Being A Muslim Parent Is Tough
Parenting is such a difficult job. As a parent, I’m not quite sure if I’m doing things right or wrong. Sometimes I feel as if I’m super-Abu. And sometimes I feel as if I’m screwing my kids up for life.
Being a parent, no matter what religion you follow, requires a thick skin. You have to set your foot down. You have to be the bad guy. You have to scold, reprimand, and discipline.
Being a Muslim parent includes all of these things but in addition to this, we have to instill proper Islamic values that may be at odds with the predominant culture.
What’s the most important thing in a child’s life?
- Money? Not really.
- Food? Hopefully not.
- Toys? Only for the first few days.
The most important thing in a child’s life is love. They want you to love them and they want to know that you love them.
So, if your child is the most important thing in your life, then you should make sure they get what’s the most important thing in their life…proof of your love. And this will show that you’re the perfect Muslim parent.
Here are a few things you can do to become the perfect Muslim parent.
Give Your Child Whatever They Want.
It doesn’t matter how expensive it is. It doesn’t matter if they deserve it or not. It doesn’t matter if it’s even beneficial.
If they want it, give it to them.
If they want the newest sneakers or the latest video game or a third or fourth helping at the dinner table, let them have it. There’s no better way to show your kids you love them than to cater to their every whim.
Never, Ever, Scold Them.
Your child hates it when you talk to them in a stern manner. It hurts their feelings. They might even think you don’t care.
So no matter what your child does, do not scold them or raise your voice or show any signs of displeasure whatsoever.
Instead reason with them. Negotiate with them. Try to understand why they’re doing naughty things. Perhaps if you understood the big picture, you’d realize whatever they’re doing isn’t so bad after all.
Don’t Force Your Religion On Them.
Everyone knows this is a deal breaker.
You can’t force your child to be Muslim. In this world of free choice and secular ideas, it’s best your child has an open-minded view towards religion.
So don’t make your child pray five times a day. Don’t teach them stories about Prophet Ibrahim or Prophet Isa (AS).
Don’t even teach them about the Quran and Hadith. They’ll figure it all out on their own.
Hopefully you’ll read these tips and really put them into action. They will most certainly help you become a perfect Muslim parent.
But remember, these tips are only if your child is the most important thing in your life.
If you are living for your child’s sake and the only thing you’re concerned about is what he or she thinks about you, then you should use these rules.
However, if Allah and His Messenger (pbuh) are most important in your life, than these tips are not going to do you any good. In fact, they may well send you to hell.
Therefore, if you’re interested in pleasing Allah and earning rewards for the next life, then you probably need to ignore those tips and read the following tips instead.
How To Be A Good Muslim Parent
Be Fair and Just and Moderate
We all love our children and we all want to do good things for them. But rewards are earned, not inherited.
If your child does something really good, or there’s a special occasion or something, it’s perfectly okay to buy gifts for them. Especially if:
- They have actually earned it.
- The gift is within your budget and isn’t too extravagant.
- You get similar gifts for all of your children.
But just lavishing your kids with a bunch of expensive toys and gifts simply because you share the same genetic coding is foolish.
You should teach your kids to appreciate the simpler things in life.
Your child will become ungrateful and will not value hard work.
They will almost certainly become spoiled brats.
And as a Muslim, we should be moderate in everything even gift-giving. You should be neither very cheap nor very extravagant.
And of course, you should only spend within your means. So if you have to go into debt or whip out your credit card to buy your kids the newest video game system, then there might be a problem. There are better ideas to being being a good parent.
Discipline With Moderation
As mentioned above, moderation is key.
You will have to adjust your disciplinary actions to your personality and your child’s personality.
Resorting to the stick (or belt, or coat hanger, or extension cord) all the time is not going to help them or you.
The main problem with resorting to violence, besides the brutality of it all, is that it desensitizes both you and your child. Eventually they’ll get used to getting beaten, and you’ll get used to beating them.
Both of these are bad outcomes.
There are other ways to discipline Muslim children without smacking them around the room.
- Scolding. Often a good talking-to is all that’s needed.
- Punishments. Ground them. Make them work. Take away their toys, cell phones, video games, etc.
- Reality check. Show them the bad consequences of their actions. For example, if they don’t do their homework, show them the wonderful career they can expect with an 8th grade education.
Besides, yelling and screaming doesn’t always bring the best results.
I’m not saying you should never spank your child. I know it isn’t popular these days, especially in Western culture. Depending on your child and your situation, it may be necessary.
But it should always be the last option. It should not be excessive, arbitrary, nor abusive. And you should never hit them in the face as that is forbidden in Islam.
The Messenger of Allah (pbuh), prohibited us from hitting or branding in the face.
In this hadith, the Prophet (pbuh) was specifically talking about a donkey. So of course, this ruling would also apply to humans.
Force Your Children to Be Muslim
Yes, I said it.
Force Islam on your children.
For about 14 years, you have almost complete power over your child. You need to take this time to drill Islam into their lives.
Now, I don’t mean be cruel. That’s not going to accomplish anything by trying to beat Islam into their brains.
But for while they live in your household and they have to obey your rules, make sure your rules are based on Islam. Your parenting should be based on the Quran and Sunnah.
And this has to start at a young age. You can’t expect your child to live like a heathen for 14 years, and then when they turn 15 suddenly expect them to be perfect Muslims.
It’s not going to work.
Introduce prayer at an early age.
Command your children to perform Salat (prayer) when they are seven years old, and beat them for (not offering) it when they are ten.
Introduce fasting at an early age.
We used to make toys out of wool and took (them to the mosque) along with us. When they (the children) asked us for food, we gave them these toys to play with, and these made them forgetful till they completed their fast.
Introduce Quran at an early age.
Kids can learn to read Arabic very early and their memories are extremely receptive. You’d be amazed at how much a child can absorb with just a short, daily Quran lesson. You don’t want your child to turn 15 years of age and can barely recite Surah Al-Fatihah.
Will any of this make you the perfect Muslim parent? Probably not. Even some of the Prophets had rebellious children, like Prophet Noah’s (AS) son. You can’t control your child forever.
But for that time that you can control them, take the opportunity to give them the best Islamic upbringing you can.