Be righteous believers.
That's what I learned from the story of Prophet Musa (as) and Khidr (as). Here are the exact verses from Sura Kahf:
"And as for that young man (killed by Khidr), his parents were [true] believers - whereas we had every reason to fear that he would bring bitter grief upon them by [his] overweening wickedness and denial of all truth: and so we desired that their Sustainer grant them in his stead [a child] of greater purity than him, and closer [to them] in loving tenderness.
And as for that wall, it belonged to two orphan boys [living] in the town, and beneath it was [buried] a treasure belonging to them [by right]. Now their father had been a righteous man, and so thy Sustainer willed it that when they come of age they should bring forth their treasure by thy Sustainer's grace." (18:80-82)
Notice how both incidents dealt with children of righteous parents.
The first case (of the child being killed by Khidr) was Allah's (swt) way of providing for the spiritual well-being of the child (which sadly meant that he be killed). The child was destined for evil and wickedness, but due to the upright character of the parents, Allah (swt) saved them (and the child as well) from such a troublesome destiny.
The second case (of the orphan children and the wall) was Allah's way of providing for the physical well-being of the children. The parents were unable to provide for the children before their untimely death, but due to their righteousness, Allah (swt) found a way for the orphans.
"And whosoever is conscious of God, He grants a way out (of difficulty), and provides for him in a manner beyond all expectation."(65:2-3)
Raising children is never an easy task. There's no science to this most difficult of responsibilities. People have written books, given lectures, held workshops, and done whatever else can be done to guide parents. But in reality, there is no fail-safe method to raising upright, model children.
So what is one to do?
I've seen the most wicked children come from the most pious of homes and vice-versa. It's truly illogical and unpredictable.
In the end, it's not us who are raising the children as much as it's Allah (swt) using us (and everything else) to raise them. If we fulfill our part of the deal by being virtuous, God-conscious servants of our Creator, all the while striving to foster a positive home environment for the children, Allah (swt) will take care of the finishing touches.
In the manner He deems most appropriate.
What do I mean by that last statement? We may conclude that our children are successes or failures based on our standards, but in reality that counts for little. In the end, success/failure is what Allah (swt) decides.
Let me finish with a real example.
Several years ago, back in my community in America, a young man (who I used to teach in Sunday School) got caught up in the wrong crowd and got involved in an extremely messy criminal situation (he was convicted of murder). He was sentenced to life in prison and needless to say, it tore apart the community.
You see, his father was one of the pillars of the community - very pious and well-respected. People failed to understand how it was possible for such a tragedy to befall such a family.
But I sincerely believe that due to the righteous actions of the father, his son was saved from a far worse fate than life in prison (think apostasy or a life full of evil). Instead, the young man is stuck in prison where he has since repented (from what I hear) and is now protected from the evil he may have wrought against himself or others.
So is he a success or a failure?
Saturday, May 16, 2009
Be righteous believers.