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|Duties of the Muslim Mother|
|08/10/02 at 04:44:19|
Duties of the Muslim Mother
By Maryam Jameelah Begum
The primary duty of the Muslim mother is to make every effort to persuade her children to abide by the teaching of the Holy Qur'aan and the Sunnah of our Holy Prophet sallallahu alayhi wasallam. Many are the more religiously-inclined girls, especially those who have enjoyed a modern education, who read the Qur'aan, Hadeeth and other Islamic literature as if these were merely some noble, abstract philosophy. Not for a moment would it occur to them to abandon such wrong habits as habitually attending dirty films at the cinema, listening to vulgar songs over the radio and singing them (sometimes even in sleep) automatically or going out to mixed social functions in tight, immodest dress. Muslim mothers should tell their adolescent daughters and sons that just because all their friends at school or college are doing these things, they do not become right! Muslim women must read the Holy Qur'aan and Hadeeth so that instructions are practically implemented in their everyday lives. Too many Muslim households keep their copy of the Holy Qur'aan wrapped up in a beautiful silken cover on a high shelf merely to gather dust. How these hundreds of thousands of idle Qur'aans must be making their silent plea: "Oh take me out! Read me! Obey me!"
Mothers are accustomed to reading in women's magazines that they must simply accept the violent rebellion of their young against long-established moral and religious values, their foolish obnoxious behaviour, their irresistable attraction for the trivial and frivolous, their utter contempt for all that is "traditional" and their impatience for revolutionary "change" - that is Western-style atheism and materialism - as a kind of inherent biological fact of modern adolescence and youth and that nothing can be done about it except abjectly resigning oneself to the prevailing trends. This is utterly fallacious. There is nothing inevitable about this, much less are all efforts to resist so absolutely hopeless as modern propaganda would have us believe. Our youth are naturally reacting to what they have been taught in their homes, in their schools and colleges and what they read, hear and see in the mass-media. If these are taught the Islamic way instead of the Western way, they would feel, think and behave entirely differently. In creating the essential transformation, the woman, as the decisive influence upon her growing child, can perform a crucial role.
Islamic teaching on purdah demand that the women lives in privacy and dignity, and spend most of her time at home, only going out when compelled by necessity or perhaps occasional visits to relatives or female friends. The best influence a mother can exert on her growing children is to set a good personal example. A mother who is always diligent in her household tasks, caring for, supervising and disciplining her children and who keeps busy with Salaat, Qur'aan readings and other virtuous works provides the most favourable Islamic atmosphere for the young child which will greatly help off-settle multitudes of undesirable influences he will encounter outside the home as he grows up. Mothers should start Islamic education for their children at the earliest age. The Hadeeth tells us of children of the Sahabah who were reciting the Holy Qur'aan even before they were weaned! As soon as a baby begins to speak, he should be taught the Kalimah, and such Islamic expressions as Bismillah, Alhamdulillah, Allahu Akbar, Insha-Allah, Masha-Allah, etc. and as soon as he is able to stand and walk, he should be encouraged to imitate her (as all toddlers love to do) when she is saying her Salaat. When children reach the age of seven, mothers should insist that they say their Salaat regularly and punish them after the age of ten if they fail to do so. Thus children should become accustomed to performing their duties to Allah and to their fellow-beings long before puberty. Observance of all these duties should be performed by a simple and clear explanation of their significance according to the age and intellectual capacity of the child. She should entertain her young children with the thrilling deeds of the great Muslims past and present and try to inspire them with the desire to emulate these virtues. When the child is old enough to read, the mother should make freely available around the house Islamic books and pamphlets appealing to children and encourage him to read them for himself. Other children and adolescents should not only be told not to go to dirty films at the cinema or listen to useless programmes over radio or television but explicitly what is wrong with them.
The Muslim mother must on no account ever consent to sending her children to Cristian missionary schools or convents where they are totally alienated from their religious and cultural heritage although she must realize that the Government national schools do not provide a much happier solution. She must supplement this materialist education with instruction in Arabic, Qur'aan and Hadeeth from private tutors at home if she can afford it or in the mosque if she cannot and with such Islamic training as she herself can give. She should carefully read all her children's text-books and point out to them that much which is taught to them is not correct and even false and evil and whatever is un-Islamic or anti-Islamic, she should explain why it is so in the most convincing manner.
The Muslim mother should try to make her home within her means an attractive place. Islamic education should teach girls cleanliness and orderliness They should not depend upon servants always to do it for them. If she is prosperous, the Muslim housewife must be convinced of the necessity to avoid any ostentation or wasteful spending on the home; expensive, unnecessary, useless knick-knacks should be avoided. Artistic calligraphy from the Qur'aan and Hadeeth hanging on the walls of her room should serve a double purpose of decoration and above all, the reminder that this is an Islamic home! Photographs of family or friends should not be framed or displayed since showing these pictures is contrary to Islamic teachings. An Islamic education should teach girls at least rudiments of hygiene, first-aid and good nutrition, with instruction on how to prepare tasty "Halal" meals. Most Muslim women are so ignorant of the rules of good nutrition that they do not know how to feed their children adequately even when the proper kinds of foods are easily available and they can afford them!
An illiterate and apathetic woman cannot possibly counteract the anti-Islamic influences which are harming her children day and night. Only an intelligent, educated and enthusiastic Muslim woman can prove equal to the tasks which confront her now.
Volume: 2/Issue: 3
Jazak Allah Khair
Your sister in Islam
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