The Strongest Muslim Families Have These 5 Things in Common
Raising children to become good Muslims is at the core of strong muslim families. But it doesn’t always come easily – to ensure your family is providing the strongest foundation to your children, it is necessary to figure out how to get there and prepare for the work ahead.
The emotional and spiritual tone of the family is set by the relationship between the husband and wife. By modeling a culture of love, respect and patience, it is safe to assume that it trickles down to the children, creating a home that is happy and peaceful.
Using the example of the beloved prophet Muhammad (pbuh), we learn how to interact with children, specifically how to engage and guide them, building on a foundation of love, compassion and trust.
1. Spend quality time with each child
By getting to know each personality, you can better reason and persuade your children to learn and understand Islam and cultivate a love of faith.
Having more than one child means you have to get creative in how you carve out one-on-one time with each child. Whether it is cooking dinner, playing basketball, going for a walk or even 15 minutes together in the car, it is an opportunity for your child to open up and discuss things with you and for you to engage them. Just a short amount of time spent together on a regular basis can do wonders for your relationship and strengthen your family.
Consistently showing love by not only telling them frequently that you love them, but also playing and laughing with your children builds a foundation of trust that can make them more prepared to listen to your teachings and implement them.
2. Teach by example
All Muslim parents want their children to pray 5 times per day, recite Qur’an and make it a part of their daily routine, give willingly and frequently to the needy, fast in Ramadan and express a desire to make Hajj Insh’Allah.
Given that children are more likely to imitate what they see their parents do rather than what they say, it makes sense for parents to prioritize this lifestyle for the benefit of the whole family. It makes it easier for parents to encourage their child to adhere to these basic Islamic commands when they create such a strong family environment.
Parents often tell their kids “..as long as you live in this house, you’ll do as I say…”, but what is more accurate is that children pay more attention to what parents do, and it is this behavior that they will mimic.
To cultivate a mindset of volunteering and social activism in children, parents ought to schedule regular family volunteering efforts so children can feel part of a team that is providing a valuable contribution to society.
When there are instances of injustice in the local community, Muslims are encouraged to speak up for the victims and for what is right.
Children need to see their parents do that so that they feel empowered to speak up and try to correct any injustices they see in their own lives.
With such a strong familial foundation, children who put their trust in Allah swt while living Islam can only succeed in this life and the hereafter Insh’Allah.
3. Do things together
Salah: Try to pray together as a family on a daily basis. Given the different schedules for parents and children, this is not always easy, but you can start small. Pick one salah time, Maghrib for example, and make an effort to consistently pray this salah together.
By prioritizing this aspect of family life, children understand that everything begins and ends with Allah. Bonds are strengthened between parents and children as each strives to create their own relationship with the Almighty.
Children watch their parents make Dua and ask Allah for His forgiveness and guidance and repeat while making their own Duas.
There are many teachable moments during this sacred time, and your salah will not always be perfect. Younger children particularly can be distracting but don’t become disheartened. Insh’Allah you are setting the foundation of salah to become a pillar in their lives.
Family meals: Research shows that having dinner together as a family makes a huge impact on the lives and well-being of children and makes for strong families. They are less likely to fall into societal traps (drugs, drinking, eating disorders, suicidal thoughts, etc…) and are more likely to be articulate and confident. Letting the kids talk helps parents understand the issues and struggles they are facing and gives an insight into their world and what affects them.
Plan days out and family vacations where the attention and focus is on each other. Experiencing new things with loved ones can contribute positively to brain development. Research has shown that spending time bonding as a family with fun new activities creates long lasting memories in children that are long cherished.
Get children involved in major family decisions. Giving children a voice teaches them that they matter and that their opinion is valued. What better way to make a child feel included, loved and confident than to know that his parents and other siblings respect and love him enough to hear his thoughts and opinions.
Support each other, whether it is cheering on a weekend soccer game, or helping around the house. Parents who signal that they are present and willing to lend a helping hand are likely to have children who follow that example. Siblings should be encouraged to show love and support to each other.
4. Be affectionate
One Sunnah that can be easily implemented in all households is showing love and affection to children. The prophet Muhammad (pbuh) frequently played with, kissed and hugged his children and grandchildren. Showing love to children helps them feel secure and safe, and it also makes it easy for parents to gently guide their behavior. Parents should take particular care to be equally affectionate with all their children and not show favorites.
Doing nice things for each other just because is a great way to show that you care. Children should be encouraged to think of kind gestures that they can do for their siblings, parents, grandparents, and teachers and friends. Doing such good deeds will show them that it can feel good to be doing something nice for others.
5. Make lots of Dua’
It is important to note that the intention and efforts made by parents to try to do their very best in raising their children do not go unnoticed by Allah swt. In fact, despite our best efforts, we still need to raise our hands and make dua’ to the Almighty to guide and bless our families and help us be successful Insh’Allah. Here are some dua’s that are frequently used specifically by parents.
Al Furqaan 74
“Rabbana hablana min azwaajina wa dhuriyaatina qurrata a’yunin waj’alnaa l’il muttaqueeena imaamah”
O Lord! Grant us in our spouses and offspring the coolness of eyes and make us a leader of those who guard themselves against evil.
Sunan Abi Dawud 41:4719
U’eedhukumaa bikalimaatillahita mati min kulli shaytanin wa haa matin wa min kulli ‘aynin lammah
I seek refuge for both of you in the perfect words of Allah from every devil and poisonous thing and from the evil eye which influences.