A Family That Prays Together…
Surah Taaha, 132
وَأۡمُرۡ أَهۡلَكَ بِٱلصَّلَوٰةِ وَٱصۡطَبِرۡ عَلَيۡہَاۖ لَا نَسۡـَٔلُكَ رِزۡقً۬اۖ نَّحۡنُ نَرۡزُقُكَۗ وَٱلۡعَـٰقِبَةُ لِلتَّقۡوَىٰ
And enjoin As-Salât (the prayer) on your family, and be patient in offering them [i.e. the Salât (prayers)]. We ask not of you a provision (i.e. to give Us something: money); We provide for you. And the good end (i.e. Paradise) is for the Muttaqûn (pious and righteous persons – see V.2:2).
- Allah swt addresses the Prophet (S) in this verse.
- He swt orders the P (S) to command his family members to perform salah. You yourself be conscious and careful of your salah. Allah doesn’t ask anything from you – He sustains you. Paradise is for the muttaqoon.
- This opens the topic of how to educate our own children about deen.
- First of all – tell them, teach them, talk to them about it.
- We teach them manners, how to dress, how to eat, everything! We talk to them about education, friends, everything again. Similarly, for deen, we have to talk to them and engage with them in religious discussion. Talk to them about Companions, Surahs, discuss with them about these topics. Scholars teach us to have family team. Dedication a minimum of 10, 15 minutes of religious talk. It can be something really basic – talk to them about a short surah, a life of the companion, a great scholar – some type of a religious reflection. Get them to start pondering about these things themselves.
- One of the greatest tragedies is that religion becomes ritualistic. We pass that on to our children – which is terrible. We don’t teach them to think about it, to reflect it, to live it. They are just expected to do it when the time comes – without reflection or connecion. It all means nothing to them.
- Just like you tell them to do homework, clean the room, etc – remind them of salah – remind them of the deen.
- ‘Umar would come back home from wandering the night and wake up his family members to pray qiyaam al layl. If they wouldn’t wake up, he would sprinkle water on their faces.
- People inappropriately introduce emotion into this – ‘oh they should want to, they’re just kids.’ But for school, you drag them out of bed because you know it’s important and necessary. So for salah – it’s not different. It needs to be taught and encouraged. Remind them, be mindful of it.
- Sabr – literal meaning is to tie up something. Wastabir ‘alayha – this phrase means to be extremely dedicated to it – to stick to it, no matter what. So command your family to perform salah and then you, yourself – do not give up salah for any price.
- At the end of the day, telling your kids to pray is great but all of these only truly bears fruit if you are doing it *yourself.* This deen is very honest – you cannot say that which you don’t do yourself. One of the things that angers Allah the most is exactly this – saying something that you do not do.
- We need to be doing it ourselves. This is especially crucial when the children are young when you cannot dialogue with them. We need to set this example to them from day one.
- Kids – even at the age of not being able to speak yet – know about your rituals and day-to-day habits.
- Imagine if we were extremely punctual about salah – like work and food – kids will see and learn from it and automatically want to pray at certain times.
- Save from yourself from Hell and then save your family – because you can only save your family *if* you save yourself. Just like in airplanes, in case of an emergencey, put on your oxygen mask before anyone else.
- We only remember the material pursuits and they get in the way of spending quality family time. No amount of money or possessions makes up for the time lost with your children. Fulfill your needs with modesty. Are you going to compromise the religious tarbiyyah of your children just to make more money?
- Allah swt is the One who will feed and sustain you! So do what you were commanded to do – fulfill your haqq.
- The success at the end of the day is for the people of Taqwa. These are the people who weigh each choice and take the best decision – they will get the best reward inshaAllah.
- This ties into our kids when they will make their own decisions and you cannot tell them yes or no – that’s the age each parent fears. At that time, a person will find himself satisfied and content – the one who put Taqwa before everything else while raising their kids, they will find a time of relaxation at this age – because their kids will have taqwa inshaAllah.