Our righteous predecessors used Ramadan as a training ground for their children.
During this time, we should guide our children wisely, and train them to fast and stand in prayer at night. If you desire that your young ones should succeed, here are some matters that will help you to train your children:
1. The father must be an example in character and behaviour and how he conducts his life. Remember that children look to their father as a teacher, guide and model. Allah, all praises and glory be to Him, has told us of the Prophet Zakariya:
“So We answered his call, and We bestowed upon him Yahya (John), and cured his wife (to bear a child) for him. Verily, they used to hasten on to do good deeds, and they used to call on Us with hope and fear, and used to humble themselves before Us.” (Surah Al-Anbiya:90)
2. Whatever children see and hear in the home has a tremendous impact on their lives and future. The presence of faith, the Qur’an, Prophetic traditions, remembrance of Allah and adhering to His commands and avoiding what He has prohibited, will all contribute to making a child upright and steadfast. Amusements, enticements, instruments of fun and negligence of Allah’s law will all render your child ineffectual and undisciplined.
3. Bond your child to the book of Allah through memorisation and recitation according to its rules of intonation. This is the period of memorisation and reception. If the child loses this golden opportunity by wasting it aimlessly in television and relaxation, they will regret it in the future.
4. The companions of your child in these early years are extremely important. They should be prevented from associating with corrupt people. Bad companionship can do more harm to your child than disease. The Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, advised us:
“A person is on the religion of his companions. Therefore let every one of you carefully consider the company he keeps.” (Recorded by Tirmidhi)
5. Nurture your child to seek success and maturity. Create in their hearts a love for sublime aspirations. Make them hate all that is indecent.
6. Observe the child in their dress and appearance. They should seek to emulate our beloved Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, and not the disbelievers. As the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, advised us:
“Whoever imitates a people is one of them.” (Reported by Ahmad)
As such, Muslim men should avoid wearing gold or silk or dragging their garments on the ground. They should shun instability and despair in their conversations as well as excessive laughter, haste, feeble-mindedness, time-wasting and other such faults and defects. If our children witness these things in their fathers, they will imitate them.
7. Instill the importance of Allah and all that relates to His religion in the heart of the child. The parent should also sanctify Allah’s names, qualities and actions. They should instill the greatness of Allah in the heart of the child, and a love for His Qur’an and his noble Messenger, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him.
8. Encourage the child to seek useful knowledge. The parent should help them be serious and sincere in this undertaking. They should also be taught to sacrifice, persevere and repeat what they learn. Make the child feel that the fruits of ripe knowledge and its alluring results are a good enough reason to rise up from slumber and negligence.
9. Pray for your children to be successful after every prayer and desire from Allah that He should reform and guide them. Implore Allah in the early hours of the morning and at time when prayers are granted, that Allah should write faith in their hearts and help them with his angels. Allah the Almighty says:
“And those who say: “Our Lord! Bestow on us from our wives and our offspring the comfort of our eyes, and make us leaders of the Muttaqun.” (Surah Al-Furqan:74)
10. Show kindness and mercy towards children. Bestow upon them gentle emotions by playing with them, kissing them, and entering into their hearts happiness. Do not be harsh and dispassionate with them. Neither should you hurt or embarrass them in front of other people. Every Muslim should treat their children the way the Prophet, Muhammad, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, did. Those who show mercy to others, Allah will show mercy to them.