Friday, February 19, 2016

Parenting Tips: Lesson from Surah Yusuff, by Sheikh Sajid Umar (part 1)

Please feel tempted at this entry's tittle, because someone is trying to be an ustazah and start giving a lengthy lecture about parenting, please please! (Jerk. Haha). 

OK. For those who have no idea who this Sheikh is, you can read here. Basically, he is one of the Islamic speakers and lecturers in Al Kauthar Institute, an activist in Da'wah. Try to listen to one of his lecture in sha Allah you'll fall in love with the messages.

So a few weeks ago, he came to Oman and Alhamdulillah he was given a slot about Lessons from Surah Yusuf. I promised myself to share what I got with my husband, since he decided to take care of the kids while I was attending the lecture so that I can have full focus on the lecture. Barakallahu feek ya habibi, even I know this is one of your favorite sheikh. I consider that as my 'compulsory time-off' (which in sha Allah I'll write about this next time). And why I end up writing here is because my husband gives me a task to share this in public. I feel guilty to not accept his task considering his effort and sacrifice.... So please bare with this lengthy post and may we all benefit something from this. Ameennnn. 

#1. Sheikh started his lecture with the encouragement of attending 'majlis ilmu' (gathering for the remembrance of Allah). He recited a very powerful hadith from Sahih Muslim  as an eye (and heart) opener to motivate us all to keep busying ourselves attending this sort of gathering (or if not possible at least listen to lectures whenever we can). Note: It is the 36th hadith from the 40 hadeeth of Imam Nawawi - May Allah bless Xifu Nasser for his effort 10 years ago to make us memorize some hadith an easy and fun way!

Here is the hadeeth's translation:
On the authority of Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him), that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said:

Whoever removes a worldly grief from a believer, Allah will remove from him one of the griefs of the Day of Resurrection. And whoever alleviates the need of a needy person, Allah will alleviate his needs in this world and the Hereafter. Whoever shields [or hides the misdeeds of] a Muslim, Allah will shield him in this world and the Hereafter. And Allah will aid His slave so long as he aids his brother. And whoever follows a path to seek knowledge therein, Allah will make easy for him a path to Paradise. No people gather together in one of the Houses of Allah, reciting the Book of Allah and studying it among themselves, except that sakeenah (tranquility) descends upon them, and mercy envelops them, and the angels surround them, and Allah mentions them amongst those who are with Him. And whoever is slowed down by his actions, will not be hastened forward by his lineage.


#2. Parenting starts before marriage! 
- Seek knowledge as much as we can, even when we are still single. 
- But it is never too late to start good parenting, and in fact, we have to always improve our parenting skills.
** Sheikh suggested us to have a thinking day!
 -i.e. A moment where we muhasabah ourselves so that we can keep ourselves in track, re-think, re-do and re-correct things that we have regretted along the journey. 

#3. 1st TIP from Surah Yusuf, 12: 4 - Intimate relationship between a father and his child 
إِذ قالَ يوسُفُ لِأَبيهِ يا أَبَتِ إِنّي رَأَيتُ أَحَدَ عَشَرَ كَوكَبًا وَالشَّمسَ وَالقَمَرَ رَأَيتُهُم لي ساجِدينَ
When Joseph said to his father, ‘Father! I saw eleven planets,1 and the sun and the moon: I saw them prostrating themselves before me.’

Allah doesn't start this story with 'Once upon a time'. Instead, He starts with this ayah above. A very straight forward story about a boy who always refer to his father whenever he's in dilemma: A boy who trusts his father and prefers his father more than anyone else!

Instead of going to his 11 brothers, or his peers similar his age, Yusuff (AS) went straight to his father after he got a very confusing dream. This shows how intimate this father-child relationship is. 


In this life, we have 2 roles, 
(1) mandatory role - Being a child, parent, mom, dad, etc
(2) elective role - us as a career person (doctor, cook, banker, teacher, etc), voluntary work, etc.

-DO NOT let your elective role overshadowing your mandatory role!
-You are the best teacher to your children.  Sheikh reminded us to NOT pass on our responsibility to others. Don't  just rely on school, society, strangers to be your kids' teacher.  

Children learn from us, parents. So set up good examples for them to follow.
For instance, in this ayah, Yusuf (AS) called his father يا ابت, which means my dearest dad (some technical arabic nahu/grammar with the ت behind the اب that indicates the softest, most honorable tittle). Because, when we read the next ayah, Prophet Ya'qub calls his son with the softest call, يا بنى (my dearest son). 

Respect and trust are earned. We want our children to respect us, we have to first show how respect is. And trough a fond relationship, inshaa Allah trust is earned too. 

#4. 2nd TIP from Surah Yusuf, 12:5 - Effective communication and respect your child's intelligence
قالَ يا بُنَيَّ لا تَقصُص رُؤياكَ عَلىٰ إِخوَتِكَ فَيَكيدوا لَكَ كَيدًا ۖ إِنَّ الشَّيطانَ لِلإِنسانِ عَدُوٌّ مُبينٌ
He said, ‘My son, do not recount your dream to your brothers, lest they should devise schemes against you. Satan is indeed man’s manifest enemy.

Prophet Yusuf (AS) was a small child (less than 7 yrs old according to mufassirin) when he had that dream. But prophet Ya'qub (AS) addressed the matter in a proper way albeit dealing with just a small boy. He kept his son informed with the right information in an effective way, even for the heavy topics e.g. about SATAN. You know why? 

Because Prophet Ya'qub didn't know how much time he had to be with his child. 
So do us. We are unsure of how much time we have with our children, right?! Why not start now. Teach our kids about Allah, tauhid, shaitan, shirk, etc.

We want to wait for the right timing but when is the right timing? Are we sure we have the future to give guidance to our children?

So perhaps, instead of waiting for the right timing, why don't we make the timing right. How? 
by effective communication!

We surely can learn effective communication from this ayah, mashaAllah! 
-to give command --> to explain --> to guide

Lets look into this ayah. First, Prophet Ya'qub commanded his son (do not tell your dream to your brothers). Then, he explained to his son the reason of his command (they will make plan against you). Next, he gave guidance to his son (shaitan is indeed man's manifest enemy). Our common mistake is, we tend to give order (command) but we don't explain, never mind to give guidance. 

HOW EFFECTIVE is his teaching?
Ahhaaa.... please read the 2nd part of this topic.
(I separate into 2 parts so that it doesn't look too long)

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