Dr. Hatem AHaj M.D Ph.D

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Basis of Islamic upbringing

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A) The relation with Allah

The most central and pivotal fundamental is the relation with Allah; In other words,our aim is to develop the personalities of our children to the end that they will be conscious of their responsibility to Allah

Almunamy said, in Fayd AlQadeer 2/140: “He who reaches [i.e. the pleasure of Allah] has gained everything and he who misses his besought lord (Allah) has missed everything.”

The essence and goal of all the messages is to make the human conform to the divine, which is the natural course and only one that will grant us humans success and happiness in both lives.

B) Treating the human being as a whole (body and soul)

Allah said ” (Remember) when your lord said to the Angels: “Truly I am going to create man from clay”. So when I have fashioned him and breathed into him (his) soul created by me, then you fall down prostrate to him.” [38/71]

This makes Islam works on the refinement-without suppression-of the genuine human inclinations and directing them for the well being of the individual and the society.

The examples of this concept in the Islamic teachings are many,including how Islam addressed our desires of food and sex. Withregards to sex for instance you find that Islam didn’t consider it filthy or disgraceful as long as it is done in wholesome way that will protect the honor and rights of both parties, and – equally important- the rights of the fruits of these relations, the children. So when that issue is addressed with the child at the appropriate time,the parent will make sure s/he will respect that this desire is part of the making of their child and make the child feel normal and wholesome having it, but exhort him to exercise it in a way that is wholesome and conducive to the well being of themselves, their partners, children and the society at large.

This concept should make us more balanced in our raising of the kids, not ignoring their need of food, clothes, shelter and the different means of decent living – which may vary in different cultures and places – at the same time we realize that we are not raising cattle, and that our kids need emotional and spiritual sustenance as much as they need the physical one.

Also, we will try to teach them about their Deen, without ignoring the importance of math and science and the other fields of beneficial knowledge, which will help them earn a living and function in life in a way that will help them and their ummah.

C) Moderation

Narrated by Anas bin Malik: “A group of three men came to the houses of the wives of the Prophet asking how the Prophet worshipped (Allah), and when they were informed about that, they considered their worship insufficient and said, ‘where are we from the Prophet as his past and future sins have been forgiven.’ Then one of them said, ‘I will offer the prayer throughout the night forever.’ the other said, ‘I will fast throughout the year and will not break my fast.’ the third said, ‘I will keep away from the women and will not marry forever.’ Allah’s Apostle came to them and said, ‘Are you the same people who said so-and-so? By Allah, I am more submissive to Allah and more afraid of him than you; yet I fast and break my fast, I do sleep and I also marry women. So he who does not follow my tradition in religion is not from me [not one of my followers].” (Albukhari/4776)

Islam doesn’t only teach us moderation in actions or worship, but even in feelings that some may think are beyond our control. The Messenger of Allah said: Love those you love with moderation, for they may be your foes one day. And hate those you hate with moderation for they may become your beloved one day.” (S.J. 178, Ahmad from Ali)

In other words, moderation is the way of Islam in all things and one of the most important concepts and pillars of Tarbiyat is Islam.

D) Knowing and respecting the capabilities of man and striking a perfect balance between the potential and goal.

Allah said:

[67/14] Should not he who has created know? And he is the most kind and courteous (to his slaves) all aware (of everything).

You need to learn about your child’s capabilities (strengths and weaknesses) because each individual has his own fingerprint and personal print and map. You need to learn the map of your child’s mind and the keys to all the doors.

Some people do a lot of good deeds but at the same time do a lot of bad ones those have the power of doing great actions but lack the power of abstinence from bad ones some people can fast every other day but do not give a lot of Sadaqah, so Allah gave us a variety of worships and made 8 doors for the heavens. The companions of the prophet were not all scholars or great commanders, yet they all used their potential to the maximum in the work of righteousness and in the service of their Deen.

Your son may excel in math and not in social studies so enhance his math and help him with social studies without undue pressure on him to excel in this subject as he does in the other, also if he is truthful but selfish commend him for his truthfulness and try to enhance it by showing him that the truthful one will eventually win and work with patience on his selfishness while knowing that he may not wind up being a very generous person but at least he should pay his Zakat.

The balance of the child’s potential and the parents’ objectives is quiet essential for good parenting.

E) Habits characters and personal inclinations and traits can be changed

Many people think that personalities and personal traits are set in stone and can never be changed such as nervousness and miserliness, however Islam believes that all these are changeable not only that, Islam makes it mandatory on the person to change himself which indicates that change is possible Allah said:

Allah burdens not a person beyond his scope. And since Allah made obligatory on us to control our anger then it is understood thet this is within our capacity. [2/286]

Also the Prophet said: ”Becoming knowledgeable is but by seeking knowledge and, becoming patient and wise is by training oneself to be so and, he who seeks good will be given it and, he who seeks bad will be given it.”

So when Allah commands us to control our anger no one can say ‘I can’t because I am a nervous person’. You should emphasize this concept to your child and, don’t give up on him and, continue to work with him on his “disappointing” personal traits to get the best out of him/her.


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Dr. Hatem was born in Cairo, Egypt and currently resides in the United States of America. He was granted his PhD in Comparative Fiqh from al-Jinan University, Tripoli, Lebanon and his Master’s Degree in Islamic law from the American Open University. He graduated top of his class with a summa cum laude grade. He is also a board certificated in Pediatrics by the American Board of Pediatrics. He has a Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (M.B., CH.B.). He graduated with honors from Alexandria University Medical School, Alexandria, Egypt.


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Guest Thursday, 21 February 2019