HAZRAT IBRAHIM – THE KHALEEL OF ALLAH
The three major religious communities, Judaism, Christianity and Islam, all claim to be “the children of Ibrahim.” The Jews believed that by virtue of their lineage to Ibrahim (as) they were the chosen people…the children of Ibrahim and prophet hood was a privilege granted only to them. Christians on the other hand believed the Jesus (Isa) was also a descendant of Ibrahim, who graciously paid for the sins of humanity by giving up his life. The Jews derived from Ibrahim racial superiority, while the Christians derive the concept of atonement from him. What do we as Muslims derive from Ibrahim (as) ?
The Quran says: “Behold, he (Ibrahim) approached his Lord with a sound heart.” (37:84) The need for a “qalb salim.” (sound heart) is what we derive from Ibrahim (as)
A heart that is absolutely free from Kufr (disbelief) and Nifaaq (hypocrisy). It is heart that is free from Kibr (pride), Hasad (jealousy) and Hiqd (hatred). In the words of Qurtubi (R.A.) it is an absolutely sincere) heart.
A person with a sound heart is:
ONE WHO LOVES FOR OTHER WHAT HE LOVES FOR HIMSELF: Rasoolullah e said: “None of you can (truly) believe until he loves for his brother what he loves for himself.” (Bukhari, Muslim)
ONE WHO ALWAYS HAS GOOD THOUGHTS ABOUT OTHERS: Anas bin Maalik (R.A.) used to say that: “Most of the dwellers of Jannah are “AL-Bulh.” Al-Bulh are people who have clean hearts and who always entertain good thoughts regarding others. Qurtubi
ONE WHO LEADS A LIFE OF TOTAL OBEDIENCE: “…. There is a piece of flesh in the body; if it is good, the whole body is good. And if it is bad, the whole body is bad. Listen! That piece of flesh is the heart.” (Bukhari, Muslim) “The heart is the king of the limbs and the rest of the limbs are its soldiers; they always obey him by implementing his instructions and they never disobey him in any regard. (Remember) when the king is pious, his soldiers will also be pious. Similarly, when the king is sinful, his soldiers will also be sinful.”
As Muslims our challenge is to develop a heart that is inflamed with the love of Allah, a heart unaffected by the diseases and melodies that generally affects others, a heart that is not only the seat of feelings and emotions but also of intelligence and action. In short it implies the whole character of an individual. The lesson we learn from the life and mission of Ibrahim (as) is to continually look at the state of our hearts. How pure is my faith in Allah, how clean is my heart from hypocrisy, deceit, arrogance, jealousy and pride?
“O you who have believed, protect yourselves and your families from a Fire whose fuel is people and stones…" [Quran 66:6]
“Every child is born on the fitrah, it his parents that make him a Jew, Christian, or fire worshipper.”
This hadith emphasizes the enormous influence that we exercise on our children. From the moment children are born, their life is being shaped by those around them. Every child is born in a state of natural innocence, with an inborn ability to recognize the existence of Allah and to submit to His command. However this natural state becomes diluted, and corrupted by societal influences, family tradition, customs and parental persuasion to such an extent that it adopts the religious values and beliefs of the family.
How do we then protect the fitrah of our children? The world is now a very different place when we were growing up. Our children live in a rapidly changing, increasingly demanding, faster moving, overly stimulating, and increasingly unpredictable world…a world that is reshaping their identity, their attitudes and their priorities. How are we going to ensure that their faith in Allah is not compromised? How are we going to ensure that they do not disappoint us and that they do not loose their moral and religious direction in life.
Are you fulfilling your parental role adequately? Are you discharging this great trust that Allah has placed on you? What will you do differently if you had to raise your children all over again?
If I had my child to raise all over again,
I'd build self-esteem first, and the house later.
I'd finger-paint more, and point the finger less.
I would do less correcting and more connecting.
I'd take my eyes off my watch, and watch with my eyes.
I'd take more hikes and fly more kites.
I'd stop playing serious, and seriously play.
I would run through more fields and gaze at more stars.
I'd do more hugging and less tugging.
This short poem is talking about developing the emotional self of our child instead of the physical need. To make children happier, we may need to encourage them to develop a strong sense of personal worth, Do not in your quest to provide for their physical needs overlook their emotional and spiritual development. One important factor in their spiritual. Moral and emotional development is giving them the opportunity to learn and appreciaste their faith.
It was the foresight of our fore fathers who under very difficult circumstances established the madressa system in South Africa. Muslims in South Africa have one of the most outstanding maktab systems (madressa systems) in the world. The madressa system has set us apart from our Muslim brethren in other parts of the world and has contributed to the literacy rate of our children. We have an Islamic educational infrastructure established in most towns and cities that has become the envy of the world. It is precisely our maktab system that has enabled us to read Quran and understand our deen. The madressa gives our children:
A sense of belonging
Unfortunately, this great heritage of Islam is under threat. Many learners choose to leave maktab thinking that they already know how to recite the Quran. Some cite ‘time constraints’ and ‘homework load ’ as excuses for not attending the maktab. They leave the maktab during their most impressionable years with a smattering of Islamic knowledge which ultimately distorts their understanding of what it means to be Muslim. Their limited exposure to Islamic history and Islamic values leaves them wavering – unsure of their past and uncertain of their future! For most individuals the maktab is the ONLY opportunity to formally learn their deen. There are two lasting bequests we can give our children. One is roots. The other is wings.
We have witnessed an alarming decrease in the number of children attending madressa. This in my view is because of four reasons:
1 A good number of children have been absorbed into the Muslim School system
2 Many parents think that children are entitled to leave madressa once they know how to read the Quran.
3 Many have opted for informal maadressa’s in order to free their children for other activities.
4 In some cases madrassa has simply become out of fashion - so parents no longer feel the need to send their children to learn.
Informal Madrassas’ with a few exceptions generally provide a very poor level of education, teaching is haphazard, a teacher in a very limited amount of time has to teach multiple classes, premises are not conducive to teaching – there is generally no accountability.
What message do we send to our children by sending them to these kind of institutions? Parents are their children’s strongest role model and greatest influence. Your children will eventually adopt many of your values and types of behaviour, just as you have been influenced by your parents. Each day of our lives we make deposits in the memory banks of our children.
The harms of denying your child Islamic education
1 Children leave madressa thinking that religion is about reading a foreign language memorizing sura’s and duas, it has no relevance to their daily lives. It is something we practise on big day and nights
2 Religion is backward it does not fit into our modern day lives – It no longer serves as a lifestyle> Religion is therefore limited to prayer, fasting, Zakaat, etc. Nothing beyond ritual practise You can compromise deen to accommodate your lifestyle
3 They ,in their most impressionable years of growing up have absolutely no exposure to Islam. At the same time they grow up being exposed to the negative coverage of Islam, that Islam is about killing non- Muslims, oppressing women, stoning sinners to death, etc. >hey become unsure of their past and uncertain of their future as Muslims.