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Children
According to Quran and Sunnah

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To Allah belongs the kingdom of the heavens and the earth.
He creates what He wills.
He bestows female (offspring) upon whom He wills,
and bestows male (offspring) upon whom He wills.
The Noble Qur'an - Ash-Shura 42:49




Every child is born Muslim


Hadith - Bukhari 2.440, Narrated Ibn Shihab

Abu Huraira, narrated that the Prophet said, "Every child is born with a true faith (i.e. to worship none but Allah Alone) but his parents convert him to Judaism or to Christianity or to Magainism, as an animal delivers a perfect baby animal. Do you find it mutilated?" Then Abu Huraira recited the holy verse: "So set you (O Muhammad SAW) your face towards the religion of pure Islâmic Monotheism Hanifa (worship none but Allâh Alone) Allâh's Fitrah (i.e. Allâh's Islâmic Monotheism), with which He has created mankind. No change let there be in Khalq­illâh (i.e. the Religion of Allâh Islâmic Monotheism), that is the straight religion, but most of men know not. [Tafsir At­Tabarî, Vol 21, Page 41] " (30.30).


Show Loving Kindness


Hadith - Bukhari (#86), Muslim, Tirmidhi, and Nasa'i.

Barra' said, "I saw the Prophet of Allah with Hasan upon his shoulders.  The Prophet was saying, 'O Allah! I love him, so You love him too.'"

Hadith - Bukhari (#91) and Muslim

Abu Salmah related that Abu Hurayrah said, "The Prophet of Allah kissed Hasan ibn 'Ali while Aqra' ibn Habis was sitting nearby.  Aqra' said, 'I have ten children and have never kissed one of them.' The Prophet looked at him and said, 'Those who show no mercy will be shown no mercy.'"

The Noble Qur'an - Al-Ahqaf 46:15

And We have enjoined on man to be dutiful and kind to his parents.  His mother bears him with hardship and she brings him forth with hardship, and the bearing of him, and the weaning of him is thirty (30) months, till when he attains full strength and reaches forty years, he says:  "My Lord!  Grant me the power and ability that I may be grateful for Your Favour which You have bestowed upon me and upon my parents, and that I may do righteous good deeds, such as please You, and make my off-spring good.  Truly, I have turned to You in repentance, and truly, I am one of the Muslims (submitting to Your Will)."


Favoritism

Hadith - Dawud, Narrated An-Nu'man ibn Bashir

The Prophet said: Act equally between your children; Act equally between your sons.

Hadith - Dawud, Narrated An-Nu'man ibn Bashir

I heard An-Nu'man bin Bashir on the pulpit saying, "My father gave me a gift but 'Amra bint Rawaha (my mother) said that she would not agree to it unless he made Allah's Apostle as a witness to it. So, my father went to Allah's Apostle and said, 'I have given a gift to my son from 'Amra bint Rawaha, but she ordered me to make you as a witness to it, O Allah's Apostle!' Allah's Apostle asked, 'Have you given (the like of it) to everyone of your sons?' He replied in the negative. Allah's Apostle said, 'Be afraid of Allah, and be just to your children.' My father then returned and took back his gift."


Playing with Dogs

Hadith - Bukhari (#1302)

Ibrahim said, "Our associates used to permit all sorts of play, except for play with dogs."  Imam Bukhari added:  "He meant [the permission was] for children.


Nightime

Hadith - Bukhari 4:523, Narrated Jabir bin Abdullah

Allah's Apostle said, "When night falls (or it is evening), keep your children close to you for the devils spread out at that time. But when an hour of the night elapses, you can let them free. Close the doors and mention the Name of Allah, for Shaytaan (Satan) does not open a closed door."


The Testimony of Children

Hadith - Muwatta 36.9

Yahya said, "Malik said from Hisham ibn Urwa that Abdullah ibn az-Zubayr gave judgment based on the testimony of children concerning the injuries between them."

Malik said, "The generally agreed on way of doing things in our community is that the testimony of children is permitted concerning injuries between them. It is not accepted about anything else. It is only permitted between them if they testify before they leave the scene of the incident and have been deceived or instructed. If they leave the scene, they have no testimony unless they call just witnesses to witness their testimony before they leave."


Obedience and Respect Due to Muslim Parents


The Noble Qur'an - Luqmaan 31:14-15
And We have enjoined on man (to be dutiful and good) to his parents. His mother bore him in weakness and hardship upon weakness and hardship, and his weaning is in two years give thanks to Me and to your parents, unto Me is the final destination.

But if they (both) strive with you to make you join in worship with Me others that of which you have no knowledge, then obey them not, but behave with them in the world kindly, and follow the path of him who turns to Me in repentance and in obedience. Then to Me will be your return, and I shall tell you what you used to do.

Hadith - Sahih Bukhari Vol. 4, No. 41, Narrated 'Abdullah bin Mas'ud
I asked Allah's Messenger (saaws), "O Allah's Messenger! What is the best deed?" He replied, "To offer the prayers at their early stated fixed times." I asked, "What is next in goodness?" He replied, "To be good and dutiful to your parents." I further asked, "What is next in goodness?" He replied, "To participate in Jihad in Alah's Cause." I did not ask Allah's Messenger (saaws) anymore and if I had asked him more, he would have told me more.

The Noble Qur'an - Al-Isra 17:23-24
And your Lord has decreed that you worship none but Him.  And that you be dutiful to your parents.  If one of them or both of them attain old age in your life, say not to them a word of disrespect, nor shout at them but address them in terms of honour.

And lower unto them the wing of submission and humility through mercy, and say: "My Lord!  Bestow on them Your Mercy as they did bring me up when I was young."

Note: Muslims must not pray for forgiveness for the Mushrikun.


Discipline

Abusing a muslim is not allowed.  But "spankings" and appropriate discipline as means of correction are Islamic.

Hadith - Bukhari (#883) and Abu Dawud

Nafi' said, "Ibn 'Umar used to beat his children for mistakes in diction."

Hadith - Dawud, Narrated As-Saburah

[Also recorded by Ahmand and al-Hakim. Al-Syuti has give in a notation signifying that it is authentic. Al-Albani has graded it hasan. Al-Albani, Sahih al-Jami, vol. 2, p. 1021.]

The Prophet said: Order your children to pray at the age of seven. And beat them [lightly] if they do not do so by the age of ten.  And separate them in their bedding.

Hadith - Bukhari 3:734, Narrated Abu Huraira

The Prophet said, "If somebody fights (or beats somebody) then he should avoid the face."

It is permissible to admonish a child that is not your own...

Hadith - Bukhari 7:177, Narrated Aisha

Abu Bakr admonished me and poked me with his hands in the flank, and nothing stopped me from moving at that time except the position of Allah's Apostle whose head was on my thigh.


Children are a Test and Trial

Muslims are frequently tested by Allah s.w.t. Your children are a test or trial for you, and your actions or lack of actions will be judged by Allah swt alone.  Do not raise your child simply based on what your family or peers thinks you should do. Do not fear the judgment of mankind, but of Allah, s.w.t., alone.

Hadith - Dawud, Narrated Buraydah ibn al-Hasib

The Apostle of Allah delivered a speech to us; meanwhile al-Hasan and al-Husayn came upon there stumbling, wearing red shirts. He came down from the pulpit, took them and ascended it with them. He then said: Allah truly said: "Your property and your children are only trial" (Ixiv.15). I saw both of them, and I could not wait. Afterwards he resumed the speech.

Hadith - Tirmidhi , a hasan sahih tradition.

Allah's Messenger said, "The believing man or woman continues to have affliction in person, property and children so that they may finally meet Allah, free from sin."

Hadith - Dawud, Narrated Muhammad ibn Khalid as-Sulami

As-Sulami's grandfather, who was a Companion of the Apostle of Allah said: I heard the Apostle of Allah say: When Allah has previously decreed for a servant a rank which he has not attained by his action, He afflicts him in his body, or his property or his children.

The Noble Quran - Al-Hadid 57:25

Indeed We have sent Our Messengers with clear proofs, and revealed with them the Scripture and the Balance (justice) that mankind may keep up justice.  And We brought forth iron wherein is mighty power (in matters of war), as well as many benefits for mankind, that Allah may test who it is that will help Him (His Religion), and His Messengers in the unseen.  Verily, Allah is All-Strong, All-Mighty.

The Noble Quran - At-Taghabun 64:15

Your wealth and your children are only a trial, whereas Allah! With Him is a great reward (Paradise).

A supplication...

Hadith - Tirmidhi, Narrated Umar ibn al-Khattab

Allah's Messenger taught him to say, "O Allah, make my inner nature better than my outer, and make my outer nature good. O Allah, I ask Thee to give me some of the abundance thou givest to men, in family, property and children, which neither strays nor leads astray."


Instructions

Hadith - Mishkat, Narrated Mu'adh ibn Jabal

Allah's Messenger instructed me to do ten things saying:

  1. Do not associate anything with Allah even if you are killed and burnt on that account.

  2. Don't be disobedient to your parents even if they command you to abandon your family and your property.

  3. Do not deliberately neglect to observe a prescribed prayer for he who neglects the prescribed prayer deliberately will become out of the protection of Allah.

  4. Do not drink wine for it is the height of every obscenity.

  5. Shun evil, for with evil there descends the wrath of Allah.

  6. Beware of running away from the battle-field even if the people perish.

  7. And when the death overtakes the people (in a plague or disaster) and you are one amongst them, show steadfastness.

  8. Spend on your children according to your means.

  9. Do not refrain from using pressure (of punishment) with a view to training them.

  10. Inculcate in them the fear of Allah.


Permission to Enter

The Noble Qur'an - An-Nur 24:58-9

O you who believe! Let your legal slaves and slave-girls, and those among you who have not come to the age of puberty ask your permission (before they come to your presence) on three occasions; before morning prayer, and while you put off your clothes for the noonday (rest), and after the 'Isha (latenight) prayer.  (These) three times are of privacy for you, other than these times there is no sin on you or on them to move about, --attending (helping) you each other.  Thus Allah makes clear the Ayat (the Verses of this Qur'an, showing proofs for the legal aspects of permission for visits, etc.) to you.  And Allah is All-Knowing, All-Wise.

And when the children among you come to puberty, then let them (also) ask for permission, as those senior to them (in age).  Thus Allah makes clear His Ayat (Commandments and legal obligations) for you.  And Allah is All-Knowing, All-Wise.


Acts of Charity

Parents sometimes overstress themselves and become like servants to their children.  This is not to say that it is permissible to neglect a child, but to address the matter of people who begin to neglect their own self in an effort to help others.  This hadith may help to alleviate those who feel that their children's needs are to be delivered at the expense of their own needs being fulfilled.  For instance, if you neglect your own health while caring for your child, you may become extremely sick and then be unable to fulfill your role of providing.  This hadith also shows that we should first spend our resources on providing for our family before giving gifts to others.

Hadith - Dawud, Narrated Buraydah ibn al-Hasib

The Prophet commanded to give sadaqah. A man said: Apostle of Allah, I have a dinar. He said: Spend it on yourself. He again said: I have another. He said: Spend it on your children. He again said: I have another. He said: Spend it on your wife. He again said: I have another. He said: Spend it on your servant. He finally said: I have another. He replied: You know best (what to do with it).


Balancing our Time

Parents should make time for both the worldly affairs and studying the deen of Al-Islam.

Hadith - Dawud, Narrated Buraydah ibn al-Hasib

I met AbuBakr. He said: Who are you? He (Hanzalah) said: Hanzalah has turned out to be a hypocrite. He (AbuBakr) said: Hallowed be Allah, what are you saying? Thereupon he said: I say that when we are in the company of Allah's Messenger we ponder over Hell-Fire and Paradise as if we are seeing them before our very eyes. When we are away from Allah's Apostle we attend to our wives, our children, our business; most of these things (pertaining to the After life) slip out of our minds. AbuBakr said: By Allah, I also experience the same. So AbuBakr and I went to Allah's Apostle and said to him: Allah's Apostle , Hanzalah has turned to be a hypocrite. Thereupon Allah's Apostle said: What has happened to you? I said: Allah's Apostle, when we are in your company, we are reminded of Hell-Fire and Paradise as if we are seeing them with our own eyes, but whenever we go away from you and attend to our wives, children and business, many of these things go out of our minds. Thereupon Allah's Apostle said: By Him in Whose Hand is my life, if your state of mind remains the same as it is in my presence and you are always busy in remembrance (of Allah), the angels will shake hands with you in your beds and on your paths. However, Hanzalah, time should be devoted (to the worldly affairs) and time (should be devoted to prayer and meditation). He (the holy Prophet) said this thrice.

The Noble Qur'an - Al-Munafiqun 63:9

O you who believe! Let not your properties or your children divert you from the remembrance of Allah.  And whosoever does that, they are the losers.

Hadith - Sahih al-Bukhari 8.65, Narrated Al Aswad  

I asked 'Aisha what did the Prophet use to do at home. She replied, "He used to keep himself busy serving his family and when it was time for the prayer, he would get up for prayer."

Hadith - Sahih al-Bukhari 8.200, Narrated Abu Huraira  

Allah's Apostle said, "Allah said, 'The offspring of Adam abuse the Dahr (Time), and I am the Dahr; in My Hands are the night and the day!' "


The Parent must consent to Jihad

Hadith - Dawud, Narrated Abu Sa'id

A man from Yemen migrated to Madinah to be with the Prophet .  The Prophet  asked him, 'Do you have any relatives in Yemen?' He answered, 'My parents.'  'Did you ask their permission?' the Prophet asked.  On his replying that he did not, the Prophet told him, 'Go back to them and ask their permission.  If they agree to it, go on jihad.  Otherwise stay and serve them.'


Love for the Prophet s.a.a.w.s.

     We must love Allah, subhana watala, far above all, with no comparison to the love we have for people.  

     Our love for the Prophet must surpass our love for our own children or parents.  Teach the children to love Muhammad .  Also teach about shirk, so that they know the difference between love and idol-worship (i.e. honoring, excessive praising, etc.).

Hadith - Bukhari 1:13, Narrated Abu Huraira

Allah's Apostle said, "By Him in Whose Hands my life is, none of you will have faith till he loves me more than his father and his children."


Losing a Child


Hadith - al-Tayaalisi. [The story was also reported by Imaam al-Bukhaari, Muslim, Ahmad. al-Albaani collected all its isnaads in his book Ahkaam al-Janaa’iz, p. 20] Narrated Anas (may Allah be pleased with him)

So he [Abu Talhah, r.a.] married her [Um Sulaym, r.a.], and she was a woman with nice eyes, rather small. She was with him until she bore him a son, who Abu Talhah loved very much. The child became very ill, and Abu Talhah was very upset and distressed by the child’s sickness. Abu Talhah used to get up to pray the morning prayer, he would go to the Prophet and pray with him, and would stay with him for almost half the day. Then [Abu Talhah] would come to take a nap and eat, and when he had prayed Zuhr [mid-day prayer] he would get ready and leave, and would not come back until the time of the ‘Isha’ [night-time] prayer.

One evening, Abu Talhah went out to see the Prophet (according to another report: to go to the mosque), and the child died (during his absence).

Um Sulaym said, “No one is to tell Abu Talhah about his child’s death until I have told him.” She covered the child up as if he were sleeping, and left him in a corner of the house. Abu Talhah came back from visiting the Messenger of Allah , and brought some people from the mosque with him. He asked, “How is my son?” She said, “O Abu Talhah, from the time he fell sick, he has never been as calm as he is now, and I hope that he is resting.” (She spoke vaguely so as not to upset him; this was not a lie. She was referring to the calmness of death and the child finding relief from the pain of his sickness, but her husband took it to mean that the child’s condition had improved). She brought the meal and they all ate dinner, then the people left.

Then he went to bed and lay down, and she got up and put on perfume and adorned herself, making herself more beautiful than she ever had before. (This was a sign of her patience and great faith in the will and decree of Allaah. She was seeking reward from Allah and concealing her feelings, hoping that she would become pregnant that night to make up for the loss of her child). Then she came and lay down in the bed with him, and when he smelt the perfume, he did as men usually do with their wives (this is the narrator’s polite and circumspect manner of referring to what happened between them).

At the end of the night, she said, “O Abu Talhah, do you think that if some people lent something to some others, then they asked for it back, do they have the right not to give it back?” He said, “No.” She said, “Allaah, may He be glorified, lent your son to you, and now He has taken him back, so seek reward with Him and have patience.” He became angry and said, “You left me until I did what I did (i.e., had intercourse), then you tell me that my son has died!” Then he said, “Innaa Lillaahi wa innaa ilayhi raaji’oon (Truly, to Allaah we belong and truly, to Him we shall return – the words uttered by Muslims when faced with news of death or calamity) and he praised Allaah. In the morning, he did ghusl (full ablution) then he went to the Messenger of Allah and prayed with him, and told him what had happened. The Messenger of Allaah (saaws) said, “May Allaah bless you for last night.” She conceived a child (thus the Prophet’s prayer for them was answered).

Um Sulaym used to travel with the Messenger of Allah , leaving Madeenah when he left, and returning when he returned. The Messenger of Allah said, “When she gives birth, bring the child to me.” He was on a journey, and Um Sulaym was with him. When the Messenger of Allaah (saaws) came back from travelling, he would never enter Madeenah at night (so as not to disturb the people, and so that wives would have time to get ready to greet their husbands). They reached the outskirts of Madeenah, and her labour pains started. Abu Talhah stayed with her, and the Messenger of Allah went on. Abu Talhah said, “O Allah, you know that I like to set out with your Messenger when he sets out, and come back with him when he comes back. I have been detained as You see.” Um Sulaym said, “O Abu Talhah, I do not feel the pains as much (this was one of her “miracles”; her labour pains ceased because she had asked Allaah to enable her to catch up with the Messenger of Allah ).

So they set off, and after they had reached Madeenah, her labour pains started again, and she gave birth to a boy. She told her son Anas, “O Anas, I will not give him anything to eat until you take him in the morning to the Messenger of Allah ,” and she sent some dates with him. (Because she wanted the first thing to enter the child’s mouth to be food from the Prophet ; this was a sign of her great faith, because the woman’s natural instinct is to hasten to feed the baby as soon as he is born). The child cried all night long, and I [Anas, the narrator of this story] stayed up all night taking care of him. In the morning, I took him to the Messenger of Allaah , who was wearing his burdah (a kind of cloak) and marking the camels and sheep that had been given to him (the animals had been given in charity and he was marking them so that they would not get lost or mixed with other flocks or herds). When he saw him, he said to Anas, “Has the daughter of Milhaan [i.e., Um Sulaym] given birth?” He said, “Yes.” He said, “I will be with you in a minute.” He put down the tool in his hand (with which he had been marking the animals) and took the child, then he said, “Do you have something for him?” They said, “Yes, dates.”

The Prophet (saaws) took some of the dates and chewed them, mixing them with his saliva (and the saliva of the Prophet was blessed by Allah). Then he opened the child’s mouth and gave him some of the dates, wiping them inside his mouth (this is called Tahneek and is one of the customs among Muslims when a baby is born). The infant began to smack his lips, sucking some of the sweetness of the dates and the saliva of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). Thus the first thing that entered that child’s stomach was mixed with the saliva of the Messenger of Allah . He said, “See how much the Ansaar (the Muslims who were living in Madeenah when the Prophet migrated there) love dates!” I [Anas] said, “O Messenger of Allah, name him.” He wiped his face and named him ‘Abd-Allaah. There was no young man among the Ansaar who was better than him, and when he grew up he had a lot of sons, and was martyred in Persia (he died as a martyr when the Muslims conquered Persia; all of this happened as a result of the Prophet’s blessed du’aa’).


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Action Items for the Muttaqun:

  • Introduce your daughters to wearing hijab as soon as possible, for instance, as soon as they can walk.  Prepare them for when hijab and niqab will be worn regularly at puberty; do not dress them in kaffir clothes, and then one day they hit puberty and must totally adapt to the modesty clothing of a muslimah.  

    • Remember that daughters like to dress like their mother.  

    • You may use positive reinforcement to emphasize the blessings of wearing hijab, expressing simple emotions that a child can understand, such as feeling sorry for other girls (the children of disbelieving parents) that don't get their own hijab to wear.

    • By puberty, girls should be wearing complete hijab, i.e. niqab, loose-fitting covering clothes at all times when going out of the house.

    • Muslimahs should wear hijab at age 7 to fulfill their obligation to salah.

    • Avoid dressing boys in clothes that resemble the kaffir. Kufi, thobes and other clothes that reflect his muslim identity, are recommended.

  • Show affection to your child, such as kissing on the cheek.

  • Only spend on your children within your means, i.e. what you can afford.  

  • By age seven, boys and girls raised by Muslims should learn how to and begin doing salat if they don't already know.

  • Discipline a child who is seven or older and intentionally neglects salat.  Stronger measures may be used at age 10, as it is your responsibility to ensure obedience in your child.

  • Install the fear of Allah, s.w.t., in your children.  But first you must fear Allah, s.w.t., in your heart and actions.

Remember... Allah, subhana watala, sees everything we do!


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