Fri 25 July 2014
27 Ramadaan 1435 AH  



LECTURES

Man is in Loss

Parenting

Building Personality

Muslim Personality

Marriage

Muslim Family


Ingredients of a Blessed Family

Journey to Parenthood

A New Arrival in the Family

Infancy and Pre-school Nursing

School Exposure

Adolescence

Issues of Social Ills


new lectures to follow...


0

 

Journey to Parenthood (Click here for multiple questions on this Lecture)

Cost of Parenting

Decision to become parent is a challenging one. It has a pleasant Adventure on the one hand and it carries physical, psychological and financial cost on the other. Raising up children is a costly business, educationally and socially. Having a child is an achievement and no achievement can be gained without some pain. With money, sweat and toil man prepares for parenthood and raises some one who demands his place in the family, in the society. What is pleasant about it? Self-seeking, individualist people will find hard to take this on board, to have children. Even if they decide to have, they cannot afford more than one or two, no matter whether they are super rich or not. Glamorous, high-society women with extreme feminist outlook of life will find pregnancy costly to their health and social position.

A Question to think about : How can raising up children be both rewarding and painful?

Expectation from Children

Why do people want children? Some look for solace in their loneliness? Some want to show off with their strength and social position. Some want to immortalise themselves and live longer in their children. Some people want children so that they can be looked after in their old age. Muslims crave for children for the meaningful continuity of life. Righteous children are the essential investments for their parents in the grave.

A Question to think about : "Some want to immortalize themselves and live longer in their children". What does the author mean by this statement.

Biological Fulfilment

Children are the fruit to married life. During puberty young men and women attain required fitness for biological reproduction. It is a natural phenomenon with physiological and emotional demand. The urge for reproduction is an animal instinct. What matters most is human dimension, i.e., the responsibility and accountability attached to parenting.

Joy in Sex : A Process not the End

Procreation is for human continuity. Everything in nature is created in pairs (al-Qur'an 78:8) with a view to maintaining this continuity till the end of the world. Pleasure in sex is a bonus from Allah and needs to be seen with gratitude rather than abuse. Sexual gratification with no gratitude to Allah does not befit man's position on earth.

A Question to think about : "The urge of reproduction is an animal instinct". Is that all? How should a muslim view the pleasure of sex?

Prepare before you Embark

In Islam, physical, emotional and psychological preparedness and willingness to become parent is important to embark on the journey to becoming parents. Matured understanding and sense of responsibility are essential in parenting. Islam prefers early marriage for many reasons. Teen-age pregnancy is a fearsome phenomenon, albeit for economic reasons, in the West, especially in Britain, where the number is highest in Europe. Occasional news that 'under-age' (as low as twelve years!) old girls becoming mothers create sensation, but they are known to be the result of pre-marital sex, even after heightened advertisement of 'safe sex'. The 'condom culture' is having its toll.

Support from those, close in the family circle, is vital for the journey to parenthood. Arrival of a new member in the family needs extra preparation and amenities, but one should not wait for a 'perfect' financial or social condition. Reliance on Allah solves many problems. Minimise the financial and other difficulties through hard work and look for Allah's blessings.

A Question to think about : What balance has to be achieved when preparing for parenthood? Does instinct play a role in that?

Confident Start and Good Planning

Stepping into the road to parenthood is a unique journey, very new for the first baby. But natural instinct teaches everyone how to cope and succeed. It needs insight and an open and exploratory mind. People learn from seeing others and make good planning ahead.

Conception and Beyond

Conception is an accident, planned by Allah and the process of reproduction is complex. Divine mercy is observed in every stage of pregnancy. The life in the womb is a linkage between the world of spirit and the world of earthly life. All men made a clear covenant with their Lord before coming to this world (al-Qur'an 7:172).

Verily the creation of each one of you is brought together in his mother's belly for forty days in the form of seed, then he is a clot of blood for a like period, then there is sent to him the angel who blows the breath of life into him and who is commanded about four matters: to write down his means of livelihood, his life span, his actions and whether happy or unhappyâ?¦ (al-Bukhari and Muslim).

A Question to think about : How accurately does Islam describe the process of conception and birth?

Boy or Girl?

One should not pin hope on the expected gender of the baby. Decision comes from Allah. The mother of Mariam (AS) expected a male child, but Allah rewarded her with Mariam (al-Qur'an 3:36). Islam has a holistic view of life. Men and women have distinctive role in the successful management of the earth. They are neither opposed, nor unequal, but complimentary. Extreme feminism is disgracing women by trying to artificially change their gender role.

A Question to think about : Why should a muslim parent try to have no preference in the gender for his child?

Baby in the womb

Watch out what the baby does in the tiny space of mother's womb? It is interesting how modern science has shed some light on it. Babies hear their mothers' heartbeat and voice, they kick and stretch. The burden of pregnancy is enormous on the mother. Mothers cannot even sleep when the babies are in the mood of playing. Rest, good food, mental peace are essential for the healthy growth of the baby. What about the spiritual food, eg, sacred and positive thinking, reciting Qur'an, offering prayers, giving charity, making supplication for he baby, etc? Whatever mothers say, do or think has bearing on the ever-alert tiny creature in the womb. In any case, after four months of conception the baby is a human being, not mere a lump of flesh.

A Question to think about : Why does a pregnant mother has to be increasingly careful about her own actions?

Need for Healthy Pregnancy

Sharing household and others jobs with husband is crucial for successful pregnancy. Pregnancy and delivery are physically costly and emotionally demanding. As such, extra support is vital. Unusual anxiety or physical exhaustion can have adverse effect on the mother and baby and even terminate pregnancy. Children are trusts from Allah, so both the couple need to plan pragmatically, especially in the last days of pregnancy when uncertainty and anxiety tend to creep in. Labour pain is traumatic and needs Allah's special blessing to overcome. Reliance on Allah is the key and supplication is the medicine.

A Question to think about : What kind of extra support is needed by a pregnant woman?

Mother's Position in Islam

As a result of all these physiological and psychological burdens on the mothers, Islam has placed mothers in the highest position of respect. "Paradise lies at the feet of your mother" (Sunan an'Nasa'i). Mothers can earn paradise by carrying out their jobs diligently.

A Question to think about : Discuss the implications of: " Paradise lies at the feet of your mother"

Family Planning or Planned Family?

In Islam children are treated as gifts from Allah and as such the concept of 'unwanted child' does not exist. Ultimate plan for all things in the world is in Allah's hand. A Muslim is pleased with Allah's will, even though it does not fit in his plan. The concept of contraception for just pleasurable and 'safe sex' does not match with the spirit of Islam. They are the recipes for sensual and promiscuous life. Contraception is permitted in only special circumstances.

To rear up children properly and to look after mother's health, genuine space between children is not only acceptable, but advisable. Building of Islamic personality among children is a divine obligation. To ignore this is sinful to parents and fatal for the ummah.

A Question to think about : Can you think of some "special circumstances" under which contraception would be permitted?