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Majlis Ugama Islam Singapura
25 October 2013 / 20 Zulhijjah 1434
Practising A Moderate Attitude Towards
Our Children’s Education
Friday Jemaah blessed by Allah,
Let us enhance our takwa towards Allah s.w.t. by obeying His commands and trying our best to leave behind what Allah s.w.t. has prohibited upon us.
There is a beautiful verse in the Holy Quran that is aimed at every parent, Allah s.w.t. says 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.”
This verse highlights the importance of working hard towards protecting ourselves, our children and our family from the tortures of hellfire. As parents, this should be the ultimate success that we aim for our children. We must ensure that every success that our children achieve in this world, be it in their studies or in their career, it should pave the way to bring them and ourselves closer to attaining Allah’s pleasure.
It is this concern towards the success of a family that Rasulullah s.a.w. has reminded us to use our wealth to benefit our family members. Rasulullah s.a.w. said:
Which means : “Money you spend for the sake of Allah; money you spend to free a slave, money you give in charity to the poor, and money you spend on your family . . . The greatest in reward of all of these is spending on your family.” [Hadith narrated by Imam Muslim]
This hadith reminds us of the importance of a husband and a father to ensure that his wealth is for the benefit of his children and wife. And among the spending that is necessary to be borne by a father is spending on his children’s education. Education will shape the character of one’s children and will guarantee him/her a bright future Insya’Allah. This is not just for the benefits of this world but also the hereafter. How can we hope for our children to be dwellers of Paradise if we do not provide them with the right guidance? How can we hope for our children to be skilled if we are not willing to spend our money, time and effort to shape them and impart relevant skills on them? If we are still reluctant to spend all these for the sake of our children’s development, then remember that we will be held accountable by Allah s.w.t!
My dear jemaah,
In caring for our children’s education, we must also be wise in balancing their emotional, psychological and physical development. As we carry out our responsibility to educate our children to become outstanding individuals and contribute to the community, there are some things that we can consider:
First: Avoid being excessive and exerting too much pressure on your children’s education.
We should remember that the best way in Islam is to be balanced. The need to be balanced, or moderate, is embedded in various aspects of the Shariah. Moderation in eating, giving to charity, loving others and so on.
We should also practice moderation when it comes to our children’s education. We should not pamper our children excessively, but at the same time we must not be too hard on them and control them too much that they do not enjoy the process of seeking knowledge. In our enthusiasm to encourage our children to do well, we should be careful not to exert emotional and psychological pressure on our kids. For example, over-controlling them and stressing them out daily simply to push them to achieve excellent results for their tests and examinations.
Being too demanding and giving them too much pressure will have negative implications to our children’s mental health. We should learn to detect and understand signs that our children are stressed out or worse, depressed. This is critical in ensuring that they get enough attention and early treatment, if needed. Remember, learning can take place anytime and anywhere, even during a family activity.
We should not always compare one child’s achievements to that of his or her other siblings, or even with others. Remember, every child is different, both in terms of personality and abilities. It would be much better if we utter words of encouragement and motivate them to do their best in their studies.
Second: We need to set a good example in terms of our own quest for knowledge, by keeping alive the culture of reading and seeking knowledge. Fill the shelves in our house with books that are beneficial. Not to mention, we should read extensively and also attend religious lectures. If we have managed to instill the culture of lifelong learning in our family, then our children will naturally be motivated to do their best in seeking knowledge.
Third: Most importantly, we must inculcate in them the realisation that knowledge, just like everything else on this earth, belongs to Allah s.w.t, and that all the knowledge and wisdom that we have attained is a gift from Allah s.w.t. Knowledge, just like other creations, is something that we need to ask from Allah s.w.t, so that He may ease it for us and put barakah in the knowledge that we seek. The knowledge that we seek will not be beneficial if we do not link it to takwa.
One doa that is good for us to teach to our children is the doa that Allah s.w.t. taught Nabi Musa a.s., asking for his heart to be clear and to be granted with beneficial knowledge.
Which means: “ My Lord, expand for me my breast [with assurance]; And ease for me my task; And untie the knot from my tongue; That they may understand my speech [Surah Taha, verses: 25-28].
My brothers, our children are our legacy. If we raise them to be obedient to Allah s.w.t. and diligent in doing good deeds and helping others, we are not only grooming them to be future dwellers of Paradise Insya’Allah, but we are in fact looking to book a place for ourselves in the sight of Allah s.w.t.
May Allah s.w.t bless us and our families, and grant us sakinah (tranquility) in this world and the hereafter. Aamin ya Rabbal ‘Aalamin