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Muslim Students

By: Syed Ahmed Ali

In Islam, Muslim children are considered as precious gifts from Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta‘ala). They are loved immensely by their parents and they become the fondness of the family. But children should also be aware of the many rights and responsibilities of their parents. There are many verses in the Holy Qur’an which acknowledge the debt that an individual owes to his or her parents. One responsibility of a parent is to make sure the child gets educated. Parents have to make sure the child is happy, honest, and religious and has knowledge about Islam irrespective of the fact that they might be boys or girls.

When teaching children, parents should remember that a child often learns from examples. The examples of parents play a very important role in bringing up a child. Parents who want their child to be religious, honest and disciplined should themselves be religious, honest and disciplined. The Holy Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu alayhi wa Sallam) has said, “Be careful of your duty to Allah and be fair and just to the children”. Parents should also be fair to their children so that they can be fair with others around them. A father should not bestow more favors on some children than others without a valid reason since this kind of treatment will produce jealousy and hatred among siblings. The Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu alayhi wa Sallam) has said, “Do justice among your sons”, and he repeated it twice. Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta‘ala) has promised us that He will not change a person’s condition until the person changes himself or herself. Parents should be respectful and not say lies if they want their child to be respectful and truthful because a child does what he sees.

When a child is born, it is the responsibility of the parents to give him or her a good name. It is also Sunnah to slaughter an animal when a baby is born and to feed friends and the poor as a sign of thankfulness to Allah Ta‘ala for the blessing which is bestowed on them. The parents are also responsible for circumcising a male child at any time which is convenient. Parents should provide a pleasant environment for their children so that they feel that they are secure and loved.

One huge responsibility of a parent is to teach the child good manners. The Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu alayhi wa Sallam) has stated that “No father can give his child anything better than good manners”. (Tirmidhi)

Muslim parents are responsible to teach their children how to greet people, how to eat, how to sit, how to drink and so on. The Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu alayhi wa Sallam) has also said, “Those who do not show respect to others, respect will not be shown to him”. They should be taught that they should treat people the same way that they would like to be treated and that they should have good manners and good habits because Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta‘ala) dislikes people with bad manners and bad habits. The Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu alayhi wa Sallam) has said, “Among the virtues and habits they should develop are the habits of being honest, and truthful, gentle and polite, helpful and considerate without being loutish in their behavior to others and the habit of being clean, neat and tidy when looking after their personal hygiene and appearance”. They should be taught how to be clean so that they could look after themselves when they’re older.

Parents should send their children to a Madrasa to give the child guidance to be a good Muslim. They should make sure the child knows how to recite the Qur’an well and has good knowledge of Islam. A child should develop a thirst for knowledge through listening, observing, reading and interacting with others. Children should be taught how to recite the Holy Qur’an and Hadith at an early age so that they develop the love for it when they’re older. They should be taught good morals, good characters, good Islamic knowledge and proper Islamic behavior.

Parents should give a Muslim child a proper understanding of man’s relationship with God. A child should be taught that man is dependent on Allah the Almighty and that Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta‘ala) is the Most High and He does not have any mother, father or son. He should be taught of the existence of angels and Shaitaan. A child should be able to understand the purpose of life, the reality of death, the returning of every human being to Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta‘ala) and the future life in Paradise or Hell. By the age of five or six, a child should learn to love Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta‘ala) and thank Him. Slowly, he should learn the guidance that Allah Ta‘ala gives to human beings through His Messengers (‘Alaihimussalam). They should be taught of the guidance which was conveyed by the Holy Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) and the love and respect which every Muslim should have for him. Therefore, a strong Islamic base is established in the child at a very young age that will further enable him to watch over his actions and to further acquire more knowledge about Islam. As a result, a Muslim child understands that the guidelines set by his parents for him are not only the wishes of his parents but are also the wishes of Allah the Almighty.

Allah has not only given parents responsibilities but He has given them rights as well. He has given them the right of disciplining or punishing their children when they do something wrong. Parents have the right to punish their boys who are ten years and older if they don’t pray Salah at the appropriate times. When a child misbehaves, a parent should first teach and make sure the child understands that what they did was wrong and if the child doesn’t understand and misbehaves again parents have the right to punish the child.

Allah Ta‘ala says in the Holy Qur’an,

Say (O beloved Prophet): Come, I will recite to you what your Lord has forbidden for you: that you ascribe no partner to Him and that you do good to parents… (6:151).

Allah Ta‘ala also says,

And We have enjoined upon man concerning his parents: his mother bore him in weakness upon weakness, and his weaning is in two years. Therefore, show gratitude to Me and to both your parents: unto Me is the eventual journeying. (31:14)

There are also many Ahadith which stress the importance of parents and the respect that should be given to them.
Hadrat Mu‘awiya bin Jahima said that his father approached Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) and said, “I intend going on Jihad. I seek your advice”. The Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) inquired, “Is your mother alive?” He answered, “Yes”. The Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) said, “Go and serve her, for Paradise lies beneath the feet of mothers”. (Ahmad, an-Nasaai, Bayhaqi)

It is also related by Hadrat Abdullah ibn Umar (Rady Allahu Anhu) that the Holy Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) said, “The pleasure of Allah lies in the pleasure of the parents and the displeasure of Allah lies in displeasing the parents”.

Parents should train their children to ensure love for Islam, love for Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta‘ala), love for the holy Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu alayhi wa Sallam), love for their parents, love for their teachers and love for their community.
Sha‘ban 1422, October 2001

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