Assalamualaikum my dear friends, there's something i want to share with all of you..Happy Teachers Day=)
Recently, there are a lot of moral problems happened to our youths in Malaysia. Baby dumping, pre-marital sex, prostitution, and others are in the stage that we should worry of. Thus, many people come to blame one another, why this problem occurs to our teenagers. Some blame parents, some blame schools, some blame society and there are also said that it is from the influenced of mass media which influence and boost out teenager’s curiosity. Whatever the blame goes to, I personally believed that family institutional plays an important role in the shaping children moral behavior and thinking. As in Islam said that children are born with fitrah and thus, their parents will shape and determine who and what they want their children want to be. Most of the cases of youth’s moral problem today are due to the failure of the family institutions like family broken, divorce family, financial problem and neglecting parent toward their children. Here, I would like to explore, what is the real responsibility of parents in educating their children. Is it the duty of parents is just to fulfill the children’s basic needs like shelter, food, clothes? What about their psychological need? There are parents who fulfill all children’s basic needs but neglected their psychological needs like need to be loving, caring, and listening and so on. When parents did not fulfill their psychological needs, hence they will searching for it outside home like what happens nowadays.
Generally, in Islam, there are several responsibilities of parents toward their children. There are responsibilities to instill and educate their children in terms of faith, moral character, physical, intellectual, psychological, social and sexual. Thus, I will explain about these factors.
1) The Responsibilities of nurturing eeman in children
Nurturing eeman (faith) in children is centered on knowledge of Islamic principles, parenting, human nature and knowledge itself. It comprises of ‘aqeedah, eeman, and ihsan. Firstly, aqeedah which is the knowledge that one believes in the heart, without doubt. In Islam, this would be matters of knowledge that have been transmitted in authentic reports from Allah and the Messenger. It mentions in the Holy Quran in (2: 285). True Islamic ‘aqeedah is as essential for humans as water and air. Without it, humans are lost and confused. Aqeedah (belief) forms the foundation and basis of eeman (faith or firm belief). Eeman is based upon ‘aqeedah that is firmly established in the heart. Eeman is verbally declared and is confirmed by actions conforming to the dictates of ‘aqeedah. Correct ‘aqeedah is important so that one’s eeman will be acceptable and strong. The more knowledge of ‘aqeedah that a person possesses, the more his or her eeman will increase and grow. While eeman, is sincere faith that develops from an individual’s belief system. This faith impacts the person’s thoughts, feelings, speech and actions. There are three essential components of eeman, as stated by many scholars, are belief in the heart, profession by the tongue (one’s statements) and performance of deeds by the body ( one’s actions). Lastly is ihsan which means “ doing something that you worship Allah as if you see Him. And even though you do not see Him, ( you know) He sees you.” It is the highest level that a human being can achieve. It means to do something in the best way and to attain perfection and excellence in something.
This three aspect is relates to the parenting which the goal of parents is not only to develop their children as Muslims, but also to foster firm ‘aqeedah and eeman in the heart. If a family spends a great deal of time teaching their children the practical aspects of the religion rather than focusing on ‘aqeedah, it is likely that the behavior will not be enduring. Children may know how to pray and fast and so on, but it may not be in their hearts to do so. They may complete these acts to please their family or to show off to Muslim friends, but it will not be lasting. What is needed is an understanding of the true meaning of being a Muslim, of being a mu’min, and even of attaining the level of ihsan. Parents must cultivate this eeman in the hearts of their children, beginning from birth. They must teach their children to sincerely submit to Allah with their hearts, with their tongues, and with their deeds. Children must learn to have fear of Allah, love of Allah, and trust in Allah. ( 2: 165).
2) Developing an Islamic Personality
One of the obvious purposes and goals of nurturing eeman in children is to develop an Islamic personality within them. An Islamic personality is one that submits completely to the will of Allah, as a servant of Allah. Parents play an important role in this process and can either enhance or hinder the development of this Islamic personality.
In addition to connecting children to the pillars of eeman, there are other strategies that parents may consider in the future to nurture eeman and develop an Islamic personality and identify in their children. It will be helpful first to define a few terms for our purposes. Firstly, personality is the complex of characteristics that distinguishes an individual from others. It is the totality of an individual’s emotional, behavioral and cognitive characteristics. While identity is a comprehensive set of beliefs and practices that guide one’s life. It provides a stable sense of self. A critical element in identity and identity formation is the belief system. The aqeedah of Islam imparts the necessary beliefs for a healthy and stable identity. Islamic law guides one’s practices and behaviors.
Begin from an early age
Children should be taught of Islamic teaching begin from an early age. For example, the story of Companion Abdullah bin Abas which was born three years before the migration to Madinah and he was only 13 years old when the Prophet died. As a young boy, he served the Prophet, went with him on journey and expeditions, and stood behind the Prophet, always in his company. The prophet would often bring Abdullah close to him, pat him on the shoulder and pray “ O Lord, make him acquire a deep understanding of the religion of Islam and instruct him in the meaning and interpretation of things”. His supplication was answered, as ‘Abdullah had wisdom beyond his years. Young Abdullah was attentive to what the Prophet said and did in all situations. He listened and watched with an enthusiastic heart and committed the Prophet’s words to memory. He became one of the most learned Companions of the Prophet, memorizing 1660 hadiths, many of which are recorded in Saheeh al-Bukhari and Saheeh Muslim. Abdullah’s life was to be devoted to the pursuit of learning and knowledge. He was also an ardent worshipper and a warrior, taking part in many battles.
The lesson of that story is that we should begin to nurture knowledge, eeman, and piety in our children from a very young age. As mentioned previously, children should know that Allah from the moment of birth. As young children, time should be spent in memorization of the Quran and hadiths. It is interesting to note that psychological research has found that the ability to memorize information is strongest during the processes of brain development and aging. The same is true of language acquisition, which is much easier during the childhood years
The information that a child learns and memorizes during the formative years is likely to remain in the memory storage. Memorization of the Quran is especially important since it has positive effects upon the child’s ability to memorize other material. Children who consistently memorize the Quran in childhood generally excel in other subjects as well. The other issue to consider related to teaching children from a young age is that the main tasks of parenting take place during the early, formative years. Puberty and the age responsibility emerge relatively early, sometimes as young as eight or nine years of age. By this time, children should have the necessary and basic tools to manage, function, and make decisions as a responsible Muslim. Their behavior should be commensurate with Islamic Law, for the angels will begin recording their deeds, both good and bad, to be presented on the Day of Judgment. For this reason, parents must begin early and prepare their children for this important time. The responsibility of parenting never really comes to an end, but the greatest effort should be exerted in the early phases. If this job is done well, the later years will run more smoothly.
Teach children to understand all things from the perspective of Islam
A person with an Islamic personality and strong eeman will look at all issues from the perspective of Islam. Islam becomes their criteria for right and wrong in all matters. One of the names of the Quran is the Criterion. It is the criterion between right and wrong, and for this reason it is the main source of knowledge for Muslims. It provides guidance for many areas and is further elaborated upon by the Hadith of the Prophet.
Children should realize that all issues and situations should be viewed through the “lens” of Islam, with the Quran and the Sunnah as the guides. Islam is a complete and comprehensive way of life that covers every aspect: spiritual, familial, social, economic, and political; as such, it can be applied to the various challenges and problems that one may face in life. For example, a child encounters a particularly difficult situation in school such as bullying or teasing by classmates. He should be encouraged to search in the Quran and Hadith to find the most appropriate Islamic solution to his problem. What does the Quran say about dealing with others who act in harmful way? What would the Prophet do in the same circumstances? Are there similar stories in the seerah to indicate how the Prophet may have coped with such tests? Through this process they not only learn about the Islamic approach to life, but they also gain a deeper understanding of the Quran and the hadith as well.
Teach importance of obedience to parents
The term that means “ obey” and related concept appear many times in the Quran. Allah reminds us countless times to obey Him and to obey His Messenger. Allah declares, ( 24:54), (64:16). For the family to function properly, a wife needs to obey her husband and the children need to obey their parents unless the husband or parents order them to be disobedient to Allah. When they do this, they are ultimately obeying Allah and receiving the greatest of Rewards. Allah says, “ …So righteous women are devoutly obedient, guarding in ( the husband’s) absence what Allah would have them guard…”. Children need to be taught this concept from a vey young age, and the interactions between the mother and father provide ideal examples. The obedience of children to their parents is actually the training ground for eventual submission to Allah. In many ways they go hand in hand, but effective parenting provides the tangible examples that fit with the mind of a young child and ease the transition into responsibility. Notably, children must comprehend that obedience to parents is at the submission and obedience to Allah.
When a child learn obedience within the family unit, this generalizes into other areas of his or her life ( in school, with peers, and with other adults). There are many situations in which we all need to listen and obey: student to teacher, worker to supervisor, soldier to commander, and so forth, with Allah as the final authority. ( 4: 59). This principle is necessary for optimal functioning of the society.
Part of the rationale behind this ruling is that parents and other adults have more experience than a child and consequently more wisdom. They have gained more knowledge, undergone more trials and tribulations, and learned from their own mistakes. It is important for children to understand that they have their best interest in mind when making decisions. This will assist the children in understanding the perspective of their parents and will build trust between them. Of course, Allah knows us better than we know our own selves, so He is our ultimate judge in all matters.
Encourage a focus on worthy values and related projects
In this day and age, children spend a significant amount of time in useless and valueless pursuits: watching television, playing computer games, surfing the internet; the list is endless. In essence, they spend significantly greater amounts of time in the fictional world than they do in the real world. It suddenly becomes frightening when you begin to realize this fact and understand the implications. As parents of Muslim children, we need to focus on worthy values, goals, and projects, and instill the same aspirations in our children.
As we look at the situation of the world today, we see so much oppression, strife, destruction, and complete disregard for the fundamental rights of humans. Many of the victims of this death, devastation, and grief are Muslims. We must recall that it is our obligation to help our brothers, sisters, and others who are suffering in the world today. Our Muslim brothers and sisters are calling out desperately for our help, and we must respond. We particularly need to take care of the children whose futures seem so dark and hopeless, and who are dependent upon adults for their needs.
Demonstrate and encourage pride in being Muslim
Parents should take the lead in demonstrating pride in the religion of Islam and in being Muslim. Children are very perceptive and can sense the feelings and thoughts of their parents, even if they do not readily show in behavior. Pride, in this context, is very different from arrogance in that it refers to a sense of dignity and certainty, and commitment to carry the banner of Islam for the sake of Allah. Muslims should be proud of the gift that they have been given from Allah and should work to spread it wherever they are. Pride, self-respect, and self-esteem are key components of identify and facilitate the stable and consistent sense of who we are and how we fit into society. If self-esteem does not come from being Muslim, a person will attempt to gain it through other means. Children and youth are particularly vulnerable as these aspects develop gradually during those years.
Instill love of Jihad
Jihad is one of the mainstays of Islam that has been abandoned by the majority of the Muslim community. This is one of the causes of the humiliation of Muslims in our time. The grief and suffering caused by current circumstances is overwhelming. As Muslims, we know that the only viable solution is returning to the Quran and the Sunnah. Principles of justice, security, and honor can only be guaranteed fully with the implementation of Allah’ laws on the earth, which deserves the utmost respect and honor. The ultimate goal in the struggle is to establish Islam and Islamic law, which eliminate all forms of oppression completely and give Allah the devotion and adoration that only He deserves.
This is a process that does not come easily, as it requires a great struggle. This struggle, in the Islamic sense, is termed jihad. Jihad is an Arabic term that means to strive, struggle, and work to improve, and it can be applied to any effort exerted by a person. In an Islamic sense, the general meaning of jihad is to strive, struggle, and work to improve and it can be applied to any effort exerted by a person. In an Islamic sense, the general meaning of Jihad is to strive in the path of Islam in our hearts, in our homes, in our communities, and in our countries. Allah indicates in the Quran,” And who strive for us---We will surely guide them to Our ways. And indeed, Allah is with the doers of good” ( 26:69)
Jihad means to struggle against injustice, oppression, corruption, tyranny, exploitation, and the denial of basic human rights. It means to fight against sacrilege and blasphemy of Allah, His Messenger, and His Book. It means to strive against the enemies of Islam, both visible and unseen, for Satan has an army working with Him. Allah says : “ Those who believe fight in the cause of Allah, and those who disbelieve fight in the cause of false objects of worship. So fight against the allies of Satan. Indeed, the plot of Satan has ever been weak.” ( 4: 76). Ultimately, jihad is the struggle against Satan and his assistants, who appear in the form of jinn and humans.
Jihad is an essential element in the religion of Islam, and to realize what occurs when it is abandoned means to understand its status; for without jihad, evil will reign. Jihad is so significant that those who perform it are regarded as the best of people. Abu Sa’eed al-Khudri narrated: “Somebody asked: O Allah’s Messenger! Who is the best among the people? Allah’s Messenger replied: A believer who strives his utmost in Allah’s cause with his life and property”
Place Islam before ethnicity and nationality
Two major threats to the development of a Muslim identity are ethnicity and nationality. Allah actually warns about this several times in the Quran. He mentions:
“ And when it is said to them: Follow what Allah has revealed, they say: Rather, we will follow that which we found our fathers doing. Even though their fathers understood nothing, nor were they guided?” ( 2: 170)
This has happened throughout history and it continues to this day. Many Muslims today place greater emphasis on their cultural traditions and nationality than they do on Islamic values and practices. This means that their national and ethnic identities are much stronger that their Islamic identity. Children should be taught that Muslim identity and Islam come before all else. Muslims are brother and sisters to one another regardless of race, ethnicity or nationality; and there is no superiority of one over the other in any of these. They must also understand that there is nothing more important than being a Muslim. There is grave danger in placing ethnicity or nationality above Islam as it may actually lead to various forms of misguidance and shirk. Of course, there is also the danger of the dominant culture for those living in the West. Although Islam accepts and recognizes the value and beauty of the variety of cultures, traditions, and languages, religion should be given priority when it comes to relevant matters.
3) The development of the Emotional Part in enhancing Islamic Personality and building self-esteem
The development of emotional part within the children self is very important because it can enhance the Islamic personality and identify of children as well as build strong self-esteem and confidence. These suggestions are discussed below with an emphasis on self-esteem. We shall look at the definitions of the self-concept and self-esteem.
Firstly, self-concept is a mental image of one’s self. It is comprised of terms that a person uses to describe him or herself. Such terms may include outgoing, shy, curious, brave, intelligent, and so forth.
Self-esteem is the evaluation of information contained in a person’s self-concept. It is considered to be the level of confidence and satisfaction in one’s self. A person with high self-esteem feels confident and pleased with his or her concept or idea of himself or herself.
Research has found that children who are morally and spiritually conscious develop a sense of their own self-worth. Parents can assist children in developing an Islamic personality and high self-esteem. Self-esteem is an important factor in social and emotional adjustment. Children with high self-esteem are more capable of making good decisions, are proud of their accomplishments, are wiling to take responsibility, and act independently. They are better able to cope with stressful situations and are enthusiastic about challenges. They also have the ability to handle positive and negative emotions and are more socially competent.
Nurture the special gift from Allah
Each child is born with unique personality traits, temperaments, skills, abilities, and special gifts from Allah. These gifts were given to a child for a purpose. They should be nurtured and allowed to develop to their fullest capacity. Children should be taught to dedicate their talents and resources to Allah’s service. This gives value, purpose, and direction in life. Parents play an important role in this regard. They first need to determine the special characteristics and gifts of each child and then find ways to enhance them. If a child’s natural abilities are not allowed to grow, this may negatively affect self-esteem.
Love your children abundantly
Parents should show their children how much they care for and love them. They should call their children on a regular basis that they love them. Children should also be treated with respect and courtesy since actions often speak louder than words. Physical contact is essential, including such things as hugs, kisses, strokes, pats on the back. An important aspect also is that parents should spend time with their children whenever possible. This may involve playing games, talking, taking a work, praying and reading the Quran together, going to the mosque, or sharing other favorite activities. A sense of humor also goes along way in dealing with many situations and for strengthening the parent-child relationship.
Communicate with your children
It is very difficult to build a relationship with any human being without frequent communication. Communication is what relationship are based upon. This is definitely true for the parent-child relationship as well. We cannot expect to have an influence upon our children unless we have regular contact with them. This is particularly true as the child gets older and begins to understand more about the world. If the lines of communication are open, it is more likely that she will come to his or her parents to find answer to important questions that come up in life. This offers unique opportunities for parents to share their beliefs and values in a direct and real way. Without a history of open communication, this may never happen. A line of communication is also essential for effective discipline.
The most critical element for effective communication is listening ( really listening). This means giving your child undivided attention, putting aside your feelings and opinions for a moment, and trying to understand those of your child. His or her ideas, emotions, and feelings should be taken seriously. Parents should show their children that what they do is important by talking with them about their activities and interests. At times, it may be necessary to express values and beliefs, but this should be done in a calm manner and accompanied with a rationale. Problems should be discussed without placing blame or commenting on a child’s character.
Praise them for good behavior
Children respond well to praise and positive attention and this can go along way in preventing problem behaviors and reducing them once they occur. The use of such phrases or remarks also builds self-esteem. Examples include, “ Thank you for helping”, “ That was an excellent idea!”, “ You are terrific”, “ What a nice job!”, “and “Allah will be pleased with you”. Praise, recognition, special privileges, or increased responsibility may be given for accomplishments and successes. Hugs and kisses may be used as rewards as well.
Praise and kindness are much more effective as forms of discipline than harshness and physical punishments. In effect, they act as preventive tools. They prophet said : “When Allah wills some good towards the people of a household, He introduces kindness among them”. The Prophet also said: “Allah loves kindness and rewards it in such a way that he does not reward for harshness or for anything else’. Children who are treated with respect and kindness respond more easily and quickly to the disciplinary efforts of parents. This prevents many arguments and confrontations.
Give them praise and respect in front of others
Sahl ibn Sa’d said that Prophet was brought up a cup and he drank from it. There was a boy, the youngest of all the people, on his right and some elders on his left. He asked: Child, will you allow me to give this to these elders? The boy replied: I will not give away my share of your blessings to anyone, O Messenger of Allah. So, he gave the cup to the boy.
This hadith provides a unique and valuable example of respect for children. It is likely the most adults in that some situation would ignore the child or ask him or her to go away so as not to bother the grown-ups. It seems odd that some parents show a great deal of respect to perfect strangers but fall short when it comes to their own children. The prophet demonstrated the proper manner of dealing with such a situation. Children are human beings and they deserve the same level of respect as any other human being. It is important to respect and admire our children at all times, particularly in front of other people. This sends a very powerful message that a parent values his or her children and considers them to be a worthy member of the community. The prophet often included young children and youth in study circles with Companions. These types of experiences are invaluable for character development and lead to a smooth transition into adulthood and the responsibilities of life.
Avoid humiliating or shaming them
Parents should avoid humiliating or shaming children, particularly in the presence of others. Their ideas should not be belittled nor should they be ridiculed or ostracized. Anas narrated: “I served the Prophet for ten years, and he never said to me, “ Uff,” and never blamed me by saying: Why did you do that or why didn’t you do that”. This is another compelling illustration of kind treatment toward children, ten years, and not one instance of impatience or negative commentary. Some parents are with their children for five minutes and find some way to blame them for every bad thing that happened that they.
Humiliation, shame, ridicule only serves to harm a child’s personality and well-being. In essence, they have the opposite effect of praise and kindness. They lead to a decrease in self-esteem and self-confidence, and in severe cases, a disturbed personality and behavior problems. We can imagine how we feel when someone gives us a negative comment or humiliates us in some way. It can be hurtful and embarrassing. Children feel the same way and, due to the facts that their personalities and characters are developing, they are much more vulnerable than adults. As a result, they are more likely to suffer from the harmful effects of such actions and carry these effects with them for longer periods of time. Parents should constantly be aware of the sensitive nature of children and their unique vulnerability.
Consult them and ask for their opinions
Consulting children about certain matters help them to feel grown-up, responsible, and trustworthy. They feel that their opinions are valued when they are asked to express their point of view. It also strengthens their sense of belonging and responsibility toward the family unit. The amount and type of consultation that is done depends, of course, on the age and developmental level of each child. As children reach the teenage years, it becomes even more important to involve them in family discussions. This approach enhances the skills that will be invaluable for them in adult life, such as communication skills, problem-solving, decision-making, compromise and so forth.
It would be advisable to arrange and conduct family meetings to discuss issues related to the family and its members. A family meeting is basically a structured discussion time that typically is scheduled on a regular basis and involves all members of a family. It provides a forum for making group decisions, assigning responsibilities, sharing positive feelings, and choosing activities for family fun. Problems that family members are facing may be discussed along with possible solutions. These meetings will assist in establishing strong ties, interaction, and co-operation amongst family members. It should be clear, however, that with any form of consultation or family meetings the final authority and decision-making rests with the parents due to their position within the family.
Foster responsibility and independence
Children should be given responsibilities according to their age and abilities. This provides training for the development of conscientious, trustworthy and independent behavior. As young adults, they will eventually need to make their own important decisions in their lives. With appropriate experiences, they are provided with opportunities to learn and develop essential decision-making and problem-solving skills. They should then be encouraged to apply these skills on a regular basis. As children get older, they should gradually be allowed more freedom and control over their lives, within suitable limits. Parent should continue to provide support when necessary. The development of responsibility and independence is key to anyone’s self-confidence and high self-esteem. Such a child will feel valued, appreciated and competent. This, in turn, will increase the level of trust between a parent and child and enhance the parent-child and enhance the parent-child relationship, which is so vital in achieving the goals that have been set.
4) Environmental factors ( Home environment)
The environment surrounding children may also have an impact upon their spiritual development. This influence is often subtle, but nonetheless can be quite significant. This is particularly true as the child matures and moves from childhood into adolescence and early childhood. The general understanding in the field of development is that as child develops, the influence of parents tends to diminish (although it never ends) and the role of peers and the community becomes more significant. It is gradual process, which of course will vary from person to person.
Create an environment of eeman within the home
The home must be place where Allah is remembered throughout the day through prayer, reading the Quran, remembrance of Allah, supplication, discussion of Islamic topics, reading Islamic books, and so on. These are things that should occur on a consistent basis, so that the angels will enter the home and bring Allah’s blessings.
Establish prayer within the home
Prayer should be established within the home at its required time, and members of the family should pray in congregation when several parts present. Establishment of prayer means not only to fulfill the prayer, but to complete it on time and with humbleness. The family may also designate a specific area for prayer and maintain its uniqueness and cleanliness. The members of the household should encourage and remind one another regarding the prayer.
Make teaching and learning ongoing process
Teaching and learning should be ongoing activities in every Muslim household. Attaining knowledge regarding the religion is incumbent upon all members of the family and is the basis upon which eeman will flourish. The head of the household has the primary responsibility to ensure that he is guiding his family to the correct path, enjoining them to do what is good and right, and forbidding them from wrongdoing. Both father and mother work together to teach the children correct Islamic ‘aqeedah, the pillars of Islam, the pillars of eeman, what Allah has enjoined, what He has prohibited, and Quranic memorization.
5) The peer environment
Between the ages of six and twelve, children typically spend approximately 40 percent of their working hours in the company of peers-children of their own and age and status. This is twice the amount of time they spent with peers during the preschool years, and it is accompanied by a corresponding decrease in time spent with parents. As children enter adolescence, peer interaction increases even more. On the average, teenagers spend twice as much time with peers outside of schools as they do with their parents or other adults. This is part of the natural, social transition into adulthood.
Aisha Hamdan, Nurturing Eeman in Children, international Islamic Publishing House, 2009
Muhammad Nur Abdullah Hafiz Suaid, Didik anak cara Rasulullah SAW, Klang Book Centre, 2006
Hamudah Jamaludin, 50 Kaedah mendidik anak cemerlang, Jasmin Enterprise, 2004
Saedah Siraj, Pendidikan AnakAnak, Perpustakaan Negara Malaysia, cetakan kedua 2007.