Nurturing Your Children’s Fitrah, By Sh. Saalih Al-Fawzaan
“If one of them or both of them attain old age in your life, do not say to them a word of disrespect, nor shout at them, but address them in terms of honor. And lower unto them the wing of submission and humility through mercy, and say, ‘My Lord, bestow on them Your Mercy as they did bring me up when I was young.’ ” [Israa:23-24]
Nurturing the body is not the only thing intended in this ayah. Nurturing the body is equivalent to just supplying food and drink. If a person nurtures his children by just supplying food and drink, then this upbringing is that of bestiality. Rather what is more important is the spiritual upbringing.
The spiritual upbringing preserves the pure fitrah, guides it towards sources of good, implants righteousness in the soul and nurtures it upon piety. This is the benefitial upbringing of a child, which has an effect on him, develops with him and stays with him.
Now, as for nurturing the body, then this is closer to corrupting the fitrah than it is to bringing it good. Whenever food, drink and other cravings are liberally bestowed upon a child and correct tarbiyyah is neglected, then these factors combined lead the child to become like a beast.
Conversely, when the child is nurtured physically, there has to be a reasonable and legitimate boundary that eliminates waste and extravagance. The spiritual nurturing of the child’s fitrah has numerous benefits. The children remember their upbringing while performing acts of goodness towards their parents.
[Taken from “Min Mushkilaat Ash-Shabaab Wa Kayfa ‘Aaleejuha Islaam” by Shaykh Saalih Al-Fawzaan, Pp. 20-21]