Imam baqir (p.b.u.h) said: Allah,blessed most high said,I will certainly punish every muslim community who accepted the leadership of a tyrant leader who isn't chosen by Allah.
THE ROLE OF FATHER IN BELIEF AND SOCIAL CONSTRUCTION OF A CHILD PDF Print E-mail
Written by Nahleh Gharavi Naeeni/ Fakhri sadat Mosavi   
Monday, 25 September 2017 22:54

Nahleh Gharavi Naeeni

Fakhri sadat Mosavi

Jan. 2017

Abstract: the present article aims at reviewing the role of father in religious and social training of a child based on verses of Quran to show the behavior of infallibles with children. The results can show us the place of children in life, and what is the role of a father in religious and social construction of a child. Contemplating on these verses, it can be inferred that a child is a blessing of God, Mercy of Him, the cause of happiness, and the role of fathers in child training is undeniable.  

Keywords: child training


Introduction

Parents and fathers have different responsibilities and roles towards their children, one of these roles is to meet children’s needs in terms of religious beliefs and to try hard to pave the way to it. Parents should notice that God gives children in trustee, so they should take care of children’s spirit and soul, teach them the essential correct social behavior in addition to ethical and religious teachings. 

The holy Prophet of Islam abhors those fathers who are not serious in training their children. One day, he was looking at a group of children and said, woe to the babies of the end of the world because of their fathers! He was asked, because of their polytheist fathers? He answered, no! Because of their faithful fathers who do not teach dos and don’ts to their children, even when a child himself wants to learn, his father stops him. Their fathers are satisfied with their children getting worldly possessions. I hate those kind of fathers and they hate me. In the present study, the best has been tried to use Quran interpretations and those verses referring to infallibles’ behaviors mentioned in Quran, which can illustrate the place of father in children training.

Concepts
Meaning of Ab (اب)

The word “Ab” generally means father. Ab is anyone who is the cause of making something.

Difference between Ab and valed(والد)

In the verses of Quran, the word Ab is different from valed. For the biological father we can use both, but valed is used only for biological father.  The children of Jacob called the father and grandfather and also the brother of their father, Ismael, Ab. And regarded a special place for him like their father. 

In a tradition we read that holy Prophet told ‘Ali,

«أنا و علی أبوا هذه الاُمه»

“Ali and I are the father's (Ab) of this nation.” In plural form, brother of father and father both, mother and father both and also father and grandfather together are called abavayn (ابوین).  At the beginning of the verse,

« وَرَفَعَ أَبَوَيْهِ عَلَى الْعَرْشِ وَخَرُّوا لَهُ سُجَّدًا وَقَالَ يَا أَبَتِ هَذَا تَأْوِيلُ رُؤْيَايَ مِنْ قَبْلُ قَدْ جَعَلَهَا رَبِّي حَقًّا وَقَدْ أَحْسَنَ بِي إِذْ أَخْرَجَنِي مِنَ السِّجْنِ وَجَاءَ بِكُمْ مِنَ الْبَدْوِ مِنْ بَعْدِ أَنْ نَزَغَ الشَّيْطَانُ بَيْنِي وَبَيْنَ إِخْوَتِي إِنَّ رَبِّي لَطِيفٌ لِمَا يَشَاءُ إِنَّهُ هُوَ الْعَلِيمُ الْحَكِيمُ »

“He lifted his parents to the throne, and (the others) bowed before him. Joseph said to his father: 'This is the meaning of my vision of long ago, my Lord has verified it. He has been gracious to me. He brought me out of prison and brought you out of the desert after Satan had corrupted (the relationship) between me and my brothers. My Lord is Gentle to whom He will. He alone is the Knower, the Wise.”(12:100)

Prophet Joseph led his father and mother to his throne, and used the word Abavayhah) (أبَوَیًهِfor them both. Teachers and tutors are also called father.

Azar was not Abraham's father, in this verse Abraham prayed for his parents.  In this verse, Abraham used the word

« رَبَّنا اغًفِر لي و لِوالدي و لِلمؤمنين يَوم يَقوم الحساب »

“Forgive me, our Lord, and forgive my parents and all the believers on the Day of Reckoning.” (14:41)

Addressing his parents by this word is used only for biological parents. 

According to this, the word  اب can also use for other ones except biological father like uncle,  grandfather,  teacher who has control over others and anyone who is ruler of a tribe and this kind of  usage of the word is not only in Arabic. What we say is the word valed only and merely refers to biological father while Ab is not specific word to mean father, but in its context besides other words it can mean father.

Valad means a child, whether child of human or others, male or female, young or old.
The role of father in religious training of a child
Knowing the place of a child

The holy Quran knows a good society as the result of good families.  It depicts the prays of religious parents as:

Definitely it does not mean to sit aside alone and pray, but these people will attempt to guide their family towards rules of Islam and to show right and justice. Wherever they find themselves unable to go on, they ask God for help and pray, basically, each true pray should be like this, it means try as much as one can and pray for the things you think are out of your reach.

In this attitude, children are the cause of their joy, and a child who is Wise not ignorant can be the reason for joy. A blind polytheist can grow other blind one up, and these people neither will be the leader of pious people nor the followers of them, so in marriage no other characteristics but faith should be regarded.

In Quran, giving Moses back to his mom is mentioned as the cause of joy, ...

But most of people do not know a child to be an example of God’s mercy who is endowed a family with, as it is mentioned in Quran, Prophet Abraham realized this  God's mercy completely and when he received the glad tidings of a child, he said, 

قالَ وَ مَنْ يَقْنَطُ مِنْ رَحْمَهِ رَبِّهِ إِلاَّ الضَّالُّونَ»

“He replied: 'And who despairs of the mercy of his Lord, except those that are astray?” (15:56)

And those who make mistakes in the path of knowing God, do not know the vast Mercy and Knowledge of God, and lose their hope.

One of the most important blessings of God to Ibrahim was giving a pious child and a generation of deserved offspring, when after a long time God answer their pray, gave Ismael first and then Ishaq to him, both of them became great prophets.

About the value of a child, imam Sajjad said, "one of the causes of happiness of a man is to have children who help him." In another tradition from imam Sadiq, "a person was saying I did not like to have babies until I saw a young man in Arafah who was crying and praying. He was saying oh God! My dad and my mom, my dad and my mom! Since then I become interested in having children. "

In another place Prophet mentioned children as the fruit of heart, saying, "Any tree has fruit, and the fruit of heart is children. “Children are a blessing of God. The meaning of blessing is giving something with no expectations in return. Prophet Abraham mentioned God's giving babies as a blessing of God.

God called this a blessing as well.

الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ الَّذِي وَهَبَ لِي عَلَى الْكِبَرِ إِسْمَاعِيلَ وَإِسْحَاقَ إِنَّ رَبِّي لَسَمِيعُ الدُّعَاءِ ﴿39

Praise be to Allah who has given me Ishmael and Isaac in my old age! Indeed, my Lord is the Hearer of the supplication.(14:39)

وَوَهَبْنَا لَهُ إِسْحَاقَ وَيَعْقُوبَ نَافِلَةً وَكُلًّا جَعَلْنَا صَالِحِينَ ﴿72

We gave him, in excess, Isaac, and Jacob (for a grandson); and We made each righteous.(21:72)

This expression has been applied to other prophets such as the son of prophet Davood,

وَوَهَبْنَا لِدَاوُودَ سُلَيْمَانَ نِعْمَ الْعَبْدُ إِنَّهُ أَوَّابٌ

We gave Solomon to David; and he was an excellent worshiper, he was penitent.(38:30)

Or about Isa "to forgive you" means to mediate that God blesses you with a son purified from any sin.

قَالَ إِنَّمَا أَنَا رَسُولُ رَبِّكِ لِأَهَبَ لَكِ غُلَامًا زَكِيًّا

I am the Messenger of your Lord, ' he replied, 'and have come to give you a pure boy. (19:19)

Daughters and sons, both blessings of God

Any kind of blessing in this world is from God. The word “یهب” in the following verse refers to the point that both daughters and sons are gifts of God and a Muslim should not be unfair in his manner with them. No one has anything from himself; a general rule and clear example of God’s Ownership and Rulership is to create whatever He desires:

لِلَّهِ مُلْكُ السَّماواتِ وَ الْأَرْضِ يَخْلُقُ ما يَشاءُ يَهَبُ لِمَنْ يَشاءُ إِناثاً وَ يَهَبُ لِمَنْ يَشاءُ الذُّكُورَ

“To Allah belongs the Kingdom of the heavens and the earth. He creates what He will. He gives females to whom He will and males to whom He will.”( 42:49)

Therefore everyone is being taken care of by His Mercy, so being proud at the time of enjoyment nor hopeless at the time of hardship are sensible. The interesting point is in the verses, where daughters are given priority over sons to show the importance given to females by Islam from one hand and to teach those who were reluctant to have daughters that against their wrong understanding, He gives whoever He wants to whoever He likes and it means this choice is not yours.

Imam Baqir said, “’it means He gives either daughter or son …” and he continued, “… or both and will give no child to anyone he wants.”

Genetics, one of the important factors in religious beliefs

In children’s personality, different factors are at work. One of these determining factors is genetic. Generally, genetics means transferring some traits of parents or relatives to children. Human beings have always paid attention to this fact that living things transfer a lot of traits of himself to the next generation.

In Islam, the effect of genetics is also accepted and is mentioned seriously which is referring to its role in transferring outward and inward features. In this verse, Prophet Noah asked God, “

«وَ قالَ نُوحٌ رَبِّ لا تَذَرْ عَلَى الْأَرْضِ مِنَ الْكافِرينَ دَيَّاراً »(Nooh, 26)

And Noah (supplicated) saying: 'My Lord, do not leave a single unbeliever upon the earth.(71:26)

and

«إِنَّكَ إِنْ تَذَرْهُمْ يُضِلُّوا عِبادَكَ وَ لا يَلِدُوا إِلاَّ فاجِراً كَفَّاراً»

“Surely, if You leave them they will mislead Your worshipers and father none but the immoral, and unbelievers”.(71:27)

In this verse, he asked God to destroy all unbelievers to the last one of them, and this is because if they stay alive, there is no benefit in it not for believers nor their own children. There is no benefit for Muslim because they might mislead them not for children as they would not have pious children. Based on this verse, beliefs of unbelievers can reach their children, and those children get the opinions of their fathers. It becomes clear that as children can get the outward features, they can inherit their parents’ personality. This understanding from this verse is asserted by quite a few number of traditions, including imam Ali who said,

«حسن الاخلاق برهان کرم الاعراق :

Good temper is a sign of good gens.

Or when Prophet Zakarya asked God to give him a child to be his inheritor (inheritor has a broad sense which include inheriting belongings of a person and spiritual attributes.), according to the characteristics of Yahya, and his spiritual high position this meaning is confirmed. In a group of traditions from Prophet, it is asserted that the word inheritance here refers to spiritual inheritance. The summary of this tradition of Prophet is in the following:

Imam Sadiq narrated from Prophet, “Isa ibn Maryam was passing from a grave whose owner was in torture. The following year he passed by the same grave. But the owner of that grave was not in torture. He asked God about this, it was revealed to him the owner of this grave has a good child who had fixed a road and adopted an orphan child so God has forgiven him for the sake of his child. Then Prophet said, the inheritance of Almighty God to His faithful servants is to give a child to him who is obedient of God. Then imam Sadiq, while saying this tradition, referred to the verse related to Prophet Zakarya and said,

وَإِنِّي خِفْتُ الْمَوَالِيَ مِنْ وَرَائِي وَكَانَتِ امْرَأَتِي عَاقِرًا فَهَبْ لِي مِنْ لَدُنْكَ وَلِيًّا

Indeed, I fear my kinsmen who will succeed me, for my wife is barren. Grant me a kinsman

يَرِثُنِي وَيَرِثُ مِنْ آلِ يَعْقُوبَ وَاجْعَلْهُ رَبِّ رَضِيًّا

who will be my heir and an heir to the House of Jacob, and make him, my Lord, satisfied.

and if it is said this word of inheritance refers to financial matters, it can be said it is not limited to this, as in Quran frequently spiritual inheritance has been said.

Regarding genetic, it is worth mentioning it is possible for a mother who is immoral, the same characteristics transferred to her child so her child can not be prosperous. These kind of children in science are called hard children, which means if a mother or father are bad, they can make it hard for their children to get to salvation. This child has to reach to salvation hard. Other than genetics, environment can play an influential role on training. It means a child could have a good family but due to infectious environment, can not flourish. If parents pay attention, they could nullify the effect of environment or even genetics and get a child reach high positions by good training.

The role of pious father

Father is the important member of family; he should have virtues and morality. A family can train good virtuous children when its director is not deviated and if father’s ethical foundation is not proper, it can affect family and especially children, uprooting virtues seeds from family.

If father of a family be a faithful person, children can grow up in the light of his spiritual growth, become responsible and faithful. Being organized, fair and other positive characteristics are the results of having a good father. An example of a virtuous father in Quran is Prophet Abraham that God in various verses reminds him of being forbearing, tenderhearted and penitent:

إِنَّ إِبْرَاهِيمَ لَحَلِيمٌ أَوَّاهٌ مُنِيبٌ

Indeed, Abraham was forbearing, tenderhearted and penitent.(11:75)

«ما كانَ إِبْراهيمُ يَهُودِيًّا وَ لا نَصْرانِيًّا وَ لكِنْ كانَ حَنيفاً مُسْلِماً وَ ما كانَ مِنَ الْمُشْرِكينَ »

No, Abraham was neither a Jew nor a Nazarene. He was of pure faith, a submitter (Muslim). He was never of the idolaters.(3:67)

«إِنَّ إِبْراهيمَ كانَ أُمَّةً قانِتاً لِلَّهِ حَنيفاً وَ لَمْ يَكُ مِنَ الْمُشْرِكينَ »

Abraham was (equal to) a nation, obedient to Allah, of pure faith and was not among the idolaters,(16:120)

وَ اذْكُرْ فِي الْكِتابِ إِبْراهيمَ إِنَّهُ كانَ صِدِّيقاً نَبِيًّا»

Mention in the Book Abraham; He was truthful and a Prophet.(19:41)

«وَ لَقَدْ آتَيْنا إِبْراهيمَ رُشْدَهُ مِنْ قَبْلُ وَ كُنَّا بِهِ عالِمينَ»

Before this We gave Abraham his virtue, for We knew him.(21:51)

«وَ اذْكُرْ عِبادَنا إِبْراهيمَ وَ إِسْحاقَ وَ يَعْقُوبَ أُولِي الْأَيْدي وَ الْأَبْصارِ »

Also, remember Our worshipers Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, those of might and vision.(38:45)

«قَدْ كانَتْ لَكُمْ أُسْوَةٌ حَسَنَةٌ في‏ إِبْراهيمَ ...»

“You have a good example in Abraham and those with him. They said to their nation: 'We are quit of you, and that which you worship, other than Allah. We disbelieve you, enmity and hatred has shown itself between us for ever until you believe in Allah alone. ' Except that Abraham said to his father: 'Surely, I shall supplicate to ask for forgiveness for you although I have no power to do anything for you with Allah. ' ' Our Lord, in You we have put our trust; to You we turn, and to You is the arrival.” (60:4)

And about his son, Ismael, says,

«وَ اذْكُرْ فِي الْكِتابِ إِسْماعيلَ إِنَّهُ كانَ صادِقَ الْوَعْدِ وَ كانَ رَسُولاً نَبِيًّا»

“And mention in the Book, Ishmael; he too was true to his promise, a Messenger and a Prophet.” (19:54)

The role model of father in worship for children

One of the significant factors in strengthening faith is father’s pray. If a father is interested in his child being religious, he should pray and teach this to his child. Children will learn what they see. Fathers can inform their children of ideas and thoughts by exposing them to this. Children look at their fathers and they find him obedient in his practice not his words, and if they find their father real follower of a religion, there is a hope that they follow his way. Otherwise words can not shape children’s religious beliefs. For this reason, families should strengthen the religious aspects in families and take children to religious ceremonies. Regarding the suitable time of introducing obligatory and not obligatory religious practices, there are some traditions from Prophet. This is the duty of parents to get their children familiar with religious affairs and at the same time God gives them reward.

In a tradition from imam Hasan Askari, it is said that in the day of Doom some people are enjoying some special positions, when they ask about reason, they will hear,

«هذا بِتَعلیمَکُما وَلَدَکُما القرآنَ وَتَبصیرَکُما ایِّاهُ بِدینِ الاسلامِ»

“This is because you teach Quran to the children and give them religious prospect.” Prayer is counted as one of the most important factors of religious training and divided it into three parts: first worshipping God inside, in heart and thoughts, second, in practice like fasting, pray and hajj, third, socially like justice, kindness, doing charity. In the life of infallibles we can trace all these worships, in heart and by hand, which were good role model for their children. About prophet Abraham, it has been said that

«‏ إِنَّ إِبْراهِيمَ لَحَلِيمٌ أَوَّاهٌ مُنِيبٌ‏»

“Indeed, Abraham was forbearing, tenderhearted and penitent.” (11:75)

Regarding prophet Ayyub, it is said he was so patient at the time of hardship and in relief.

وَ أَيُّوبَ إِذْ نادى‏ رَبَّهُ أَنِّي مَسَّنِيَ الضُّرُّ وَ أَنْتَ أَرْحَمُ الرَّاحِمينَ

And Job when he called to his Lord: 'Affliction has befallen me, and You are the Most Merciful of the merciful.” (21:83)

Prophet Davood was a man who is described in Quran like this,

«و اصْبِرْ عَلى‏ ما يَقُولُونَ وَ اذْكُرْ عَبْدَنا داوُدَ ذَا الْأَيْدِ إِنَّهُ أَوَّابٌ »

Bear patiently with what they say, and remember Our worshiper David, a man of might. He was ever turning in repentance.” (38:17)

أَوَّابٌ means he was turning to God again and again. In other verses of this Surah, about Solomon, his son, is said,

« وَ وَهَبْنا لِداوُدَ سُلَيْمانَ نِعْمَ الْعَبْدُ إِنَّهُ أَوَّابٌ »

We gave Solomon to David; and he was an excellent worshiper, he was penitent.(38:30)

Behavior and talk compatibility

If parents put their words in practice themselves, indirectly are teaching their kids their ideas. Parent’s advice is useful when they are supported by practice. Imam Hasan Mojtaba said about one of his friends, saying:

«کانَ لا یَقولُ ما لا یَفعَلُ وَیَفعَلُ ما لا یَقُولُ»

He did not say anything unless he did himself and did better than he was saying.

If the words and actions are not compatible, the results will not be training that was wished but the opposite. The examples of this compatibility are seen in the behavior of Prophet Abraham and his son Ismail,

«وَ إِذْ يَرْفَعُ إِبْراهيمُ الْقَواعِدَ مِنَ الْبَيْتِ وَ إِسْماعيلُ رَبَّنا تَقَبَّلْ مِنَّا إِنَّكَ أَنْتَ السَّميعُ الْعَليمُ »

“And when Abraham and Ishmael raised the foundations of the House (supplicating): 'O our Lord, accept this from us, You are the Hearer, the Knower.”(2:127)

Joining prayer at the same time of work in closer to be fulfilled.

The role of father's pray for spirituality of a child

One of the spiritual duties of parent is to pray for children, prayer is useful before and after the birth of a child, as it is useful in asking God for a child. Prophet Zakarya and Prophet Abraham asked God for children. These prayers had various aspects, they include asking for security, and daily bread, and obedience of them:

These prayers can be open or hidden. The holy Prophet said, "a pray in hidden equals seventy prays in the open." In the holy verses of Quran, we read,

«وَ الَّذينَ يَقُولُونَ رَبَّنا هَبْ لَنا مِنْ أَزْواجِنا وَ ذُرِّيَّاتِنا قُرَّةَ أَعْيُنٍ وَ اجْعَلْنا لِلْمُتَّقينَ إِماماً»

“Those who say: 'Lord give us of our wives and children what pleases our eyes and make us leaders to the fearful.” (27:74)

In a tradition from Prophet it is narrated that, the pray of a father for his son is useful like water in farming. Imam Sadiq said, three prayers will not be rejected by God, prayer of father's for their children, when a child is benefactor and obedient to his father, father's curse if they bothered him or disobey him, the curse of an oppressed one about tyrant oppressor and pray of a faithful person for his faithful brother who helps him financially for the sake of us and curse of him for a person who does not help his brother in need.

Prophet Zakarya asked God for someone who has kiramah like Mary, therefore God gave him a similar child. Yahya was given to him who was the most similar prophet to Isa. The Prophet who had the virtues of Mary and Isa, and because of this God named him Yahya:

« فَنادَتْهُ الْمَلائِكَةُ وَ هُوَ قائِمٌ يُصَلِّي فِي الْمِحْرابِ أَنَّ اللَّهَ يُبَشِّرُكَ بِيَحْيى‏ مُصَدِّقاً بِكَلِمَةٍ مِنَ اللَّهِ وَ سَيِّداً وَ حَصُوراً وَ نَبِيًّا مِنَ الصَّالِحينَ »

“And the angels called out to him when he was standing in the sanctuary worshipping, saying: 'Allah gives you glad tidings of John, who shall confirm a Word from Allah. He shall be a master and chaste, a Prophet and from the righteous.” (3:39)

Being good tempered with children

Being able to talk to children is one of the privileges of human beings and verbal relation is a blessing of God which helps mankind in his relationship with others. Verbal interaction is the best, easiest, and not expensive media in training. Using respectful words resulting from kindness has great impact on interactions with children.  These words are effective when they are sincere and not superficial.  Otherwise, not only they are not effective but can result in hatred. Parents should pay attention to psychological health of their children and use a good language, avoid humiliating words because the result would be hopelessness, identity crisis and other psychological problems. 

Father's manner and temper have roles in getting family closer or in cultivating fear or hope in children's heart.  Even when father's do not say anything directly but moral rulership of father's can cause children to inherit something valuable or blame worthy.

Imam Hasan was very good tempered and sweet talk, who can absorb listeners to himself, not only did he avoid negative words, but also stopped faithful people from it. He said,

«اِنَّ المُؤمنَ مَن لا یَطغَنُ...وَلا یَنابَزُ بِالاَلقابِ»

Faithful people do not gossip nor call each other by bad names and titles.

In manner of infallibles, we can see kindness of them with their children beautifully, each time they wanted to address their children they use "my son" which shows father's kindness. We can see these kinds addressing of Prophets in different situations, for example when Jacob and Abraham advised their children to religion:

«وَ وَصَّى بِها إِبْراهيمُ بَنيهِ وَ يَعْقُوبُ يا بَنِيَّ إِنَّ اللَّهَ اصْطَفى‏ لَكُمُ الدِّينَ فَلا تَمُوتُنَّ إِلاَّ وَ أَنْتُمْ مُسْلِمُونَ »

Abraham charged his children with this, and so did Jacob, saying: 'My sons, Allah has chosen for you the religion. Do not die except being submissive (Muslims).” (2:132)

« يا بُنَيَّ ارْكَبْ مَعَنا وَ لا تَكُنْ مَعَ الْكافِرينَ»

“Noah called out to his son who kept away from them, "My son, embark with us. Do not stay with the unbelievers.” (11:42)

Or when they advised their children, as Jacob talking to his young son, Joseph:

«قالَ يا بُنَيَّ لا تَقْصُصْ رُؤْياكَ عَلى‏ إِخْوَتِكَ فَيَكيدُوا لَكَ كَيْداً إِنَّ الشَّيْطانَ لِلْإِنْسانِ عَدُوٌّ مُبينٌ»

“His father said, "My son, do not tell your dream to your brothers lest they plot against you; Satan is the sworn enemy of man.” (12:5)

Or when he was giving hope to his child, inviting him to try and trust in God:

«يا بَنِيَّ اذْهَبُوا فَتَحَسَّسُوا مِنْ يُوسُفَ وَ أَخيهِ وَ لا تَيْأَسُوا مِنْ رَوْحِ اللَّهِ إِنَّهُ لا يَيْأَسُ مِنْ رَوْحِ اللَّهِ إِلاَّ الْقَوْمُ الْكافِرُونَ »

“Go and seek news of Joseph and his brother. Do not despair of the Comfort of Allah, none but unbelievers despair of the Comfort of Allah.” (12:87)

«وَ قالَ يا بَنِيَّ لا تَدْخُلُوا مِنْ بابٍ واحِدٍ وَ ادْخُلُوا مِنْ أَبْوابٍ مُتَفَرِّقَةٍ وَ ما أُغْني‏ عَنْكُمْ مِنَ اللَّهِ مِنْ شَيْ‏ءٍ إِنِ الْحُكْمُ إِلاَّ لِلَّهِ عَلَيِه تَوَكَّلْتُ وَ عَلَيْهِ فَلْيَتَوَكَّلِ الْمُتَوَكِّلُونَ »

“Then he said: 'My sons, do not enter from one gate. Enter through different gates. I cannot be of any help to you against Allah; judgment belongs to Allah alone. In Him I have put my trust. In Him let all put their trust.”(12:67)

Or at the time of consulting, when Abraham talked to his son, Ismail,

يا بُنَيَّ إِنِّي أَرى‏ فِي الْمَنامِ أَنِّي أَذْبَحُكَ فَانْظُرْ ما ذا تَرى‏ قالَ يا أَبَتِ افْعَلْ ما تُؤْمَرُ سَتَجِدُني‏ إِنْ شاءَ اللَّهُ مِنَ الصَّابِرينَ »

“And when he reached the age of traveling with him, he said: 'My son, while I was sleeping I saw that I shall slaughter (sacrifice) you, tell me what is your opinion. ' He replied: 'Father, do as you are ordered (by Allah). Allah willing, you shall find me one of those who are steadfast.” (37:102)

Allocating quality time to advise children

Some parents pay all of their attention to the educational achievement of children and neglect their spiritual growth and leave it to schools or other social institutions. While the goal is not a child to be unilateral, putting aside ethnical and spiritual things. Since childhood, a time should be allocated to children for their spiritual growth. If a child learn something in childhood, changing it later would be difficult. An example for this quality time can be seen in the behavior of prophet Jacob with his son when due to their closeness, Josef told him his dream, his father listened to him carefully, and advised him to keep it as a secret lest not to be the subject of his siblings’ jealousy.

«قالَ يا بُنَيَّ لا تَقْصُصْ رُؤْياكَ عَلى‏ إِخْوَتِكَ فَيَكيدُوا لَكَ كَيْداً إِنَّ الشَّيْطانَ لِلْإِنْسانِ عَدُوٌّ مُبينٌ»

His father said, "My son, do not tell your dream to your brothers lest they plot against you; Satan is the sworn enemy of man.(12:5)

Another example of attention to spiritual aspects are apparent in the adulthood of prophet Abraham and Jacob’s children. At the time of death, they asked their offspring to be surrounded to God.

«أَمْ كُنْتُمْ شُهَداءَ إِذْ حَضَرَ يَعْقُوبَ الْمَوْتُ إِذْ قالَ لِبَنيهِ ما تَعْبُدُونَ مِنْ بَعْدي قالُوا نَعْبُدُ إِلهَكَ وَ إِلهَ آبائِكَ إِبْراهيمَ وَ إِسْماعيلَ وَ إِسْحاقَ إِلهاً واحِداً وَ نَحْنُ لَهُ مُسْلِمُونَ»

“Or, were you witnesses when death came to Jacob! He said to his children: 'What will you worship after me? ' They replied: 'We will worship your God and the God of your forefathers, Abraham, Ishmael, and Isaac, the One God. To Him, we are submissive.” (2:133)

Fathers should advice pray and worship

Fathers are responsible to advise their family to pray and give zakat. We see in Quran when God orders Prophet to invite his family to pray,

«وَ أْمُرْ أَهْلَكَ بِالصَّلاةِ وَ اصْطَبِرْ عَلَيْها لا نَسْئَلُكَ رِزْقاً نَحْنُ نَرْزُقُكَ وَ الْعاقِبَةُ لِلتَّقْوى"

Both of you, together, go down out of it (the Garden) each of you an enemy to the other, ' He said: 'but, if My Guidance comes to you, whosoever follows My Guidance shall neither go astray nor be unprosperous”(20:123)

It is narrated when this verse had been sent down, Prophet had been coming to the house of Zahra and Ali for nine month and said,

«الصلاة رحمكم الله! إنما يريد الله ليذهب عنكم الرجس أهل البيت و يطهركم تطهيرا»

We heard similar traditions from imam Baqir who said, God appoints Prophet to let his family know they enjoy a situation in front of God no one else have.

In Quran we read about prophet Ismail:

«وَ كانَ يَأْمُرُ أَهْلَهُ بِالصَّلاةِ وَ الزَّكاةِ وَ كانَ عِنْدَ رَبِّهِ مَرْضِيًّا »

And he ordered his people to pray and to give charity and his Lord was pleased with him.” (19:55)

Role of father in socializing children

Socializing children has a broad domain and includes all issues facing a person in society. Fathers should remember that they have significant role in this regard and should not overlook it. They should train their children to be friendly, philanthropist, responsible, just, unbiased… .

Choosing a proper name

Names are important as we see for example “Yahya’ was named by God. If good names are given to children they would not feel ashamed because of their names.

For example, prophet Zakarya was blessed by a child, a child whom no one was named by his name before:

«يا زَكَرِيَّا إِنَّا نُبَشِّرُكَ بِغُلامٍ اسْمُهُ يَحْيى‏ لَمْ نَجْعَلْ لَهُ مِنْ قَبْلُ سَمِيًّا »

O Zachariah, We give you good tidings of a son, and he shall be called John (Yahya); a name We have never given before.”(19: 7)

Jabir ibn Abdullah Ansari said, once Imam Baqir went to visit one of his followers who was sick. I accompanied him. When we got there, a child came out. Imam asked, what is your name? He answered, Muhammad. Imam asked, what is your epithet? He answered, Ali. Imam said, truly, you save yourself from Satan. When Satan hears, someone called you, he melts like lead and when someone called names of our enemies he becomes proud.

Imam Baqir said, the best names are names of Prophets. Imam Sadiq said in this regard, Prophet said, choose good names for yourself as in the day of doom you will be called by your names… .

Assigning responsibilities to kids

An example of assigning responsibility can be seen in the life if Prophet Jacob when he send Josef with his brothers.

« قالَ لَنْ أُرْسِلَهُ مَعَكُمْ حَتَّى تُؤْتُونِ مَوْثِقاً مِنَ اللَّهِ لَتَأْتُنَّنِي بِهِ إِلاَّ أَنْ يُحاطَ بِكُمْ فَلَمَّا آتَوْهُ مَوْثِقَهُمْ قالَ اللَّهُ عَلى‏ ما نَقُولُ وَكيلٌ»

He replied: 'I will never send him with you until you swear by Allah that you will bring him back to me, unless you are prevented. ' And when they had given him their oath, he said: 'Allah is the Guardian of what we say.”(12:66)

Respecting children’s opinions and consulting them

A way to cultivate self-esteem is to ask for children’s ideas. Examples of this can be seen in Quran when prophet Shoayb consulted his daughter and she suggested Moses for being a shepherded and helped them. Or when Prophet Abraham consulted his son about the test of God and asked his opinion. Or prophet Davood who consulted his son prophet Solayman about judgment.

وَدَاوُودَ وَسُلَيْمَانَ إِذْ يَحْكُمَانِ فِي الْحَرْثِ إِذْ نَفَشَتْ فِيهِ غَنَمُ الْقَوْمِ وَكُنَّا لِحُكْمِهِمْ شَاهِدِينَ

“David and Solomon were trying to settle the case of the people's sheep that grazed in a corn-field at night. We witnessed their decree in that matter.”(21:78)

Avoiding insulting children

Insulting kids will destroy self-esteem. In addition to it, it can fade dignity of parents. His behavior can destroy the bonds of friendship between parents and children.

Prophet Jacob upon hearing what happened to Josef, did not assault his children but say your carnal desire leads you to this, I do not punish you and wait.

Marriage and support

Marriage is something personal from one hand and social from the other hand. In the shade of it, a humanistic society will be made. Couples and relatives can have impact on each other. Marriage sets some rules in front of couples which can affect society and can be affected by society. Our school of thought does not say not to get married unless you reach a state of purity and after that get married, vice versa. It said anyone who got married, has saved his religion. It also advises to marriage and announces it as a right for children of a family.  Islam lets people to enjoy life legally and religiously. The importance of marriage has been emphasized in all school of thought, from prophet Adam and his marriage with Eva, marriages of their children, to the life of Noah and his wife and children, or Jacob, Loot, Zakarya, Davood, Solomon. Therefore, we can infer importance of marriage and how some prophets like Loot had tried to save their nations from corruption and prostitution; they started with their own family to establish marriage custom in society and finally had to leave city to keep their faith. 

Parents and marriage of their children

The truth is some parents are indifferent to the marriage of their children; or they forget their children grow up and its time to leave their parents. If these parents were asked why do not your children get married? They answered they are still child. Sometimes parents make hindrance in the way of children’s marriage with different excuses, while respecting children and interest in their happiness necessities to ask their opinions about this issue. Sometimes parents reject the choices of their children for marriage because of some reasons such as appearance, financial issues, while in Islam we should pay attention to more fundamental points.

Parents are responsible to search about the person whom they child wants to marry with, to consider all conditions and inform their children of their duties after marriage. If we look at the story of Moses and his marriage to the daughter of Shoayb, as it is mentioned in Quran, we see when the daughters of Shoayb wanted to introduce Moses, she referred to Moses’ power and trustworthiness. ( Qesas, 26) then prophet Shoayb suggested his daughter to marry Moses. It means that even the family of a daughter can propose.

Some criteria for marriage of children

One of the conditions of marriage is that father has a right in her daughter’s marriage, to give permission to her daughter for marriage. This issue is very valuable and logical by considering Islamic system. In Islamic society, father is in contact with a lot of people out of home, knows threats and tricks of people well. So his experience can help him to guide his daughter to have a good choice. The permission is due to this as long as a father seeks his family benefits and not his as prophet Shoayb did. He even promised not to be strict and helped his daughters in financial problems.

The good method of proposing a girl in front of her father is found in this family,

«وقالَ إِنِّي أُريدُ أَنْ أُنْكِحَكَ إِحْدَى ابْنَتَيَّ هاتَيْنِ عَلى‏ أَنْ تَأْجُرَني‏ ثَمانِيَ حِجَجٍ فَإِنْ أَتْمَمْتَ عَشْراً فَمِنْ عِنْدِكَ وَ ما أُريدُ أَنْ أَشُقَّ عَلَيْكَ سَتَجِدُني‏ إِنْ شاءَ اللَّهُ مِنَ الصالحین»

“He said: 'I will let you marry one of these two daughters of mine on condition that you hire yourself to me for eight years. If you complete ten that is of your own accord; I shall not press you. Surely, you will find me, if Allah wills, among the good.” (28:27)

In financial issues, it is no problem if parents help their children for a period of time, it is the cause of God’s satisfaction, and has more reward than any other alms. Prophet Shoayb promised prophet Moses not to be hard on him; while Prophet Shoayb chose a marriage portion for his daughter, he said he did not want Moses be bothered.

« وما أُريدُ أَنْ أَشُقَّ عَلَيْكَ»

“ I shall not press you.”(28:27)

And asked God,

« سَتَجِدُني‏ إِنْ شاءَ اللَّهُ مِنَ الصالحین»

Surely, you will find me, if Allah wills, among the good.”(28:27)

Cooperation between fathers and children in business

Human being is a being with two aspects, materialistic and spiritual. For each one of these two aspects, he has some necessities, which have to be met to reach perfection. This important issue is only possible by attempt, in practice not laziness. Quran refers to this fact that:

«وَاَن لَیسَ لِلانسانَ اِلّا ما سَعی»

“and that everyone shall have in his account only that which he worked for,”(53:39)

For this reason, some knows socializing of a human being the result of these needs. Because as each human being has a specific talent and ability, they could solve their problems if they get together and assist each other.

A way of social training of children is to engage them in daily life responsibilities. By contemplating on the life of infallibles in Quran and traditions, we see how they work hard assisting their children. As in the story of prophet Jacob, we see the children went to the pasture and because of helping their parents, they know themselves honored.

Another example was in the life of prophet Shoayb who was old and his daughters helped him. Quran has mentioned the story of giving water to the sheep by them. Another example is building Kaba by Abraham when he told his son, God has ordered me to erect this building. Prophet Ismail was at the service of his father, immediately he got ready. As Quran states in the verses 127 and 128 in surah Baqarah,

«وَ إِذْ يَرْفَعُ إِبْراهيمُ الْقَواعِدَ مِنَ الْبَيْتِ وَ إِسْماعيلُ رَبَّنا تَقَبَّلْ مِنَّا إِنَّكَ أَنْتَ السَّميعُ الْعَليمُ»

“And when Abraham and Ishmael raised the foundations of the House (supplicating): 'O our Lord, accept this from us, You are the Hearer, the Knower.”(2:127)

رَبَّنَا وَاجْعَلْنَا مُسْلِمَيْنِ لَكَ وَمِنْ ذُرِّيَّتِنَا أُمَّةً مُسْلِمَةً لَكَ وَأَرِنَا مَنَاسِكَنَا وَتُبْ عَلَيْنَا إِنَّكَ أَنْتَ التَّوَّابُ الرَّحِيمُ

“Our Lord, make us both submissive to You, and of our descendants a submissive nation to You. Show us our rites and accept us; You are the Receiver of Repentance, the Merciful.” (2:128)

Protecting a child and his freedom

Love of fathers toward their children and supporting them from danger are important but at the same time children’s freedom should be respected. Neglecting children will harm them; parents, because of their experience, can feel danger but young adults are usually so proud of themselves and do not take dangers seriously. These dangers can happen in different ways, sometimes from their friends, sometimes evil doers, sometimes hypocrites. Fathers, at the same time of paying attention to the social growth of their children, should be aware of distracting elements, do not let evil doers entertain children with unimportant things. If fathers and people in charge plan well for the free time of children, the risk of misused of them would decrease. Enemies also do not confront directly, but they hid their satanic intentions inside pretty clothes. For example, brothers of Jusef hide their ill intention of killing their brother behind fake love. These feeling provoked Jusef and his father. Prophet Jacob, when was asked to send Jusef with his brothers away, did not deny insecurity he felt but said I was worried of a bad incident, not by you but other incidents that you are not aware of it.

« قالَ إِنِّي لَيَحْزُنُني‏ أَنْ تَذْهَبُوا بِهِ وَ أَخافُ أَنْ يَأْكُلَهُ الذِّئْبُ وَ أَنْتُمْ عَنْهُ غافِلُونَ»

“He said: 'It grieves me to let him go with you, for I fear lest the wolf should devour him when you are not paying attention to him.”(12:13)

A father should also take necessary measurement to save his child as Jacob took it:

«وَ قالَ يا بَنِيَّ لا تَدْخُلُوا مِنْ بابٍ واحِدٍ وَ ادْخُلُوا مِنْ أَبْوابٍ مُتَفَرِّقَةٍ وَ ما أُغْني‏ عَنْكُمْ مِنَ اللَّهِ مِنْ شَيْ‏ءٍ إِنِ الْحُكْمُ إِلاَّ لِلَّهِ عَلَيْهِ تَوَكَّلْتُ وَ عَلَيْهِ فَلْيَتَوَكَّلِ الْمُتَوَكِّلُونَ»

“Then he said: 'My sons, do not enter from one gate. Enter through different gates. I cannot be of any help to you against Allah; judgement belongs to Allah alone. In Him I have put my trust. In Him let all put their trust.”( 12:67)

This verse shows the answer of prophet Jacob who said,

«قالَ لَنْ أُرْسِلَهُ مَعَكُمْ حَتَّى تُؤْتُونِ مَوْثِقاً مِنَ اللَّهِ لَتَأْتُنَّنِي بِهِ إِلاَّ أَنْ يُحاطَ بِكُمْ فَلَمَّا آتَوْهُ مَوْثِقَهُمْ قالَ اللَّهُ عَلى‏ ما نَقُولُ وَكيلٌ»

“He replied: 'I will never send him with you until you swear by Allah that you will bring him back to me, unless you are prevented. ' And when they had given him their oath, he said: 'Allah is the Guardian of what we say.” (12:66)

Conclusion:

 

To strengthen the foundation of family and relationship of parents with children, the relationship of fathers and children in Quran has been under study. Quran to build valuable human beings uses a method which is specific to it, which is the school of infallibles. If a person can apply virtues of prophets in himself and his life, then he can be a pious parent and be a good role model. Building a friendly and polite relationship with children, good knowledge about the position of children as prophets have towards children, along with some tools like pray in the life of infallibles which has been mentioned frequently can influence religious beliefs of a child. In addition,  familiarizing with examples of prophets’ behavior with children like consulting with children, spending quality time with children, guiding a child, cooperating with children, assigning responsibility to children, preparation of their marriage, are assured models in building children’s social personality by fathers.

 

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