Sheikh Muhammad Turi
In the name of Allah who states “To Allah belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth. He creates what He wills. He bestows (children) male or female according to His wills, or He bestows both males and females, and He leaves barren who He wills; for He is full of knowledge and power” Q42:49 – 50
Peace and blessings of Allah be upon His chosen servant, our master Muhammad and his purified progeny.
The piece of this week is on takleef, an Arabic word denoting a period when the shari’a (Islamic way of life) obligations are considered compulsory on the young Muslim members of the society. This happens when the children reach the age of puberty, which has been relatively dynamic and differential. However, fourteen years is considered in boys and nine in girls respectively.
The pubescent boys and girls are usually ignorant of its obligatory implication. On the other hand, most of the parents are either nonchalant or ignorant of this important time as well. That is why most children become victims of circumstance neglecting the compulsory acts of worship imposed on them by Allah to which they will be fully responsible and squarely accountable on the last day.
Allah says “O ye who believe! Save yourselves and your families from a fire whose fuel is men and stones, over which are (appointed) angels stern (and) severe, who flinch not (from executing) the commands they receive from Allah, but do (precisely) what they are commanded” Q66: 6
From the light of this verse the children are a trust from Allah the most High. Therefore, parents must be very careful in monitoring the growth and development of their children to avoid negligence of such obligatory responsibility. Such negligence is what makes many grown up youth very unconscious of the teachings of Islam. And this is why many adults are mistakenly considered as children and who in turn neglect many obligatory acts of worship as a result of this misconception.
The parents should not forget the extent of their prayers for this blessing “And those who pray our Lord! Grant us wives and offspring who will be the comfort of our eyes, and give us (the grace) to lead the righteous”Q26:74
The Islamic movement in Nigeria traditionally organizes such DAYS OF TAKLEEF PROGRAMMES at various levels where the pubescent children are enlightened on the compulsory jurisprudential and other legal aspects of the shari’a, they are expected to strictly comply. The Zaria annual general event is graced by the leader of the Islamic movement in Nigeria, Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky (H).
Similar programmes are organized by the youth forum of the movement at various towns where the movement’s representatives oversee at different times in the year. Beside emphasis on all obligatory acts of worship and legal bounds of the shari’a, the occasion enlightens them on related matters in a goodwill spirit for attaining the age.
It is imperative to emphasize that the obligatory acts of worship they are made to engage in are not punishment at all but a stage of trial for which they are tested and later rewarded based on their deeds. This comprises of all utterances and actions whether good or bad that are directly recorded by angels on the command of Allah for final rewards.
The philosophy behind life is very clear in Islam. Allah says “Behold, thy Lord said to the angels I will create a vicegerent on earth they said Wilt though place therein one who will make mischief therein and shed blood? Whilst we do celebrate Thy praises and glorify Thy holy (name) He said I know what ye know not” Q2:30
We can clearly understand from the verse above that Allah has created man to live as His vicegerent on earth. This means that he should run his life strictly in accordance with the directives He gave as contained in the noble Qur’an. So it is part of this exercise to teach the children the essence of life which is to worship Allah alone and not associate anything with him;
“O you who believe! Worship your Guardian Lord, who created you and those who came before you, that ye may become righteous. Who has made the earth your couch and the heavens your canopy; and sent down rain from the heavens; and brought forth therewith fruits for your sustenance; then set not rivals unto Allah when ye know (the truth). Q2: 21 – 22
This is a very important duty that parents must fulfill towards their children. Some existing rights are well known between parents and children in Islam. In a popular hadeeth, the prophet is reported to have said “take care! Each of you is a caretaker, and each of you shall be asked concerning what is under your care!
As we all know, marriage is the foundation on which a family life is built. As such it is a very significant issue for which Islam has accorded a lot of attention. That is why Islam has called on all wishing to marry to make sure that they make piety and discipline as their watchwords for not riches or social status.
Whenever a couple is blessed with children, they should praise Allah and thank Him for that special gift that only He gives in the way He wishes. There are a number of ethics we are taught to perform regarding the newly born. And unlike the attitude of the Arabs of the day of ignorance who disliked female and practiced female infanticide, we should always appreciate the gift of Allah irrespective of the gender.
“When news is brought to one of them, of (the birth of) a female (child), his face darkens, and he is filled with inward grief! With the shame does he hide himself from his people, because of the bad news he has had! Shall he retain it on (sufferance and) contempt, or bury it in the dust? Ah! What an evil (choice) they decide on? Q16:58 – 59
The children should be taught on the stand of shari’a on the activities of men which include wajib which is compulsory, halal; the lawful, haram; the prohibited, mustahabb; the recommended and makhruh which should be avoided.
In addition to that, they should be taught on the fundamental rudiments of the religion as tauheed, adl, prophet hood, Imamate and last day.
Tauheed refers to oneness of Allah which comprises of His attributes and actions.“Allah is the Guardian of those who believe. He brings them out of darkness into the light …” Q2: 257. Justice on the other side is an attribute of Allah “We did them no injustice, but they were unjust to themselves” the Bees: 118. Prophet Hood; the prophets were selected honorable servants of Allah who were sent with mission to convey to humanity from Allah the creator of mankind.
The Imamate on the other hand simply refers to succession of the prophets. So the Imams helped the messengers in conveying the message of Allah after them. And the last day refers to the Day of Judgment in which all people will be raised from the death and rewarded based on their actions.
The Furu’uddeen should be taught and practically demonstrated for the children. Most notably, prayers, fasting, commanding the good and forbidding the evils including requirements and conditions applied.
Teaching the children will take note of their physical differences as male and females. For example the female should be taught on the necessity of observing hijab as Allah says “o prophet! Tell thy wives and daughters, And the believing women, that they should cast their outer garments over their persons (when out of doors); that is most convenient, that they should be known (As such) and not molested. And Allah is Oft – forgiving, Most Merciful“ Ahzab: 59
The wives of the prophet – mothers of believers – were first commanded to observe the hijab and avoid what Allah referred as “dazzling display like that of the former times of ignorance” Ahzab: 33. In the same way, Allah warned the companions of the messenger emphasizing the need for communications between the messengers’ wives from behind a veil where necessary. Ahzab: 53
Generally speaking some aspects of our social life make bad impact to our life. They include poverty, broken home, watching violent and phonographic films which increase moral decadence, drug abuse and unemployment.
They should be made to guard their tongues from vain talks as all utterances are accounted for on the last day “On the day when their tongues and their hands and their feet shall bear witness against them as to what they did…” Al – Nur: 24
They should also be called to guard their gaze against unlawful “Say to the believing men that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty; that will make for greater purity for them; and Allah is well acquainted with all they do. And say to the believing women that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty; they should not display their beauty and ornaments except what (ordinarily) appear thereof …” Q24: 30 – 31
They must be taught on the Ahlul – bait of the prophet and their noble position in Islam “O people, I leave amongst you two things which if you follow you will never go astray. They are the book of Allah and myAhlul – bait – family” -Musnad Ahmad. They should be taught the need for peaceful coexistence through good neighborliness, cordial relations and mutual respect as a collective responsibility to which all are tasked.
They should know well about Islam as the religion of Allah that ensures good life on earth and attainment of salvation in the hereafter. They should be fully practicing and proud of it anywhere anytime.
Allah the most high states “You are the best community raised for the good of mankind. You enjoin what is good and forbid what is wrong, and you believe in Allah” Q3:110
Wassalamu alaikum warahmatullah.