Charities to our Children
O you who have believed, do not invalidate your charities with reminders [of it] or injury as does one who spends his wealth [only] to be seen by the people and does not believe in Allah and the Last Day. His example is like that of a [large] smooth stone upon which is dust and is hit by a downpour that leaves it bare. They are unable [to keep] anything of what they have earned. And Allah does not guide the disbelieving people (QS: Al-Baqarah 264).
The essence of the letter is that we, believers, should not eliminate the rewards from Allah SWT because we remind our charities or hurt the feelings of the recipients. The charities are not only from the rich to the poor, to the orphanages, to the mosques, to fi-sabilillah, etc., but also from the parents to their children.
Dear Muslima…I ask myself, have I glorified my children’ rights? Those, whose needs deserve to be fulfilled without asking them for any rewards? I remember when I spent my time with my children. One time my daughter asked her father to add TV channels in our house, and after a long debate my husband finally relented and paid certain price for the package. On the way back home, my daughter was fighting with her younger sister, and this triggered our emotions. And then I said to my daughter that we have fulfilled her wish to add the TV channels but what we got? she was still misbehave, stubborn, and did not budge with her sister. My eldest daughter then was silent and did not continue her fight. At the other times, when we arrived from the bookstore and the kids were so excited to get new books and magazines, they were enjoying them. When it came to prayer and study, they seemed reluctant to move from their seats. Of course I was upset and reminded the stuff that I just bought for them and asked them to obey my words.
If I calculate there were many incidents that occurred that I did not realize. As a parent I have conquered my children in accordance with my own will. Without knowing, we have asked rewards from the children that had been supposed to be our duty to meet all their needs. They are not yet able to meet their own needs, drive their own vehicles, cook their own foods, or work to get some money. Of course these are not applied to the big kids. But as a mother I often feel annoyed when my kids do not want to follow my advice or instructions given, or they do not appreciate the food that was served on the table.
Indeed, all parents intend to discipline their children by making several rules that must be obeyed. But the point here is we should not make our gifts or charities to our children as a weapon that continuously be mentioned to them and consequently they have to obey whatever we think is good for them.