The Islamic Perspective

Below are tips and suggestions on parenting the Islamic perspective that I have gathered from various sources.

Natural Islamic Parenting is many things it can include any and all of the following:

Recognizing the Majesty of the Creator, Allah (swt)

Recognizing pregnancy as an ayah (sign) of Allah's power and creation

Recognizing that Allah has perfectly created women's bodies for childbearing and nursing

Recognizing pregnancy as a natural physical and spiritual phenomena given to women by our Creator

Exploring and utilizing midwifery and homebirth, as a protection of the Muslimah's modesty, and as a recognition that birth is a natural process

Making a commitment to a natural childbirth, free of drugs and invasive procedures, by following the example of Maryam in the Qur'an

Making a firm commitment to Ar Rada' (breastfeeding)

Recognizing that Ar Rada' is Allah's gift to children, and that it is the best way to feed and nurture a young infant

Following the Sunnah of the Prophet in welcoming the newborn child

Circumcising male children in keeping with the characteristics of the fitrah state

Using the "family bed" in order to promote safe infant sleep, nighttime nursing, and bonding between mother, father, and baby

Supporting the right of the Muslim mother to stay at home to nurture and educate her young children

Following the Sunnah of the Prophet in gently disciplining children

Following the Sunnah of the Prophet in playing and joking with our children

Following the Sunnah of the Prophet in showing tenderness and mercy to our children

Making a firm commitment to raising our children in an environment free from the toxic influences in today's culture

Making a commitment to ensure that our children receive the best education we can give them, without compromising their modesty and innocence by putting them in un Islamic environments

Supporting Islamic schools and Islamic homeschooling

Making a commitment to our children's health by restricting junk food and sweets, and by promoting exercise

Teaching our children to pray by the age of seven

Giving our children the gift of Tajweed al Qur'an

Making informed decisions about childhood vaccinations looking at both sides of the argument

Separating older boys and girls from one another so that they can remain in a state of haya' (modesty, shyness) as commanded by Allah and His Messenger

Teaching our children about the sanctity of marriage and marital relations by striving to be an upright and moral Muslim

Encouraging young girls to be aware of their modesty and also to wear the hijab and cover their adornments

Encouraging young men to grow the beard and guard their modesty

Recognizing that children are an Amana (trust) from Allah born in a state of complete fitra, and that it is our duty, as Muslim adults, to protect, nurture, and educate them so that they can grow up as strong Muslim men and women.

Children in the Masjid

Nowadays, it is unfortunate that in many Masjids both brothers and sisters are annoyed at the presence of children. A cry from a baby or a roaming toddler can sometimes insight a rude comment. As always, our best example is the Prophet. These hadith illustrate the prophet (saws) attitude at the presence of children in the Masjid.

The Messenger of Allah came out to us for one of the two later prayers (dhuhr or asr), carrying Hasan or Hussein. The Prophet then came to the front and put him down (next to his right foot) said takbir for the prayer and commenced praying. During the prayer, he performed a very long prostration, so I raised my head and there was the child, on the back of the Messenger of Allah, who was in prostration. I then returned to my prostration. When the Messenger of Allah had offered the prayer, the people said: 'O Messenger of Allah! in the middle of your prayer, you performed prostration and lengthened it so much that we thought either something had happened or that you were receiving revelation!' He said: 'neither was the case. Actually, my son made me his mount, and I did not want to hurry him until he had satisfied his wish.'" (Reported by Nasaa'i, Ibn Asakita, and Haakim)

"He (the Prophet) was praying. When he performed sajdah, Hasan and Hussein jumped onto his back. When the people tried to stop them, he gestured them to leave the two alone. After offering his prayer, he placed them in his lap and said, 'Whoever loves me should love these two.'" (Reported by Ibn Khuzaimah and Baihaqi)

"The Messenger of Allah was praying and he was carrying Umama the daughter of Zainab, the daughter of the Messenger of Allah, and she was the daughter of 'As ibn Rabi'a ibn Abdu-Shams. When he prostrated, he put her down, and when he stood, he carried her (on his neck)." (Reported by Bukhari and Muslim)

"The Prophet said: 'When I stand for prayer, I intend to prolong it, but on hearing the cries of a child, I cut it short, as I dislike to trouble the child's mother.'" (Reported by Bukhari)

Advice from Luqman to his son Surah Luqman verse 12-19

12. And indeed We bestowed upon Luqman Al-Hikmah (wisdom and religious understanding, etc.) saying: "Give thanks to Allah," and whoever gives thanks, he gives thanks for (the good of) his own self. And whoever is unthankful, then verily, Allah is All-Rich (Free of all wants), Worthy of all praise.

13. And (remember) when Luqman said to his son when he was advising him: "O my son! Join not in worship others with Allah. Verily! Joining others in worship with Allah is a great Zulm (wrong) indeed.

14. And We have enjoined on man (to be dutiful and good) to his parents. His mother bore him in weakness and hardship upon weakness and hardship, and his weaning is in two years – give thanks to Me and to your parents, - unto Me is the final destination.2

15. But if they (both) strive with you to make you join in worship with Me others that of which you have no knowledge, then obey them not, but behave with them in the world kindly, and follow the path of him who turns to Me in repentance and obedience. Then to Me will be your return, and I shall tell you what you used to do.

16. "O my son! If it be (anything) equal to the weight of a grain of mustard seed , and though it be in a rock, or in the heavens or in the earth, Allah will bring it forth. Verily, Allah is Subtle (in bringing out that grain), Well Aware (of its place).

17. "O my son! Aqim-is-Salat (offer prayer perfectly), enjoin (people) for Al-Ma’ruf – (Islamic Monotheism and all that is good), and forbid (people) from Al-Munkar (i.e disbelief in the Oneness of Allah, polytheism of all kinds and all that is evil and bad), and bear with patience whatever befalls you. Verily! These are some of the important commandments ordered by Allah with no exemption.

18. "And turn not your face away from men with pride, nor walk in insolence through the earth. Verily, Allah likes not each arrogant boaster.

19. "And be moderate (or show no insolence) in your walking, and lower your voice. Verily, the harshest of all voices is the voice (braying) of the ass."

Some Commentary On These Verses From Tafseer Ibn Katheer

*About Luqman there are different interpretation about him. He was most likely a righteous man of African descent and was a distinguished man among his people. There were three probabilities of where he came from. He was either from the area of Ethophia (Habshah), Nuba (south of Egypt) or Sudan. He was believed to live during the time of Prophet Dawuud

*Verse 13 informed us to obey and worship Allah and not to associate anything with Him. Shirk or making partner with Allah is a great transgression.

*From verse 14 Allah make it a significant obligation to take good care of our parents which come right after the order of worshipping Him and not making Shirk.

(Children need to be reminded of how hard it is for the parents especially the mother to take care of them, especially when they were small and helpless)

*From verse 15, we need to treat the children with kindness while asking them to treat us with kindness. We ourselves have to show kindness to our parents at all times even if they asked you to disobey Allah’s order.

*From verse 16, we need to emphasize to the children that even small deeds, good or bad will receive its reward or punishment and all will be brought out by Allah (SWT) on the Day of Judgment. This will encourage them to pay extra attention to and be more careful of the consequences of their behavior.

*Verse 17. Lessons here include encouraging children to make salah on time. Keeping in mind that we, the parents are PRIME examples. Making the salah according to what is prescribed by the Prophet. Encouraging them to do good and forbid evil to the best of their ability and be patient while doing this because not everybody will respond positively to them and some people may make fun of them instead, so it is best to remind them of this often.

*Verse 18. Encourage them to have good manners. To be gentle, helpful, and to treat people with respect. Be humble and avoid arrogance.

*Verse 19. Teach them not to walk with pride, not to walk too fast or too slow and do not raise their voices unless it is necessary.

General tips from Um Walid to other Moms on managing a Muslim household

**When prayer time comes drop what you are doing and pray. Many of us will think "as soon as I finish the dishes........" or " soon as I finish this load of laundry...". There is no blessing in doing anything if it keeps you away from your obligation to Allah. DROP EVERYTHING and do your salat!

**Take care of your own needs. How many of us spend our days taking care of everyone in our families and forgetting to take care of ourselves? Did you ever skip out on eating to finish the vacuuming or get up to do the dishes when you should have taken a much-needed nap? When you are hungry.... eat. When you are tired...sleep. You will be able to cope with everything in the house much better if you are fed and rested. If you are hungry and exhausted you are going to be grouchy and ill tempered and probably not able to accomplish much anyway.

**Beautify yourself. Keep yourself fit. Drink lots of water. Take care of your hair and skin. Don't stop doing cartwheels and climbing trees. Having a good self-esteem can go a long way in having a healthy state of mind.

** Clear your mind. Avoid the TV. Avoid gossipy phone chitchat. Keep yourself preoccupied with matters of the religion and the matters of the ummah. Don't ever feel satisfied with yourself that making dua' is enough. There is jihad going on. Women, babies, and the innocent are being slaughtered. If you are a Muslim then THIS IS YOUR PROBLEM (not what is going to happen tomorrow on Days of Our Lives).

** Control your temper. Don't scream at your children. Take deep, DEEP breaths. Seek refuge from shaytan. DO NOT SCREAM. If you scream you may get an adrenaline rush. This will make your head hurt and sap your energy. Your throat will be sore and you are going to feel really guilty afterwards. It will not solve anything, although I do acknowledge it does one good to vent pent up frustration once in a while or to show your outrage when your child has done something REALLY outrageous!

Now that you are fed, rested, beautiful, calm and making salat on time, enlist the help of your family members.

**Let your husband help you. So I have heard that a lot of "Muslim" husbands don't do housework or help with babies as this is "women's work". I assume that this is not the norm, since the prophet (saws) himself was known to cook and sew. Every husband brings his contribution to his family. Whatever it is, no matter how small let him know that you appreciate it and pray for him.

**Raise responsible children. Even toddlers and preschoolers and give you a hand in the housework. My 5-year-old and 3.5-year-old know how to load and unload the washer. After their bath I throw them a floor towel and they mop up any splashes themselves as well as pick up their bath toys. It's their job to pick up the toys in the house (although I admit that I have trouble with this with my 2-year-old and 3.5-year-old and my 5-year-old gets stuck picking up after everybody). Some mothers think that it is too much of a hassle to teach them and it is just easier and faster if they do it themselves. It is a hassle in the beginning, but once they learn the system it's a HUGE help. Even little things, like knowing how to pour their own juice, has been a tremendous help for me.

Okay, so what about the house?

**Simplify your home! A sister once said to me words that ring in my ear til' today: " When my house is a mess, my mind is a mess." Isn't that so true! Clear out the clutter. Get rid of all that stuff that is getting on your nerves. It is so much easier to clean up when you don't have that much stuff to clean up anyway. Don't save anything in case SOMEDAY you might need it. There is probably a Muslim somewhere who could use it TODAY.

**Create a homeschool-functional house. There is a sister I know who homeschools who put charts and visuals up throughout her house. She does not care how funny it might look to guests. I cleared the knick-knacks from my corner shelf and filled it with the globe, books, and puzzles. I got rid of a loveseat to make room in the living room for a table that is serving as our workstation. Create a home that will serve your family not impress your guests!

When all else fails and your having a rotten day........

**Improve the atmosphere. Open a window, burn some incense, play some Qur'an recitation or nasheed.

** Get assistance from multimedia. Keep a library of educational CD's and Videos. I regularly check out National Geographic and others from my local library. Play them a video or put on a CD and feel good that they are learning something, not just wasting time.

Children's Character

Many people are concerned about their children's unstable characters and the effects of luxury on their personalities. How can we introduce strength and honor into our children's characters?


Praise be to Allah. The issue referred to in the questions is one of the most serious problems in raising children nowadays. Some of the Islamic solutions to this problems and ways of instilling strength and honour in our children's character are listed below:

Takniyyah (using the kunya or patronymic? in addressing children). Calling a young boy 'Abu Fulan' (Father of so and so) or a young girl 'Um Fulan" (Mother of so and so) will make the child feel more responsible and grown up, so he will become more mature and will feel above normal childishness.

Taking them to gatherings and letting them sit with grown-ups. This will increase their understanding and wisdom, make them try to imitate adults, as well as keeping them form spending to much time on games and entertainment.

Talking to them about the heroic deeds of earlier and subsequent generations, Islamic battles and victories. This will encourage them to be brave which is one of the most important parts of being strong and honourable.

Teaching them good manners for example as narrated by Abu Hurairah from the Prophet (pbuh) said: "The young should greet the old, the passerby should greet one who is sitting and the small group should greet the larger group" (Al Bukhari)

Giving them the praise and respect they deserve in fronts of others as shown in the following hadith. Sahl ibn Sa'd said that the Prophet (pbuh) was brought a cup and he drank from it. There was a boy the youngest of the people, on his right ad some elders on his left. He said, "O young boy, will you allow me to give this to the elders?". The boy said, "I will not give away my share of your blessings to anyone, O Messenger of Allah. So he gave the cup to him. (Bukhari)

Teaching them manly sports. Such as archery, swimming and riding horse.

Avoid humiliating them especially in front of others.

Never belittling their ideas and encouraging them to take part.

Consulting them and asking for their opinions. Giving them responsibilities in accordance to their age and abilities.

Teaching them to be brave as appropriate - including how to speak in public.

Making sure their clothes are modest and protecting them from inappropriate clothing, hairstyles, movements and ways of walking.

Making sure that boys do not wear silk, as this is only for woman.

Avoiding extravagance, luxury, laziness and idleness.

Avoiding entertainment or pastime gathering, singing, music and other wastes of time because these go against strength, honour and seriousness.

These are some of the ways and means, which will increase strength and honor and protect our children.

Allah is the One Who guides to the Straight Path.

Dealing With Slowness In Children

This behaviour can be divided into 2 categories: deliberate and unintentional. Unintentional slowness often occurs in younger children because of their inability to understand the concept and value of time as do adults. Parents can play racing game to help speed things up, set up realistic expectation according to the child's age, break down the tasks in easy and manageable segments. Parents can also plan for additional time for the child to complete the task. Deliberate slowness often occurs in older children as a form of indirect avoidance in doing the task. A solution for this is for parents to reward the child for completing the task in a prescribed period of time.

Al-Jumuah vol.11 issue 7

Encouraging Children To Pray

Abdullah ibn Amr ibn al-Asr, narrated that the Apostle of Allah said, "Command your children to make salah when they become seven years old, and spank them for it (salah) when they become ten years old, and arrange their beds (to sleep) separately. " (Abu Dawud)

-Informal teaching should start when child starts to show interest usually occurs around the age of two.

-Let them pretend to make salah.

-Invite them to pray along side and join the family jemaah prayer.

-The next step is to learn al-Fatihah which should begin around the age of three or four. Break down the instructions by using reasonable number of verses or small segments.

-The practice session should only last between 5 to 15 minutes. At this age consistency is more important than length of practice.

-Important to remember that not all children are ready at the same time and that not everyday will the child be ready to learn new materials.

-Educational products can assist parents in achieving success with their children because children generally learn in different ways therefore introduction of material through different format (video, coloring book, going to the masjid) will help ease and reinforce the learning process.

-One of the most important thing that a parent should do is to praise the child for each accomplished task and encouragement to achieve more success.

Al Jumuah Vol 11 Issue 5/6

Turn Off The Television

Explore the great outdoors.

Encourage reading and acquiring Islamic knowledge.

Enrol in classes.

Get to know your family better.

Visits library, zoo and museum.

Television is one of the biggest negative influences on our children and is responsible for desensitising their minds about the environment they live in…TURN IT OFF !!!!!!!

Al-Jumuah Vol. 11 Issue 4

Being Fair and Just with Our Children

The Messenger of Allah also said: "Treat your child equally, treat your child equally, treat your child equally." (Ahmad, Abu Dawud, Ibn Hibban)

Al-Nu'man ibn Bashir said: "My father conferred upon me a slave as a gift. He took me to Allah Messenger (saw), to get a witness. The Messenger of Allah said, 'Have you given a gift to every son of yours such as you have awarded Al-Nu'man?' He my father said, 'No.' The Messenger of Allah said, 'Be mindful of your obligation to Allah and do justice in respect of your children.' My father came back and revoked his gift." (Agreed upon)

Usama bin Zaid (ra) narrated: Allah Messenger (saw) used to put me on (one of) his thighs and Hasan bin Ali on his other thigh, and then embraced us and said: "O Allah! Please be Merciful to them, as I am merciful to them." (Bukhari)

Al-Jumuah Vol. 11 Issue 9

Suggestions to minimize the negative aspects of sibling conflict

Show affection with younger children. Especially after arrival of a new baby.

Acknowledge child's feelings of jealousy and frustration.

Design a reward program for cooperative behaviour between arguing children.

Avoid comparing children especially if they are at different developmental levels.

Treat them fairly and be careful not to show favouritism.

Lastly remember that fighting between siblings is normal. If handled correctly can be a learning opportunity for the children.

Al-Jumuah Vol. 11 Issue 8

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