The appropriate upbringing of a child is one of the most important roles of any Muslim family. They represent our future as a nation and the Muslim community as a whole. The parents are raising tomorrow’s generation.  The children spend with their family almost the whole day so the family regards the source of the ultimate education. The children observe the parents’ actions, behavior, gestures, and body language.

 As a result, the parents have to be good role models for their children because they are another version of this human being. We have to make sure that this version is the best version of ourselves. We have to understand that children observe and absorb. If you can be a good role model for your children, you will contribute effectively to their physical, mental, and most importantly spiritual well-being. As a parent, you have to always insist on acting as a source of inspiration and motivation for your children.

In our holy religion Islam, there is a great assertion on the importance of raising children through a good role model. The prophet Muhammad peace be upon him is regarding our ultimate and the best role model for ourselves as apparent and children too.  

The Prophet ﷺ said, “Beware. Every one of you is a shepherd and everyone is answerable about his flock. The Caliph is a shepherd over the people and shall be questioned about his subjects (as to how he conducted their affairs). A man is a guardian over the members of his family and shall be questioned about them (as to how he looked after their physical and moral well-being). A woman is a guardian over the household of her husband and his children and shall be questioned about them (as to how she managed the household and brought up the children). ……” (Sahih Muslim).

It is our duty to educate and protect them as they grow into adults who can face the community with their deeply rooted good manners and values. The prophet Muhammad peace be upon him was a true role model who translate Islam’s values and principles into the real world.  

Indeed, in the Messenger of Allah you have an excellent example for whoever has hope in Allah and the Last Day, and remembers Allah often.

Allah Almighty said in the Holy Qur’an

Indeed, in the Messenger of Allah you have an excellent example for whoever has hope in Allah and the Last Day, and remembers Allah often.

Surah Al-Ahzab: 21

Yazid ibn Yabnus said, “We went to ‘A’isha and said, ‘Umm al-Mu’minin, what was the character of the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, like?’ She replied, ‘His character was the Qur’an.

In raising a child, shall we only pay attention to worldly education and neglect religious education? The answer is an absolute ” NO”. Religious education is considered the most crucial aspect we have to learn about. It’s not a matter of choice. Allah created us on this earth to worship him through religion.

Religion shows the way to better life here and hereafter, ultimately the most important part.  The religious parts, have to be fully aware of Beliefs, in God, the prophet Muhammad, the Hereafter, Morals, etc….

Situations from the life of the prophet Muhammad peace be upon him ( Siraah) shows the importance and the impact of good role models:

-Getting married to the wife of an adopted son:

The tradition of adoption was deeply rooted among Arabs before Islam. They used to treat the adopted son as their real sons. They forbid getting married to his wife because how come the father gets married to his son’s wife?  It was not acceptable for them and no one dares to act differently. When Islam came and prohibited adoption, and wanted to uproot the traces of ignorance from the souls of Muslims; the prophet peace be upon him was having an adopted son name Zaid. Was married to a woman and got divorced. So, by the Arabs’ rule, it could never happen to get married to his ex-wife. However, the prophet peace be upon him was ordered to marry Zainab bint Jahsh who was the wife of Zaid bin Haritha, who was adopted by the prophet –peace be upon him and his name was Zaid bin Muhammad to be a good role model for everyone who followed Allah orders without hesitation besides setting the new rules of Islam with a good practical example. 

Thus, Allah – the Almighty – invalidated the pre-Islamic effects of adoption “by the Prophet – peace be upon him Zaid bin Haritha and the daughter of his paternal aunt Zainab bint Jahsh; to be a strong practical lesson, in achieving and implementing what Allah – almighty – commanded – no matter what was your desire and passion, and whatever the effects and results.

This is the case of the believer always with Allah – Almighty – and His commands; He hears and obeys and responds, whether he wants that or not, whether the community around him agrees or not, whether people are pleased with his action or not!! The matter is first and foremost for Allah Almighty.”

Allah Almighty said in the Holy Quran

And ˹remember, O  Prophet,˺ when you said to the one1 for whom Allah has done a favour and you ˹too˺ have done a favour,2 “Keep your wife and fear Allah,” while concealing within yourself what Allah was going to reveal. And ˹so˺ you were considering the people, whereas Allah was more worthy of your consideration. So when Zaid totally lost interest in ˹keeping˺ his wife, We gave her to you in marriage, so that there would be no blame on the believers for marrying the ex-wives of their adopted sons after their divorce. And Allah’s command is totally binding.


The benefits of role models in raising children:

A good role model brings great educational benefits in bringing up young children, including:

  • Achieving psychological discipline and behavioral balance for the child.
  • When a child has a good role model close to perfection, because no one is perfect, in all aspects (moral, religious, cultural, and political); it raises in oneself self-admiration and love.

Children watch closely their parents, and they are affected by their behavior without realizing it! Perhaps a deed – which neither the father nor the mother pays attention to – would be a great deal for the son.

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