Friday, 9 December 2011

Courage and the Child

Courage and the Child

From Al-Fajr.Net [translated by]

I direct the
parents towards a very important matter, which is, in my opinion,
very serious, and that is, raising and nurturing (tarbiyyah) the
children upon bravery:

Do not let your
child watch horror movies, even if it is just a little, because
that fear will have terrible consequences on your child, so do not
let him see the likes of it ever.

Do not let him
watch cartoons, except what benefits him, which is something rare,
after making sure that that will help him to be a man tomorrow.

Teach him how
to fight and box, even if you are with him on the bed in your room,
say to him, “You’re a champion! You defeated your dad!”

Say to him,
“This is only play. Real strength is in facing the enemies
of Allah face to face.”

Present to him some games that teach him courage, and accompany
him to the playground, observe him, and make him have confidence
in himself.

If he is scared
to ride with you (for example, on the rides at the festivals) and
if he sees others riding them, then say to him, “Then why are
they so brave?”

Teach him horse-riding,
swimming and archery, for these three (sports) are the greatest
for the Muslim’s acquisition of courage.

Train your child
in gymnastic sports on a small level or on a pillow under your supervision.

Always remind
him that we must become strong so that we can defeat the enemies
of Allah.

Make him love
every Muslim and say to him, “The Muslim loves Allah with immense
love, and Allah loves him. The Muslim loves every Muslim whether
he is white or black, big or small, male or female – all of
them are our brothers. We are glad with what makes them glad and
we are upset by what makes them upset. We are pleased when they
are victorious for they are from us and we are from them”.
And say to your children, “The biggest Muslim is like your
father, and the smallest of them is like your brother exactly.”And
say to him whatever will make him increase in love for the Muslims
– may Allah love you and enter you into Paradise.

Always encourage
him to express his opinion. Do not ignore him when he speaks to
you. Listen to him with concern.

Always remember
that you are on one of the fronts from the frontlines of Islam with
your tarbiyyah (nurturing/education) of this child. And remember
the wisdom in the saying, “The child is a man in small clothes.”

If Allah has
provided you with a boy or a girl, then Allah has given you a tremendous
bounty, and this bounty requires constant thankfulness to Him –
may Allah make us and you from those who are thankful. This child
– if he is brave naturally, then praise Allah for that, and
discipline him continuously, teach him goodness and make him love
the Muslims. Tell him this anshadah (song/poem) so that he may know
some of the meanings of youthfulness and the (Arabic) alphabet,
for every line of poetry in this poem begins with a letter from
the alphabet:

Musliman… bi`l Haqqi Qaa`iman

(I love the Muslim, in eversteady truth)

‘Aabidan… Thaa`iran Mujaahidan

(Repenter, worshipper… Revolutionary fighter for God)

Muthaabiran… Haleeman wa Saabiran

(Courageous and persevering… Forbearing and patient)

Salaati… Daafi`uz Zakaati

(Humble in prayer… Giver of charity)

Katheeran… Raahiman Faqeeran

(Remembers Allah much… Merciful to the poor)

Lubb… Saleem ul-Qalb

(Pure in spirit… Sound of heart)

Tahooran… Saadiqan Ghayooran

(Thankful and clean… Zealously truthful)

ul-Mathaal… Tayyib ul-Khisaal

(One who sets examples… A good character)

ul-Fi’aali… ‘Afeef ul-Maqaali

(Charmingly efficacious… Gentle in his speech)

‘Ilmihi… Fattaa ‘Azmihi

(Abundant in his knowledge… Youthful in his resolve)

ul-Kalaam… Katheer us-Siyaam

(Speaking a little… Fasting a lot)

bi laa Dh’afin… Mutee’un Qunoo’un

(Soft-hearted without weakness… Obedient and content)

li `l-Ghayri… Haajiran li sh-Sharri

(Advising others… Departs away from evil)

Bushraa li mustami’… Ya’ee fayattabi’

(Glad tidings to he who listens… Understands, then follows)


waktub, iqra haya… Inn al-‘Ilma yadhee`ud Dunya

(Read and write, read, come on! Verily knowledge lights up the world)

waktub, warsim wahsab… Waqtif Zahr al-‘Ilmi nadiya

(Read and write, draw and count… Pick the flower of knowledge
while it’s still moist)

ta’lam an tarkabu khayla… Wa ta’lam an tarmee An-Nabla

(Learn to ride a horse… And learn to hurl an arrow)

al-Qalbi shujaa’an Hurran… Yardhee al-Mowta wa ya`bith

(Leave the heart brave and free… Pleased with death and rejecting

khuliqta li asmaa ghaayah… Anta khuliqta li tahmil raayah

(You have been created for a noble purpose… You have been created
to uphold the banner)

khuliqta lituhyee noora… Yamla`ul wajh al-ardhi hidaayah

(You have been created to give life to light… Filling the face
of the earth with guidance)

Narrate to him
the story of the courageous ‘Abdullah Ibn az-Zubair when one
day, the Caliph and ruler of the Muslims, ‘Umar Ibn al-Khattab
passed by one of the streets of Madinah, and he saw some children
playing – they all fled except this boy, so the Caliph drew
close to him and said to him, “Why didn’t you flee like
the other two boys?” So the boy said, “I didn’t do
anything wrong that I should be scared of or run away from, and
the road is not narrow for me to widen it for you.” ‘Umar
was amazed at the wisdom of this boy, and he was glad that there
was a boy such as this one amongst the Muslim children. So say to
your child, O you who is raising and educating him, you should love
‘Abdullah Ibn az-Zubair for his bravery.

And narrate
to your child stories of the heroes of Islam, in particular, the
story of the two youth who killed Abu Jahl, Mu’aadh and Ma’oodh,
the sons of ‘Afraa [1].

And like that
is the story of the girl who was the daughter of the woman who used
to sell milk in the time of the Caliph ‘Umar. She used to cheat
by adding water to the milk to increase it and thereby, she would
gain a lot.

So the girl
said, “O mother, indeed the Caliph has forbidden cheating.”
The mother said, “Where is ‘Umar? Verily he cannot see
us.” Then the girl said, “If ‘Umar cannot see us,
then certainly, the Lord of ‘Umar can see us!” ‘Umar
was amazed at the talk of this girl, so he married this righteous
girl to one of his sons, ‘Aasim. Later on, she gave birth to
Faatimah, the mother of ‘Umar Ibn Abdul-‘Azeez –
the fifth rightly-guided Caliph in Islam.

And here, teach
him that cheating hurts the transactions with other people, and
the Islamic law forbids cheating, so the value of the Islamic teaching
will be raised in your child’s mind. And all of the religion
is good.

And say to him,
‘Yes, indeed! Teach me goodness – for example, when you
hear the adhaan, remind me of salaat.’ So in that way, you
teach him to enjoin goodness and forbid evil.

If your child
has extreme cowardice and fright, then try the following –
and Allah is He whose help is sought:

Make him to
acquire trust in himself

Always saying, “I am, by the grace of Allah, strong and brave.”

Praise him when he has done a good action, whatever it is.

Let him do simple actions and praise him for it.

Accompany him to the playground and make him play difficult games,
step-by-step, advancing from simple to difficult, and say to him,
“You’re a champion! None of the other kids are able to
do what you have done!”

Take him swimming, for swimming helps to acquire courage, as we
mentioned before.

Play with him yourself, and make it apparent to him that you are
being defeated by him.

Ask Allah to make us good raisers of children.

And o my brother!
Make your child brave, like what has preceeded, and teach him stories
of courage. Narrate to him the story of the courageous hero ‘Alee
Ibn Abee Taalib , on the night of the Hijrah, and how he placed
himself in danger, challenging the tyrants of Kufr. ‘Alee slept
in the place where the Messenger usually slept, so it would be possible
for the Messenger to leave for the Hijrah – because he knew
that one of the tyrants would be able to kill him by striking or
stabbing him (as the Prophet was one of the last to leave for the
Hijrah, making him an easy target if they wanted to come and kill
him by night, which they tried, but instead of finding the Prophet
, they found ‘Alee , so their plan was foiled).

And narrate
to your child the story of Luqmaan with his son, and how he taught
him Tawheed and observation (of Allah’s creation). Here, I
will relate for you my noble brother, the main focuses of the story
of Luqmaan, so you can tell it to your son in an easy and relaxed

Luqmaan the
Wise used to have a good boy, and he used to teach him something
every day. So he said to him, “O my boy…:

1. Allah is
the Creator, and He is One. He does not have a second with Him,
for He is only One. He does not sleep, rest or tire, and if He wills
something He simply says to it ‘Be’ and it is without
dispute. So, O my boy, worship Him alone, love Him and He will love
you, and fear none besides Him. Do you see, O my boy, how many blessings
He has given us without us even asking for it? See for yourself,
these two eyes, two ears, two lips and tongue – these were
given to us by Allah alone who created the earth and whatever is
in it.” Always, my brother raiser and educator, make your son
aware of the things in the ocean (and sky), like the fish and the
birds and whatever else. And say to him, ‘This is the creation
of Allah’, and continue on like that. And say to him, ‘O
my boy, say: Laa ilaaha illaa Allaah (None has the right to be worshipped
except Allah)’. Soon, by the help of Allah, this topic will
be designated for some pages on tarbiyyah of the child upon a strong
‘aqeedah, by the power of Allah.

2. “O my
boy, thank Allah for what He has given you, and keep on thanking
Him and He will be pleased with you. Do you not see that if somebody
gives you something then you thank him? So Allah is the One who
gives and grants generously, so He is the first to be thanked and
praised. So say, O my child, ‘Al-Hamdulillaah’ (all praise
is for Allah), and ‘Ash-Shukrulillaah’ (all thanks are
for Allah).”

3. Then Luqmaan
the Wise said to his son, “O my boy. Verily your father and
mother tire on your account. Your mother, she carried you in her
stomach for a long period of nine months, then she gave birth to
you under extreme pain and difficulty. Then she breastfed you, cleaned
you, cared for you, staying up late at night out of mercy for you
because she loves you. And your father was compassionate for you,
having sympathy for you, spending on you and loving for you a lot
of goodness. Allah had given your father wealth with which he would
buy you clothes, food, and whatever you wanted. So O my child, obey
them, love them, be generous towards them, and do not eat before
them, do not sit before them, and do not enter upon them without
permission. Kiss their hands and heads and seek to please them,
for in their pleasure is the pleasure of Allah. Do not disobey them
except if they request of you one thing, and that is, if they request
for you to worship other gods along with Allah, then do not accept
it, but be with them in goodness, being magnanimous towards them
both with complete generosity.

4. Then he taught
his son al-Muraaqabah (observation), and that Allah has full power
over him, and that Allah is the Creator of everything in the universe;
not a thing escapes from His knowledge – nothing big and not
(even) the smallest of the small, for Allah knows whatever is in
the heavens and whatever is on the earth, whatever is between them,
and whatever is beneath the earth, for He is All-Knowing.

5. Then, indeed
Luqmaan loved goodness for his son, so he ordered him with prayer,
and he ordered him to do good deeds and to turn the people (also)
towards good deeds; and to leave every disgraceful deed, and to
order the people to likewise abandon disgraceful acts. And he encouraged
him to advise the people to have patience upon that until Allah
bestows them with Paradise in the Hereafter, and Allah’s pleasure
in this life and the next.

6. And Luqmaan
the Wise advised his son, “O my son, do not despise others,
but love them; for they are from you and you are from them. And
do not feel that you are more superior to them, for only Allah is
al-'Adheem (the Exalted). And do not be proud over them, for only
Allah is al-Mutakabbir (the Most Proud and Great). And, O my boy,
Allah does not like those who have pride in His creation, and He
does not like them to be arrogant, for greatness, pride and exaltedness
are from Allah’s right , for He is the Owner of these attributes,
for He is not in need of anyone, yet all is in need of Him. Yet,
mankind does not have those rights, for he is weak and needy of
others, while others are in need of him, and this is a deficiency
which does not require pride and conceitedness.

7. And Luqmaan followed his son outside of the house, teaching him:
“O my boy, walk with serenity, calm and balance, and do not
raise your voice, for this annoys the people and Allah does not
like it."


[1] Abu Jahl
was a staunch enemy of Islam. Abdur-Rahman ibn Awf said concerning
his killing: 'I was in the ranks on the day of Badr. I turned and
there were two young boys one on my right and the other on my left.
I was not too happy about their position. One of them said to me,
in a quiet voice that His companion could not hear, "Uncle,
show me Abu Jahl." I said, "Nephew, what will you do to
him?" He replied, "I have made a covenant with Allah that
if I see him, I will kill him or die before him." The other
boy then said the same thing to me, also keeping it from his companion.'
He added,' I was so happy to be' between two youths like them. I
pointed Abu Jahl out to them and they attacked him like two falcons
until they struck him down.'

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