SeekersHub Toronto continues its Living Religion seminar series with a critical and timely topic: how to raise righteous children.
Below are some key points from this important seminar with Ustadha Shireen Ahmed, Shaykh Faraz Rabbani, and Shaykh Walead Mosaad, and a video playlist of the seminar.
WATCH the seminar now:
Where responsibility lies
“It is your personal obligation as a parent to take reasonable means to raise children who have the capacity and concern to fulfill their religious responsibilities, and to pursue the good of this life,” Shaykh Faraz Rabbani explained.
Results, however, are not in your hands. Though there is a natural correlation between taking the means and seeing the desired results, ultimately it is in the hands of Allah.
Three levels of upbringing
Raising children has three aspects to it: tarbiya (raising or educating), ta’dib (disciplining or instilling adab), and ta’leem (teaching). These follow a logical order, and one must prioritize them accordingly.
1. Tarbiya is taking a thing stage by stage, with care and concern, towards its ultimate good. This is is like your long-term plan for your child.
2. Ta’dib is your ongoing interaction with your child. This is to instill adab in one’s child.
It can be said that all of deen is adab. Adab is not just formalisms – it is having the concern and capacity to act and respond in each circumstance in the right way.
What’s the right way? The way that would be pleasing to Allah Most High.
3. Ta’leem is teaching children religious knowledge. This is important, and can’t be neglected. However, knowledge without adab does not benefit; whereas, if one instills adab in a child, then they will be able to pursue knowledge and benefit themselves.
Some tips and advice
- Sayyidina Ali said, “Instill adab in your children through three matters: love of your Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace), love of the family of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace), and love of recitation of the Qur’an.”
- Stories are very powerful. Without having to preach to them, you can instill virtues in your child through the example of the righteous.
- Protecting your child from bad company is important. Bad company is company that is kept detrimentally.
– Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
It’s very important to look at your own deficiencies – where are you yourself? It’s easy to point the finger at other family members without looking at where Allah Most High is in your life.
The first step is to be avid for beneficial knowledge. As a family, and as a whole, we all need to be seeking knowledge. Every one of us should be committed to a weekly study circle.
This care and concern for knowledge will benefit you – and that example will affect your children. They’ll learn that from you.
You are the child’s first role model
How well do we exemplify the sunna? The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) was the best of examples, and if we cannot reflect that light ourselves, we cannot help our children.
– Ustadha Shireen Ahmed
“When we consider the gravity of raising children, there really is probably no responsibility that is more unnerving and perhaps a cause of greater anxiety for many young parents than the idea of raising another human being, nurturing another human being, and also inculcating for them the ability to address their [the child’s] spiritual needs in a manner that is conducive to their growth in both a physical and spiritual sense”
– Shaykh Walead Mosaad
BONUS: Question and answer session
What’s next in the Living Religion series
Up next in the Living Religion series is a special seminar on how to make the most of your Ramadan.