For many expecting parents like myself, many thoughts cross the mind from the moment we first discover that we will become parents to the months, weeks, days, nights, hours and minutes leading to this long awaited moment. I find myself asking, “Will my child be a blessing for me?”, “Will my child be a test?”, “Will I do justice in raising this child in the way Islam has directed us as parents to do so?, “Will my child flourish in Islam?”, “Am I a good enough to be a Mother?”. Mind you, this is just a snapshot of what goes through my head on a daily basis.
Being an adult, I know the best way to approach something new is through researching, learning, filling in gaps, seeking advice and preparing oneself – so that’s exactly what I’ve set out to do. One of the books which I have been reading, “Nurturing Eeman in Children” by Dr. Aisha Hamdan sets out to explain Parenting from an Islamic perspective. (you can find the links to purchase/download this book at the end of this post!) has been my anchor, thoroughly explaining matters and very well written – having only started reading it since I’ve found out I was pregnant, it has been of much benefit and I envision it will continue to do so in the months to come.
My view is that becoming parents is both a blessing and a test.
A child is a blessing, as the Prophet ﷺ said:
“When a person dies, no good deeds will be added on his record except for three: continuous charity, beneficial knowledge, and a pious child who supplicates for him.” [Muslim]
This in itself shows the weight a child holds in Islam, as Allāh has placed the child amongst the only three means through which a deceased individual can continue to earn good deeds.
Furthermore, we can look at the example of Ibraheem (ʿalayhi al-Salām), whos’ wife Saarah was barren and had grown old. So he supplicated to Allāh, who answered him and blessed him with a child, Ismaa’eel, through Haajar.
رَبِّ هَبْ لِي مِنَ الصَّالِحِينَ
“…My Lord, grant me [a child] from among the righteous.”
فَبَشَّرْنَاهُ بِغُلَامٍ حَلِيمٍ
So We gave him good tidings of a forbearing boy.
and there are several more examples narrated within the Qur’an and Sunnah where children have been granted to individuals, whom grew up to be amongst the Prophet’s, the righteous and carried forth Islam.
Children as a Test?
Allāh has told us in the Quran;
وَاعْلَمُوا أَنَّمَا أَمْوَالُكُمْ وَأَوْلَادُكُمْ فِتْنَةٌ وَأَنَّ اللَّهَ عِندَهُ أَجْرٌ عَظِيمٌ
And know that your properties and your children are but a trial and that Allah has with Him a great reward. [Al-Anfal:28]
إِنَّمَا أَمْوَالُكُمْ وَأَوْلَادُكُمْ فِتْنَةٌ ۚ وَاللَّهُ عِندَهُ أَجْرٌ عَظِيمٌ
Your wealth and your children are but a trial, and Allah has with Him a great reward. [At-Taghabun: 15]
أَحَسِبَ النَّاسُ أَن يُتْرَكُوا أَن يَقُولُوا آمَنَّا وَهُمْ لَا يُفْتَنُونَ وَلَقَدْ فَتَنَّا الَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِهِمْ ۖ فَلَيَعْلَمَنَّ اللَّهُ الَّذِينَ صَدَقُوا وَلَيَعْلَمَنَّ الْكَاذِبِينَ
Do the people think that they will be left to say, “We believe” and they will not be tried?
But We have certainly tried those before them, and Allah will surely make evident those who are truthful, and He will surely make evident the liars. [Al-‘Ankabut: 2-3]
Whilst I know that my child is a blessing, equally I am aware of the lofty weight that has been placed on mine and my husbands shoulders. As we prepare for parenthood, we know that we must not forget that Allāh has provided us with this child and continue to show gratitude now through way of supplication, and later through the upbringing we will provide our child with. We all owe it to our children that we give them our undivided attention, good upbrining, manners, firm teachings of Islam and all the necessary components to nurture and bring them up upon Eeman.
We ask Allāh to grant us the ability to do justice to our children and that we are a blessing for one another and are amongst the families who are granted ultimate companionship in the hereafter, in paradise – inshaAllaah.
Links to purchase “Nurturing Eeman in Children” by Dr. Aisha Hamdan
Amazon: http://amzn.eu/dTYIdvj (£7.20)
Kitaabun Classical and Contemporary Bookshop
PDF Copy available at Kalamullah.com http://kalamullah.com/Books/Nurturing%20Eeman%20In%20Children.pdf