To judge the relation between parents and children in Islam, let us remember an incident from our dearest Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)’s life. Once a Sahaba visited Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) while the Prophet was engaged in caressing Hasan and Hussain, his two grandchildren.
Surprised to see this, the Sahaba asked Prophet (PBUH), “O Messenger of Allah (Peace and blessings of Allah be upon him)! Do you also caress children, I have ten children but I have never fondled even one of them.” Hearing this, Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, “It seems mercy and kindness have left your heart.” – Sahih Bukhari.
Throughout our entire lives, a lot of stress is exerted on the rights parents have on children in Islam. While children will always remain indebted to the countless sacrifices parents make (according to the Holy Quran), sometimes parents forget to form a relationship between them and the offspring.
The essence of this relationship continues missing in midst of all the sacrifices parents continue to make. However, just like a seed needs proper nutriment to bloom into a lovely, beautiful flower, a child needs the love of their parents to grow up as a decent Muslim human being.
The Importance of Family In Islam
“Wealth and children are the adornments of the life of this world.” – [Surah Al-Kahf, #18 Verse 46]
Islam considers the Muslim Ummah as one complete institution where a Muslim family unit acts as the core foundation. The intermediate Muslim household compromises of parents and children, insisting to the very fact that the bond between parents and children should be strong enough to keep the Ummah intact. An avid reader of Quran will understand how a number of Quranic verses replete the commandments to children and parents, to ascertain the responsibilities and obligations both relationships have on one another.
While parents hold the higher degree compared to children, they often ignore the nourishment and the nurturing a child requires that will help them become a better human being and Muslim.
Messenger of Allah (PBUH) once said: “Whoever goes to the bazaar to purchase a present for the members of his family and brings it to them is like one who spends on the needy. However, he should prefer daughters to sons because whoever pleases his daughter is like one who frees a slave from among the descendants of Prophet Ismail (as).” – Sahih Bukhari.
Upbringing of Children In The Light of Quran
“Your wealth and your children are only a trial, whereas with Allah! With Him is a great reward (Paradise).” – [Surah At-Taghabun – #64 Verse 15].
Indeed, the upbringing of children is stated as a ‘trial’ in our religion. On a number of occasions, Quran stresses on how the upbringing of children can be a trial for Muslims. While children look up to their parents as the fountain of knowledge, many don’t set up great examples in showing their commitment to Islam and Allah. In order to tackle this, many parents use the wing of child abuse to force their children on the path of Islamic teaching.
“Call to the path of your Lord with wisdom and kindly exhortation and debate with them in the most befitting manner. Indeed, your Lord best knows those who stray from His path and those who are rightly guided.” (16:125).
The Muslim Ummah is instructed to use arguing as the most befitting manner. In contrast to this, many parents use beating up as means of ‘educating’ children.
Psychologically, child abuse reduces the ability of a child to understand something and makes them nervous in their insecurities. A child, at a young age where there is hardly any know-how about right and wrong, become rebellious to whatever forcefully exerted to their way, even religion. Children are affected by whatever problems they are exposed to in childhood.
“Observe justice in dealing with your children in the same manner in which you expect them to observe justice in being kind and good to you.” – Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) – Sahih Bukhari.
An Important Hadeeth
“If a person dies, his/her deeds are cut off, except from three:
- A pious child who makes dua for the parents.
- Continuous charitable deeds.
- Knowledge left behind with which people benefit”
The hadeeth shows significance on how the upbringing righteous children can/will benefit parents as well. Parents need to understand themselves as the shepherd man of the herd of sheep they love. They need to treat them with kindness, love, and mercy for their children will not only benefit the Muslim community but also ease their pain in their graves.