Sorry for the delay…
Majlis Ugama Islam Singapura
14 June 2013 / 5 Sya’ban 1434
Setting Shared Goals and Expectations toward Raising A Righteous Family
Dear Friday Jemaah,
Every week we are reminded of the importance to increase our taqwa toward Allah s.w.t to enable us to continue to heed His commands and avoid what He has prohibited upon us, and adhere to the limitations He has set for us. This underscores the importance of taqwa in the life of a Muslim. In fact, it is the heart of our faith (iman),without which, we are only a Muslim without the spirit of iman.
Allah s.w.t. teaches us to ask that our families are placed among those who are pious. Allah says in the Quran, verse 74, surah Al-Furqan:
Which means: “And those who say, “Our Lord, grant us from among our wives and offspring comfort to our eyes and make us an example for the righteous.””
My dear brothers,
This verse teaches us that as the leader of the family, we have to aspire to lead our wife and children to be among the righteous. This should be our philosophy and the ultimate aim of our children’s education. My brothers, remember, we will eventually be questioned in front of Allah s.w.t on how we raised our family. Have we done enough to raise a righteous and pious family? Always take time to reflect upon this question. May Allah grant us ease in our bid to raise a righteous family.
In order to raise a righteous family, both the husband and wife must first set the same goals and aspire to raise pious children.
Only if the couple is clear on what they want, then it is easier to work toward and achieve their goal of raising a righteous family.
For example, the task of imparting religious education to the children is not solely the responsibility of one partyRather, it is a shared responsibility of both the husband and wife. Fathers cannot give the excuse that his job is simply to earn a living to support the family and leave the task of educating the children solely to his wife. If we refer to the Quran, we will find many dialogues between fathers and sons, recorded in the Quran. For example, the dialogue between Prophet Ibrahim and Ismail a.s., Prophet Yakub and his son, Prophet Yusuf, the conversation between Lukman Al-Hakim and his children, and so on. These are all signs from Allah s.w.t., that fathers play a crucial role in instilling good values in their children.
Thus, it is wrong for us to simply leave the job of educating the children to our wives, or to the grandparents of our children. Excuses such as work, and lack of time is unacceptable because today, most of the wives are also working. Even if she is a housewife, it is still one’s responsibility as a father to educate and raise his kids together with his wife. Let us be reminded of what Allah has ordered upon us, in the Quran in surah At-Tahrim verse 6:
Which means: “O you who have believed, protect yourselves and your families from a Fire whose fuel is people and stones, over which are [appointed] angels, harsh and severe; they do not disobey Allah in what He commands them but do what they are commanded.”
Secondly, both the husband and wife must be good examples to their children
Let us recall the supplication that I recited earlier, where we seek to be leaders or imam to righteous people. This means that it has to start with ourselves – meaning we need to strive to be righteous servants of Allah. How can we expect our children to know Allah if we ourselves do not know Him? How can we expect our children to be protected from bad influences if we ourselves continue to be in an unhealthy environment?
Hence, even if we feel that we are unable to teach our children by ourselves, it is our duty to send them to seek religious knowledge from teachers at Islamic education centres.
When they come home from these Islamic education classes, sit down with them and ask them to share what they have learned. Then, ask them to put into practice what they have learned together with you. When was the last time we prayed jemaah with our children and recite the beautiful verses of the Quran together? Have we taken the time to ask them about the challenges and problems they are facing, from a religious perspective, socially and also in their studies?
Our children are exposed to various challenges today. For example, the influence of alternative sexual lifestyles,pre-marital relationships, and so on. We, as parents, thus need to be clear on how to develop religious resilience in our children so that they do not pursue such unhealthy lifestyles.
Invest your time to learn how to effectively educate your children. This requires effort from both parents and for the couple to set the same goals and expectations in their children’s education.
Hopefully, with our aspiration and goals in line with Allah’s commands, we would be able to raise a family of believers, who are placed among the righteous. May Allah give us the strength to be excellent examples to our children and our families, which will hopefully earn us a place in Allah’s paradise. Amin.