“Our Lord! Grant us comfort in our spouses and descedents, and make us imams of the Godwary.”1
There is a natural desire in all human beings in wanting to have a worthy child, as all people wish to have healthy and righteous children. They are the light of the eyes and mirth of the soul of their parents. Indeed, even deplorable persons like their children to be good and commendable.
However, the motivation of those who have derived their teachings from the Glorious Qur’an is more intense in fulfilling this natural wish. Not only do they want their children to be good and worthy, but they also want their children within their family to become leaders and examples for all good people. Such people supplicate to Allah the Merciful through this verse in the holy Qur’an:
The important question is how can this lofty wish be obtained and how can the grounds for the acceptance of this supplication for children be met.
In answer, bringing up a worthy child is based on three main principles. They are:
1. A righteous family
2. Observing the rights of the child
3. The child having knowledge of his/her responsibilities
This book ‘Children in the Qur’an and Sunnah’ is dedicated in presenting the guidance and recommendations of the holy Qur’an and the great leaders of Islam regarding these principles, and it is divided into three sections.
The first section contains four chapters which are on the responsibilities of the Islamic society in relation to the establishment of a laudable family, the role of heredity in the happiness of a child, the role of nutrition of the father and mother in the health and happiness of the child, and the role of the formation of the foetus in the mother’s womb for the future life of the child as explained by the leaders of Islam.
Section two introduces the rights of a child from an Islamic viewpoint, and this section is divided into six chapters.
The first chapter is about the rights of an infant. These rights include: 1) Honouring the birth of the child; 2) The ritual bath of birth; 3) Reciting the Adhan in the right ear of the child and the Iqamah in the left ear; 4) Giving the newborn a taste of the water of FurÁt and the soil of Karbala; 5) Choosing a good name for the child; 6) Shaving the child’s head and donating the weight of its hair in gold or silver, 7) The slaughtering of an animal; 8) Circumcision.
The second chapter is about the rights of a suckling infant. This chapter deals with the child’s nutrition from its mother’s milk or the milk of an appropriate wet-nurse, and the necessity of respecting a child’s feelings.
The third chapter explains the child’s upbringing, being his most important right, then the importance of the child’s education and the responsibilities of the Islamic government and the families in this regard is explained, along with the most important aspect of this discussion, which is the method of upbringing a child.
Chapter four deals with the ethics of the upbringing of children, such as: being kind to them, respecting and greeting them, being just between them, fulfilling promises made to them and making them happy.
The fifth chapter turns the upbringer’s attention to the role of the child’s outer appearance, his sense of beauty, his desire to play and how these things lead to the enhancement of his growth.
The sixth chapter emphasizes on supplicating for children and refraining from cursing them and the role it has in their upbringing along with the parent’s program of raising them. This is why it is referred to as one of the rights of a child. The supplication of Imam al-Sajjad (a.s.) for his children that is mentioned at the end of this chapter is a worthy guide for Muslim families.
The third section explains the duties of a child. It is incumbent upon a qualified trainer that along with fulfilling the duties mentioned in sections one and two, he/she must provide the grounds for children to adopt a sense of responsibility.
This section which is divided into four chapters speaks about the personal duties of a child, and his duties in relation to his parents, his teachers, those older than him and his friends.
The targeted readers of this book ‘Children in the Qur’an and the Sunnah’ are families, upbringers, trainers and researchers of children education, and so children themselves are not the direct addressees in this compilation.
Another important point is that diligent attempts were made to combine in this work the most important teachings of the Qur’an and Islamic traditions in the field of upbringing and education of children. Important commentaries and necessary explanations have been added in particular places.
Without doubt, commentating on each of these guidelines would need the compiling of independent books in different fields of children’s upbringing. Therefore, this collection can be a valuable cultural source for those interested in the field of children’s education.
In conclusion, I would like to sincerely thank all my respected colleagues at the ‘Íadith Sciences and Studies Institute’ for assisting me in the compiling and research of this valuable compilation, in particular, the esteemed scholar Mr. Abbas Pasandideh and his cooperation in compiling the book.
I would also like to gratefully thank the eminent scholar Hujjatul-Islam Sheikh Muhammad Sharif Mahdavi for supervising the project along with comparing and reviewing the text and Mr. Zaid Alsalami for editing this work and assisting him in this task.
I beseech Allah the Beneficent with His Mercy to bestow upon them all a reward.
“Our Lord! Accept it from us! Indeed You are the All-hearing, the All-knowing.”
Muhammad Muhammadi Rayshahri
20 Jamadi al-Thani, 1430 A.H.
[The Birth Anniversary of Fatimah al-Zahra (s.a.)]
14 June, 2009
- 1. . Qur’an, 25:74.