Raising Children in Islam
Islam places great importance on raising children to be good Muslims and obedient to their parents. In western society, it is common for children to mistreat their parents in words and deeds. However, Islam very strongly emphasizes utmost respect to one’s parents.
Islam tries to protect both parents and children with just laws that help to enhance the environment in which children grow up.
- Equal treatment – Muslim parents must treat all their children equally, especially when it comes to giving gifts. As a result, a parent cannot give one child more than others without a reason. In hadeeths (Prophet Muhammad’s Sayings), it is reported by Buhkhari and Muslim, that the Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) said: “Fear Allah and treat your children with equal justice.”
- Right to live – Islam has given children the right to live, even when they are in the womb, with the Quran condemning those who abort their fetuses for fear of being unable to provide for them once they are born. In Surah Al Israa, verse 31 of the Quran, Allah says: “And do not kill your children out of fear of poverty; We shall provide for them and for you. Truly, killing of them is a great sin.”
- Name – it is the right of the child that the parents should bestow on him or her a good name. It does not have to be an Arabic name, though this is preferable. What it cannot be is a name that has a bad meaning or a name that implies worshipping other than Allah. For instance, Abdullah (slave of Allah) is allowed while Abdul Muhammad (slave of Muhammad) is strictly forbidden.
- Right to be looked after – it is the parents’ duty to feed, clothe, house and educate the child in the proper Islamic manner. They should shield the child from evil and encourage the good, according to Allah’s laws. Reported by Ahmad, al-Nisai and Abu Dawood, the Prophet said: “Allah will ask every caretaker about the people under his care, and the man will be asked concerning the people of his household.”