In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful
On behalf of His Eminence, the Religious Authority, Sayyed Muhammad Hussein Fadlullah, His Eminence, Sayyed Ali Fadlullah, delivered the two Friday prayer sermons, at the Imamain Al-Hassanain Mosque, Rabi' II, 3rd 1431 H. - March, 19th 2010. Several prominent religious scholars, dignitaries and thousands of believers attended the Jumu’a prayer.
The role of propaganda
Allah says in His Glorious Book: "O you who believe! Save yourselves and your families from a fire whose fuel is men and stones; over it are angels stern and strong, they do not disobey Allah in what He commands them, and do as they are commanded." (66:06).
Nowadays, our children are facing big challenges at the level of their thought, faith, and morals, as a result of the negative ambiences spread by various media outlets. Actually, many satellite channels, websites, books, magazines, and ads, even in the field of games with their catchy style, are sparing no effort to spoil our children's personalities and make them deviate and go corrupt; thus, losing the big role awaiting them to make the best of the present and attain a better future.
We believe that facing this impasse requires hard and extensive efforts from all those concerned with education, by establishing, for example, institutions that are up to the challenge and capable of facing the other institutions that aim to deviate the youth, for guidance starts only where deviation exists.
The role of the family
However, when we fall short of providing these institutions with the same capabilities and attraction elements, or when we fail to establish them…the role of the family stands out, for it will remain as essential and vital as it is and include all its members (the father, the mother, the grandfather, the grandmother, the brother, the sister). The family represents a warm lap that embraces the children and protects them from any negative influences and guides them to the means that place them on the road to righteousness.
Quotes from the Quran and the Sunnah
The spread of the state of deviation is perhaps the result of the regression of the family from playing its educational and religious role and the fact that parents are neglecting their children and handing their role over to the media and communication means, or the school, or the environment the child is living in!
Thus, the Ayats and traditions came to confirm the role of the parents, by presenting role models and exemplars, for example, Allah presented Prophet Yaqoub (a.s.) to us as an exemplar of a believer who makes sure before his death that his children would remain on the path of faith and devotion: "Nay! Were you witnesses when death visited Yaqoub, when he said to his sons: What will you serve after me? They said: We will serve your god and the god of your fathers, Ibrahim and Ismail and Ishaq, one Allah only, and to Him do we submit." (02:133).
Allah also highlights the legacy Prophet Ibrahim (a.s.) and Prophet Yaqoub (a.s.) made sure to enjoin upon their children: "And the same did Ibrahim enjoin on his sons and (so did) Yaqoub. O my sons! Surely Allah has chosen for you (this) faith, therefore die not unless you are Muslims." (02:132).
Moreover, Allah, the Most Exalted, has immortalized in the Holy Quran the commandments Luqman has bequeathed to his son, emphasizing the fact that the father should follow up with his children in matters pertaining to their personal thought, faith, and social relations. The Quran also emphasizes that the role of the father should not be marginal or restricted to procuring money and providing for the requirements of living, for Allah says: "And when Luqman said to his son while he admonished him: O my son! Do not associate aught with Allah; most surely polytheism is a grievous iniquity," (31:13), and: "O my son! Keep up prayer and enjoin the good and forbid the evil, and bear patiently that which befalls you; surely these acts require courage;and do not turn your face away from people in contempt, nor go about in the land exulting overmuch; surely Allah does not love any self-conceited boaster." (31:17-18). The Holy Quran also pointed out to the supplication that the servants of Allah, the Most Beneficent, recite: "And they who say: O our Lord! grant us in our wives and our offspring the joy of our eyes, and make us guides to those who guard (against evil)." (25:74).
Actually, Imam Ali (a.s.) emphasized this point when he talked about how he regards his children, for he said: "I have not asked my lord for children with beautiful faces, nor for children with good figures, but rather I have asked my Lord for children who are obedient to Allah, who fear Him, so that when I look at him – one of my children – and he was obedient to Allah, my eye would be delighted."
We can notice how Islam made sure to call on parents to be present round-the-clock in their children's lives, warning them of the major dangers that might be the outcome of neglecting their children's faith and morals, so as to preserve themselves and avoid their wretched and dangerous destiny if their abode was Hellfire: "O you who believe! Save yourselves and your families from a fire whose fuel is men and stones; over it are angels stern and strong, they do not disobey Allah in what He commands them, and do as they are commanded." (66:06).
The Holy Quran considered that the real loss takes place when parents lose their children in the situations that determine their fate, for Allah says: "Serve then what you like besides Him. Say: The losers surely are those who shall have lost themselves and their families on the day of resurrection; now surely that is the clear loss." (39:15). This brings to light that there is no real gain if parents win their children in this world while being astray from Allah's satisfaction and straight path, for by this, they would actually be sacrificing Heaven that fills the skies and earth, and their abode will be in Hellfire where one faces Allah's wrath.
Negative impacts of negligence
The traditions of the Prophet (p.) and the Imams of the Members of the House have confirmed the negative impacts resulting from not paying high attention to the children's education in life's reality, for it was narrated that Imam Ali (a.s.) once said: "A bad son destroys all one's honor and disgraces his ancestors," and: "Allah's reward for a person even after his death is a good son who prays for him and ask for forgiveness on his behalf."
If they were good and righteous, their abode will be in: "Gardens of perpetual bliss: they shall enter there, as well as the righteous among their fathers, their spouses, and their offspring: and angels shall enter unto them from every gate (with the salutation): "Peace unto you for that ye persevered in patience! Now how excellent is the final home!" (13:23-24). It was narrated in a certain tradition that the believer continues to bequeath to his family members knowledge and good manners to make sure that their abode is in Heaven, and without losing any of them.
Starting at an early age
Therefore, one should shoulder his responsibility towards his children early on and before anyone else would step into their lives and play an unwanted role. Therefore, the Commander of the Faithful (a.s.) was very clear in his will to his son Al-Hassan (a.s.), on this matter, for he (a.s.) said: "Then, I have made use of early opportunities to educate you and train you before your mind loses its freshness, before it gets hardened or warped, before you start facing life unprepared for the encounter."
In a confirmation on the duty of education that parents have towards their children, Imam Zein Al-Abideen (a.s.) mentioned in his "Treatise on Rights": "The right of your child is that you should know that he is from you and will be ascribed to you, through both his good and his evil, in the immediate affairs of this world. You are responsible for what has been entrusted to you, such as educating him in good conduct (husn al-adab), pointing him in the direction of his Lord, and helping him to obey Him. So, act towards him with the action of one who knows that he will be rewarded for good doing toward him and punished for evildoing."
Children are Allah's trust
Dear beloved, all parents should be directly concerned with bringing up their children and not letting others mess up their minds and morals the way they feel like it, which requires maximum attention from them. Our children ought to be our core attention, not only in terms of their bodies, nutrition, and health, but also on the level of their thought, faith and future, as they would return to their Lord. So, as much as we strive hard for providing for them financially, we ought to exert every effort to build them a better future in this World and the Hereafter. Thus, this requires a healthy educational method that is based on guidelines and is not haphazard, for it is not sufficient to bring up our children, but rather what counts is how to bring them up.
Our children are Allah's trust we are commended with and we ought to preserve this trust so as not to be among those whom Allah addresses in His Book: "Surely We offered the trust to the heavens and the earth and the mountains, but they refused to be unfaithful to it and feared from it, and man has turned unfaithful to it; surely he is unjust, ignorant." (33:72). In a supplication by Imam Zein Al-Abideen (a.s.) to his son, he says: "O God, be kind to me through the survival of my children, setting them right for me, and allowing me to enjoy them!My God, make long their lives for me, increase their terms, bring up the smallest for me, strengthen the weakest for me, rectify for me their bodies, their religious dedication, and their moral traits, make them well in their souls, their limbs, and everything that concerns me of their affair, and pour out for me and upon my hand their provisions! Make them pious, fearing, insightful, hearing, and obedient toward You, loving and well-disposed toward Your friends, and stubbornly resistant and full of hate toward all Your enemies!"