Twelve Steps In Cultivating Our Children – Abu Khadeejah Abdul-Wahid

Twelve Steps In Cultivating Our Children

In the name of Allaah, the Most Merciful, the Bestower of Mercy. All praise is due to Allaah, Lord of all that exists, and may the peace and blessings of Allaah be upon the Messenger Muhammad, his family, his Companions and his followers till the Day of Judgement. From the greatest of responsibilities and trusts placed upon us is the obligation of cultivating our children. Allaah, the Most High, said:

ﻳﺎ ﺃﻳﻬﺎ ﺍﻟﺬﻳﻦ ﺁﻣﻨﻮﺍ ﻗﻮﺍ ﺃﻧﻔﺴﻜﻢ ﻭﺃﻫﻠﻴﻜﻢ ﻧﺎﺭﺍ ﻭﻗﻮﺩﻫﺎ ﺍﻟﻨﺎﺱ ﻭﺍﻟﺤﺠﺎﺭﺓ ﻋﻠﻴﻬﺎ ﻣﻠﺎﺋﻜﺔ ﻏﻠﺎﻅ
ﺷﺪﺍﺩ ﻟﺎ ﻳﻌﺼﻮﻥ ﺍﻟﻠﻪ ﻣﺎ ﺃﻣﺮﻫﻢ ﻭﻳﻔﻌﻠﻮﻥ ﻣﺎ ﻳﺆﻣﺮﻭﻥ

O you who have believed, protect yourselves and your families from a Fire whose fuel is people and stones, over which are [appointed] angels, harsh and severe; they do not disobey Allah in what He commands them but do what they are commanded. [at-Tahreem:6]

‘Alee bin Abee Taalib (radiyallaahu ‘anhu) said it means: “Teach them good manners, and teach them goodness.” So upon the father is to take the responsibility of cultivating the affairs of his family so as to achieve that goodness.


A person chooses a partner who will aid in building a strong pious family with righteous offspring! So choose a righteous wife and the woman chooses a righteous husband. A pious man for a pious woman, a wicked man for a wicked woman. So choosing the right spouse is the first step towards the good cultivation of children. On the authority of Abu Hurairah (radiyallaahu ‘anhu) that Allaah’s Messenger (salallaahu ‘alaihi wassallam) said:
“A woman is married for four reasons: For her wealth, for her lineage, for her beauty and for her religion. So marry the one with the Religion and you will be successful.” [Bukhaaree, 5090. Muslim, 1466]

And on the authority of ‘Abdullaah ibn ‘Amr (radiyallaahu ‘anhu) that Allaah’s Messenger (salallaahu ‘alaihi wassallam) said:
“The world is but a utility, and the best of the utilities of the world is a righteous wife.” [Muslim, 1467]

Additionally one should not marry a sinner or an innovator. Imaam Maalik b. Anas (d. 179H, rahimahullaah) said:
“One does not marry ahlul-bid’ah, nor are they given the salaam.” [al-Mudawwanah 1/84]

Fudayl b. Iyaad (d. 187H, rahimahullaah) said:
“Whoever marries his daughter to an innovator, then he has cut the ties of kinship.” [Sharhus-Sunnah of al-Barbahaaree, p.52]

Imaam as-Sha’bee (d. 104H, rahimahullaah) said:
“Whoever marries his daughter to a sinner has cut the ties of her kinship.” [Fiqhus-Sunnah 2/16, Saheeh]

Ibn Taymiyyah (d. 728H, rahimahullaah) said:
“This is a true statement from those who uttered it from the Salaf and the Imaams with regard to the people of bid’ah: that their witness is not accepted; they are not to be prayed behind; knowledge is not to be taken from them; and they are not to be married. This is the punishment for them until they cease [from innovations].” [See Ijmaa’ al-Ummah ‘alaa Tahdheer min ahlil-Ahwaa]


That a person is sincere to Allah in the cultivation of his children and he hopes for the reward of Allah for exerting his effort and his wealth – so he seeks only Allah’s reward and favour. Allah, the Most Generous, said:

ﻭﻣﺎ ﺃﻣﺮﻭﺍ ﺇﻟﺎ ﻟﻴﻌﺒﺪﻭﺍ ﺍﻟﻠﻪ ﻣﺨﻠﺼﻴﻦ ﻟﻪ ﺍﻟﺪﻳﻦ ﺣﻨﻔﺎﺀ ﻭﻳﻘﻴﻤﻮﺍ ﺍﻟﺼﻠﺎﺓ ﻭﻳﺆﺗﻮﺍ ﺍﻟﺰﻛﺎﺓ ﻭﺫﻟﻚ
ﺩﻳﻦ ﺍﻟﻘﻴﻤﺔ

And they were not commanded except to worship Allah, [being] sincere to Him in religion, inclining to truth, and to establish prayer and to give zakah. And that is the correct religion. [al-Bayyinah: 5]

And the Prophet (salallaahu alaihi wassallam) said:
Indeed actions are but by intentions and every person is only that which he intended. [Bukhaaree, no.1]

So cultivating one’s children upon good is from the most virtuous types of worship, due to what follows on from that of benefits – both specific and general, and due to what it contains of hardship and pain. One should be sincere with regard to his children, fear Allaah, and seek His Pleasure.


Encouraging one’s children upon worship with gentleness; to encourage them with good character and manners from an early age – so they begin to love these affairs from a young age. Allah, the Most High, stated:

ﻭﺃﻣﺮ ﺃﻫﻠﻚ ﺑﺎﻟﺼﻠﺎﺓ ﻭﺍﺻﻄﺒﺮ ﻋﻠﻴﻬﺎ

And enjoin prayer upon your family [and people] and be steadfast [and patient] therein. [TaaHaa: 132]

‘Amr b. Shu’aib narrated from his father from his grandfather that Allaah’s Messenger (salallaahu ‘alaihi wassallam) said:
“Command your children with the Salah at the age of seven, and smack them if they don’t pray at the age of ten. And separate their beds [at ten years old].” [Abu Dawood, 495]

This shows that cultivation begins at an early age. Shaikhul-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah (rahimahullaah, d. 728H) said,
“Whoever has a child or a servant or an orphan in his care and yet he does not order them with the prayer, then it is the adult who is punished if he does not teach and command the young one – so he is rebuked and censured severely because he has disobeyed Allah and His messenger.”

Ibnul-Qayyim (rahimahullaah, d. 752H) stated,
“Whoever pays no attention to teaching his child that which will benefit him and he leaves him to waste away without care then he is extremely sinful. Most children are corrupted (and led to failure) due to their parents. They pay no attention to them and leave off teaching them the obligations of the religion and the Sunan. So they ruin them whilst they are still children. And they (the children) are not able to benefit themselves and their parents do not benefit them.” [Tuhfatul-Mawdood fee Ahkaamil-Mawlood, p.80]

It is mind-boggling that many Muslim parents pay so much attention to worldly affairs and worldly ambitions for their children whilst neglecting their “spiritual” and religious welfare. They further compound that lack of Islamic nurturing with instilling poor manners, bad character and lack of common decency in their children – they teach their sons and daughters to be arrogant, haughty and to look down upon upon others. They turn away from from feeding the poor, and being courtesy to the neighbours. They are not taught to respect elders or to give the scholars their rights. Indeed, we find Muslim youth, boys and girls, right into their teenage years who know the names of more Hollywood movie “stars” than they do the names of the Companions of Allaah’s Messenger (salallaahu alaihi wassallam) or the name of the Prophets of Allaah, the Most High. And Allaah’s aid is sought from this type of wicked cultivation.

We have seen parents spending hundreds of Pounds (Euros or Dollars) on private tuition on their children to help them excel in Mathematics or Science or Geography, yet they become extremely niggardly when it comes to expending wealth on Religious education. Worst still, they will spend huge amounts of wealth on secular educations, and will turn away from Religious knowledge (of the Qur’aan and Sunnah) even when it is offered for free.


To keep them guarded and protected from the muharramaat (forbidden) and munkaraat (reprehensible) affairs, and to warn them from that, so they know right from wrong and good from evil. To cultivate in their hearts hatred for those things that are harmful to their religion and morality – and teach to dislike that which will cause them regret in this life and the next. Many parents don’t place importance upon this claiming: “Leave them alone for they are young and not obligated with the legislation.”

However this attitude contradicts that which our noble teacher and advisor, Allaah’s Messenger (salallaahu ‘alaihi wassallam) was upon. Abu Hurairah (radiyallaahu ‘anhu) stated that the young grandson of the Messenger, Hasan bin Ali (radiyallaahu anhumaa) took a date fruit from the dates that were intended for charity and put it in his mouth. The Prophet (salallaahu ‘alaihi wassallam) said,
“Take it out! Don’t you know that we do not eat a thing which was given in charity.” [Bukhaaree, no. 1491]

So you do not find the Messenger (salallaahu ‘alaihi wassallam) leaving off this opportunity to teach his grandson important lessons. He would also teach the young boys table manners: “O young boy! Eat with your right hand and eat what is close to you.” Learn from this Prophetic example, and do not overlook an opportunity to teach the young.


Having a good example and role model. This is from the necessities of good tarbiyah. It is something well-known that a child is amazed by his father and loves to imitate him and follow him. And likewise a daughter loves to follow her mother and emulate her – so we must be excellent role models. It is therefore obligatory upon fathers and mothers and others who cultivate not to contradict that which they say with their actions. Allaah, the Most High, said:

ﻳﺎ ﺃﻳﻬﺎ ﺍﻟﺬﻳﻦ ﺁﻣﻨﻮﺍ ﻟﻢ ﺗﻘﻮﻟﻮﻥ ﻣﺎ ﻟﺎ ﺗﻔﻌﻠﻮﻥ

O you who have believed, why do you say what you do not do? [As-Saff: 61]

And He (the Most High) said regarding the Prophet Shu’aib (‘alaihi salaam), that he said,

ﻭﻣﺎ ﺃﺭﻳﺪ ﺃﻥ ﺃﺧﺎﻟﻔﻜﻢ ﺇﻟﻰ ﻣﺎ ﺃﻧﻬﺎﻛﻢ ﻋﻨﻪ ﺇﻥ ﺃﺭﻳﺪ ﺇﻟﺎ ﺍﻟﺈﺻﻠﺎﺡ ﻣﺎ ﺍﺳﺘﻄﻌﺖ ﻭﻣﺎ ﺗﻮﻓﻴﻘﻲ ﺇﻟﺎ
ﺑﺎﻟﻠﻪ ﻋﻠﻴﻪ ﺗﻮﻛﻠﺖ ﻭﺇﻟﻴﻪ ﺃﻧﻴﺐ

And I do not intend to differ from you in that which I have forbidden you; I only intend reform as much as I am able. And my success is not but through Allah. Upon him I have relied, and to Him I return. [Hood: 88]

It certainly not correct that parents behave in manner that contradicts that which they are trying to install into their children. Young people are very perceptive and recognise contradictions and irregularities in their role-models. Sending mixed messages and behaving hypocritically has a very bad effect upon children from various aspects:

1. They begin to think that hypocrisy is normal.
2. That it is quite acceptable to lead a double-life, whereby you say one thing and then do something in utter contradiction to that. After all, mother and father [the two people to whom children look towards the most to emulate] behave like that!
3. They begin to think that lying and deception is an acceptable norm in society because you pretend to be pious but in reality you far from that!
4. Children enter into adulthood with these unsavoury and un-Islamic traits.
5. Over time, children lose respect for their parents.
6. These traits are harmful to society as a whole.
7. They lead to the displeasure of Allaah and His punishment.

So parents must be good role-models, the best of examples. Do not be from those who, for example, pray Fajr (or the other prayers) late, and the children grow up thinking that is an acceptable practice in an Islamic home.


Keeping them far away from gatherings of evil and sin and directing and guiding them to good companionship – rather direct them to the best companionship amongst ahlus-Sunnah; the companionship of the righteous.

Abu Dawood reports in his Sunan from Abu Hurairah (radiyallaahu ‘anhu) that the Prophet (salallaahu ‘alaihi wassallam):
“A man is upon the religion of his close companion, so let each of look to whom he takes as a companion.” [Abu Dawood, no. 4833, saheeh]

Abu Sa’eed al-Khudree (radiyallaahu ‘anhu) said that Allaah’s Messenger (salallaahu ‘alahi wassallam) said:
“Do not accompany except a believer, and none should eat your food except except one who fears Allaah and is dutiful to Him.” [Abu Dawood, no. 4832]

This, of course does not necessitate that a Muslim does not feed the poor who are deficient in Imaan or to withhold general charity from non-Muslims. Rather it means that one does not take as his close companions those who are sinful and are not fearful of their Lord – and not to take such people as ones that you always eat with and are seen with. A person is judged in Islaam according to his companionship. Al-Khattaabee and others have stated that this due to the fact that when a person eats food with someone, it draws his heart closer to him and he inclines towards him. Also note that there is a difference between advising a sinful person and inviting him to Islaam and the Sunnah and between taking such people as friends and companions. So, no doubt it is permitted (rather correct) that the sinners be invited to Islaam with kind and gentle treatment, but that does not necessitate companionship. Abu Hurayrah (radiyallaahu ‘anhu) also reported that Allaah’s Messenger (salallaahu ‘alaihi wassallam) said,
“The souls of mankind are created like gathered troops – so those who got along with one another will have an affinity with each other [in this world]. And those who did not get along with one another will not get along with each other [in this world].” [Abu Dawood, no. 4834]

Some fathers (may Allah guide them) do not even know where their children go off to much of the day, nor who their friends are, or how they are spending their time. They may even leave the job to the mother and it is known that the mother is not able to follow them up in every affair. And even worse than this is when this duty is left off altogether and the children are left to fend for themselves! The first and foremost companion and confidant of any child should be the mother and father. The Prophet (salallaahu ‘alaihi wassallam) was asked on an occasion as to who has the most right to one’s companionship, he responded: “Your mother.” He was then asked, “Then who?” He replied, “Your mother.” He was asked, “Then who?” He replied, “Your mother.” He was asked, “And then who?” He responded, “Your father.” So the mother has the greatest right of one’s close friendship, companionship and affinity followed by the father, and then the siblings.

Why is it that we do not nurture our children in a manner that they stay close to the mother and father as a family? Why is it that the youth seek the companionship of the streets and thugs and gangs and so on? Because parents don’t pay attention to this affair of companionship. Early on in the child’s development, fathers and mothers should build bonds with their children. How? Here’s some ways:

1. Travel together. Journeys together are great times to bond and get to know each others and talk!
2. Perform Umrah together (annually or every two years).
3. Going for walks together in the parks, countryside or hills (weekly or fortnightly).
4. Cooking together (with sons and daughters).
5. Attending duroos together. Choose one or two Salafi classes a week that you attend without fail as a family.
6. Attending conferences together.
7. Reading daily Qur’aan together as a family.
8. Studying religious knowledge together as a family, where the mother or father reads a book, such as Seerah of the Prophet, to the family (even if its 20minutes per day!).
9. Shopping together.
10. Gardening together.
11. Visiting relatives together.
12. Eating meals together, out of one dish.

Other than one’s family, then the children can keep company with children of likeminded parents, who have similar aspirations for their children as you. If you live an isolated corner of the country where you are struggling due to the lack of a good strong Salafi community, then maybe its time to consider relocating to save your children from destruction. No highly paid job is worth losing your children for. Accepting a lower salary in a less affluent part of the country is worth it if the end result is pious, well-mannered and caring children upon Salafiyyah ways of the Salaf!


Enrolling your sons and daughters in the Salafi schools and in after-school Madrassahs for the learning and memorization of the Noble Qur’an that are established within Salafi Mosques. These institutions must be safe, and not known for beating children and thus turning them away from the Religion. Young children must be nurtured and not beaten. And alhamdulillaah, this is not the method the Salafis use to teach their children.

One must also avoid the centres, schools, and mosques of bigoted partisanship (hizbiyyah), misguidance and innovation. The Salaf used to say that children are upon their initial upbringing, and it is this initial education that moulds them for the future. So keep them away of centres of misguidance, extremism and Sufism. It is important that the meanings of the Qur’an are also taught at these schools. It is a strange and erroneous methodology of teaching wherein children are taught to memorize without knowing what they are memorising. So make sure your children are learning Qur’aan, learning the meanings of the Qur’aan and learning the Arabic language. On the authority of Uthman ibn Affan, that the Prophet said,
“The best amongst you are those who learn the Qur’an and teach it to others.” [Bukhaaree, no. 5027]


Protecting the children from satellite channels, TV, and the internet where they may be exposed to immoral and haraam speech, images and music such as movies and soaps which are based upon glorification of fornication, infidelity, disobedience, disrespect and sin – likewise those cartoons which contain sin and disobedience and even idolatry and disbelief. These are affairs that the Muslims have become lax and easy-going with – many are heedless and foolish with regard to their responsibilities in this affair. If your children need to access the internet, then make sure you have strong parental controls on all of the computers they access. One the best and simplest and free parental controls is – make sure access to social forums and media is blocked, as well as youtube and other sites that lead youth astray when used irresponsibly. The same can be said about smartphones and iPhones. If you wish your children to have these devices then they should be controlled with strict parental controls as a safety measure against obscene images, videos and music. I would go as far as to say, there is no need for any parent who cares about the mental and psychological welfare of his child (whether Muslim or non-Muslim) to have terrestrial or satellite channels in the home. If there is any particular beneficial documentary, one can simply download and watch it, if there is need for that. So this is a huge responsibility upon the shoulders of fathers and mothers.

They must work as a team to cultivate and nurture their offspring. Bukharee and Muslim report from Ma’qil bin Yasaar (radiyallaahu ‘anhu) that the Prophet (salallaahu ‘alaihi wassallam) said,
“There is not a man to whom Allah has given authority and he is dishonest with regard to his responsibility and he dies upon that except that Allah will make forbidden upon him Jannah.” [Bukhaaree, no. 7150, Muslim, no. 142]


To teach them the affairs of Islaam and Imaan and to implant and nurture veneration, love and awe of Allaah in their hearts – and establish them firmly upon Tawheed. And to love the Prophet (salallaahu ‘alaihi wassallam) by explaining his virtues and the excellence of following him. Inculcate this into their hearts by reading his Seerah (biography), his bravery and courage, his kindness and generosity. To teach them good manners and etiquette and how to behave in private and public; To distinguish between appropriate and inappropriate behaviour; To know about the dress code of the believers [men and women]; the manners of the masjid and how to behave in it. The manners of eating and drinking; personal hygiene and tahaarah (purification); to wait for mother and father to begin and serving them first; not over-eating and reaching over others.

Also how to behave around elders, friends, relatives and scholars. Not interjecting when elders are speaking, or pushing in through the door before the mother and father, or pointing their feet towards them or towards the teacher or scholar; Teaching them to constantly say please and thank you, and to be upon the remembrance of Allaah (dhikr); To pray on time; To sit after the prayer and make dhikr; Teach them short hadeeth and du’aas to memorise.

Teach them to speak with clear speech that is free from street slang and obscenities. To be strong in body and character and resolute upon the Haqq (Truth) – not swayed from it. Having self-respect and being proud of manifesting Islaam instead of trying to hide it!

Teenage boys and girls are taught to lower their gaze and control their urges and desires, and prepare themselves for marriage. Parents should not delay the marriage of their sons and daughters unnecessarily, nor refuse a proposal for their children from a pious suitor. Parents also must not compel them to marry anyone they are not pleased with – and forbid them from marrying sinners and innovators. Parents should be open-minded and not marry only into their own race. A pious person is a pious person, whether he be Somali, Pakistani, African, Caribbean, Chinese or Arab. Marry your daughters to the one who is the most pious and able to take care of them with respect and honour.

Teach them not being shy of wearing the hijaab for the teenage girls, or thawbs for the teenage boys. These must not considered as garments merely for the Mosque, these are our daily garments that we and our children are pleased and proud to adorn our bodies with. They should be taught to honest and truthful, and never lie, deceive, steal or oppress. And if they fall short and sin, teach them how to repent to Allaah, and return the rights of others.

They must be taught the rights of a Muslim upon another Muslim: to return the salaam, to visit the sick, to attend funerals, to give sincere advice, to respond to the one who sneezes, and to accept invites to the gathering where Allaah is not disobeyed, to keep the ties with relatives (even if they be non-Muslim). Just imagine, O parents! If only all children were cultivated upon this Prophetic Path. We ask Allaah, the most Generous, to grant our us and our children success in worship.


Sending them to bed early and waking them up early and to busy their time with those things which will benefit them; and to allow them to engage in permissible play and games for set times without going to excess. Organising their time well so it is balanced between work, study, and play.

Teach them household chores so they aid their mothers with cleaning, tidying, cooking, especially so the daughters – whilst not allowing sons to be carefree concerning household duties. Allaah’s Messenger (salallaahu ‘alaihi wassallam) would aid his family and mend his own garments. Our sons should enter into adulthood having concern for their sisters, having a sense of jealously and desire to protect them and to help them them in their household chores. This will prepare them for their lives as adults, husbands and fathers. Boys and teenagers are to be taught to respect women and treat them with kindness, and to aid the womenfolk of the house in their chores. The Prophet (salallaahu alaaihi wassallam) said in a narration, “The best of you are those who are best to their wives, and I am the best of you to my wives.”


That the father or parent is gentle in his treatment of his children. Aa’ishah (radiyallaahu ‘anhaa) narrated that Allaah’s Messenger (salallaahu ‘alaihi wassallam) said,
“Gentleness is not introduced into an affair except that it is beautified and it is not taken away from any affair except that it is disfigured.” [Muslim, no. 2594]

Parents must be just (have ‘adl) between their children in everything: in their speech, their conveying of salutations, provision, when buying presents, etc, so that no one is oppressed and so that jealousies do not arise between them.

Imaam Muslim reports in his Saheeh (no. 1623) from An-Nu’man bin Basheer (radiyallaahu ‘anhumaa) that his father gave a servant to him and not to the other children. So his wife said, “I will ask Allaah’s Messenger concerning this.” So Allaah’s Messenger said to the father, Basheer (radiyallaahu ‘anhu), “Fear Allah! And be just between your children.” [Muslim, 163]

So be very careful with respect to this affair O parents! Oppression and injustice is darkness on the Day of Resurrection. If you purchase a toy for one, then purchase something for the others, this is the Sunnah and it is justice – likewise which respect to clothing and other provisions and gifts. In this manner the children are taught honesty and justice and this will only increase their love for their parents. Furthermore, this is an affair that is just as important if not more important with respect to inheritance rights. It is unfortunate that siblings are sometimes excluded from the will of their parents and wills are written in contradiction to the Quranic divisions. Women especially are denied their God-given rights of inheritance – and this is from the gravest of sins, so be aware.


The parents must know that guidance is in the Hand of Allah, He guides whom He wills from His Bounty, and He leads astray whomever He wills from His Justice. So guidance and directing and pointing to good is with Allaah. Allaah, the Most High, stated:

ﺇﻧﻚ ﻟﺎ ﺗﻬﺪﻱ ﻣﻦ ﺃﺣﺒﺒﺖ ﻭﻟﻜﻦ ﺍﻟﻠﻪ ﻳﻬﺪﻱ ﻣﻦ ﻳﺸﺎﺀ ﻭﻫﻮ ﺃﻋﻠﻢ ﺑﺎﻟﻤﻬﺘﺪﻳﻦ

Indeed, [O Muhammad], you do not guide whom you like, but Allah guides whom He wills. And He is most knowing of the [rightly] guided. [al-Qasas: 56]

So upon us as parents is to make plentiful du’aa for our children that they be guided and rectified. Just as Allaah, the Most High, stated,

ﻭﺍﻟﺬﻳﻦ ﻳﻘﻮﻟﻮﻥ ﺭﺑﻨﺎ ﻫﺐ ﻟﻨﺎ ﻣﻦ ﺃﺯﻭﺍﺟﻨﺎ ﻭﺫﺭﻳﺎﺗﻨﺎ ﻗﺮﺓ ﺃﻋﻴﻦ ﻭﺍﺟﻌﻠﻨﺎ ﻟﻠﻤﺘﻘﻴﻦ ﺇﻣﺎﻣﺎ

And those who say, “Our Lord, grant us from among our wives and offspring comfort to our eyes and make us an example for the righteous.” [al-Furqaan: 74]

And beware of ever making du’aa against your families and children. Imaam Muslim reports in his Saheeh (no. 3009) a hadeeth from Jaabir ibn Abdillaah that the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) said,
“Do not make du’aa against yourself. Do not make du’aa against your children. Do not make du’aa against your wealth and property, lest it should coincide with an hour when Allah is asked, and He answers your du’aa.”

So we take the means provided by Allaah – and these means are not independent of the results. Rather we take the means, and those people who say “the means we take and effort we exert does not matter and has no effect,” then they are misguided (like the Jabriyyah). We take the means, and we seek Allaah’s aid and the result is with Him. We also do not say as the ignorant say, “We will leave our children to do as they wish, and come and go as they please. We were guided to the truth after sinning and disbelief, so they too will find the path.” Rather the intelligent one who is guided by the Book and Sunnah recognises that we have been given responsibilities that we are obligated to fulfil. The Prophet (salallaahu ‘alaihi wassallam) said,
“Strive to attain what will benefit you and seek Allaah’s aid and do not sit back without acting. And if something thereafter afflicts you, do not say: ‘If only I had done such and such, then such and such would have happened.’ Rather say [in that case]: It is but the Decree of Allaah, and whatever He wills He does.” [Muslim: 2667]

So this is said when one strives and performs deeds that will aid his affair. He takes the means hoping for a good end result, and if the end result is not as he expected, then he (or she) says: “Qaddar Allaahu wa maashaa’ wa fa’la ” (It is but the Decree of Allaah, and whatever He wills He does).

As for the one who does not strive and leaves off taking the means, and is negligent and his affairs fall apart, and his children become wayward and sinful, then he must take a great portion of the responsibility, and it is correct that he regrets in hindsight. Allaah, the Most High, states regarding the inhabitants of the Hellfire, who will regret:

ﻭﻗﺎﻟﻮﺍ ﻟﻮ ﻛﻨﺎ ﻧﺴﻤﻊ ﺃﻭ ﻧﻌﻘﻞ ﻣﺎ ﻛﻨﺎ ﻓﻲ ﺃﺻﺤﺎﺏ ﺍﻟﺴﻌﻴﺮ

And they will say, “If only we had been listening or reasoning, we would not be among the companions of the Blaze.” [al-Mulk: 10]

May Allaah, the Most High, give us the ability to raise righteous children who are dutiful to Allaah, for indeed it is Allaah who grants success.

All praise is due to Allaah, Lord of all that exists, and may the peace and blessings of Allaah be upon the Messenger Muhammad, his family, his Companions and his followers till the Day of Judgement.

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