How to pray for one’s children


“It is not forbidden but rather permissible for a person to look after their children and other dependents because they are under their care. Such acts will be counted as meritorious and a form of worship, and will comply with God’s commandment. […] The essence is to perceive oneself as completely detached in this regard and nurture them purely out of compassion, not for the purpose of creating successors, but with regard to وَّاجۡعَلۡنَا لِلۡمُتَّقِیۡنَ اِمَامًا ‘And make us a model for the righteous’ [Surah al-Furqan, Ch. 25: V. 75], meaning the offspring should serve the faith.

“However, how many are there who beseech in prayer for their children to become champions of faith? Very few indeed. Most people are entirely oblivious as to why they yearn for children. The majority strive simply to establish heirs. They have no other motive, their sole desire being to prevent a relative or non-relative from inheriting their property. But remember, in this way, the faith is entirely ruined.

“The sole wish for one’s children should be that they serve the faith. Similarly, one should marry to produce an abundance of children who will truly serve the faith and be safeguarded from the desires of the self. Any intentions beyond these are misguided. If actions are guided by compassion and righteousness, certain matters become permissible. In this context, even if one leaves wealth and property for their children, it becomes a source of reward. However, if the sole intention is to appoint heirs, carrying all worries and concerns for this purpose alone, then it indeed becomes a sin.”

(Al Hakam, 10 March 1904, p. 5; Malfuzat [1988], Vol. 3, pp. 599-600)

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