Becoming a parent brings a big transformation in one’s life. Your life which you once planned as you willed, now revolves around a tiny human being. Everything is scheduled around the comfort of that tiny human. Slowly you accept the change and let go off your past freedom due to the love you have for your child. Becoming a parent however requires countless sacrifices and at times parents become overwhelmed. At that time, when we are at the lowest, we need to be reminded of some important values which should be a part and parcel of any Muslim but are should be specially practised by parents.
Abdullah ibn Umar reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Every one of you is a shepherd and is responsible for his flock. The leader of people is a guardian and is responsible for his subjects. A man is the guardian of his family and he is responsible for them. A woman is the guardian of her husband’s home and his children and she is responsible for them. The servant of a man is a guardian of the property of his master and he is responsible for it. No doubt, every one of you is a shepherd and is responsible for his flock.”Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī 6719, Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim 1829
We brought our child into this world and we are responsible for his/her wellbeing whether physical, mental or emotional. On the day of judgement, we must answer Allah for our flock. If we deliberately do not fulfil their rights, we will be punished. Children are weaker and under our influence, doesn’t mean we can do whatever we want with them.
الَّذِينَ يُنفِقُونَ فِي السَّرَّاءِ وَالضَّرَّاءِ وَالْكَاظِمِينَ الْغَيْظَ وَالْعَافِينَ عَنِ النَّاسِ ۗ وَاللَّهُ يُحِبُّ الْمُحْسِنِين The believers are those who spend in charity during ease and hardship and who restrain their anger and pardon the people, for Allah loves the doers of good.Surah Al eImran 3:134
Children will wake up at night, create a mess in the home and make you run around them. Surviving all this requires patience. What if your baby is waking up again and again at night and you feel annoyed? What if your kid breaks your favourite perfume? What if the child isn’t eating? What if your teenager is answering you back? Reacting with wisdom in all these situations requires tonnes of patience.
Without patience, some parents resort to physical or verbal abuse which is detrimental for child’s self esteem and affects the parent-child bond. In these situations, patience is the most important virtue to be practised. Regardless of the amount of love a parent have for their child, any parent can reach their wits end.
Humayd ibn Abdur Rahman reported: A man said, “O Messenger of Allah, instruct me.” The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Do not be angry.” The man said, “I thought about what the Prophet said and it occurred to me that anger gives rise to every evil.”Musnad Aḥmad 22660
Humans make the wrong decisions, do the wrong things and say the wrong words when acting in anger. Controlling it saves us from all those wrongs.
You are telling your child one thing but he/she refuses to agree or challenges your opinions. Whhat do you say? Do you scold them for talking back or do you accept that they are a different human being with their own opinions and choices? Do you make an issue because your ego is being challenged or you choose to listen and understand them?
Abu Huraira reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “The strong are not those who defeat people. Rather, the strong are those who defeat their ego.”Mushkil al-Āthār 1426
Mercy is one of the very important virtue to practise because kids will drive you insane by doing one weird thing or the other. It is you who chooses to be kind and understanding to them.
And Ahmad (6255) narrated from ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Amr ibn al-‘Aas from the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) that he said, when he was on the minbar: “Show mercy, and you will be shown mercy; forgive, and Allah will forgive you.” Classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh at-Targheeb (2465).
Express your love to your kids. Prophet pbuh used to kiss kids as well. Prophet equated not kissing or hugging children to not having mercy.
‘A’isha (Allah be pleased with her) reported that there came a few desert Arabs to Allah’s Messenger peace be upon him and said: Do you kiss your children? He peace be upon him said: Yes. Thereupon they said: By Allah but we do not kiss our children. Thereupon Allah’s Messenger peace be upon him said: Then what can I do if Allah has deprived you of mercy? … [Muslim]