The Children’s Rights in Islam part 2

The Children’s Rights in Islam part 2

Author: Ustadz Abu Ahmad Said Yai

10. Provide his living until he reaches adulthood

A child also the right for his living to be provided, such as his food, drink, clothes, and house. The Messenger of Allah -peace and prayer of Allah be upon him- said,

(كَفَى بِالْمَرْءِ إِثْمًا أَنْ يُضَيِّعَ مَنْ يَقُوتُ)]

“It is considered as a sin for a person to neglect the living of people he supposed to be supported.” [1]

(أَفْضَلُ دِينَارٍ يُنْفِقُهُ الرَّجُلُ دِينَارٌ يُنْفِقُهُ عَلَى عِيَالِهِ وَدِينَارٌ يُنْفِقُهُ الرَّجُلُ عَلَى دَابَّتِهِ فِى سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ وَدِينَارٌ يُنْفِقُهُ عَلَى أَصْحَابِهِ فِى سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ)

“The best money that a man donated is the money that he spends for people that he is supposed to provided, money that he spends for his mount (to do jihad) in Allah’s Cause, and money that he spends for his friends (who are fighting) in Allah’s Cause.“[2]

11. Teach him useful knowledges

It is compulsory for the parents to teach their children useful knowledges. If a parent isn’t capable of it, he should find another person to tach his child, whether by schooling him or admit him in courses.

There are many kind of useful knowledges, of religious and worldly knowledge.

Regarding religious knowledge, and it should be the more regarded – parents have an obligation to teach their children about compulsory knowledges that they must know. The children ought to be taught of the three main pillars that every muslim should know about.

The three pillars are to know about Allah, His messenger, and Islam. Children should know about these pillars and its supporting indications in a brief way.

They also ought to know what Allah has obliged to them, and what He prohibits. These obligations and prohibitions here means everything that every muslim should know, and common people from muslim country would certainly know about it, such as the obligation to perform salat, pay for zakat, to fast, etc, and the prohibition of adultery, intoxication, stealing, and so on.

It is also advisable to accustom children to speak Arabic language, because the Arabic is the language of the Qur’an, the sunnah, and Islam. Parents should be able to instill the love of Arabic to their children more than any other languages.

Regarding worldly knowledge, parents have an obligation to teach their children about compulsory sciences, that will be vastly needed in his environment, such as how to read and write, to count, etc, thus it will prevent them from being fooled and tricked by others.

12. Teach them to be righteous, and to practice noble mannerism and proper etiquette

It is compulsory for every parent to teach his children about how to do good deed, and exhibit noble mannerism and etiquette. Aside from preaching, parent should also teach the children by practicing it on himself first and foremost. By that, his child will be able to imitate his parents behavior.

Teaching through real practice has a deeper influence than a mere word. It is impossible for a father to teach his child to pray in congregation in mosque, whereas he himself skips it. There are not a small number of corruptors who, upon being asked about the reason why they did it, answered, “I know that it is wrong to do, however, in my family, stealing is considered as a common thing thus I come to deem it as common thing too.”

13. Punish them with punishment that is allowed in shari’a when they abandon obligation or commit any sin or evildoing

Punishing is compulsory for any parent based on the reason above, but it is supposed to be according to the Messenger’s teaching, -peace and prayer of Allah be upon him. He -peace and prayer of Allah be upon him- said,

( مُرُوا أَوْلاَدَكُمْ بِالصَّلاَةِ وَهُمْ أَبْنَاءُ سَبْعِ سِنِينَ وَاضْرِبُوهُمْ عَلَيْهَا وَهُمْ أَبْنَاءُ عَ شْرِ سِنِينَ وَفَرِّقُوا بَيْنَهُمْ فِى الْمَضَاجِعِ )

“Order your children to perform salat upon reaching the age of seven, hit them when they abandon salat upon reaching the age of ten years old. And separate their bed.“[3]

Giving punishment means the kind of punishment that doesn’t leave any mark on skin, unlike what some people did when they beat their children. They beat them until it leave some marks on their skin, or worse, until the said children suffered physical defect.

Some other people assume that it is not right to punish a child and to free them to do whatever he wishes to do, by the reason that punishment may hamper a child’s growth. This is a wrong assumption and not in accordance with shari’a, since the Prophet -peace and prayer of Allah be upon him- taught parents to beat their children if they abandon an obligation or commit any sin.

There are plenty of evidences that point out how a child who’s never been punished by his parent because of committing a sin, majority of this kind of child will dare to stand up against their parents and become rebel. Do you want your child to be disobedient to you when he grow up?

However, it is important to notice that every child has a freedom to play and comport his self. It is inappropriate for parent to always punish, scowl, and forbid their child over things that do not defined as unlawful yet. In such condition, it is enough for parent to advise their child, in order to guide them to be more creative and avoid to hamper his mental development.

14. Give them time to play and maintain control over the kind of play, place and playmate he chooses

A child has the right to play. It is appropriate for the parent to spare some playing times for their children, whether it is in the morning, noon, or afternoon. When the evening time comes, parent are ordered to hold their child by not letting them playing outside until the time of Isya’ prayer comes.

The Messenger of Allah -peace and prayer of Allah be upon him- said,

(إِذَا اسْتَجْنَحَ اللَّيْلُ أَوْ قَالَ جُنْحُ اللَّيْلِ فَكُفُّوا صِبْيَانَكُمْ فَإِنَّ الشَّيَاطِينَ تَنْتَشِرُ حِينَئِذٍ فَإِذَا ذَهَبَ سَاعَةٌ مِنْ الْعِشَاءِ فَخَلُّوهُمْ)

“When the night or beginning of the night comes, hold your children. Indeed, satan are wandering around at that time. When the isya’ time begins, let them free.“[4]

After the isya’ time, it is inappropriate to let the children play, as it is the time to sleep and the Messenger of Allah -peace and prayer of Allah be upon him- forbade his followers to joke and frolic around at that time.

Parent should also pay attention on the kind of game their child plays, and do not let him playing any game that is prohibited, such as

marbles and card game (which contains gambling element), shooting a chicken or the likes, etc. parent should be able to choose useful and educative games for their child.

Beside that, parent should pay close attention to whom their child befriend and play with. Children are susceptibly easy to absorb stimulations from people around them.

Sheikh Abdul Muhsin al Qasim [5] said, “Human’s character is to be easily influenced by whoever he’s interacting with. Human may even be influenced by a cattle.

The Messenger of Allah -peace and prayer of Allah be upon him- said,

(الْفَخْرُ وَالْخُيَلَاءُ فِي الْفَدَّادِينَ أَهْلِ الْوَبَرِ وَالسَّكِينَةُ فِي أَهْلِ الْغَنَمِ)

“The arrogance and haughtiness are with people who raise their voices, from among the herd of camels. And serenity is with the goat shepherd.” [6]

The Prophet – peace and prayer of Allah be upon him- reported that within camel shepherding there are arrogance and haughtiness, whereas in goat shepherding, lies serenity. If even with animal which doesn’t have an intelligence, and which sounds are incomprehensible, a man could be influenced, then what do you think of people who could speak to you, comprehend your speech, and sometimes even lies and lures you to follow his desire? Don’t you think his influence is much more greater? [7]

Therefore, parents should be aware of whom their children befriend with. Taking him to mingle and gather with righteous adults will help him a lot in developing mature mindset, and becoming a righteous child.

15. Provide security and keep him away from frightening things, or from anything that could be destructive to his religion

One of the obligations of parent is to protect their child, keep him away from any harm, and provide the secure feeling for him. They also should keep a constant eye on him and seek for him if he is lost.

Once the Messenger of Allah -peace and prayer of Allah be upon him- sought for Hasan bin ‘Ali -may Allah be pleased with him- when he lost in the market of Qainuqa tribe, he said, “Where is Laka’? Please call Laka’ for me?[8]” [9]

It is also prohibited for parent to scare their child by anything that could spoil his psychology and religion, such as threaten him with a knife or harsh words, and tell him when the night falls, “Watch out of the ghost!”

The Messenger of Allah -peace and prayer of Allah be upon him- said,

(لاَ يَحِلُّ لِمُسْلِمٍ أَنْ يُرَوِّعَ مُسْلِمًا)

“It is unlawful for a muslim to scare other muslim.”[10]

The saying, “Watch out of the ghost!” Could grow excessive fear towards unclear things, and this kind of fear is forbidden in our religion.

16. Respect and honor him as a human being and do not label him with bad names

A child is also the descendants of Prophet Adam -peace be upon him-. He is a human being, who has rights to be treated as a human and not as a lowly animal. He should be respected and honored. Therefore, it is not right to label him with bad nicknames such as, “dog”. “Pig”. “Stupid”, and the like.

Allah the Glorified and Exalted said,

{وَلَقَدْ كَرَّمْنَا بَنِي آَدَمَ وَحَمَلْنَاهُمْ فِي الْبَرِّ وَالْبَحْرِ وَرَزَقْنَاهُمْ مِنَ الطَّيِّبَاتِ وَفَضَّلْنَاهُمْ عَلَى كَثِيرٍ مِمَّنْ خَلَقْنَا تَفْضِيلًا}

“Indeed, We honoured the progeny of Adam, and bore them across land and sea and provided them with good things for their sustenance, and exalted them above many of Our creatures.” (Chapter Al Isra’/The Night Journey:70)

17. Pay attention to his mental and spiritual development, train and guide him to what suits him later in his life

Parent is supposed to pay a lot of attention to their child’s mental and spiritual development. They should always keep an eye to him, lest he falls into destructive things to his moral and himself.

As time goes, a child’s mind would maturing, hence the increasing curiosity. It is another obligation of parent to explain things to their child according to his level, and life stage.

Sometimes, a 5-6 years old child would start to ask, particularly to his mother, “Mother, where do I come from?”. The answer will be, “From my womb.” However, for a teenager that almost reaches his puberty, such answer is inappropriate anymore. Therefore, it is important to recognize a suitable answer for each life stages a child is going through.

Children have different potential between them. Among them there is a child who has a tendency to study, other may have more potential in working, trading, or having particular skill in certain field; some may posses a tendency to be law enforcers, and so on.

A child easily memorizes and comprehends thing, should be directed to learn religious knowledges, because it is the best education for a child. However, if that’s not the case, it is improper for the parent to force him to study religious knowledges, since it doesn’t suit the potential that Allah has given to him naturally. If he is forced to pursue something he dislikes, the result will not be maximum.

What I need to remind here is that when parent direct their child into the field that is suitable to his potential, they should be cautious not to guide him into a thing that would require him to transgress Allah’s laws or commit evil doing to obtain it. [11]

18. Be fair to all child

It is compulsory for parent to treat all their children fairly and equally. It comes under the indication below:

One day, An Nu’man Ibn Basyir said, when he was preaching on the dais, “My father has given me a present.” Then ‘Amrah bint Rahawah (his mother) said, “I am not pleased, until you could ask the Messenger of Allah to be the witness.” Nu’man’s father then came to the Messenger of Allah -peace and prayer of Allah be upon him- and told him, “I’ve given a present to my son from my wife, ‘Amrah bint Rawahah. She told me to ask you, O Messenger of Allah, to be the witness of this giving.” The Messenger of Allah -peace and prayer of Allah be upon him- said, “Did you give the same present to all of your child?” His father replied, “No.” The Messenger of Allah -peace and prayer of Allah be upon him- said, “Fear Allah! Be fair to all of your children.” Then his father returned hime and took away his present.[12]

19. Train him to be industrious and not to be lazy

A child is supposed to be trained to be industrious, and not to be lazy. And this training should begin since his young age. The first thing a parent should do is teaching their child how to pray. For example, to perform salat (prayer).

Since a child is young, his mother should accustom him to pray beside her, thus, he could learn the gestures of prayer (salat) and recognize its times. If it already become a habit to him, it’ll be easier to remind him later to perform salat.

Upon reaching seven years old, a boy should be accustomed to attend the five daily prayers at mosque, so that when he reaches puberty, he is already make it a habit to perform salat at the mosque. Even If he is yet to reach that age, it is alright to bring him to the mosque provided that he doesn’t disturb others, doesn’t litter, and is able to respect the honor of the mosque.

A child should also be trained to get up in the night, to perform the night prayer or to wait for the Fajr time. If he is already being accustomed to it since an early age, it will be very easy to do when he gets older.

Beside worshipping activities, a child should also be trained and guided to use his time properly and spend it on positive activities. He should be prevented from wasting it by lazing around or spending it by playing worthless games.

The Messenger of Allah -peace and prayer of Allah be upon him- said,

( نِعْمَتَانِ مَغْبُونٌ فِيهِمَا كَ ثِيرٌ مِنَ النَّاسِ الصِّحَّةُ وَالْفَرَاغُ )

“There are two favors that many people are at loss of: the health and the spare time.” [13]

Ibn al Qayyim said, “Indeed, laziness and idleness create bad results and regrets. On the contrary, hardworking and tiredness bring praiseworthy results, in this world, in the hereafter, or both in this world and in the hereafter. The most leisure man is the most tired later, whereas the most tired one is the most in leisure later. The happiness in this world and in the hereafter could not be attained except through the ‘bridge’ of tiredness.” [14]

Footnotes:

[1] Narrated by Abu Dawud no.1692, classified as valid hadith by Sheikh Al-Albani in “Shahih Abi Dawud” no. 1485

[2] Narrated by Muslim no. 2310

[3] Narrated by Abu Dawud no. 495, classified as good hadith by Sheikh Al-Albani in “Shahih Abi Dawud” no. 509

[4] Narrated by Al-Bukhari no. 3280 and Muslim no. 5250

[5] He is an imam in Masjid Nabawi (Mosque of the Prophet) and a judge in Shari’a Court in Medina.

[6] Narrated by Al-Bukhari no. 3499 and Muslim no. 187

[7] Refer to: “Khuthuwat ila As-Sa’adah page. 141

[8] (لكاع) Laka’ : a nickname for Hasan Ibn ‘Ali, which means “a thin child”..

[9] Narrated by Al-Bukhari no. 5434.

[10] Narrated by Abu Dawud no. 5004, classified as valid hadith by Sheikh Al-Albani in Ghayatul-Maram no. 447.

[11] see: Tuhfatul-Maudud by Ibnul-Qayyim page. 243-244. Published by: Maktabah Daril-bayan: Beirut

[12] Narrated by Al-Bukhari no. 2587 and Muslim no. 4185. This redaction belongs to Al-Bukhari.

[13] Narrated by Al-Bukhari no. 6412

[14] Tuhfatul-Maudud by Ibnul-Qayyim page 241, published by: Maktabah Daril-bayan: Beirut.

 

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