Courage and the Child

From Al-Fajr.Net [translated by]

I direct the parents towards a very important matter, which is, in my opinion, very serious, and that is, raising and nurturing (tarbiyyah) the children upon bravery:

Do not let your child watch horror movies, even if it is just a little, because that fear will have terrible consequences on your child, so do not let him see the likes of it ever.

Do not let him watch cartoons, except what benefits him, which is something rare, after making sure that that will help him to be a man tomorrow.

Teach him how to fight and box, even if you are with him on the bed in your room, say to him, “You’re a champion! You defeated your dad!”

Say to him, “This is only play. Real strength is in facing the enemies of Allah face to face.”
Present to him some games that teach him courage, and accompany him to the playground, observe him, and make him have confidence in himself.

If he is scared to ride with you (for example, on the rides at the festivals) and if he sees others riding them, then say to him, “Then why are they so brave?”

Teach him horse-riding, swimming and archery, for these three (sports) are the greatest for the Muslim’s acquisition of courage.

Train your child in gymnastic sports on a small level or on a pillow under your supervision.

Always remind him that we must become strong so that we can defeat the enemies of Allah.

Make him love every Muslim and say to him, “The Muslim loves Allah with immense love, and Allah loves him. The Muslim loves every Muslim whether he is white or black, big or small, male or female – all of them are our brothers. We are glad with what makes them glad and we are upset by what makes them upset. We are pleased when they are victorious for they are from us and we are from them”. And say to your children, “The biggest Muslim is like your father, and the smallest of them is like your brother exactly.”And say to him whatever will make him increase in love for the Muslims – may Allah love you and enter you into Paradise.

Always encourage him to express his opinion. Do not ignore him when he speaks to you. Listen to him with concern.

Always remember that you are on one of the fronts from the frontlines of Islam with your tarbiyyah (nurturing/education) of this child. And remember the wisdom in the saying, “The child is a man in small clothes.”

If Allah has provided you with a boy or a girl, then Allah has given you a tremendous bounty, and this bounty requires constant thankfulness to Him – may Allah make us and you from those who are thankful. This child – if he is brave naturally, then praise Allah for that, and discipline him continuously, teach him goodness and make him love the Muslims. Tell him this anshadah (song/poem) so that he may know some of the meanings of youthfulness and the (Arabic) alphabet, for every line of poetry in this poem begins with a letter from the alphabet:

Uhibbu Musliman… bi`l Haqqi Qaa`iman
(I love the Muslim, in eversteady truth)

Taa`iban ‘Aabidan… Thaa`iran Mujaahidan
(Repenter, worshipper… Revolutionary fighter for God)

Jasooran Muthaabiran… Haleeman wa Saabiran
(Courageous and persevering… Forbearing and patient)

Khaashi`us Salaati… Daafi`uz Zakaati
(Humble in prayer… Giver of charity)

Dhaakiran Katheeran… Raahiman Faqeeran
(Remembers Allah much… Merciful to the poor)

Zakeeyul Lubb… Saleem ul-Qalb
(Pure in spirit… Sound of heart)

Shaakiran Tahooran… Saadiqan Ghayooran
(Thankful and clean… Zealously truthful)

Dhaarib ul-Mathaal… Tayyib ul-Khisaal
(One who sets examples… A good character)

Zhareef ul-Fi’aali… ‘Afeef ul-Maqaali
(Charmingly efficacious… Gentle in his speech)

Ghazeeru ‘Ilmihi… Fattaa ‘Azmihi
(Abundant in his knowledge… Youthful in his resolve)

Qaleel ul-Kalaam… Katheer us-Siyaam
(Speaking a little… Fasting a lot)

Layyin bi laa Dh’afin… Mutee’un Qunoo’un
(Soft-hearted without weakness… Obedient and content)

Naasihan li `l-Ghayri… Haajiran li sh-Sharri
(Advising others… Departs away from evil)

Wa Bushraa li mustami’… Ya’ee fayattabi’
(Glad tidings to he who listens… Understands, then follows)

And also:

Iqra waktub, iqra haya… Inn al-‘Ilma yadhee`ud Dunya
(Read and write, read, come on! Verily knowledge lights up the world)

Iqra waktub, warsim wahsab… Waqtif Zahr al-‘Ilmi nadiya
(Read and write, draw and count… Pick the flower of knowledge while it’s still moist)

Wa ta’lam an tarkabu khayla… Wa ta’lam an tarmee An-Nabla
(Learn to ride a horse… And learn to hurl an arrow)

Khall al-Qalbi shujaa’an Hurran… Yardhee al-Mowta wa ya`bith Thilla
(Leave the heart brave and free… Pleased with death and rejecting disgrace)

Anta khuliqta li asmaa ghaayah… Anta khuliqta li tahmil raayah
(You have been created for a noble purpose… You have been created to uphold the banner)

Anta khuliqta lituhyee noora… Yamla`ul wajh al-ardhi hidaayah
(You have been created to give life to light… Filling the face of the earth with guidance)

Narrate to him the story of the courageous ‘Abdullah Ibn az-Zubair when one day, the Caliph and ruler of the Muslims, ‘Umar Ibn al-Khattab passed by one of the streets of Madinah, and he saw some children playing – they all fled except this boy, so the Caliph drew close to him and said to him, “Why didn’t you flee like the other two boys?” So the boy said, “I didn’t do anything wrong that I should be scared of or run away from, and the road is not narrow for me to widen it for you.” ‘Umar was amazed at the wisdom of this boy, and he was glad that there was a boy such as this one amongst the Muslim children. So say to your child, O you who is raising and educating him, you should love ‘Abdullah Ibn az-Zubair for his bravery.

And narrate to your child stories of the heroes of Islam, in particular, the story of the two youth who killed Abu Jahl, Mu’aadh and Ma’oodh, the sons of ‘Afraa [1].

And like that is the story of the girl who was the daughter of the woman who used to sell milk in the time of the Caliph ‘Umar. She used to cheat by adding water to the milk to increase it and thereby, she would gain a lot.

So the girl said, “O mother, indeed the Caliph has forbidden cheating.” The mother said, “Where is ‘Umar? Verily he cannot see us.” Then the girl said, “If ‘Umar cannot see us, then certainly, the Lord of ‘Umar can see us!” ‘Umar was amazed at the talk of this girl, so he married this righteous girl to one of his sons, ‘Aasim. Later on, she gave birth to Faatimah, the mother of ‘Umar Ibn Abdul-‘Azeez – the fifth rightly-guided Caliph in Islam.

And here, teach him that cheating hurts the transactions with other people, and the Islamic law forbids cheating, so the value of the Islamic teaching will be raised in your child’s mind. And all of the religion is good.

And say to him, ‘Yes, indeed! Teach me goodness – for example, when you hear the adhaan, remind me of salaat.’ So in that way, you teach him to enjoin goodness and forbid evil.

If your child has extreme cowardice and fright, then try the following – and Allah is He whose help is sought:

Make him to acquire trust in himself
Always saying, “I am, by the grace of Allah, strong and brave.”
Praise him when he has done a good action, whatever it is.
Let him do simple actions and praise him for it.
Accompany him to the playground and make him play difficult games, step-by-step, advancing from simple to difficult, and say to him, “You’re a champion! None of the other kids are able to do what you have done!”
Take him swimming, for swimming helps to acquire courage, as we mentioned before.
Play with him yourself, and make it apparent to him that you are being defeated by him.
Ask Allah to make us good raisers of children.

And o my brother! Make your child brave, like what has preceeded, and teach him stories of courage. Narrate to him the story of the courageous hero ‘Alee Ibn Abee Taalib , on the night of the Hijrah, and how he placed himself in danger, challenging the tyrants of Kufr. ‘Alee slept in the place where the Messenger usually slept, so it would be possible for the Messenger to leave for the Hijrah – because he knew that one of the tyrants would be able to kill him by striking or stabbing him (as the Prophet was one of the last to leave for the Hijrah, making him an easy target if they wanted to come and kill him by night, which they tried, but instead of finding the Prophet , they found ‘Alee , so their plan was foiled).

And narrate to your child the story of Luqmaan with his son, and how he taught him Tawheed and observation (of Allah’s creation). Here, I will relate for you my noble brother, the main focuses of the story of Luqmaan, so you can tell it to your son in an easy and relaxed manner:

Luqmaan the Wise used to have a good boy, and he used to teach him something every day. So he said to him, “O my boy…:

1. Allah is the Creator, and He is One. He does not have a second with Him, for He is only One. He does not sleep, rest or tire, and if He wills something He simply says to it ‘Be’ and it is without dispute. So, O my boy, worship Him alone, love Him and He will love you, and fear none besides Him. Do you see, O my boy, how many blessings He has given us without us even asking for it? See for yourself, these two eyes, two ears, two lips and tongue – these were given to us by Allah alone who created the earth and whatever is in it.” Always, my brother raiser and educator, make your son aware of the things in the ocean (and sky), like the fish and the birds and whatever else. And say to him, ‘This is the creation of Allah’, and continue on like that. And say to him, ‘O my boy, say: Laa ilaaha illaa Allaah (None has the right to be worshipped except Allah)’. Soon, by the help of Allah, this topic will be designated for some pages on tarbiyyah of the child upon a strong ‘aqeedah, by the power of Allah.

2. “O my boy, thank Allah for what He has given you, and keep on thanking Him and He will be pleased with you. Do you not see that if somebody gives you something then you thank him? So Allah is the One who gives and grants generously, so He is the first to be thanked and praised. So say, O my child, ‘Al-Hamdulillaah’ (all praise is for Allah), and ‘Ash-Shukrulillaah’ (all thanks are for Allah).”

3. Then Luqmaan the Wise said to his son, “O my boy. Verily your father and mother tire on your account. Your mother, she carried you in her stomach for a long period of nine months, then she gave birth to you under extreme pain and difficulty. Then she breastfed you, cleaned you, cared for you, staying up late at night out of mercy for you because she loves you. And your father was compassionate for you, having sympathy for you, spending on you and loving for you a lot of goodness. Allah had given your father wealth with which he would buy you clothes, food, and whatever you wanted. So O my child, obey them, love them, be generous towards them, and do not eat before them, do not sit before them, and do not enter upon them without permission. Kiss their hands and heads and seek to please them, for in their pleasure is the pleasure of Allah. Do not disobey them except if they request of you one thing, and that is, if they request for you to worship other gods along with Allah, then do not accept it, but be with them in goodness, being magnanimous towards them both with complete generosity.

4. Then he taught his son al-Muraaqabah (observation), and that Allah has full power over him, and that Allah is the Creator of everything in the universe; not a thing escapes from His knowledge – nothing big and not (even) the smallest of the small, for Allah knows whatever is in the heavens and whatever is on the earth, whatever is between them, and whatever is beneath the earth, for He is All-Knowing.

5. Then, indeed Luqmaan loved goodness for his son, so he ordered him with prayer, and he ordered him to do good deeds and to turn the people (also) towards good deeds; and to leave every disgraceful deed, and to order the people to likewise abandon disgraceful acts. And he encouraged him to advise the people to have patience upon that until Allah bestows them with Paradise in the Hereafter, and Allah’s pleasure in this life and the next.

6. And Luqmaan the Wise advised his son, “O my son, do not despise others, but love them; for they are from you and you are from them. And do not feel that you are more superior to them, for only Allah is al-'Adheem (the Exalted). And do not be proud over them, for only Allah is al-Mutakabbir (the Most Proud and Great). And, O my boy, Allah does not like those who have pride in His creation, and He does not like them to be arrogant, for greatness, pride and exaltedness are from Allah’s right , for He is the Owner of these attributes, for He is not in need of anyone, yet all is in need of Him. Yet, mankind does not have those rights, for he is weak and needy of others, while others are in need of him, and this is a deficiency which does not require pride and conceitedness.
7. And Luqmaan followed his son outside of the house, teaching him: “O my boy, walk with serenity, calm and balance, and do not raise your voice, for this annoys the people and Allah does not like it."


[1] Abu Jahl was a staunch enemy of Islam. Abdur-Rahman ibn Awf said concerning his killing: 'I was in the ranks on the day of Badr. I turned and there were two young boys one on my right and the other on my left. I was not too happy about their position. One of them said to me, in a quiet voice that His companion could not hear, "Uncle, show me Abu Jahl." I said, "Nephew, what will you do to him?" He replied, "I have made a covenant with Allah that if I see him, I will kill him or die before him." The other boy then said the same thing to me, also keeping it from his companion.' He added,' I was so happy to be' between two youths like them. I pointed Abu Jahl out to them and they attacked him like two falcons until they struck him down.'

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