This article is especially for mollycoddling mothers who are under the mistaken impression that bringing up a son worthy of being a man and bringing up a kitten are the same thing. Remember my dear sisters, wood needs seasoning if it is to be worth anything. And to be seasoned it has to get wet in the rain, dry in the hot sun and freeze in the night. Only then will it become strong and last a hundred years.
The same applies to children – especially boys. Soft little overweight brats may look cute – but believe me, that is only to your motherly eyes. The reality is that what you are looking at is a poor, scared little human being who was made incapable of surviving in the world; handicapped and destroyed by the misplaced, misguided love of his mother.
If you want your children to succeed, get them used to hardship. Connect them with Allah. Teach them the true value of things. And DON’T succumb to their demands. Allah gave THEM into YOUR control and not vice versa. If you don’t do this, then be prepared to be in the darkness of your grave without any benefit accruing to you from one of the most powerful potential sources that Allah gave into your control. As you bring them up, so they will be for you.
Decide, are you their friend or worst enemy? Are you trying to help them to succeed or scripting their perpetual failure? As you do, so shall it unfold.
When I was 15 I fell off my horse doing some acrobatics in full gallop and broke my shoulder. When I reached home, in excruciating pain, my mother saw me and recited a couplet:
Girtay hain shah sawaar hi maidan-e-jung mein
Wo thifl kya girayga jo ghutnon kay bal chalay?
It is only warriors who fall in the field of battle
How can a little child who is crawling on his knees ever fall?
She said it because she loved me. Then she sent me off to the hospital (my father was the surgeon) and he bandaged me up and asked me to tell him the whole story of how I fell and listened to it with great amusement and laughed his famous laugh which all those who knew him will remember.
He also loved me more than anyone else.
From as far back as I can recall, my brother (he must have been 6 or 7 and I was a year or two older) we used to go with our father for Taraweeh in Masjid Bee Sahaba in Panjagutta. No carpet. Stone floor. And we prayed 20 Raka’at. We would go to Tablighi and other functions and sit on stone floors (no masjid in Hyderabad had a carpet) and listen to Bayans of at least 3 hours at a stretch. No complaints. No excuses. And it didn’t even occur to us that we had any choice in the matter. And that is how we learnt. I don’t remember ever consciously learning the Masnoon Khutba of Rasoolullah (SAS). I learnt it simply listening to the many Ulama who always began their Bayans with that Khutba.
On the occasion that we prayed at home, it was my responsibility to call Adhaan and my father led the Salah and we all prayed behind him. He would be up from 2.30am every day and we could hear him making Wudhu (no electric heaters so it was always cold water) and then read the Qur’an until it was time for Fajr. Then he would come into our room, turn on the lights, pull off our blankets and say, ‘Utho meri Duniya kay ghareebo. Namaz neend say behtar hai.’ (Wake up O Ghareeb of my world, Salah is better than sleep). The youngest of his 5 children at that time was 5 years old.
When I was 19 I went off to Guyana and lived alone, working in a mining town in the middle of the Amazonian rainforest for 5 years. My parents said, ‘Go. Insha’Allah our dua is with you. Be careful of your Salat.’ That’s it.
Alhamdulillah they had confidence in their dua and they were connected to their Rabb.
And that is why every day of my life, I make dua for them in Tahajjud.
What they do - What we say
If he plays cricket all day = Children need to play to remain healthy
If he prays Taraweeh = He will get tired
If he sleeps and doesn’t want to wake up early to study for an exam = How can he succeed if he doesn’t study?
If he doesn’t pray Fajr in the Masjid with his father = Poor kid, what can he do? He has to go to school at 7.30 am
If he doesn’t know his school lesson = He is a failure and will be punished
If he can’t understand the Qur’an, doesn’t know more than 5 Suras, can’t recite the Qur’an correctly, has no Khushoo in Salah, has no connection with Allah? = He is not ashamed. You are not ashamed. After all how much can he do?
If the above doesn’t apply to you, Alhamdulillah.
But if it applies to you then ask yourself:
‘What values are you teaching your children?’