As a parent and teacher, I hope that my children and students are both culturally aware, and also informed of world religions. Mohammed Zahid graciously offered to share with us about the rights of children in Islam. He is a parent of two young children and part-time teacher. He has been involved in youth initiatives for the last 8 years, and is passionate about parenting issues. He is hoping that via twitter (@IslamParenting) and his blog he can inspire more proactive parenting.
In the Islamic tradition we are taught to honour and respect our parents. The Quran urges children to be soft-spoken towards parents and show kindness in their behaviour towards parents.
As parents we are quick to remind our children about our rights over them and demand to be respected by our children without question. However, we have to remember that if we want to be respected as parents, we have to fulfill our duties and obligations towards our children as well.
As Muslims we believe that Allah has given children rights over their parents just as the parents have rights over their children. Some of these rights are due even before birth.
The Rights of Children in Islam:
- We are urged to marry a pious wife/husband of good character so that the offspring may be pious and good-natured.
- Children have a right to be given a good name, a name with a good meaning which can inspire their character.
- Parents are urged to bring up and cherish children with love in their infancy and childhood. Great reward and virtues have been mentioned for having love for our children. Particularly in regard with daughters, we should not become disheartened by them, for very great reward has been mentioned for bringing-up and looking after daughters.
- Children also have the right to be treated equally, justly, and fairly. Preference of a parent for one child over the other will be considered an act of injustice.
- Children should be brought up properly, raised, and educated. This means that children should be given suitable, sufficient, sound and adequate religious, ethical and moral guidance to last them for their entire life.
- When children reach marriageable age then they should be married. If a daughter’s husband passes away then her parents should take care of her until she is married again. Her parents should bear her expenses and look after her.
Perhaps this is an introduction or window into a religion you are not familiar with, or perhaps you have friends of many religions but you haven’t discussed the details. The idea is to continue to learn about our neighbors and dispel stereotypes. If you would like to write and teach us about your family’s beliefs, drop me a note! I love hearing from readers: kidworldcitizen (at) gmail (dot) com.