Undoubtedly children are a source of great joy and delight; they make life sweet, bring more rizq into a family’s life and give hope. A father sees his children as a future source of help and support, as well as representing an increase in numbers and perpetuation of the family. A mother sees her children as a source of hope, consolation and joy in life, and as hope for the future. All of these hopes rest on the good upbringing of the children and giving them a sound preparation for life, so that they will become active and constructive elements in society, a source of goodness for their parents, community and society as a whole. Then they will be as (SWT) described them:
“Wealth and sons are allurements of the life of this world . . .” (Qur’an 18:46)
If their education and upbringing are neglected, they will become bad characters, a burden on their family, community and society as a whole.
She understands the great responsibility that she has towards her children
The Muslim woman never forgets that the mother’s responsibility in bringing up the children and forming their characters is greater than that of the father, because children tend to be closer to their mother and spend more time with her; she knows all about their behavioural, emotional and intellectual development during their childhood and the difficult years of adolescence.
“O you who believe! Save yourselves and your families from a Fire whose fuel is Men and Stones . . .” (Qur’an 66:6)
The Prophet (PBUH) also referred to this responsibility in his hadith:
“Each of you is a shepherd and each of you is responsible for his flock. The leader is a shepherd and is responsible for his flock; a man is the shepherd of his family and is responsible for his flock; a woman is the shepherd in the house of her husband and is responsible for her flock; a servant is the shepherd of his master’s wealth and is responsible for it. Each of you is a shepherd and is responsible for his flock.”
She uses the best methods in bringing them up
The mother hastens to correct them and refine their thoughts and feelings, taking into account each child’s age and mental level. She plays and jokes with them sometimes, complimenting them and letting then hear words of love, affection, compassion and self-denial. Thus their love for her increases, and they will accept her words of guidance and correction eagerly. They will obey her out of love for her, for there is a great difference between sincere obedience that comes from the heart, which is based on love, respect and trust, and insincere obedience that is based on oppression, violence and force. The former is lasting obedience, strong and fruitful, whilst the latter is shallow and baseless, and will quickly vanish when the violence and cruelty reach extreme levels.
She demonstrates her love and affection for them
The Muslim woman is not ignorant of the fact that her children need her warm lap, deep love and sincere affection in order to develop soundly, with no psychological problems, crises or complexes. Thus the caring Muslim mother demonstrates her love and affection for her children on every occasion, flooding their lives with joy and happiness and filling their hearts with confidence and security.
The true Muslim woman is compassionate towards her children, for compassion is a basic Islamic characteristic, one that was encouraged by the Prophet (PBUH) in word and deed as Anas (RAA) tells us:
“I never saw anyone who was more compassionate towards children than the Messenger of Allah (PBUH). His son Ibrahim was in the care of a wet-nurse in the hills around Madinah. He would go there, and we would go with him, and he would enter the house, pick up his son and kiss him, then come back.”
Undoubtedly the wealth of emotion that the Muslim mother feels for her children is one of the greatest causes of her happiness in life. This is something which has been lost by Western women, who are overwhelmed by materialism and exhausted by the daily grind of work, which has caused them to lose the warmth of family feelings.
She treats her sons and daughters equally
The wise Muslim woman treats all her children fairly and equally. She does not prefer one of them over another in any way, because she knows that Islam forbids such actions on the part of the parents, and because of the negative psychological impact that this may have over the child whose sibling is preferred over him. The child who feels that he is not treated equally with his brothers and sisters will grow up with complexes and anxiety, eating his heart out with jealousy and hatred. In contrast, the child who grows up feeling that he and his siblings are treated equally will grow up healthy and free from jealousy and hatred; he will be content, cheerful, tolerant and willing to put others before himself. This is what Islam requires of parents and urges them to do.
According to another report:
The Prophet (PBUH) asked, `Have you done the same for all your children?’ [My father] said, `No,’ so the Prophet (PBUH) said, `Fear Allah (SWT) and treat all of your children equally.’”
She does not pray against her children
The wise Muslim woman does not pray against her own children, heeding the words of the Prophet (PBUH) who forbade such prayers lest they be offered at a time when prayers are answered. This was stated in the lengthy hadith narrated by Jabir in which the Prophet (PBUH) said:
“Do not pray against yourselves, or against your children, or against your wealth, in case you say such words at a time when Allah (SWT) will answer your prayer.”
Praying against one’s own children is not a good habit. No mother does so at a time of anger, but she will regret it later on after she has calmed down. I do not think that a mother who has truly sought the guidance of Islam would lose her mind and her equilibrium to such an extent that she would pray against her own children, no matter what they did. Such a woman would not allow herself to indulge in something that is done only by foolish, hot-tempered women.
This article was taken from “The Ideal Muslimah” – The True Islamic Personality of the Muslim Woman as Defined in the Qur’an and Sunnah by Dr. Muhammad Ali Al-Hashimi.