Our Responsibilities Over Our Children – The Outcomes of Upright Cultivation or Careless Inattention

الحمد لله رب العالمين، وصلى الله وسلم على نبينا محمد وعلى آله وأصحابه أجمعين، أما بعد


The following in an abridgement of a sermon delivered by Shaikh Saalih bin Fawzaan al-Fawzaan (hafidhahullaah) in which he spoke of the importance of cultivating our children based upon the noble guidelines of the religion and of the dire outcomes of neglect and inattention towards them, he said:


“O people; fear Allaah, The Most High, and know that offspring is like wealth:


إِنَّمَا أَمْوَالُكُمْ وَأَوْلَادُكُمْ فِتْنَةٌ وَاللَّهُ عِندَهُ أَجْرٌ عَظِيمٌ

((Your wealth and your children are only a trial, and Allaah has with Him a great reward.)) (At-Taghaabun: 15)


So just as a person is tested with wealth; he is tested with offspring:


وَنَبْلُوكُم بِالشَّرِّ وَالْخَيْرِ فِتْنَةً وَإِلَيْنَا تُرْجَعُونَ

((And We test you with evil and with good as a trial; and to Us you will be returned.)) (Al-Anbiyaa: 35)


So Allaah puts the parents to trial through both of them by way of offspring as to: whether they both undertake their rectitude and their educative cultivation upon goodness, or will they both allow them to be neglected and become complacent in their regard? Yet both scenarios have outcomes – either virtuous or corrupt. Therefore the son is a responsibility of the father, and is put to trial by way of him as to: will he devote interest regarding him or will he allow him to become lost (through neglect)?

So if he devotes interest regarding him then he becomes a coolness of the eye for him in the life of this world as well as in the Hereafter. If he allows him to become lost, then he will become a sorrowful regret upon him:


وَلَا تُعْجِبْكَ أَمْوَالُهُمْ وَأَوْلَادُهُمْ إِنَّمَا يُرِيدُ اللَّهُ أَن يُعَذِّبَهُم بِهَا فِي الدُّنْيَا وَتَزْهَقَ أَنفُسُهُمْ وَهُمْ كَافِرُونَ

((And let not their wealth or their children amaze you. Allaah only intends to punish them by way of them in this world and that their souls shall depart [at death] while they are disbelievers.)) (At-Tawbah: 85)


So uprightness and corruption have factors, they are both preordained from Allaah, The Majestic, and Most High. However, this preordainment has factors on the part of the servant, so if the father undertakes the educative cultivation of his offspring upon goodness from a small age, they will become righteous with the permission of Allaah, because their father made efforts to give rise to the factor, and Allaah will aid him upon that.

As for if he neglected them and did not ask concerning them, they grew up upon being neglected, at that point the task of their restitution to rectitude will become difficult upon him.

So hasten in regard to your offspring in upright educative cultivation – may Allaah grant you ability, and be cautious of your being neglectful toward them, for indeed you are in an age in which the tribulations have clashed in waves, as have the desires and the doubts. Likewise the callers to misguidance have increased as have the callers to evil through their characters and by way of the means through which they spread them.

Some people say: ‘I have rights over my son.’ Yes, you have rights, however he too has rights over you – before your right, and that is by way of his educative cultivation. Therefore once he comes of age and becomes a righteous man through upright educative cultivation, and his father becomes aged and becomes in need of devotion, Allaah, The Majestic, and Most High, commanded the son to say:


وَقُل رَّبِّ ارْحَمْهُمَا كَمَا رَبَّيَانِي صَغِيرًا

((And say; “My Lord, have mercy upon them as they brought me up [when I was] small.”)) (Al-Israa: 24)


How can that be when he did not cultivate him when he was young? Does he hope for devotion from him? No, not at all – not at all a thousand times, indeed the righteous son is a coolness of the eye of his father, in life and in death.

For during life he is devoted to him and he serves him and sees to his interests – particularly when he is old, and after death he supplicates for him and carries out his bequests and his endowments and takes responsibility over his affairs after his death – as a successor to his father. He (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) said:


إِذَا مَاتَ الْإِنْسَانُ انْقَطَعَ عَنْهُ عَمَلُهُ إِلَّا مِنْ ثَلَاثَةٍ: إِلَّا مِنْ صَدَقَةٍ جَارِيَةٍ، أَوْ عِلْمٍ يُنْتَفَعُ بِهِ، أَوْ وَلَدٍ صَالِحٍ يَدْعُو لَهُ

((When a person dies, his deeds are cut off from him except for three: a continuous charity, or knowledge which is benefited from, or a righteous son who supplicates for him.))[1]


As for if the son was corrupt, then he will supplicate against him and will not supplicate for him, and the reason for that is due to the father who wastefully neglected his son when he was young, so he is undutiful towards him when he is older – whilst living and when he is dead.

So fear Allaah with regard to your offspring, do not be wastefully neglectful towards them, some people think that educative cultivation of one’s son is that he is given money, that you buy a motorcar for him, you furnish desires for him, and he will say: ‘by Allaah, I haven’t fallen short in regard to my son, I have not fallen short.’ Except that you have fallen short – for this is falling short and being wasteful, this money that you gave him and this motorcar which you purchased for him, this is being neglectful towards him.

Since you gave him the means to corruption, you filled his pocket with money, and you gave him a motorcar with which he goes wherever he likes, so you have exposed him to corruption. Yes, we say give your son, spend upon him, buy a motorcar for him, however; observe him and supervise his modes of behaviour and do not be neglectful towards him. Do not be neglectful towards your son such that when he grows up and becomes a man; his disposition is for himself, for as long as he is below the age of puberty he is in your guardianship, and you are responsible over him before your Lord, and his corruption is due to you and due to your neglect.

So fear Allaah, servants of Allaah, let the father be a virtuous example for his son before everything else, him being an example in of himself, how then would it be if the father was corrupt and engages in corruption? By neglecting the prayer, sleeping over the prayer (times), and does not come home except for food and drink, otherwise he is at the rest-houses and the mansions of celebration and on journeys and other than that. He does not ask concerning his offspring, this is a father? This is a bestial father, not a father who bears the responsibility before Allaah, The Glorified, and Most High.

Be a virtuous example for your offspring before everything else, likewise the supplication for the offspring, Ibraheem (‘alaihis-salaam) said:


وَاجْنُبْنِي وَبَنِيَّ أَن نَّعْبُدَ الْأَصْنَامَ

((And keep me and my sons away from worshipping idols.)) (Ibraheem: 35)


He associated his sons along with himself in the request.


رَبِّ اجْعَلْنِي مُقِيمَ الصَّلَاةِ وَمِن ذُرِّيَّتِي رَبَّنَا وَتَقَبَّلْ دُعَاءِ

((My Lord, make me one who establishes the prayer, and from my descendants. Our Lord, and accept my supplication.)) (Ibraheem: 40)


Supplicate for your offspring along with carrying out the factors towards their educational cultivation, supplicate to Allaah that He aids you and that He rectifies them. Vacate your home from the means to corruption, the means of corrupt forms of communication from songs and pipes and depraved images, otherwise your home will be a nest for corruption.

Make your home pure, a place of worship and the remembrance of Allaah, nothing is heard within it except dhikr and the recitation of the Qur’aan and good speech, speech which is harmless, upright. Teach your son – the first thing is get your son to memorise the Qur’aan, and choose for him a virtuous school by way of its principal and its teachers and its students. Choose for him a virtuous school and follow him up in his studies and ask concerning him and help him in his studies and encourage him upon it.

If you give your son something or some of your offspring a present, then give the others the like of it. He (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) said:


اتَّقُوا اللَّهَ وَاعْدِلُوا بين أَوْلاَدِكُمْ

((Fear Allaah, and be just between your children.))[2]


O people, indeed from the effects of bad cultivation and neglect is that which you are witness to now from the modes of behaviour of the youth. Their bad dispositions, since their interest – or many from them is to engage in drifting in the car in the streets, harming himself and harming others and being a botheration to the people and to the neighbours. Likewise he exposes the people to danger, how much has arisen due to drifting? How many deaths have occurred due to it? How much wastage of wealth has been incurred due to it as well as the wrecking of motorcars – and what is the outcome?

However the son has something that he wishes to discharge, because he does not become busied with something beneficial, nor does he preoccupy himself with something upright. Rather he has been given a means to corruption and has been left, so he takes this car and here are the streets – in order to cause harm to the people with it, as well as to expose himself and expose the people to dangers, and so anticipate, over that which transpires from the people by way of supplication against his father, rather some of them will curse him, they curse the father who has left his son to harm them in this way and expose them to danger.

Take note of the walls; the walls of the houses how the students, the youth dawdle on them with writings, foul inscriptions, if you read them, they are inscriptions of immorality – corrupt. It signifies that within their inner conscience they have a load from corruption; they discharge it upon the walls and write it on the walls.

So fear Allaah, servants of Allaah, pay attention to your offspring and devote your attention to them, and know that they are a trial for you, you put in order their uprightness or you bring about their corruption, and you shall be responsible with regard to them before Allaah.”


Source: http://www.alfawzan.af.org.sa/node/14450


[1] Reported by Muslim (no.1631)

[2] Reported by Al-Bukhaaree (no.2587) and Muslim (no.1623)

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