By the end of this khutbah, the listener/reader will see several models of fatherhood, understand the acute role that Daddies fill, and implement a few best-practice tools.
Start with a transformational story. The audience will begin to nod their heads in unison as the story unfolds. When they breathe the story in, they begin to inhale as a group – it’s called ‘story trance’. Once you get the hang of it, public speaking will be a lot more fun.
Khutbah tul Haajah
Praise be to Allah. We seek His help and His forgiveness. We seek refuge with Allah from the evil of our own souls and from our bad deeds. Whomsoever Allah guides will never be led astray and whomsoever Allah leaves astray, no one can guide. I bear witness that there is no god but Allah, the One, having no partner. And I bear witness that Muhammad (S) is His slave and Messenger.
Al-hamdu Lillaahi nahmaduhu wa nasta’eenahu wa nastaghfiruhu
wa na’oodhu billaahi min shuroori anfusinaa wa min sayi’aati a’maalinaa
Man yahdih Illaahu falaa mudilla lahu wa man yudlil falaa haadiya lahu
Wa ashhadu an laa ilaaha ill-Allah wahdahu la sharika lahu
wa ashhadu anna Muhammadan ‘abduhu wa rasooluhu
O, you who believe! Keep your duty to Allah and fear Him, and always speak the truth. He shall rectify your conduct for you and He shall forgive you your sins. Whoever obeys Allah and His Apostle has certainly achieved a great success. Surah al-Ahzaab [33:70-71]
Ya ayyuha allatheena amanoo ittaqoo Allaha waqooloo qawlan sadeedan
Yuslih Lakum A’malukum wa yaghfir lakum dhunubakum wa mayin yuti illaha wa rasulahu faqad faza fauzan adheema.
Thereafter… Indeed the best speech is the speech of Allah, and the best guidance is the guidance of Muhammad (S). And the worst of matters are those innovated by the people, and every innovated matter is a bid’ah and every bid’ah is astray, and every going astray is in the fire.
Fainna khairal hadeethi kitabullah, wa khairal hadi, hadi Muhammad (saw), wa sharrul umur muhdathatuha, wa kullu bida’atin dalaala, wa kullu dalalatin finnar
There is a love story which began 43 years ago, when Rick Hoyt was strangled by the umbilical cord during his birth, leaving him brain-damaged and unable to control his limbs. When Rick was 9 months old, the doctors said, “He’ll be a vegetable the rest of his life. Put him in an institution.” His parents absolutely refused and when Rick was 11, his father took him to the engineering department at Tufts University. It turned out that there was lot was going on in his brain. Rigged up with a computer that allowed him to control the cursor by touching a switch with the side of his head, Rick was finally able to communicate.
Later, his high school had organized a 5 mile charity run, Rick typed out, “Dad, I want to participate.” His father had never run more than a mile in his life but agreed to push his son in the wheelchair for 5 miles. He was sore for two weeks, but the thing that made it worth it was when Rick typed, “Dad, when we were running, it felt like I wasn’t disabled anymore!” That sentence changed his father’s life. He became obsessed with giving his son that feeling of walking, that feeling of running, that feeling of freedom as often as he could. They started running every day together. Which basically was his father running and pushing his son in the wheelchair. Rick wanted to participate in a marathon, that’s 26.2 miles, and in 1983 they ran one so fast that they qualified for the famous Boston Marathon.
Then somebody suggested a triathlon. How’s a guy who never learned to swim and hadn’t ridden a bike since he was six going to haul his 110-pound kid through a triathlon? Still, he tried. Now they’ve done 212 triathlons, including four grueling 15-hour Ironmans in Hawaii.
Rick couldn’t compete without his dad. His father wouldn’t compete without his son. He has never raced alone. He said that he only does it to see the cantaloupe smile on his son’s face.
Last year, at ages 43 and 65, Rick and his father finished their 24th Boston Marathon. Their time? Two hours, 40 minutes – only 35 minutes off the world record, which, in case you don’t keep track of these things, happens to be held by a guy who was not pushing another man in a wheelchair at the time.
“No question about it,” Rick types. “My dad is the Father of the Century. The thing I’d most like,” Rick types, “is that my dad sit in the chair and I push him just once.” 
The most well-known hadith about Fatherhood goes like this: ‘Abdullah ibn Masud narrated that he heard the Prophet (S) say, “Each one of you is a shepherd, and each of you will be asked about your flock. A ruler will be asked about his flock. Every man is a shepherd to his family. Every woman is the custodian of her home and children. Each one of you is a shepherd, and each one will be asked about their flock.” [Sahih Bukhari and Muslim]
A Picture of the Shepherd
Gloria Steinem, New York Times, 26 August 1971
We live in a society which makes the word parent synonymous with mother. Nurturing is something that moms do. Mothering is not the same thing as fathering. In fact, parenting is not the same as fathering.
One day I got home from school with the sad news that I didn’t make the varsity baseball team. My mom was livid. She said they made a huge mistake. She grabbed the car keys and started putting her sweater on. She was ready to drive to the school and tell the baseball coach a thing or two. My dad, who had seen me play, said that baseball was probably not really my thing, anyway. He said I ought to take soccer more seriously.
Mothering is not the same thing as fathering. Most American children suffer too much mother and too little father.  We need fathering. We need Dads!
Fathering is just biology. That is something that you did. In fact, any fool can be a father, but it takes a real man to be a Daddy. Daddy is something that you do. It is a title of honor. It must be earned.
See study called “Pops’ Culture”
In a study entitled ”Pops Culture,” half of the dads surveyed said that they felt replaceable.  If you think that you are replaceable, then you will be: by TV, smart phones, peers, drugs. My message today is that fathers are irreplaceable. You are essential to the well-being of your children.
The 1st Law of the Shepherd: Be a Role Model
Do you know who our Prophet’s (S) role model was? It was Ibrahim. The Prophet (S) remembered him in every prayer. (Allahumma sallah a’la Ibrahim, and the family of Ibrahim). In fact, Ibrahim is mentioned 73 times in the Qur’an in 25 chapters. Why?
Ibrahim had so many trials! He destroyed all the idols. He was catapulted into a huge fire. He was asked to sacrifice his son. But I think his most amazing trial was in a conversation he had with his father. Allah loved that conversation so much, He preserved it in the Qur’an [Maryam:41-48].
Ibrahim’s dad didn’t just worship idols–he made them. But Ibrahim didn’t go to him with an ax. Ibrahim didn’t threaten him with lightning bolts. Instead, he went with warm words and simple logic. When his father did the hardest thing that a father can do; threaten his life and kick that young boy out of the house, then Ibrahim responded with the hardest thing that a person can say when people are emotional and upset. Ibrahim said,
Qala Salamun alayka Sa’astaghfiru laka Rabbi ‘Innahu kana bi hafiyaan.
“Peace be upon you.” In fact, that is a poor translation, because this beautiful greeting means ‘I will not hurt you. You are safe in my company. So sit back and relax.’ Ibrahim goes on to say, “I will continue to make dua’a for you. I will ask my Lord to forgive you.” It’s easy to forgive a stranger. It’s hard to forgive a family member. There are schools of Psychology that exist because people can’t forgive their fathers. There must be dozens of reasons why Ibrahim was our Prophet’s (S) role model, but this elegant response is certainly the one that elevates him.
Every child desperately seeks a role model. Most of them will look at their father to fulfill that role. To the world you may just be one person, but to one person, you may be the world. What a tremendous responsibility! Oh fathers – being the hero, role model, comedian, doctor, coach, judge, horse is your first priority.
This is a common name for the places where we spend the most time. Generally, the 1st place is the home. The 2nd is work or school.
One of the easiest yet most powerful actions that daddies can take as role models is to make the Masjid our 3rd place.  The Prophet (S) said, “Order your children to pray when they are 7 years old.” Allow me to illustrate this. The Imam always brought his children to the masjid. They were wild. But he always brought them and everyone knew them. He would lead the salah holding his baby. He would give the khutbahs with his children sitting all around the mimbar. One time, his 2 year old son, ascended the mimbar on his hands and knees, grabbed the microphone, switched it on, tapped it, blew into it to make sure that it was working, then started making noises and waving his arms. When this child is 7 years old, do you think that he will need to be ordered to pray?
When a mom takes her children to the masjid then only 2% of those kids will be regular attendees. However, when a Dad takes his children to the masjid, then 44% will continue to attend through adulthood. Some kids stand next to their parents in the Taraweeh. They move and fidget, but they are there for all 20 rakahs. Other kids smoke pot outside. There is a clear difference between the children who grew up in the masjid and those who grew up at Starbucks.
The 2nd Law of the Shepherd – T.i.m.e.
One evening, a man came home late again. His wife was asleep but his young son got up and found him in the kitchen. He picked his boy up and as he was taking him back to bed, the boy asked, “How much money do you make per hour?” The father was really annoyed at this question, but he was tired and just made something up: “I make $20.00 per hour.” He was angry that his own son was so concerned with money after he worked so hard to give his family everything they desired. He put him in bed without reading him a story or even saying good night. The next night, it was the same thing, but this time the boy asked his father if he could have $5.00. His dad was really frustrated that his son was becoming materialistic. He told him to go to his room at once, and not come out till he had thought about what he said. The next night, the boy came into the kitchen with his head down and slowly placed some money onto the table. His father became furious and asked what he was doing. The boy said that he finally had $20.00, and he wanted to buy an hour of his dad’s time.
How do kids spell love? T-I-M-E.
An elderly man walked into the masjid crying. His weeping was so profuse and loud that the Imam approached and asked him what had happened. He said that his unmarried 18-year-old daughter had come home and told him that she was pregnant. The Imam asked the obvious question: ”Where were you for the past 18 years?” The man said that he was working overtime so that she could wear the best clothes, so that she could enjoy time with her friends, so that she could go to college. He said, “I did everything for her.” The Imam said that Allah would have been more pleased if he had worked less and spent his time, not his money, on her.
As a shepherd, your flock needs your time. Money doesn’t help your children understand the real purpose of life. Money can’t build a connection with Allah. That same pregnant child slammed the door on her father’s face and ran away with her boyfriend. Children might ask for your money, only because they don’t know how to ask for your time.
How to kids spell love? T-I-M-E.
When I got to high school, both my parents were working. They made attempts to attend as many of our soccer games, track meets, debates, and other activities as they could. We would all sit down with the calendar every week and decide who was going where when. One evening, my dad was supposed to stay for my game, but he turned to me, and I know he felt bad for asking if it would be okay for him to just drop me off and run to his office. “Of course, Dad,” I said. “This game isn’t a big deal.” The game started, and fifteen minutes later, as I was getting ready to replace the right forward, I turned to scan the audience and saw my dad there. It meant the world to me that he stayed. I’ve forgot who won that game or how we did that season, but I remember that my dad made me his priority that evening.
As a teacher, before any event starts, I see kids and parents connecting across the auditoriums, baseball fields, stadiums. Then I see the kids who look left and right, up and down, but there is no one there to wave back at them. I don’t have statistics on this but it seems like the ones who have someone there, they perform better. Later on in life, they remember that their parents made them a priority that evening.
On why it’s important to have a father in the home.
Mario Cuomo said, “I talk and talk and talk, and I haven’t taught people in 50 years what my father taught by example in one week.” 
How to kids spell love? T-I-M-E.
Herbert London, Hudson Institute
The 2nd Law of the Shepherd is to spend time with our families. The title of “Daddy” is not something you get—it is something you do. It is instructive that 87 percent of those incarcerated in American prisons either don’t know who their father is or have not had any contact with their fathers in years.
The National Adolescent Health study found that teens who have dinner five or more times each week with their parents have higher academic success, fewer behavioral problems, lower rates of drug or alcohol abuse.
When everyone takes turns sharing the best part of their day (high) and the worst part of their day (low).
I challenge you to commit to five dinners every week with your family. If you make them a priority, it can happen. You can do it! Our goal is to get connected—so when you’re at the table, no cell-phone, no pagers, no iPod, no Crackberry, no TV, no newspaper, no BusinessWeek…no exceptions! Try playing the ‘Highs & Lows’ game.  When you are with your kids, be with your kids. Focus on them!
The Prophet (S) said “Each one of you is a shepherd, and each of you will be asked about your flock.” [Sahih Bukhari and Muslim]
This is what I have say. I ask for forgiveness [for any wrong I have said]. I ask forgiveness from the Coverer of Sins, the Most Merciful
A cool ou koule hadha, astaghfirullahe wallkum, astaghfiruhu innahu wal-Ghafur rur-Raheem.
Alhamdulillah, summa Alhamdulillah. Amma baadh.
The greatest challenge a man faces today is not becoming successful at work or making lots of money. Rather, our success or failure in life is determined by how well we raise our children. If you can read this message or hear these words, then it’s not too late. It doesn’t matter how much money you have when you die, if your children are not speaking to you. It doesn’t matter how successful your company is, if your children have not forgiven you.
The 1st Law of the Shepherd – Be a Role Model. My challenge was not to take your flock to the Masjid. The challenge was to make the Masjid your 3rd place. The reason many of you are here today is because your dad showed you the way. Your attendance here is built into your DNA. Those are the genes that the Shepherd passes on.
The 2nd Law of the Shepherd – this is the most important spelling test you will ever get? How do kids spell love? T-I-M-E. The challenge is 5 dinners together every week no matter what.
The 3rd Law of the Shepherd: The best thing you can do for your children is to love their mother.
We are living in strange times when a person can have a PhD but still not know how to be a decent father, husband, neighbor, or son. We are often completely ignorant about the basic tenets of being a good community member.
We all know that children get so much of their identity from their fathers, but Islam asks us to be fathers who form their own identity based on their relationship to their flock. 
As a youth in Elementary school, I remember getting so excited when my dad would come home because we could put up our homework and go outside or to the park. I would see him at the door, but he would always seek my mom first, greet her, and share a few laughs or chat for a little while. Then he would turn to my brother and me and give us attention. This showed me that my parents were a team. My brother and I were a part of it, but we were not the glue that held the family together. Because of this, my image of my mom is that of the sun.
Leah Ward Sears, chief justice of the Georgia Supreme Court
Your children’s first right from you is that you marry a good spouse. I love this quote from SmarterMarriages.com: Any fool can have a trophy wife. It takes a real man to have a trophy marriage.
There is a saying in social research, A mother is a mother all of your life, but a father is a father only when he has a wife.  Today, there is nothing a man can do that a woman can’t … except be a father. 
Involved, responsible and committed fathering, like real estate, is about location, location, location. A healthy marriage ensures the father is in the location where his kids desperately need him most – in their home. Jay Payleitner says ‘Quit Golf’ in his book ‘52 Things Kids Need from a Dad’. There are at least a dozen chapters in that book which can dramatically improve your connection to your children and three which specifically center around the wife.
“Successful treatment of domestic violence must restore the sense of father as protector for the well being of women, children, and society at large. Children do not need fathers to fight and die for them; they need fathers to live for them, to value them, and to value what they most value – their mothers. A father who truly protects his children cannot possibly hurt their mother.” Steven Stosny, compassionpower.com
The Prophet (S) said, “The best of you are those who are best to their wives.” Look at this hadith in terms of its effect on the children and it adds an ocean of depth.
How you treat your wife has a direct impact on how your children treat their mother. If you are compassionate, open doors, and bring her gifts, your children will see all that. 
If you have heard nothing else from this message about fatherhood, then pay close attention to this. Your daughter will look for and marry someone just like you. If you are rarely at home, hard-to-please, sarcastic, negative, don’t be surprised when your beautiful daughter brings home a jerk. Is that acceptable for her? The lesson is to treat your wife the way you want someone to treat your daughter. Treat your husband the way you want someone to treat your sons. 
The Prophet (S) said, “Each one of you is a shepherd, and each of you will be asked about your flock.” [Sahih Bukhari and Muslim]
Ya Rubbi, have mercy on our children!
Ya al-Azeez, make our children strong!
Ya Hayyo Ya Qayyum, fill our children with the light of Islam.
Oh, Allah, help us spend quality time with our children.
Oh, Allah help us to remember that children spell love: T-I-M-E.
Oh, Allah, help us live so that when our children think of fairness, caring, integrity, and honor they think of us.
One night a father overheard his son making a prayer, “Oh, Allah, make me the kind of man my Daddy is.” Later that night, the father prayed, “Oh, Allah, make me the kind of man my son wants me to be.”
Oh, Allah,help our children to grow up always believing that they have the funniest and the strongest fathers in the neighborhood.
Jannah is not so far away. Oh, Allah, help our children find Jannah by serving their mothers.
O Allah, help us elevate our husbands and wives, so that our children are elevated by their husbands and wives.
Oh, Allah, surround our children with many close friends who are righteous and help them become the men and women that lead this community to higher levels.
Oh, Allah, give our children a love for the masajid. Make them community builders. Let them be leaders.
Oh, Allah, forgive our parents for their mistakes.
O Allah, you know that the most sincere duas that we have ever made are always for our children. Forgive our children for their mistakes.
Innal-lahu wa Malaaikatuhu yassaloona aln-Nabi
Yaa aiyuhal latheena aamanoo, salloo alaihy, wa sallimou tasleema
Allahumma Salli ‘Ala Muhammad, wa ‘Ala alee Muhammad,
Kama sallaita ‘Ala Ibrahima wa ‘ala alee Ibrahim
Fil ‘alameena innaka hamidun Majeed.
Ya Ghafoor Ya Shakoor, help us to be grateful to you and to our parents.
Ya Razzak Ya Wadud, give us the means to make our parents happy.
Ya Malik Ya Salaam, make the trials of our parents easier in their old age.
Ya Dhul-Jalal wal-Ikraam, give us Jannah through our parents.
Ya Aqeemas salati yarhumukumullah.
Post-khutbah Announcement: the 4th Law of the Shepherd
There is a saying from the Talmud: When you teach your son, you teach your son’s son.
I grew up in a museum – our home was immaculate. We were not allowed to touch my mother’s porcelain, or the fine decorations from around the world, or step on the cashmere rugs. I go to my parents’ home now, and I see peanut-butter on the curtains, the living-room has shoe-polish on the walls, the cashmere rugs have tiny little muddy footprints, there is a broken China plate that has been swept to the side, my mother has vomit stains on her shirt and she is laughing, my father is chasing a 4 year old and both of them have the biggest smiles on their faces.
If you love your children to 100, then you will love your grandchildren to 1 trillion.
Reflect on this: What would you like to teach your grandchildren? Let that be the core of your message to your children.
Jazakumullahu khairun. Wasalam.
This is a wonderful topic to lead into one of the most transformational events for any community – a Fatherhood Group. Get a trained counselor to facilitate and follow these recommended guidelines:
- Purpose: to provide a confidential, secure setting for men to explore the world of fatherhood. It would give the participants the opportunity to share and process sundry fatherhood issues.
- Progress: the group leader will introduce topics at each meeting. The facilitators role is to capture personal goals and ensure individual progress toward their targets.
- Participants: voluntary sign up with a brief questionnaire, yet restricted to pre-qualified members only, maximum of 8 people per cycle.
- Details: meeting once every week, each session should be 1.5 hours long, a total of 10 sessions.
There is no shortage of great books and resources for Daddies. Please feel free to add to this starter list in the comments:
- 52 Things Kids Need from a Dad, by Jay Payleitner
- You Have What It Takes: What Every Father Needs to Know, by John Eldredge
- Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters: 10 Secrets Every Father Should Know, by Meg Meeker
- Letters to My Son, by Kent Nerburn
- Fatherhood, by Bill Cosby
- Questions to Bring You Closer to Dad, by Stuart Gustafson and Robyn Fredman Spizman
- Rules for My Unborn Son, by Walker Lamond