By: Habib Ullah
As Muslims, we have several responsibilities on our families and neighbours, but we have a special obligation to our children. It is incumbent upon us to shield them from what s haram by educating them. The children in this day and age are presented with several wrongful and sinful acts, especially in this North American environment. One wrongful act that is constantly repeated to them is eating haram.
As the father, mother, or guardian, we have an undeniable responsibility to our children. We are there to safeguard them and to prevent them from any harm that may ruin them. One of these difficult balancing acts is keeping them away from haram foods. Applying force and blocking their free will is not exactly the answer. Acting this way can ruin the children and result in them losing respect for their parents. The best way to guide them is to educate them; make them realize the penalties and punishments of eating haram. Before doing this, we must acquire knowledge and become examples for our children.
Nowadays, consuming haram is thought to be normal. Many people believe in saying Bismillah before eating makes the food (meat) halal. Unfortunately, the Hadith below has been completely misunderstood.
Narrated by ‘Aisha (R.A.):
A group of people said to the Prophet (S.A.W.), “Some people bring us meat and we do not know whether they have mentioned Allah’s Name or not on slaughtering the animal.” He said, “Mention Allah’s Name on it and eat.” Those people had embraced Islam recently. (Sahih Bukhari, Volume 7, Book 67, Number 415)
When children pick up this commonly misunderstood Hadith, it can effect them greatly, even to a point where they will argue and fight with their parents.
Another aspect to keep in mind is that eating haram is a dangerous beginning for many sins, especially of the tongue, such as lying, backbiting, and foul language. When one commits a sin with his tongue, other sins naturally occur. When a person eats haram, his body runs on haram food, and therefore results in the person potentially indulging in wrongful acts. As the person starts eating haram, he becomes careless of other haram acts, slowly increasing the degree of his/her sins.
As Muslims, we have to aid our religion and keep its priority right on top. To link the chain of Islam to our future generations, we must make our children and grandchildren understand the Deen of our Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.). They are the future leaders and role models of this Ummah. If we have no concern and love for this Deen, it could fall apart. It will be on us to answer to Allah on what efforts we made to educate our children about the Islamic values. If our children start consuming haram food in the future, we will be held responsible. We will be asked whether or not we educated our children about the importance of eating halal, and the dangers of eating haram.
**Please note that the opinions expressed in this article may not necessarily be those of eat-halal.com.