A young woman once told me, “I just want my children to be from the sajideen (those who regularly prostrate to God and surrender their affairs to Him).” It was such a simple yet profound statement that has a lingering effect on me till today.

Too often we make our children the central focus of our lives, to the point where everything we do is for them and them alone. We live in a world today where mothers are overly occupied with trying to indulge their children and keep them happy, to the point where we sometimes fall into the trap of living for them, forgetting that they are gifts from God and a means for us to get closer to Him.

Our children are not with us to simply bring us joy and laughter, and we are not here for them to only bring them joy and laughter. Although we should aim to instill happiness in our children’s hearts, as the Prophet (PBUH) taught us, our ultimate goal in raising our kids should be solely for our Creator, so that they could be among His pious servants and of those who return to their Maker with a sound heart.

إِنَّمَا أَمْوَالُكُمْ وَأَوْلَادُكُمْ فِتْنَةٌ وَاللَّهُ عِندَهُ أَجْرٌ عَظِيمٌ

Your wealth and your children are indeed a trial; Yet with God there is a great reward.

فَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ مَا اسْتَطَعْتُمْ وَاسْمَعُوا وَأَطِيعُوا وَأَنفِقُوا خَيْرًا لِّأَنفُسِكُمْ وَمَن يُوقَ شُحَّ نَفْسِهِ فَأُولَٰئِكَ هُمُ الْمُفْلِحُونَ

So keep your duty to God and fear Him as much as you can; listen and obey; and spend in charity, that is better for yourselves. And whosoever is saved from his own desire and greed, then they are the successful ones {Quran 64: 15-16}.

Read these two verses in Surah Altaghabun. God is affirming to us in this chapter and in many other chapters of the Quran that, in fact, our children are a test for us. They are not here to simply bring us pleasure. Have we given them the tools they need to be of the Sajideen? If we truly want our kids to know God and go back to Him for their problems once we are no longer here, then what are we doing for them now that will make that a reality?

The second verse is key to our life as parents. God says to fear Him and keep our duty to Him as much as we can. The words ما استطعتم (as much as you can) are essential to mothers who are struggling and trying to make the best out of their children, day after day, night after night. Mothers are overwhelmed with duties for their children and more than that, worry about whether they have done the right thing for the right reason. Here is God assuring you, telling you not to worry, do what you can. Remember God, the One who granted you your children, yet how often? As much as you possibly can. Only God knows the extent of the load we are carrying, and perhaps this is why He added those two words that add so much meaning and concern in this verse.

After God has shown you His concern, He now gives you a solution to how to raise your children while living for Him and not your children alone. He says, “Listen, Obey, and Give.” Take a moment out of your day and listen to God’s words. On your way picking up your children from school, listen to the Quran, listen to beneficial lectures that remind you of God and his words. Obey his commandments. Don’t divert from the straight path, even in the smallest way. Raise your children according to God’s rules, not yours. And finally, give. Give your time, money, energy, and attention. A mother in her nature is giving, yet the ways she can give are endless. God is telling you to keep giving, and teach your children to give as well. Be selfless. For he who gives and overcomes the love of himself will be of those who are successful   وَمَن يُوقَ شُحَّ نَفْسِهِ فَأُولَٰئِكَ هُمُ الْمُفْلِحُونَ

When you raise your kids for God as if it’s your duty toward Him, then that is when you will be successful. God ends the verse so beautifully as He gives us the tools on how to succeed as parents and as servants to Him. May we be of those who listen to His words and implement them, and may He make us all successful parents.

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Samia Mubarak is Layali’s Deen & Spirituality blogger. She is from Panama City, Fla. and currently resides in Charlotte, N.C. She has a bachelor’s degree in Professional Communication with a minor in Psychology from Florida State University. She recently completed the memorization of the Quran and writes personal Quranic Reflections on her blog www.myquranicreflections.blogspot.com. She is a wife, and mother of one.

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Advice, Parenting, Spirituality

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