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Be Merciful To Your Youngsters

Friday Speech in Arabic text: ارْحَمُوا صِغارَكُم
Speaker: Dr. Ali Ghazzawi

When: Friday May 27, 2022
Language: English
Where: Masjid Omar, Upper Darby, PA

الحمد لله والصلاة والسلام على رسول الله. عبادَ الله اتقوا اللهَ القائلَ: ﴿وَٱتَّقُواْ يَوۡمٗا تُرۡجَعُونَ فِيهِ إِلَى ٱللَّهِۖ ثُمَّ تُوَفَّىٰ كُلُّ نَفۡسٖ مَّا كَسَبَتۡ وَهُمۡ لَا يُظۡلَمُونَ ٢٨١﴾.

Fellow Muslims, if we look around at the society we are living in, it becomes clear to us the serious imbalance, the huge gaps and the huge divergence in the relations of many parents with their children. You see many parents, especially fathers, neglecting their children and failing to give them the needed compassion and mercy. Consequently, children grow up lacking stability and security.

Some fathers falsely believe that the way to raise children is by always being rough with them without showing any mercy or tenderness. This is not the proper way the religion called for in raising the children. You witness many incidents where some children run away from their homes due to the extreme roughness that they experience at home from their parents. The likely result of it is that such children will fall in the wrong hands and go eventually astray and misguided. Parents then regret what they had done, but it would be many times too late.

It is true that raising children requires the parents to be firm at certain times, but even that is done wisely and artfully. This way the children will love and fear their parents at the same time. The children then grow up reminiscing (remembering with pleasure) the parents’ mercy and kindness they enjoyed when they were little, and appreciating the firmness that resulted in them being the good people they are now.

Allah revealed: ﴾وَٱخۡفِضۡ جَنَاحَكَ لِلۡمُؤۡمِنِينَ ٨٨﴿. In this verse, Allah instructs His Prophet ﷺ to display humbleness and mercy towards the believers, whether males or females, old or young, relatives or non-relatives, and spouses or children. Taking care of the seeds and nurturing them usually results in having a good harvest. Similarly, taking good care of and raising children properly as per the religious rules will, by the Will of Allah, bring about a pious generation of children.

Prophet Muhammad ﷺ is indeed the best example to follow in everything, including raising children. Hence, let us imitate the best father ever in the way he dealt with his children and grandchildren. He had in him the mercy of Prophethood and the mercy of fatherhood. Thus, he took care of his children and grandchildren since their birth without ever neglecting them. He showed happiness when they were born, and was saddened if any of them got sick. He used to hug them and kiss them, he chose good names for them, and he was keen on doing what is beneficial to them.

Lady ^A’ishah said that some bedwins came to the Prophet ﷺ and asked: “Do you kiss your little children?” The Companions answered “Yes.” The bedwins then said: “But, we swear by Allah, we do not”. The Prophet said to them: “This is a mercy that I cannot put in your hearts if Allah has deprived you of it”.

The Companion Anas said that he never saw someone more merciful towards children than the Prophet. He said that when the Prophet’s son Ibrahim died (~2 yrs), the Prophet cried and was saddened for his death. Al-Bayhaqiyy narrated that the Prophet said: “O Ibrahim, this is a matter that is destined, and all people will eventually die. The eye shed tears, the heart is sad, and we do not say anything that is not accepted by Allah.” Ibn Majah narrated from Anas that the Prophet ﷺ said to some Companions: “Do not wrap him (Ibrahim) in the shrouds until I look at him.” Then he went over him and cried.

Dear fellow Muslims, let us also remember how the Prophet ﷺ used to treat his grandchildren. Once while the Prophet was addressing the people, al-Hasan and al-Husayn came in wearing long garments in which they were tripping. The Prophet ﷺ stopped his speech, came down and carried them, then he returned to the podium.

Imam Malik narrated in his Muwatta’ that the Prophet ﷺ was once praying while carrying his granddaughter ‘Umamah, the daughter of his own daughter Zaynab. He would put her down when he prostrated, and would carry her when he stood up.

Look at the great mercy and compassion the Prophet displayed towards the children. So, follow his footsteps, and urge others to imitate him. Humbling oneself to children does not indicate a weak personality. Remember that the way you raise your children has a big effect in shaping their personality and on their future. Therefore, display mercy and tenderness. Remember the Prophet’s hadith: “One is not a complete follower of us (the Prophet) if one did not display mercy towards our youngsters and respect towards our elderly, and if one did not enjoin the lawful and forbid the unlawful.” (At-Tirmidhiyy)

Always remember that the best manners are the Prophet’s manners, and the best way is the Prophet’s way, for he is the best example to follow. I ask Allah to facilitate for us following his footsteps, and may Allah forgive my sins and yours.

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