Raising a Muslim

Raising a child is hard; raising a Muslim child is even harder. But with the Help of Allah it is possible to raise a good Muslim child.

There are a few things, parents need to do and consider while they do their child’s upbringing and they are as following.  

  • Who is Allah and Prophet Muhammad ﷺ?

It is vital for every parent to make their child understand who Allah ﷻis and who Prophet Muhammad ﷺ is. They should know, that Allah ﷻis the One who made us; He is the sustainer of all existence. The earth, the heavens and the sky belong to Him. He has the ultimate power, and there is no deity except Him. Prophet Muhammad ﷺ is the messenger of Allah ﷻand he was given the task to teach and spread the beautiful religion- Islam. Teach and encourage your child to learn and recite, “La ilaha illAllah, Muhammad-ur rasool-ullah” meaning, “There is no God except Allah, and Muhammad is Allah’s Prophet.”

  • Teach Surat Fatiha

Surat Fatiha is the Surat that comes at the very beginning of the Qur’an. It serves, as the starting of every Salat (prayer). It explains the worship of Allah ﷻin a comprehensive manner and is a great means of supplication of asking Him for keeping one on the right path.

Surat Fatiha has got the reputation of being an obligatory part of the Salat, which needs to be regularly recited in every raka’ah of Salat.

Ubadah bin As-Samit reported that Prophet Muhammad said:

“Whoever does not recite Surat Al-Fatihah in his prayer, his prayer is invalid.

– Sahih al-Bukhari

This means, that without reciting this Surat, one’s prayer is considered void, and does not count.

  • Perform Salat (Prayer)

Teach your child to follow you when you are praying. Lead them, rather than instructing them to pray. Get them in the habit of praying regularly from the age of 7, as this can make it easy for them to pray when they reach puberty and Salat becomes obligatory for them. The parent that teaches the child how to pray will be rewarded for it in the Hereafter. Every time the child prays, the rewards will be granted to the parents, inshaAllah.

“[Prophet], recite what has been revealed to you of the Scripture; keep up the prayer: prayer restrains outrageous and unacceptable behaviour. Remembering God is greater: God knows everything you are doing.”

– Qur’an (29:45)

  • Reciting and understanding Qur’an

Make sure to train your child to read a portion of the Qur’an on a daily basis. Place the Qur’an at the centre of your child’s life. Young minds are very receptive. Encourage them to read and memorize from an early age, as learning is easier at a younger age. Teach them the alphabets, make them recite the Qur’an in Arabic and also help them to understand its meaning in your native language.

‘Uthman b. Affan reported that Prophet Muhammad said:

“The best of you is the one who learns the Qur’an and teaches it.”

– Sahih al-Bukhari

  • Duas (Supplications)

Coach your child that whenever we need or want something, we should always make Dua to Allah ﷻby using His names and attributes and with the belief that Allah ﷻwill answer our Dua. The child should know that the Dua will be elevated by good deeds, and that we should always call Allah ﷻin both good and tough times. Encourage them to learn and recite Duas, that were made by Prophet Muhammad ﷺ. Duas such as what to say when entering/leaving the restroom, what to say before having a meal, what to say before going out and coming back home, and many more. Duas are a form of worship that keeps our hearts pure.

  • Reminding the Purpose of Life and their Path

As your child grows up, they need to understand the purpose of life is to acknowledge the oneness of God. They must believe in this truth, day in and day out, with doing dhikr of Allah (SWT), and by having full faith in the heart and mind. They should know that, believers have opportunity to enjoy the bounties of heaven, but you must also warn them about what will happen if you don’t believe or don’t make the sacrifices that Allah ﷻhas asked for. The child should know that Islam is a way of life that guides us through every aspect of our lives, including our faith, family relationships, law and social order.

“Believers, remember God often.”

– Qur’an (33:41)

  • Share Stories of Prophets

Have the habit of sharing stories of Prophets, as it has strong moral messages. The child should know how Prophets dealt with trials and tribulations, and what they went through. This way the child can connect with the Prophets and apply his learning’s in his/her personal life. Read to them about the life of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ to inspire them to follow his example. Teach them to say “Sallallahu alayhi wa Salam” whenever the name Prophet Muhammad ﷺ is mentioned.

  • Take them to the Masjid

Take your child to the nearby local Masjid for prayers. This will help them to feel part of the Muslim community and make an impact on them, of their five obligatory prayers.

Prophet Muhammad said:

“Whoever purifies himself in his house then walks to one of the Houses of Allah in order to perform one of the duties enjoined by Allah, for every two steps he takes, one will erase a sin and the other will raise him one degree in status.”

– Sahih al-Muslim

  • Respect, Gratitude and Mercy

“We have commanded man to be good to his parents- his mother struggled to carry him and struggled to give birth to him; his bearing and weaning took a full thirty months- and when he has grown to manhood and reached the age of forty to say, “Lord, help me to be truly grateful for Your favours to me and to my parents; help me to do good work that pleases You.”

– Qur’an (46:15)

This Ayat entrusts someone with something. It is a very personal and denotes a sense of excellence. Allah ﷻasks every child to have good manners towards their parents. Child should understand this, in order to be in their best behavior with their parents.

A child should be able to recognize and acknowledge the gifts Allah ﷻhas bestowed upon them, such as the eyesight, availability of food and water, home and many more. This should make them feel, how dependant they are on Allah (SWT). Encourage them to say “Alhamdulillah”, and show gratitude at all times, be it during good and tough times.

A child should always be merciful and show mercy towards people and animals.

Prophet Muhammad said:

“Verily, whoever does not show mercy will not receive mercy.”

– Sahih al-Muslim

  • Seek Knowledge

As your child grows up, encourage them to prioritize Allah . Instill in them a fear of incurring Allah’s displeasure by seeking knowledge from the many ayats from the Qur’an that contains warnings and descriptions of the Hellfire that Allah ﷻhas prepared for disbelievers. If the child ever disrespects Islam, then they should be cautioned that can lead to consequences both in Dunya and Akhirah. They should learn the concept of repentance and that seeking Allah’s forgiveness will help avoid these consequences. With puberty, the obligatory prayers and fasting during Ramadan becomes mandatory and if these acts of worship are neglected, then it’ll be recorded as sins. If these are taught from an early age, it becomes easier on them to practice. Allow your child to develop their knowledge and understanding of the Qur’an and Sunnah. This can enable them not to only improve their own worship but also to spread the word of Allah ﷻwithin their community when they get older.

  • Listen

You should always listen to what the child has to say. If the child has anything to ask regarding the physical, psychological, spiritual or social changes, you must be there to answer the queries. A child should be able to share with their parent, and not be afraid. If the child decides to do something, such as grow a beard, or wear the hijab to get closer to Allah ﷻthen they should be supported by parents, as this can bring blessings in their lives too. Your child should be able to express his/her ideas, views and thoughts without fear of ridicule, as long as they are respectful and aligned with Islamic teachings. Always emphasize that Allah ﷻis their source of hope and joy.

  • Talk/Discuss

Teach your child how to put forward their opinions and how to disagree on matters. Don’t use swear words or be aggressive when there’s a disagreement, as this can be picked up by the child. Children pick up things very fast. If there’s a decision that needs to be made by the parents, asking the child about what they think is wise, as this can develop the habit of consultancy in them. Discuss about preparing for the Akhirah, as it is an effective way of teaching about accountability and instilling the obedience expected of all Muslims. Remind them that Hellfire is a real place that Allah ﷻhas created for those who disobey Him and yet He is their only source of hope of reaching Paradise. Tell them, about Satan and his mission to entice people towards disbelief. Warn them about the tricks, Satan uses to try and drive us away from Allah ﷻand towards Fire. Tell them about the rewards available for additional acts of worship over the minimum requirements, such as voluntary prayers, dhikr of Allah ﷻand reading the Qur’an. Encourage them to make Dua throughout the day, whenever they feel they need a little lift. Tell them repeatedly that you love them, hug them, kiss them, and tell them how important they are to you.

  • Involvement in Community Service

Encourage your child to get involved in a community service, where they can develop a sense of sisterhood and brotherhood with other young Muslims. This will strengthen their faith and help them build a shared resolve to study their religion and remain obedient to Allah .

  • Show Hardships of Others

Allow your child, to see the hardships of others. They should know what others are going through in order to develop empathy. They should feel for people and be compassionate towards one another. Seeing the hard life, allows a child to feel gratitude, and this will lead to them thanking Allah ﷻfor all the uncountable blessings, He has bestowed upon them.

  • House Chores

Build a routine for your child to help you with house chores. Make it fun, age appropriate and allow them to choose which task they want to do. There are many benefits of doing house chores; such as it makes one feel responsible. It builds their self-reliance, and it can teach them to be empathetic and responsive to others needs.

Narrated by Aishah:

Prophet Muhammad used to patch his sandals, sew his garment and conduct himself at home as anyone of you does in his house. He was a human being, searching his garment for lice, milking his sheep and doing chores.

– Sahih at-Tirmidhi

  • Value of Money

Your child should understand that “money does not grow on trees”. They should understand that hard work gets money in the house, which means they cannot buy anything and everything they want. They need to be able to differentiate between their wants and needs. If your child, needs something- go ahead and buy it but if your child, wants it all- then you have room to negotiate. As a parent you should not be afraid to say “no” to your child when lines are crossed for demands. There has to be a limit, and the child needs to learn this. To give your child a broader perspective, discuss your financial commitments you have each month and tell them how other things needs to be paid, such as mortgage, utilities, food and so on. Encourage saving money!

“They are those who are neither wasteful nor niggardly when they spend, but keep to a just balance.”

– Qur’an (25:67)

  • Role Model

Your child needs to see you practice, learn and grow in your Deen, in order for them to follow. When you are doing something, the child is more likely to follow it; hence you should always be in your best character and conduct. Be a part of their journey, be their companion and role model instead of making them feel that you want them to be something unrealistic. Remember, kids learn what they see more than what they hear.

  • Encourage Good Character and Manners

Encourage your child to follow the Sunnah. Praise them when they display prophetic character. Tell them, failing is ok but not to lose hope. Teach them how they should react to failures. Instill in your children the habit of cleanliness.

  • Reward for doing Good

Help your child understand that good deeds will earn great rewards and will protect them. Easiest good deed is to praise and glorify Allah ﷻand they should practice this throughout the day, especially after Salat. To keep them on the track of doing good deeds, surprise your child and praise their good deeds. Give them recognition, appreciate what they did and explain to them that the surprise was for the good.

  • Spend Time

Spend time with them- by reading or writing with them. Help them with their homework or house chores. Ask them about their day at school or about their friends. Go for a long drive or a walk in the park or for ice cream at night. Spending time with your child, and getting time from busy schedules makes them feel loved and appreciated. Encourage them to share everything with you. It is vital for parents to connect with their child. Every child thrives on feelings of belonging and affection that comes from having caring and supportive parents and this is vital for a child’s wellbeing. A parent-child bond needs to be units of mutual care and support, as these are sources of lifelong strength for both the individuals.

Picture credit: Larry Williams, Blend Images

Shazia Chowdhury
Shazia Chowdhury

Founder and Content Creator

Shazia Chowdhury is a student of the Qur’an and Sunnah and loves to share beneficial knowledge and voices out her personal insights to connect with people. Produced her first- Ramadan Booklet in 2018. Founder of an NGO, which helps the poor to live life healthier and happier. On a side- she adores being a foodie, an explorer as well as a nature lover!

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