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Bismillah... Pada suatu hari, Aku terkena musibah. Ketika itu di sekolah, Adzan Dzuhur telah berkumandang, dan Aku yang saat itu berlarian bersama temanku menuju masjid tiba-tiba terpeleset ke kali kecil area sekolah karena tidak hati-hati. Aku mengalami cedera serius di bagian telinga dan harus dijahit. Aku pun dibawa ke rumah sakit.

Setelah pulang dari rumah sakit, Aku kembali ke sekolah untuk mengambil tas. Ternyata siang itu pelajaran BTA (Baca Tulis Al-Qur’an) sudah dimulai, dan yang mengajar adalah seorang Ustadz lulusan Pondok Tahfizh. Sayang sekali, Aku tidak bisa mengikuti pertemuan pertama tersebut, karena Aku harus pulang.

Beberapa hari kemudian, luka jahitanku mulai pulih. Aku sudah bisa beraktifitas seperti biasanya. Hari itu adalah hari Ahad, Aku membuat janji dengan seorang temanku untuk berkunjung ke pondok Tahfidz kediaman ustadz pengajar BTA-ku. Di sana, kami diajak mengelilingi komplek pondok, bermain bola, nonton film islami, dan bahkan kami diajari memanah. Aku d…

Tips on Raising Tomorrow’s Leaders

Bismillah...

'And those who say: "Our Lord! Bestow on us from our wives and our offspring who will be the comfort of our eyes, and make us leaders for the righteous".
[Quran 25:74]

The past week has been an intense yet enlightening one as I look ahead to the exciting opportunities which exist to bring about change this coming year. Often I wonder about the great challenges we face in raising a generation of children who will be responsible and live a life led by a set of intrinsic Islamic values, a strong identity and a true ability to flourish as leaders. In a bid to learn what we must then do as parents, guardians, leaders, I wanted to share these following tips from Muft Ismail Menk's reminder on how to raise the next generation as leaders despite the challenges of growing up in a world with advancing technology.




We need leaders tomorrow for the challenges which will be greater than the challenges we face today. You would find that Prophet Muhammad himself an orphan, would interact with the children giving them responsibility and allowing them to shine in their own leadership of certain areas. Develop the child as a leader for tomorrow - that is our job as Allah says in the Quran we ought make the dua: 'And those who say: "Our Lord! Bestow on us from our wives and our offspring who will be the comfort of our eyes, and make us leaders for the righteous". [Quran 25:74]

1. Praise Your Child

Do this in public so they are able to find in themselves a sense of esteem and confidence. Instead of concentrating on their faults in the presence of others, you will show them your appreciation and consideration of them. If point out faults of your child in front of others, this can result in loss of confidence in the child and also resentment towards the parents. If we respect their feelings in the presence of others, they'll respect you and within ourselves we need to develop leadership qualities.

2. Do Not Make Them Feel Useless

Always make them feel that they are equal in the sight of others, as the Prophetic teachings show us that we ought to treat all children equally and with fair treatment so there is no favouritism amongst the children. Allah Himself says we are not to feel like we've been written off from His Mercy, so even if you're child is not on the path you desire you must always hope and pray for their return to goodness for His Mercy is always within our reach.

3. Speak With Respect 

We must always use polite manners when communicating with our children so they too will use such a manner when speaking with others. When we embody good manners towards our children with use of good words such as 'please' and 'thank you' then they will become a reflection of their parents. At times you may need to admonish your child, you should still respect their feelings by taking them aside so as not to reduce them in the eyes of their own siblings.

4. Let Them Be Children

Do not treat your children like adults before they have become adults. Give them playing time and allow their innocence of childhood to stay such as letting them play in the sand, outside without being too protective. Remember you won't spoil your child if you give them their dues as children to have their childhood before they become responsible adults. If you don't give them their childhood, they'll rebel at an early age.

5. Assist Them To Make Decisions

This is vital as we guide the children to make decisions about what they want to do, unless it is something which is wrong which requires you to understand they have difficult choices to make in modern society. Help steer them to make the correct decision. This allows them to manage their decisions rather than imposing it upon them.

6. Consult Them 

If we are making decisions at home such as what to buy, consulting the child is very important as they will consult others when they will feel important and included. Such as when you go out and let them choose where to eat. If we consult them and they help us to make decisions, they can also be a source of assistance to others as they get older.


7. Give Them Privacy 

Allow the children to have their own territory and private place in the house so they feel that this is their space, including adding and displaying their achievements such as their work and certificates. This will encourage them to achieve more and feel they are in a place which is their own. This way you capture their childhood and as they grow up.

8. Teach Your Child To Follow Your Salah 

Our duty unto our Lord is to lead by example. It is far more powerful to lead by example than by instruction. When you pray then encourage them to join you and practice. They will automatically see you and want to follow you. What you do is like seeds which you sow and they will germinate. Before they reach the age (7) you teach them by showing them. Speak about goodness before they reach puberty so they learn to love the goodness of Islam, then speak to them about the warnings related to not doing certain actions. Do not create fear of Islam before they have even seen the goodness of Islam, such as mercy, compassion and more.

9. Teach Them To Put Their Views/Opinions Forward

We should encourage our children to put forward their opinions amongst others and how to deal with people who they may disagree with. This can be done by showing them how we put our opinion forward respectfully and how to resolve issues when communicating with people. If they can put their opinions forward today then tomorrow they can challenge views of world leaders.

10. Don't Display Your Weaknesses 

As parents it is essential for you to ensure that your weaknesses and sins are not displayed amongst their children as they can lose confidence in their parents or even take that action as something which is right. Even if you smoke, as a parent it is better to hide it from them than for them to see you smoking.

11. Encourage Your Child To Ask YOU Questions

Children are inquisitive by nature, they will ask questions and it is important that you are the source of their answer. Otherwise they will seek those answers outside of the home and quite likely get the wrong type of answer. Even speaking about issues in the society such as relationships and marriage from an early age in a teasing manner can help them to feel like they can confide in you when it comes to confronting these issues.

If your child tells you they've done something wrong, it is better for them to have a lighter admonishment than them going behind your back. This will also teach them to go in pursuit of learning and not be conned by people when it comes to day to day informed decisions they have to make. You then need to encourage them to ask questions related to revelation and the limited wisdom we have. Praise them for good questions they ask and then answer them or seek the answer if you don't have it.

12. Always Fulfil Your Promise

It is essential you fulfil all promises you make to your child because when you fail to fulfil the promise them then they will later in life do the same. Don't make big promises you can't fulfil but rather ones you can. If you are unable to fulfil the promise then explain why you couldn't.

13. Develop Team Effort 

Leadership and development of the child depends on their ability to work together as a team. It is essential your child learns that there may be people who won't share same views as them and that doesn't mean they leave the team. Sports can be used as a tool, for example in football you must pass the ball for the goal to be achieved therefore working together a team is essential.

They will also learn to give other people opportunities and chances to do something so they can develop, even if you can do the job well itself. If someone helps you develop yourself then you will find eventually you are becoming good at something. Don't let them believe failure is a bad thing, unless they give up. That failure may take them to success if they keep trying.

14.  Tell Them You Love Them 

Repeatedly tell them that you love them and it is from the Sunnah to tell our children how they are the most important in your life. Express your love through hugs, kisses and acts of mercy as the Prophet would embrace his children even his daughters when they entered the room.

15. Admit Your Errors 

If you have make an clear cut error then admit it and apologise properly. It is very important you are able to say sorry and admit error so they too can admit to their error. This is important so they can learn that mistakes should be admitted to and not to make excuses for themselves. Otherwise you may even fail to admit your error to Allah which is necessary for true repentance. Don't feel pride or arrogance to admit your faults.

16. Give Them Surprises 

Set aside time to appreciate and recognise their achievements so give them surprise treats. This will help them to excel in their goals. Once they see you acknowledge their effort, they will try harder. It will also increase love in the home. The Prophetic teachings show us how the Prophet encouraged competition in goodness and rewarded them for their effort. That is true development of tomorrow's leaders.

17. Train Them To Read Quran Daily

Teach them to read a small portion of the Quran daily, make it interesting and short so they love to understand the Words of Allah. Train them also to read good books and encourage them to ask what is a good book.

18. Make Dua For Your Children

This is essential for Allah is the One Who Responds to the duas of their parents. Even if they go astray you should never lose hope in them and ask Allah for guidance..

May Allah makes us amongst those who are given the ability to become leaders of righteous leaders, Aamiin.

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