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Islam is a religion for all, young, old, male, female, educated, and the unlettered. The Qurʾān provides guidance about proper parent-child communication. Prophets in the Qurʾān were all concerned about the guidance of their children. A constant theme in Prophet Ibrahim’s supplication was that his offspring be guided, establish prayer, and are saved from idol worship. Time tends to go by so fast that we often lose track of the last time we actually spent time with our children and spoke to them. At times, parents do not teach or instill in their children any practice of religion. When children commit sins, parents panic and rush their child to the Imam, youth director, or motivational speaker in hopes of finding a quick fix. While each of these people play an important role, they cannot replace the role of the parent.
In the Qurʾān, it was always Prophets talking directly to their children. Ibrahim built the Kaba with Ismail peace be upon them. Prophet Ibrahim also consulted Ismail when he had a vision that Ismail should be slaughtered. The Qurʾān takes time to demonstrate that Prophets Nuh, Luqman, Jacob, and Dawud, peace be upon them, all spoke directly to their children. This is a clear indication that it is first and foremost the responsibility of the parent to talk to their child. Talking does not mean commanding them to do things or rebuking them about things they did wrong. It means talking to them at a personal level, loving them, having fun with them, and taking their opinion even when their opinion does not matter. Ismail’s opinion about God’s command did not matter, but Ibrahim peace be upon him, still consulted him so that Ismail can take ownership of the command and not merely accept it as coming from his father.