What advice can you give a practicing Muslim lady for her to bring up her children in an Islamic way, and what are the steps she requires to take in order to reduce the devilish impact of the modern society on her children?
The best quality any mother can teach her child is Taqwa (God-consciousness). That is to teach the child to be aware of Allah in every moment of his or her life. Once the child has this, his every action and thought will be for Allah. He or she will do the things that please Allah and will strive to avoid doing anything that displeases Him, such as cheat, lie, steal and so forth.
How to achieve this? The first step of Tarbiyah (education) starts when the child is still a baby. It is essential to continuously say to the child, for example, "Allah made this, masha' Allah", when smelling a flower. And, "Subhanallah, Allah created this", when playing with the cat. And "Allahu Akbar, Allah made the sky", when you are contemplating the sky, stars, clouds and so forth. By praising and glorifying Allah, and saying "Allah made this... Allah made that.." you will be affirming these facts for your child. When he or she grows up, these concepts will stay with the child. He will be constantly repeating them in his mind and heart. In this way, you will be creating an awareness that Allah created everything around us.
How often the child uses these affirmations and how extensive these affirmations are, depends on how often you say it to your child and how varied your affirmations are. You will be pleasantly surprised one day when your child walks past a flower, bends over and says "Masha Allah, Allah made this," or when he or she is playing on the grass, looks up and says, "Allahu Akbar, Allah made it," without a prompt from you. This is the first step to create an awareness of Allah. Having reached this, the process of teaching the child about praying, reciting the Qur'an and so forth, becomes easy.
Another step to take is to provide Islamic models for your child. These models include the Prophets, Companions, Muslim heroes, scholars and famous figures in the Islamic history. Read or tell these stories often to your child. Children love stories and they need to have someone whom they can look up to and copy. So by telling and retelling these Islamic moral stories you will be providing your child with a set of attitudes and behaviours which he/she can copy and follow.
If the above two steps were carried out when your child is young and, and are continued throughout his/her life, they will insha Allah, help build his/her character to be good. Hence, when faced with the bad influences of modern society, he/she will be able to choose the right path to follow since he/she is aware of Allah and has models to follow.