One of the most pressing concerns for all parents is their child’s future.
Many of us live in single-family homes, have only one breadwinner in the house, relatively small savings, and limited social network to rely upon.
How do we secure our families future in the face of adversity?
How is that even possible when future adversity is an unknown?
Our financial safety nets are non-existent and our social safety nets can wear thin. Some of us are living paycheck to paycheck, barely keeping up with all our expenses.
If the person who pays all the bills passes away, what does the surviving family do?
Having worked for more than a decade in the financial sector, I’m approached all the time with questions about how we as Muslims can best benefit from currently available financial products but also maintain our values as informed by our faith.
Finding that middle ground has been a goal of my career, whether that be when I was working as a senior Shariah advisor in Saudi Arabia, a real estate structuring advisor in Washington DC, or a personal financial coach in Houston TX.
One of the top questions I’m always asked is: “how can I provide for my children when I’m gone?”
This dilemma is universal and timeless. Even the Prophet faced with similar. Allah addressed him:
“Say: If I knew the unseen I would accumulate all good and bad would never affect me.” [Qur’an 7: 188]
Commenting on this Imam al-Tabari said,
“If I had known what the future holds, I’d save for years of famine during years of prosperity.”
While the future is unknown even to the Prophet, he left us with a model to emulate and best practices to implement that will secure our children’s future in this world and the next.
In this article, we’ll cover best practices to secure our children’s future in 3 parts:
- What preparations can we make spiritually for facing this challenge?
- How to prepare financially? with a specific focus on halal investment (instead of life insurance).
- How to build a social safety net, and how strong families and filial piety can be one of the greatest forms of support we have when things are difficult.
Secure Your Children’s Future – Spiritually
In the story of Prophet Musa (Moses) and Al-Khidr [Qur’an 18: 60-82], the two men passed by a town whose people were very inhospitable. Despite that, Al-Khidr saw a leaning wall in this town and decided to reconstruct it with his own hands for free, even though the people of that town didn’t deserve this generosity. Perplexed, Musa questioned this act of kindness to an undeserving town, Al-Khidr explained:
“And as for the wall, it belonged to two orphan boys in the city, and there was beneath it a treasure for them, and their father had been righteous. So your Lord intended that they reach maturity and extract their treasure, as a mercy from your Lord. And I did it not of my own accord. That is the interpretation of that about which you could not have patience.” [Qur’an 18: 79- 82]
So, God brought al-Khidr and Moses to a place they weren’t expecting to be, to do an act they weren’t expecting to do, to preserve a legacy left for two minors they did not know, simply due to the honourable position their father had with Allah on account of his righteousness.
Righteousness: The key to Divine Protection for Your Children
The quality of the father in the aforementioned story that guaranteed the protection of his children’s financial well-being was his righteousness and dedication to Allah.
Some narrations mention that it wasn’t even the father, but the grandfather who was truly righteous, so this protection exceeds one’s children to one’s grandchildren.
And sometimes it’s hard for us to make that link between spirituality and real-life results, but this is what the Prophet Muhammad taught us and what the companions acted upon.
“Whoever is mindful of God, He gives him a way out, sustaining him from sources he never imagined. Whoever trusts in God, He is sufficient for him…” [Qur’an 65: 2-3]
When we mend the things between us and God in both public and private, God protects us and our children in ways that we never imagine.
Omar, in his famous message sent to Abu Musa, said:
“Whoever mends what is between him and God, God will suffice him of his creation. And whoever puts on airs and claims things not his to claim, God will debase him.”
To get to this level, we have to have a certain level of constant consciousness about our spiritual state and the return that our actions bring on us and our children. One of the Salaf (righteous predecessors) said that he can see the aftermath of his sin almost immediately manifested in his wife and his cattle’s rebellion against him.
Trust Allah AND Tie Your Camel
Working on the spiritual aspects does not mean neglecting taking other means and adequately planning for our children’s future.
The man in Musa’s story was described as righteous. But he wasn’t a person who had nothing and strived for nothing. Had that been the case, he wouldn’t have owned property on which he built a wall inside of which stashed away money.
This shows that he implemented best practices in his life that would provide for his children materially. And this takes us to the next point: the financial preparation for your children’s protection.
Click here to read on How to Secure Your Children’s Future Financially
About the Author
Joe Bradford is an American scholar of Islam. He holds a Master of Islamic Law from the University of Medina, and has studied traditionally in the Muslim world for the past 20+ years. Working as an Ethical Finance Advisor for individuals and institutions, Joe is one of the few experts on issues involving Muslims and Finance in North America. As a co-founder of MyWassiyah.com, he has leveraged his extensive knowledge of Islamic Inheritance to create a world-class product that bridges the gap between traditional Islamic knowledge and the requirements of the US legal system