Sorry for the absence everyone. I've been out of the loop for about 2 months, but I can promise that I was occupied with things of a fatherly nature. In this latest post, let's get to the crux of the matter quickly: What does it take to be a good father? What is the attribute you need to have to really do justice to the Trust that Allah has bestowed upon you when He granted you children? In my personal opinion, there is a very simple answer: Sacrifice. You must be willing to put your children ahead of yourself. You need to be able to put their needs ahead of your own feelings, fears, interests, and sometimes even ahead of your own dreams. I am not saying to martyr yourself for your children and give up everything that makes you personally happy, because, God willing, there will be time and opportunity to treat yourself. But the crucial point remains the same, a good and devoted parent thinks of his/her child first in all the major decisions he/she makes. This might be obvious to some readers out there and to others it might be a revelation and to others it might be blasphemous. But let me put it out there on the Web for people to ruminate and argue about.
Many people, I have come to realize and witness, are not very capable of doing this. They put their own aspirations, emotions, and needs ahead of the needs of their children. When they are angry, they argue with their spouses though their children look on. They pursue personal goals even if their children have to suffer because of it. When planning their future, their children are an after thought, while their own interests and even hobbies take center stage. What toll will this neglect take on their children? How deeply will it reverberate throughout their own lifespan and even into the lives of their grandchildren?
For our children's sake and hence the sake of this Ummah, let us take ourselves to account and evaluate if we are doing all we can for their total well-being. Sacrifice is hard, but it has always been people of great faith that have been able to make the greatest sacrifices. A rich spiritual relationship with your Creator enables you to give up many of life's other attachments and give of yourself to those who need it most.
And Allah knows best.