Being a relatively new father, I wanted to make sure I understood the Islamic way of raising children. Therefore, in the fall of 2009 (Shawwal 1430 A.H.), I decided to call our beloved teacher, Sayyid Muhammad Husayn Jalali of the Open School in Chicago, IL. I asked him for some advice in regards to raising children as well as some specific questions concerning disciplining children. While we were discussing, Sayyid Jalali gave me the option of taking a full class on the subject, and I took that option.
Soon afterwards, I participated in one-on-one lessons with Sayyid Jalali on Sundays. The main text for the class was an Arabic text authored by Sayyid Jalali himself. He would go over passages in Arabic with me, and then we would engage in analysis and discussion in English.
Sayyid Jalali encouraged me to always think and not to accept notions blindly. The class required that I submit a weekly written homework assignment summarizing the respective lesson (entailing our discussions and analysis) for Sayyid Jalali’s review.
This book is merely a compilation of my homework assignments. The purpose of the book is to share what I gained from Sayyid Jalali hoping that it may benefit others, nothing more. All thanks and praise is due to Allah, the Lord of the worlds.
1. The main text used in the class was: Jalali, Sayyid Muhammad Husayn. Sharh al-Arba’in al-Nabawwiyah. Arabic edition 1987, pages 419-467. The original edition was published in 1977.
2. I did not put in the time to appropriately or fully transliterate the respective Arabic words. For proper or complete transliteration (including appropriate markings), please refer to the Arabic romanization tables and guidelines of the U.S. Library of Congress.
3. The ahadith (traditions) mentioned in the assignments below have been paraphrased in English to convey the respective general message. For a verbatim review of the traditions, please consult the source.
4. In my assignments, Sayyid Jalali encouraged me to expound upon personal experiences to help me better understand the subject matter. Accordingly, in some of the assignments, you will notice some personal stories or points that I made for educational purposes.