|Ramadan Parenting Challenge 2014|
And spend (in charity) of that with which We have provided you before death comes to one of you, and he says: "My Lord! If only You would give me respite for a little while (i.e. return to the worldly life), then I should give Sadaqah (i.e. Zakat ) of my wealth, and be among the righteous [i.e. perform Hajj (pilgrimage to Makkah) and other good deeds]. (Qur’an, 63:10)
We are told numerous times by Allah and Prophet Muhammad (s) to be generous and spend in charity as this is a characteristic of a Muslim. Prophet Muhammad (s) was habitually generous but he was more so during Ramadan. Ibn Abbas reported that: The Messenger of Allah was the most generous of people. He was especially generous in the month of Ramadan when (angel) Gabriel visited him and reviewed the Qur’an with him every night during the month of Ramadan. The Prophet used to recite the Qur'an to Gabriel, and when Gabriel met him, he used to be more generous than a fast wind (which causes rain and welfare). (Bukhari & Muslim 2308)
In Ramadan, it is important that you are especially generous as well. Be generous to everybody: your family, the neighbours, fellow Muslims and those who fast. Prophet Muhammad (s) said, “Whoever feeds a fasting person he will have the same reward like him, without there being a reduction in the reward of the one who is fasting.”
Being generous to your family means that you spend on them. Narrated Aisha: Hind bint 'Utba (Abu Sufyan's wife) came and said, "O Allah's Apostle! Abu Sufyan is a miser. Is there any harm if I spend something from his property for our children?" He said, “There is no harm for you if you feed them from it justly and reasonably (with no extravagance)." (Bukhari 43:640) But remember that generous does not mean extravagance and over-indulgence as these lead to spoilt and arrogant children. If you give children everything they demand then they grow up thinking that everything is their right.
Being generous also means that you give of yourself: your time, love and affection. Some parents are miserly in this area. They need to learn to give freely without expecting anything back. This is unconditional love. When children are young they love you to bits but as they grow older they seem to grow distant as well (if you don’t nurture your relationship throughout their growing years). This is difficult for parents who tend to withdraw their own love. This is counter-productive as the tumultuous teenage years are a time that they need your love and support. At the same time this does not mean you become their personal slave and fulfill their every wish. Strike the right balance.
Also, by being generous to your children you are demonstrating how to be generous to others. When you give freely of your love, you will find that they will in turn give back freely. I think this is a principle of the universe: the more you give the more you receive. Certainly this is true when you give in charity because Allah has promised that you will receive what you have spent in return. “And whatever you spend in good, it will be repaid to you in full, and you shall not be wronged.” (2:272)
Challenge for today is to:
- Have a generous nature.
- Be a generous parent by giving of yourself unconditionally.
Do these and continue to do them throughout Ramadan.