Children are our most precious and valuable resources for the future. The children of today are the adults of tomorrow. The bitter truth is, most children are ill-cared-for. And this is intolerable. We, as adults, must start taking better care of our offspring, for the sake of love, for the sake of our future and for the sake of Allah ﷻ. We must follow our Prophet Muhammad ﷺ in bringing up our children.
The Messenger of Allah ﷺ taught us that the best way to approach children is through disciplinary manners.
The Prophet Muhammad ﷺ treated the children the way they liked to be treated. He tried to spread happiness in them through his simplicity and kindness.
Yusuf bin Abdullah said that when he was born his parents took him to Messenger for his blessings. He suggested the name, Yusuf, and put him in his lap. He patted him on the head and prayed for the blessings of Allah ﷻ.
Muhammad ﷺ was very kind and affectionate to all the children. He loved them and always treated them with kindness and gentleness. But nowadays, orphans and other children are remembered only on Children’s Day celebrations and distributed new garments, well treated and given lavish food. Prophet ﷺ never celebrated a day called children’s day.
The children are the real future of the country. So everyone should understand their responsibility towards the children and realize the importance of the children.
Amr ibn Saad narrated Anas ibn Malik as saying,
“I have never seen anyone act more kindly towards children than Messenger ﷺ.”
His son Ibrahim was being suckled in the neighborhood of Medinah. He would go, accompanied by us, and enter the house which was full of smoke, the child’s foster-father being a blacksmith. He would take him and kiss him and then go back.
It was also his practice, whenever he came back from a journey, to let the children, who met him on the way, ride before and behind him and he always greeted them first.
When Prophet ﷺ heard a child crying while he was praying he would lighten his prayer so the mother could finish prayer and carry him, see what he needed so he would stop crying. He said:
“I rose up to pray, with the intention to elongate my prayer, thereupon I hear the cry of a child which makes me shorten my prayer disliking to make it hard on his/her mother.”
[Reported by Al-Bukhari 868]
Also the message of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ emphasizes rights of children in inheritance and wills. It also stresses greatly on the rights of an orphan in caring, protecting, and preserving his property and the society to protect him, be kind to him, take care of him and to secure him completely.
It is narrated that Abu Huraira (PBUH) said:
“We were praying ‘Isha` prayer with the Messenger of Allah ﷺ when he prostrated, Al-Hasan and Al-Hussain would jump on his back, when he rose with his head he picked them gently from the back and placed them (on the floor) kindly, so when he returned(to prostration) they return to what they do, and when he ended his prayer he would put them on his thighs.”
[Declared good by Al-Albani 3325 Al-Silsila Al-Sahiha].
This depicts the mercy of Prophet ﷺ towards the children.
Being fond of children, Prophet Muhammad ﷺ showed great interest in playing with them. His involvement in children’s games shows us the great importance in playing with our children.
The Messenger of Allah ﷺ used to play with children even in the streets while walking. Ya’la Ibn Mura says: “I went out with the Prophet (PBUH) for a food invitation. Al-Hussain son of Ali (R.A) was playing in the street, whereupon the Prophet hurried in front of the people towards him to catch him while Al-Hussain running right and left to escape.
Moreover, he used to take Osama Ibn Zaid and Al-Hassan Ibn Ali and place them on his thighs then he would tightly hug them and say:
“O Allah have mercy on them as I have mercy on them.”
[Reported by Al-Bukhari, 6003]
He would have fun with the children who had come back from Abyssinia and tried to speak in Abyssinian with them. It was his practice to give lifts on his camel to children when he returned from journey.
Sahl Ibn Sa’d says:
“The Messenger of Allah ﷺ had something to drink, so he drank and there was a boy on his right and elders on his left so he asks the Boy “Do you give me permission to give them?” the boy replies, “No, by Allah, I wouldn’t give my share from you to anyone”.”
The Prophet ﷺ respected both matters, the right of the child with regards to his permission, and the right of the elders where he asked the boy to disclaim his right for them, but when the child insisted not, he didn’t admonish the kid nor he scolded him, rather he gave him his right.
Physical punishment should never be considered as a determining factor in the upbringing of children.There is no trace in history of the Prophet ﷺ where he beat small children as a form of punishment or to train them. So we also must follow the Prophet’s ﷺ example in our children’s upbringing by kindness, friendly, loving them and treating them well.
The Prophet ﷺ is a role-model for the whole of humankind. His attitude towards children was always compassionate and merciful. He ﷺ clearly advised his followers concerning this,
“Respect your children and treat them with good manners and in an acceptable way.”
Let us strive to be like him.
Written by: shaf☄