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Friday Sermon: Desire for children and their proper upbringing

 Many men and women write to me requesting prayers for their unborn child and seek advice prayers for their expected child. At times, parents ask for guidance for their children who are getting closer to adolescence and adulthood. By the Grace of Allah, the majority of the Community think in this manner and they are focused on how they should undertake the tarbiyyat (moral training) of their children. This is a great blessing and favour of Allah the Almighty upon us Ahmadis that due to accepting the Promised Messiah (as), we think in this manner. In this age, where worldly desires have engulfed everyone, we are not only concerned about the worldly well-being of our children, rather, we also strive to care about the improvement of their faith.

Allah the Almighty has also bestowed this favour upon us Muslims — there are clear guidelines for the moral training of children from even before their birth in the Holy Quran. The Holy Quran teaches prayers for this purpose. If we offer these supplications, and spend our lives in this way and pay attention to the tarbiyyat of our children, then we can send forth a pious progeny.

There is no doubt that the tarbiyyat of children is not an easy affair and especially in this age, where at every turn attractions created by Satan entice us in various ways. A true believer is indeed expected that being attached to Allah the Almighty, he should save himself as well as his children from the onslaughts of Satan, instead of giving in to despair and negative feelings while being frightened. A harrowing example of negative thinking, came before my eyes when a person wrote to me that given the prevalent immorality in the world today and the state of the general moral depravity, I would choose to not have children after I get married. This is an extremely pessimistic view. This is akin to accepting defeat from Satan, taking Satan as the final authority and acting as though Allah the Almighty has no power to save us and our children from the onslaughts of Satan, regardless of how much effort we exert and prayers we offer. In other words, this is like granting absolute freedom to the followers of Satan, leading to annihilation of the progeny of believers in due course. Hence, this way of thinking is extremely disappointing and does not behove the followers of the Promised Messiah (as). In order to partake in the revolution for which the Promised Messiah (as) was sent to the world by Allah the Exalted, we must use our capabilities and faculties to the utmost and we must also infuse this spirit into our offspring. We must pray for our objectives and bring our children up [in a manner] so that despite all of the filth and indecencies found in the society, we will not allow Satan to be victorious, Insha'Allah [God willingly]. We must endeavour to establish the Kingdom of God on this earth. Thus, there is no need to be disheartened. Rather, we must act in accordance with the prescribed path by Allah the Exalted with determination.

As I mentioned, Allah the Exalted has taught us prayers in the Holy Qur'an to be blessed with virtuous offspring. This is the prayer of the Prophet Zachariah, 'My Lord, grant me from Thyself pure offspring; surely, Thou art the Hearer of prayer.' So, we should pray for virtuous progeny as well as act in a virtuous and pious manner, which are the characteristics of virtuous people and prophets. In order to safeguard our progeny from the evil influences of the time, it is necessary that both the husband and wife should act in a virtuous manner... Read Full Summary