Assalamu Alaikum Wa Rahmatullah,
Now I am not the greatest of parents and I do not claim to be such. However, as a parent I do have some suggestions regarding this issue of raising children Islamically in a western country where the pressures of life and the fitan (trials) far surpass that of any majority Muslim country (unless it is war torn.) What I am saying essentially is that if one can go to Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Gambia, Somaliland or any other Muslim country (not ISIS as they are Khawarij) then do so as the chances of having a proper Islamic upbringing in these countries are far greater than in Western societies. If anyone can’t afford to do so then these are some suggestions:
Select a wife/ husband who loves knowledge and seeks it. Many times brothers and sisters select partners who do not match this criteria on the premise that such a person will change. Rather, if we are selecting someone it is a must to ensure that they are serious regarding their studies. How much Qur’an have they memorized? How many Hadeeth have they memorized? Do they study Arabic? Do they read books? Etc.
Du’a (supplication): Allah is the controller of all affairs. We have to constantly make du’a for our children to be upright even before their birth.
Be an example: From young your children should see you memorizing the Qur’an, memorizing Hadeeth, reading books, going in the circles of knowledge etc. We should not expect our children to be ‘Umar Ibn Khattab whilst we are always on social media.
Make minimum use of Social Media. As facebook, youtube, watsapp and twitter can waste much of our time and enter us into Fitnah which has no real light at the end of the tunnel.
AVOID FITNAH at all costs. Do not let anyone waste your time as time is like a sword. Either you cut it or it cuts you. And by Allah if some brothers spent as much time learning Tajweed or memorizing Hadeeth as they spend it in Fitnah it would be better for them .
Make your children the most important people in your life. Although they would be running from you on the day of judgment they are a means of immense blessings in the hereafter.
Put the Qur’an first before everything else. When the children put particular emphasis on the Qur’an it will help them in their manners, discipline and memory. Most importantly they would prioritize the Qur’an over everything else.
Let them memorize between 50-60 Hadeeth per year. Once a child is able to speak they would be able to repeat what is said. Hence, from age three or three and a half one can teach a child a short verse a day and a small hadeeth every week.
Put emphasis on them learning how to read, write and speak the Arabic language. Even if they begin learning it from 5 years of age, by age 12 or 13 they should have a good foundation in it.
Do not give your child what is beyond his/her ability. The main thing in teaching children is consistency. Which is to teach them at least 4 times per week.
Make use of the summer holidays and other school holidays. At those times one can increase the amount of Qur’an, Hadeeth and Fiqh that they learn.
Teach them what is compulsory upon them and do not make them delve into Mutoon (texts) until they have memorized the Qur’an. Hence, one can teach them the likes of Duruus Ul Muhimmah by Shaikh Ibn Baaz, Mabadi Al Mufeedah by Shaikh Yahya Al Hajoori and What one must know about Islam by Muhammad Ibn ‘Ali Al Afraj and matters from the Seerah, the Halaal and Haraam etc. However, the main subjects one should put emphasis upon for their children between 5-12 are Qur’an, memorization of Hadeeth and Arabic Language.
Help them to gain an appreciation for the scholars of this religion, those who have died and are still living by playing their recordings within the home. Also, if one can travel to a Muslim country to experience sitting with the scholars then it should be done.
Make sure to speak to your children and spend other quality time with them outside of their studies. Also, make sure they have time to play. However, one should not allow his/her children to play with children who do not possess good manners.
I saved this (which is not the best) last. As for secular subjects parents should use the summer holidays to study them for between 1/2 hour to 1 hour per day. Personally I find it to be very fruitful because the schoolwork that the child encounters after the vacation would be revision for him/her. Hence during the term they would have more time for Islamic studies.
May Allah ta’ala bring blessing in this advice because Alhamdu Lillah so far it has been working for me and in the hope that it can work for other parents I wrote it. However, we must remember that with all this advice I gave it requires from parents to sacrifice their time and energy toward bringing about a better generation of Muslims.