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Introduction

Pedagogy education and upbringing

Chapter 3

Children's Upbringing

38284: The danger of studying in the kaafir schools

Question:

My daughter goes to public school, in order to help her feel comfortable about her being a muslim among non muslims, I suggested to the teacher that I would do something for the classroom about Ramadan and Eid-el-fitr. Do you have any suggestions on what I can do for the kindergarten class?.


Answer:

Praise be to Allaah.

Firstly: there is no doubt that staying in the kaafir lands poses a grave danger to the religion and morals of the Muslim. Hence we should beware of that and try to avoid it, and set out conditions which will prevent the Muslim from falling into that great danger. The Muslim who stays in a kaafir country must meet two conditions, as follows:

1 _ His religious commitment should be secure, in the sense that he should have sufficient knowledge and faith to give him the strength to remain steadfast in his religious commitment and to avoid going astray.

2 _ He should able to practise his religion openly by establishing the symbols of Islam with no impediment. Otherwise it is not permissible for him to stay there and he must migrate (hijrah) in that case. Ibn Qudaamah (may Allaah have mercy on him) said, when discussing the different categories of people with regard to migration:

The first group is those for whom migration is obligatory; these are the ones who are able to migrate and who are not able to practise their religion openly, who are not able to establish the duties of Islam whilst remaining among the kuffaar. These people have to migrate because Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

"Verily, as for those whom the angels take (in death) while they are wronging themselves (as they stayed among the disbelievers even though emigration was obligatory for them), they (angels) say (to them): `In what (condition) were you?' They reply: `We were weak and oppressed on the earth.' They (angels) say: `Was not the earth of Allaah spacious enough for you to emigrate therein?'"

[al-Nisa' 4:97]

This is a stern warning which indicates that migrating is obligatory. Establishing the duties of Islam is obligatory for the one who is able to do that, and migration (hijrah) is a necessary part of these obligatory duties: whatever is essential to the fulfillment of an obligatory duty is also obligatory.

See al-Mughni, 8/457; Majmoo' Fataawa Ibn `Uthaymeen, 3/25-30

Whatever is essential to the fulfillment of an obligatory duty is also obligatory. But there are some cases in which it is permissible for a Muslim to stay in a kaafir country. Please see question no. 13363

2 _ For those who stay among the kuffaar for a reason, such as studying, the danger is even greater, because the student feels a need for his teacher, which may lead to him being friendly towards him and pretending to approve of his ways. Moreover, the student usually feels inferior to his teacher, then he starts to venerate him and adopt his views. Moreover the student will inevitably have friends during his period of study. For all of these reasons we must be very cautious indeed, and in this case in addition to the conditions mentioned above there are other conditions, which include the following:

1 _ The student should be very mature, so that he can distinguish between truth and falsehood. Hence sending students who are very young involves a serious danger to their religious commitment, morals and beliefs.

2 _ The student should have sufficient knowledge of Islam to be able to distinguish truth from falsehood, lest he become confused and be deceived by them.

3 _ He should have enough religious commitment and faith to protect him against kufr and immorality, because those who are weak in these areas will not be safe.

4 _ He should have a need for the knowledge for which he is going there, in the sense that learning this will serve the interests of the Muslims and there is no equivalent available in Muslim schools, otherwise it is not permissible for him to stay among the kuffaar.

Hence the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: "I disavow myself of any Muslim who settles among the mushrikeen." Narrated by Abu Dawood, 2645; al-Tirmidhi, 1604; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in al-Irwa', 1207.

For all these reasons it is essential to be cautious with regard to this matter, especially when sending the young to their schools and even kindergartens, because that poses a threat to their behaviour and morals.

You are well aware that the danger to your children is not restricted to their joining them in their festivals, rather the danger is there simply because of their mixing with them and living among them. So you, as a father, have to be wise in that and understand these dangers, and protect your children from being contaminated with their ideas or being influenced by them. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

"O you who believe! Ward off yourselves and your families against a Fire (Hell)…"

[al-Tahreem 66:6]

Your children are a trust that have been given to you; if you can educate them only in Islamic school or with Muslim teachers, then do so, and it is better to err on the side of caution. Beware of everything that could damage their religious commitment and behaviour. I ask Allaah to help you and to protect you and to make goodness easy for you wherever it is. And Allaah is the source of strength.

Islam Q&A (www.islam-qa.com)

10211: What is the correct way to teach children and call them to Allaah?

Question:

How should I call my young brothers who are around the age of ten to be religiously committed, so that they will grow up as committed Muslims? What methods should I use with them?


Answer:

Praise be to Allaah.

We advise you to teach them the Qur'aan and the saheeh Sunnah, and the good manners of Islam, such as honouring one's parents, upholding ties of kinship, honesty, trustworthiness, etc. Make sure that they regularly pray in jamaa'ah. Also teach them the Islamic etiquette of eating, drinking, speaking, etc. If they grow up with these good manners, they will be guided and will remain steadfast, by the permission of Allaah, and they will grow up in a good way that will benefit them and their ummah, and you will have a great reward.

From Fataawa al-Lajnah al-Daa'imah, 12/261-262 (www.islam-qa.com)

10000: Her husband is not concerned about her children and takes them to a school that follows bid'ah

Question:

My husband is sending my son to an islmaic school that I think is very laxed in religion. My son is seven and has not been taught any of the Quran or any surah's. I have been working with him in english translation because I don't speak arabic. I've spoken to him about this but he puts it off or he makes relevence to sending my son to a school which is known for biddah and innovation. His other set of children from my co-wife attend this school and they recite the quran and surah's in arabic fluently.
What do I do in this case I wan't my son to learn the Quran and surrah's but the school he attends is laxed and the school who gives this high priority is shuned by the islamic community in XXX. The masjid in a way functions within it's own little bubble sought of speak.
Also my husband attends this masjids with my co-wife and his family and I on the other hand attend a more sunna community who don't follow madthabs. This is becoming a problem because my husband doesn't understand the caution that the scholars relate to about the madthabs. His response it how can you go to a particular school and study under a particular sheih and then come back to the community and say don't follow madthabs. I'm not a scholar so I can't really offer him a concrete answer.
Enshallah if you could give me some direction in this matter I would greatly appeciate it..


Answer:

Praise be to Allaah.

Firstly:

We appreciate the sister's keenness for her children to learn Qur'aan, because this is part of raising children well. We ask Allaah to give her strength and help her to do that.

Secondly:

Our advice to her is to strive hard to learn the Arabic language because that is the means of increasing her knowledge of this great religion. In addition she may teach her children whatever she wants of beneficial sciences, because the mother has more influence on her children than anyone else.

Thirdly:

Our advice to her husband is to fear Allaah and to treat his children equally with regard to concern and keenness to teach them that which will benefit them in both their worldly and religious interests, chief of which is the Book of Allaah and the Sunnah of His Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). According to the hadeeth, al-Nu'maan ibn Basheer (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: My father gave me a gift, and `Amrah bint Rawaahah said: I will not agree until you ask the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) to bear witness to it. So he went to the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and said: "I have given a gift to my son from `Amrah bint Rawaahah and she told me to ask you to bear witness, O Messenger of Allaah." He said, "Have you given something similar to all your children?" He said, "No." He said: "Fear Allaah and treat your children equally." He said, So he went back and took back his gift.

Nararted by al-Bukhaari, 2447; Muslim, 1623.

The relevant point from this hadeeth is that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) denounced the father of al-Nu'maan for giving something to him and not to his siblings. That also includes the ruling that the father should not single out one of his children for anything and exclude the others, whether that be teaching or anything else. Just as man would like all his children to honour and obey him equally, so he must treat them equally in all matters. One of the causes of envy and hatred among siblings is when the father shows preference to one of his children or loves him more than his siblings.

The story of Yoosuf bears the greatest testimony to that. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

"When they said: `Truly, Yoosuf (Joseph) and his brother (Benjamin) are dearer to our father than we, while we are `Usbah (a strong group). Really, our father is in a plain error.

Kill Yoosuf (Joseph) or cast him out to some (other) land, so that the favour of your father may be given to you alone, and after that you will be righteous folk (by intending repentance before committing the sin)'"

[Yoosuf 12:8-9]

Fourthly:

The husband has to pay attention to his children learning Islamic knowledge, especially the Arabic language and Qur'aan, and especially because what they learn when they are young stays with them more than what they learn when they grow older. As the saying goes, "what is learned when one is young is like something carved in stone." This is even more important if the Muslim is living in those countries where there is a lot of fitnah and temptation, and especially for children with a lot of distractions.

Fifthly:

The Muslim is obliged to follow the Qur'aan and Sunnah, because they are the source of divine law. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

"O you who believe! Obey Allaah and obey the Messenger (Muhammad), and those of you (Muslims) who are in authority. (And) if you differ in anything amongst yourselves, refer it to Allaah and His Messenger, if you believe in Allaah and in the Last Day. That is better and more suitable for final determination"

[al-Nisa' 4:59]

According to the hadeeth of Jaabir (may Allaah be pleased with him) the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: "I have left behind you that which if you cling to it you will never go astray after that: the Book of Allaah."

Narrated by Muslim, 1218.

True guidance is based on following the Qur'aan and Sunnah, not on following the views of any human being, no matter who he is. This does not mean that we belittle the status of the imams (may Allaah have mercy on them), for we seek the help of their words in understanding the Qur'aan and Sunnah correctly and in learning the rulings of sharee'ah. The Muslim does not reject these madhhabs or belittle their status, rather there is nothing wrong with the Muslim learning from them and benefitting from them. But what is to be denounced is when the followers of madhhabs cling to the madhhab and follow blindly, and insist on following the madhhab even if it goes against a saheeh hadeeth from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). The imams of the madhhabs did not deliberately go against the teachings of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), but it is well known that the Sahaabah scattered throughout the various regions, and the scholars of the madhhabs issued fatwas and spoke of what is halaal and haraam on the basis of the evidence that reached them, and they may have missed some ahaadeeth that did not reach them, whether that was a few or many. So with regard to the issues for which no evidence reached them they engaged in ijtihaad and some of their ijtihaad turned out to be contrary to the Sunnah. What the Muslim must do in such cases is to follow the Sunnah and excuse the imams, and believe that they will be rewarded for their ijtihaad and will be given either one or two rewards, as the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said.

They (the scholars and imams) commanded us to follow the Sunnah and to ignore their views if they go against the Sunnah.

Imam Abu Haneefah (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: If a hadeeth is saheeh then it is my madhhab.

And he said: It is not permissible for anyone to follow our view if he does not know from where we derived it.

And he said: If I say something that goes against the Book of Allaah or the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allaah, then ignore what I say.

Imam Maalik ibn Anas (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: I am just a human being, I make mistakes and I get things right. So study what I say and whatever is in accordance with the Qur'aan and Sunnah, take it, and whatever is not in accordance with the Qur'aan and Sunnah, ignore it.

Imam al-Shaafa'i (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: If you find in my book something that goes against the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), then follow the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and ignore what I say.

Imam Ahmad (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: Do not follow me and do not follow Maalik or al-Shaafa'i or al-Awzaa'i or al-Thawri; refer to what they referred to.

The point is that the imams refused to let anyone follow their views without evidence, especially if they went against the Qur'aan and Sunnah. They were human beings and were not infallible. But we acknowledge their position, status and high level of knowledge, and we benefit from them, without adhering blindly to what they said.

Sixthly:

With regard to the other school that the questioner describes as being well known for innovation (bid'ah) but paying a great deal of attention to the Qur'aan, she has to look at the interests of her children and weigh up the pros and cons. If it is possible to do without this school and find a private tutor for her sons , then the protection of her children dictates that she should not send them to a school where they follow bid'ah. The same applies if the bid'ah has to do with serious issues that may lead to deviation from the way of Ahl al-Sunnah wa'l-Jamaa'ah.

But if the bid'ah is minor and does not reach this extent, and it is easy to explain it to the children and warn them against it, and there is no alternative to this school, then there is nothing wrong in sha Allaah with sending the children to this school, but she should be constantly watchful. Then if it becomes apparent that it is going to affect the children then she should stop them going to that school at once.

Seventhly:

Undoubtedly the shaykh who teaches people from the Qur'aan and Sunnah and looks for saheeh ahaadeeth from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) is better than anyone else. The Muslim must strive to benefit from him for himself and for his wife and children. Our advice to the husband is to listen to his wife who is keen to follow the Qur'aan and Sunnah, and to teach his wife and children Arabic and the Qur'aan, and to treat his children equally in that regard. He should adhere to the Qur'aan and Sunnah and not blindly follow any madhhabs or opinions that go against the Sunnah. And he should be kind and gentle with his wife, and try to advise her sincerely.

May Allaah open his heart and help him to do good.

We ask Allaah to give the questioner strength and to bestow His bounty upon her and help her to adhere to the truth.

And Allaah knows best.

Islam Q&A

(www.islam-qa.com)

45359: He travels a lot and fears that his children may go astray

Question:

I travel a great deal. I travel far away from my children for a year or two, then I come back and stay with them for one month, then I travel again, and so on. All of this is for the sake of earning money and providing for my children. In recent years I noticed that their attitude has started to become bad, and I fear that they may go astray.
What should I do? Should I keep on travelling in order to earn money, or should I stop travelling and go back to them?.


Answer:

Praise be to Allaah.

You should note that Allaah has placed a trust on the shoulders of every father, and a responsibility concerning which he will be questioned on the Day of Resurrection. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: "Each of you is a shepherd and is responsible for his flock. The ruler is a shepherd and is responsible for his flock. The man is the shepherd of his family and is responsible for his flock. The woman is the shepherd of her husband's household and is responsible for her flock." Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 2409; Muslim, 1829.

The first thing that the father should pay attention to, regarding his children, is their religious commitment and morals; this will lead to their salvation in this world and in the Hereafter. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

"O you who believe! Ward off yourselves and your families against a Fire (Hell) whose fuel is men and stones, over which are (appointed) angels stern (and) severe, who disobey not, (from executing) the Commands they receive from Allaah, but do that which they are commanded"

[al-Tahreem 66:6]

`Ali ibn Abi Taalib said: This means: teach them and discipline them.

And before the responsibility of earning money and spending on them comes the greater responsibility of ensuring that they be saved in the Hereafter from the punishment of Allaah.

There are brilliant examples of men who fulfilled this trust and did that which Allaah had enjoined upon them with regard to their wives and children.

There is a man who wakes his wife up to pray during the last third of the night, and at Fajr he wakes up his children and takes them to the mosque and sits with them, remembering Allaah and reading Qur'aan until the sun comes up.

Another has the habit of taking his sons with him to the mosque to perform the five daily obligatory prayers, and when they have finished `Asr prayer he stays with them in the mosque, teaching them the Qur'aan and how to memorize it and recite it properly (tajweed), and what it means, then they all go home together.

But unfortunately there are many fathers who do not do that which Allaah has enjoined upon them of taking care of their family's religious commitment and all they care about is looking after their worldly affairs.

There are some fathers who, if their child falls sick and his temperature rises a little, they panic and go looking for a doctor and a remedy, which is all well and good, and is an act of compassion towards the child, but what is strange is that they do not care if their children commit haraam actions, even major sins that may doom one to Hell.

How high is the temperature of Hell?

How can they fear a slight rise of temperature in their child, and not worry about the fire of Hell?

There are some fathers who, if their child is falling behind in his studies and not keeping up with their classmates, go crazy and lose sleep, and worry a great deal until they bring a tutor who can help the child advance in his studies.

But if the children neglect their prayers or do something haraam, or commit a major sin, they do not blame them in that case.

Some fathers get very angry if their child transgresses one of their rights or ignores one of their commands, but they do not care if the child transgresses one of the rights of Allaah or disobeys one of His commands.

If a father neglects his children and does not teach them the Book of Allaah and the Sunnah of His Messenger and does not raise them according to the basic tenets of faith and Islamic behaviour, undoubtedly his children will go astray and will go out into society as weak and deviant personalities, and the first ones to suffer from their corruption and deviance will be this father and this mother who fell short in raising their children.

Hence our advice to you, if you think that your travelling and being far away from your children will affect their upbringing and cause them to go astray, is to go back to them and try to raise them properly.

What will it benefit you or your children if you amass wealth for them but they become deviant and corrupt?

If you look around you, you will see many examples of men who travelled and left their children behind, and who suffered alienation and loneliness for the sake of amassing wealth for their children, then they came back with the money, but they lost something that is more important than wealth, they lost their children, because the children went astray as a result of their father's absence and their mother's negligence.

The children do not appreciate what their fathers did for their sake, and they take the money start to curse them and mistreat them, and even hit them sometimes, so the fathers regret deeply the fact that they travelled and were so far away from their children… but what good is regret when so much time has passed?

Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allaah have mercy on him) was asked about the heads of families travelling. He replied:

With regard to the heads of families travelling, if their travel will cause harm to their families, then they should not travel, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: "It is sufficient sin for a man that he should neglect those who are dependent on him." Classed as hasan by al-Albaani in Saheeh Abi Dawood, 1692. Whether they will harmed because of little maintenance or because of their weakness, it is haraam for such a person to travel. If they will not be harmed, but they will feel sad and will miss him, then if there is no real benefit in travelling which brings a greater reward than his staying with them, such as knowledge which he fears he will miss out on or a knowledgeable person he has to meet with, then it is better for him to stay with them. But if it is like the travel of many people, which is just for the purpose of leisure and filling time, then it is better for him to stay and worship Allaah at home in all cases. The person who is in this situation should consult a knowledgeable person who knows him and what is best for him and who is trustworthy, because people's situations vary greatly with regard to such matters. And Allaah knows best. From Majmoo' al-Fataawa, 28/28.

We ask Allaah to guide you and to help you to do that which is best for you and your children. And Allaah knows best. Islam Q&A (www.islam-qa.com)

40163: Her son practices the secret habit every day. What should she do?

Question:

I am the mother of an only child, a seven year old boy, and recently I found him practicing the secret habit (masturbation). Every time I ask him if he did it today he tells me, quite frankly, yes. I forbade him to do this haraam action, then I started to take away some privileges and even hit him, but with no success. He is still doing it every day, maybe even more than once. I got tired of keeping an eye on him, and I feel ashamed before Allaah that this sin may stay with him until he grows up, and he may persist in not repenting, so he will get used to sin and regard it as insignificant, and so his heart will become deadened when he is still young.

Answer:

Praise be to Allaah. The family is often responsible for the children falling into sin, because they do not urge children to worship Allaah and they make available the means of falling into sin.

We do not know what is really happening here, but it may be that the circumstances surrounding this boy have made him fall into sin. He is an only child, and an only child is usually spoiled, which makes the means of falling into sin readily available. This problem may be dealt with in a number of ways:

1 _ Reducing the extent to which he is spoiled, because spoiling him makes him feel that he is not a man, so he tries to prove that he is a man by means of this habit or smoking, for example.

2 _ Not making the means of falling into sin available, especially those which contribute to deadening of the heart, such as giving him music tapes to listen to and providing satellite channels for him to watch.

3 _ Try not to let the child sleep alone or close the door when he is asleep, because being alone makes it easy to think about sin and encourages one to do it.

4 _ Making the child feel attached to the mosque and its study circles, and to righteous friends. These are the greatest means of helping a person to correct his ways and strengthen his faith.

5 _ Providing a useful Islamic audio-visual library, which will create in him a love for worship, teach him good manners and deter him from falling into sin.

6- Encouraging him to read, especially books that have to do with biographies of the scholars and heroic mujaahideen. Perhaps he will acquire some of their attributes and follow in their footsteps. It is better to encourage him to encourage him to write a summary of what he reads, hears and watches, and to give him a suitable reward for that.

7 _ Encourage him to memorize Qur'aan and fast; undoubtedly these will strengthen him spiritually.

8 _Try to organize his time so that he will be active during the day and will sleep early, because staying up late may make him think at length about sin.

9 _ Explain to him the shar'i ruling on this habit and its effect on the mind, heart and faculties.

10 _ Avoid humiliating him, hitting him and embarrassing him, because hitting him, humiliating him and embarrassing him will not make him give up this sin and others like it, rather you should deal with him in the way that is best and by giving him good advice.

And Allaah is the source of strength. Islam Q&A (www.islam-qa.com)

10016: How to raise righteous children

Question:

I find disciplining my children difficult and often become angry and beat them. Can you give me any advice on the subject, as well as any books that would be appropriate to read?.


Answer:

Praise be to Allaah.

Raising and educating children is one of the duties required of parents. Allaah has enjoined that in the Qur'aan, and the Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) also enjoined that. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

"O you who believe! Ward off yourselves and your families against a Fire (Hell) whose fuel is men and stones, over which are (appointed) angels stern (and) severe, who disobey not, (from executing) the Commands they receive from Allaah, but do that which they are commanded" [al-Tahreem 66:6]

Imam al-Tabari said, commenting on this verse:

Here Allaah is saying: O you who believe in Allaah and His Messenger, "Ward off yourselves" teach one another that which will protect those who do it from the Fire and ward it off from them, if it is done in obedience to Allaah and they do it in obedience to Allaah. The phrase "and your families against a Fire" means, and teach your families to do acts of obedience to Allaah so that they may protect themselves from the Fire.

Tafseer al-Tabari, 18/165

Al-Qurtubi said:

Muqaatil said: This is a duty that he owes to himself, his children, his family and his male and female slaves. Ilkiya said: We have to teach our children and families religious commitment and goodness, and what they cannot do without of etiquette. This is what Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

"And enjoin AsSalaat (the prayer) on your family, and be patient in offering them [i.e. the Salaat (prayers)]"

[Ta-Ha 20:132]

And Allaah said to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) (interpretation of the meaning):

"And warn your tribe (O Muhammad) of near kindred"

[al-Shu'ara' 26:214]

And the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said:

"And teach them (children) to pray when they are seven years old."

Tafseer al-Qurtubi, 18/196

The Muslim _ any Muslim _ is a daa'iyah who calls people to Allaah, so the first people whom he calls should be his children and family who are close to him. When Allaah commanded His Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) to call people, He said (interpretation of the meaning):

"And warn your tribe (O Muhammad) of near kindred"

[al-Shu'ara' 26:214]

because they are the first people to whom he should do good and show mercy.

The Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) gave the parents the responsibility of raising the children and made that obligatory upon them.

It was narrated that `Abd-Allaah ibn `Umar said: I heard the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) say: "Each of you is a shepherd and each of you is responsible for his flock. The ruler is a shepherd and is responsible for his flock. A man is the shepherd of his family and is responsible for his flock. A woman is the shepherd of her husband's household and is responsible for her flock. A servant is the shepherd of his master's wealth and is responsible for his flock." He said: and I think he said, "A man is the shepherd of his father's wealth and is responsible for his flock. Each of you is a shepherd and is responsible for his flock."

Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 583; Muslim, 1829.

Part of your duty is to bring them up from a young age to love Allaah and His Messenger and to love the teachings of Islam. You should tell them that Allaah has a Paradise and a Hell; that His Hell is hot and its fuel is men and stones. The following story contains an important lesson.

Ibn al-Jawzi said:

There was a king who had a lot of wealth, and he had a daughter and no other children. He loved her very much, and he used to let her enjoy all kinds of entertainment. This went on for a long time. Beside the king there lived a devoted worshipper, and whilst he was reciting one night, he raised his voice saying, "O you who believe! Ward off yourselves and your families against a Fire (Hell) whose fuel is men and stones " [al-Tahreem 66:6 _ interpretation of the meaning]. The girl heard his recitation and said to her servants, "Stop!" But they did not stop. The worshipper started to repeat the verse, and the girl kept telling them to stop, but they did not stop. She put her hands to her collar and tore her garment, and they went to her father and told him the story. He went to her and said, "My dear, what happened to you tonight? What made you weep?" and he hugged her. She said, "I ask you by Allaah, O my father, to tell me, does have Allaah have a Fire the fuel of which is men and stones?" He said, "Yes." She asked him, "Why did you not tell me? By Allaah I will not eat any good food or sleep on any soft bed until I know whether my abode is in Paradise or Hell."

Safwat al-Safwah, 4/437-438

You have to keep them away from the places of immorality and misguidance; do not leave them to grow up with evil things from the television etc, then after that expect them to be righteous, for whoever sows thorns cannot harvest grapes. That should be done when they are young, so that it will be easy for them when they grow up, and they will get used to it, and it will be easy for you to tell them what to do and what not to do, and it will be easy for them to obey you.

It was narrated that Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: "Teach your children to pray when they are seven years old, and smack them if they do not do so when they are ten, and separate them in their beds."

Narrated by Abu Dawood, 495; classed as saheeh by Shaykh al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Jaami', 5868

But the educator must be merciful, forbearing, easy-going and approachable, not foul-mouthed or unkempt, arguing in a manner that is better, far removed from insulting, rebuking and beating, unless the child is one of those who willfully disobey and rejects his father's commands and neglects his duties and does haraam things; in that case it is better to use stern measures with him, without causing him harm.

Al-Minaawi said: For a father to discipline his child when he reaches the age of discernment [??] means that he should raise him with the characteristics of the righteous believers and protect him from mixing with evildoers; he should teach him the Qur'aan and good manners and the language of the Arabs, let him hear the Sunnah and the sayings of the Salaf and teach him the religious rulings that he cannot do without. He should warn him then smack him if he does not pray etc. That will be better for him than giving a saa' in charity, because if he teaches him properly, his actions will be among his ongoing charity, whereas the reward for a saa' of charity is limited, but that will last as long as the child lives. Discipline is the nourishment of the soul, and training it for the Hereafter.

"O you who believe! Ward off yourselves and your families against a Fire (Hell)…"

[al-Tahreem 66:6 _ interpretation of the meaning]

Protecting yourself and your family from it means reminding them of Hell. Discipline includes preaching, warning, threatening, smacking, detaining, giving and being kind. Disciplining one who is good and noble is different from disciplining one who is difficult and ignoble. Fayd al-Qadeer, 5/257

Smacking is a means of correcting the child; it is not something that it wanted in and of itself, rather it is resorted to if the child is stubborn and disobedient.

There is a system of punishment in Islam, and there are many punishments in Islam, such as the hadd punishments for adultery, theft, slander, etc. All of these are prescribed in order to set the people straight and put a stop to their evil.

Concerning such matters the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) advised parents to deter their children from doing wrong.

It was narrated from Ibn `Abbaas that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: "Hang your whip where the members of the household can see it, for that will discipline them."

Narrated by al-Tabaraani, 10/248; its isnaad was classed as hasan by al-Haythami in Majma' al-Zawaa'id, 8/106

Al-Albaani said in Saheeh al-Jaami', 4022, it is hasan.

So raising children should be a balance between encouragement and warning. The most important element of all is making the environment in which the children live a good one, by providing the means whereby they may be guided; this means that their educators should be religiously committed, including their parents.

One of the ways in which a parent may be successful in raising his children is to use a cassette player to play tapes of teachings, Qur'aan recitation, khutbahs and lessons of scholars, for there are many available.

With regard to the books that you asked about, which you can refer to with regard to raising children, we recommend the following:

Tarbiyat al-Atfaal fi Rihaab al-Islam by Muhammad Haamid al-Naasir and Khawlah `Abd al-Qaadir Darweesh

Kayfa yurabbi al-Muslim waladahu by Muhammad Sa'eed al-Mawlawi

Tarbiyat al-Abna' fi'l-Islam by Muhammad Jameel Zayno

Kayfa nurabbi Atfaalana by Mahmoud Mahdi al-Istanbuli

Mas'ooliyat al-Abb al-Muslim fi Tarbiyat al-Walad by `Adnaan Ba Haarith

And Allaah knows best.

Islam Q&A (www.islam-qa.com)

20064: Rights of children

Question:

What are the rights of wife, children on the man.

Answer:

Praise be to Allaah.

1 _ The wife's rights:

These have been discussed in detail in the answer to question no. 10680

2 _ The children's rights.

Allaah has given children rights over their parents just as the parents have rights over their children.

It was narrated that Ibn `Umar said: "Allaah has called them abraar (righteous) because they honoured (barru) their fathers and children. Just as your father has rights over you, so too your child has rights over you.

Al-Adab al-Mufrad, 94.

The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said, according to a hadeeth narrated by `Abd-Allaah ibn `Umar, "… and your child has rights over you."

Muslim, 1159.

The child's rights over their children include some that come even before the child is born, for example:

1 _ Choosing a righteous wife to be a righteous mother.

It was narrated from Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: "A woman may be married for four reasons: her wealth, her lineage, her beauty and her religious commitment. Marry the one who is religiously committed, may your hands be rubbed with dust (i.e., may you prosper)." (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 4802; Muslim, 1466).

Shaykh `Abd al-Ghani al-Dahlawi said: Choose from among women those who are religiously committed and righteous, and who are of good descent, for if a woman is of illegitimate descent, this bad characteristic may be passed to her children. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

"The adulterer — fornicator marries not but an adulteress — fornicatress or a Mushrikah; and the adulteress _fornicatress, none marries her except an adulterer — fornicater or a Mushrik"

[al-Noor 24:3]

Rather Islam recommends compatibility for the purpose of harmony and to avoid a person being shamed if he marries into a family that is not compatible.

Sharh Sunan Ibn Maajah, 1/141

Rights after the child is born:

1 _ It is Sunnah to do tahneek for the child when he is born:

It was narrated that Anas ibn Maalik (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: The son of Abu Talhah was sick. Abu Talhah went out and the child died, and when Abu Talhah returned he said, "What happened to my son?" Umm Sulaym (his wife) said, `He is quieter than he was." Then she brought him his dinner and he ate, then he had marital relations with her, and when he finished she said, "They buried the child." The following morning, Abu Talhah went to the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and told him what had happened. He said, "Did you have marital relations last night?" He said, "Yes." He said, "O Allaah, bless them." She later gave birth to a boy. Abu Talhah said to me, "Keep him until I bring him to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him)." He brought him to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and I sent some dates with him. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) took him and said, "Is there anything with him?" They said, "Yes, some dates." The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) took some and chewed it, then he took some from his mouth and put it in the child's mouth (tahneek), and named him `Abd-Allaah.

Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 5153; Muslim, 2144

Al-Nawawi said:

The scholars are agreed that it is mustahabb to do tahneek with dates for the child when he is born; if that is not possible then to use some similar kind of sweet. The dates should be chewed until they become soft enough to be swallowed, then the child's mouth should be opened and a little of the dates put in his mouth.

Sharh al-Nawawi `ala Muslim, 14/122-123

2 _ The child should be given a good name, such as `Abd-Allaah or `Abd al-Rahmaan.

It was narrated from Naafi' that Ibn `Umar said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: "The most beloved of your names to Allaah are `Abd-Allaah and `Abd al-Rahmaan."

(Narrated by Muslim, 2132)

It is mustahabb to give the child a Prophet's name:

It was narrated that Anas ibn Maalik said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: "A child was born to me last night and I called him by the name of my father Ibraaheem."

Narrated by Muslim, 2315

It is mustahabb to name the child on the seventh day, but there is nothing wrong with naming him on the day of his birth, because of the hadeeth quoted above.

It was narrated from Samurah ibn Jundub that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: "Every child is in pledge for his `aqeeqah which should be slaughtered for him on the seventh day, his head should be shaved and he should be named.

Narrated by Abu Dawood, 2838; classed as saheeh by Shaykh al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Jaami', 4541

Ibn al-Qayyim said:

The purpose of naming is to define the thing named, because if there is something whose name is unknown it is difficult to refer to it. So it is permissible to name him (the child) on the day he is born, and it is permissible to delay the naming until the third day, or until the day of the `aqeeqah, or before or after that. The matter is broad in scope."

Tuhfat al-Mawlood, p. 111

3 _ 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 was narrated that `Ali ibn Abi Taalib said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) slaughtered a sheep as the `aqeeqah for al-Hasan, and he said, "O Faatimah, shave his head and give the weight of his hair in silver in charity." So she weighed it and its weight was a dirham or part of a dirham.

Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, 1519; classed as hasan by Shaykh al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Tirmidhi, 1226.

4 _ It is mustahabb for the father to do the `aqeeqah, as stated in the hadeeth quoted above, "Every child is in pledge for his `aqeeqah."

Two sheep should be sacrificed for a boy and one for a girl.

It was narrated from `Aa'ishah that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) commanded them (to sacrifice) two similar sheep for a boy and one for a girl.

Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, 1513; Saheeh al-Tirmidhi, 1221; Abu Dawood, 2834; al-Nasaa'i, 4212; Ibn Maajah, 3163

5 _ Circumcision

It was narrated that Abu Hurayrah said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: "The fitrah is five things, or five things are part of the fitrah: circumcision, shaving the pubic hairs, plucking the armpit hairs, clipping the nails and trimming the moustache."

Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 5550; Muslim, 257

The child's rights with regard to education and upbringing:

It was narrated from `Abd-Allaah (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: "Each of you is a shepherd and is responsible for his flock. The ruler who is in charge of people is a shepherd and is responsible for them. The man is the shepherd of his household and is responsible for them. The woman is the shepherd of her husband's house and child and is responsible for them. The slave is the shepherd of his master's wealth and is responsible for it. Each of you is a shepherd and each of you is responsible for his flock."

Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 2416; Muslim, 1829.

So 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.

The man should start by teaching them the most important things, then the next most important. So he starts by teaching them correct `aqeedah, free from shirk and bid'ah. Then he teaches them the acts of worship, especially prayer. Then he teaches them and trains them in good manners and characteristics, and everything that is good.

Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

"And (remember) when Luqmaan said to his son when he was advising him: "O my son! Join not in worship others with Allaah. Verily, joining others in worship with Allaah is a great Zulm (wrong) indeed"

[Luqmaan 31:13]

It was narrated from `Abd al-Malik ibn al-Rabee' ibn Sabrah from his father that his grandfather said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: "Teach the child to pray when he is seven years old, and smack him if he does not pray when he is ten."

Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, 407; Abu Dawood, 494. Classed as saheeh by Shaykh al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Jaami', 4025

It was narrated that al-Rubayyi' bint Mu'awwidh said: The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) sent word on the morning of Ashoora' to the areas where the Ansaar lived (on the outskirts of Madeenah), saying: Whoever did not fast this morning, let him not eat for the rest of the day, and whoever started fasting this morning, let him complete his fast. She said: We used to observe this fast after that, and we used to make our children fast and make them toys of wool; if one of them cried for food we would give him that toy until it was time to break the fast. Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 1859; Muslim, 1136

It was narrated that al-Saa'ib ibn Yazeed said: I was taken for Hajj with the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) when I was seven years old. Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 1759

Training in good manners and characteristics:

Every father and mother should train their children in praiseworthy characteristics and good manners, whether towards Allaah, His Prophet the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), towards their Qur'aan and ummah, and with everyone whom they know and who has rights over them. They should not behave badly with those whom they mix with, their neighbours or their friends.

Al-Nawawi said:

The father must discipline his child and teach him what he needs to know of religious duties. This teaching is obligatory upon the father and all those in charge of children before the child reaches the age of adolescence. This was stated by al-Shaafa'i and his companions. Al-Shaafa'i and his companions said: This teaching is also obligatory upon the mother, if there is no father, because it is part of the child's upbringing and they have a share of that and the wages for this teaching may be taken from the child's own wealth. If the child has no wealth then the one who is obliged to spend on him may spend on his education, because it is one of the things that he needs. And Allaah knows best.

Sharh al-Nawawi `ala Saheeh Muslim, 8/44

The father should bring them up with good manners in all things, eating, drinking, dressing, sleeping, going out of the house, entering the house, riding in vehicles, etc, and in all their affairs. He should instill in them the attributes of a good man, such as love of sacrifice, putting others first, helping others, chivalry and generosity. He should keep them away from evil characteristics such as cowardice, stinginess, lack of chivalry, lack of ambition, etc.

Al-Manaawi said:

"Just as your parents have rights over you, so too your child has rights over you, rather many rights, such as teaching them the individual obligations, teaching them Islamic manners, giving them gifts equally, whether that is a gift, a waqf, or other gift. If preference is shown with no reason, that is regarded as invalid by some of the scholars and as makrooh by others.

Fayd al-Qadeer, 2/574

He must also protect his sons and daughters from everything that may bring them close to the Fire. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

"O you who believe! Ward off yourselves and your families against a Fire (Hell) whose fuel is men and stones, over which are (appointed) angels stern (and) severe, who disobey not, (from executing) the Commands they receive from Allaah, but do that which they are commanded"

[al-Tahreem 66:6]

al-Qurtubi said:

al-Hasan commented on this verse by saying, Command them and forbid them. One of the scholars said: (The phrase) Ward off (or protect) yourselves includes children, because the child is part of him, as it says in the verse (interpretation of the meaning): "…nor on yourselves, if you eat from your houses…" [al-Noor 24:61], where the various relatives are not mentioned individually. So he should teach him what is halaal and what is haraam, and make him avoid sin, and teach him other rulings.

Tafseer al-Qurtubi, 18/194-195.

Spending:

This is one of the father's obligations towards his children; it is not permissible for him to fall short in that or to neglect this matter, rather he is obliged to do this duty in the fullest sense.

It was narrated that `Abd-Allaah ibn `Amr (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: "It is sufficient sin for a man if he neglects those on whom he is obliged to spend."

Narrated by Abu Dawood, 1692; classed as sahan by Shaykh al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Jaami', 4481.

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.

It was narrated that `Aa'ishah the wife of the Prophet (S) said: A woman came to me with two daughters and asked me for food, and I could not find anything except one date which I gave to her. She shared it between her two daughters, then she got up and went out. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) came in and I told him what had happened. He said: "Whoever is in charge of any of these girls and treats them well, they will be a shield for him against the Fire."

Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 5649; Muslim, 2629

Another important matter which is one of the rights of children to which attention must be paid, is treating children fairly. This right was referred to by the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) in the saheeh hadeeth: "Fear Allaah and treat your children fairly." (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 2447; Muslim, 1623). It is not permissible to show preference to females over males, just as it is not permissible to show preference to males over females. If the father makes this mistake and shows preference to some of his children over others, and does not treat them fairly, this will lead to many evils, such as:

The harm that befalls the father himself, for the children whom he denies or deprives will grow up to hate him. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) referred to this in the hadeeth narrated by Muslim (1623) when he said to the father of al-Nu'maan, "Would you like them to honour you equally?" He said, "Yes." In other words, if you want them all to honour you equally, then be fair in giving gifts to them.

Another evil consequence is the children hating one another, and stoking the flames of hatred and enmity between them.

And Allaah knows best.

Islam Q&A (www.islam-qa.com)

26192: Her sister does not pray and does not behave properly

Question:

What should i do of my younger sister. She does not offer any prayers, she is always telling lies and fighhting.The whole house is sick and tired of her.


Answer:

Praise be to Allaah.

We appreciate your getting in touch with us, and we ask Allaah to guide us and protect us from the evil of our own selves.

With regard to your sister's situation, it is the same in the case of many young people these days. We ask Allaah to guide them and us. Our duty towards them _ as it seems to be _ is as follows:

Firstly: we should turn to Allaah and ask Him to guide them, for He is the controller of the hearts. Perhaps a du'aa' from the heart will be the cause of her happiness in this world and in the Hereafter.

Secondly: you should stop dealing with her on the basis that she is a child or that she does not know what is in her best interests. People _ especially in adolescence _ like the people around them to make them feel that they are important; they do not like people to treat them as if they are still children.

Thirdly: try to get her in touch with righteous young women, and keep her away from her friends who are not good, even if that means changing her school. That should be done without her realizing what is going on, because otherwise she may become more stubborn which will make the problem worse.

Fourthly: You should not look at her with disapproval only, rather you should express your approval of good things that she does and you should give her gifts if she does good things.

Fifthly: you could advise her via a person whom she likes, such as a teacher or friend, etc.

Sixthly: You should try to give her tapes or books containing teachings in an indirect manner, such as putting them near her or listening to the tape in the car whilst she is riding in it.

With regard to her not praying, this is an extremely serious matter. The status of prayer in Islam is that of a foundation on which the entire structure rests. Hence the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said, "The covenant that stands between us and them is prayer; whoever does not pray is a kaafir." (Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, 2621; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Tirmidhi, 2113)

And he (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: "Between a man and shirk and kufr stands his giving up prayer." (Narrated by Muslim, 82).

So you have to advise her and preach to her and guide her to the right way; for this purpose you may combine encouragement and threat, gentleness and strictness; if the matter requires some harshness sometimes, there is nothing wrong with using it.

The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: "Teach your children to pray when they are seven years old, and hit them if they do not pray when they are ten, and separate them in their beds." (Narrated by Abu Dawood, 495; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh Abi Dawood, 466.

This strictness and harshness is only in her best interests.

We ask Allaah to set the affairs of the Muslims straight.

Islam Q&A (www.islam-qa.com)

8858: Parents watching over their children

Question:

As a muslim parent trying to raise my children islamically,what is your advise on searching my childrens belongings and if I find things that are haram or forbidden do I have the right to take them and destroy them even though they are in their possession?.

Answer:

Praise be to Allaah.

Our advice is that the mother or father should from time to time examine their children's belongings. That is because the Shaytaan may make attractive to them the idea of keeping something haraam that it is not permissible to look at or listen to. This is part of the responsibility that Allaah has enjoined upon parents towards their children.

For many sons and daughters, the means of their being guided and their giving up evil things that they are indulging in is the watchfulness of their fathers and mothers, and their taking good care of them. It is easy to put a stop to evil at the beginning, or to warn against bad friends at the beginning, but if it has been going on for a long time, it will be difficult to rescue sons and daughters from this bad company.

In most cases, it will be possible to find out what bad things your sons and daughters have by inspecting their bags, reading their books and getting to know their friends.

How many young men and women have wished that their parents had watched what they were doing and examined their belongings at an early stage, before corruption took a hold of their hearts.

Hence we advise you to do this from time to time, without letting them realize that, lest they take precautions and avoid keeping anything dubious with their stuff.

This watching should be done if the parent sees some indication that his child is starting to go astray. But if it seems that the child is righteous and keeping away from evil things, then neither the parents or anyone else has the right to watch over the child or inspect his personal belongings, because that comes under the heading of suspicion and spying, which Allaah has forbidden when He said (interpretation of the meaning):

"O you who believe! Avoid much suspicion; indeed some suspicions are sins. And spy not"

[al-Hujuraat 49:12]

But if the mother or father finds something haraam, then they have to destroy it, and then advise the child in whose possession this evil thing was found.

It was narrated that Abu Sa'eed al-Khudri said: I heard the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) say: "Whoever among you sees an evil action, let him change it with his hand (by taking action); if he cannot, then with his tongue (by speaking out); and if he cannot, then with his heart (by hating it and feeling that it is wrong), and that is the weakest of faith."

(Narrated by Muslim, 49).

Imam al-Nawawi said:

With regard to the Prophet's words "let him change it", this is a positive command, according to the consensus of the ummah. The Qur'aan, Sunnah and consensus of the ummah all agree that it is obligatory to enjoin what is good and forbid what is evil; this is also part of the sincerity (naseehah) which is the religion.

Moreover, enjoining what is good and forbidding what is evil is fard kafaayah (a communal obligation). If some of the people undertake to do it, the rest are absolved of blame; but if they all fail to do it, then everyone who was able to do it but did not, with no excuse and no fear, is guilty of sin.

But it may become fard `ayn (an individual obligation), for example if it is in a place which no one knows but him, or no one can remove it but him, or if he sees his wife, his son or his slave doing something evil, or falling short in doing something good.

Al-Qaadi `Iyaad (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: This hadeeth sets out the principle of changing evil. The one who seeks to change it can do so by whatever means possible, and remove it by word or deeds. So he may break the instruments of falsehood and spill (alcohol) himself or order that this be done, and he can take items seized by force and return them to their owners himself, or he can issue orders that this be done, but he should be gentle with the ignorant, and also with those in positions of power and status, if there is any fear of their evil, because they are more likely to respond to gentleness than harshness.

Sharh Muslim, 2/22-25

And Allaah knows best.

Islam Q&A (www.islam-qa.com)

21357: Dealing with a child who gets angry quickly

Question:

I have a son who is very hot tempered. How can I deal with this characteristic?.


Answer:

Praise be to Allaah.

The issue of dealing with anger has already been discussed. Please see question no. 658. Means of dealing with anger include the following:

· Seeking refuge with Allaah from the accursed Shaytaan.

· Keeping quiet.

· Calming down; if you are standing, you should sit down; if you are sitting, you should lie down.

· Remembering the reward for restraining anger, as it says in the saheeh hadeeth: "Do not get angry and Paradise will be yours."

· Understanding the high status of one who controls himself, as it says in the saheeh hadeeth: "Whoever restrains his anger, Allaah will cover his faults. Whoever controls his fury _ even if he is able to show it _ Allaah will fill his heart with hope on the Day of Resurrection." (Classed as hasan by al-Albaani in al-Silsilah al-Saheehah, 906).

· Learning what the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) teachings concerning anger.

· Knowing that controlling anger is one of the signs of piety, as it says in the hadeeth quoted above.

· Paying attention when reminded, controlling oneself and following advice.

· Knowing the bad effects of anger.

· Thinking about how one is affected at the moment of anger.

· Praying that Allaah will remove this resentment from one's heart.

There follows a lovely story which will help you to deal with the child whose problem you mention:

There was a boy who was always losing his temper. His father gave him a bag full of nails and said to him, "My son, I want you to hammer a nail into our garden fence every time you need to direct your anger against something and you lose your temper."

So the son started to follow his father's advice. On the first day he hammered in 37 nails, but getting the nails into the fence was not easy, so he started trying to control himself when he got angry. As the days went by, he was hammering in less nails, and within weeks he was able to control himself and was able to refrain from getting angry and from hammering nails. He came to his father and told him what he had achieved. His father was happy with his efforts and said to him: "But now, my son, you have to take out a nail for every day that you do not get angry."

The son started to take out the nails for each day that he did not get angry, until there were no nails left in the fence.

He came to his father and told him what he had achieved. His father took him to the fence and said, "My son, you have done well, but look at these holes in the fence. This fence will never be the same again." Then he added: "When you say things in a state of anger, they leave marks like these holes on the hearts of others. You can stab a person and withdraw the knife but it doesn't matter how many times you say `I'm sorry,' because the wound will remain.

Islam Q&A (www.islam-qa.com)

1956: When should we teach children about removing body hair?

Question:

My question is in reference to the sunnah of shaving the underarms and the pubic region. At what age should we instill this practice with our children who may have reached the stage of puberty? May Allah guide us in seeking this knowledge in Islam.


Answer:

Praise be to Allaah.

The child _ male or female _ needs to know about this ruling when he or she approaches the age of puberty and when you think that this hair, which has been made one of the signs of puberty, and which we have been commanded to remove for the sake of tahaarah (purity), cleanliness and good health, has started to grow. You could introduce this idea gradually in the context of other points and ideas that the child needs to know and be reminded of as he or she approaches the age of puberty, such as the meaning of takleef (accountability), the rights of Allaah over a person, the duties of the person who has reached the age of accountability, the fact that his or her evil deeds will be recorded from puberty onwards, and the rules of ghusl for janaabah (impurity), etc. If the parents find it embarrassing to talk about this subject directly with the child, they can give him or her a book or pamphlet about the rules that have to do with puberty. And Allaah is the source of strength.

Islam Q&A. Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid (www.islam-qa.com)

13807: Ruling on hitting female students in order to discipline them

Question:

What is the ruling on hitting female students in order to discipline them and make them do the duties required of them and to make them get used to not neglecting their duties?


Answer:

Praise be to Allaah.

There is nothing wrong with that. Teachers and parents must all watch the children and discipline those who need to be disciplined if they fall short in their duties, so that they will get used to good behaviour and will adhere to doing the righteous deeds that will abide. Hence it was narrated that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: "Instruct your children to pray when they are seven years old and smack them if they do not pray when then are ten years old, and separate them in their beds." So both males and females may be smacked when they reach the age of ten, if they fall short in their prayers, and they may be disciplined so that they will pray regularly. The same applies to other duties with regard to learning or household matters, etc. Those who take care of children, whether boys or girls, must take care to direct and discipline them, but the hitting must be light and not harmful to the child, whilst also achieving the desired aim.

Shaykh Ibn Baaz in al-Fataawa al-Jaami'ah li'l-Mar'ah al-Muslimah, part 3, p. 1079 (www.islam-qa.com)

4237: Islamic education in the West

Question:

How do we as muslims living inthe west maintain an Islamic Education for our children. Primary and secondary education upto the age of 15/16 may be provided in Muslim schools (which are also very expensive), but as for Higher Education there is no such Islamic Institute.
Even on the secondary school level on the agenda of Curriculum, we do not have books that deal with the branches of knowledge that are available in secular institutes, such as; Political science, Sociology, Psychology, Pedagogy.

Please advise on how we should go about bringing about an Islamic Education fystem for our Youth i the west (bearing in mind that it is near Impossible for us to migrate to Arab/Muslim countries because of the restrictions on immigration etc.)

May Allah reward you.

Answer:

Praise be to Allaah.

In order to preserve the structure of the Muslim family in the kaafir countries, we need to meet a number of conditions and requirements, both within the home and outside it:

· Within the home:

It is essential for parents to uphold the habit of praying regularly in the mosque with their children; if there is no mosque nearby, then they must pray in jamaa'ah at home.

They have to read Qur'aan and listen to its recitation daily.

They must eat meals together.

They must speak in the language of the Qur'aan as much as they can.

They must uphold the good manners prescribed by the Lord of the Worlds for families and in social settings; these include those that are to be found in Soorat al-Noor.

They should not let themselves or their children watch immoral and corrupt movies.

Their children have to sleep at home and should stay home as much as possible, to protect them from the influences of the bad environment outside. They should be very strict in not allowing their children to sleep outside the home ("sleepovers").

They should avoid sending their children to universities far from home where they would have to stay in university accommodation, otherwise we will lose our children, who will be assimilated into the kaafir society.

We have to be careful to eat only halaal food and the parents must avoid using all kinds of haraam things such as cigarettes, marijuana and other things which are widely available in kaafir countries.

Outside the home:

We must send our children to Islamic schools from kindergarten to the end of secondary school (high school).

We must also send them to the mosque as much as possible, to pray Jumu'ah and other prayers in jamaa'ah, and to attend lectures, halaqahs and study circles, etc.

We must establish educational and sporting activities for children and youth in places that are supervised by Muslims.

Organizing educational camps where all members of the family can go.

Fathers and mothers should strive to go to the Holy Places to perform the rituals of `Umrah and the obligations of Hajj, accompanied by their children.

Training children to speak about Islam in simple language which adults and children, Muslim and non-Muslim, can understand.

Training children to memorize Qur'aan and sending some of them _ if possible _ to a Muslim Arab country so that they can gain an understanding of the religion, then come back to be daa'iyahs who are equipped with knowledge of Islam and the language of the Qur'aan.

Training some of our sons to give Jumu'ah Khutbahs, and to lead the Muslims in prayer, so that they will become leaders of the Muslim community.

Encouraging children to marry early so as to protect their religious and worldly interests.

10-We have to encourage them to marry Muslim girls from families who are known for their religious commitment and good attitudes.

11-We have to avoid using the number 911 and calling the police to come to the house to resolve conflicts. If conflicts arise, we must get in touch with a responsible member of the Muslim community or with wise Muslims to help resolve the conflict.

12-Not attending parties where there is dancing, music and singing, or joining in celebrations of immorality or the festivals of kufr; stopping our children, with wisdom, from going to church on Sundays with Christian students. And Allaah is the Source of strength and the Guide to the Straight Path.

Islam Q&A. Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid

(www.islam-qa.com)

21215: Instilling the love of the Prophet in the heart of a child

Question:

How can we develop love of the Prophet SAWS (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) in the hearts of our children? I have a young daughter _ what can I do with her to achieve this?


Answer:

Praise be to Allaah.

There are a number of ways to instill love of the Prophet SAWS (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) in the hearts of our children, such as:

· The parents can tell them the stories that have been narrated of the children of the Sahaabah at the time of the Prophet SAWS (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), how they fought those who tried to harm him, how quickly they responded to his call and obeyed his commands, and how they loved that which he loved, and how they memorized the hadeeth of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him).

· The parents should help her to memorize as much hadeeth as she can of ahaadeeth, and reward her for that… One of the things that was narrated concerning that was the words of al-Zubayri: Maalik ibn Anas had a daughter who memorized his knowledge _ i.e. al-Muwatta'. She used to stand behind the door and if a student made a mistake she would knock on the door, and Maalik would be alerted and would correct him. And it was narrated that al-Nadar ibn al-Haarith said: "I heard Ibraaheem ibn Adham say: `My father said to me, O my son, seek hadeeth, and every time you hear a hadeeth and memorize it, I will give you a dirham, so I learnt hadeeth in that way."

· They should teach her _ according to her level of understanding _ about the life of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and his military campaigns, and the lives of the Sahaabah, both men and women _ may Allaah be pleased with them, so that she will grow up loving these noble people, and be influenced by their behaviour, and will be keen to strive and sincere in correcting herself and supporting her religion.

· The Sahaabah and the salaf (early generations) were keen to teach their children about the life of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), and they would teach it alongside teaching the Qur'aan, because his seerah is the interpretation of the the meanings of the Qur'aan, as well as stirring up emotions and demonstrating true Islam and having a wondrous effect on the soul. It also carries the meanings of love and jihad to save mankind from misguidance and bring them to guidance, from falsehood to truth, from the darkness of jaahiliyyah to the light of Islam.

When telling their daughter about the life of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and the lives of the male and female Sahaabah (may Allaah be pleased with them), the father and mother must tell her about things that she can relate to, such as the childhood of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), some stories about his life with (his wet-nurse) Haleemah al-Sa'diyyah, and how Allaah bestowed goodness and blessings upon Haleemah and her family because of him (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), the night of the Hijrah and how Allaah covered the eyes of the mushrikeen, and other stories which demonstrate how Allaah helped him. Thus the girl's heart will be filled with love for Allaah and love for His Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). It was narrated from `Ali (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: "Train your children to acquire three characteristics: love of your Prophet, love of his family and reading the Qur'aan, for the bearers of the Qur'aan will be in the shade of Allaah on the Day when there will be no shade except His, with His Prophets and His chosen ones." (Narrated by al-Suyooti in al-Jaami' al-Sagheer, p. 25; classed as da'eef by al-Albaani in Da'eef al-Jaami' al-Sagheer, p. 36, no. 251). It would be a good idea if the parents devote a suitable time for teaching the life of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) during the daily family lesson, when the children can read about seerah in simplified books, or the father or mother can tell them these stories in a manner that is appropriate to the child's age. From Tanshi'at al-Fataat al-Muslimah by Hanaan al-Toori, p. 171 (www.islam-qa.com)

20872e: Developing a girl's self-confidence

Question:

My parents treated me very badly, to such an extent that I lost my self-confidence and became hesitant and fearful. I couldn't do anything right and I did not know how to make a decision. I got married and Allaah has blessed me with a daughter. I want to avoid what happened to me so that this regrettable experience is not repeated with my daughter. What do you advise me to do?


Answer:

Praise be to Allaah.

At the age of two, a child starts to form her attitude towards the world around her. Some developmental psychologists think that the sense of self-confidence is one of the first of these attitudes and the strength of these feelings at age 2 depends on the kind of care that the child receives and on the parents' attitude in meeting her basic needs. At this stage the child shows signs of development by showing a desire for independence, as she needs the freedom to speak, walk and play. All of that is connected to the need to assert herself which can only be achieved by allowing her a measure of independence. This is confirmed by the theory of development through maturity which says that we should respect the child's individuality and leave him or her to develop naturally. Some girls grow up lacking self-confidence so that they cannot rely upon themselves in any matter, major or minor. They rarely take any initiative and are always waiting for someone to say, "Do such and such." If faced with a problem, such a girl will be unable to take any decision and may try to avoid confronting the problem, or start crying. This is partly the parents' fault, and it may be for a number of reasons, such as:

- Too much control ("Do this, don't do that") in major and minor matters alike, even if the matter does not warrant it, so that the child loses her spontaneity and this makes her lose confidence in her actions, and instead she always waits for someone to correct her and reassure her that she is doing the right thing.

- Blaming and criticizing her for everything she does, seeking out her faults and rebuking her if she makes a mistake, so that she is blamed and rebuked more than she deserves at the time when she is expecting praise for her efforts. This destroys the child's motivation to act or to compete in doing anything and doing it well.

- Not giving the child the opportunity to speak in front of others for fear that she may make a mistake or speak of things that are not desirable, or else allowing her to speak but telling her what she should say.

- Giving her too many warnings about danger, which will make her always expect the worst and imagine that she is surrounded by danger on all sides.

- Putting her down or comparing her to others, which makes her think that she has no worth.

- Making fun of her and mocking her.

- Not paying attention to her questions.

- Paying too much attention in a manner that shows excessive worry about her health or her future.

Lack of self-confidence has many negative effects on the child, such as:

1- She will not be able to do anything independently, and if she is asked to bring something and finds that it differs from the description given, she will be hesitant; if she is faced with a problem she will be unable to take a decision.

2- She will become dull-witted and not creative.

3- She will start to complain and feel unhappy whenever anything is asked of her, because she thinks that she will be blamed for whatever she does and that she will not be able to do it in the manner required.

4- She will become weak-willed and will have no resolve, and she will feel meek and apathetic in situations where such attitudes are not appropriate, and will become neglectful and disorganized.

5- She will suffer anxiety and frustration, and will develop a hostile attitude or a tendency to become introverted and withdrawn.

In order to avoid these negative effects on the child, parents should use a number of ways to develop the child's self-confidence. Some examples follow, but this is not a complete list:

- They should draw up some general guidelines to follow by telling her what Allaah has made permissible, which she may do, and what He has forbidden, which she must avoid. They should make her aware of noble attributes and good manners, and instill in her a dislike for bad manners, deeds and words, and the need to steer clear of trivial matters. Then after that they should give her the freedom to act on her own initiative.

- The mother should assign her some tasks that she is able to do. If she makes a mistake the mother should praise her for her initiative and encourage her, then tell her what she should have done. Sometimes she should just praise her for her efforts, then complete the work in a gentle manner, without telling her directly. If the task is not something that the child is able to do, then the mother may do it and consult the child and ask for her opinion, and let the child state what she thinks is good and is not, so that the child will realize that everyone is vulnerable to making mistakes but also gets things right sometimes. This will strengthen her resolve.

- The parents should try to praise the child in front of her relatives and friends, and give her rewards commensurate with her efforts. They should praise her for the acts of worship that she does, such as praying regularly, memorizing Qur'aan, doing well in her studies, having a good attitude, and so on.

- They should give her a nickname that will distinguish her from others, but they should not allow anyone to call her by a bad nickname. If she makes them angry they should call her by her real name, so that she will realize that she has fallen short in her duty to one or both of them, or that she has wronged somebody, so that she will realize that.

- Strengthening her will-power, by getting her used to two things, namely:

(a) Keeping secrets: when she knows how to keep secrets and not divulge them, then her will-power will develop and grow stronger, and thus her self-confidence will increase.

(b) Getting her used to fasting, for when she stands firm in the face of hunger and thirst when fasting, she will feel the joy of achieving victory over her nafs (self), which will strengthen her will-power when facing life, which in turn will increase her self-confidence.

- Strengthening her confidence in dealing with other people. This may be done by getting her to do housework, obeying the parents' commands, and letting her sit with the adults and get together with other youngsters.

- Strengthening her confidence in gaining knowledge, by teaching her the Qur'aan and the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allaah SAWS (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), and his Seerah (biography), so that she will grow up having acquired abundant knowledge in childhood, so that she will have a sense of confidence in the knowledge that she has, because she will have gained the basic principles of true knowledge, far removed from myths and legends.

On the other hand, the parents must also take some precautions and take effective measures to save the child from feeling inadequate. Some of the things that cause a child to feel inadequate are: belittling her, humiliating her and mocking her, such as calling her by offensive names and words in front of her siblings and relatives, or even in front of her friends or in front of strangers whom she has never met before. These are matters which may make her regard herself as insignificant and worthless, or may generate psychological complexes that will make her look at others with hatred and dislike, and make her withdraw into herself in order to escape from life.

Even if the offensive words that slip from the parents' tongues are only for the purpose of disciplining the child for some mistake, great or small, it is not right to use this method to correct her, as this will have a bad effect on the child's psyche and personal conduct, and it will make her accustomed to the language of condemnation and insult that will destroy her psychologically and morally.

The best way of dealing with this problem is to explain to the child, in a gentle manner, where she has gone wrong and to give her proof that will convince her to avoid the mistake in future; the parents should not scold her, and certainly not in front of others. The parents should use good methods in correcting her from the outset, following the example of the Messenger SAWS (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) in the way he reformed and trained people and corrected their mistakes. For the child is very sensitive and readily influenced, irrational and helpless. Building the child's self-confidence is the first step in building her personality through all stages of life.

From Tanshi'at al-Fataat al-Muslimah by Hanaan `Atiyah al-Toori al-Juhani, p. 163 (www.islam-qa.com)

22950: Spiritual training of children

Question:

I have a young child who is three years old, and I want to instill faith in his heart. What should I do?

Answer:

Praise be to Allaah.

A child who is three years old should see his mother and father praying, and he should hear them reciting Qur'aan, for if a child hears his parents and brothers reciting Qur'aan and daily dhikr repeatedly, this nourishes his soul and brings his heart to life as the rain brings life to a dry barren land, because when a child hears his parents remembering Allaah and sees them worshipping him, that has an effect on his own words and actions.

An example of that is the following story of a young girl:

Her mother finished her wudoo', and her three-year-old daughter washed her face and hands, copying her mother, then she raised her forefinger saying, "Laa ilaaha ill-Allaah." This indicates that the little girl had been watching her mother and noticed that there was a specific dhikr to be said after making wudoo'.

In another story, a mother did the Sunnah of wudoo' (saying "Laa ilaaha ill-Allaah") one day, then she got up to finish her housework. Her daughter had gotten used to seeing her mother sitting after praying until she had finished reciting the du'aa's to be said after prayer, and she noticed that her mother had got up straight after doing the Sunnah prayer, so she said to her, "Why did you get up before saying, "Astaghfir-Allaah"? This attitude indicates how closely children watch their parents.

Man is exposed to sickness and diseases, and a child may fall ill. Then his illness should be an opportunity to strengthen his relationship with Allaah, by reminding him of the virtues of good health, and that it is the blessing of Allaah, and that we must thank Him for that, and that man has no power and no strength except with his Lord. When giving him medicine or going to the hospital, we should tell him that healing comes from Allaah, but these are means which Allaah has enjoined upon us. Then we should get them accustomed to ruqyah as prescribed in sharee'ah. We should tell them about the example of the Prophets and how they took the necessary means and put their trust in Allaah, such as the story of Ayyoob (peace be upon him) and his sickness, and the story of Ya'qoob (peace be upon him), when he told his sons to enter by different gates, and that would not avail them against Allaah at all, and how he left the matter to Allaah. Allaah tells us that Ya'qoob said:

"Do not enter by one gate, but enter by different gates, and I cannot avail you against Allaah at all"

[Yoosuf 12:67 _ interpretation of the meaning]

One of the most important things is to remind children to seek reward and to bear sickness and medical treatment with patience. One little girl reminded her mother that Allaah wanted her to bear with patience the sickness which the doctors described as chronic. That was according to human doctors, but healing is in the hand of Allaah. The mother remembered that this child had to take medicine twice every day, and her mother always reminded her to seek reward. One day this little girl said to her mother, "I will get reward because I am taking this medicine." She said that as if she felt proud of this reward and the reward that her family and siblings would receive.

From Ummahaat qurb Abnaa'ihinna, p. 21. (www.islam-qa.com)

22175: Teaching about the Creator in simple terms

Question:

How can we help a child to know his Lord?

Answer:

Praise be to Allaah.

A child can be taught about Allaah in a suitable manner, according to his level of understanding. He can be told that Allaah is One and has no partner. He can be told that He is the Creator of all things, so He is the Creator of the earth, the heavens, people, animals, trees, rivers, etc. The educator can make the most of some situations by asking the child, whilst walking through a garden or in the countryside, about Who made the water, rivers and things in the natural scenery around him, to draw his attention to the greatness of the Creator. The father, mother or educators in general may be with a child or group of children in a car on a journey or a trip at the time of sunset, when the sun disappears from sight gradually. All that the educator has to do at that point is to draw the attention of those who are with him to the power of Allaah displayed in that.

A child can also be taught to understand the bounty of Allaah and the blessing of good health that He has bestowed upon him. For example, you could say to him, "Who gave you your hearing, sight and mind? Who gave you strength and the ability to move?" and so on. The child can also be encouraged to love Allaah and to thank Him for this blessing and bounty. Making a child love Allaah and the things that Allaah loves is a good action which will bring educational benefits sooner or later, by Allaah's Leave.

A mother opened a window on the second floor of the house to let some air in, but her child came and quickly closed it. When his mother asked him why he had done that, he said, "I saw the dish on one of our neighbours' roofs and I don't want to look at anything that my Lord does not like."

A child may ask about his Lord, whether He eats or sleeps. In that case we have to answer and tell him that there is nothing like Allaah, and He is the All-Hearing, All-Seeing; neither slumber nor sleep overtakes Him. Allaah is not like us, He does not need to sleep, eat or drink.

If these meanings are made simple for a child and explained to him in a way that is suited to his age, then the veneration of Allaah in his heart is one of the things that will help him to be aware that Allaah is watching him in secret and in public. From Ummahaat qurba Abnaa'ihinna, p. 26. (www.islam-qa.com)

22150: Dhikr and the Muslim child

Question:

How can we teach our children the adhkaar to be recited every day and night?


Answer:

Praise be to Allaah.

A child can be taught, from the age of three or four, the adhkaar to be recited in the morning and evening, and when going to sleep, eating and drinking. If a child hears these adhkaar, and memorizes and recites them, this will form a strong bond between his soul and Allaah, so his soul will develop and his nature will be sound and free of deviations.

A family went on a trip to the countryside, and when they made a stop, their child went running around the countryside in joy. Then he quickly came back and asked his mother, "What is the dhikr that we should say in this place?" Of course, the dhikr he meant was that which was narrated from the Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him): Khawlah bint Hakeem (may Allaah be pleased with her) said: "I heard the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) say, `Whoever makes a stop whilst traveling, then says, "A'oodhu bi kalimaat Allaah il-taammati min sharri ma khalaqa (I seek refuge in the perfect words of Allaah from the evil of that which He has created)," then nothing will harm him until he moves on from that place.'" (Narrated by Muslim).

This child realized that there are specific adhkaar that the Muslim should recite, some of them are connected to certain times, some to certain places, and so on. This child understood the real nature of the relationship with his Lord and realized that it is ongoing, because of what he had learned from his parents. If a child is brought up in such a manner, then he will be righteous, in sha Allaah, and he will have an influence on his friends and those with whom he is in contact.

Another story about a child growing up remembering Allaah and having a relationship with Him is that one day a small child who was just four years old came to his mother wearing new clothes that his thirteen-year-old sister had put on him. His mother said to him, "Let me teach you the du'aa' for wearing new clothes." The child said, "I have already said it." The mother was surprised because she knew that the child had not yet learned this du'aa'. But the child told his mother, "My sister said the du'aa' and I repeated it after her." Look at the righteousness of this girl that had such an effect even on her little brother.

From Ummahaat qurba Abnaa'ihinna, p. 25. (www.islam-qa.com)

13993: Do colour and beauty carry any weight as a measure of virtue in Islam?

Question:

I would like to ask a question that is a common problem among many of us. How does Allah look at physical beauty? How is it discussed in Hadith and Quran? Many people favor some of their children over others just because of light skin color or eye color. How does the Quran view this?


Answer:

Praise be to Allaah.

Physical beauty is not considered to be a measure of virtue among people in Islam; rather the standard on which distinctions are made is taqwa (piety, fear of Allaah). Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

"O mankind! We have created you from a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that you may know one another. Verily, the most honourable of you with Allaah is that (believer) who has AtTaqwa [i.e. he is one of the Muttaqoon (the pious)]. Verily, Allaah is AllKnowing, AllAware"

[al-Hujuraat 49:13]

Hence sharee'ah came to correct our outlook which is usually based on outward appearances. There are many ahaadeeth on this topic, including the following:

It was narrated in al-Saheeh that Abu Hurayrah said: "The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: `Allaah does not look at your appearance or your wealth, but He looks at your hearts and your deeds.'" (Narrated by Muslim, al-Birr wa'l-Silah, 4651).

It was narrated that Abu Dharr said: "I exchanged words with another man, whose mother was a non-Arab. I insulted his mother, and he mentioned that to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). He said to me, `Did you trade insults with So and so?' I said, `Yes.' He said, `Did you insult his mother?' I said, `Yes.' He said, `You are a man in whom is jaahiliyyah (ignorance)…'" (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, al-Adab, 5590; Muslim, al-Eemaan, 3140). According to another report: "…I said to him, `O son of a black woman'," and the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said, "In you there is jaahiliyyah" _ i.e., one of the characteristics of jaahiliyyah.

It was narrated that Sahl ibn Sa'd al-Saa'idi said: "A man passed by the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and he asked a man who was sitting with him, `What do you think of this man?' He said, `He is one of the nobility. By Allaah, if he proposes marriage he deserves to get married and if he intercedes, his intercession deserves to be accepted.' The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said nothing. Then another man passed by, and the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) asked, `What do you think of this man?' He said, `O Messenger of Allaah, he is one of the poor Muslims. If he proposes marriage he does not deserve to get married, if he intercedes his intercession does not deserve to be accepted and if he speaks he does not deserve to be heard.' The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: `This one (the second man) is better than an earthful of (men like) that one (the first man).'" (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, al-Riqaaq, 5966).

It was narrated from Abu Hurayrah that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: "People should stop boasting about their forefathers who have died, for they are no more than the fuel of Hell, or they will be more insignificant before Allaah than the dung beetle which rolls up dung with its nose. Allaah has taken away your jaahili arrogance and pride in your ancestors; rather man is either a believer who fears Allaah or an immoral person who is doomed. All of them are the sons of Adam and Adam was created from dust." (Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, al-Manaaqib, 3890; classed as hasan by al-Albaani in Saheeh Sunan al-Tirmidhi, no. 3100).

All these ahaadeeth indicate that which we have mentioned above, which is that one's appearance and colour should not be the basis of one's feeling proud, distinguished, superior or of high status, and that the Muslim should get close to those who are pious and righteous.

It was narrated that `Amr ibn al-`Aas said: "I heard the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) saying out loud, not quietly: `…Rather my friends are Allaah and the righteous believers…'" (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, al-Adab, 5531; Muslim, al-Eemaan, 316).

With regard to dealing with one's children, it is obligatory to treat them fairly and not to prefer some of them over others, even if one of them honours his father more than another. So how about if the distinction is based on the colour of the child's skin or the colour of his eyes? This is a serious matter and it is a grave wrongdoing. Parents have to fear Allaah when dealing with their children and treat them fairly. It says in the hadeeth whose authenticity is agreed upon, which was narrated from al-Nu'maan ibn Basheer that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: "Fear Allaah and treat your children fairly." (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 2398; Muslim, 3055). This kind of favouritism generates envy and hatred between the children. We ask Allaah to keep us safe and sound. And Allaah knows best. May Allaah bless our Prophet Muhammad.

Islam Q&A

Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid (www.islam-qa.com)

14079: Reward for raising three daughters of the father or the mother

Question:

The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: "Whoever has three daughters and is patient with them and gives them to drink and clothes them, they will be a protection for him against the Fire." Will they be a protection against the Fire for their father only, or will their mother have a share in that too? I have three daughters, praise be to Allaah.

Answer:

Praise be to Allaah.

The hadeeth applies to both the father and the mother. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) also said, "Whoever has two daughters and treats them kindly, they will be a protection for him against the Fire." The same applies if he has sisters or paternal or maternal aunts etc., and he treats them kindly, we hope that he will attain Paradise for that. For when he treats them kindly, he deserves a great reward and to be protected from the Fire, so he will be kept away from the Fire because of his good deed.

This applies only to Muslims, because if a Muslim does these good deeds seeking the pleasure of Allaah, he will have earned salvation from the Fire. There are many means of gaining salvation from the Fire and admittance to Paradise, so the believer should try to attain many of them. Islam itself is the only means and is the basic cause of gaining admittance to Paradise and salvation from the Fire.

There are actions which, if the Muslim does them, he will enter Paradise and be saved from Hell, such as taking care of daughters or sisters, then they will be a protection for him against the Fire. Whoever dies leaving behind three little ones who have not yet reached the age of puberty, they will be a protection for him against the Fire. They said, "O Messenger of Allaah, what about two?" He said, "And two." They did not ask him about one. It was narrated in a saheeh report that he (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: "Allaah says, if I take from My slave the one whom he loves most in this world and he bears that with patience seeking reward from Me, he will have no less a reward than Paradise." So Allaah explains that the believing slave has no less a reward with Him than Paradise, if He takes one whom he loves of the people of this world, and he bears that with patience and seeks reward. One of our little ones is included in this hadeeth, if Allaah takes him and causes him to die, and his father or mother or both bear that with patience and seek reward, then they will have Paradise. This is a great bounty from Allaah. The same applies to husbands, wives and all other relatives and friends, if they are patient and seek reward then they are included in this hadeeth, so long as they take care to avoid anything which could prevent that, such as dying committing major sin. We ask Allaah to keep us safe and sound.

Majmoo' Fataawa wa Maqaalaat Mutanawwi'ah li Samaahat al-Shaykh al-`Allaamah `Abd al-`Azeez ibn `Abd-Allaah ibn Baaz (may Allaah have mercy on him), vol. 4, p. 375 (www.islam-qa.com)

8220: Islamic ruling on missionary groups adopting Muslim orphans

Question:

What is the ruling of Islam on missionary groups adopting Muslim orphans? Can you give us evidence (daleel) concerning that?


Answer:

Praise be to Allaah.

It is not permissible to hand over Muslim orphans to the kuffaar, Christians or others, because of the great danger that this poses to the orphans, and because they will not be given an Islamic upbringing. They (orphans) are a trust (amaanah) for which the Muslims are responsible, so it is not permissible to place them under the guardianship of anyone else. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

"The believers, men and women, are Awliyaa' (helpers, supporters, friends, protectors) of one another" [al-Tawbah 9:71]

"And those who disbelieve are allies of one another, (and) if you (Muslims of the whole world collectively) do not do so [i.e. become allies, as one united block under one Khaleefah (a chief Muslim ruler for the whole Muslim world) to make victorious Allaah's religion of Islamic Monotheism], there will be Fitnah (wars, battles, polytheism) and oppression on the earth, and a great mischief and corruption (appearance of polytheism)." [al-Anfaal 8:73]

Majmoo' Fataawa wa Maqaalaat Mutanawwi'ah li Samaahat al-Shaykh al-`Allaamah `Abd al-`Azeez ibn `Abd-Allaah ibn Baaz (may Allaah have mercy on him), vol. 8, p. 431 (www.islam-qa.com)

10023: Children of women who were raped in Bosnia and Kosova

Question:

What is the ruling on the children of women who were raped in Bosnia and Kosova? Should they be left to their fathers or should they be taken and raised by the Muslims?


Answer:

Praise be to Allaah.

With regard to the children, the Muslims are obliged to take care of them and bring them up in Islam. They must not leave them to the Christians or others. As Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

"The believers, men and women, are Awliya' (helpers, supporters, friends, protectors) of one another" [al-Tawbah 9:71].

And the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said:

"The likeness of the believers in their mutual love, mercy and compassion is that of the body: when part of it is in pain, the whole body joins it in staying awake and having a fever."

And these children come under the ruling of orphans, and Allaah has prescribed kind treatment to orphans in particular.

Majmoo' Fataawa wa Maqaalaat Mutanawwi'ah li Samaahat al-Shaykh `Abd al-`Azeez ibn `Abd-Allaah ibn Baaz (may Allaah have mercy on him), vol. 8, p. 265 (www.islam-qa.com)

9909: Children exposing their private parts to one another

Question:

I am a very distressed father, I caught my two young children (7 yr boy and 5 yr girl) exposing to each other their genitals. In my shock I severely beat them, but I don't know if what I did was correct. My two children have withdrawn from me and only speak to their mother but rarely also. We are both worried. What is the best way to resolve this situation ? We need your help and advise!


Answer:

Praise be to Allaah.

The most important thing is for a father to deal wisely and in a balanced manner with his children's mistakes. He should beware of letting his eagerness to deal with and correct the mistake cause him to make an even greater mistake.

Children at this age may not understand the implications of such actions. What usually leads them to do such things is seeing certain things on TV. So we must try hard to know the source of this behaviour and where the children have learned it from, and we should try to protect them and keep them away from the sources of such things.

The feelings that your children have will most likely disappear after a while, especially if you treat them gently and deal with them in a kind and loving manner.

Shaykh Muhammad al-Duwaysh

Do not forget to pay attention to the hadeeth of the Prophet SAWS (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him): "… And separate them in their beds"

(Narrated by Abu Dawood, and classed as saheeh by al-Albaani. See Saheeh Sunan Abi Dawood, 1/97)

Try to explain to them how ugly this action is, and tell them that this is something the Shaytaan likes, as Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

"O Children of Adam! Let not Shaytaan (Satan) deceive you, as he got your parents [Adam and Hawwa' (Eve)] out of Paradise, stripping them of their raiments, to show them their private parts [al-A'raaf 7:27]

It was narrated that Bahz ibn Hakeem said, my father told me, from my grandfather, who said: "I said, `O Messenger of Allaah, what about our `awrah?' He said, `Conceal your `awrah from everyone except your wife and female slaves whom your right hand possesses.' He said, ` What about a man with another man?' He said, `If you can manage not to let anyone see it, then do so.' I said, `What if a man is on his own?' He said, `Allaah is more deserving that you should be modest before Him.'" (Narrated by Abu Dawood. Classed as hasan by al-Albaani. See Saheeh Sunan Abi Dawood, no. 3391).

And tell them that this abhorrent action is something which is done by evildoers and immoral people who are hated by their Lord. May Allaah make your children righteous. May Allaah bless our Prophet Muhammad. Islam Q&A. Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid (www.islam-qa.com)

11726: Is it counted as committing sin openly if a person commits sin in front of his children?

Question:

Is it counted as committing sin openly if a person commits sin in front of his children?

Answer:

Praise be to Allaah. We put this question to our shaykh, Muhammad ibn Saalih al-`Uthaymeen (may Allaah preserve him), who answered as follows:

I seek refuge with Allaah! This is worse than committing sin openly, because in addition to committing sin openly, it is giving a bad upbringing.

Question: If he does it inside his own house and not in front of people, will he still be counted as committing sin openly?

Answer: If he were to do it in his own room on his own, we would not say that this committing sin openly, but the fact that he is doing it in front of his children means that he is giving them a bad upbringing as well as committing sin openly. Hence smokers must not smoke in front of their children, because by doing so they are teaching them to smoke. And Allaah knows best. shaykh, Muhammad ibn Saalih al-`Uthaymeen (www.islam-qa.com)

5549: Should he leave his daughter with her divorced, apostate mother?

Question:

Which is better, to give up on ever succeeding in raising to be a good muslima my now 1 yr old daghter from whose mother I divorced for her apostasy and who has indicated already that she may oppose attempts on my part to raise our daughter muslima during the 1-3 whole days /wk during which she and the Kaafir court system in the US allow me to spend with her; or to give up on it all as some brothers have done in similar circumstances, and make hijra to get ilm in the Muslim land and leave my daughter to almost certain ruin at the hands of the kuffar child rearing system like other brothers have done in order to make hijra for ilm in the muslim lands.


Answer:

Praise be to Allaah.

I advise you to strive to bring up your daughter and never to leave her, because you are responsible for her and will be questioned about her on the Day of Resurrection. "Each of you is a shepherd and is responsible for [will be questioned about] his flock" [hadeeth]. There is another matter, which is that you will have a reward equal to hers if she is guided and does righteous deeds because of your upbringing. How could you leave the apple of your eye to someone who will lead her to the torment of Hell? Allaah says of the kuffaar (interpretation of the meaning):

"Those (Al-Mushrikoon) invite you to the Fire, but Allaah invites (you) to Paradise and forgiveness by His Leave" [al-Baqarah 2:221]

So strive to take care of your daughter, and Allaah will help you and make things easier for you. May Allaah give you strength.

Islam Q&A Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid

(www.islam-qa.com)

3347: Hitting children for purposes of discipline and threatening to punish one's wife

Question:

Is it a sin to hit one's children by hand or stick. I only do this when I feel the child has not obeyed my instruction after several warnings. Also, is it a sin to lift a hand for one's wife. There are times when I feel that it should be done but have resisted thus far. As for the case of the children, I feel extremely guilty after the spanking given and beg The Almighty for his forgiveness if the act is wrong. Is there duaas which I may read daily for The Almighty to guide my children and bless them with good Aqaa'id?


Answer:

Praise be to Allaah.

The father's duty is to bring his children up well and to take care of them, and hitting may be used as a means of discipline when the situation requires that. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) commanded us to smack children for not praying when they reach the age of ten, but this should be the last resort, when all others have failed, and there should be no harshness in the hitting, and we must not hit the face. The father should not hit his child at the time of extreme anger, or with a sharp instrument that may injure him, or with anything that may break bones, and he should not hit him in a place where a blow may be fatal. Brandishing the stick may be more effective than actually hitting. The point is that when disciplining his child, a father should follow the principle of using the gentlest means then the next gentlest; he should not resort to the harshest and most difficult means if he can achieve his aim with something that is easier and gentler.

With regard to hitting one's wife, this is not the first choice of ways to discipline her. First of all one should exhort and advise her. If that does not work, then (the husband) should forsake her in bed [i.e., not have conjugal relations with her]. If that does not work, then he may hit her, but not severely, as Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning);

"As to those women on whose part you see illconduct, admonish them (first), (next) refuse to share their beds, (and last) beat them (lightly, if it is useful); but if they return to obedience, seek not against them means (of annoyance). Surely, Allaah is Ever Most High, Most Great" [al-Nisaa' 4:34].

The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) has told us that the best of people are not those who beat their wives.

With regard the guidance of children, the parents must do the things that will lead to that, such as advising them, keeping them away from bad company, helping them to maintain ties with righteous friends, treating them well and continuing to pray for them to be righteous and to be guided. Among the du'aa's for children that have been narrated are:

"Our Lord! Bestow on us from our wives and our offspring the comfort of our eyes" [al-Furqaan 25:74 _ interpretation of the meaning]

and:

"and make my offspring good"

[al-Ahqaaf 46:15 _ interpretation of the meaning]

— or any other good du'aa', but along with making du'aa' one must also use other means that will help to make them strong and steadfast in Islam. And Allaah is the guide to the Straight Path.

Islam Q&A

Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid (www.islam-qa.com)

7833: The problem of children stealing

Question:

I became very upset after I discovered that one of my children had stolen something, and I am afraid that he may become a thief in the future. What advice can you give me?


Answer:

Praise be to Allaah.

A young child may steal for a number of reasons:

He steals because he does not know the difference between borrowing and stealing, and the concept of personal ownership is not clear in his mind.

Some children steal because they are deprived of things that others have.

To take revenge on the parents or to attract their attention.

What do we advise?

Keep calm. Instead of rebuking him and putting him to shame, keep calm. This situation is an opportunity to teach your child.

Advise and exhort the child. Explain to him the Islamic rulings concerning stealing, and tell him that Allaah says in His Book (interpretation of the meaning):

"Cut off (from the wrist joint) the (right) hand of the thief, male or female…)" [al-Maa'idah 5:38]

The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) accepted the pledge of women, when they made bay'ah (oath of allegience) to him, that they would not steal, as Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

"… that they will not steal…" [al-Mumtahinah 60:12].

Remind your child that Allaah is always watching. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

"He is with you (by His Knowledge) wheresoever you may be" [al-Hadeed 57:4]

And Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

"… Allaah is Witness to what you do." [Aal `Imraan 3:98]

Tell him: Allaah can see you even if you steal something in secret, far away from the view of people, because He says (interpretation of the meaning):

"He knows the secret and that which is yet more hidden." [Ta-Ha 20:7]

Confront the child: you have to confront the child with the reason and motive for stealing. For example, you could say to him, "I know that you took candy from the store, and that you took it because you felt that you needed it, but stealing it was not the answer. Next time, if you want something, talk to me first. I know that you want to be honest." Try to make the child see how others feel _ "If you were in the place of the person whose property was stolen, how would you feel?"

Making the punishment severe, such as making the child return the stolen property and apologize, or making him pay the value of the item if it has been damaged or used up, whilst also depriving him of some privileges at home.

Supervising the child and not leaving him alone for a long time.

And Allaah is the Guide to the Straight Path.

See: Tanweer al-`Ibaad bi Turuq al-Ta'aamul ma'a al-Awlaad by Dr. Haamid Nahaar al-Mutayri, p. 37.

Islam Q&A

Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid (www.islam-qa.com)

5215: Is it permissible for cousins of the opposite sex to play together

Question:

Are cousins of the opposite sex allowed to play together?


Answer:

Praise be to Allaah.

If the cousins are male and female and are young and have not reached the age where they could feel desire and temptation, then there is no harm in their playing together. If they are older, then it is forbidden because cousins are not Mahrams (close relatives whom one is permanently forbidden to marry and with whom the rules of hijaab and segregation are relaxed). Cousins are `Ajaanib or strangers (non-Mahrams) to the daughters of their paternal uncles (father's brothers) and maternal uncles (mother's brothers). And Allaah knows best.

Islam Q&A

Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid (www.islam-qa.com)

3240: To whose record are the good deeds of prepubescent children added?

Question:

Are the good deeds of a child who has not yet reached puberty _ such as salaat, Hajj, reciting Qur'aan _ all added to his parents' record or to his own?


Answer:

Praise be to Allaah

The reward for the deeds of a child who has not reached puberty _ meaning his good deeds _ go to the child himself, not to his parents or anyone else, but his parents will be rewarded for teaching and guiding and helping him to do good, because of the report in Saheeh Muslim from Ibn `Abbaas (may Allaah be pleased with him) who said, "A woman held up a boy and said, `O Messenger of Allaah, will his Hajj be counted?' He said, `Yes, and you will have a reward.'" (Reported by Muslim, 2378)

The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) stated that the Hajj would be counted for the boy, and that his mother would be rewarded for taking him on Hajj.

Similarly, people other than the parents may also be rewarded for good deeds, such as teaching those under their care such as orphans, relatives, servants and other people, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: "Whoever guides others to do good will have a reward similar to that of the one who does it …" (reported by Muslim in his Saheeh, 3509), and because this is a form of co-operating in righteousness and piety, which Allaah urges us to do.

(Fataawa Islamiyah, Ibn `Uthaymeen, 526). (www.islam-qa.com)

3277: Will children be rewarded for their good deeds?

Question:

Asalamu alaykum,

I know that a person is not accounted for his sins before the age of puberty, what about his good deeds, does he get awarded for them?

Jazakum Allah Khair


Answer:

Praise be to Allaah.

Yes, children will be rewarded for doing good deeds, because of the hadeeth reported by Muslim in his Saheeh (no. 1335) from Ibn `Abbaas (may Allaah be pleased with them both), who said: "A woman lifted up a child and said, `O Messenger of Allaah, will his Hajj be counted?' He said, `Yes, and you will be rewarded.'" The author of Mawaahib al-Jaleel fi Sharh Mukhtasar Shaykh al-Khaleel said, regarding the matter of children being instructed to pray when they reach the age of seven: "Al-Qaraafi said in al-Yawaaqeet fi'l-Mawaaqeet: children will earn reward for good deeds that they do because of the hadeeth of the Khath'ami woman [who lifted up her child and asked the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) about his Hajj]."

Ibn Rushd said: "The bad deeds of young children are not recorded but their good deeds will be recorded, according to the sound opinion."

Ibn `Abd al-Barr said in al-Tamheed, commenting on the first hadeeth quoted therein, which is the hadeeth of the Khath'ami woman: "… Abu'l-`Aaliyah al-Riyaahi said: `Umar ibn al-Khattaab said: the young child's good deeds will be recorded but his bad deeds will not be recorded."

The author of Mawaahib al-Jaleel said, concerning children entering ihraam for Hajj and `Umrah:

"The scholars do not differ concerning the fact that children will be rewarded for whatever acts of obedience (to Allaah) they do, and will be let off for any bad deeds that they do, and any bad deeds they do deliberately will be counted as mistakes. It says in Mukhtasar al-Waadihah: `Hajj is not an obligation for boys and girls until boys reach puberty and girls begin menstruating, but there is nothing wrong with taking them for Hajj. It is recommended (mustahabb), and the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) did so.'"

Then he reported that Talhah ibn Musarrif said: "It was one of the customs of the Muslims to take their children for Hajj and expose them to the mercy of Allaah."

Ibn `Abd al-Barr said in al-Tamheed that it is encouraged to take children for Hajj, and that the majority of scholars say this. He also said: "It is nothing strange that a child should earn reward and status in the Hereafter for his salaah, zakaah, Hajj and other good deeds if he does them as they should be done, (because this is) grace and mercy from Allaah, just as Allaah shows mercy to the dead by rewarding them for acts of charity done on their behalf by the living. Do you not see that they (the scholars) are agreed that a child should be commanded to pray when he reaches the age of understanding and that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) led Anas and the orphan in prayer? Most of the salaf said that zakaah has to be paid on the property of orphans, and it is impossible that they would not be rewarded for that. Their guardians and the one who does this on their behalf will also certainly be rewarded, as will the one who takes them for Hajj, as a blessing and mercy from Allaah. It was reported that `Umar said: `Children's good deeds will be recorded and their bad deeds will not be recorded.' I do not know of anyone whose opinion is worth following who said anything to the contrary."

According to al-Ikmaal, many of the scholars said: "Children will be rewarded for their acts of obedience (to Allaah), and their good deeds will be recorded, but not their bad deeds."

It says in Awaa'il al-Muqaddimaat: "The correct opinion in my view is that they are both encouraged to do that and will both be rewarded for it (i.e., the child and his or her guardian). The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said to the woman [who asked about the child's Hajj]: `… and you will be rewarded.' And Allaah knows best."

Ibn Jamaa'ah said: "According to the four (imaams), children will be rewarded for their acts of obedience and their good deeds will be recorded, whether they are mature or not. This was reported from `Umar, may Allaah be pleased with him. Some scholars report that there was consensus (ijmaa') in this matter. It is also indicated by what we have already said under the heading of Virtues (fadaa'il), that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: `The jihaad of the very old and the very young is Hajj and `Umrah,' as well as the hadeeth about the woman who lifted up a child."

And Allaah knows best.

Islam Q&A

Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid (www.islam-qa.com)

1994: Discipline of orphans

Question:

There is a muslim who married a widow who has two children from her first marriage.Which Islamic rights has this man towards the children? Has the man the right to tell or force the children to pray? Is the boy allowed to call him "daddy"?
Is there any case he must treat them differently?


Answer:

Praise be to Allaah. Yes, he should order them to pray, as the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: "Instruct the child to pray when he reaches the age of seven…" (Reported by Abu Dawood in al-Sunan, Kitaab al-salaat, Baab mataa yu'mar al-sabiyyu bi'l-salaat).

The scholars said: "The child should be taught about tahaarah (purity and cleanliness, i.e., wudoo' etc) and prayer when he reaches the age of ten years."

The meaning of discipline or instruction is to smack, threaten and rebuke. The child's guardian should teach him about tahaarah and salaat, and tell the child to do these things, when he reaches the age of seven, and he should discipline him and force him to do them when he reaches the age of ten.

The guiding principle here is the hadeeth of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him): "Teach the child to pray when he is seven, and smack him if he does not pray when he is ten." (Reported by al-Tirmidhi, who said it is a hasan hadeeth).

According to another report, he said: "Tell the child to pray when he is seven, and smack him if he does not do it when he is ten, and separate them in their beds." This training is ordained by Islam to teach the prayer and let the child get used to praying, so that he will be accustomed to it and will not forget it when he reaches puberty. There is no difference between boys and girls in this matter of discipline. (See Al-Mughni by Ibn Qudaamah, Baab sifat al-salaat).

Some people may not feel comfortable about disciplining orphans, but the right approach is for their guardian to teach them and direct them in whatever way is beneficial, even if this involves being harsh with the child for his own sake. There is nothing wrong with that, as the poet said:

"He was harsh so that they would understand. Let the one who is determined and resolved be harsh sometimes towards those for whom he cares."

The scholars said: "(A guardian) has the right to smack an orphan under his care just as he would smack his own child." (See Al-durr al-mukhtaar: Baab al-ta'zeer).

As regards the matter of an orphan calling his guardian "Father" or "Daddy," this question has already been answered: please see question # 1041. And Allaah knows best.

Islam Q&A

Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid (www.islam-qa.com)

355: Children's Character

Question:

Many people are concerned about their children's unstable characters and the effects of luxury on their personalities. How can we introduce strength and honour into our children's characters?


Answer:

Praise be to Allaah.

The issue referred to in the question is one of the most serious problems in raising children nowadays. Some of the Islamic solutions to this problem and ways of instilling strength and honour in our children's character are listed below:

Takniyyah (using the kunya or patronymic in addressing children)

Calling a young boy "Abu Foolaan" ("Father of so-and-so) or a young girl "Umm Foolaan" ("Mother of so-and-so") will make the child feel more responsible and grown up, so he will become more mature and will feel above normal childishness. The Prophet (Peace & Blessings of Allaah be upon Him) used to give kunyas to children. Anas (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: "The Prophet (Peace & Blessings of Allaah be upon Him) was the best of people in attitude and manners. I had a brother whom people used to call Abu `Umayr. I think he was just past the age of weaning, and whenever he came along the Prophet (Peace & Blessings of Allaah be upon Him) would say to him, `O Abu `Umayr, what did the nughayr do (Ya Abaa `Umayr ma fa'ala al-nuhgayr)?'" (The nughayr was a small bird with which he used to play). (Reported by al-Bukhaari, 5735).

Umm Khaalid bint Khaalid reported that the Prophet (Peace & Blessings of Allaah be upon Him) was given some clothes, among which was a small black garment made of silk, known as a khameesah. He said, "Who do you think I should give this to?" The people were silent, then he said, "Bring me Umm Khaalid" and she was carried to him (which indicates that she was very young). He picked up the garment and put it on her, saying, "Enjoy it until it wears out." There was a green or yellow spot on it, and he said, "O Umm Khaalid, this is sanaah" _ sanaah means "beautiful" in Ethiopian. (Reported by al-Bukhaari, 5375).

According to another report also narrated by al-Bukhaari: "He looked at the khameesah and pointed to it, saying, `O Umm Khaalid, this is sanaa, O Umm Khaalid, this is sanaa." Sanaa in Ethiopian means beautiful. (Reported by al-Bukhaari, 5397).

Taking them to gatherings and letting them sit with grown-ups

This will increase their understanding and wisdom, and make them try to imitate adults, as well as keeping them from spending too much time on games and entertainment. The Sahaabah used to bring their children with them when they went and sat with the Prophet (Peace & Blessings of Allaah be upon Him). One of the stories that describe this was narrated by Mu'aawiyah ibn Qurrah from his father, who said: "The Prophet (Peace & Blessings of Allaah be upon Him) used to sit with a group of his Companions. One man had his little son with him; he would bring him from behind and make him sit in front of him…" (Reported by al-Nisaa'i and classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Ahkaam al-Janaa'iz).

Talking to them about the heroic deeds of earlier and subsequent generations, Islamic battles and Muslim victories

This will encourage them to be brave, which is one of the most important parts of being strong and honourable. Al-Zubayr ibn al-`Awwam had two children, one of whom was present at some of the battles, and the other of whom used to play with the old battle scars on his father's shoulder. This was reported by `Urwah ibn al-Zubayr, who said that the Companions of the Messenger of Allaah (Peace & Blessings of Allaah be upon Him) said to al-Zubayr on the day of Yarmook, "Will you go and attack, and we will go with you?" He said, "If I attacked, you would be lying." They said, "No, we will do (as we promised)." So he launched an attack (against the Romans), penetrating their ranks and passing straight through, but no one was with him. Then he turned around and came back, and the Romans seized the reins of his horse and wounded him twice in the shoulder. Between these two new wounds was a scar from a wound he had received at Badr. `Urwah said, "When I was little, I used to play by putting my fingers in those scars." `Urwah said, " `Abdullaah ibn al-Zubayr was with him on that day. He was ten years old. He (al-Zubayr) put him on a horse and entrusted him to the care of another man." (Reported by al-Bukhaari, 3678).

Commenting on this hadeeth, Ibn Hijr (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: "Al-Zubayr felt that his son `Abdullaah was brave and chivalrous, so he put him on a horse, but he feared that he might attempt to do more than he was able, so he put another man with him so that he could feel that he was safe from the attacks of the Romans should he become distracted by the fighting." Ibn al-Mubaarak reported from Hishaam ibn `Urwah from his father from `Abdullaah ibn al-Zubayr that he was with his father on the day of Yarmook, and when the mushrikoon ran away, he attacked and started killing their wounded, i.e., he finished off every wounded soldier whom he found. This indicates that he was strong and brave from childhood.

Teaching them good manners

Among the manners that should be taught are those described in the hadeeth narrated by Abu Hurayrah from the Prophet (Peace & Blessings of Allaah be upon Him): "The young should greet the old, the passerby should greet one who is sitting, and the small group should greet the larger group." (Al-Bukhaari, 5736).

Giving them the praise and respect they deserve in front of others

This is made clear by the following hadeeth: Sahl ibn Sa'd (may Allaah be pleased with him) said that the Prophet (Peace & Blessings of Allaah be upon Him) was brought a cup and he drank from it. There was a boy, the youngest of all the people, on his right and some elders on his left. He said, "O young boy, will you allow me to give this to these elders?" The boy said, "I will not give away my share of your blessings to anyone, O Messenger of Allaah," so he gave the cup to him. (Reported by al-Bukhaari, 2180)

Teaching them manly sports

- such as archery, swimming and horse riding.
Avoiding humilating them, especially in front of others

Never belittling their ideas, and encouraging them to take part

Consulting them and asking for their opinions

Giving them responsibilities in accordance with their age and abilities

Teaching them to be brave as appropriate _ including how to speak in public

Making sure their clothes are modest and protecting them from inappropriate clothing, hairstyles, movements and

ways of walking

Making sure that boys do not wear silk, as this is only for women

Avoiding extravagance, luxury, laziness and idleness
`Umar (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: "Get used to a rough life, for luxury does not last forever."

Avoiding entertainment or pastime gatherings, singing, music and other wastes of time, because these go against strength, honour and seriousness

These are some of the ways and means which will increase strength and honour, and protect our children. Allaah is the One Who guides to the Straight Path. Islam Q&A Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid (www.islam-qa.com)

331: Children's education

Question:

Asalaamulaikum respected brother, Insha'Allah, you may be able to help me answer these questions for a friend of mine.

1. What is Islam's view on the parents' (especially the father's) responsibility to educate their children? Additionally, what type or manner of education is most islamically correct (i.e. private or public school etc.)?

2.What is touhfat al-arouss?

3. Could you please explain fiqh as-sunna?

Jazakullah Khair for your help.


Answer:

Al-hamdu lillaah. Praise be to Allaah.

No doubt that a child's education is one of life's necessities, and as such spending to achieve it is obligatory on the parents. However, the level of education that a Muslim should provide for his children is not necessarily the highest level possible. This is because a child can lead a perfectly normal life with only, for example, high school education.

And as for whether private schools are better than public schools from the shari'ah (Islamic jurisprudence) standpoint, I do not think that there is a general rule by which we can favor one schooling system over the other. It all depends on the specifics of each individual case when assessed with respect to curricula, teachers' skills, and the school district credibility.

Wallaahu a'lam. And Allaah knows best.

Islam Q&A

Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid (www.islam-qa.com)

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