Raising Children with Good Behavior (Companionship, Paradigm, Environment)
The main axes of the subject:
– Juvenile, an unplanted land.
– What do we plant?
– The good paradigm.
– Best heritage.
Explaining the significance of raising children with good behavior and how we should represent a good example for him.
Exporting the subject:
Allah’s messenger (s.a.a.w.)1 was quoted as saying: “Educate your children based on three qualities: the love of your prophet, the love of his household, and reading the Quran.”
Earliness in planting good manners
In his commandment to his son Hassan (a.s.), Imam Ali Bin Abi Talib said: “… The heart of a juvenile is like the unplanted land, it will accept anything you sprinkle. This is why I ignited you with good manners before your heart hardens and before your mind starts acting.”2
The different sources of the Hadith, the theories of modern sociology, and the personal and sentimental tangible experiences unanimously agree that the best stage for planting values and examples, fixing morality and behavior patterns, and steering the personal choices of man is in the beginning of his life. The heart at that state, as expressed by Imam Ali (a.s.), is like the unplanted land. It is well known that the unplanted land will accept anything and it will grow successfully unlike its condition when it’s planted with different seeds. The same applies to mankind. Man, while at youth, has an empty heart, ready to receive all kinds of knowledge, directions, and will be inspired by the customs, traditions, and values of the surrounding environments.
What do we plant?
When we face an empty heart wide open, awaiting someone to enrich it, we come to the question: what do we plant in it?
1- Attachment to the two weighty things:
Allah’s messenger (s.a.a.w.) was quoted as saying: “Raise your children with three qualities: the love of your prophet, the love of his household, and reading the Quran.”3
The first issue that must be planted inside the heart of a juvenile is the two weighty things: The Noble Quran and the Greater Prophet and his Household (a.s.).”
2 – What does the Hadith holds for children regarding this world and the hereafter?
– Imam Ali (a.s.) was quoted as saying: “Teach your children, from our knowledge, that which Allah will render beneficial for them.”4
Imam al Sadiq (a.s.) was quoted as saying: “Start your youngsters with Hadith.”5
Imam Ali (a.s.) said: “Teach it to your boys and make them liable at maturity.”6
This Hadith tells us that we must create a relation between the children and the prayer before their maturity and that they must be held accountable without any leniency regarding the prayer once they’ve reached maturity.
The prophet (s.a.a.w.) said: “Teach your children the prayer when they reach seven.”7
We must not be satisfied by only teaching them. We must also instruct them should they be negligence.”
The prophet (s.a.a.w.) said: “Order your children to pray when they are seven years old.”8
Imam Jaafar al Sadiq (a.s.) said: “… Hence, instruct your boys, when they are nine years old, to fast as long as they can, and break the fast when thirst overcome them.”9
5- Goodness of Behavior:
This is the best thing a father, mother, or guardians can ever implant within their children. This is because it represents the real human face within the family and community. It is also the cover that holds all the relations, attitudes, and behavior of the son once he’s a grownup and will make him a positive element and efficient individual of the community.
The prophet (s.a.a.w.) replied when asked about the rights of the child: “You must name and educate him well and place him in a good position.”10
Place him in a good position means that you must be extreme when respecting and taking care of him. You must not be neglect or leave him subjected to a corrupt environment and negative factors that come from bad company and peers.
The good paradigm
How can parents plant these qualities in their children? Are words enough for instruction and teaching? Alternatively, should we also appear in the same way before them, which might penetrate their hearts deeper with more impact?
– Commander of the Faithful (a.s.) said: “Let your youth imitate your old and let your old be lenient to your youth.”11
We can see that he (a.s.) commanded that the old be followed as a paradigm and example without having the need to instruct the youth to adhere to good behavior, to practice obligations, and to discipline oneself.
– The prophet (s.a.a.w.) said: “May Allah have mercy on he who helps his child to be respectful towards him. In other words he must forgive his wrongdoing and pray for his sake regarding his relation with Allah (The Exalted).”12
– He (s.a.a.w.) was also quoted as saying: “May Allah have mercy on the father who helps his child to be dutiful towards him.”13
– He (s.a.a.w.) was also quoted as saying: “A father’s rights towards his child equal a child’s rights towards his father.”14
The best gift a father can present to his child is teaching him good behavior. This will make him a good person with good resume. Hence, his reputation will be praised in this world and he will reside in a high grade in the afterlife.
The prophet (s.a.a.w.) was quoted as saying: “Be generous to your children and teach them well.”15
He (s.a.a.w.) was also quoted as saying: “There is no better inheritance from a father to his child than discipline.”16
He (s.a.a.w.) was also quoted as saying: “There is no better education from a father to his child than good behavior.”17
A good child is the best credit:
If we ignore the child without any discipline in accordance with our ways and says and without any attention, he will represent evil results on us in this world and in the afterlife.
– Imam Ali (a.s.) was quoted as saying: “A child is one of the two enemies.”18
This perhaps indicates that the first enemy is the soul.
However, if we provide him with good company, good cultivation and words, it will result in a good flower that will be sociable to people after we pass away.
Imam Ali (a.s.) was quoted as saying: “A good child is the most beautiful of the two recitations.”19
1- S.a.a.w: Abbreviation for salla allahu alaihi wa alihi, which means God sends blessing on him and his household.
2- Nahj al Balagha, sermon 269. P. 529.
3- Kanz al Ummal, by al Mottaqi al Hindi, H. 45409.
4- Wasael al Shia, by Sheikh al Horr al A’mili, Vol. 15, P. 197, H. 5.
5- Al Wasael, Vol. 12, P. 247, H. 14.
6- Ghoral al Hikam was Dorar al Kalam, by al Qadi al A’midi, Wisdom 6300.
7- Kanz al Ummal, by al Mottaqi al Hindi, H. 45330.
8- Kanz al Ummal, by al Mottaqi al Hindi, H. 45324.
9- Al Kafi, by Sheikh al Kulaini, Vol. 4, P. 124, H. 1.
10- Biha al Anwar, by Al Allamah al Majlisi, Vol. 74, P. 85, H. 99.
11- Nahj al Balagha, sermon 164, P. 339.
12- Biha al Anwar, Vol. 104, P. 98, H. 70.
13- Kanz al Oummal, H. 45417.
14- Kanz al Oummal, H. 45444.
15- Kanz al Oummal, H. 45410.
16- Kanz al Oummal, H. 45435.
17- Kanz al Oummal, H. 45411.
18- Tasneef Dorar al Hikam wa Gharar al Kalam, H. 9345.
19- Tasneef Dorar al Hikam wa Gharar al Kalam, H. 9344.