Spiritual education is a keystone of how I am raising my sons, and I am always inspired to hear how other parents are working to raise their children along a spiritual path. In the series Parenting and Faith I feature posts from bloggers discussing how their religion or philosophy influences their parenting. I am so pleased to share a post today from Anna of In The Playroom, about what Islam teaches about parenting.
Thanks to Leanna for inviting me to take part in her parenting and faith series. I’ll be sharing some of what Islam teaches about parenting and how we implement this in our day to day family life.
Hi! I’m Anna from In The Playroom where I share simple ideas for kids activities including sensory play and crafts, and Fa firroo ila-allah where I share a inspirational Islamic quotes from quran, hadith and Islamic history. First of all, let me introduce the family. We have 3 boys aged 6, 4 and 3, and then there is me and their dad. I became Muslim at 13 years old, coming from a non practising Catholic family background and their dad, my husband, is from a Sri Lankan Muslim family. We got married at 18 (me) and 19 (him) years old and had the boys a few years later.
I had always wanted to have children, and to focus my energy and time on their upbringing. Islam tells that the effort we put into caring for our families and nurturing our children is an act of worship when we do this with the intention of pleasing Allah (God). Worship is not just praying or reading Quran (although I would not diminish the importance of those acts) but worship can also be teaching our children right from wrong, cooking good food to keep our children healthy and well and letting them know to thank Allah for providing our food and giving us our bodies and our health. Worship can be found in all the little moments of motherhood for a Muslim mum.
Many places in Quran we hear of Prophets hoping and asking Allah for offspring, like the well known verses of Zakariya (peace be upon him) in Surah Maryam, or when Ibrahim (peace be upon him) called out:
رب هب لي من الصالحين
Oh my Lord, grant me a righteous son! (37:100)
The value of children is so priceless, and they are so precious. I’m very grateful to have the opportunity to raise these beautiful and innocent souls.
I’ve never allowed anyone to make me feel belittled in the role of a stay at home mum. I’ve always felt that this is the right choice for our family, and although I now work from home I’m still present all the time if the children need me. My children are still young, but as they grow older there will still be challenges, and they remain in need of guidance throughout each and every stage of their childhood.
Islam has given us guidance on how to bring up children, with many hadiths (sayings of the Prophet peace be upon him) emphasising gentleness towards children. With so many confusing messages in today’s society, I feel it’s so important to give them a strong feeling of belonging within the family. Spending time with family should be fun, we need to build trust and openness with our kids so that they can come to us with their questions and problems. I never want my kids to be scared to come and ask for help and advice from me, or from their dad.
One of my favourite hadiths about gentleness is:
عَلَيْكِ بِالرِّفْقِ فَإِنَّ الرِّفْقَ لَا يَكُونُ فِي شَيْءٍ إِلَّا زَانَهُ وَلَا يُنْزَعُ مِنْ شَيْءٍ إِلَّا شَانَهُ
You must be gentle. Verily, gentleness is not in anything except that it beautifies it, and it is not removed from anything except that it disgraces it.
Source: Musnad Ahmad 24417, Grade: Sahih
This hadith is often cited as a reminder of how we should treat children, and these beautiful words have a lot of value. In fact our youngest son’s name comes from this hadith (Rafiq, which means gentle).
My ultimate aim in raising my children is to raise good, honest and kind individuals who love and respect Allah (God) and who leave a positive impact, whether big or small, on those they meet. I want them to be happy, and I want them to be good people. I’m pretty sure these aims are universal in many parents no matter what the religion or nationality. We are all striving to do the best for our kids, and I take inspiration from so many parents, both Muslim and non Muslim.
Anna is a London-based stay at home mum to three boys. Her blog In The Playroom is a parenting and lifestyle blog, about playing, learning, and life with young children, including special needs. She shares kids crafts and activities which are simple and easy for any parent to do with the supplies you probably already have in your home. Anna’s site Fa firroo ila-allah showcases inspirational Islamic quotes from quran, hadith and Islamic history.