used to it, when they grow up.
Veils and Girls
1. Encourage the girls to wear the Hijaab from a young age so they get used to it. Neither short dresses nor inappropriate clothing should be given to them to wear, they are a means for attracting the opposite sex. Wearing Hijaab from young age, subtly coloured and opaque clothes are recommended. Allah Ta’ala states, ‘O Prophet, tell your wives, your daughters and the believing women to draw close to them their outer garment so that they may be recognised and will not be molested.’ (33:59).
Allah, the Exalted, forbids the female believers to wear make-up and enhance their beauty (in inappropriate circumstances) saying, ‘And do not show off your beauty like the manner of the former days of Jaahiliyyah (pre-Islamic era).’ (17:33)
2. Instruct children to wear the clothes that belong to their sex, and avoid wearing the clothes of the infidels and copying their manners and habits. ‘The prophet [Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam] cursed men who copy women and women who copy men.’
He also said, ‘He who copies a certain people, becomes one of them.’
3. Warn girls against consorting with boys, for this would make girls bold enough when they grow up to mix and talk freely to men, and lose their feminine shyness.