For as long as we live, there is a myriad of factors that inevitably shape our behaviours and thoughts, which mould us as the person we are today. Amongst these factors are important figures like our fathers. The presence of a father-figure and his love is paramount in our development and growth as a person.
Fathers are protectors of our family. We grow up finding him for the heavy-lifting commitments or any hazards.
They complement the role and love we receive from our mothers. Because of that, some of us grapple to understand their minimal presence in the name of love.
They work day and night to make sure we have a shelter above our heads, food on the table and education to chart a better future ahead. They are commanded by Allah s.w.t. to provide physical, educational, psychological and spiritual needs of his children. His status is honoured in this hadith:
Abu Darda reported: Rasulullah s.a.w. said:
الْوَالِدُ أَوْسَطُ أَبْوَابِ الْجَنَّةِ فَإِنْ شِئْتَ فَأَضِعْ ذَلِكَ الْبَابَ أَوْ احْفَظْهُ
“The father is the middle of the gates of Paradise, so keep to this gate or lose it.”
While around us, they mask their fatigue.
They choose to exude the confidence of guarding the nest he built for us to feel safe. Regardless of the type of relationship we have with our fathers, let this be the day we reflect, recognise and appreciate them.
Here are three ways a father plays an important role in his daughter's life.
A father is one of the first role models we look up to as we grow up. A father’s actions promote and reinforce behaviour as children look up to them to emulate. This includes how a father brings himself, behaves and treats the people around him.
This can be seen in how the Prophet s.a.w. was a role model for daughter Fatimah r.a in a hadith reported by Aisyah r.a.
“I did not see anyone who more resembled the Messenger of Allah, s.a.w, in the manner of speaking than Fatimah. When she came to him, he stood up for her, made her welcome, kissed her and had her sit in his place. When the Prophet came to her, she stood up for him, took his hand, made him welcome, kissed him, and made him sit in her place. She came to him during his last illness and he greeted her and kissed her.”
As such, children also tend to be more compassionate and generous, with an increased awareness of the needs and rights of others. A father that displays healthy respect to the other people in his life provides an incredible example that daughters will want to mirror in their own lives.
Although mothers play a critical role in the lives of their daughters, much of what women learn about life comes from their father. From an early age, daughters pick up on the way their fathers treat other women, typically their mothers.
Fathers would exemplify what a future husband would look like. How a father treats a mother helps daughters learn how they should receive and give love, and most importantly, how they expect to be loved and treated as a woman.
In other words, fathers would set the example of what a gentleman looks like. Fathers would lay down the moral boundaries and expectations of a daughter’s relationship with men in adulthood. There have been multiple scientific studies that show how daughters tend to choose a partner that shares the same qualities or character as their fathers.
When a daughter sees her father treating her mother well, she learns that she is worthy and that women should be loved and treated with the utmost respect.
Lastly, fathers also play an important part in helping children, especially daughters, gain self-care and self-respect. This goes beyond communicating and treating women, but how fathers see and compliment their daughters. In this regard, a father helps to nurture his daughter’s self-esteem and shape her perception of beauty and body image. His presence affects a child’s emotional intelligence, self-esteem, and confidence.
Being a father is one of the greatest honours and responsibilities granted by Allah s.w.t. It is almost impossible for us to compensate for the love and care our fathers have given us. Our duties as children extend beyond his presence in this world. Our duties to them extend beyond his presence in this world.
Our fathers may not necessarily be as affectionate in showing love as our mothers but let’s take this opportunity to thank him for his unseen sacrifices and the role he plays in our growth as a person. A part of him is within us. May we honour his sacrifices and bring happiness to Him so that Allah, too, is happy with us.
To all fathers, Happy Father’s Day.