Islamic Guide To The Upbringing Of Children
By Shyakh al-Islam As-Shah Imam Ahmed Rida Khan
ISLAM AND THE UPBRINGING OF CHILDREN
In order to establish and maintain the transformation brought about by Islam in our present day society, the very first step we have to take is to examine whether as Muslims to what extent our own lives are based on the Straight Path as defined in the Holy Quran or how far are we from these noble teachings. It is true that half off a person is overcome when the doctor makes a correct diagnosis. However, diagnosis alone is no cure for the problem. It is the incumbent duty of the Muslim to light lamps of guidance to obliterate the darkness of ignorance in order to salvage humanity from its blind imitation of sensual material world. Before this can be achieved it is important that one should design one’s own life and those of one’s family members on the beautiful teachings of Islam. In this regard the most important concern should be the upbringing of our children on sound Islamic principles. Once our foundation is strong and unshakable a ray of hope can be expected for a better future. If our children can be brought up in the atmosphere of Allah-consciousness then only can we hope to produce the Khalid bin Walid and Tariq bin Ziyad of their time. On the contrary if these young unspoilt children are left to roam freely in the evil atmosphere of the present day social ills then these very children are going to become the cause of our future doom.
THREE PHASES OF HUMAN EXISTENCE
A life of any human is divided into three distinct phases: childhood, adolescence and old age. Of these childhood plays the most important role in designing and shaping the character. Generally this is the period when the children can easily be swallowed by the outer glitter of this world and they are unable to distinguish between good and evil, between right and wrong and between religious and irreligious deeds. As soon as he steps into adolescence he is now focused on the pursuit of comfort and vain-glory, while old age brings about recollection and realisation of the past. Those whose lives are empty of Islam and faith, those who believe the material achievements is everything in life, are destroying their lives and are foolishly roaming in this make belief world of theirs. All that glitters is not gold, is a well known saying that is there to remind us of this fantasy. Hazrat Zun-Nun Misri (May Allah be pleased with him) says: Oh people! Acquire the gifts of this world but do not hanker after its glitter in a frenzy. Gather from it the provisions of the Hereafter, for your actual abode is elsewhere. The Holy Prophet (Peace be upon Him) said: This world is a tillage land for the Hereafter. He who sows good here shall reap good in the Hereafter; he who sows evil here will reap evil in the Hereafter.’ If all parents make every effort to mould their children’s childhood in the light of Islamic teachings, then only will their adolescence and old age be secured, Otherwise a bleak future would be staring at us. Remember, the life which commences with the name of Allah, will if Allah wills, end in faith and success.
SADQA – E – JARIYAH:
Every soul has to depart from this world, on departure if he has left behind good deeds which will be beneficial to mankind and a means of guidance to it, then even after death this soul will continue to receive rewards. These deeds include providing drinking water, good roads, erecting Mosques, erecting guesthouses and inns for travellers, erecting schools, madersas and religious buildings, writing good books or purchasing these and leaving these in trust for the benefit of others, etc. One of the charities in this group is leaving behind pious children, whose prayers continue to provide rewards and salvation for them after their death. The Holy Prophet (Peace be upon Him) said:
When a person leaves this world his deeds come to an end. but there are three types of deeds which continue to be rewarded even after death, these are:
- Sadqa – a- Jariyah;
- Or leaving behind education from which mankind would be benefitting;
- or pious children, who would continue to pray for their salvation.
Pious and well brought up children would be a source of joy for them in this world by rendering obedient service to them, while after their death they would be providing them treasured prayers for their salvation. It is for this reason every effort should be made to bring them up on the principles of piety and good mannerliness.
GOOD TREATMENT OF GIRLS:
All children, whether boys or girls, deserve the best treatment, love and kindness of their parents. In some homes equal love is not shown for girls and boys. During the days of Ignorance – (JAHILIYAH) parents had shown biasness towards girls and preference for boys because they had not yet received the enlightened teachings of Islam.
Fathers considered the birth of a daughter as a sign of shame and disgrace therefore females were buried at birth. In the Holy Quran Allah Almighty has condemned this barbaric and heartless practice of theirs in the following verse of Surah NAML (THE BEE)
And when the good tidings of the birth of a daughter is conveyed to any of them, then his face remains black all along the day, he suppresses his anger. He hides himself from the people because of the evil of this good tiding. Shall he keep it with disgrace or bury it in the dust? Lo, very bad they judge. (S16: VS 58-59)
In our present times too, births of daughters is viewed with a great deal of scorn and disgust because no real material benefits seemed to be obtained or achieved through them. However Islam has made it very clear to the believers that the birth of a daughter and her proper upbringing is not only a challenge to the parents but a glad tiding of obtaining tremendous divine rewards.
Hazrat Abu Dawood Ibn Abbas (May Allah be pleased with him) report the following instruction of the Holy Prophet (Peace be upon Him):
“In whichever home a daughter is born who is not buried alive like the days of ignorance and is not looked upon as inferior, and a son is not given preference over her, Allah Almighty will grant such people Paradise.
Bukhari and Muslim report the tradition from Hazrat Ayisha : (May Allah be pleased with her)
Once a lady came to me accompanied by two daughters seeking assistance. At that point in time I had nothing to give besides a piece of date. On receiving the piece of date she divided it between her two daughters without eating any of it and left. When the Messenger of Allah came home I related the incident to him. On hearing it the Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon Him.) said: Those who have been placed under trying circumstances, through these daughters, and treat them with love and kindness Allah Almighty will make a cover for them from the fire of Hell.
In Sunan Abu Dawood and Tirmizi Shareef, Hazrat Abu Saeed Khudri reports the following traditions of the Holy prophet: (Peace be upon Him)
‘HE who bears the burden of taking care of three daughters, or three sisters or two daughters and sisters and bring up with love, care and kindness. Then gets them married when they reach marriageable age, Allah Almighty will reward him with Paradise.’
ISLAMIC GUIDE TO THE UPBRINGING OF CHILDREN
In his book: ‘Mish-alah-al-Irshaad ila Huquq-al awlad’ Imam Ahmad Raza (May Allah be pleased with him) writes regarding the education and training of children
- Even prior to the arrival of offspring it is their right that one does not marry among irreligious and dishonorable people, because morality or immorality is handed down through socialization.
- Recite Bismillah before intimacy so that Shaitaan does not partner the off spring.
- During intimacy abstain from looking at the wife’s private parts, otherwise there is a fear that the child may become blind.
- Immediately after the birth of a child recite Athaan in his right ear and the Iqamah in his left ear.
- Sweeten his mouth with honey, so that the sweet taste may sweeten his character.
- On the seventh day or when possible perform the child’s aqiquah.
- Shave the child’s hair from his head.
- Weigh the child’s hair and give to charity it’s weight in silver.
- Rub saffron on the child’s head.
- Name the child Islamically i.e. Abdullah, AbdulRahman, Ahmed, Hamid, Hassan, Mohiuddeen, Moinudeen etc.
- . The mother herself should, otherwise a pious lady may suckle the infant for two years. Milk also affects aspects of the infants personality
- Feed offspring with Halal foods from clean earnings as unclean foods and earnings breed unclean habits.
- Deal with Allah’s gifts (children) with tenderness and mercy love them, be compassionate with them.
- Make their hearts happy within the limits of Allah’s law.
- Never make false promises to them.
- Display equity, and justice among them
- The first sounds the infant is to be taught are the words Allah’, then La ila ha Illallah’, then the full Kalema.
- When the child reaches the age of intelligibility, then teach him the correct etiquettes of eating, drinking, laughing, talking, sitting, walking and teach him modesty, respect for elders, reverance for parents, obedience to teachers and husbands.
- Teach him the Quran.
- Place him in the educational care of a good pious, Allah-fearing, wise and experienced teacher.
- For the girls arrange pious women teachers.
- Quranic recitation must remain constant.
- Teach them the true principles and beliefs of Islam and the Sunnah, as a clean slate will be a natural and willing recipient of the Islamic nature and the truth.
- Place the love and respect of the Holy Prophet (Sallallaho- Alaihi Wasallam) firmly in the heart of the child as this is the foundation of lman and Islam.
- When he reaches seven years of age, encourage him to perform salaah. Explain to him the knowledge of the Islamic way of life like wudu, ghusl, salaah, and the merits of perseverance, contentment, sincerity, humility, truthfulness, trustworthiness, justice, modesty and the preservation of thought and speech.
- Point out to your offspring the badness and negativity of greed, avarice, excessive love of status and worldliness, pride, arrogance, lies, abusive language, backbiting, jealousy and hatred.
- Employ friendliness and softness when teaching and educating them.
- Never allow bad companionship for your children.
- Shield them from words, looks and an environment that conditions towards badness because a tender stalk is easy to bend towards any direction.
- When the child reaches ten years of age then employ a hiding if the child is not willing to perform salaah.
- At this age the child should have his own separate bed.
- When they attain maturity have them marry.
- If by ordering them, they disobey, then use softness and tact as a means of mutual consultation
- Do not disinherit your offspring.
- Teach male children reading, writing, and guardianship.
- Teach them Surah Al Ma’idah.
- Announce their circumcision.
FEW RIGHTS OF GIRLS ONLY
- Do not show displeasure at the birth of a female child, in fact, rejoice at the gift of Allah
- Teach them to sew and cook.
- Teach them Surah Al-Noor.
- Display more affection to your girl children as they are softer hearted than the boy
- When giving children anything, make no difference between boys and girls distribute equally.
- When giving anything, first give to the girl children and then the boys.
- At the age of nine years, keep especial custody over the girls.
- Make their beds separate.
- Do not allow them to gatherings that have song and dance.
- Absolutely no permission should be granted for interacting with strangers.
- The home is their abode.
- Do not allow them on the balconies.
- Within the home let them adorn themselves with clothes and jewelry so that proposals of marriage may be made with enthusiasm.
- When their match is found do not delay with the marriage.
- Never marry them to an irreligious person, nor to a sinner, as this is a right in favor of offspring established from authentic traditions of the Holy Prophet (Peace be upon Him).
In the light of the above points of guidance InshaAllah the child will become a true, Islamic personality. These are values and principles, however the parent or guardian should also constantly pray to Allah so that the activation of behavior can be realized.
In fact Allah has praised those who make dua for their partners and offspring:
And there are those who say, Our Lord grant us partners and offspring who are a source of coolness to the eyes (Surah Al Furqan verse 74)
At another Quranic verse the believer makes this dua: and correct for me my offspring, verily I turn to Thee and repent and verily I am a Muslim (Surah Al-Ahqaf V.15)