Caring for Children

Children who are the future of society, are usually not treated with a lot of importance by their elders. Sometimes they are even looked down upon. The Messenger of God, however, was different. He considered children to be precious in value and he kept their feelings and particular circumstances in mind.

The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him and his family) told grownups and parents to play with children at home. Without a doubt, this type of attitude gives children the feeling that they are individuals and that they are important. In this way, if children have problems with their parents they can more easily solve them and they can see their parents as friends, rather than as rulers. Also, while playing, parents can teach their children lessons about life.

Here reference will be made to a few examples of the respect the Noble Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him and his family) would show towards children:

1. "If the Messenger of God (peace and blessings be upon him and his family) heard the sound of a child crying while he (peace and blessings be upon him and his family) was leading the prayer he would make the prayer short so that the child's mother could attend to her child sooner."1

2. When the Messenger of God (peace and blessings be upon him and his family) saw the children of the Ansar [those who provided the Prophet with help amongst the people of Madinah] he would stroke their heads with his hand, greet them with peace and pray for them.2

3. When the Eminent Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him and his family) would return from a journey, children would come to welcome him. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him and his family) would wait and ask them to ride with him. He would seat some of them on his steed, some sitting in front and others behind. He would also tell his companions to give some of them a ride.3

4. "Small children would be brought to the Messenger of God (peace and blessings be upon him and his family) for him to name them and pray for them. He would put such children on his lap out of respect for their families. Sometimes a child would urinate while in his lap and those who witnessed this would often yell at the child. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him and his family) would say kindly, 'Do not prevent a child from urinating with harshness, (rather wait) until he finishes urinating.' When the Prophet had finished praying for or naming the child, the family would be filled with delight and they would see no signs of annoyance in the Prophet as a result of the urine of their child. When the family would leave, the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him and his family) would wash his clothes."4

  • 1. ‘Ilal ash-Shara’i‘, vol. 2, p. 33, also to be found in Sunan an-Nabi, p. 273.
  • 2. Sharaf an-Nabi, p. 65.
  • 3. Sharaf an-Nabi, p. 85.
  • 4. Makarim al Akhlaq, vol. 1, p. 25.