At the start of the year, like millions of other people, I took some time to reflect on what I want the New Year to be like. For me, and for probably many people reading this, New Year’s reflection is usually more focused towards spiritual, personal, educational and financial improvements not necessarily things like Islamic parenting goals.
But I realised that as important as all of the other life goals are, so also is it important to have a roadmap of your parenting, as well as your vision of the type of child(ren) you want to raise.
For someone who wants to deliberately raise kids in the light of the Sunnah, winging it or going with the flow cannot be our mainstream approach to parenting.
There has to be a deliberate plan that takes us from A to B, and ultimately if Allah wills, to raising the type of kids that we desire.
I have centred this roadmap around the three most important aspects of parenting in Islam, and I sincerely hope that it helps you get a clear picture of what you are trying to achieve.
Tahlim (Religious education)
I think that as far as raising children in Islam goes, religious education is the most popular. One way or the other, we have come to understand the importance of teaching our children how to read the Qur’an, at the very least.
But we should take this a step further and in setting our parenting goals, ask ourselves these questions:
- What is my vision for my child’s Islamic education? Apart from learning to read the Qur’an, what other knowledge do I want him/her to have? This could be in terms of memorising hadith, fiqh, knowledge of the seerah, speaking Arabic, etc. It is not enough to read the Qur’an, knowledge of every other aspect of the religion makes us better Muslims.
- How do I achieve this vision for my child? What resources do I need, or what steps do I need to take?
I like to think that tahdib is all-encompassing of everything that a person is. It encompasses akhlaaq (manners) and adhab (discipline). Who we are is defined by the type of manners and discipline that we have.
A person can be a hafidh (someone who has memorised the Qur’an) and is able to quote all the hadiths compiled by Imam Bukhari by heart.
But except they are able to do things the right way, except their soul and character reflects the teachings of Islam as much as humanly possible, we cannot say that the knowledge of the Qur’an has benefitted them.
So ask yourself:
- What type of discipline is best for my child?
- What manners do I want to instil in them?
- How do I guide him/her towards acquiring such manners and discipline?
Tarbiyyah (religious upbringing)
We can say that this is the whole point of having a vision for your child because people of knowledge have defined tarbiyyah as relating to the vision that you have for the upbringing of your children. It is the process that you go through in achieving those parenting goals that you have built for them.
So you want to ask yourself: How do I want my child to be? And how do I take them there?
This second question is as much for the children as it is for the parents because you will find that a lot of self-analysis will happen.
Every single choice that we make daily as regards parenting, contributes to the tarbiyyah of a child.
Parenting in itself is a lifelong endeavour, and for people who already have children, we know that this is a responsibility that has to be approached deliberately.
This is why it is important that our vision for raising our children in the light of the Qur’an and Sunnah should be deliberately reflected upon and drawn out so that we can know where we are headed.
What do you think about making goals that have to do with Islamic parenting? Share with us in the comments