Good companions are not only necessary for the grown-ups, but very important for
the children too. Psychologists explain that as young as 9 months children
observe and imitate the behavior of others. Through this process of observing
and imitating, the child can learn both kinds of behaviors, righteous and
sinful. As the child grows, the behavioral attitudes are magnifiedů Parents need
to understand this natural phenomenon and protect their children from all
exposures to immoral behaviors from early childhood. Our children are at great
risk of becoming like those whom they associate with. It is imperative for the
parents to regularly monitor their child's associates.
Seek all the above discussed principles in your child's companions. Most
importantly, protect your child from being exposed to an un-Islamic environment.
This will preserve his Fitrah - the innate pure instinct that recognizes the
Oneness of Allah. The Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) said, 'Every child is born with a Fitrah. However, his parents either convert him to Judaism, Christianity or
Majocism (fire worship).' [Saheeh al-Bukharee] Since in the early ages, the
child is not eligible enough to distinguish between the right and the wrong,
exposure to false beliefs will corrupt his Fitrah and cause him to accept
un-Islamic beliefs and practices.
Another pitfall which the child may unknowingly fall into is that he may
consider sinful actions as 'the norm' and therefore acceptable. For example,
seeing women without hijab might influence young girls to abandon hijab. They
might deem it necessary to follow un-Islamic cultures in order to be acceptable
in the society, and consider those who follow the Sunnah as odd and unusual!
Therefore, provide an Islamic environment for the child, and encourage him to
imitate righteous actions. Consider the example of Abdullah Ibn Masoud (radhi
allahu anhu), who
was raised up in the house of Allah's Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam). He closely observed the
character of Allah's Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) and adopted his every trait. He became so much
like Allah's Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) that the Sahabah (radhi
allahu anhu) would testify that nobody was close
to Allah's Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) in character and guidance than him.