Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad (aba), Worldwide Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community at Jalsa Salana (Annual Convention) France 2019.
At the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community’s annual convention in France, His Holiness Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad (aba), elaborated on the responsibilities parents have to instill religious faith in a society that has abandoned God. We cover His Holiness’ three most important points below.
Safeguarding Faith in a Society Where God Has Been Abandoned
In today’s world, people are abandoning faith and denying the existence of God at an alarming rate. Muslims who live in this society – and their children – are also being influenced by this view. Therefore, Ahmadi Muslim parents have the great responsibility to safeguard themselves against the negative influences of society and do the same for their children.
How can they do this? By acting as role models for their children and helping them recognise God and seek His love. The moral and spiritual survival of the next generation depends on parents’ practical examples and efforts. If they do not present themselves as good role models at home, then the safety and security of the next generation cannot be guaranteed.
The best examples for Ahmadi Muslims come from the companions of the Holy Prophet (sa), men and women both. They led balanced lives, not letting their worship of God interfere with their domestic and social responsibilities, while also not letting the attractions of this world distract them from their obligations to God.
In the end, humans are weak, and cannot fulfil their responsibilities without the help of God, and so people must turn to prayer in order to fulfill these duties.
The Responsibilities of Mothers
One of a woman’s greatest responsibilities is the moral training of her children. Any moral weakness in a child can affect the entire family. Particularly in a secular society, the good moral training of children can be a highly sensitive matter.
Mothers should aspire to reach the highest standards in the moral training of their children and turn them into polished jewels. Their children should be models of purity and piety, focused on God and excelling in knowledge and understanding so that they can then guide and lead the world.
In particular, mothers need to be role models for their daughters in terms of modesty, since the values and practices of Western society do not safeguard the modesty of women. Only the teachings of the Holy Qur’an provide women with this protection.
In regards to purdah, women should not have any inferiority complex in adopting this practise. While some educated women believe that purdah is actually a barrier to their progress in this world, it is actually the opposite. In fact, forsaking purdah actually hinders the success of women, both in this life and in the next, while also leading the next generation even further astray. Thus, women in this society should reject any dress code which is not consistent with modesty, and be confident that they consider their purdah a religious duty and obligation.
Again, true success and fulfillment can only be achieved through following the commandments of Allah the Exalted. Rejecting those commandments will cause believers to lose their faith.
The Responsibilities of Fathers
Fathers, too, have a responsibility in supporting mothers in the moral training of their children. They should cooperate with them and neither criticize their wives in front of their children nor undermine them. In Asian societies, many times a barrier develops between fathers and sons after the age of 15 or 16. This is wrong and should be prevented. Fathers should cultivate friendly relationships with their teenage sons and guide them through the challenges of navigating this society at this vulnerable age.
Sometimes in [Western] countries, worldliness detracts people from their faith. In some cases, people start making money unlawfully, such as through tax evasion or fraudulently claiming social benefits. But any money made from these unlawful sources is depived of blessings from Allah the Exalted and will ultimately lead to ruin. Fathers should always earn their income through lawful means. God is the best Provider and promised that He will attend to the needs of believers from sources that they cannot even fathom.
Finally, parents should remember that in these [Western] countries, children are exposed to a lot of information at a very young age. Since they cannot fully process this information, it can make them susceptible to moral darkness. Parents need to invest time and energy into understanding the psychology of children. They need to be aware of the challenges that their children face, become properly informed about those challenges, and be ready to respond to any of their children’s questions in an engaging and friendly manner.