The sense of responsibility has suddenly dawned on you. Allah (S.W.T) has chosen and blessed you with a beautiful, sinless pure soul that you will have to nurture and guide. Are you ready? Whether you are or not, you must focus on this great task.
A mother is the primary teacher to her child; we have heard or read this numerous times and so we shall concentrate on her role. She is naturally responsible for a number of things that help her child grow and understand the world around him. One of the most important things she does is introduce the concept of Allah (S.W.T) and the doctrines of Islam.
A mother’s role is vital in providing the child an introduction into the attributes of Allah (S.W.T), which we are all familiar with. It is said in the Holy Qur’an [2:31].
‘And He has taught Adam the Names, all of them’.
In relation to the above Ayah, Imam Khomeini (RA) states in his infamous ’40 Hadiths’ that the perfect man manifests all the attributes of Allah (S.W.T) and can be a mirror of those names. Therefore we should try to derive our manners from His attributes where possible. One should however understand that we cannot fully comprehend Allah (S.W.T). His attributes are a descriptive necessity for our limited capabilities.
As humans striving for perfection we are able to display the characteristics such as being loving, kind, patient, forgiving and so on. The degrees in which we as humans are able to display it, is completely different to what Allah (S.W.T) is.
A mother displays emotions through her role. These emotions are all culminated in a labyrinth of characteristics which inadvertently shapes a child’s personality and perceptions. For example, the mother that exhibits patience and communicates calmly with her child in difficult situations is being spiritual, gaining reward and teaching her child those characteristics that are needed to understand some of the attributes of Allah (S.W.T). A mother that always explains the consequences ensures that the child will return to her for guidance and love, just as how we return to our loving Lord even when we have erred. The mother is subconsciously training the child for an audience with his Lord. On the other hand if a mother is always harsh and stern with her child, he loses confidence and becomes fearful of admitting his faults or mistakes. The child becomes stubborn and harder to guide. The beauty of the characteristics a mother displays is in affect an invitation to Islam to her own child.
In the Holy Qur’an Allah (S.W.T) uses words of love and warns us against evil. Allah (S.W.T) is always giving us examples in the form of stories to make us understand. This is also reminiscent in the way our mothers teach us during our lives.
Some of the practical ways of teaching children the attributes of Allah (S.W.T) is picking an attribute and discussing it and memorising it. For example, a mother playing with her child in the garden can point to a plant and discuss it with her child by describing the colour, shape and texture. She can go on to say that Allah (S.W.T) created it and in doing so has made two of His attributes apparent, ‘Al Khaliq’, the Creator and ‘Al-Musawwir’, the Fashioner.
“He is Allah the Creator, the Evolver, the Bestower of forms (or colours). To Him belong the Attributes” The Holy Qur’an,[ 59:24].
One can further this exercise by revisiting the attributes but as part of another activity. The method of teaching is dependent on the age of the child and hence using simple instructions and points can help the child to develop their understanding of Allah (S.W.T).
The Holy Prophet (P.B.U.H) has said,
“Anything which does not start with the Name of Allah (S.W.T) is cut-off (from Allah’s blessing).”
Muslims invoke the name of Allah (S.W.T) in their daily tasks and so it is only fair that we begin to further our realisations when it comes to inculcating the teaching of the attributes of Allah (S.W.T) to our children from a young age.
Fatema H K