Raising Children: Parents’ Responsibility

Bismillahi Rahmani Rahim

Alhamdulillah, the Mighty, the All-Knowing – He is the One Who forgives wrongdoing and accepts repentance. He it is Who created man from a liquid and shaped him, and brought forth from him bonds and family ties, and Your Lord is The Mighty One.

And I bear witness that Muhammad is the servant of Allah and His Messenger, the Seal of the Prophets that have been sent to mankind, he is the Imam of the mutaqeen, [people who have taqwa, who fear Allah] and the Master of all mankind, peace and blessings be upon him, his family and companions.

Muslims! It was narrated from Abdullah bin ‘Umar, may Allah be pleased with them both, that he heard the Messenger ﷺ say: «Each one of you is a shepherd, and is responsible for his flock, the Imam is a shepherd and he is responsible for his flock». This noble hadith reminds the distracted of their responsibility and its different types; and especially the amanah [trust] of nurturing, which many have neglected in our times, where temptations, both overt and hidden, are abundant. Raising children is a great responsibility for parents. Having children is a great blessing, and only those who have raised their sons and daughters well are grateful for it.

Thanking Allah for this blessing is not only done verbally, but through continuous effort in refining the character of the children, their upbringing, their education and their proper care. Allah’s blessings upon His servants are infinite and the best of them are children. Know that the rights of children over parents are innumerable. Every father and mother will be asked about the care and upbringing of their children.

With good upbringing, parents will have a beautiful memory after their death and a great and beautiful impact if they have succeeded in educating them and beautifying their character.

Through education, the child will be a good son who will pray for his parents after their death. The Prophet ﷺ said, «When the son of Adam dies, all his deeds are interrupted except for three: continuous sadaqah, useful knowledge and a good son who prays for him.» The son, if he is good and educated, combines all three: he is a continuous sadaqah and you will receive his reward in your grave as if you were alive. Similarly, the son may be a scholar and thus combine both righteousness and knowledge, and you will receive the reward of both in the grave. For every good deed he does, the reward comes to you until the Hour arrives.

Servants of Allah! The upbringing of sons and daughters is not limited to only one parent, some responsibilities are the mother’s and some are the father’s and some are joint. Good upbringing is obligatory whether the parents are married or separated. The destroyer of homes, which is divorce, does not cancel the obligation of education or the obligation of maintenance. Many people do not take these matters seriously, knowing that the Sharia has established and detailed them and has given everyone their due right. Children have nothing to do with divorce. It is not their fault if the parents separate. Alimony is one of the rights of the child until it comes of age, if he is a boy, and until she marries in case of a girl. Those parents who waste it or do not pay it, have not fulfilled the amanah and will be questioned before his Lord without an interpreter, so let them prepare themselves for the answer. Divorce destroys the future of children, deeply affects their personality and character and can cause a number of psychological illnesses such as depression, nervousness and anxiety.

Believers! If separation is decreed between the spouses, each of them should continue to raise the children as they did when they were married, even doing more than they did before, because the children of divorcees are like orphans with living parents. In a hadith the Prophet ﷺ says: «It is enough as a fault for a man to abandon those he supports. Whoever abandons the upbringing of his children has betrayed the amanah entrusted to him, and it is one of the signs of the hypocrites.»

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Servants of Allah! With proper education, people contribute to building a healthy and efficient society. Children are the nucleus and foundation of this society. If the family is righteous, it strengthens the edifice of society, however, if it is corrupt, it destroys society, whether you feel it or not, that is why Allah compares a righteous family to a good land, saying:

Good land yields up its plants by its Lord’s permission, but that which is bad only yields up scantily.

In this way We vary the Signs for people who are thankful. (7:58)[1]

Education requires seriousness and diligence, not weakness and laziness, especially today, since there are many corrupt and few upright.

It has been said: «Whoever grazes sheep in the land of lions and sleeps… the lion takes care of his cattle».

Allah, Almighty, created the human being with a healthy nature, capable of being educated and refined. The Prophet ﷺ said: «Every child is born in a state of fitra». Some parents preserve this fitra[2], cultivate in it goodness, guide it towards virtue and keep it away from every place polluted by bad habits. Whoever does this has fulfilled his duty, has contributed to the continuity of the righteous on earth and will always be remembered with goodness.

But whoever corrupts this fitra and contributes in its deviation, has done wrong and has not fulfilled his mission, and for that he [or she] will be accountable to Allah, and will have a bad reputation until the Day of Judgement.

Allahummah! Grant to everyone who is entitled to something his due, and guide our sons and daughters to the Straight Path!

Allahummah! Bless our society and protect it from the saboteurs, open the intuitions of our children, make faith beloved to them, embellish it in their hearts, and make them hate immorality and disobedience, and keep them among the guided!

Allahummah! Support our brothers who continue to be bombarded with fire at all times and give succour to the oppressed and defeat the oppressors!


[1] This translation of Qur’an is taken from: The Noble Qur’an: A New Rendering of Its Meaning in English by Abdalhaqq Bewley

[2] Fitra: natural form of each child