Role of parents towards their children in a society that does not help in raising children properly A very common problem seen in youth in western countries is that their parents allow them to indulge in some form of haram in the hope that that will stop them from committing worse haram. An example of this is that parents will say that they allow their children to indulge in music in the hope that that will stop them from going out with bad people or leaving their home all together. Parents are afraid that if they enforce the law of Allah in their homes, that their children will leave. What is Islam’s position on this sort of compromise? Some parents also say that they only have the duty to tell their children something is haram, and then their children have to choose for themselves because they are already young adults (i.e. 13 -18 yrs old and unmarried, living at home). Don’t the parents have to forbid haram by all means, or do they just say that is haram and then leave them be? To what extent do parents have to go to forbid their children from haram? Parents also believe that once their children reach the age of puberty they are no longer responsible for their sins or actions, and so say they will have no sin if they advise their children something is haram and then leave them. Is this true? Or do parents always have the responsibility of forbidding their children from haram, and will they be responsible if they see their children doing haram and just leave them after advising them?. Praise be to Allaah.
The success or failure of the Muslim in raising his children depends on a variety of factors, which undoubtedly includes the environment in which they live, which plays a major role in the success or failure of that upbringing. Please see the answer to question no. 52893.
The parents have to understand that Allaah has given them responsibility over their children, and they have to fulfil the trust as Allaah has enjoined in the Qur’aan. The Sunnah also confirms this command in many saheeh ahaadeeth. The texts of the Revelation also warn the one who does not look after his flock sincerely and who neglects the trust with which Allaah has entrusted him. It was narrated that Ma’qil ibn Yasaar al-Muzani said: I heard the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) say: “There is no person whom Allaah puts in charge of others, and when he dies he is insincere to his subjects, but Allaah will forbid Paradise to him.” According to another report: “… and he is insincere towards them, but he will not smell the fragrance of Paradise.” Narrated by al-Bukhaari (6731) and Muslim (142). See the answer to question no. 20064.
Allaah has enjoined those who are in charge of children to raise them from when they are very small to obey Allaah and love Islam. Even though they are not accountable because they have not reached puberty, one should not wait until puberty to teach them, guide them and tell them to obey Allaah, because in most cases at that age (i.e. puberty) they will not respond unless they have been brought up in this manner and have learned it from their families since a young age. Hence parents are enjoined to teach young children how to pray from the age of seven and to smack them if they do not pray when they are ten. The Sahaabah used to make their young children fast, so as to get them used to loving Islam and its rituals, so that it would be easy for them to follow its commands and keep away from the things it forbids when they grow up. It was narrated that ‘Abd-Allaah ibn ‘Amr said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Teach your children to pray when they are seven years old, and smack them if they do not do so when they are ten, and separate them in their beds.” Abu Dawood (495), classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh Abi Dawood. It was narrated that al-Rubayyi’ bint Mu’awwidh...