Article: Glimpses at Models of Tarbiyah among the Predecessors #3

Abū ‘Āsim, An-Nidā Publications

  بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم                     

From all that has preceded from what have passed through in this series, it is clear that Islamic Tarbiyyah and nourishment relies heavily on the background and the parental foundation laid down for such nourishment or what is available in the society. Though, on very rear occasions such a nourishment and built can be made by the individual himself. The most splendid example of this aspect of fundamental nourishment and laying of the basis of Tarbiyyah is found in the person of Maryam – alayhassalām -as mentioned to us by Allah in the Qur’ān. It should be known that the only woman mentioned by name in the book of Allah is Maryam, and the Rasūl- salallāhu alayhi wa sallam -said:

كثير من الرجال كمل ولم يكمل من النساء إلا مريم بنت عمران و اسية امرأة فرعون وإن فضل عائشة على النساء كفضل الثريد على سائر الطعام

“A lot of men reached perfection but none of women reached perfection except Maryam bint `Imrān and Āsiyah the wife of Fir’awn. And the merit of A’ishah over the other women is like the merit of the Tharīd food over the rest kinds of food.”                Recorded by Bukhari from Abu Musa – radiyallāhu anhu.

And in the recording of Imām At-Tabarānī, Abu Nu’aym and Ath-Tha’alabī, the Rasul- salallāhu alayhi wa sallam – added: “And Khadījah bint Khuwaylid, and Fātimah bint  Muhammad.”

It is for our Muslim Sisters to take these great women as models that they may approach and attain the perfection referred to by the Rasūl- salallāhu alayhi wa sallam – in the Hadīth. About the Tharīd mentioned in the Hadīth, Imām Ibn Qayyim Al-Jawziyyah- rahimahullāh – said: “The Tharīd is a combination of meat and bread. Meat is the master in soups and the bread is the master of food. Thus when both meet, there is nothing above them both. ( Zād Ma`ād 4/271).

Imam An-Nawawī- rahimahullāh – in his Sharh on Sahīhu Muslim explains what is meant by “Kamāl” (perfection) in the hadith by saying: ”What is implied here is to arrive at the peak of all merits and the qualities of piety and Taqwah, and Allah knows best.” (Sharhu Muslim 15/198).

Allah -تعالى- said:

{ما المسيح ابن مريم إلا رسول قد خلت من قبله الرسل وأمه صديقة}

“The Messiah Ibn Maryam is not but a messenger many were the Messengers that passed away before him. His mother [Maryam] was a Siddiqah”

Most of the `Ulamā such as Ibn Taymiyyah رحمه الله and Qādi Abu-Bakr Al-Mālikī have stated the status referred to as perfection, by virtue of this verse is the station of Wilāyah and Siddīqah.               Concerning the blessed foundation of Maryam, Allah-تعالى-said:

إذ قالت امرأت عمران رب إنى نذرت لك ما فى بطنى محررا فتقبل منى إنك أنت السميع العليم

“When the wife of Imrān said: `O my Lord! I have vowed to you what (the child that) is in my womb to be dedicated for your service, so accept this from me. Verily, you are the All Hearer, the All-knowing .” Al-Imran:35.

Such was the mother of Maryam -عليها السلام- right from when she was pregnant, she had sacrificed her unborn child to the Din of Allah by calling upon Him to bless the womb and accept from her the sacrifice. But even before that, she and her husband -Imran- were of the most pious servants of Allah among the Bani Isrā’īl. Let those who want good offsprings choose of spouses, those who are the most pious and call upon Allah to bless their offsprings even before they are born. They must also rely solely upon Allah, knowing well that from Allah Alone comes guidance and acceptance.

فلما وضعتها قلت رب إنى وضعتها أنثى والله أعلم بما وضعت وليس الذكر كالأنثى وإنى سميتها مريم وإنى أعيذها بك وذريتها من الشيطان الرجيم* فتقبلها ربها بقبول حسن وأنبتها نباتا حسنا وكفلها زكريا كلما دخل عليها زكريا المحراب وجد عندها رزقا قال يا مريم أنا لك هذا قالت هو من عند الله إن الله يرزق من يشاء بغير حساب

“Then when she gave birth to her, she said: “O my Lord! I have given birth to a female child and Allah knew better what she brought forth – “And the male is not like the female, and I have named her Maryam, and I seek refuge with you (Allah) for her and for her offspring from Shaytān, the outcast. So, her Lord accepted her with goodly acceptance. He made her grow in a good manner and put her under the care of Zakariyyah. Every time he entered the Mihrāb to (visit) her, he found her supplied with sustenance. He said: O Maryam! where have you got this?” she said “This is from Allah,” Verily Allah provides sustenance to whom He wills, without limit”. Al-Imran: 36-37.

And when she the mother of Maryam –عليها السلأم- had put to bed, she had expected it to be a boy child. Traditionally, the Banī Isrā’ īl would only dedicate their male children to the services of the temples and not the female children. In actual fact, it was most commonly believed that thorough servitude to Allah and strength to carry out all the commandments of Allah lies in manhood, prophethood and reformation of Dīn likewise. She was therefore bashful before Allah that she had but a daughter who -as a woman- would be deficient in carrying out some of the commands of Allah as regards the carrying of the message of the Din to others. Contrary to what many think, hers was not in complain to Allah and a dissatisfaction but hers was a feeling of sacrificing what is deficient to the service of Allah’s Din. Of course, “The male child is not like the female child” as she said. This is an established fact. But Allah -تعالى- doesn’t primarily look to our physical self rather he looks into our intentions, our sincerity, our humility and our desperation to him that he accepts from us our good deeds and sacrifices. He –تعالى- was the one who said:                 

                                                    {لن ينال الله لحومها ولا دمائها و لكن يناله التقوى منكم}

“It doesn’t reach Allah its flesh nor its blood, but what reaches Him is your fear (of him).”   Sūratu An-Nūr.

And the Rasūl- salallāhu alayhi wa sallam – said in the Hadīth narrated by Abū Hurayrah -رضيى الله عنهم-

                                          {إن الله لا ينظر إلى أخسامكم ولا إلى صوركم, ولكن ينظر إلى قلوبكم وأعملالكم}

“Indeed, Allah does not look into your bodies and your outer appearances, but He looks to your hearts and your deeds” Transmitted and Recorded by Imam Muslim.

Whatever little you have, never belittle it when giving it out or when sacrificing it for the Dīn of Allah. Let your heart be pure and your intentions sincere for Allah, Allah’s acceptance is guaranteed, for He –تعالى- is Shākirun Halīm (A shower of Gratitude, a prayer with Good and a Clement Merciful One). That was the reason for which, she still tried to fulfil her oath and sacrifice by maintaining her promise, but she had already called upon Allah to accept from her. Whenever we give out or render servitude to Allah we must be conscious of the fact that it is only left to Allah to either accept it or reject it, and therefore submit ourselves to him in request.  Of the lessons we pick from these verses is giving a good name to a child right from his birth due to what a name have of effect on the one that is named. The Rasul- salallāhu alayhi wa sallam – said:

     {إنكم تدعون يوم القيامة بأسمائكم وأسماء أبائكم فأحسنوا أسمائكم}

“On the day of resurrection, you shall be called by your names and the names of your fathers, therefore, make excellent your names”. Transmitted by Abu Dāwūd As-Sijistānī –رحمه الله- . Imam Ahmad bn Hanbal, Ibn Hibbān and others.

And it is known of the Rasūl – salallāhu alayhi wa sallam – to change the names of his companions as they do not connote or translate to mean well. It is also very important to pray for the child right from birth, and especially to seek refuge and protection for the plots and whispers of Iblīs.

The pious companion Abū Mūsa Al-Asha’rī-رضي الله عنه-said:

{ولد لي غلام فأتيت به النبي -صلى الله عليه وسلم- فسماه إبراهيم, حنكه بتمرة ودعا له بالبركة} متفق عليه

“A boy was born/delivered of me, so I came with him to the Prophet -صلى الله عليه وسلم – so he named him Ibrāhīm, churn some dates and put in his mouth, and prayed for Barakah (blessing ) for him”. Agreed upon by Imām Bukhārī and Imām Muslim. Allah accepted the Du’a of the mother of Maryam – عليها السلام- the Rasūl –صلى الله عليه وسلم- said:

(ما من مولد إلا نخسه الشيطان فيستل صارخا من نخسة الشيطان إلا ابن مريم وأمه}

“There is no child that is born unless that the Shaytān poke him then he screams as what is known as the Istihlāl (the first cry of the new born) due to the poke of the Shaytān. Except for Ibn Maryam and his mother”. Bukhāri and Muslim recorded it.

And that was not but by virtue the Du’a of the mother of Maryam when she said: “And I seek refuge with you for her and her offspring from Shaytān the outcast”. `Īsā – عليه السلام- was her only offspring. Thus looking at her sincerity of intention, purity of heart, fear of Allah and humility to Allah, Allah accepted from her (Mother of Maryam) and made her (Maryam) grow in a good manner to become the true leader of the women of chastity and excellence in the life of this world. The growing in a good manner here signifies the proper Tarbiyyah that she was to pass through and the excellent fruition that was to bear. What is most important after all of that is for the child to have a good teacher that will nourish the child upon balance, justice, Dīn and excellence, teach him/her the knowledge of the Dīn and show him/her the way.

Allah tells us elsewhere in the Qur`ān that the chief scholars, worshipers and monks of the Banū Isrā’īl were all interested in training Maryam accordingly, but the lot they drew divinely fell upon Zakariyyah:

        {وما كنت لديهم إذ يلقون أقلامهم أيهم يكفل مريم وما كنت لديهم إذ يختصمون}

“And you were not with them when they drew lots by casting their pens, and you were not with them when they disputed,”

And the lot fell in favour of Zakariyyah and Allah put her under his care and tutorship. While his educational nourishment and spiritual nourishment is important, two things are left to take note of as it is mentioned to us by Allah in this great and important story: The importance of a good environment even if it is in isolation (this is as seen in this story in the Mihrāb) and then a pure, excellent and rich Rizq (sustenance and provision). That is because whatever of Harām is consumed will take its toll and its drastic effect on the child under nourishment while the environment if not conducive and excellent for Tarbiyyah will yield an adverse effect because environment plays a large role in refining and mending our beliefs, behaviours, morals and actions. There are many several lessons to derive from this splendid story but we suffice from that which we have mentioned. Summarily the ingredient of a sound Tarbiyyah and nourishment that we derive from this interesting story is as follows – and Allah knows best:

  1. Good intention right from before marriage.
  2. Excellent choice of spouse, husband or wife.
  3. A pious marital life between husband and wife that is free of transgressing the limits of Allah.
  4. Determination, plan, prayer, humility and call upon Allah –تعالى-right from conception and during pregnancy.
  5. Complete reliance upon Allah –تعالى-.
  6. An excellent name at birth for the new born.
  7. Du’a to Allah at childbirth and seeking of Allah`s protection for the child and its descendants and offspring .
  8. A good and excellent teacher and nourisher.
  9. Excellent environment to grow in and to be taught.
  10. Pure and halal provision (RIZQ)

This is just the major things necessary to train a child in the proper nourishment and Islamic Tarbiyyah, but there are very much many other factors, necessities and conditions. The ten mentioned above are the most important of them. And once any of this 10 (ten) is absent, it will be difficult to train and nourish a child in the proper Islamic way.

It is reported in Islamic History, that `Utbah bn Abī Sufyān once said to the teacher of his child: “Let your first training of my son be the training of your own self because their eyes is fixed upon you. Excellence to them is anything you do and to them anything you refrain from is disdainful. And teach them the book of Allah and do not force them upon it that they may not see it as boredom, but do not allow them to leave it so that they do not turn away from it. Then likewise, entertain them with the most cultured of the poetry and the most honoured of the Hadith. And, do not take them from one science to the other until they have perfected it. And, that is because the crowding of different words in the ears causes the loss of understanding.” All of these things apply to Tarbiyyah at its various levels. Shaykhu Al-Islām Ibn Taymiyyah – رحمه الله- said:

           {تدور أهداف التربية حول ثلاثة أمور:تربية الفرد المسلم, وبناء الأمة المسلمة, والدعوة اللإسلام فى العالم}

“The purposes of Tarbiyyah revolve around three things: Tarbiyyah of the individual Muslim, and the building of the Muslim Ummah and the Islamic Da’awah to the entire world.”

So let the people of determination yearn for excellence and work hard.

O Allah, grant us Tawfīq and Sadād. Āmīn.

Alhamdulillāhi Awwalan Wa Akhīran. Written: Dhul Hijjah 1435 (2:55AM)



Islamnode is a platform for the dissemination of sound Knowledge of Islam and an orientation of Muslims of the Sciences of the Din in accordance with the Pristine Knowledge taught by the Rasul – Salallahu Alayhi Wasallam – to the Companions – Ridwanullah ‘Alayhim – and understood by them, their Students and those who followed them of the earliest generations. We follow the Sunnah of the Rasul – Salallahu Alayhi Wasallam – and promote the Works of the Ulama of Sunnah from the first generation to date. Our goal is to propagate the Sciences of Islam, to disseminate the sound understanding of the Salaf and to enable the sound education of Muslims in this era.

Related Articles

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Back to top button
Social Media Auto Publish Powered By :
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x