What ideals do we need to parent in the modern world?

Emotional intelligence, reflection, and the practice of the Prophet (PBUH) are amongst the myriad of ideals we should emulate for our children to learn from. Here’s a list of books that expound on these, combining Islamic beliefs and psychology to tackle contemporary affairs.

Whether or not we are seasoned parents, parenting will always be an interminable journey of learning, contemplation, and inner work. As Muslim parents, we want our children to thrive in their religious and worldly affairs. As time goes on, so does the world and with that comes evolving concerns and circumstances for Muslim parents to help their children navigate. But while political, personal, and social atmospheres continue to shift, universal principles in our Deen and beyond can aid our children and us.


 Emotional intelligence, reflection, compassion, and the practice of the Prophet PBUH are amongst the myriad of ideals we should seek to emulate as parents, caregivers, and individuals for our children to learn from. We have put together a thoughtful list of popular parenting books that expound on these morals, combining Islamic beliefs and psychology to tackle contemporary affairs.


Islamic Parenting Books


  1. Positive Parenting in the Muslim Home by Noha Alshugairi, Munira Lekovic Ezzeldine, and Jane Nelsen

This extraordinarily comprehensive book seeks to conceptualize the Positive Discipline philosophy into an Islamic framework. Written by different Muslim professionals trained in counseling families and couples, the book draws on the Islamic principles of love, nurture, compassion, and guidance to help parents address real-world challenges through positive parenting. The book is divided into sections that discuss your children’s various issues, psychology, and solutions based on their age group from birth to adulthood. Faith, everyday life, interpersonal relationships, sex, drugs, bullying, and youth radicalization are all tactfully addressed, focusing on conflict resolution and connection instead of punishment. 


  1. Children Around the Prophet: How Muhammad Raised the Young Companions by Hesham Al-Awadi

The Prophet PBUH is a guidance to humankind, and this encompasses parenting practices. Children Around the Prophet by Hesham Al-Awadi draws on the life of the Prophet PBUH and explores his relationship with not only his own children but the youth around him. Al- Awadi offers insights into how the Prophet PBUH developed and instilled emotional security in children, built their faith and worship, developed morals, social character, and more. 


  1. With The Heart In Mind Paperback by Mikaeel Ahmed Smith

Although this is not specifically a parenting book, I believe it is a book every Muslim parent should read. As aforementioned, reflection and self-awareness are crucial aspects of parenting. With The Heart in Mind is a critical study of the emotional intelligence of the Prophet PBUH. Smith draws on the interpersonal relationships of the Prophet PBUH, psychology, and philosophy to demonstrate that emotional intelligence is necessary for us to thrive, have healthy relationships, and establish societal change. He specifically has a section dedicated to parenting according to the Prophetic model and emphasizes the impact of early- childhood interactions. Moreover, Smith probes readers to engage in profound inner contemplation so that they may be stronger individuals and parents. 


Secular Parenting Books


  1. Screamfree Parenting: How to Raise Amazing Adults by Learning to Pause More and React Less  by Hal Runkel LMFT

In ScreamFree Parenting, the main objective is for parents to learn how to create a peaceful home. The philosophy states that the first step is to pause to achieve a rewarding, structured, and respectful home environment. As parents, we must learn to react less and respond more intentionally. This simple yet radical practice provides a foundational model for our kids, and through our own behavior, our children will learn how to manage their own emotions and actions. Runkel advocates for a calmer version of parenting to raise exceptional and emotionally intelligent adults. 


  1. How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish 

Two internationally renowned communication experts have written How to Talk So Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk. It is a unique and interactive experience that uses prompts for parents to respond to at the end of each chapter and forces the reader to reflect. Along with their philosophy of fostering empathy for our children and ourselves, the authors provide hundreds of proactive tips to implement their methods. They focus on coping with a child’s negative emotions, engaging children’s cooperation, healthily expressing feelings, setting firm limits, alternatives to punishment, and peaceful conflict resolution. 

We hope you find these beneficial inshaAllah!

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