|Ramadan Parenting Challenge 2014|
And those who believe and do righteous good deeds, they are dwellers of Paradise, they will dwell therein forever. (Qur’an 2:82)
Allah has promised Paradise to the righteous. So how do you become righteous? You do what Allah tells you to do and keep away from what He has forbidden: Prophet Muhammad (s) said, “…the righteous man is he who fears Allah, obeys His Orders and keeps away from what He has forbidden. (Bukhari, 60:39)
Righteousness is also about being truthful: The Prophet (s) said, "Truthfulness leads to righteousness, and righteousness leads to Paradise. And a man keeps on telling the truth until he becomes a truthful person. Falsehood leads to Al-Fajur (i.e. wickedness, evil-doing), and Al-Fajur (wickedness) leads to the (Hell) Fire, and a man may keep on telling lies till he is written before Allah, a liar." (Narrated by Abdullah in Bukhari 73:116)
Righteousness is to give charity but not just giving anything. It is giving the thing that you love most. Allah says in the Qur’an: By no means shall you attain righteousness unless you spend (in charity) of that which you love." (3:92)
These days, when some charity asks for clothing donations you might go through your old clothes and give the clothes that you don’t like anymore. Or you might go through your children’s old toys to donate the ones they don’t play with anymore. To be righteous though, you would need to give your best piece of clothing or your children’s most favourite toy.
The Companions used to practice immediately what Allah revealed to the Prophet (s). When the ayah about righteousness and charity was revealed Abu Talha immediately gave his most beloved possession – his date palm garden. It was the best garden in Medina with the largest number of trees and opposite to the Prophet’s mosque. Abu Talha said, “O Allah's Apostle, Allah says: “By no means shall you attain righteousness unless you spend (in charity) of that which you love” and the most beloved of my property to me is the Bairuha garden, so I give it (as a charitable gift) in Allah's Cause and hope to receive good out of it, and to have it stored for me with Allah. So, O Allah's Apostle! Dispose it of (i.e. utilize it) in the way Allah orders you (to dispose it of).” Allah's Apostle said, “Bravo! That is a fruitful property! That is a fruitful property! I have heard what you have said and I think that you should distribute that (garden) amongst your relatives.” So Abu Talha distributed that garden amongst his relatives and his cousins. (Narrated Anas bin Malik in Bukhari 60:76)
Not many people can do that. This is what you need to keep in mind the next time you give something away to charity. Ask yourself, “What’s the best thing that I have?” Teach this to your children by asking them to donate their most loved toy – not the broken one or the one that’s not played with anymore but the most beloved.
At the moment my children aren’t into branded clothing (hopefully they stay this way as I don’t teach them to value branded clothing) but I know there are many teenagers who are. I know this will be a challenge for you as it would be difficult to get your teenager to let go. But if you can do this then your child will be less materialistic and on the way to becoming righteous.
One more thing that you could do is to make dua (supplication) for a righteous child. This is the dua of Prophet Ibrahim: O my Lord! Grant me a righteous (son). (Qur’an, 37:100)
Challenge for today is to:
- Obey Allah.
- Be truthful.
- Give something that you love the most away to charity.
- Get your children to select their most favourite toy or clothing to give away to charity.
- Make dua for a righteous child.
Do these and continue to do them throughout Ramadan.