بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ
Parents raise their kids in the best possible way they can manage given the resources they have. They transfer their values to their children as well, the values which were instilled in them by their own parents, their society and their culture. They like to transfer the same to their kids. They want their children to follow things which they believe are right and good. Also, there are certain things which the parents themselves are not doing, however, they want their children to do so. They keep on instructing their kids about them. The children in this case are able to see the difference in the words and actions of their parents. When the kids grow up they point out to their parents these differences and some have altercations with their parents as well.
Al-Quran’s guide lines in dealing with the parents is that in whatever means parents were able to raise the kids, kids are not to blame parents for their shortcomings. In matters of guidance parents are not responsible for their children’s actions and vice versa. We will see the Ayahs of Quran for these guidelines as below:
Parents are instructed not to forget Allah and His orders while raising kids. Parents should not be overwhelmed in the love of their offspring to the extent as to ignore the orders of Allah in this regard.
63:9 يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا لَا تُلْهِكُمْ أَمْوَالُكُمْ وَلَا أَوْلَادُكُمْ عَن ذِكْرِ اللَّهِ ۚ وَمَن يَفْعَلْ ذَٰلِكَ فَأُولَٰئِكَ هُمُ الْخَاسِرُونَ
O you people who believe! Let not your wealth nor your offspring divert you from the remembrance of Allah. If any does that, they are from the losers.
If we are blessed with wealth and offspring in the world, it is not because we have some special favors bestowed on us by the Lord. The only thing which can bring us closer to our Lord in stature, is our belief in Him and the corrections we strive to do in our actions.
34:37 وَمَا أَمْوَالُكُمْ وَلَا أَوْلَادُكُم بِالَّتِي تُقَرِّبُكُمْ عِندَنَا زُلْفَىٰ إِلَّا مَنْ آمَنَ وَعَمِلَ صَالِحًا فَأُولَٰئِكَ لَهُمْ جَزَاءُ الضِّعْفِ بِمَا عَمِلُوا وَهُمْ فِي الْغُرُفَاتِ آمِنُونَ
It is not your wealth nor your offspring that will bring you nearer to Us: but only those who believe and work righteousness; these are the ones for whom there is double reward for their deeds, and they will be in peace in rooms/chambers.
The Satan catches us in our weak moments i.e when we are in an emotionally vulnerable condition. Most of us have great emotional attachment with our children, Ayat 17:64 warns us that this love would be used by Satan in deluding from the path of the Lord ( وَشَارِكْهُمْ فِي الْأَمْوَالِ وَالْأَوْلَادِ وَعِدْهُمْ ۚ وَمَا يَعِدُهُمُ الشَّيْطَانُ إِلَّا غُرُورًا ). Therefore we should not close our eyes to Allah’s commands while doing justice and giving truthful witness while dealing with our children and other people (4:135).
8:28 وَاعْلَمُوا أَنَّمَا أَمْوَالُكُمْ وَأَوْلَادُكُمْ فِتْنَةٌ وَأَنَّ اللَّهَ عِندَهُ أَجْرٌ عَظِيمٌ
And know that your wealth and your children are but a temptation and with Allah is a great reward.
Allah says that the majority of the people in world are not the thankful ones and not on the right path. The majority of these people try to make sure that their kids follow the same ideology and belief system which they are following thus contributing to the vicious cycle of deviation from the right path. Imposing one’s ideology in the guise of Din/judgment on one’s children is tantamount to the psychological killing of the children and destroying them.
6:137 وَكَذَٰلِكَ زَيَّنَ لِكَثِيرٍ مِّنَ الْمُشْرِكِينَ قَتْلَ أَوْلَادِهِمْ شُرَكَاؤُهُمْ لِيُرْدُوهُمْ وَلِيَلْبِسُوا عَلَيْهِمْ دِينَهُمْ ۖ وَلَوْ شَاءَ اللَّهُ مَا فَعَلُوهُ ۖ فَذَرْهُمْ وَمَا يَفْتَرُونَ
Likewise for many of the associtors, their partners (in Allah, who give orders besides Allah’s orders) have made alluring, the killing of their children, to destroy them and to clothe this order with Din/judgment. If Allah had willed they would have not done so; so leave them alone and their inventions.
There is a physical aspect also of this killing. The mushrikeen/associators are those who follow Allah’s orders and also the orders of others (6:137). The partners/Shuraka are those who make sharia for them (42:21). These Shuraka’s have ordered them to wage war and do violence on earth and they have termed these orders as Din/Judgment and make it appear as Holy war and made dying for this cause as alluring to people.
2:133 أَمْ كُنتُمْ شُهَدَاءَ إِذْ حَضَرَ يَعْقُوبَ الْمَوْتُ إِذْ قَالَ لِبَنِيهِ مَا تَعْبُدُونَ مِن بَعْدِي قَالُوا نَعْبُدُ إِلَٰهَكَ وَإِلَٰهَ آبَائِكَ إِبْرَاهِيمَ وَإِسْمَاعِيلَ وَإِسْحَاقَ إِلَٰهًا وَاحِدًا وَنَحْنُ لَهُ مُسْلِمُونَ
Were you witness when death appeared before Yaqoob/Jacob? Behold, he said to his sons. “What will you serve after me?” They said. “We shall serve your God and the God of your fathers, of Ibraheem, Isma’il and Ishaq,- the one (True) God. To Him we are muslim/submitters.”
The injunction of a parent to his offspring is to serve one God, the same God to all the prophets. This God has sent a Book to be followed by mankind. So the injunction is to follow that one God and not the sectarian teachings.
Ayat 3:14 informs us that it is in built in human beings the love of sons and women, and worldly possessions (زُيِّنَ لِلنَّاسِ حُبُّ الشَّهَوَاتِ مِنَ النِّسَاءِ وَالْبَنِينَ ).
16:58-59 وَإِذَا بُشِّرَ أَحَدُهُم بِالْأُنثَىٰ ظَلَّ وَجْهُهُ مُسْوَدًّا وَهُوَ كَظِيمٌ يَتَوَارَىٰ مِنَ الْقَوْمِ مِن سُوءِ مَا بُشِّرَ بِهِ ۚ أَيُمْسِكُهُ عَلَىٰ هُونٍ أَمْ يَدُسُّهُ فِي التُّرَابِ ۗ أَلَا سَاءَ مَا يَحْكُمُونَ
When news is brought to one of them, of a female (child), his face darkens, and he is filled with inward grief! With shame does he hide himself from his people, because of the bad news he has had! Shall he retain it on (suffering and) contempt, or bury it in the dust? Ah! what an evil (choice) they decide on?
Although the sons are made to look good in the eyes of the people, the bad attitude of people in the event of birth of a daughter is a bad judgment on their part, as per above Ayat.
81:8-9 وَإِذَا الْمَوْءُودَةُ سُئِلَتْ بِأَيِّ ذَنبٍ قُتِلَتْ
When the female (infant), is questioned, for what crime she was killed?
In some countries if people know the sex of the fetus they strive to abort it in case of a female child. There definitely will be accountability for that heinous crime as it is killing of a human life.
17:31 وَلَا تَقْتُلُوا أَوْلَادَكُمْ خَشْيَةَ إِمْلَاقٍ ۖ نَّحْنُ نَرْزُقُهُمْ وَإِيَّاكُمْ ۚ إِنَّ قَتْلَهُمْ كَانَ خِطْئًا كَبِيرًا
Do not kill your children for fear of poverty. We (Allah) provides sustenance to them as well as for you. Verily the killing of them is a great sin.
Aborting a new life/fetus for the fear of worldly loss or poverty, is a great sin. Sustenance/Rizq of all living beings is on Allah.
64:14 يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا إِنَّ مِنْ أَزْوَاجِكُمْ وَأَوْلَادِكُمْ عَدُوًّا لَّكُمْ فَاحْذَرُوهُمْ ۚ وَإِن تَعْفُوا وَتَصْفَحُوا وَتَغْفِرُوا فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ
O’ you people who believe, surely amongst your pairs / wives and your children, are enemies for you, so be cautious of them and if you pardon and shake hands and forgive them surely Allah is all forgiving, all merciful.
In some cases the offspring of a man can become enemy (in belief). This enmity mentioned in Quran is in matters of belief only, see Ayat 60:4 (قَدْ كَانَتْ لَكُمْ أُسْوَةٌ حَسَنَةٌ فِي إِبْرَاهِيمَ وَالَّذِينَ مَعَهُ إِذْ قَالُوا لِقَوْمِهِمْ إِنَّا بُرَآءُ مِنكُمْ وَمِمَّا تَعْبُدُونَ مِن دُونِ اللَّهِ كَفَرْنَا بِكُمْ وَبَدَا بَيْنَنَا وَبَيْنَكُمُ الْعَدَاوَةُ وَالْبَغْضَاءُ أَبَدًا حَتَّىٰ تُؤْمِنُوا بِاللَّهِ وَحْدَهُ ). In case this happens to a believing person, the four steps mentioned in this Ayat to be followed i.e to be cautious with them, to forgive, to shake hands and bear with them. The original enemy of man is the Satan. The term enemy is used here as Satan can harm a man by overpowering a member of his family, and since every one is emotionally attached to the family, therefore the believer may be liable to fall in the emotionally vulnerable trap of comprising on his belief in certain aspects related to family.
The practice of the wise man Luqman, is stated in Quran stating what advice one should impart on one’s offspring. The important points are given below:
31:17-9 يَا بُنَيَّ أَقِمِ الصَّلَاةَ وَأْمُرْ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ وَانْهَ عَنِ الْمُنكَرِ وَاصْبِرْ عَلَىٰ مَا أَصَابَكَ ۖ إِنَّ ذَٰلِكَ مِنْ عَزْمِ الْأُمُورِ وَلَا تُصَعِّرْ خَدَّكَ لِلنَّاسِ وَلَا تَمْشِ فِي الْأَرْضِ مَرَحًا ۖ إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَا يُحِبُّ كُلَّ مُخْتَالٍ فَخُورٍ وَاقْصِدْ فِي مَشْيِكَ وَاغْضُضْ مِن صَوْتِكَ ۚ إِنَّ أَنكَرَ الْأَصْوَاتِ لَصَوْتُ الْحَمِيرِ
“O my son! establish As-Salat/the prayer, enjoin what is just, and forbid what is wrong, and bear with patience whatever befalls on you; for this is firmness (of purpose) in (the conduct of) affairs. And do not swell your cheeks (with pride) for people, and do not walk on earth with pride; for Allah does not love any arrogant boaster. And be moderate in your pace, and lower your voice; for the harshest of sounds is the braying of the donkey.”
One should advise the children about establishing Salat, to be patient and humble, speak gently to people, and to enjoin the right things and forbid wrong acts.
37:102 فَلَمَّا بَلَغَ مَعَهُ السَّعْيَ قَالَ يَا بُنَيَّ إِنِّي أَرَىٰ فِي الْمَنَامِ أَنِّي أَذْبَحُكَ فَانظُرْ مَاذَا تَرَىٰ ۚ قَالَ يَا أَبَتِ افْعَلْ مَا تُؤْمَرُ ۖ سَتَجِدُنِي إِن شَاءَ اللَّهُ مِنَ الصَّابِرِينَ
So, when he (Ismaeel) reached (the age of) work with him, he said O my son! Surely I saw in the sleep, that I am sacrificing you, so view it, what you see?, He said: O my father! Do, as you are ordered. If Allah Wills, you will find me from those who have patience.
The dreams are not exactly as they appear, but they have a certain explanation. Also, please note Ibrahim’s practice/sunnat with regards to conduct with children. He did not force anything on his son, instead he delivered the message to his son and asked about his opinion and decision.
11:46 قَالَ يَا نُوحُ إِنَّهُ لَيْسَ مِنْ أَهْلِكَ ۖ إِنَّهُ عَمَلٌ غَيْرُ صَالِحٍ ۖ فَلَا تَسْأَلْنِ مَا لَيْسَ لَكَ بِهِ عِلْمٌ ۖ إِنِّي أَعِظُكَ أَن تَكُونَ مِنَ الْجَاهِلِينَ
He (Allah) said. “O Nooh! He is not of your family, for his conduct is unrighteous. So don’t ask from Me, of which you have no knowledge! I advise you, lest you become of the ignorant ones!”
Families of righteous people don’t automatically become guided. Matters of conduct and guidance are on individual basis.
25:74 وَالَّذِينَ يَقُولُونَ رَبَّنَا هَبْ لَنَا مِنْ أَزْوَاجِنَا وَذُرِّيَّاتِنَا قُرَّةَ أَعْيُنٍ وَاجْعَلْنَا لِلْمُتَّقِينَ إِمَامًا
And those who say, “O’ our Lord, grant for us the cooling of eyes from our pairs and our offspring and make us an Imam / Leader for those who guard.”
The above prayer is taught by Allah to the believers to ask guidance and cooling of their eyes from their families.
Children are enjoined to be kind in their conduct with the parents. When the parents reach old age, kids are not allowed to insult them or be disdainful with them. If parents err due to old age, the children are ordered to address them with very kind words.
17:23 وَقَضَىٰ رَبُّكَ أَلَّا تَعْبُدُوا إِلَّا إِيَّاهُ وَبِالْوَالِدَيْنِ إِحْسَانًا ۚ إِمَّا يَبْلُغَنَّ عِندَكَ الْكِبَرَ أَحَدُهُمَا أَوْ كِلَاهُمَا فَلَا تَقُل لَّهُمَا أُفٍّ وَلَا تَنْهَرْهُمَا وَقُل لَّهُمَا قَوْلًا كَرِيمًا
Your Lord has decreed that you serve none but Him, and that you be kind to parents. Whether one or both of them attain old age in your life, say not to them a word of contempt, nor repel them, but address them in terms of honor.
In matters of justice and witness, only truthful and unbiased witness to be given.
4:135 يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا كُونُوا قَوَّامِينَ بِالْقِسْطِ شُهَدَاءَ لِلَّهِ وَلَوْ عَلَىٰ أَنفُسِكُمْ أَوِ الْوَالِدَيْنِ وَالْأَقْرَبِينَ ۚ إِن يَكُنْ غَنِيًّا أَوْ فَقِيرًا فَاللَّهُ أَوْلَىٰ بِهِمَا ۖ فَلَا تَتَّبِعُوا الْهَوَىٰ أَن تَعْدِلُوا ۚ وَإِن تَلْوُوا أَوْ تُعْرِضُوا فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ كَانَ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ خَبِيرًا
O you people who believe! Be the ones who stand out firmly for justice, as witnesses for Allah, even if this (witness) is against yourselves, or your parents, or your kin, and if they (concerned parties) are rich or poor; Allah is more (a benefactor for them than you).Thus do not follow the desire (of your hearts), so that you (try to) do justice, verily Allah is well-acquainted with all that you do.
In matters of belief, if the parents strive to impart association of other partners with Allah on their kids, they are not be followed in this matter, however children are still ordered to accompany them in the world in the best possible way.
31:15 وَإِن جَاهَدَاكَ عَلَىٰ أَن تُشْرِكَ بِي مَا لَيْسَ لَكَ بِهِ عِلْمٌ فَلَا تُطِعْهُمَا ۖ وَصَاحِبْهُمَا فِي الدُّنْيَا مَعْرُوفًا ۖ وَاتَّبِعْ سَبِيلَ مَنْ أَنَابَ إِلَيَّ ۚ ثُمَّ إِلَيَّ مَرْجِعُكُمْ فَأُنَبِّئُكُم بِمَا كُنتُمْ تَعْمَلُونَ
“But if they (parents) strive to make you to associate with Me, things of which you have no knowledge, then don’t obey them; yet bear them company in this World in a good known way, and follow the way of him who turns to me. In the end the return of you all is to Me, and I will tell you what you used to do.”
9:23 يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا لَا تَتَّخِذُوا آبَاءَكُمْ وَإِخْوَانَكُمْ أَوْلِيَاءَ إِنِ اسْتَحَبُّوا الْكُفْرَ عَلَى الْإِيمَانِ ۚ وَمَن يَتَوَلَّهُم مِّنكُمْ فَأُولَٰئِكَ هُمُ الظَّالِمُونَ
O’ you who believe do not take your fathers and you brothers as protectors if they seek to love rejection over belief (i.e. Islam/Peace). And whosoever from you take them as protectors then they are the oppressors.
All the relationships in the world should be below Allah and Messengers and striving in the way of Allah. If the relationships get priority over Allah and Messenger’s orders then there is a problem and Allah shall not guide those people who will do that.
9:24 قُلْ إِن كَانَ آبَاؤُكُمْ وَأَبْنَاؤُكُمْ وَإِخْوَانُكُمْ وَأَزْوَاجُكُمْ وَعَشِيرَتُكُمْ وَأَمْوَالٌ اقْتَرَفْتُمُوهَا وَتِجَارَةٌ تَخْشَوْنَ كَسَادَهَا وَمَسَاكِنُ تَرْضَوْنَهَا أَحَبَّ إِلَيْكُم مِّنَ اللَّهِ وَرَسُولِهِ وَجِهَادٍ فِي سَبِيلِهِ فَتَرَبَّصُوا حَتَّىٰ يَأْتِيَ اللَّهُ بِأَمْرِهِ ۗ وَاللَّهُ لَا يَهْدِي الْقَوْمَ الْفَاسِقِينَ
Say if your fathers and your sons and your brothers and your pairs and your associates and the wealth to which you are committed and the business in which you fear a slump and the residences in which you are pleased. You have more love towards them than Allah and His messenger and jihad / to strive in His way then you wait until Allah comes with His order. And Allah does not guide the people who are dissolute / immoral.
If an offspring gets belief as per Allah’s Ayahs and the parents are still in rejection of Allah, and they reject the offspring and cast him away because of his belief, even in that case the child is to send blessings on them and not be rash in conduct with the parents. The practice of prophet Ibraheem A.S is described in this regard as below.
19:42-47 إِذْ قَالَ لِأَبِيهِ يَا أَبَتِ لِمَ تَعْبُدُ مَا لَا يَسْمَعُ وَلَا يُبْصِرُ وَلَا يُغْنِي عَنكَ شَيْئًا يَا أَبَتِ إِنِّي قَدْ جَاءَنِي مِنَ الْعِلْمِ مَا لَمْ يَأْتِكَ فَاتَّبِعْنِي أَهْدِكَ صِرَاطًا سَوِيًّا يَا أَبَتِ لَا تَعْبُدِ الشَّيْطَانَ ۖ إِنَّ الشَّيْطَانَ كَانَ لِلرَّحْمَٰنِ عَصِيًّا يَا أَبَتِ إِنِّي أَخَافُ أَن يَمَسَّكَ عَذَابٌ مِّنَ الرَّحْمَٰنِ فَتَكُونَ لِلشَّيْطَانِ وَلِيًّا قَالَ أَرَاغِبٌ أَنتَ عَنْ آلِهَتِي يَا إِبْرَاهِيمُ ۖ لَئِن لَّمْ تَنتَهِ لَأَرْجُمَنَّكَ ۖ وَاهْجُرْنِي مَلِيًّا قَالَ سَلَامٌ عَلَيْكَ ۖ سَأَسْتَغْفِرُ لَكَ رَبِّي ۖ إِنَّهُ كَانَ بِي حَفِيًّا
He (Ibraheem) said to his father, “O my father, why do you worship what can neither hear, nor see, nor help you in any way? O my father, I have received knowledge that you did not receive. Follow me, and I will guide you to a straight path. O my father, do not worship the Satan The Satan has rebelled against the Most Gracious. O my father, I fear lest you incur retribution from the Most Gracious, then become an ally of the Satan. (The father) replied. “Do you hate my gods, O Abraham? If you don’t desist, I will indeed stone you. Now get away from me for a good long while!” Abraham said. “Peace be on you. I will pray to my Lord for your forgiveness. for He is to me Most Persuant.
Off springs are enjoined to spend on their parents from their wealth. Any good that they do, will be rewarded by Allah.
2:215 يَسْأَلُونَكَ مَاذَا يُنفِقُونَ ۖ قُلْ مَا أَنفَقْتُم مِّنْ خَيْرٍ فَلِلْوَالِدَيْنِ وَالْأَقْرَبِينَ وَالْيَتَامَىٰ وَالْمَسَاكِينِ وَابْنِ السَّبِيلِ ۗ وَمَا تَفْعَلُوا مِنْ خَيْرٍ فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ بِهِ عَلِيمٌ
They ask you (the messenger) what they should spend. Say. Whatever you spend from the good, is for parents and the relatives and the orphans and the needy and for the sons of the path. And whatever you from good, -Allah knows it well.
Lecture by Scholar Mohammad Shaikh on the topic of Parents Children relationship: