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It’s our offspring at stake!

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It’s our offspring at stake!!!

 

baby feet.jpg

 

Upbringing our children in current times is truly challenging. If nothing is done soon, one cannot imagine how worse it could get.

There’s nothing more sad than “loosing” your child.

 

 

Tips by Khalifah ‘Umar ibn’Abdil ‘Azeez

 

I feel that Khalifah ‘Umar ibn ‘Abdil ‘Azeez’s (rahimahullah) advice below is very apt and pertinent.

 

:وكتب عمر بن عبد العزيز إلى مؤدب ولده

 خذهم بالجفاء فهو أمنع لاقدامهم ، وترك الصبحة فان عادتها تكسب الغفلة، وقلة الضحك فان كثرته تميت القلب ، وليكن أول ما يعتقدون من أدبك بغض الملاهي التي بدؤها من الشيطان ، وعاقبتها سخط الرحمن ، فانه بلغني عن الثقات من حملة العلم أن حضور المعازف واستماع الأغاني واللهج بهما ينبت النفاق في القلب كما ينبت العشب بالماء . وليفتتح كل غلام منهم بجزء من القرآن يثبت في قراءته ، فاذا فرغ منه تناول نبله وقوسه  وخرج إلى الغرض حافيا ، فرمى سبعة أرشاق ، ثم انصرف إلى القائلة ، فان ابن مسعود كان يقول : ” يا بني قيلوا ، فان الشياطين لا تقيل

( ذكره ابن أبي الدنيا في : ” ذم الملاهي” ص: 9 )

 

Khalifah ‘Umar ibn ‘Abdul ‘Aziz (rahimahullah) wrote the following instructions to his children’s mentor (teacher)

 

“ Be strict on them for this is more effective in restraining them. Stop them from sleeping after Fajr Salah, for this causes stupidity / negligence. They should laugh less for a lot of laughing kills the heart / soul. Let the first thing you inculcate in them be the hatred for Music, for I have heard from various People of Knowledge (‘Ulamaa) that Music develops hypocrisy in the heart just as water grows grass.

 

Each of them should commence the day with the recitation of the Holy Quran in the proper manner. When they complete that, they should take their bows and arrows and proceed barefooted to the range. Each of them should shoot 7 times. Thereafter they should take mid-day sleep  (siesta). For Sayyiduna ‘Abdullah ibn Mas’ood (radiyallahu’anhu) use to say: Oh my children! Take siesta, for verily the devils do not do so.”

( Kitabu Zhammil Malahi of Hafiz Ibn abi Dunya pg. 9)

 

These words of Khalifah ‘Umar ibn ‘Abdil ‘Azeez (rahimahullah) give us the following lessons on upbringing of children:

1.  To commence the day with the recitation of the Quran

2.  Not to sleep after Fajr (until after sunrise at least)

3.  To abstain from music

4.  To laugh less

5.  Engagement in physical activity, like archery

6.  The importance of siesta (qaylulah)

Each of the above are valuable lessons of life, which we as adults can implement and also inculcate in our children.

 

Quran Recital every morning

Many of us commence our day by reading the news, which is more depressing than informative or by catching up on our timeline, or sifting through emails etc.

 

The recitation of Quran, first thing in the morning will bring barakah (blessing) in our affairs throughout the day. Our children should see us reciting the Quran after Fajr. This will subconsciously lead them on to the same.

 

Music; they are never too young to abstain

We often justify out leniency towards out kids’ indulgence in haram or makruh (repulsive) deeds by saying: “They are too young”

 

The fact that ‘Umar ibn ‘Abdil ‘Azeez detested music even for his under aged children, demonstrates to us how we should view the training of our own.

 

Don’t allow the seeds of hypocrisy to grow even at that tender age. The computer games that they play should be free of foul language, evil habits and the music should be turned off. Never underestimate the effect that these supposed “games” could have on an innocent mind. It’s sad, how lightly we take the issue of Music that even as adults, we repeatedly need to be cautioned of our ringtones.

 

Who is there that can say he has never heard a musical ringtone go off while in Salah in the Masjid?!

 

Who would have believed it if we were told a decade ago, that a time will come when a muslim will play music or at least allow it to be played while in sajdah, the closest posture we could get to Allah Ta’ala?!

 

Entertainment

Today we all look for how to be best entertained rather than spend our time usefully.

 

Laughter and jokes have become so common, that at times one will notice people joking even at a janazah!

 

The rare opportunity we get to ponder about death doesn’t pass with an unnecessary joke or fable being shared.

Even in religious lectures, the crowds are inflated if the speaker can entertain better…

 

As mentioned earlier, these were ‘Umar ibn ‘Abdil ‘Azeez’s (rahimahullah) guidelines for the upbringing of children. Alas many of us adults need this lesson too.

 

Natural physical activity

‘Khalifah ‘Umar ibn ‘Abdil ‘Azeez (rahimahullah) specifically ordered the mentor to take them outdoors for archery daily. The pagan Arabs also preferred to send their kids to the villages where they could spend their time outdoors, herding goats and learning basic life skills. In fact, until a few decades ago, we too would spend our days outdoors in various activities.

 

Today’s child may be engaging in very similar activities too, but instead of it being outdoors they do it on a screen! It’s no more physical, it’s actually electronic!

 

Physical activity has its own benefit in early childhood development that can never be replaced with any electronic device. Parents need to carefully think of ways to keep their children occupied in a manner that won’t just keep them from bothering their parents, but ways that will enhance the child’s mind, body and Iman as well.

 

May Allah guide us all, and may He inspire us with the correct tact in upbringing our innocent offspring. Amin.

al-miftah

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Like Father…

 

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My previous post provided a glimpse of Khalifah ‘Umar ibn ‘Abdil ‘Azeez’s method of training his children.

 

Now I would like to share the result of this nurturing.

 

The Historians mention that he had fifteen children, three of which were daughters. Each of them grew up to be obedient and pious.

 

The most accomplished of them was: ‘Abdul Malik (rahimahullah)

 

‘Umar (rahimahullah) says: “My son ‘Abdul Malik is most cherished to me from all my children.

 

The Son’s effect on the Father

 

Some Elders of that era said: “’It was the piety that ‘Umar saw in his son ‘Abdul Malik that lead ‘Umar to a pious life”

Hafidh Ibn ‘Asakir writes: “He was the child of a slave girl. He was pious and assisted his father as well as encouraged him to be just”

 

Immediately after becoming Khalifah, ‘Umar (rahimahullah) wanted to take a mid-day nap and decided he will attend to the  matters of the people after the Zuhr salah. His son, ‘Abdul Malik cautioned him with the following:

 

“O Ameerul Mumineen! What guarantee do you have that you will live till Zuhr?”

 

‘Umar asked him to come closer. He embraced his son, kissed him and said:

 

“All praise is for Allah who has granted me offspring that assists me in my matters of deen.”

 

Saying this, he left and called for those who had any need with the Ameerul Mumineen to come forward.

 

Like Father, Like Son, Like Slave

Maimoon Ibn Mehran says: “I haven’t seen a household better than the one that consisted of ‘Umar ibn ‘Abdil ‘Azeez, his son ‘Abdul Malik, and their slave; Muzahim”

 

Rabee’ ibn Sabirah told ‘Umar: “I haven’t seen a son like your son”

‘Abdul Malik, the son of Khalifah ‘Umar ibn‘Abdil Azeez (rahimahullah), was truly a son who was an asset to his father. He constantly assisted his father in his religious affairs; cautioning him and supporting him whenever the need arose.

 

When ‘Umar would get angry, he would calm him down. When he (the Ameerul Mumineen) needed advice, his son counselled him too.

 

The Father’s words for his Son

The following is a brief collection of the praises Khalifah ‘Umar ibn ‘Abdil ‘Azeez had for his son:

  • “All Praise is for Allah who bestowed me with an assistant from my own family; my son ‘Abdul Malik.”
  • “May Allah have mercy on you my son, and may He reward you beautifully on behalf of your father. I indeed see you as an aid in good works.”
  • If it wasn’t that I fear my decision may have been hampered by the love a father has for his son, I would have said ‘Abdul Mali is fit to be the Khalifah!
  • “O My son! I am more proud that you are my son than you are about me being your father.”

 

To this ‘Abdul Malik replied:

 

“O father! I prefer being what you want me to be, instead of what I want…”

 

Demise

‘Abdul Malik (rahimahullah) passed away during the life of his father. He was only eighteen at the time of his death which was caused by a plague.

 

Upon his death ‘Umar (rahimahullah) addressed him saying:

 

“May Allah shower his mercy on you my son! You were indeed obedient to you father.”

 

He then made the following du’a”

اللهم اغفر لعبد الملك بن عمر، ولمن استغفر له

 

O Allah! Forgive ‘Abdul Malik, the son of ‘Umar, and forgive those who ask for his forgiveness

 

 

There was a Bedouin among those who consoled the Khalifah after his son’s demise. His words were:

 

يعِزُّ أميرَ المؤمنين فإنه                             لِما قد ترى يُغَذّٰى الصغيرُ ويولَدُ

هل ابنك إلا من سلالة آدم                     وكلٌّ على حوض المنية مورد

 

May the Ameerul Mumineen remain in honour, but what you see (Death)

            Is indeed the exact reason for which children are born and brought up (i.e, to die one day)

Your son is also among the progeny of Nabi Adam (’Alaihissalam)

            All of which have to drink from the pond of death”

 

Hafidh Ibn Rajab (rahimahullah) writes: “These proved to be the most consoling words for ‘Umar ibn ‘Abdil ‘Azeez”

 

(Extracted from: Tareekh Dimashq & “Seeratu ‘Abdil Malik ibn ‘Abdil ‘Azeez”, by Hafidh Ibn Rajab Al-Hambali (rahimahullah).

May Allah Ta’ala guide us all to the ways of our pious predecessors. Ameen.

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