The Role of the Family in Raising the Children, Part II
In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.
2- Inviting With Wisdom and Good Preaching
(Friday speech delivered by Imam Mohamed Baianonie at the Islamic Center or Raleigh, NC on May 19, 2000)
Allah (S.W.T) says in surat An-Nahl, (verse 125), which is translated as, "Invite to the way of your Lord (Islam) with wisdom and good preaching…"
Allah (S.W.T.) created man in a way that he is influenced by what he hears. He is sometimes influenced positively or negatively depending on the speaker, the words, its values, its ease of implementation, and the hearer's circumstances.
The more sincere the speaker is in what he is saying, and implementing what he is talking about, and choosing the right words, the right time, the right people whom he is talking to, the more his words are influential to those people he is speaking to.
The parents are the most able to achieve this with their children. They are the most sincere in what they say to their children. The children would be most attentive to what their parents say if there is trust.
If the children's trust in their parents become weak or if their trust in their parents is no loner present, then the children will not be affected by what their parents say.
This is extremely serious because if you do not trust people, you would not listen to them and if you do listen to them, you will not be affected positively, nor will you feel reassured.
For example, if you go to a Doctor and you do not trust him, either because of his lack of knowledge or expertise or because of his unawareness with your circumstances and your symptoms. Will you trust his diagnosis? Will you trust and feel reassured with the medicine he prescribes? And if he does that, will you be ready to be serious about following his advice?
Trust is an important factor in the upbringing processes especially the children's trust in their parents. So, fathers and mothers should work hard to establish this trust and to increase it and protect it from anything that would weaken it.
Why does children's trust in their parents get weak or get lost?
There are many reasons that we should know so that we avoid them and work to eliminate them.
The most important reasons are: Lack of implementation of Islam, lack of good knowledge in Islam, and not using wisdom and good preaching when the parents advise their children.
1st Lack of implementation of what is being taught by the parents to their children. This way, the parents do not offer any practical example to their children. Which we talk about it last week
2nd Lack of good knowledge in Islam and its etiquette by the parents when they try to convey it to their children. In this situation, nothing can prevent the parents from confusing what is really from Islam and what is really from their own traditions and customs which often are not related to Islam in any way. In fact that leads to weak trust from the children towards their parents and what they are saying.
The parents should be very cautious in this situation and not confuse Islam the Deen of Allah with people's traditions, so they do not demand from their children what Allah (S.W.T.) and His messenger have not demanded from them. We should realize that the obligations of Deen are difficult by it self for many people because they are often in conflict with their own whims and desires aroused by the pressure of the non-Muslim society. So, we should not demand from our children more than what Allah (S.W.T.) and His messenger have demanded. We should also realize that what we demand from our children is to follow the Deen that was revealed to the prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.) from his Lord (S.W.T.) and no more. We should also realize that if we do not separate the teaching of the Deen from traditions of the cultures, we will make it difficult for our children to implement what we ask them which would lead them to reject all our advice and lose their trust in us as parents.
3rd Not using wisdom and good preaching when the parents advise their children. Allah (S.W.T.) ordered His prophet and all Muslims to the Last Day in His saying in surat An-Nahl, (verse 125), which is translated as, "Invite to the way of your Lord (Islam) with wisdom and good preaching…" And also Allah (S.W.T.) highly regards people with wisdom in His saying in surat Al-Baqarah, (verse 269), which is translated as, "…to whom the wisdom is granted, is indeed granted abundant good…" So, if someone is not wise, he is missing many benefits.
From the wisdom is to call our children to the most important thing first which is the obligatory before we call them to the recommended acts and manners.
Also, from the wisdom is to start teaching the children when they are still young and help them apply what we teach them gradually starting with the easiest. This helps the children to continue applying what the their parents teach them. The
same thing can be said about the prohibitions; we should advise them to refrain from the major sins before the minor ones. The prophet (S.A.W.) warned us in his Hadith: "The implementation of this Deen is hard, so implement it gently, the one who overloads his ride and over speed, he will lose his ride and he will not cover much distance."
4th The parents' lack of understanding of the circumstances that the children go through in a society like this. This affects the parents' perspective about their children's problems and the solutions that they offer to their children. This will weaken the relationship between the children and their parents and increases the gap between the two generations. The problem becomes worse and worse when both sides are very busy in their daily lives; the father is busy at work, the mother is busy in the house, and the children are busy at school or work. Yes it is a very busy life! Very often, the parents do not have enough time to know more about their children and the difficulties and the challenges, which are facing them. This is so dangerous that parents should be very aware of it. If the parents do not give the children a listening ear to their problems and their worries, who will do so? Who will provide the solutions? Very often, the corrupted society is ready to do it in our-behalf and provide the non-Islamic and deadly solutions to our children.
We must exercise our role in raising our children. We must use wisdom when we advise them like what Allah (S.W.T.) ordered us to do. We must implant the trust of our children in us, and work hard to prevent anything from shaking or weakening this trust.
Finally we ask Allah (S.W.T.) to protect us all like He protects His righteous people. "Ameen"