Investment or Liability?
When a father gazes adoringly at his newborn baby in his arms, it is not a mere child that he sees. Rather, many parents see a Haafiz of the Quraan who will cause them to be crowned on the Day of Qiyaamah, or they see an ‘Aalim of Deen who Allah Ta‘ala will use to dispense guidance among people. The least is that they see an upright and pious man or woman with sound values who will succeed in both worlds. In their young children, they envision different dreams, desires and aspirations, chief among them the desire for their children to be an investment for their Aakhirah. They hope that their children will be a genuine asset and profitable investment that will assist them and prove beneficial after their demise.
As noble as the dreams and aspirations of parents may be, in order for these dreams to materialize and reach fruition, the correct procedure will have to be followed. The children will have to be raised correctly and given the correct upbringing. If this is not done, then despite the best wishes of the parents, it is very unlikely that the children will live up to their expectations.
The very moment the child is born, the effort to give him imaan commences. Hence, the azaan and iqaamah are called out in the ears of the newborn infant, serving as the child’s first introduction to Islam. However, the effort of imaan does not terminate here. Rather, it has just begun and must continue until the child leaves the world with imaan. Since imaan is the very basis of Deen and the ‘ticket’ for the child to enter Jannah as well as become an asset to his parents, the imaan of the child must be constantly strengthened and protected.
Among the greatest threats to the imaan of children today are the various ‘isms’ which have surfaced. Many children are taught the theory of ‘Darwinism’ at school. The children are then left believing that they descended from apes. Although this directly clashes with the explicit teachings of the Quraan Majeed, many people remain silent and do not confide to anyone that they are confused. In this way, decades sometimes pass before they ask someone to clear their doubts. What was the state of their imaan through the years that had passed? If they pass away with their basic beliefs eroded and corrupted, what is the state of their imaan? What about those who never ask anyone at all?
Many parents feel that they have provided the best upbringing to their children. The reality is that merely feeding them, clothing them, sending them to school, providing them with toys and devices and entrusting them to the care of an employee does not constitute ‘parenting’. Parents have to bond with their children and interact with them. They have to speak to their children, spend time with them and also remain vigilant and constantly monitor them. This will help to instill the correct values in them.
INSTILLING THE CORRECT VALUES
It is the values that are invested in the child that will bring value to the child as an investment for the Hereafter. Does the child value the Sunnah of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) or does he value the ways, fashions and styles of the kuffaar? Once the children come of age, do they perform all their salaah on time? Does the son perform his salaah in the musjid with jamaat? Is he inclined towards righteous deeds and repulsed by acts of haraam and sin?
Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) has encouraged the ummah to instill the correct values in their children mentioning, “Raise your children with the following three traits as part of their upbringing; love for your Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam), love for his Ahlul Bayt, and the recitation of the Quraan Majeed, for indeed the bearers of the Quraan will be in the shade of Allah (His throne) with His Ambiyaa (‘alaihimus salaam) and selected servants, on that day when there will be no shade besides His (throne’s) shade.” (Ithaaful Khiyarah #7753)
All these together with the other values of Deen have to be instilled in the child from a very young age so that they will be firmly entrenched in them by the time they become adults. Unfortunately, we sometimes neglect instilling these values in them saying, “They are still small.” Thereafter, when they are older, they have already developed a liking and affinity for the wrong clothing, ways and habits. At that point, the effort to instill the correct values in the child becomes an uphill battle.
LEADING BY EXAMPLE
Allah Ta‘ala commands us in the Quraan Majeed, “Save yourselves and your families from the fire” (Tahreem v6). Explaining this verse, Hazrat ‘Abdullah bin ‘Abbaas (radhiyallahu ‘anhuma) said, “Do that which will please Allah Ta‘ala, refrain from His disobedience and command your families to remember and obey Allah Ta‘ala. Allah Ta‘ala will save you all from the fire of Jahannum.” (Ibnu Katheer vol. 7, pg. 321)
Parents may speak to their children and advise them all they want, but the most eloquent and effective advice is the conduct and character of the parents themselves. Sadly, the opposite is equally true as well. Many children are raised in homes where there are ‘double standards’. The father may be particular regarding salaah, but he is dishonest and deceptive in the business place, or he displays excellent character to people, but is lax in performing his five daily salaah with jamaat in the musjid. Perhaps purdah is strictly observed at home, but when on holiday, the standards drop and another type of ‘Deen’ is seen. Hence, the child is indirectly given the impression that Deen is something which we practice as and when it suits us. When this lesson is being learnt from the parents, how do they expect to pass the values of Islam and Deen to their children?
Hazrat Abu Hurairah (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) reports that Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) said, “A person will be on the Deen of his friend (i.e. he will follow his ways, mindset, etc). Hence, beware of whom you befriend.” (Abu Dawood #4833)
Many parents closely monitor the people with whom their children associate. However, a new type of ‘company’ has entered the scene. A company so subtle that it is with the child, even while they are in the confines of the home and tucked into bed, with the parents being none the wiser. This is the company and association that accompanies technology. Through the cell phone and social media (internet), every foreign and alien influence can easily be ‘streamed’ and ‘downloaded’ into the home. To the parent, it may seem as if his child is merely holding a tablet or phone or typing away at a keyboard. However, what the child is actually up to is another issue altogether. Hence, strict control MUST be exercised over all devices through which the child can fall into vice.
INVESTMENT OR LIABILITY?
If a child is raised correctly and the correct values are instilled in the child, he will become an invaluable asset to the parents. They will have a share in all his good works and righteous deeds, and he will make du‘aa for them and convey reward to them regularly. Conversely, if the parents neglect to raise the child correctly, and his Deen is spoilt as a result, the parents will be held accountable. Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) has mentioned, “Every one of you is a shepherd, and every one of you will be questioned regarding his flock… and a man is a shepherd in his household, and he will be questioned regarding his household…” (Saheeh Bukhaari #893)
If we truly wish the best for ourselves and our children, and wish to save them and ourselves from difficulty in the Hereafter, we have to make a consistent and concerted effort to raise them correctly. May Allah Ta‘ala bless us all with pious, obedient children who will be the coolness of our eyes and a very profitable investment in both worlds.
If a total stranger had to jump into your car, start the engine and try to take the car for a drive, what would you do? Naturally, one would become angered and, out of possessiveness, he would evict the trespasser from his vehicle. It would also not be farfetched to imagine that he would even physically assault the offender for interfering with what belonged to him.
Now imagine that a strange man greets your wife and casually begins chatting to her (the same applies to social media chatting), or shakes her hand, or even tries to hug her. While many men would not allow the hug, or maybe the handshake, some men would allow the conversation, while there are yet others who actively promote it. In fact, some men even take offense if they are not introduced to an associate’s wife. Even many parents who are regarded as more conservative tend to allow their children to establish a relationship, communicate and go out with a boy or girl on the basis of them ‘being engaged’, not realizing that they are actually in zina.
As we approach Qiyaamah, and draw further and further away from the blessed era of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam), we find the Ummah being stripped of their hayaa and shame and plunging headlong into acts of shamelessness. Alarmingly, they do not even realize it, but rather regard their behavior to be ‘normal’ as it stems from and conforms to the westernized society in which most of us live.
The result is that we allow shameless behavior to run rampant in our own families, and fail to realize just how serious a sin this is. Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) is reported to have said that Allah Ta‘ala has made Jannah haraam for a dayyooth. Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) described a dayyooth as “the man who is not concerned regarding who enters his home and interacts with his women-folk.” (Majma‘uz Zawaaid #7791)
NO ACTIONS ACCEPTED
In yet another Hadith, Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) said, “On the Day of Qiyaamah, Allah Ta‘ala will neither accept the fardh actions nor the nafl actions of the suqoor.” When the Sahaabah (radhiyallahu ‘anhum) asked who the term suqoor referred to, Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) said, “The person who allows men to enter his home and interact with his women-folk.” (Majma‘uz Zawaa’id #7793)
How lamentable it is that many men are more possessive over their cars than they are over their own wives and daughters! They attend mixed gatherings with their wives and daughters, allow male servants freely into their homes, allow their wives and daughters to roam about freely and interact with whomsoever they wish, and they are themselves guilty of interacting with the wives and daughters of other men.
If we ponder over the above ahaadeeth, we will realize that through this indecent, shameless behavior, we are actually depriving ourselves from entering Jannah. May Allah Ta‘ala guide us all to a life of purity and chastity.
Q&A – Dressing at Home
Q: I read the article on Islamic garb in the previous issue of Al-Haadi. I try my best to dress modestly all the time. Even when I’m at home, I try to cover my hair and dress correctly. When at home, my sisters prefer to leave their hair open, wear short clothes and tight pants or dress in jeans and t-shirts, etc. We often argue about this. They say that since they are only wearing it at home, and they cover up with an abaaya when they go out, there is nothing wrong in dressing like this. Please advise if this is fine.
A: Clothing is more than just a means of covering our bodies – it is also a mirror which reflects the ideals and values of the wearer. It is for this reason that the fanatical supporter of one sports team will never ever wear the regalia of another team. Hence, we need to ask ourselves, “What is the clothing of Islam, and what does my clothing reflect?”
In essence, the clothing of Islam is the clothing of hayaa (shame and modesty). Let us imagine that Hazrat Faatimah (radhiyallahu ‘anha), the queen of the women of Jannah, was coming to our home. Would we feel comfortable to receive her and welcome her while wearing a short garment and narrow cut pants or dressed in a t-shirt and jeans? Obviously not! Similarly, if the angel of death informed us that he would be arriving to take our souls at a specific time, would we await him dressed in a jeans and t-shirt? Definitely not! Rather, we would immediately cover our hair and bodies in the most decent and respectable clothing that we possessed. Our reluctance to wear a jeans and t-shirt on these two occasions sufficiently highlights the point that this type of clothing is completely bereft of hayaa.
Unfortunately, we have misunderstood hayaa and regarded it to be something that only bears relevance when we leave the home. Hence, we are living by double-standards, and it is as if we are two different people. On the outside, we portray a facade of hayaa, while on the inside, we bear the colors of the fashion houses of the West. What does this indicate of where our loyalty lies – with Islam or the West?
On numerous occasions Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) praised Hazrat ‘Uthmaan (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) for his extremely high level of hayaa. Though it is permissible to bathe in privacy without any clothing, his level of hayaa was such that he could not do so. Hasan Basri (rahimahullah) mentions, “Hazrat ‘Uthmaan (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) would be in his home, and the door would be locked, yet he would not remove his clothing to pour water over his body…”(Musnad Ahmad #543).
From this, we can easily understand that hayaa is an intrinsic trait which cannot be separated from a person at any time, not even when one is in the home. If a woman is in total privacy with her husband, she may dress in a manner to suit and please him. However, the clothing which may be fine when in total privacy can by no means be made the standard for the entire house.
Many women wear such tight fitting or transparent clothing in the home that when they hear that their father, brother, or some other mahram has come to visit, they rush to cover up. If they feel embarrassed to wear this clothing before their mahram, do they not feel embarrassed to wear it before Allah Ta‘ala who is always watching? Are they not ashamed to wear this type of clothing before their own children? In some cases, the mother wears such clothing that even embarrasses the children but they cannot speak about it due to shame. Some youngsters even complain of their feelings being stirred due to the dressing of their mothers or sisters!
DEPRIVED OF COMPANY OF ANGELS
Similarly, a woman’s hair is also regarded as satr. Hence, even though she is allowed to expose her hair before her mahrams, doing so will cause her to be deprived of the company of the angels who are a means of mercy and safety for the household.
After Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam)’s first meeting with Hazrat Jibreel (‘alaihis salaam) on the occasion of the first revelation, Hazrat Khadeejah (radhiyallahu ‘anha) requested Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) saying, “If possible, then definitely inform me when the angel comes to you again.” Hence, when Hazrat Jibreel (‘alaihis salaam) again arrived, then as promised, Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) informed her of his arrival. Hazrat Khadeejah (radhiyallahu ‘anha) requested Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) to come close to her. As Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) came close to her, she removed her scarf, exposing the hair of her head. She then asked, “Are you still able to see Hazrat Jibreel (‘alaihis salaam) now?” When Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) replied in the negative, she remarked, “Glad tidings unto you! By Allah Ta‘ala, this is an angel, not a shaitaan (as angels will not remain in a place where a woman’s hair is exposed).”(Al-Istee‘aab vol. 4, pg. 381)
We make du‘aa that Allah Ta‘ala make us true Muslims, grant us true hayaa and bless us to follow every aspect of Deen completely.
Hazrat Ibnu ‘Abbaas (radhiyallahu ‘anhuma) reports that Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) said on the day of ‘Eidul Adha: “There is no action more virtuous than the spilling of blood (through carrying out qurbaani) on this day, except (the virtuous action of) JOINING FAMILY TIES (that have been severed).” (Majma‘uz Zawaaid #5997)
Qurbaani entails slaughtering a goat, sheep, etc. However, in order to maintain family ties one has to often slaughter the wild animal within — the animal called the EGO. While it is waajib upon the person who has the means for qurbaani to slaughter an animal on Eidul Adha, it is compulsory everyday on every person to keep slaughtering one’s ego and become a humble servant of Allah Ta‘ala.
Faqeehul Ummah: Controlling Desires
Summary of Letter:
I find it impossible to refrain from looking at strange women. Please advise me as to how I can rectify this evil habit.
Summary of Reply:
In sharee‘ah, it is forbidden to look at strange women, and sharee‘ah will not command us to do something which is impossible. Thus, it cannot be ‘impossible’ for us to protect our gaze. Allah Ta‘ala has commanded us in the Quraan Majeed to lower our gaze. The more we oppose our evil inclinations and desires, the more we will gain control over our nafs. (Maktoobaat vol. 1, pg. 93)
Summary of Letter:
I am overpowered by my carnal desires. As a result I have even slipped into zina. I am now extremely remorseful and in grief. I request that Mufti Saheb prescribe some form of punishment that will help me to recover and also prescribe some treatment to bring my carnal desires under control. I am in need of your du‘aas.
Summary of Reply:
May Allah Ta‘ala grant you the ability to control your carnal desires and bring your temperament onto moderation. It is necessary to sincerely repent to gain forgiveness for one’s sins. Also sever all contact from the person who you became involved with. For instance, if the person was the sister-in-law, never be in solitude with her, or compromise purdah between you and her, or laugh and joke with one another. Impose a monetary penalty as well as a physical penalty on yourself. As a monetary penalty, impose upon yourself to give such an amount in charity which will create some strain and pressure upon you (the amount must not be so small which you can easily afford). The physical penalty should be in the form of fasting. When repenting before Allah Ta‘ala, make a firm resolution never to allow this to happen again. (Maktoobaat vol. 1, pg. 88