Advice to children-Allah’s Mercies and the devil’s conduct
O ye who believe! Avoid suspicion as much (as possible): for suspicion in some cases is a sin: And spy not on each other behind their backs. Would any of you like to eat the flesh of his dead brother? Nay, ye would abhor it…But fear Allah: For Allah is Oft-Returning, Most Merciful. 049:012
They will further say: “Had we but listened or used our intelligence, we should not (now) be among the Companions of the Blazing Fire!” 067:010
With every breath of our lives we come closer and closer to the end of our journey in this world. The higher issue of life in the hereafter is very serious, and it makes our conduct in this life very important. It is no laughing matter when the angel of death comes to us, there will be no time left for us to repent, or regret. As we know one cannot make spoiled milk fresh again after it is already spoiled. Allah (swt) explains his signs in various symbols, through parables and examples, see the Holy Qur’an Chapter 6 (Al-Anaam) verse 42 – 82. Who cannot read the Arabic in the Qur’an, should look for a copy with the English translation. These Qur’ans can be found in any bookstore. Speaking from my own experiences, through suffering we learn humility, which is the antidote to many vices, and the fountain of many virtues. If we take our suffering the wrong way such as complaining to mankind for support instead of Allah, then we become weak. This weakness is an opening for the Shaitaan to exploit us. Allah is the best to listen to complaints; it will help us receive grace and salvation.
We as women have huge responsibilities in this world. Aside from our careers we are also endowed with many other roles such as: wife, mother, sister, daughter and friend. We also have an enormous responsibility to be the best wife or mother that we can. What do I mean by saying that we have to be the best we can? We have to avoid the road that will take us along the Shaitaan’s path. I will now expand on the Shaitaan’s formula which I mentioned briefly in Part 1. There are numerous things which can lead us to the Shaitaan’s path, but here are five simple ones which can lead us to major destruction in our lives, they are: love of jewelry, love for money, love of worldly play and amusement, cheating, and backbiting.
With this careless attitude the foundation of our household will be weak and corrupted, and our children will always be unhappy. Unknown to the children, it is the actions of their parents that has them in such a state. Therefore, as parents we have to be very careful of how we conduct our lifestyle. If our parents or siblings are going through some type of trouble we must try to put ourselves into their shoes for a moment. If we do this we will feel their grief and sincerely want to help them, because of our ability to empathize. As to our husbands, and our children if we do not act right and set good examples in our homes as a wife, and mother the results could be potentially devastating.
Some of our husbands are very harsh in their behaviour towards us and our children. Allah Almighty orders us to take our complaints to him in our prayers and humble supplication:
Allah has indeed heard (and accepted) the statement of the woman who pleads with thee concerning her husband and carries her complaint (in prayer) to Allah: and Allah (always) hears the arguments between both sides among you: for Allah hears and sees (all things). 058:001.
If we obey Allah Almighty’s rules we will be strengthened with patience and faith, for whenever someone offers their heart in their distress to Allah Almighty, He will accept their request and engrave on the seekers heart patience and faith. The Holy Qur’an states that Allah Almighty will not change someone until they make the effort to change themselves, but Allah Almighty will favor the woman who takes her complaint to Him in her distress, and He will give her husband understanding in order to change his bad behaviour.
For each (such person) there are (angels) in succession, before and behind him: They guard him by command of Allah. Allah does not change a people’s lot unless they change what is in their hearts. But when (once) Allah willeth a people’s punishment, there can be no turning it back, nor will they find, besides Him, any to protect. 013:011
Our children’s and husband’s misbehaviour can also be our test, to see if we will turn to Almighty Allah for His help and guidance.
And We shall try you until We test those among you who strive their utmost and persevere in patience; and We shall try your reported (mettle). 047:031
Those who reject Allah, hinder (men) from the Path of Allah, and resist the Messenger, after Guidance has been clearly shown to them, will not injure Allah in the least, but He will make their deeds of no effect. 047:032
If we take our complaints to mankind, it is like adding fuel to an already blazing fire, because the Shaitaan listens very carefully to our whisperings. Then he starts to plot to expel and persecute the righteous people. As he promised Allah Almighty in the Holy Qur’an:
(Iblis) said: “O my Lord! because Thou hast put me in the wrong, I will make (wrong) fair-seeming to them on the earth, and I will put them all in the wrong,- 015:039
Also see these other verses Qur’an Chapter 15 verses 40 – 50 for they will help us with a clearer picture of what I am trying to explain.
These are some steps that we can take to assume a positive role model as a wife, and mother:
- We must adopt a positive attitude of a teacher. We are there to teach our children the essential lessons in life.
- Just because we have adopted the role of teacher does not mean that we should close ourselves off from learning. It is important for us also to learn from the behaviour of our children, and our husbands, since some of our husband’s actions can also be frustrating at times.
Just to expand a little on point # 2, our children’s actions can help us learn lots of new things in life, both positive and negative. Someone may ask why would I mention negative? Well the answer is that our children came into this world as babies, and as babies they are considered angels. It is when they reach the age of six or seven that we may start to see some changes. From this age onwards we notice two sides to their actions, one good, and one bad. We may notice their inclination to jealousy, selfishness or wickedness, this is because the Shaitaan (devil) is now attacking them, and trying to pull them in his direction. Now this is where our role as teacher becomes vital.
Shaitaan was an outcast; he fell from jealousy and arrogance. Our parents Adam and Eve (May Allah Almighty bless them) fell because Shaitaan deceived them and they listened to him. Our spiritual brothers who are Cain and Abel, had jealousy between them which led to murder see Qur’an Chapter 5 verses 30-33. Jealousy is the key to the door of hell. It is also another opening point for the Shaitaan to make his way into our hearts and our children will be his prey.
The first thing we should teach them is about Almighty Allah (God). The second thing is how to avoid the whisper of the devil. In order to do this we must be serious with them, and get them to sit down and listen attentively to us. The first thing we should tell them is that the devil is something evil which we cannot see, he is the ruler for hell and he promised Allah Almighty that he will work hard to get whomever he can on his side. We can then take them over to the stove, turn it on and allow them to get a little close where they can feel the heat from the stove. We can then burn a small piece of paper or a piece of cloth to show them that if they listen to the whisper of the devil the consequences will be that they will be burnt the same way the cloth or piece of paper burnt, in hell fire which he will lead us to if we listen to him. Almighty Allah says in the Holy Qur’an:
Yea, such! but – for the wrong-doers will be an evil place of (Final) Return!- 038:055
Hell!- they will burn therein, – an evil bed (indeed, to lie on)!- 038:056
Yea, such! – then shall they taste it,- a boiling fluid, and a fluid dark, murky, intensely cold!- 038:057
The example of using the stove might seem a bit dramatic, but the reason behind it is that it is very difficult for us to believe in the unseen, so the example of the stove is the closest physical example of the negative results that can arise from listening to the devil. When the children feel the heat that emanates from the stove this will help them realize that the devil is the ruler of hell, and the fire of hell is a hundred times hotter than the fire of this world. Keeping in accordance with this idea your child might ask how come they cannot see the devil? And who is whispering to them to be bad? We can tell them that we cannot see the fire or feel the heat from the stove until we turn the stove on but that does not mean that it is not there. Well this is the same way it works with the devil. He is around us, but we cannot see him, and when we think to do something wrong or bad, like telling lies, stealing, fighting, being stubborn or disobedient etc., then this is him, the devil whispering into our minds to do these bad things. After we teach our children how to avoid the devil we have to teach them about Almighty Allah’s punishment, and his kindness. We should explain to them about the existence of Allah (swt). Take them to a lamp and turn on the switch, then explain to them the light is how Allah’s (swt) guidance works. If we do good and be obedient to Him; such as listen to our parents, respect our elders, be kind, don’t tell lies, don’t steal or fight etc. then Allah (swt) will bless us with His merciful light, which will lead us to His home of peace and tranquility, but if we disobey His rules and commands, He would punish us.
If two parties among the Believers fall into a quarrel, make ye peace between them: but if one of them transgresses beyond bounds against the other, then fight ye (all) against the one that transgresses until it complies with the command of Allah; but if it complies, then make peace between them with justice, and be fair: for Allah loves those who are fair (and just). 049:009
The Believers are but a single Brotherhood: So make peace and reconciliation between your two (contending) brothers; and fear Allah, that ye may receive Mercy. 049:010
As our children grow starting from the age of 10 we may begin to notice our children becoming rude, quick – tempered, mouthy, and jealous. When we notice these things it is time for us to take action. Remember we planted this seed, and this seed has grown into a beautiful little tree. It is now time to trim the limbs off this tree that are growing in the wrong way. The limbs are young and will be easier to cut, but if we wait too long to do these, then our tree will grow more and more unruly. The limbs will become too tough to trim. When the tree is younger we could use simple hedge clippers, once the tree has grown we may have to use a chain saw to cut off the unruly limbs. If we do not train our children when they are young, then we will have a very difficult time to do so when they are older. It is now the time to tell them that they must be afraid to do wrong things, because they will upset us (their parents), and they will also get Allah Almighty upset with them. If Allah Almighty is upset with them they will not feel a sense of happiness. Now take them back to the lamp and let them take the switch off, of course it will be dark. Tell them this is how you’ll be, in darkness if you disobey us, misbehave and disobey Allah (swt).
Another reason why we would have a difficult time training our children to appropriate behaviour, when they are older is because instead of us struggling with one person when they are young, when they become older it is almost a struggle with two people. The first one is the young adult, and the second is the devil. When the child is younger it is easier for him or her to listen to the parent, than it is when they get older and are influenced by the devil. Children are more vulnerable for the Shaitaan to get into his clutches. The calamities of our children through the devil, as mentioned in the Holy Qur’an Chapter 2 verse 155-157.
Be sure we shall test you with something of fear and hunger, some loss in goods or lives or the fruits (of your toil), but give glad tidings to those who patiently persevere, 002:155
Who say, when afflicted with calamity: “To Allah We belong, and to Him is our return” 002:156
They are those on whom (Descend) blessings from Allah, and Mercy, and they are the ones that receive guidance. 002:157
These verses will give us great help, and also an understanding of how we can help ourselves as well as our loved ones to handle the tests from Almighty Allah.
When some people notice their children becoming rude, stubborn, disobedient, or just acting strangely they may say that it may be a phase that they are going through, while of course this is a possibility, at the same time we must not take this for granted. We must try our best to talk with them, and explain to them that it is not right to be rude or disobedient because Allah Almighty may be upset with them. The following example may be an easy way to explain this message to our children:
We can say to them if you guys saw us (your parents) walking towards fire wouldn’t you try and stop us? Of course you would because we are your parents and you love us right? If we do not listen to you, and continue to walk into the fire wouldn’t you be angry with us? Well these are the same feelings we get from you when you disobey us. This will also make Almighty Allah angry, because He loves the people who love Him and He does not like to see them hurt. Allah Almighty may also punish the people who caused grief and sadness to the people that love Him, and the people that He loves.
Now I have a few questions for you children:
- Let us go back to the scenario of the fire, say if we as parents ignored you and were burnt as a result of walking into the fire and then we came to you with our pain in order that you may help us, would this be fair to you? No it would not because you tried to stop us. Now do you see how important it is for you to be obedient to us as parents? And to be obedient to Allah Almighty when he tells us to be kind to your parents as it says in the Qur’an:
Say: “Come, I will rehearse what Allah hath (really) prohibited you from”: Join not anything as equal with Him; be good to your parents; kill not your children on a plea of want;- We provide sustenance for you and for them;- come not nigh to shameful deeds. Whether open or secret; take not life, which Allah hath made sacred, except by way of justice and law: thus doth He command you, that ye may learn wisdom. 006:151
And remember We took a covenant from the Children of Israel (to this effect): Worship none but Allah; treat with kindness your parents and kindred, and orphans and those in need; speak fair to the people; be steadfast in prayer; and practice regular charity. Then did ye turn back, except a few among you, and ye backslide (even now). 002:083