Our Children are the Future

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A man came to Malik ibn Nabiy asking for advice with his daughter’s education. Malik asked him, ‘How old is she?’ ‘One month,’ he replied. ‘You missed the train,’ he said.

Ibn Nabiy later commented, ‘I thought I was exaggerating, but when I looked closer, I found what I said to be correct. When an infant cries and his mother hastens to offer him her breast, he learns that crying is the means to achieve his goals, and grows up with that conviction. Later on, when his enemies beat him up, he hastens to the UN Security Council for a crying session. He truly thinks that crying will get him his rights back.’

A child is a trust in the hands of his parents. His pure hearts is a precious gem. If he is taught goodness, and gets accustomed to it, he will grow to be happy in this world and in the Hereafter. If he is neglected, and gets accustomed to evil, he will be lost. Ibnul Qayyim said, ‘If you consider the causes of bad behaviour in children, you will in general find that the parents are the main cause.’

Allah ordered the parents to give the proper education to their children, ‘O you who believe! Ward off from yourselves and your families a Fire whose fuel is men and stones, over which are appointed angels stern and severe who disobey not the Commands they receive from Allah, but do that which they are commanded.’ (66:6). Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) said, ‘Allah, Subhaanahu Wata’aala, will ask every shepherd about his flock: Did you safeguard it or did you neglect it? Until the man will be asked about his household.’ (Ibn Habbaan) He, also, said: ‘Any servant of Allah who is trusted with a flock and does not allot it some advice, will not smell the fragrance of Paradise.’ (Agreed Upon)

The importance of education should even be more emphasised in these times when falsehood is so widespread. If the parents do not rescue their children with a strong Islamic education, the children will melt in the pot, and may join the ranks of those who wage war against Allah, His Messenger and the believers.

The Sahaaba (Radhiallaahu Anhu) took this great duty of children education at heart. They harshly reprimanded those who give more attention to the grown ups than to children. Amr ibn al-Aas saw a group of men sitting next to the Ka’abah while they ordered the children to keep away from their gathering. He told them, ‘Do not do that! Let them join you and be near you and give them guidance. They may be young today, but they will be adults tomorrow, as we were children yesterday and adults today.’ Ibn Muflih commented on this saying, ‘This, not doubt, is true. Knowledge in childhood is etched in the mind, therefore, it is important to pay attention to the children, especially the alert, intelligent ones, who show eagerness to acquire knowledge. Their young age, poverty or physical weakness should not be taken as a pretext to prevent them from the proper attention they deserve.’

From: Uluww al-Himmah by Shaykh Muhammad Ismail
Al-Jumu’ah vol.11 issue 7

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