Taking Good Care of Children: The Parents as Role Models, By Imam Murtada Gusau

First Sermon:

In the name of Allah, the compassionate, the merciful

All praise is due to Allah as is befitting to Him. I bear witness that there is no deity save Allah, having no partners and any associates and that Muhammad is His servant and Messenger. May the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, his family, his companions, and all those who live like them till the Day of Resurrection.

As to what follows,

My respected brothers and sisters, I call upon myself first and all of you to be ever conscious and do construct our lives in accordance to what Allah, the Almighty, has ordered us as He says,

“O you, who have believed, fear Allah. And let every soul look to what it has put forth for tomorrow – and fear Allah. Indeed, Allah is acquainted with all what you do.” (Surah Al Hashr: 18)

O Muslims, O my respected people, know that,

Islam has laid solid foundations that ensure happiness for all mankind, and ordered justice, good conduct and giving. For example, it (Islam) devotes great care to family and children, and appoints the parents to assume this responsibility. This would involve nursing children and catering for their needs like providing food, clothes, good training/upbringing and safety. In this regard, Allah, the Almighty, says:

“Mothers may breastfeed their children two complete years for whoever wishes to complete the nursing [period]. Upon the father are the mother’s provision and their clothing according to what is acceptable. No person is charged with more than his capacity. No mother should be harmed through her child, and no father through his child. And upon the [father’s] heir is [a duty] like that [of the father].” (Surah Al Baqara: 233)

In the same regard, our beloved Prophet (PBUH) highlighted that; child rearing responsibility should lie with parents, for he said:

“Every one of you is a guardian and is responsible for his charge; the man is a guardian in his family and responsible for his charges: a woman is a guardian of her husband’s house and responsible for her charges.”

Part of this responsibility is to show kindness to children for which our Master Muhammad (pbuh) was a good example. Anas Ibn Malik, May Allah be pleased with him, described him:

“I have never seen anyone more kind to one’s family than Allah’s Messenger (May peace be upon him).”

No wonder then that he Prophet (Pbuh) was keen on treating children fairly when he said, “fear Allah, and observe equity in case of your children.” He himself would condemn, for example, anyone who might give a kiss to his son and deny the same to his daughter. It was reported that a father was sitting with the Prophet (Pbuh) when a son of him came. He seated him on his lap and kissed him. After a while his daughter also came. But he only seated her beside him. Thereupon, the Prophet (Pbuh) said, “You did not act in equity between them.” Allah’s Apostle (Pbuh) also laid great stress on orphans’ welfare by showing its merits and the great reward associated with it. On this matter, he (Pbuh) said, “I and the one who looks after an orphan will be like this in Paradise,” showing his middle and index fingers.

Dear fathers and mothers,

By Allah, taking good care of children is a great responsibility. Therefore to ensure we undertake it successfully, it is imperative that we treat children kindly and delicately according to the educational principles set by our beloved Prophet (Pbuh). He said:

“For if gentleness is found in anything, it beautifies it and when it is taken out from anything it damages it.”

This calls for avoiding treating children harshly as mentioned in the following Hadith. It was narrated that a Bedouin came to the Prophet (Pbuh) and said:

“You (people) kiss the boys! We don’t kiss them.” Then the Prophet (Pbuh) said to him, “I cannot put mercy in your heart after Allah has taken it away from it.”

An alternative to this, of course, is to carefully educating them and gently guiding them, which is a more efficient strategy in the long term. Our Master Muhammad (pbuh) used to teach Abullah Ibn Abbas, while he was still a kid, by telling him: “O boy! I will instruct you in some matters. Be watchful of Allah (Commandments of Allah), He will preserve and protect you. Safeguard His Rights; He will be ever with you. If you beg, beg of Him Alone; and if you need assistance, supplicate to Allah alone for help.”

What is more, as parents, we need to watch over our children’s behaviours, look into their needs, and see which type of friends they have so that we can guide them to choose the good company. Our Guide, Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said, “A man follows the religion and behaviours of his friend; so each one should consider whom he makes his friend.”

We need also a check which kind of content they follow via various media including the social networking websites on the internet and other applications available through smart phones, especially at this time of fast-changing technology. To achieve all of this, it is crucial that we avoid using violence, speaking obscene words, or abusing children in any form whatsoever. Indeed, Allah’s Apostle (Pbuh) never used bad language. He used to say, “The best amongst you are those who have the best manners and character.”

Dear Muslims, My respected people,

May Allah bless you and me with the ability to implement the Noble Qur’an and Sunnah of His Messenger Muhammad peace be upon him. I say my words and pray to Allah, the Almighty, to grant us forgiveness. Supplicate to Allah for forgiveness for He is the most forgiving and the most merciful.

Second Sermon:

All praise is to Allah with full gratitude for His blessings and bounties. We are thankful to you, O Allah for the gift of children. I bear witness that there is no god but Allah, and I bear witness that our master Muhammad (Pbuh), the servant and Messenger of Allah, is the noblest of all mankind, the perfect role model. May the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, his family, his companions, and all those who follow them till the Day of Judgment.

O respected believers,

I urge myself first and all of you servants of Allah, to fear Allah, keep your duty to Him, and obey Him as the Exalted says in the Noble Qur’an; “And fear Allah, and know that Allah is with the pious.” (2:194)

O respected Muslims,

Allah, the Exalted, showered us with the blessings of having children, and made them our happiness in this life, as Allah says:

“Wealth and children are the adornment of the life of this world.” (15:46).

Children are the gift of Allah, the Exalted, and a trust (Amana) to parents. The responsibility of educating them well and caring for them is placed upon the parents. If we instill in them the good ethics and Islamic values, they will be the driving force for a purposeful life and for their contribution to the betterment of their communities and nations. Conversely, good parenting, you will be rewarded for good parenting when you need your children’s good treatment and care in health or in illness, when you are young or old, and their supplication after passing away as Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said:

“When a man dies, his good deeds come to an end except for three: an ongoing charity, beneficial knowledge or a righteous child who will pray for him.”

Indeed, a continuous charity is an investment for afterlife, beneficial knowledge is the charity (sadaqa) of Islamic scholars and Islamic leaders only, as for a righteous child it is a successful investment that all mothers and fathers can achieve. Think deeply about the importance of a righteous child which is emphasized in the previous Hadith, the best investment in this world is to have a righteous child who strengthen kinship and supplicate Allah for the sake of his parents. May Allah accept the supplications of all children ameen.

O respected Servants of Allah,

The most important factors that we must instill also in our children is the adherence to the Divine Book, the love of the Prophet (pbuh) and following his righteous life and behaviours, and understanding the true and proper meanings of Islam. Islam is a religion which calls for moderation, abhors division, disunity and disputes, and denounces sectarianism and fanaticism. Islam spreads Goodness throughout the world and respects the rights of all creatures. It is important to note, dear parents, that you are role models for your children. Your behaviour will influence your children’s attitudes. So let us be models for good and righteousness. The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) was very kind to children and loved them very much. It was narrated that Abdullah Ibn Amir (may Allah be pleased with him) said:

“My mother called me one day when the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) was sitting in our house. She said ‘Come here, and I will give you (something). ‘The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said; “What do you want to give him? She said I will give him a date.’ The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said: “If you had not given him something, you would have been lying.”

Muslims understood the seriousness of the role models their children had. Amr Ibn Utbah, May Allah have mercy on him, advised his son’s teacher:

“Let the first correction you do to my son be the correction of yourself. Verily, their eyes are locked into yours. Good to them is what you do, even if it is bad. And bad to them is what you do not do, even if it is good.”

Children do not learn by being told, they learn by example. Parents, who show good conduct, become role models and their children will grow up having good values. If you want your children to abide by the Divine Saying: “And those who strictly guard their five congregational prayers (at their fixed times).” (23:9) make it a practice to perform congregational prayers (jamaa’a) with them and to pray together in the mosque.

Raising one’s children with the ability to face life’s challenges and problems and have a positive view on life entails that we, as parents, be optimistic and has a good outlook on life issues. Teach your children to reach to Allah through supplications, and to accept His destiny (QADA WAL QADAR). In this life, your children will encounter calamities and joyful times, so teach them that believers must endure and be patient in times of distress and be grateful (to Allah) in joy and happiness.

My respected people, know that,

Also in order to instill love for one’s country and homeland in your children, you have to be the correct role model who contributes in the development and building of your country, protecting its valuable achievements, encouraging education, knowledge and earning the highest grades, especially in modern science so as to enhance their capabilities and their ability to cope with modern life. Children must play efficient roles in developing and protecting their countries. All the great achievements we are enjoying today are the legacy of four forefathers. So we must, therefore, be eager to follow on their footsteps by enhancing this development and preserving prosperity for generations to come.

My respected people you also remember, with the blessed day of Eid ul Adha just around the corner, the best gift you can give to your children and to your family in this blessed festivity if possible is your TIME! May Allah help us ameen.

My respected people,

Please obey Allah and know that to best educate our children we should do it ourselves and rely less on others. So for their good education, we need to strengthen in them our most beautiful values, good manners, noble norms and authentic traditions, and teach them the virtues of giving, hospitality, respect for the elderly, respect for the leaders, goodly word, compassion, tolerance and sincere love for our nation and country.

Truly, these are the greatest Islamic values that our society has inherited from our fathers and grandfathers, ones that strengthen the bonds of love between members of the community. Sayyidah Khadija may Allah be pleased with her, was right when she addressed the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) saying:

“Never! by Allah, Allah will never disgrace you. Because you keep good relations with your kith and kin, you help the poor and the destitute, you serve your guests generously and assist the deserving calamity-afflicted ones.”


My good and too respected people,

With deep of mourning and a great sadness, we are extending our condolence for the demised of one of our leaders, and our father, Alhaji Tijjani Hashim, Galdiman Kano, who died Monday, September 29, 2014, in Abuja at the age of 79. May Allah swt in his infinite mercy make Jannatul Firdauws to be his last abode, ameen.

And also our indescribable condolence goes to the Nigerian Muslims leader, the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammad Saad Abubakar III , and to the Emir of Kano, Alhaji Muhammadu Sanusi II, the Kano state Emirate Council, the Kano state Government, the Galadima family, the people of Kano State and the Nigerians in General. May Allah swt give the family of Galadima and us the Fortitude to bear the irreparable and irreplaceable lost ameen. May the Almighty also forgive his shortcomings, sins and failings ameen.

Dear Muslims, know that,

Allah has commanded you and me with an order to which He and His angels are both committed, when He says, “Allah and his angels send blessings on the Prophet: O you that believe! Also Send blessings on him, and salute him with all respect” (Al Ahzab: 56)

Also the Prophet (Pbuh) said, “For everyone who invokes a blessing on me will receive ten blessings from Allah.” May the peace and the blessings of Allah be upon our Master Muhammad (pbuh), his family and all his companions. May Allah be pleased with the Rightly Guided Caliphs and all those who will follow them in righteousness till the Day of Judgment.

O Allah, we seek your favour to let our hearts be full of your gratitude and keep our tongue moist with your remembrance. May Allah bless us with good provision, accepted work, well-being in mind and body and blessed living life and progeny. O Allah guide us to know what is good, make us benefit from what we have learnt, and increase our knowledge and understanding.

O Allah, Give us piety and purify our souls. You are Master and the Lord of souls. O Sustainer, amend our intentions, grant that our spouses and our offspring be a joy to our eyes and make success be an ally to us. O Allah, give us the blessed rain and do not make us among the despondent. O Allah relieves us, O Allah, relieve us, O Allah, relieve us.

O Allah, we implore you at this instant not to let a sin unforgiving, a distress unrelieved, an illness unhealed or a handicapped without relief, a deaf without mercy or a debt unsettled. Our Lord, give us in this world that which is good and in the Hereafter that which is good, and save us from the torment of the Fire.

O Allah, forgives all of the Muslims, men and women, living and dead, and makes blessings follow us and them. O Lord, forgive and show mercy, You are the Ever Merciful and there is no strength or power save with Allah, the High, the Great.

We pray to Allah, the Most Gracious, to continue blessing our great country Nigeria, all Muslim countries, all Nigerians and all good people with safety and security.

O Allah, make us of the people of the Qur’an. O Allah makes us amongst those who practice what they learn, read and recite. O Allah makes us of the followers of the hadith of the noble Prophet (pbuh).

O Servant of Allah,

Remember Allah and He will remember you. Be grateful for His benevolence He will increase His blessings to you. Allah, the Most High, says:

“And establish regular Prayer; for Prayer restrains from shameful and unjust deeds; and remembrance of Allah is the greatest (thing in life) without doubt. And Allah knows the (deeds) that you do.” (Al Ankaboot: 45)

May Allah help us obey Him and those whom He has ordained us to obey. Finally, my respected people know that,

Anything good I have said in my today’s khutbah (sermon) is from Allah the Al-mighty, and any mistakes are my own and we seek refuge in Allah from giving wrong advice and from all forms of calamities and fitnah. And I ask Allah’s forgiveness if I stepped beyond bounds in anything I said or I do.

Wishing you a happy, successful, and peaceful Sallah in advance.

This khutbah (Friday sermon) was prepared for delivery today (Jumu’at) Dhul-Hijjah 9, (Arafat Day) 1435 A.H (October 3, 2014), by Imam Murtada Muhammad Gusau, the chief Imam of Nagazi Jumu’at Mosque, Okene, Kogi State Nigeria. He can be reached via 08038289761 and [email protected]