“O you who believe! Ward off from yourselves and your families a Fire (Hell) whose fuel is men and stones…” (66:6)
Years ago, before I had been blessed with motherhood, I did a course focusing on raising children with Islam. Yes, I was super eager to learn about what Islam says about parenting even then!
The above ayah was used at the beginning of the course. And we all made note of this ayah at the front of our notebooks. The teacher would go back to this ayah in almost every lesson relating every Hadith, every scholarly teaching to these words. The teacher put a massive emphasis on what it meant.
Anyways, that was over 5 years ago – and now as a mother I look at this ayah with a new set of eyes. I ask myself when do I implement this?
I, like all other mums want to teach my daughter to be an obedient slave but how do I follow this command about warning her about the fire. Surely this can only be the case when she’s older but wouldn’t that be too late?
After spending the whole morning thinking about it, I’ve realised not everything in Islam is about teaching. Not everything can be taught and understood. Islam isn’t purely an academic subject that we learn and become experts in. It is a lifestyle, a lifestyle we choose to accept and make a part of us when we choose to be Muslim and slaves of Allah.
This ayah is a command for everyone, not just for mothers. But right now, I want to understand what it means for my reality and me.
In order for me to warn my family (in this case my husband and daughter and any future children) of the fire, I must warn myself of it first. I must look at the ayah and implement it in my thoughts – only then can I create an environment, which will be based on warning of the fire, the remembrance of Allah and dreaming about Jannah.
Sometimes, we have beautiful ideas about how we want things to be, but various things around us keep us from achieving it. Sometimes the reasons are real but at other times they are excuses we make. Looking back at this ayah, it is actually very scary to think that I can fail to implement it due to some excuse I made up in my head.
So, what is it that I want to do now?! I want to create an environment in my home, which is based on warning and reminding myself first about what awaits for us after death. I hope in doing this I can establish the same thoughts and feelings within everyone else in the home. Taking care of the flock we are responsible for isn’t a light task. We as believers must always be on the lookout for how to improve our homes and ourselves. This over time will make us fulfill what the ayah commands from us. So instead of walking around the house and randomly talking about the fire, it will be more sensible and inshaAllah fruitful to have a home that strives and lives to help each member to stay away from displeasing Allah.
In relation to this ayah, Qatadah said,
“He commands obedience to Allah, to not disobey Allah, he orders his family to obey His orders and helps them to act upon His orders. When one sees disobedience, he stops them and forbids them from doing it.” (At Tabari 23:492)
Parenthood is a blessing and a responsibility. I feel that with the responsibility of motherhood, this ayah needs to have double the impact it had on me before. It isn’t easy to achieve everything we want, and subhanAllah instilling Islam isn’t an easy task either – with all the distractions that are thrown at us. But we strive and strive more, we instill it in ourselves and that then projects into the lives of others in our home too inshaAllah.
May Allah keep and us and our families very far from the fire. Ameen.