This article is a summary of takeaways from Ustaz Dr Mohamed Fatris Bakaram’s Tafsir Lecture at Darul Makmur Mosque on 24th November 2019.
Lessons from the Life of Prophet Yahya based on the Tafsir of Surah Maryam [19:12-15].
In the previous verses of Surah Maryam, Allah SWT narrated to us the story of Prophet Zakariya AS, who at old age, was still childless. He had supplicated to Allah for an offspring to continue his legacy- an offspring which is pleasing to Allah. Allah SWT answered Prophet Zakariya AS’s supplications by giving him glad tidings of a son named Yahya AS. The following verses of Surah Maryam introduces us to the qualities of a child that is pleasing to Allah SWT.
Eight Qualities to Instil in a Child
“O Yahya, take the Scripture with determination.”
And We gave him judgement [while yet] a boy. [19:12]
Teach your child to distinguish goodness from evil. Once this foundation has been laid, teach him to be firm in holding onto these principles. As a parent, be uncompromising and hold yourself accountable to stand for what’s right.
Ensure that your child grows up loving and seeking knowledge. Emphasise the importance of learning and prioritise your children’s education. Do this in the hopes that they may grow up guided by wisdom and knowledge and not led astray by ignorance.
And compassion from Our presence, and purity; and he was God-fearing, [19:13]
Empower your child to live a life driven by compassion towards others, by ensuring that you live a life of kindness. Emulate Prophet Muhammad SAW- the ultimate example of mercy and kindness to all- in your life.
Strive to raise a child who is clean and free from impurities. A child should grow up with a heart free from hatred and ill-will, and speech that is pleasing to others and free from vulgarities.
5) Having Taqwa
Instil Taqwa, meaning the fear of Allah, in your child’s heart, based off the love for Him SWT. A child with Taqwa grows up being aware of the presence of Allah throughout his life, always striving always for His pleasure.
And dutiful toward his parents. And he was not arrogant, rebellious. [19:14]
6) Dutifulness towards Parents
Inculcate compassion and kindness in service towards the parents in your child by demonstrating what it is like to be loving and stay connected to your own parents.
7) Not Arrogant
Ensure that your child grows up treating others as equals. Be someone who does not look down on others so that your child may not grow up thinking that he must be better than others to be accepted.
8) Not Rebellious
Lastly, ensure that your child has a good temperament. Be someone who does not make it a habit to protest and fight against others.
Living a life guided by these qualities
Peace be upon him the day he was born, and the day of his death,
and the day he will be raised back to life! [19:15]
Life in this temporary world is a series of incidents in which we impact others and are impacted by others. A life lived exemplifying the 8 characteristics of Prophet Yahya AS, is a life that is pleasing to Allah and a life lived in peace and tranquillity.
A person who lives this life for his own desires, lives with an empty heart- he is alive but not truly living. He will live a life feeling tired in this world and will not receive peace in the world of the grave. In the hereafter, what remains for him is only punishment and suffering- he will be alive but not living. We ask Allah for protection from such a life.
In contrast, a person who lives his life for Allah, experiences a life that is energised and empowered- he is both alive and living. Such a life is one in which Allah continues a person’s legacy through his children even after his death. Likewise, his grandchildren will carry on the same legacy even after their parents’ deaths. What an amazing life to aspire to have!
Parenthood is a lifelong commitment that extends even after the children have children of their own. As a parent, your job is to advise, support and guide your children as they grow up to become honourable servants of Allah- servants who have these eight qualities. In raising and educating them, remember that your children are watching and learning from your every move. The person you are in your interactions with people around you sets an example for your children that they will aspire to become.
Therefore, the best way to instil children with excellent character, is to strive to perfect your own character. It is essential to work with your spouse to put into practice and instil these characteristics in your children. Stand strong despite the difficulty of this task. Make continuous supplication asking Allah for ease in your efforts. Know that Allah SWT will make possible what is seemingly impossible.
May Allah grant us and our offspring the ability to put into action these eight qualities and to live surrounded by peace and blessings in all stages of our existence- in life, in death and in the hereafter.
Summary by: Arina Adom
Arina Adom is a lover of learning who takes on the world with an open mind. Resourceful and adaptable, always ready to take on new challenges. Comfortable working with diverse groups of people, yet able to work independently. Thrives under pressure. Currently seeking a meaningful career that enables me to impact lives directly and bring about positive changes in the lives of others in the community.
Arina graduated with a degree in Science ( Hons ), Life Science from NUS and is currently a Research Assistant at Evolutionary Biology Lab ( NUS ). She is currently taking a diploma in Quran and Sunnah Studies from Al Zuhri.
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