Monday, January 26, 2015

Parenting: Answering a Reader's Question

"How do you and your family memorize specific ayat or hadith, then encourage each other to implement it? Also how do you handle those in household who refuse to implement the guidance or make excuses about them not wanting to change their character to be more like the believer? I don't want to be a dictator, but I want improvement in our characters so we can be of those who Allah loves."

Before I answer the first and second parts of the question, I must address the last sentence. Allah has put us in authority over our children, over our families, those in our care or guardianship. Allah has told us to save ourselves and our families from the fire (Surah at Tahreem). Allah has put obedience to and good treatment of parents right up there in the same sentence as tawheed! It is second only to tawheed, if looked at from that perspective. In fact, in being teamed with tawheed in the Qur'aan, the two become contingent on each other, with tawheed not being perfected without obedience to parents and vice versa. Subhaan Allah, it is the first subject to be covered in Adab ul Mufrad - the book of Manners by Imam Al Bukhaaree, raheemahUllah! So, my husband and I ARE dictators in our household. We are in authority over our children and we are responsible for their tarbiyyah - upbringing, education, practice, and correction. Even when they are teenagers or young adults, we continue to be responsible. We will answer to Allah for it, and we will do our best to enforce it.

As for memorizing ayaat and hadith and then encouraging each other to implement them, I remind and make connections ad nauseum. I mean, I feel like I should make recordings of my reminders, I have to say them so often. However, every time I remind, I have enjoined the good - improved my emaan and every time I forbid a wrong, I have fulfilled my duty to my fellow Muslim as per Allah and His Messenger's command. I have no qualms whatsoever about continuing on my path, even though I might be construed as Mean and Monstrous Mama Mai!  I have written about the reminders from the Qur'aan in Theme Ayah and Ayah of the Moment. Also about reminding and guiding in The Bad Guy-ette. When it comes to teaching them, I also involve them in lessons and their application to bring about a greater understanding and appreciation of my role as a parent, which you can read about in Parenting Audit. Also about setting examples in How our Children help our Islam and also in If you can't make it, Fake it.

For those difficult cases, we are straight talkers. There is no vague suggestion or warning look, but simply clear statements that their behavior is displeasing to Allah and therefore unacceptable to us. Over the years, I've learned various things about discipline, one of which was This Epiphany. When those behaviors are persisted upon, and as we have other children who are influenced by such behavior, they are at times put under a gag order, not permitted to speak to their siblings until an improvement is seen. We have even exiled older children to their rooms for periods of up to one month as part of their rectification program.I wrote about our discipline system on Parenting without Punishment. In Islamic terms, such punishments are called at-ta'zeer, which is to discipline by beating, scolding, shunning, or expelling and is considered obligatory for every sin for which Islamic Legislation has not stipulated a Hadd or an expiation. It is done to educate, refine, and discipline.

And, lastly, remember that our first port of call should be The Parenting Help Hotline.
Dua' is the most powerful ally of the believer and the dua' of a parent for their children is one of the most powerful. I recommend My Mothering Dua' and some Golden Rules for Mothers.

Mothering is such a big issue that I wrote a poem about it, LOL!

A mother's tears are never for transitory things; they are not worth misery or heartache.
A mother's tears are for the souls she bears the responsibility of raising for Allah's Pleasure.
A mother's tears have names written on them.
That is what makes her a mother.
That is why Jennah lies at her feet.

1 comment:

  1. Assalaam alaykum wa-rahmatullah wa-barakatuh sister. Thanks for sharing!
    BarakAllahu feeki.


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