Growing up in a strict, traditional Muslim household meant that there was just not much affection shown. I grew up thinking that it was “unislamic” to be warm and affectionate and it was something I felt you had to hide. Don’t get me wrong, my parents took good care of me and my siblings in all the worldly manner, Islam, food, clothing, education, but they were very formal when it came to showing love and affection to their children.
Becoming a parent is such a big responsibility. It’s not simply a case of producing offspring and providing material things. The real toil is in the upbringing of your child and nurturing the person they will become Insha’Allah. Parenting simply starts with love, love and lots of love! Our prophet Muhammad (SAW) is simply the most loving and nurturing human being I have ever read about and there are so many narrations of how wonderful he was with the little ones.
These fantastic tips below are quite simply following the way of our beloved Prophet Muhammad (SAW), medical health and Psychology are just catching up!
1. Kiss and cuddle your kids!
Nurturing children is a fundamental part of healthy growth. Those hugs and kisses will live in their memories forever and give them great self-confidence and a good loving nature that will help them in their life journey Insha’Allah.
Narrated Abu Huraira: Allah’s Messenger (SAW) kissed Al-Hasan bin ‘Ali while Al-Aqra’ bin Habis at-Tamim was sitting beside him. Al-Aqra said, “I have ten children and I have never kissed anyone of them,” Allah’s Messenger (SAW) cast a look at him and said, “Whoever is not merciful to others, will not be treated mercifully.” (Bukhari)
2. Say “I love you” and make Dua that Allah loves them too!
These words are so powerful and can affect us so deeply, it makes us feel loved, safe and cared for. Telling and showing your kids how you feel is a great way to teach them compassion and in time, they will copy this “behaviour” and become loving and nurturing role models themselves Insha’Allah.
Narrated by Al-Bara: I saw the Prophet (SAW) carrying Al-Hasan (his grandson) on his shoulder and saying, “O Allah! I love him, so please love him.” (Bukhari)
3. Play with them!
“Learn through play” comes to mind. Memories of warmth and fun will imprint learning more powerfully than a textbook any day. These plays sessions will teach your kids about life skills such as “sharing is caring”, friendship, trust and loyalty as well as having lots of fun in the process!
4. Smile and be the best example!
Smiling is charity! If your child sees you happy and smiling, they will naturally copy! “Don’t tell them show them” to be positive and hopeful and earn lots of reward in the process by looking at each other with love and tenderness every day!
5. Pray with them!
Be the example! If you pray, they will follow! If they see how much you love Allah and how you plan your day around your prayer because you thank Him for all your blessings every day, they will naturally love to pray too Insha’Allah! Tell them that praying is like having your 1 to 1 special time with Allah. He sees you, hears you and loves you!
6. Care about what is troubling them!
If they are having a bad day, listen! Let them know that it’s OK to be sad and to cry! This teaches them that you truly value their feelings and opinions and they are important! Don’t make them feel sad or ashamed about things, talk about it.
The Messenger of Allah (SAW) used to come to visit us. I had a younger brother who was called Abu ‘Umair by kunyah (nickname). He had a sparrow with which he played, but it died. So one day the Prophet (SAW) came to see him and saw him grieved. He asked: What is the matter with him? The people replied: His sparrow has died. He then said: Abu ‘Umair! What has happened to the little sparrow? (Bukhari)
7. Teach them to ask Allah!
Whatever life throws at you, remember that Allah sees you, hears you and loves you and He is with you all the way! Teach your kids to raise their hands and ask Allah first. He is our friend and the One who gave us our loving family and He is the only One that deserves our worship.
Becoming a parent myself, I can now see how my parents did the very best they could with the life skills they were given and just how challenging parenting actually is! They didn’t have access to all the beautiful teachings and knowledge of our beloved Prophet (SAW) that this generation has at a click of a button. I can truly say I love my parents more than ever and I thank Allah SWT every day for blessing me with such wonderful role models who have made me the person I am today.
As parents, we are all human and we make many mistakes but the key is to accept, say sorry and repair them. I thank Allah SWT that he gave my parents and me the time to learn and renew our relationship.
I pray to Allah SWT with all my heart that all our children grow up to be healthy, righteous and “loving” Muslims who will be loved dearly by The Most loving and Merciful One. Ameen.
“Teach Islam in a fun and loving way”