Raising socially responsible children

March 26th, 2013 @   -  One Comment

Have you ever wondered what kind of world your children will live in? How will their future be? Are they going to live in a society that practices justice, where people are kind and helpful with one another?  Or will they live in a society where injustice is rampant and individuals care only about themselves? Is the future looking bright or bleak for the upcoming generation?

Many parents think of what society can offer their children. Some leave their countries, settling where they think their children will have a better future. But do we ever ask ourselves what will our children offer society? Will our children make their society a better one?

Society is made up of individuals. The children we raise now will shape what their society will look like in the future.

There are different kinds of individuals in the world. The first kind care about themselves as well as others. They are a cause of others’ happiness and not their misery. They stand up for the weak and against injustice. Their company brings others joy. They have something positive to offer. When they see people in pain, they empathize and try to do what they can to relieve it. They can be trusted. When this kind of person dies, s/he is truly missed by others, always leaving a void behind them.

The second type of individuals care only about themselves. They keep to themselves, bringing neither happiness nor misery to others. They do not necessarily cause others pain but they do not try to relieve it either. They do not concern themselves with other people’s needs. When this kind of person dies, their absence is barely noticed.

The third kind care solely about themselves, but to attain what they want they hurt others along the way. These individuals cause injustice and bring people pain. This type would do anything to get ahead. When this kind of person dies, his/her absence brings people relief.

There are parents who are proud to have children who belong in the third category. They equate the injustice and pain caused by their children with being shrewd and ambitious. But nobody should want this for their children. We should aim to raise children who belong in the first category.

The Prophet (PBUH) said: “Whosoever removes a worldly grief from a believer, Allah will remove from him one of the griefs of the Day of Judgment. Whosoever alleviates [the lot of] a needy person, Allah will alleviate [his lot] in this world and the next. Whosoever shields a Muslim, Allah will shield him in this world and the next. Allah will aid a servant [of His] so long as the servant aids his brother” (Muslim).

To raise children who belong in the first category, you must care not only about your children but also about society as a whole.

Do you want what is best only for your child? If another child receives an award at school, do you feel envious? Do you feel proud that you are a good parent when you see other parents struggling with their children? If you answered yes to these questions, then you are more concerned with your and your child’s success than the collective good and success. As Muslims, we cannot work solely for our individual benefit.

Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) said, “The similitude of believers in regard to mutual love, affection, fellow-feeling is that of one body; when any limb of it aches, the whole body aches, because of sleeplessness and fever” (Muslim). He also said, “None of you [truly] believes until he loves for his brother that which he loves for himself” (Bukhari and Muslim).

Some parents say, “Why should I raise my children to care about others when everyone else raises their children to care about themselves?” Do not make your good actions and concern for others dependent on their actions or concern towards you. When you have the right intention and you wish for others what you wish for yourself and family, Allah will make your child’s life more successful and blessed when it could have otherwise been difficult and miserable.

If we want our children to live in a better world then we must start to raise better children.



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One Comment → “Raising socially responsible children”

  1. parveen

    4 years ago

    the article with its precise content is a wake up call for all parents who are caught in this vicious circle of life where priorities have changed and desire to excell over others has made parents selfish since we have also succumbed to pressures which are transient having no relationship with regard to hereafter.We as parents need to develop a bond with our kids where they will come to us and question incidents that they are confronted with and we should be educated well to explain to them the realities of life and the significance of the hereafter so that they understand that the life in this world is a means to attaining paradise and the pleasure of our creator which is the ultimate goal.This is to be demonstrated by our actions since actions speak louder than words.


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