Fundamentals of Islamic (Tarbiah) Upbringing
In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.
(Friday Speech was delivered by Imam Mohamed Baianonie at Islamic Center of Raleigh, N. C., on June 27, 1997)
Allah (S.W.T.) created man for his ibadah. This ibadah means nothing but the total submission to Allah (S.W.T.) in every aspect of life, be it religious or worldly life. He (S.W.T.) said in surat Ath-Th’ariat, (Verse 56), what can be translated as, "And I did not create the jinn and men except to submit to me." In this kind of submission, the deen is established in the life of people; the highest goal for which Allah sent all the prophets peace be upon them, from Noah through Muhammad (S.A.W.). Allah (S.W.T.) says addressing this ummah in surat Ash-Shurah, (Verse 13), in what can be translated as, "He (Allah) has ordained for you the same Religion (Islam) which He ordained for Noah, and that which We have inspired in you (O Muhammad), and that which We ordained for Abraham, Moses and Jesus saying you should establish deen Religion, and make no divisions in it."
Achieving the total submission for Allah and the establishment of deen in the life of people can not happen without the application of Allah’s legislation comprehensively without any imperfection, just like Allah revealed it to the prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.). With this, man’s happiness and success are achieved.
The application of this legislation needs man to be prepared and to be upraised according to the divine way of Allah who created him, so that man can carry this great trust that Allah (S.W.T.) entrusted him with. Allah (S.W.T.) says in surat Al-Ahzab, (Verse 72), what can be translated as, "Truly, We did offer Al-Amanah (the trust, of carrying all of Islam) to the heavens and the earth, and the mountains, but they declined to bear it and were afraid of it. But man bore it. Verily, he was unjust and ignorant."
It is a must that man be brought up on the belief in Allah, and on having the consciousness that Allah (S.W.T.) is watching him and on total submission to Him alone, and no one else. For this reason, the Islamic tarbiah, culturing is one of the greatest obligations and one of the most important tasks. That is why Allah (S.W.T.) states explicitly in four locations in the Qur’an (verses 129, 151 from surat Al-Baqarah, 164 from surat Al-Imran and 2 from surat Al-Jum’ah) that it is one of the tasks of the prophet (S.A.W.). His task was not restricted to delivering the message and teaching the revelation: Allah (S.W.T) says in the Qur’an in surat Al-Jum’ah, (Verse 2), what can be translated as, "And He is the one who sent a messenger from amongst the illiterates, reciting His verses, purifying them, and teaching them The Book and the wisdom, and they had been (before) in a clear misguidance."
Also, this verse and the (verse 164), from surat Al-Imran clarify to us that people without following Allah’s legislation are in a clear misguidance. That’s how Allah (S.W.T.) described them and he is the all knowing about their circumstances. This is how there situation was before the coming of the prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.) and before they established the deen of Allah, and this is their situation today; they are away from this deen.
What is the Islamic upbringing?
It is building of man’s thought, and organizing and controlling his conduct, his emotions according to the deen of Allah, and for the achievement of the goals of Islam in the life of the individual, and the society in all aspects of life.
In greater details, the Islamic tarbiah, upbringing is a process that depends first on forming a certain mentality for man. Shaping his thoughts, his views towards himself, this universe, and this life. Also his role in and his relationship with this world. He should understand in what way he can benefit from and what he can deal with in this universe and this life. He should know the purpose of this temporary life that he lives, and the goal that must be the one that he makes all his efforts to achieve.
Islam presented to us all these thoughts in a group of strong interrelated perspectives. Those perspectives are belief, legislation, and worship.
The belief aspect of the deen, presents to us a strong foundation of Al-aqeedah and the strong interrelated views, and the noble goals and the enticements that brings us hope and optimism.
The legislative aspect presents to us rules and guidelines upon which we conduct our behavior and control our relations and dealings. It is the one that maps to us the way we live our life and conduct ourselves.
And the worship aspect is the practical implementation of the Muslim behavior, which encompasses all these views, goals, and these guidelines.
In reality, the process of Islamic tarbiah, upbringing develops the man’s personality in a way that all these aspects are present in harmony and complementing one another. In a way where all his potentials and capabilities are united and his efforts are compelled to achieve one goal: That goal is pleasing Allah (S.W.T.), The Creator. This noble goal bears fruits that are the realization of happiness and success in this life and in the Hereafter. We will talk, Inshallah-talah, in the future about:
- The intellectual foundations of Islamic tarbiah upbringing
- The worship foundations of Islamic tarbiah upbringing
- The legislative foundations of the Islamic tarbiah upbringing
This way, we have a complete method of the Islamic tarbiah, upbringing with which we should raise ourselves, our families and the people around us. This way, we achieve what Allah (S.W.T.) described his prophet with when He described him in surat Al-Anbi’a, (Verse107), what can be translated as, "We have not sent you (O Muhammad) but a mercy for all worlds."