Ibn al-Jawzi divided the life of this world into 5 stages. Childhood ends at the age of fifteen, during which time a parent focuses on protecting a child’s fitra. Youth extends to the age of thirty-five, maturity ends at the age of fifty, seniority ends at the age of seventy, and decrepitude terminates at death.
Before conception, we testified the Oneness and Lordship of Allah ﷻ. When the child is born, someone recites the Adhan in his right ear and the Iqama in the left to remind the child of its Fitra. The Fitra is his primordial nature — Tawhid.
So it is a parent’s absolute duty to protect their child from anything which distorts his or her Fitra.
An overload of the worldly senses bombards us from the minute we are born. As we walk through life these influences only increase. All calling towards the Dunya, and creating an environment of forgetfulness, and distraction.
“In his heart, they must plant a reverence for the symbols of religion and for the things God has made sacrosanct, the love of goodness, the practice of it, and of its practitioners.”
— Imam al Haddad, The Lives of Man
There should be an emphasis on striving for the hereafter, rather than only the Dunya; of praying when they reach the age of seven, and fasting as much as they can manage; as well as keeping good company and avoiding the company of the heedless and frivolous. All these are measures one can take for protecting a child’s Fitra.
It is often the company that we keep that influences our character the most. Especially in our youth, when we are more susceptible to influence. So it is crucial that we keep our children in excellent company — the company of those with excellent, noble character.
All these efforts will reap their own rewards. The practice of these good and noble traits will become embedded into habit. This will “make it easy for him to practice them when grown up, for goodness is a habit”.
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