An Ideal Father
Written on: December 4th, 2008 with additions made on 13th November,2009.
My father was a truly amazing parent and Muslim…I know this may be seem like a biased statement, but let me explain why I feel this way…
As his kids growing up he always use to say “I want you all to be better Muslims than I am. Whatever I do, I want my children to be even better at it, I want you all to learn Arabic, learn as much as you can about your religion and share this knowledge with your parents and this is what brings true joy to your mother’s heart and my heart”
He always encourages us, even as we are adults now and pushes us to be better. He never tried to keep us backward in our Islam, never prevented us or was competitive with us. He never keeps us feeling like children our whole lives. Never makes us feel like we’ll never be ‘mature enough’ to make our own decisions as a lot of parents do today.
A lot of parents today try to keep their children UNDER them at all times in both maturity and piety. They never push their kids to be the best that they can be islamically and refuse to take knowledge from people younger than them; mostly out of pride and a distorted version of what ‘respect’ and ‘living well with one another’ really means as a Muslim.
Discipline-wise, I remember my father always telling us ‘If you can train a dog, you can train a child, because children are supposed to be the more intelligent species!” I know that statement may seem funny. But it’s not that he was comparing us to dogs or putting us on par with them. It just that we had dogs in our yard growing up and he was excellent at controlling them, training them & creating the ultimate watch-dog (for security purposes & protecting his family). So if the dogs can sit when you say “Sit!”, and behave when you say “Stop!”, why can’t the ‘more intelligent’ human child do it?? Simple logic…As you can see now today, children are the ones treating their parents like dogs and behaving as if they are their masters. Due to this belief, my father never lost control with us…we never raised our voice to him, never had the disrespect to answer back with ‘wise-chats’.
As for maintaining control, there was a time where he heard of a son who has threatened his parents to kill himself if he didn’t get what he wanted. I remember my father coming to us that day and saying casually, “If any one of my children did that to me, if any one of them threatened to kill themselves just to get what they wanted, I will simply ask them what size rope they wanted and how much gramoxone”. So we never even bothered to think about this form of attack, he nipped it right in the bud! We both feared and loved him. This is the perfect analogy of how we should view Allah(swt). Yes we must love Him, but we must also fear Him in the sense that we would be afraid to breech the restrictions and rulings He has placed on us as His servants.
I love my parents so very much for the way they have raised us. They continue to show us patience, respect and selflessness and are always willing to learn more about their religion; even if the knowledge was coming from us (their kids who are younger than they are). They are beautiful people and May Allah(swt) continue to bless them for their efforts and accept their hajj which was performed last year…Ameen.
“”May Allah(swt) give us the strength and ability well need to be strong and productive parents…Ameen”