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Siham
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« on: Feb 28, 2008 10:09 PM »


Five Steps Towards Being a Better Dad
Suhaib Webb

The role of the father in the life of his child is paramount. The Qur’an likeness this relationship to that of the Sun. Allah says, “I saw in my dream 11 stars and the Sun and the Moon prostrating towards me.” It is well known that the 11 stars represented the brothers of Yusuf (as). However, according to Al-Tabari, the Sun represents the father.

Fatherhood is a great honor representing ones ability to pass on the Prophetic legacy to his offspring. However, in many communities fathers are AWOL? Young boys and girls are left alone replacing the important guidance and teachings that a father provides with DVD’s, video games, DSL and television. Here are 5 important steps that, inshallah, will help us actualize fatherhood, lead our families and fulfill the command of Allah, “Oh you who believe, protect yourself and your families from the fire of Hell.”


1. Passionately love your wife

The Prophet (sa) said about Aiesha, “I love this woman.” When asked, “Who is the most beloved person to you?” The Prophet (sa) responded, “Aiesha (ra).” The Prophet (sa) said, “If you love someone for the sake of Allah, then you should tell them.” The Prophet (sa) once said to Mu’ath, “I swear by Allah that I love you.” The Prophet (sa) informed us that Allah (swt) will say on the last day, “Where are those who’ve loved each other for my sake?”

Loving one’s wife is extremely important. Once a sister (may Allah bless her and her family) told me, “If I could choose any man in the world to marry he must be like my father.” Once a small girl started yelling at her younger sibling and suddenly her mother asked, “Why do you talk to him like that?” she responded, “Because this is how you and baba talk with each other.”

As men we set an important precedent in the home. By loving our wives and treating them with compassion and mercy, inshallah, those qualities will fall into the hearts of our children. It is well known that children of abusers have a great potential to abuse. The child is a reflection of the parental shadow. Mercy towards women and represents a baton passed from father to son.


ACTION ITEMS

A) Make sure before you leave the house to tell your wife you care for her

B ) Continue to buy gifts for her even after the honey-moon is over

C) Give her your time and organize, at least, a night a week to take her out alone and show her that you care.

D) Talk to your wife with care and love. Avoid using harsh words and tones.


2. Be a man of integrity–or your words will fall on deaf ears

It is said that a man’s worth is found in his words. The Prophet (sa) was asked if a Muslim could be miserly and he said. “Yes.” He was asked if a Muslim could be a liar and he said “No.” Allah commands us, “Oh you who believe why do you say what you don’t do? The most disliked thing to Allah is that you say what you don’t do.” Allah says, “Do you order others to do well and forget to practice yourself.”

Fathers, do you keep your appointments and promises with your children? Do you exercise as much effort to be with them as, say, with your friends or business appointments? Once a parent was asked to introduce himself to his son’s classmates, After listing his accomplishment the son said, “You know, those things are nice, but they don’t mean anything to me. What means the most to me is that my dad is in private what you see in public.”

This really applies to the people involved in Islamic Work and the Masjid. Are we the same behind close doors as we are in public? What type of image is developing in-front of our children? It is important to have one face as best we can. Nothing shatters the heart of a child then parental inconsistencies. Let us keep our promises and stick to a positive behavior pattern at all time. The Prophet (sa) said, “Fear Allah where ever you are.” He didn’t say, “In the Masjid.” Nor did he say, “In front of the brothers.” But he (sa) said, “Wherever you are.”


3. Your children’s importance to you can be measured by how much time you spend with them

Once a father told me of all the things that he had showered on his son, the son, no doubt, received a large amount of gifts and gadgets from his father. However, when I asked this young man what he wanted most from his father he said, “I just want him to spend time with me.” Make a schedule and spend at least an hour a day with your kids. Believe me, Inshallah; it will make all difference in the world. A lot of important things can be discussed while throwing a foot-ball, playing hoops, board games, or taking a short walk or trip to the park. While you’re with your kids turn off your hand-phone and lose yourself in their world. Could you imagine if Luqman suddenly told his son, “Wait that’s an important phone call?” Or Ibrahim telling Ismael, as they were building the K’aba, “Just one minute I have an fax coming in”? Keep notes of your conversations and listen attentively. Offer feedback, sincere advice to them and surprise them at times with pats on the back, hugs and small notes of appreciation.


Action Items:

A) Find out what your child likes to do and do it with them.

B ) Schedule a time to spend with them and break your back to keep it

C) Surprise them by taken them out to lunch from school


4. You, more than anyone else, can give your children lifelong self-worth

As a son I remember many great things that my mother told me. However, it was always the praise of my father and his advice the truly struck a cord in my heart. We, as men, can make or break our children. It is important to avoid harsh words and over inflated perceptions of our children. Instead, let’s advice them, praise them and nurture their growth. Allah (swt) describes the childhood of Mariyam (as) as, “And she sprouted and excellent sprouting.” My heart loves this expression as it causes you to look at your child as a seed. Seeds need nurturing and, at times, might develope abnormally. Thus, the tiller looks after the seed with velvet gloves on a daily basis offering love and warmth until it grows. Allah said about the companions, “Their likeness in the Injeel is like a seed that sprouts weak stem.”

LET’S ENTER THE MADRASSAH OF Al-FAROUQ (RA)

Once Umar was walking with his son Abdullah and Abdullah informed his father that he knew an answer to one of the questions the Prophet (sa) put forward to them. Upon hearing his son’s answer Umar turned to him and said, “If you had said it, it would have been sweeter to me than anything in this world.” Ya Rab! This is Umar! This is the Umar that we see has being strong and forceful. But, here we see Umar the builder of a man. When our children succeed, or even fail, to succeed let us use caution in our dealings with them. The Prophet (sa) said, “Give good news.” And he said, “Make things easy and don’t make things difficult.” Anas (ra) said, “The Prophet (sa) never yelled at me.” Our children build their worth from our words and actions. Avoid being negative and saying, “You always do things wrong.” Such words are like bricks that lay the foundation of our future men and women. It is important to give them support and love. Allah (swt) describes noble words as, “A good tree.” Thus, our good words and advices will plant the seeds that will sprot into worthy adults and noble citizens.


Action Items:

A) Lower your standards: Many parents’ goals are ridiculously high. Once a youth told me, “If Abu Bakr (ra) presented himself to my parents; they would want Muhammad (sa).” It is important to set goals for our children, but they should share in them and they should be realistic goals

Parents should avoid having unreasonable standards. A Muslim, in my humble opinion, must always have high standards, must always try to reach for the best, but a parent needs to able to set reasonably high standards for his/her child based on what his child can handle, is talented in…etc. In other words, have standards that can be realistically achieved and achieved well. There is research literature on motivation which indicates that people sometimes set extraordinarily high standards as a compensation for not being able to accomplish certain goals they value. The research also show that when people set unattainably high goals they end up feeling helpless and reaffirming their “inability” to accomplish anything, thus losing the motivation to want to achieve in the first place. This drives a fear of failure that can actually thwart a child’s growth instead of help. This is not ideal for a Muslim child and so setting reasonable standards (rather than lowering them) seems to be the key here.”

B ) Remember that it’s their future: All through my college days I would meet brothers who were forced to be doctors, lawyers, or engineers. When I would ask them, “What do you want to be?” They would respond, “Not this. But, it is what my parents want.” We should allow our children to express and discover their own personalities and offer guidance when needed. An important rule to remember is, “Be an advisor, not a supervisor.”


5. Communicate as a family

It is common to see Muslims complaining about the injustices and human rights violations that exist in many Muslim countries. However, there is no need to call others pharaoh when one is practicing the pharonic model at home. Allah (swt) described the believers as a people of consultation and the Prophet (sa) and the companions placed great importance in shura. In fact, during the nomination of Umar it is said that S’ad bin Abbi Waqqas took the shura of everyone in Medina including the young veiled women. As a father it is easy to push one’s opinions on the household. However, it is not necessarily the most fruitful method. Talking and listening to others will further allow them to feel that you truly respect them and value their thoughts and ideas. In addition, it will increase their self worth and guide them towards the important qualities of listening, sharing and offering input.


Action Items:

A) Set up a weekly shura in one’s home. Keep notes and follow up each week with the issues discussed.

May Allah help us to improve as fathers and touch the lives of those around us.

Your brother and father in the making
Suhaib Webb
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"...Surely my prayer and my sacrifice, my life and my death are for Allah, the Lord of the Worlds..." (Qur'an, 6:162)
blackrose
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« Reply #1 on: May 31, 2008 08:14 PM »

salaam
good info, JazakAllahu Kair for posting!


The Dad Commandments
10 fundamental laws for fathers
By The Editors of Best Life

Fatherhood, you might argue, is too complicated to be reduced to capsule form. But complexity only adds intrigue to the quest for guiding principles. And do we need guiding principles. After all the emotions, all the yelling, and all the laughter, I have distilled the duties and demands down to a decade of Dad dicta. Herewith, on behalf of all God's children and their male parents, the 10 Commandments of Daddy.

1. Hey, Dad, be big

In spirit, that is. Consider some of the big guys who have gone before you: Father Time, God the Father. You can't give this role a walk-through. You've got to play it. The kids expect stature from you. You're the anvil on which they hammer out their deal with the world. Be a presence in their lives-and in their minds.

2. Hey, Dad, be small

Yes, this contradicts the first tip. Don't be so big that you suck all the air out of the room. Give your kids space to move around in, to test their thoughts and strengths. Take a backseat three or four times a week. Say, "Maybe." Say, "I don't know." Now and then, tell the kids you're sorry-assuming you behaved badly. You'll feel brand new.

3. Hey, Dad, come home

Lots of fathers have two jobs. If that's your situation, God bless you, pal. You'll get no heat from me. But if you can pay the bills without working double shifts, get home when you can. Nothing good can happen until you do.

4. Bob and weave, Bubba

Stay light on your feet. Don't make too many hard-and-fast rules. Don't insist on having your way with the kids just because the rest of the world isn't always overly interested in the sound of your voice. There is a difference between authority and power. Have the first; don't abuse the second.

5. Never dance in front of their friends

Remember the cautionary legend of the father who once picked his kids up at a junior-high dance and actually went into the gym and did a few seconds of the Hully Gully with Margie Costanzo. His adult children still have embarrassment nightmares.

6. Save your money, big man

If you're not careful, the kids will send you to the poorhouse three dollars and twenty-nine cents at a time. Think college tuition. Think down payment on their starter homes. Although it's true that money can't buy happiness, it can buy lots of other stuff.

7. Spend your money, tightwad

F. Scott Fitzgerald said the sign of a first-rate mind was the ability to have two opposite opinions at the same time. You're a first-rate mind, Dad. So spring for the glowing monster trading cards. If you've got the money, pop for the musical princess crown. What are you saving your money for, pal? College? Hah! You can't possibly save enough. There is the future, and then there is now. This is it.

8. Never go on a ride with the word whirl in its name.

Especially the Space Shuttle Whirl at the Great Escape near Lake George, New York. It's tougher to be a good father when your nervous system is permanently compromised. Stay on the ground and wave.

9. Let 'em be-they're not your second chance

We become most upset with the kids when they remind us of... well, us. Help them follow their own path, not your road not taken.

10. Love their mother

Hug Mom. Often. In front of the kids. Sure, sometimes marriages end, but the obligation to a woman doesn't. Be grateful to her. Speak to her with respect. Try to make her laugh. Listen. Even if you're not married to her, figure out how to love her.






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blackrose
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« Reply #2 on: May 31, 2008 08:18 PM »

Ten Ways to Be a Better Dad
Source: From The Oprah Winfrey Show "The Secret Thoughts of Fathers"

1. Respect Your Children's Mother
If you are married, keep your marriage strong and vital. If you're not married, it is still important to respect and support the mother of your children. When children see their parents respecting each other, they are also more likely to feel that they are also accepted and respected.

2. Spend Time with Your Children
How a father spends his time tells his children what's important to him. If you always seem too busy for your children, they will feel neglected, no matter what you say. Treasuring children often means sacrificing other things, but it is essential to spend time with your children.

3. Earn the Right to Be Heard
All too often, the only time a father speaks to his children is when they have done something wrong. Begin talking with your kids when they are young, so that difficult subjects will be easier to handle as they get older. Take time and listen to their ideas and problems.

4. Discipline with Love
All children need guidance and discipline, not as punishment, but to set reasonable limits. Remind your children of the consequences of their actions and provide meaningful rewards for desirable behavior. Fathers who discipline in a calm and fair manner show love for their children.
5. Be a Role Model
Fathers are role models to their kids, whether they realize it or not. A girl who spends time with a loving father grows up knowing she deserves to be respected by boys. Fathers can teach sons what is important in life by demonstrating honesty, humility and responsibility.

6. Be a Teacher
Too many fathers think teaching is something others do. But a father who teaches his children about right and wrong, and encourages them to do their best, will see his children make good choices. Involved fathers use everyday examples to help their children learn the basic lessons of life.

7. Eat Together as a Family
Sharing a meal together can be an important part of healthy family life. In addition to providing some structure in a busy day, it gives kids the chance to talk about what they are doing and want to do. It is also a good time for fathers to listen and give advice.

8. Read to Your Children
Children learn best by doing and reading, as well as seeing and hearing. Begin reading to your children when they are very young. When they are older, encourage them to read on their own. Instilling your children with a love for reading is one of the best ways to ensure they will have a lifetime of personal and career growth.

9. Show Affection
Children need the security that comes from knowing they are wanted, accepted and loved by their family. Parents need to feel both comfortable and willing to hug their children. Showing affection every day is the best way to let your children know that you love them.

10. Realize That a Father's Job Is Never Done
Even after children are grown and ready to leave home, they will still look to their fathers for wisdom and advice. Fathers continue to play an essential part in the lives of their children as they grow and, perhaps, marry and build their own families.

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jannah
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« Reply #3 on: Jun 01, 2008 04:01 AM »

Salam,

These are really nice ma'shallah. I think if I know someone who's gonna be a new dad I'm gonna print these out and give it to them Smiley
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mujaahid
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« Reply #4 on: Jun 27, 2008 09:11 AM »

Assalaamu-alaikum

the 1st point, in the original message, love your wife passionately. Is this something you can actually make yourself feel or is it something you just feel?

Personally i dont think its possible to make yourself "love" someone. Love is one of these weird things which doesnt always follow logic. For example a woman may have a very handsome, attractive, physically fit man who treats her great, takes her shopping, buys her gifts, cooks for her, helps with the house chores etc, but she doesnt love him. but instead loves a lazy, overweight, abusive man who does little for her. I've seen this before so to me love is a very unpredictable emotion.
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Barr
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« Reply #5 on: Jul 02, 2008 11:03 PM »

Assalamu'alaikum,

There are many "funny" things about love. Of which, one of it, is that true love is what ALlah puts in our hearts - which could boggle the most intelligent mind.

"...And remember the blessings which God has bestowed upon you: how, when you were enemies, He brought your hearts together, ..." Surah Ali-Imran:103

But on top of that - Allah through his Rasul taught us how to love, how to increase love and how to be loved by people (and in extension - our spouses).

Eg.
- spread the salam
- give gifts
- love and do all that Allah loves

Like all things, it takes a lot of effort and continuous work for love to grow and be stronger - though there are always exceptions to the norm.

And eventhough we do hear of "weird love stories" - like a battered wife loving her torturer then, it is not the same kind of love that a wife whose heart is at peace and is pleased with her husband. Rather, it's a distorted sort of "love" that resides in a heart unwilling to be de-tached from what harms her. Just as how some of us love some things that are not good (or endangers etc) for us.


Allahua'lam





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