Praise be to Allaah.
Children are one of the great blessings of Allah that He
bestows upon His slaves, and they are a trust given to the person about
which he will be asked on the Day of Resurrection, as it says in the hadeeth (prophetic narration) narrated from Ibn ‘Umar (may Allah be pleased with him), who heard the
Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) say: “Each of
you is a shepherd and each of you is responsible for his flock. The ruler of
the people is a shepherd and is responsible for his flock. A man is the
shepherd of his household and is responsible for his flock. A woman is the
shepherd of her husband’s house and children and is responsible for her
flock. The slave is the shepherd of his master’s wealth and is responsible
for it. Each of you is a shepherd and each of you is responsible for his
Narrated by al-Bukhaari (853) and Muslim (1829).
It is the duty of the father to protect his children from all
kinds of evil, whether it is tangible or intangible. The most important
thing which he must protect is their religious commitment and proper
The basic principle is that the Muslim should weigh up the
pros and cons of anything, and compare its positive and negative aspects,
and see what is most likely to be the case.
There is no doubt that schools have their negative and
positive points. Schools can have a positive or negative effect on the
children’s upbringing. Many mothers and fathers complain about the negative
impact of schools and this is a real issue that is faced by most religiously
committed families. But the Muslim can overcome these negative effects by a
number of means:
Seeking the help of Allah, may He be glorified and exalted,
to protect them by calling upon Him and beseeching Him, for du‘aa’ is a
great weapon in protecting children. Allah mentioned the du‘aa’ of the
righteous (interpretation of the meaning):
“And those who say: Our Lord! Bestow on us from our wives
and our offspring the comfort of our eyes, and make us leaders of the
Muttaqûn (the pious)”
The righteousness of the parents also has a major role in the
guidance of the children, as Allah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“And as for the wall, it belonged to two orphan boys in
the town; and there was under it a treasure belonging to them; and their
father was a righteous man, and your Lord intended that they should attain
their age of full strength and take out their treasure as a mercy from your
Ibn Rajab (may Allah have mercy on him) said:
Allah may take care of a person’s offspring after his death
because of his righteousness, as it says in the verse, “and their father
was a righteous man” [al-Kahf 18:82]: they were protected because of the
righteousness of their father. End quote.
Jaami‘ al-‘Uloom wa’l-Hukam, p.
The parents have a role to play in the upbringing of their
children; it is not limited to the school’s role. The father has to bring
his children to the mosque and send them to classes to memorise the Qur’aan
and study (religious) knowledge. He should instil love of Islam in their
hearts. This also applies to the mother at home with her daughters.
He should watch the children closely and always follow up on
what they are studying, with teachers and other students; he should also
offer advice and direction to his children in a kind and gentle manner,
combining encouragement and deterrence.
He should replace government schools with Islamic schools
which focus on the religious aspect of the students, and he should choose
the best school for that. There are many such schools, praise be to Allah,
in most countries. If the father is not financially able to pay the fees of
those schools, he can look for the best public (state-funded) schools by
asking and consulting other parents
The parents should play a role in choosing good friends in
the school and in the neighbourhood. For example, they should be people he
knows from the mosque or the Qur’aan class, or relatives who can be trusted.
The parents should not let there be any gap between them and
their children, so that if there is a problem for example, the children will
hasten to discuss it with their parents. This is something that is well
known from experience.
The point is that one of the greatest of responsibilities is
the responsibility of looking after children. Ibn al-Qayyim (may Allah have
mercy on him) said:
Whoever neglects to teach his child what will benefit him,
and pays no attention to him, has mistreated him in the worst way. In most
cases, the corruption of children results from their parents and parental
neglect of them, and their failing to teach them the obligatory duties of
Islam and the Sunnahs. So they neglected them when they were young. End
Tuhfat al-Mawdood, p. 229
After that, we should explain that if a person has no choice
but to take his children out of school, the basic principle is that he
should provide a suitable alternative to those schools, so that they will
not end up with nothing, especially since we have seen cases of people who
took their children out of school altogether, so the children were lost
between the television and the street, and they sank into ignorance and
played too much, and thus (the parents) did not achieve anything; rather
they sinned by allowing harm to befall their children.
Hence our advice to the father is not to keep his children
from going to school, but what he has to do is strive to remedy their negative
effects as much as he can.
Our advice to the sister is to seek the help of Allah and
turn to Him by offering supplication (du‘aa’); she should also discuss with
her husband, in a gentle manner with evidence and proof. She may seek the
help of wise and righteous people among her family or his. Allah is the One
Who we hope will protect us and you, and our children, from all evils.
And Allah knows best.