My Yoruba people always talk about the importance of a parent’s prayer in a child’s life. They attribute a child’s success in life to his/her parents’ prayers, and there is always this caution that parents should never curse their child because whatever you say to your child will come to pass.
But thousands of years before the Yorubas became aware of the power of a parent’s prayer, Islam had shown us the importance of praying for our children.
“But when she delivered her, she said, “My Lord, I have delivered a female.” And Allah was most knowing of what she delivered, “And the male is not like the female. And I have named her Mary, and I seek refuge for her in you and [for] her descendants from Satan, the expelled [from the mercy of Allah].” (Quran 3:36)
This was the prayer that the wife of Imran made after she gave birth to Maryam who was the mother of Isa (Jesus).
I have always been fascinated by this story because it is one of those narrations in the Qur’an that shows you the power of prayers. She prayed for her child and her descendants, and she also made her prayer specific by asking for protection from shaytan.
Then this happened…
The Prophet (saw) said: “No child is born but he is pricked by the satan and he begins to weep because of the pricking of the satan except the son of Mary and his mother. Abu Huraira then said: You may recite if you so like (the verse):” I seek Thy protection for her and her offspring against satan the accursed.” (Sahih Muslim)
That prayer was accepted, literally.
In another scenario, I read this article about how Imam Bukhari’s mother prayed tahjud so that Allah (swt) could restore her son’s eyesight. She woke up every night to pray about his eyesight, and after some time, she saw Prophet Ibrahim (as) in a dream and he gave her glad tidings that her prayers have been accepted.
Several nights of waking up every night for a single request for your child, trusting Allah and staying in hope of His mercy.
Days of patiently enduring a trial without losing hope.
Then her son went on to become one of the most respected names in the history of Islam.
What these two women have in common is not only their absolute reliance on Allah (swt) but their dedication as parents. They asked Allah for that which they wanted for their children, and He answered their prayers.
There are a lot of lessons to be learned about these women and their service to Allah (swt), but looking at these two stories, the most important lesson for me is the importance of sincerely and dedicatedly praying for our children.
Image credit: Salam Stock