Let there be people among you, who invite to the best [in religion]; and command that which is just, and forbid that which is evil; and they shall be happy. [Qur’an 3:104]
Do you ever think you can’t advise your kids about something because you aren’t practicing it yourself? This issue is not limited to just religion, but I think this is where the doubt in one’s mind feels the strongest.
Smokers know it makes sense to warn kids about the dangers of smoking, but why do we feel so ashamed to teach to a level higher than what we may practice at home in terms of religion? The command from Allah in the Qur’an to invite to good and forbid the evil says nothing about “the good that you do, and the evil you abstain from”.
I wish I was a better example for my kids. I have had to fight the urge to leave our Islamic studies behind because I had to get past the embarrassment of teaching to a higher standard than I practice. There are things I do right, but how do I get past my own shortcomings?
Things changed for me when I was listening to a lecture in the car that was talking about this ayah (verse) in the Qur’an. In this lecture, the shaykh (teacher) was saying that even if we do not practice ourselves, the least we can do is educate and instill the love of Allah in our children so they will, in sha Allah, pray for us and be a source of good deeds. As our kids get older, who knows? Maybe they will be a good influence on us as well.
Just like we teach our kids to have higher goals in schooling, and make better choices than we made in our youth, why is it then so easy to skimp on teaching kids religion just because we have not been practicing to the level we may feel in our hearts?
In sha Allah, we can at least give our kids a solid foundation of knowledge so they know how to connect with Allah, despite shortcomings on the part of the parents.