The Rights Of Children On Parents
And those who say: “Our Lord! Bestow on us from our wives and our offspring the comfort of our eyes, and make us leaders of the Muttaqun (the pious).” (25:74)
Children are one of the joys of life that we ask Allah to grant us: “Wealth and children are the adornment of the life of this world.” (18:46)
Children are the delight of our hearts in their childhood, our companions and comfort in our old age, and the only source of du`aa’ in our graves; all in all, they are the means by which we earn the fruits of this life and the reward of the hereafter.
Muslims have responsibilities towards their children, and they stand accountable for these responsibilities so that they can truly enjoy and appreciate the blessings of having children and get rewarded by the Most Merciful Lord.
The adult of today was the child of yesterday, and the child of today is the adult of tomorrow. In order for children to fulfill their responsibilities towards their parents, they must first get their rights from them.
Muslim parents should teach their children all about Islam and show them how to worship Allah, with no compulsion or force.
They should also guide them to the stairways to Paradise, and protect them from falling into Hellfire.
It is the responsibility of parents to provide their children with the environment and tools to learn all about Islam.
Before the child’s birth
Islam is the most just way of life, in which the rights of each soul are granted. When a man chooses his wife, it is top priority for him to choose one bearing the characteristics of a good mother. Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said , “Best of women who rode camels, among women of Quraish, are the most tender toward a son in his childhood, and best caring for the husband when he grows old.” (Al-Bukhari)
The pregnant or nursing mother should take care of her health and her nutrition so that she can pass on good health to her child. She has been given the permission to break the obligatory fast of Ramadan if the fasting may cause her or the baby any harm.
Showing love toward children
Upon their birth, children have all of their rights automatically in effect: feeding, clothing, health care, even the celebration of birth (aqeeqah):
The Prophet (peace be upon him) advised us to give each child a name with a good meaning.
Motherhood and fatherhood are instincts that Allah has blessed us with, and the love for our children is built into our hearts even before they are born. Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon hm) instructed us to show our love to our children: He is not one of us who does not have mercy for children and respect for our seniors. (At-Tirmidhi)
It is reported that Al-Aqra’ ibn Habis saw Allah’s Messenger kissing his grandchild and said to the Prophet, “I have ten children, but I have never kissed any one of them.” The Prophet said, “He who does not show mercy (toward his children), no mercy would be shown to him.” (Al-Bukhari)
Also, a Bedouin asked the Prophet, “Do you kiss your sons?” The Prophet replied, “Yes.” The Bedouin said, “We do not.”
The Prophet said to him, “What can I do for you if Allah has removed mercy from your heart?” (Al-Bukhari)
The right to a respectable life
Islamic Law has given children the right to a good life and ordered the father to guarantee them the resources that can make them live well.
Prophet Muhammad said, “The best penny a man spends is that on his children, on his camel for the sake of Allah, and on his friends for the sake of Allah.”
Even in cases of divorce, fathers are asked to be fully responsible for their children regarding food, clothing, schooling, and health expenses according to the father’s standard of life.
“Let the rich man spend according to his means: and the man whose resources are restricted, let him spend according to what Allah has given him. Allah puts no burden on any person beyond what He has given him. Allah will grant after hardship, ease.” (65:7)
The Qur’an also states that children have the right to inherit from the day of their birth.
Equality and justice among children
Muslims who fear Allah in their heart and are keen to earn His satisfaction should treat their children equally. Justice, in particular social justice, is a major theme in Islam, which was revealed at a time when justice was lacking. Islam’s teachings and rulings restored social justice in the tribal societies at the time.
Muslims who fear Allah in their heart and are keen to earn His satisfaction should treat their children equally, not favouring one over the others, in spending, treatment, and giving gifts to them.
Children are a blessing from Allah and to thank Allah for such a blessing, parents should fulfill the duties Allah prescribed on them towards their children.