In the previous parts of this series on parenting lessons from Surah Luqman, we addressed the essential prerequisites of parenting (Part 1), how to teach our children to avoid shirk (Part 2) and being obedient to our parents and grateful to Allah and our parents (Part 3), thereby establishing a connection with Allah .
In this article, we will talk about the next piece of advice that Luqman gave to his son: being in a constant state of consciousness of Allah , hence strengthening the bond between us and our Creator.
Allah Knows Everything
Allah mentions in the Qur’an that Luqman said:
“O my son, indeed if wrong should be the weight of a mustard seed and should be within a rock or [anywhere] in the heavens or in the earth, Allah will bring it forth. Indeed, Allah is Subtle and Acquainted.” [Qur’an: Chapter 31, Verse 16].
Have you ever seen a mustard seed? When I held it in my hand, I could hardly feel it.
This incredible piece of advice Luqman gave his son carries in it a deep meaning for our children and ourselves, especially in our present day.
In today’s fast-paced lifestyle, we spend the best parts of our time, energy and focus trying to keep up with the new distractions that this world keeps coming up with in technology, games and fashion. Our distraction by these temporary pleasures weakens the bond that we have with Allah and makes us more vulnerable to the attacks of the enemy, Shaytan.
As a result, we end up doing acts which spring from feelings of anger, envy, impatience, as we are not in a state of consciousness of Allah , hence harming others and ourselves.
We forget that no matter who the wrongdoer is and whether or not anyone sees or knows about it, even if it is as small and weightless as a mustard seed, Allah is All-Acquainted and All-Aware.
Being in a state of consciousness of Allah enables us to:
- be constantly aware of our own actions and the intentions behind them, amending them where needed.
- trust Allah and have more patience, as we know that if any injustice has been done to us, then Allah is All-Aware. This helps reduce stress and other disorders that arise from bothersome matters of dunya as we know that Allah has said: “…the enjoyment of this world is little, and the Hereafter is better for he who fears Allah. And injustice will not be done to you, [even] as much as a thread [inside a date seed].” [Quran: Chapter 4, Verse 77].
How To Teach Your Children Consciousness of Allah
So how can we teach this precious virtue of God consciousness to children? Let’s find out:
1. Model The Same Behaviour
I cannot lay enough emphasis on modelling the same behaviour we want our children to display. As children grow up, they closely watch their parents. They have a strange ability to remember things. Check your own behaviour and make amends for anything you do wrong. Since my treatment and surgery for ovarian cancer, I have developed an anger problem, and my family faced the most and the worst in the beginning. Since then, I have started taking into account my problem. I have explained to my family, including my children, my situation and I always apologize if I fly off the handle. The look on my daughter’s face is priceless; at 7 years old, she understands and is my best ally.
2. Make Dua
We all know that Shaitan tries to lure us into his trap by manipulating our nafs (conscience). Subhan Allah! Allah has given us dua to help fortify ourselves against the evils of our nafs. We should recite these du’as and teach them to our children, such as the following one:
“O Ever Living One, O Eternal One, by Your mercy I call on You to set right all my affairs. Do not place me in charge of my soul even for the blinking of an eye (i.e. a moment).”
3. Seek Knowledge
Knowledge is power. Until we have knowledge of what is right or wrong, what the correct way to do things is, and what is the best manner to deal in certain situations, we will not be able to improve ourselves.
For example, having good manners is emphasized a lot in our religion. The Messenger of Allah said:
“I guarantee a house in Jannah for one who gives up arguing, even if he is in the right; and I guarantee a home in the middle of Jannah for one who abandons lying even for the sake of fun; and I guarantee a house in the highest part of Jannah for one who has good manners.” [Abu Dawud]
When I first learned this hadith, I tried to fix my attitude and manners and also taught it to my daughter, hoping that it would encourage her to improve her manners in exchange for a house of her choice in Jannah In sha Allah!
4. Allah Is Watching and The Angels Are Recording
This is one of the most important lessons that we have to teach our children.
When our children are young, the most important being in their lives is their mother (and father). Children feel that their mothers are always around and can “see, hear and smell” anything as long as it involves them. I was amazed at how my mother knew of anything naughty I did in my childhood even if I was at my friend’s house! Her answer used to be, “I have a machine fixed in me which tells me everything.”
Now that I am a mother myself, I totally understand what this “machine” is. It is that innate quality that Allah bestows upon parents, especially mothers, to sense things about their children.
It’s important to tell your children about how Allah is watching everything we do as He is Al-Baseer (the All-Seeing), Al-Khabeer (the All-Knowing) and As-Samee’ (the All-Hearing).
It’s also essential to make them conscious of Allah by telling them about the angels on their shoulders that are writing every deed down and that Allah has said:
“[Mention, O Muhammad], the Day We will call forth every people with their record [of deeds]. Then whoever is given his record in his right hand – those will read their records, and injustice will not be done to them, [even] as much as a thread [inside the date seed]” [Qur’an: Chapter 17, Verse 71]
Allah also says:
“And the earth will shine with the light of its Lord, and the record [of deeds] will be placed, and the prophets and the witnesses will be brought, and it will be judged between them in truth, and they will not be wronged” [Qur’an: Chapter 39 Verse 69].
5. Encourage them to write a journal
Journal writing can be turned into a great tool for introspection. We can encourage our children to write in them by getting them small diaries of their choice. It is also good to get their creative juices going. Some people in the earlier generations of Muslims would write down all their good and bad deeds. They would thank Allah for the ability to do the good and seek His forgiveness for the bad ones.
6. Teach your child the importance of seeking forgiveness from Allah
Have you noticed that when you do istighfar with presence of mind, you often tend to remember wrongdoings you committed? Therefore, doing istighfar also helps in holding oneself accountable.
Did you notice the name of Allah that Luqman mentioned in his advice to his son? He called Allah “All-Acquainted”.
“Do you not see that Allah causes the night to enter the day and causes the day to enter the night and has subjected the sun and the moon, each running [its course] for a specified term, and that Allah, with whatever you do, is Acquainted?” [Qur’an: Chapter 31, Verse 29]
This is a very powerful attribute of Allah . He is All-Aware and All-Acquainted with what every single person on earth does. So if someone is mean to us it’s better to not take revenge as Allah says: “And hasten to forgiveness from your Lord and a garden as wide as the heavens and earth, prepared for the righteous Who spend [in the cause of Allah ] during ease and hardship and who restrain anger and who pardon the people – and Allah loves the doers of good” [Qur’an: Chapter 3, Verse 133-134].
7. Teach your children to forgive others
Retaliating is a natural instinctive action in children. It is our job as parents to teach our children not to retaliate.
For example, my daughter finds it really hard to not push her brother back when he pushes her. She throws up her hands in the air when I tell her not to seek revenge but to tell me and I will deal with her brother.
In spite of that, this is a very important and basic lesson that she has to learn. If someone is being mean to us, then we don’t gain anything by seeking revenge.
We need to seek help through proper channels and trust Allah to help us in such a situation. He is All-Acquainted with what is happening. He will help and guide us against unjust people.
Hold yourselves accountable
In keeping with the incidents that are occurring these days, I find it immensely important to take account of my own actions as the wise advice of Omar rings in my ears:
“Hold yourself to account before you are judged, and weigh your actions before they are weighed against you!”
I hope to also try my best to inculcate this in my children as they are the future ummah of the Messenger of Allah and the hope for Islam.
How incredibly wise and timeless is the advice of Luqman to his son. Alhamdulillah, we are also able to benefit from it today, so that we can build a brighter tomorrow.
I want to leave you with this invaluable instruction from Allah , till we meet in Part 5 In sha Allah with more advice from Luqman :
“O you who have believed, fear Allah. And let every soul look to what it has put forth for tomorrow – and fear Allah. Indeed, Allah is Acquainted with what you do” [Qur’an: Chapter 59, Verse 18].
What other strategies do you use to help instill in your children the habit of remembering that Allah is watching them all the time, and thus think twice before they act?