Education by Setting Example
Every parent wants the best for their children. We wish for them to have a bright and happy future. As Muslim parents we always pray that our children are pious and have good conduct, behaviour and values according to the Quran and the Sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh).
Education for children is very important in a Muslim family. It starts when the baby is born and cuddled in his mother’s arms. A mother is important in a child’s life. A mother is a child’s first madrasah or school for the child. A loving and patient father and mother are the source of inspiration for a child. The environment of a home also influences the child’s upbringing. A learning child repeats whatever the parents do or say especially during their pre school years. Muslim parents is to pass along what we’ve learned – to teach our children values which is the nucleus in choreographing their behaviour.
Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said:
Every born child is born on the original (innateness), then his parents make him a Jew, a Christian or Magan. ( Bukhari)
Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) is the role model in Muslim life.The Ever Gloriuos Quran says, “Indeexd you have already had affair example in the Messenger of Allah”. (AlAhzab:21)
To have our children following the example which the Prophet (pbuh) gave in the field of worship and morals is a n ambition in every Muslim family. There are many things that a
Muslim parents can learn from prophet Muhammad especially his ways and values that can help us in bringing up our child. Allow me to share with you some of these great values that should be embedded within us as bases for preparing children religiously, morally, educationally, psychologically and socially.
Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) was a loving man. His love towards his ummah was pure. It was a love binded by the strong faith of Islam. As parents, Allah swt has provided us with love to bring up our children and to educate them as effectively as we can. A child brought up with love will always be kind and loving towards others. If you have to correct your child, do it with a loving heart, objectively and not emotionally.
Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) has attained the climax of patience, whether in the harshness of the Bedouins or in his treatment of the enemies’ past arrogance after the victory over them. As parents, patience is an essential ingredience needed in educating our child. As mentined before , parenting is like going on a long journey with your child, one that’s filled with a lot of twists and turns. With patience, parents will be able to through this journey and their children will step ahead with confidence towards their future.
In a hadith narrated by Imam Muslim, Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) praised one of his companion Asadji Abdil Qays,
“Indeed you have two attributes and behaviour that Allah swt likes, that is Al Hilm
( kindness) and Al Anah ( calmness)”.
Parents should always be kind towards their children. Teach them to respect and be kind to others especially towards the old and the needy. Teach them to have compassion towards those less fortunate than them and show them through examples led by you on how to help these people. A child brought up by criticism will always criticize others and those brought up with kindness will propagate love and values around them.
The wisdom of prophet Muhammad (pbuh) is acknowledged by both friends and foes. Here is a great example which was recorded by history so that we may know the wise policy which sprang from his wit and great morals. As parents we need wisdom to help our children in their growing years. A child’s potential should be recognized and tapped. His inquisitive mind and questions thrown to us should be answered appropriately. His faults should be addressed diplomatically. Teach them to take responsibility for their own action and help them to overcome the tendency to blame others for his difficulties. Always speak the truth to them and help them through life’s challenges with commitment and personal excellence.
Another great attribute that Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) possessed was his willingness to forgive. As parents, having a forgiving heart is utmost important. Children make mistakes and if we keep reminding them and keep highlighting those mistakes they will also keep searching for ours. Show them the values and the tendency to try to accommodate rather than argue. Nurture their ability to understand how other feel rather than simply reacting to them.
The contemporaries and Companions of the Prophet (pbuh) have unanimously said that he was the one who started greeting his Companions, was attentive to his interlocutor, old or young, and was the last to withdraw his hand when he shook hands. This humbleness is another attribute of Prohet Muhammad (pbuh) that should be followed in educating our children. To show who is the boss and complete authority is not the way shown by our Prophet. In giving advice to your children, don’t forget also to take advice from them. Listen! Through listening you may learn many things that can enhance your wisdom.
Sometimes parents are too proud of their child’s achievement. Be very careful not to exaggerate his abilities. To let him know that we a re proud of him is a must; to make him an object of our achievement is a no! Tell them your expectations but remember to tell them your acceptance too. Do not let your child grow up with a lot of pressure to fulfill his parents’ expectation. Teach them to always try their best and be humble when obtaining the best. Make them understand the limits of body and mind, avoiding the dangers of extreme. If their hard work failed, teach them to stand up and try again. For many great leaders took failures and turned them into strength.
The ability to influence and not be easily influenced in any situation and condition and being able to analyze each situation objectively and unemotionally are great qualities of leadership shown by our great Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). Parents whoa re easily influenced by their environment, who do not stick with their Islamic principles, who are jealous of other people’s achievement will not mature in the process of a child’s upbringing.
A child will have strong principled values if they see that their parents’ principles are always consistent in any circumstances. They are not afraid to tell the truth. They dare to attempt difficult things that are good. They have the strength not to follow the crowd, to say no and mean it and influence others by it. They are true to convictions and they follow good impulses, even when they are unpopular or inconvenient.
Those listed above are some great attributes that we should bring with us in our journey as parents. To me these examples of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) are not easy to follow but with Allah’s help and mercy, I pray that Allah swt will always give me the strength and wisdom to carry out the trust and responsibility as parents.
Until then, wabbillahitaufiq, walhidayah.