An Exploration of Sacred Parenting and Education

What Children Know by Farah Benhalim

In parenting on February 22, 2012 at 2:03 am

It’s strange and wonderous how children know things. Despite sleeping enough, I woke up feeling kinda pooey this morning. I was sitting in my bed trying to get my head screwed on straight when my four year old daughter Fatimah appears and sits in my bed and starts making the thikr of Astaghfirullah. She looks at me and says,”c,mon mama. do it too” So I did, and it was exactly what I needed. It was only toward the very end of the thikr that I realised that I had been carrying a burden of guilt in my heart that needed clearing. Subhanallah, children are truly a gift of Allah. I can’t count the amount of times my children have guided me, which begs the question, who is teaching who? I remember another time when my daughter Aminah looked at me and said, “Mama, do you know why Allah created us? He created us so that we could love each other”. A child’s heart is so pure that divine truth just seems to effortlessly pour forth. Granted, it doesn’t happen all the time, but when it does, I become stupefied and awe struck at how such a small little thing can be a vessel of such wisdom. Just recently, I learned something quite important from my two year old daughter Aishah. She grabbed me very forcefully and repeatedly hugged me, then she grabbed my two cheeks, made eye contact and we started planting kisses all over each other. I was like, man, this girl knows exactly what she wants and knows how to get it too!

So I ask, when was the last time you demanded a hug? When was the last time you went up to someone and said, “hold me”? I’ve spent many years sitting on a praying mat wanting to feel held and loved. It’s as if I wanted Allah Subhana wa ta’ala to come off his high thrown and give me one Himself. Which, I know, sounds blasphemous, ridiculous, and pretty much impossible. But it’s what I had wanted for years, not realising that what I needed, Allah had already given me in the form of my beautiful family. I was working hard to give all I could to them, without realizing that I wasn’t allowing myself to take what I needed from them. So, the next time you feel bewildered, lost, anxious, disjointed, grab the jewel Allah has sent to you, be it your spouse, your child, your parents and let them hold you. It’s good to remember that we are not disembodied spirits, that we reside in a body, and that body needs holding. Stop trying to be so strong all the time and let yourself deflate in the arms of a loved one. Who is better to teach us other than our dear beloved Prophet Muhammad who ran into the arms of Khadijah asking to be held after receiving the first revelations. Who is better to show us that when we are weak and trembling inside, to run into the arms of our beloveds.

  1. This post hasn’t come at a better time. What with recurring bouts of the cold, toddler tantrums, traveling, weddings, and preparing the house for out-of-town guests, the beautiful family rhythm that has slowly been woven into our lives for the past few months is starting to unravel. My nerves are raw and emotions fragile. I too am guilty of trying to be strong all the time. Funny but it was only last night that I told my hubby how vulnerable I felt; and of course he had to crack a few jokes which did not help at first–but I finally did feel myself physically melting in his embrace and the burden I’ve been carrying lightened from the sharing of hearts. I think I’m going to step up this hug therapy for the next few challenging days. Heck, it’s free…yes, it is Allah’s gift for us poor souls, indeed why not just ask for it? Hmm…

  2. Looks like you have your hands full! I really like what you called it..hug therapy…has a nice ring to it. Yep, the best things in life are free!

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