Bismillahir rahman ir raheem
March 11, 2009
Teaching your Family the Love of Prayer-- Sh. Hassan
Asalamu alaikum wrt wb,
All praise be to Allah, Lord of the Worlds, All praise be to the One Who did not take a child, and has no partner in dominion, the One Who has no helper, Whom there is no God except He, the Creator of all things. The One whom there is no god except He, Allah deserves all forms of worship, that is because Allah is the Truth, and what they call on other than Him is falsehood, and Allah is the Highest, the Greatest.
I bear witness that there is no god other Allah, unique in His Actions; He has no equal, no partner, no opposite, no wife, no parents, nor children. Say: Allah is One, the Lord and Sustainer of the Universe, He has no children, no parents, and there is nothing like Him, and He Hears and Sees all things.
And I bear witness that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, and His close Friend. The most knowledgeable of His creation, the Prophet pbuh, said about Him: Indeed Allah does not sleep, and it is not befitting of Him. His veil is Light, if it were lifted, the vision of the onlooker would be set ablaze.
May Allah send peace and blessings on Prophet Muhammad, the Shining Sun, and Allah opened through him blind eyes, sealed hearts, and left us on a clear manifest guidance. The caller to the best of actions and speech and character, and peace on his companions, family, and all those who follow his Sunnah, until the day of Judgment.
Welcome my brothers and sisters, and may Allah reward you for your efforts. I ask Allah the Loving and Generous, who joined us during this blessed hour, to join us with the Best of Callers, Imam of the Prophets in the Gardens of Paradise. You have done well, and earned a place for yourself in Jannah.
My beloved: Jibreel asks, and the Prophet answers, pbuh. Lessons in Aqeedah and Tawheed, based on the Hadith of Jibreel, I present it to the beloved Ummah in a unique presentation, the questions and answers that take place between the Prophet pbuh and Jibreel. The questioner is Jibreel, and the teacher is Muhammad, pbuh.
In a hadith narrated by Muslim, Ahmed, and others: Ibn Umar said, my father (Umar bin al-Khattab) narrated to me: “While we were sitting with the Prophet, pbuh, a man suddenly came upon us, his clothes were extremely white, and his hair extremely black, and he had no signs of travel upon him, and none of us knew him. He sat next to the Prophet, placing his knees next to his knees, and placing his hand on his thigh and said, ‘Oh Muhammad, Teach me about Islam…’ The Prophet said, ‘Islam is to bear witness that there is no god but Allah, and that Muhammad is his messenger, establish prayer, pay Zakat, fast Ramadan, and perform Hajj for one who is able.’ The man said, ‘You have spoken the truth.’ We were amazed that he asked him a question, then told him he was correct! He then said ‘Teach me about Iman’ The Prophet replied, “To believe in Allah, His angels, His Books, His Messengers, and the Day of Judgment, and to believe in Destiny, its good and evil.” He said, ‘You have spoken the truth.’ He then said…’Teach me about Ihsaan…’ The Prophet said, “To worship Allah as if you see him, and if you aren’t able to see him, then He indeed Sees you.” He said, ‘Teach me about the Hour…’ The Prophet replied, “The one being asked does not know more than one questioning.” The man said, ‘Then tell me about its signs.’ The Prophet said, ‘A slave-woman will give birth to her master, and you will see barefoot, naked, herdsmen competing in building tall buildings.” Then the questioner left. We sat for a while, then the Prophet said: ‘Do you know who the questioner was oh Umar?’ I said, ‘Allah and His Messenger know best.’ He replied, ‘He is Gabriel (Jibreel), he came to teach you your religion.’ ”
We continue my honored friends, with these beautiful words, “My father taught me” or Hadathni Abi, for our homes are in great need of this lost prophetic teaching methodology. Today is our 18th lesson in this series. I spoke previously on the first foundation of Islamic Upbringing, teaching by Example, then I spoke on the second foundation, teaching by Love, and I spoke on the third foundation, teaching by Aqeedah (beliefs and faith), and we are now continuing on in the fourth foundation, teaching through Worship.
I spoke last time about: Why did Allah command us to worship him? This week, I want to emphasize that the raising of children through worship is the completion of upbringing on Aqeedah. Since belief is not accepted without worship, and worship is not accepted without belief.
So there must be both of these means of upbringing to be complete. If the two means come together, they produce fruit, and a Muslim personality that our Ummah needs will result. It will be a personality that fulfills true Worship of Allah, and perfect character, that will be pleasing our Ummah. We don’t see today a Muslim nation that deserves victory and success, and that will not come unless we raise our next generation on these two foundations, Correct belief, and correct worship.
Childhood, my beloved brothers and sisters, isn’t the time of responsibility, no it is the time of shaping and developing, to prepare the child to be beneficial to the Ummah, and pleasing to Allah and the Messenger.
And this Upbringing isn’t a waste of time, no it is a means of connecting our children to Allah, to purify their character, and control their desires, and it is the preparation of our children to follow the methodology of Allah and the Prophet pbuh.
The child will become upright, guided, and what is more beautiful than a child reading the verses of Allah, or standing for hours with his father in Prayer, or what is more beautiful than when a child is eager to give charity to the poor, by his own hands, to be generous?
No it is not a waste of time, rather it is raising your child to obey Allah, what is more beautiful than your child waiting with you to hear the sound of adhan before Maghrib in Ramadan, so that you may break the Fast together?
Allah didn’t command these acts of worship except to raise a nation that deserves success in the Dunya and Akhirah.
The foundations of raising children through worship are:
1.) Salat: We are used to speaking of parents’ rights, but tonight I will speak of children’s rights. A mother may get up early to dress her kids for school, and spend half an hour preparing breakfast, and this is beautiful, but didn’t she think about her kids making their Salat? But she is accountable in front of Allah for the children at this early age.
Yes the father is responsible, but the mother should not neglect this important duty. She should ask her kids: Did you pray Fajr? Or perhaps she didn’t wake them up in the first place. So I remind parents today, just as you have rights on your children, so too do they have rights on you.
And I say it hurts my heart that parents don’t ask their children if they made their Salat. By Allah, we will be asked about this on the Day of Judgment.
“Save yourselves and your children from the Fire.”
The Prophet said, “You are all shepherds, and responsible over your flock.”
Oh father, oh noble mother, know that if you neglect your responsibility of raising your children, you will be accountable on the Day of Judgment.
Oh you father, who didn’t take care of your children and teach them to make Salat, or by bringing them with you to the Masjid, know that you have betrayed your children, I will not indulge you tonight, know that you have betrayed Allah and the Messenger, for Allah says:
“Oh you who believe, do not betray Allah and the Messenger, and betray your Responsibilities.”
Yes, Salat is the first Responsibility we will be asked about on the Day of Judgment. If it is good, then the rest of our actions will be good. And if it is bad, the rest of our actions will be ruined.
It is required on the parents, first of all, to be an example for their children, they should see them rushing to prayer. How can this be if the father sits in front of the TV, and the time for prayer comes in, and he doesn’t move?
How can a daughter be firm in her prayer, when her mother does not rush eagerly to Salat? Perhaps she stands for 4 hours in the kitchen, or in front of the TV, but she doesn’t rush to her Salat.
There are so many misguided homes today, in which there are no men or women, or boys or girls, who stand in prayer. These houses have become filled with the Shaitan, and evils.
Prayer is our first connection with Allah, and the father and the mother will be held accountable for them. For teachers, and callers, and people of knowledge, they must teach about Salat, its pillars, its conditions, its nullifiers, wudu, purity, and what is related to prayer regarding regulations, and its great merit.
Oh my child, Salat is you connection with Allah. My child, do you love me? Yes my father. What if I asked you to do something, will you answer? Yes, I will listen to you, since I know you will only command me to do what is good for me in the dunya and Akhirah.
So then, make your prayers, my son. It is a blessing. All this blessing that you have, a home, food, shouldn’t you thank Allah for it, oh my child? The first thing, after your heart has become filled with love of Allah, that I raised and nurtured in you, the first good action you can do is to prostrate to Allah, and thank Allah, and guard the Salat within its proper times.
Oh my child, don’t lose this connection with Allah, or else you will become immersed in the ocean of desires, and worldly distractions, run to wash your sins and purifying yourself, increase your Imaan, Happiness, comfort of the soul and body, comfort of the heart and mind. Salat will give you all these things.
The Prophet, pbuh, said: “If there were a river running by your door, and you washed in it 5 times days, would there remain on you any dirt? That is the example of the 5 prayers, they erase the sins.”
Remind your child of these beautiful prophetic words. Do our children know these words? Did you teach your child of these words of the Prophet so that they memorize them?
“Should I not point you to what will wipe your sins away. Walking to the Masjid, and waiting for the next prayer after the previous one ends.”
So we must make it clear to our children the merits of prayer, make them love it, and fear leaving it, and tell him: Allah says: ‘Every soul will be held responsible for its actions…what caused you to be thrown to the Fire? They will say: “We used to neglect our prayers.”’
Shaykh, you mean we should only scare our children? No, I said, first make them love Salat. Every child is different. For some children, just a look is enough to make him realize he has done something wrong. Some need more. Every child of Adam is different, depending on what part of the earth he was created from.
This is the methodology of the Quran, and the Prophet pbuh, so make him love Salat, and make him fear leaving prayer.
The Prophet said, “Between a man and Kufr, is leaving prayer.”
Just mention the hadith, and leave the explanation for the scholars. Make him love to turn to Allah.
2.) The Prophet, pbuh, didn’t leave the matter open to parents to make judgment as to the age when children should start praying. The Prophet pbuh said, as narrated in Abu Dawud: “Command your children to pray when they reach 7 years old.” Yes, we always speak of rights of the parents, but what about the right of a child, to be taught to pray. “And if he reaches 10, then spank him for it (if he leaves it). And let them keep separate beds.”
Let mankind who is drowning in wanton desires hear this: Here is Muhammad, pbuh, teaching us how to control and purify hidden desires in children. Boys and girls should be in separate beds.
By Allah, I asked a friend about his son who is in college. The father is regular in Fajr prayer. I said, “Where is your son, I haven’t seen him attending Fajr at all?” He surprised me by his answer, he didn’t say, I try to wake him up, but he doesn’t come…he said, “Don’t worry about him, he is still young.” No, this is not kindness, this is harsh-heartedness to the child.
If you are regular in prayer, you will see your child, even if she is 3 years old, she will try to wear hijab and pray, and imitate her mother. If you teach your child to pray before 7, then that is fine, but don’t be harsh. Be kind, since I have seen children dislike prayer since the parents force them to pray when they are 4 or 5. No, this strictness should be at 10 years old.
And the Prophet, pbuh, used to love eagerly to teach children prayer. Why not, he was so eager to even teach those who disbelieved, Allah says: “Perhaps you will fret yourself to death over the disbelievers if they do not believe.”
I love Hassan, and Hussein, and Fatima az-Zahra, and Ali, and I love Ibn Abbas, and I love all the family of the Prophet, and I swear by Allah, that there is none on earth who love the family of the Prophet more then ahl-As Sunnah. No, I say, at the top of my voice: Ali is our teacher. No, don’t let people who deify Ali cause you to neglect your rights towards him.
What did Hassan say, whose father was Ali, his mother was Fatima, and his grandfather was the Prophet Muhammad, pbuh, what an honored status, he says: “The Prophet taught me words that I say in every Witr prayer: Oh Allah guide me with those whom you guided, and forgive me with those whom who have forgiven, and draw me near with those whom you have drawn near, and bless me with what you have given me…”
Words he learned from the prophet, while he was a small child. And listen to these words of Abdullah ibn Masud, these words should be written with teardrops, they are so valuable: “Guard over your children in prayer, and make them used to doing good deeds, since doing good is done by habit.”
Imagine you are at Jumah prayer, and you want to give some money in charity, don’t do it yourself, give the money to your child to place in the box, so he learns to love the poor. If you brought your child with you to visit his grandparents, and you kissed the hands of your parents, and kissed their foreheads, then you show your children this, they will imitate that with you.
Imagine you are walking in the street, and you see a blind man, and you are with your child, and you take the blind man by his right hand, and you tell your child to take his left, and cross the street with him.
Or if you are on the road, and you see a rock or a branch, you move it and teach your child this is what the Prophet pbuh taught us.
Or you are driving, and your child wants to throw a Pepsi can out the window, tell him “No, this is not the character of the Prophet pbuh.”
Or you are in the park, and your child wants to leave some trash behind, say “No, we must leave it like we found it, beautiful, for others to benefit.” Don’t pick the flowers, “Shouldn’t others enjoy the flowers like we did?”
No, I spent hours in the parks in Europe and America, and I didn’t find anyone teaching the children. This is Tarbiyya, we must nurture these values in our family.
The foundation is the home, not school, not media, not friends, not the street, no the foundation is the home.
The Prophet said, pbuh “Every child is born on the Fitrah (Islam), and the parents cause him to become Christian or Jewish…” So the parents, they have the first role.
No, how is it that children are sleeping at home, and the father goes out to Friday prayer? Or the mother is sleeping at home. No, the father should wake them up, and the mother should prepare the kids clothes, and teach them about taking a bath on Fridays. Make some nice clothes ready for them, give them perfume, then she tells them: Go to the Masjid early, sit near the Imam, and pray 2 rakats, and read the Quran, and then when the Imam comes, listen carefully to what he says. Then give salaams to him after prayer, if you can, and then come home and tell me what he preached about.
This is a mother, this is the type of mother that will raise upright children who will be successful.
Why don’t we bring our children to the Friday Prayer? I warn the people in charge of the Masjid: Be careful, don’t ever throw children out of the Masjid. Yes, they are running around, screaming, teach them, correct their mistakes. But remember, this is a child, he doesn’t know, he loves to play, he is not like his father, he is not grown up.
The Prophet pbuh came down from the minbar during the Khutbah one day, and picked up his grandson Hasan, and placed him next to his right side, then continued the Khutbah. While he spoke, he sometimes looked at the people, and sometimes looked at Hasan: and would said, “This son of mine is noble, he will make peace between two conflicting groups.”
If an imam did this today, people would think he is crazy, except those who know fiqh. People want to chase children out of the Masjid with sticks! This is not right. Bring the boys to the Masjid, bring the girls to Eid prayer, let them learn the takbeer, and the Adhan, and teach them to be happy on the days of Eids.
I remind parents to bring their children to the Masjid, and I remind those in charge of Masjids to let the children stay in the mosque, and do not make them scared of the mosques, no they are open places, don’t be harsh with them.
And a parent may say to his child: “Don’t go to the Masjid every day, I don’t want you to be written amongst those who pray regularly.” No, don’t be a barrier between your child and the Masjid.
And the Prophet, pbuh, he came down from the minbar, and would wipe the cheeks of the children, and Jaber ibn Samurah said, “By Allah, he wiped my cheeks, and it was like he just took his hands out of a container of perfume, they felt so cool and smelled so fragrant!”
I learned so much from this blessed child, Ibn Abbas, imagine, he is a little child, and he insists on going to the house of his aunt Maimunah, the wife of the Prophet pbuh, to spend the night there.
Ibn Abaas says: “I spent the night at my aunt’s house Maimunah, the wife of the Prophet, pbuh, and I sat on the floor, while my aunt and the Prophet were sleeping on a mat. I was watching them. Then when it was around midnight, the Prophet woke up. (Ibn Abbas was watching the Prophet so carefully.) He sat up, and wiped the sleep from his face, then he read the last 10 verses from the end of Surah Ali Imran. Then he went up to a water skin, and made wudu, and made a beautiful complete wudu. (Ibn Abbas was a child but he paid careful attention to how he made his wudu!) Then he made Salat, so I stood next to him in prayer, I stood on his left, so he moved me by my ear gently to his right, then we prayed. Then he went and laid down, until the Muadhin called the Fajr prayer, then he got up, and prayed 2 light rakats, then he went out to prayer.”
Ibn Abbas said, “I stood behind him, so the Prophet moved me next to him, and I said, “Oh Messenger of Allah, no one deserves to pray next to you. The Prophet pbuh smiled and prayed for me to have knowledge and understanding.”
What a beautiful way to end today’s lesson, with this story of this beautiful child.
We will continue in this series of lessons next time, may Allah help us to raise our children to be righteous, and to be the coolness of our eyes in this world and the next, and may peace and blessings be upon Prophet Muhammad, his family, and companions.