How To Prepare A Prosperous Future For Your Children

A Repost from 2019!

1. Your choice of spouse matters

A righteous spouse is key to preparing a prosperous future for your children. Your choice of partner mirrors the kind of life, character and personality that you wish to see in your children. Never marry except someone you wish to have as child.  A popular saying in Arabic is, العِرْقُ دَسَّاسٌ (What is bred in the bone will come out in the flesh). This expression is taken from a hadīth declared weak by experts, which says, تَخَيَّرُوا لِنُطْفِكُم، فَإِنَّ العِرْقَ دَسَّاسٌ. You can’t prepare your child for a prosperous future where you and your partner are opposite of each other. Marry someone that shares your dreams, and that is willing to sacrifice his/her comfort for the sake of your children. At all time, both parents must be on the same page as per what they want for the children and how to achieve it. One of the reasons for failure of many people is failed parenting arising from conflict of interest over unnecessary things…the kind of wife you need is the سَمِعْنا وَأَطَعْنا type, and not the سَمِعْنا وَعَصَينا breed…

2. Role Modeling

Both parents must first mirror the kind of future that they wish for their kids both in their public and private lives. You can’t just be the opposite of what you want for your children.

إذا كان رَبُّ البَيتِ بالدُّفِّ ضارِباً   فَشِيمَةُ أَهلِ البَيتِ كُلِّهِمُ الرَّقْصُ

Where the head of the family is a professional drummer, the entire households do nothing than dancing…

If the parents are given to all forms of corruption and immorality, it’s immaterial whether or not they teach their children to be saints. They will surely take after them, consciously or otherwise.

مَشَى الطَّاوُوسُ يومًا باعْوِجاجٍ     فَقَلَّدَ شَكْلَ مِشْيَتِهِ بَنُوه ُ

The peacock once walked crookedly, and the peachicks imitated him (and began to walk as such)

فقال عَلامَ تَخْتالون؟ قالوا:    بدَأْتَ به ونحن مُقلِّدوه ُ

Says he, why are you walking crookedly? They replied: You started it, and we are merely imitating you.

فَخالِفْ سَيركَ المِعْوَجَّ واعْدِلْ      فإنَّا إنْ عَدلْتَ مُعَدِّلوه

Change your crooked style and walk straight. Once you do so, we too will change our style.

أما تدري أبانا كُلُّ فَرْعٍ   يجاري بالخطى من أدَّبوه؟

Hast thou know not, dad, that a child takes after its mentor?

وينشأ ناشئ الفتيان منا … على ما كان عَوَّده أبوه

And each young one among us shall grow up exhibiting what he has imbibed from his father.

3. Spiritual Balanced Diet

Just as balanced diet meals are important for the physical and mental growth of the child, so also is the spiritual balanced diet necessary for the growth of the faith of the Muslim child. This diet must tiltnot towards either extremism or laxity. A quick glance through Sūrah Luqmān will reveal the importance of this for the preparation of a prosperous further for the child. The Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said: “Command your children to pray when they are seven years of age…” With Salāt comes prosperity, hence the call حَيَّ على الصلاة، حَيَّ على الفلاح “come to prayer, come to prosperity.” He عليه السلام also said to Abdullāh bn ‘Abbās, “Be watchful of Allāh, He will preserve you. Be mindful of Allāh, He will ever be with you.”

عَلِّمُوا أَولادَكُمْ دِينَكُمُ   لِيُقِمُوا بَعْدَكُم آثارَكُم

Teach your children your religion, so they can preserve your heritage after you’re long gone…

Ibn Qayyim rahimahullāh said:

فمَنْ أهمَلَ تعليمَ وَلَدِه ما يَنْفَعهُ وتركَهُ سُدىً، فقد أساءَ إليهِ غايةَ الإساءةِ، وأكثرُ الأولادِ إنما جاءَ فسادُهُم من قِبَلِ الآباءِ وإهمالِهم لهُم، وتركِ تعليمهِم فرائضَ الدِّينِ وسُنَنه، فأضاعُوهُم صغاراً، فلَم ينتفعوا بأنفسهِم، ولم ينفعوا آبَاءَهُم كباراً، كمَا عاتَبَ بعضُهُم ولَدَهُ على العُقوقِ، فقالَ: يا أبَتِ إنكَ عَقَقْتَني صغيراً، فَعَقَقْتُكَ كبيراً، وأضعْتَنِي وليداً، فأضعْتُكَ شيخاً

The one who abandons teaching his child what will benefit him, leaving him to himself, has indeed wronged him in the worst possible manner. The root of corruption of many children comes from their father’s lackadaisical attitude to teaching them both the obligatory and voluntary precepts of the religion… a man once rebuked his son for disobeying him and the son replied, o dad, you disobeyed me while I was young (by not tutoring and mentoring me) leading to my disobeying you at old age. You abandoned me when I was young and in turn I abandoned you when you’re old…

4. Quality Education

Parents must be ready to spend their last kobo to provide their children with quality education so as to prepare them for the challenges of life ahead…

5. Moral Values

Morality is a priceless asset. You can’t develop it suddenly. The Yoruba do say, “An untrained child will sell off our hard earned assets.”

Prosperity in life depends not only on quality education but also on good character. For instance, the Yoruba also do say, “when a lady lacks morality, she claims that she lacks a head for husband” (lols)

6. Entrepreneurship

Prophet Ibrahim taught his son, Ismā’īl architecture and building. They both built the Ka’abah Q.2:127. With the current advancements in technology, the future is for those who create jobs. Soon, AI may start replacing humans and taking their jobs. Let your children learn something meaningful and lucrative. One very fertile area today is IT. Enough of fashion designing, tailoring, furniture…web designing, et cetera is the new gold mine. By the time they get into the university, you may not have to be paying full tuition for them, if they begin this entrepreneurship training on time.

7. Let them know the value and dignity of labour

Even if you’re stupendously rich, do not expose your children so much to affluence to the extent that they begin to think that you’re a money printing machine or that money is easy to get. Put them through stress of labour. Let them know that each kobo you spend on them takes a gallon of sweat to get. Watch how they spend every penny. More importantly, watch how you spend, too.

8. Invest in their names

Sa’d bn Abī waqqās was on his sick bed in Makkah when the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم visited him. Sa’d sought the prophet’s advice on what to do with his vast wealth. He had only one child, a daughter. He said, shall I give all of it in charity? The Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said, no. He asked, shall I give a half of it in charity? The Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said, no. He said, shall I give a third of it in charity? The Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم, Yes, But even a third is much. He added, “it’s better for you to leave your children wealthy than to leave them poor and destitute, begging people for sustenance.” Don’t be like some Yoruba parents that say, before a child chop 20, I would have chop 30. Invest in shares and other halal businesses for your children. Buy properties in their names.

9. Prayer

The people of hijāz today enjoy security and abundance of wealth as a result of the prayer of prophet Ibrahim…Q.2:126 & 14:35.

“My Lord, make this city [Makkah] a place of security and provide its people with fruits, such of them as believe in Allah and the Last Day.”

As a result of his prayer, Allāh says: Have We not established for them a safe haven ˹in Mecca˺ to which fruits of all kinds are brought as a provision from Us? But most of them do not know ˹this favour˺. Q.28:57

Sanusi Lafiagi

Excerpts from my lecture today at The Spring of Knowledge (Al-Mawrid) Schools, Bello Folawiyo Street, Mr Biggs Junction, off Ketu-Ikosi road, Lagos.

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