Choosing a school and friends for your child
From an upcoming Al-Ibaanah publication: "Raising Children in Light of the Qur'an and Sunnah" by 'Abdus-Salaam As-Sulaymaan. The book was introduced and commended by Shaykh Saalih Al-Fawzaan.]
5. Choosing a School:
The father should strive to carefully choose a good school for his child, thus selecting the one that is of the finest quality and not necessarily the one that is closest to him. He should also ask those involved in the field of teaching and educating, who are sincere and honest, as to which of the schools is the best.
School has a deep impact on a student since it is there that he spends a quarter of his day – which is in fact the best time of the day. In the school he learns and is educated, and that is the place where he finds friends and companions.
So based on this, the father must keep a close connection with the school by going to visit it, staying in contact with it by phone and asking about the state of his son or daughter. He should be concerned with asking about his child’s character, behavior and friends before asking about his grades.
He should also follow up on his child’s educational development and studies, and check his notes and homework and be aware of the remarks the teacher makes to his child’s work so that he may correct it.
So your concern with your child’s studies and your solid relationship with his school, his teachers, his schoolwork, and his levels of education is a good that will assist in his well-being and learning, by the will of Allah.
6. Choosing a Friend:
From the things in which there is no doubt is that a friend has a profound effect on an individual – whether positive or negative. Sufficient to clarify this point is the statement of the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) when he said: “The example of the righteous companion and the evil companion is like that of a seller of musk and a blacksmith.” [Reported by Al-Bukhari and Muslim]
The Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) also said: “A man is upon the religion of his close friend, so let each of you look into whom he takes as a close friend.” [Reported by Abu Dawood]
Therefore, O father, it is incumbent upon you to look for a good friend and a sincere companion for your child before he chooses one on his own, for he may choose the wrong ones and then grow attached to them, after which it will be hard for you to separate them.
There are many accounts, too numerous to be recorded, in which children were raised in good environments and in conservative households but ended up mixing with bad companions on the pretext that they were going on a trip or an outing with them or using the excuse that they wanted to play with them or have fun with them or study with them. And the end result of this was that they had a negative effect on them.
In these days it is extremely difficult for a father to raise his child in exclusion of friends. Trials and temptations constantly surround the youth from all directions.
Bad friends can either be people who are engulfed in their desires or in misconceptions. If they are those who are given into whims and desires, they will lead your child towards mischief and a digression from good character. As for those who follow misconceptions, they will lead your child towards innovations and opposing the guidance of the pious predecessors (Salaf as-Saalih). Perhaps he may even fall into the acts of declaring Muslims disbelievers and innovators. This particularly applies to the members of those methodologies that are foreign to this country (i.e. Saudi Arabia), as has occurred to some of our youth, may Allah guide them and return them back to the truth.
In conclusion, I ask Allah to rectify for all of us our intentions and offspring, and that He forgive our parents, granting them the best of rewards on our behalf. I ask Allah to assist us in being dutiful to them during their lives as well as after their deaths.
I also ask Allah to aid us in raising our children upon the Qur’an and the Sunnah and to make them righteous offspring and an enjoyment to our eyes in this life by, through their uprightness, and after death, through their righteous deeds.
May the peace and praises of Allah be upon our prophet Muhammad.
Published on: February 27, 2007
Author: ‘Abdus-Salaam bin ‘Abdillaah As-Sulaymaan
Source: Tarbiyat-ul-Awlaad fee Daw’-il-Kitaabi was-Sunnah (pg. 65-68)