12 May 2014

The Rights of Children in Islam.


Children are one of the joys of life  that we ask Allah to grant us:        
·       Wealth and sons are allurements of the life of this world- (Al-Kahf 18:46)
·       And those who pray, "Our Lord! Grant unto us wives and offspring who will be the comfort of our eyes, and give us (the grace) to lead the righteous." (Al-Furqan 25:74) 
          Children are the delight of our hearts in their childhood, our companions and comfort in our old age, and the only source of du`aa' in our graves; all in all, they are the means by which we earn the fruits of this life and the reward of the hereafter. The adult of today was the child of yesterday, and the child of today is the adult of tomorrow.
Islam is the most just way of life, in which the rights of each soul are granted.                       
Children, according to Islam, are entitled to various rights.
·       Choosing a righteous wife to be a righteous mother.
·       The first and foremost of these rights is the right to be properly brought up, raised and educated.  
·       Upon their birth, children have all of their rights automatically in effect: feeding, Clothing, health care.
·       It is Sunnah (recommended) to do tahneek for the child when he is born:  
·       It is Sunnah to shave the child’s head on the seventh day and to give the weight of the hair
in silver in charity. 
·       It is mustahabb for the father to do the ‘aqeeqah. -“Every child is in pledge for his ‘aqeeqah.”  Two sheep should be sacrificed for a boy and one for a girl. 
·       Circumcision             
·        Parents must take care of teaching their children the duties of Islam and other virtues
that are recommended in sharee’ah, and worldly matters that they need in order to live a decent life in this world and give their children  training in good manners and characteristics: 
·       Another of the greatest rights is to give the child a good upbringing and take good care of him or her – especially in the case of girls. The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) encouraged this righteous deed. 
·       Another important right  is treating children fairly.  - Saheeh hadeeth (authentic narration): “Fear Allaah and treat your children fairly.” (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 2447; Muslim, 1623).
·       Also, the Prophet advised us to give each child a name with a good meaning.
 such as ‘Abd-Allaah or ‘Abd al-Rahmaan
·       The Qur'an also states that children have the right to inherit from the day of their birth.
·       Parents are recommended to provide adequately for children in inheritance.
·        Children have the right to be fed, clothed, and protected until they reach adulthood.
·        Children must have the respect, to enjoy love and affection from their parents.
·         Children have the right to be treated equally, vis-a-vis their siblings in terms of financial gifts.
Traditions/Sunnah regarding  Chidren’s Rights
           Muslims who fear Allah in their heart and are keen to earn His satisfaction should treat their children equally, not favoring one over the others, in spending, treatment, and giving gifts to them.
A tradition reports:
·       It is narrated by Abu Bakr, RAA, who said that Allah's Apostle, PBUH, was approached by one of his companions, al-N'uman bin Basheer, who said: "O Prophet of Allah! I have granted a servant to one of my children (asking him to testify to that gift)." But Allah's PBUH asked him: "Did you grant the same to each and every child of yours?" When Allah's Apostle, PBUH was informed negatively about that, he said: "Fear Allah, the Almighty, and be fair and just to all your children. Seek the testimony of another person, other than me. I will not testify to an act of injustice." This Hadith is reported by both Bukhari and Muslim. Thus, Allah's Apostle, PBUH called such an act of preference of one child over the others an act of "injustice." Injustice is prohibited and forbidden in Islam
·       Prophet Muhammad was reported as saying: "Be fair and just in terms of the gifts you offer your children. If I was to give preference to any (gender over the other) I would have preferred females over males (in terms of giving gifts)." Imam Baihaqi
·       Children have the right to education.  A saying attributed to Muhammad relates:"A father gives his child nothing better than a good education. - "Hadith collected by Tirmidhi and Al-Bayhaqi.
·       He is not one of us who does not have mercy for children and respect for our seniors. (At-Tirmidhi)
·       It is reported that Al-Aqra' ibn Habis saw Allah's Messenger kissing his grandchild and said to the Prophet, "I have ten children, but I have never kissed any one of them." The Prophet said, "He who does not show mercy (towards his children), no mercy would be shown to him" (Al-Bukhari).
·       Also, a Bedouin man asked the Prophet, "Do you kiss your sons?" The Prophet replied, "Yes." The Bedouin said, "We do not." The Prophet said to him, "What can I do for you if Allah has removed mercy from your heart?" (Al-Bukhari).
·       Prophet Muhammad said, "The best penny a man spends is that on his children, on his camel for the sake of Allah, and on his friends for the sake of Allah."
·       Even in cases of divorce, fathers are asked to be fully responsible for their children regarding food, clothing, schooling, and health expenses according to the father's standard of life.
·       [Let the man of means spend according to his means: and the men whose resources are restricted, let him spend according to what Allah has given him. Allah puts no burden on any person beyond what He has given him. After a difficulty, Allah will soon grant relief.} (At-Talaq 65:7) 
·       Umar in a Sunni tradition summed up some of the rights of children in the following anecdote:
One day a man came to Umar ibn al-Khattab to complain of a disobedient son. So Umar had brought the boy to him and he blamed him for his disobedience. Then the boy addressed Umar by saying "O Commander of the faithful: Are there no rights for a boy against his father?” Umar said "Yes". Then the boy said "What are these rights O Commander of the Faithful?" Umar said, "To choose a good mother for him, to select a good name to him and to teach him the Quran" Then the boy said: "O Commander of the faithful; my father has not accomplished any of these rights. As for my mother, she was a black slave for a Magian; As for my name, he has named me Jual (beetle); and he has not taught me even one letter from the Quran". Then Umar turned round to the man and said "You came to me complaining disobedience on the part of your son, whereas you have not given him his rights. So you have made mistakes against him before he has made mistakes against you".
             Children are a trust given to the parents. Parents have responsibilities towards their children, and they stand accountable for these responsibilities. Children are a blessing from Allah and to thank Allah for such a blessing, parents should fulfill the duties Allah prescribed on them towards their children. If parents fulfill this responsibility, they will be free of the consequences on the Day of Judgment. The children will become better citizens and a pleasure to the eyes of their parents, first in this world and lastly in Jannat.
Foot Notes:
·       Islam and Children by Wikipedia
·       Rights of Children and Parents in Islam by   Hoda Yasser. 
·       The Rights of Children in Islam BY Sheikh-Al-Uthaymeen
·       Child Rights in Islam by S.M.Manazid




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