My 10-year-old son and my 8-year-old son were wrestling with each other. The 10-year-old accidentally hit his younger brother on the mouth with his knee.
They then ran to me for arbitration.
The injured party, indignant and angry, reproached his brother:
“You kneed me in the face! Mama said it’s haram to hit someone on the face! My mouth hurts!”
My 10-year-old son responded by saying:
“It was an accident! And it wasn’t that hard!”
My 8-year-old son retorted:
“My tooth is kind of loose now! What if it falls out? It’s my adult tooth, not a baby tooth that will be replaced!”
My 10-year-old son answered calmly, attempting to pacify his younger brother:
“It’s okay. Don’t worry. If you lose a tooth and have a gap in your teeth, you’ll be just like Abu `Ubaydah Ibn Al-Jarrah [may Allah be pleased with him], and you will only increase in handsomeness!!”
I couldn’t help but burst out into laughter.
My younger son, though, was not as amused by this as I clearly was.
For those who may not be aware, this is actually a reference to an incident from the prophetic sirah, which occurred at the end of the battle of Uhud. The blessed head of the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) was struck with a heavy rock by one of the mushrikun of Quraysh, and the blow was so hard that it forced two of the iron links from the helmet into the side of the blessed face of the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace).
Thereafter, the Sahabah (may Allah be pleased with all them) were about to try and remove these iron links from the injured blessed face of Allah’s Messenger (may Allah bless him and grant him peace). Abu ‘Ubaydah Ibn al-Jarrah (may Allah be pleased with him) was adamant that he wanted to be the one to remove them.
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He pulled out the first link with his teeth, due to which one of his front teeth had fallen out. He then insisted on removing the second link too, and in doing so, he also lost his other front tooth. This meant that he was left with no front teeth, however, the Sahabah (may Allah be pleased with all them) would describe him as “the most handsome man without front teeth.” May Allah be pleased with him!
This is how my 10-year old son was trying to console his younger brother when he had accidentally hit him in the teeth!
Children make frequent, casual references to whatever they are exposed to. If they are exposed to cartoons, TV shows, movies or music, then they will learn from these, then recall and refer to such things during their daily lives. If they are exposed to stories of fictional superheroes and made-up characters, then that’s what they’ll know and refer to.
But if they are exposed to the prophetic sirah instead, our children will learn from it, take lessons from it, embody it and refer to it regularly.
Expose your children to good, beautiful, wholesome things that will benefit both them and you—things like the Noble Qur’an, the blessed sirah of our beloved Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) and the biographical stories of his amazing Sahabah (may Allah be pleased with all of them). This is a crucial part of the tarbiyah (nurturing and upbringing) of children. It gives them direction, guidance and true, aspirational role models.
And, often, you will also be amazed and delighted by the references that your children make to very specific events and incidents from the prophetic sirah, in sha Allah.
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