Children are a source of delight and an adornment for the world
granted by Allaah to their parents, they give vigour to the hearts,
joy to the souls, pleasure to the eyes. They are the fruit from whom
good is to be hoped for when they frequently supplicate:
“Our Lord! Bestow on them your Mercy as they did bring me up when I
and they are the ones in every nation upon whom hope for the future
lies, and they are the youth of tomorrow upon whose shoulders the
call to Islaam is carried. Indeed Islaam has indeed elevated the
status of children and has laid down manners for their treatment
relating to all their affairs and each stage of their and from these
are the manners for welcoming their arrival in this life.
Our Prophet (SAW) was a living example, educating, cultivating the
Muslims upon the practices of Islaam, teaching them how to worship
their Lord in the best of ways. But a number of Muslims have strayed
from his pure teachings and have substituted that which is gold for
that which worthless.
So here are the manners the Prophet (SAW) taught us with regards our
Encouragement to have Children
Allaah says, “So now have sexual relations with them,, and seek that
which Allaah has ordained for you.”
And the Prophet (SAW) said, “Marry the loving and fertile because
through you, I will compete with the nations for superiority in
And it is important that the Parents bring up their children upon
righteousness, so that the Parents will benefit from them during
their lives and after their death. Allaah’s Messenger (SAW) said,
“A servant will have his rank raised and will say, ‘O my Lord how has
this come about for me?’ He says, ‘through your sons after you
seeking forgiveness for you'”(ibn Maajah)
Know that what has preceded applies equally to both boys and girls,
and indeed Islaam has encouraged the bringing up of girls, and Allaah
condemns those that are distressed at the birth of a girl, and the
Messenger (SAW) came elevating the status of this gift from Allaah,
“whoever takes care of two girls until they reach adulthood – he and
I will come together on the Day of Resurrection (like this) – and he
interlaced his two fingers”(Muslim)
meaning in Paradise. So can their be a greater honour given to
Giving the good news of the Birth
The near of kin who are anxiously waiting should be informed so that
they can stop worrying and congratulate the parents and supplicate
for the baby. Allaah mentions this good news being conveyed to a
number of His Prophets, from them Zakariyyah of his son Yahya,
“Then the angels called him, while he was standing in prayer in a
private room (saying), ‘Allaah gives you glad tidings of Yahya'”
Giving the Adhaan in the ear of the newborn
The first practice to do is to make the adhaan in the ear of the
baby, so that the first words that the baby hears is the name of
Allaah, and the kalima.
It is to be given straight after the birth, or very soon afterwards
as he (SAW) did with his grandson al-Husayn, as is related by Abu
Raafi’ who said,
“I saw the Prophet give the adhaan for prayer in the ear of al-Husayn
ibn Alee when his mother Faatimah gave birth to him,” (Tirmidhee)
It should be given with it’s usual wording in a voice which is
audible to the baby, not so loudly that it risks harm to the baby or
Only the adhaan is to be given, not the iqaamah as well as there is
no authentic evidence to support this. Giving the adhaan only is also
the reported practice of the Khaleefah Umar bin Abdul Azeez. This is
closer to the sunnah, and Allaah knows best.
The sunnah has not specified as to which ear it should be given,
however the Messenger (SAW) used to love to do good actions starting
from the right, so it would be more appropriate to give the adhaan in
the right ear.
4) The Tahneek
This means to softening a date and then rubbing the palate of the new-
born with it just after the birth or soon after. This is done by
putting a piece of the softened date on the finger and rubbing it
from left to right in the mouth of the baby.
Ibn Hajr said, “if one is not able to find a dry date, then a fresh
date should be used, and if that is not available then anything
sweet.” (Fath 9/588)
It is not essential to chew the date rather it may be softened in any
way. The action of chewing as reported in the sunnah was something
specific to the Messenger (SAW) due to the blessings that Allaah had
placed in his saliva.
It is done by the father or the mother or anyone from the People of
Knowledge whose supplication is hoped would be accepted. So he should
perform tahneek and supplicate for the child as was the practice of
Imaam Nawawee says, ” scholars are agreed upon the recommendation of
performing tahneek upon the baby after it’s birth.” (Sharh Saheeh
Aaishah (ra) reports, “new-born children used to be brought to the
Messenger of Allaah and he would supplicate for blessings for them,
and rub a chewed date upon their palate.” (Muslim)
Naming the child
The baby may be named on the day of it’s birth or later on the
seventh day or past the seventh day, as this is what is clear after
study of all the evidences from the sunnah.
It is the father or the mother who chose the name for the baby. If
they differ amongst themselves then it is the father who has the
choice, he may name it himself or give his wife the right to choose.
The fact that this is the right of the father is shown by the
principle that the child is ascribed and attributed to the father, as
“Call them (adopted sons) by (the names of) their fathers, that is
more just in the Sight of Allaah”
It is also allowed for the parents to allow others to name the child,
since our Prophet (SAW) used to name some of the children of his
The name should carry a good and praiseworthy meaning as the
Messenger (SAW) said,
“On the Day of Resurrection, you will be called by your names and
your fathers names, so make your names good.” (Abu Dawood)
It is recommended to call oneself a servant of Allaah (Abdullaah) or
the servant of any of the names of Allaah. Then it is recommended to
name a child after a prophet, due to the hadeeth,
“call yourselves by the names of the Prophets” (Abu Dawood)
and the hadeeth,
“a son was born to me this night and I called him after my forefather
Then it is recommended to name the child after any pious person in
the hope that it will become like him/her. Then it is recommended to
name by any name which has good meaning.
It is forbidden to name a child with a name that denote servitude to
other than Allaah, for example Abd an-Nabi, Abd ar-Rasool etc, just
as it is forbidden to name them with names that are particular to the
Unbelievers like George, Michael, Susan etc.
The names of tyrants and evil personalities should be avoided such as
Fir’awn, Qaroon, Abu Lahab etc.. Likewise it is disliked to name with
the names of the Surahs of the Qur’aan like ‘Taa Haa’ or ‘Yaa Seen’
as is reported from Imaam Maalik and others. There is no authentic
hadeeth which ascribes the above two as being names of the Prophet
6) The Aqeeqah
After the seventh day of the arrival of the new-born, as a form of
welcome for it and to give thanks to the One who gave the blessings,
it is prescribed to slaughter a sheep. The Messenger (SAW) said,
“Every child is in pledge for it’s Aqeeqah which is sacrificed for it
on its seventh day, and it is named on it, and its head is shaved”
If the new-born is a boy then two sheep are to be sacrificed, and if
it is a girl then one sheep. This is the position of the majority of
the scholars and Companions. The Prophet (SAW) said,
“for the boy two equal sheep, and for the girl, a single sheep.” (Ibn
So it is permissible to sacrifice the male or female sheep or goat,
and this is best. As for sacrificing other animals then the scholars
have differed over this.
The sacrifice should be done by the father or a close relative, for
our Prophet (SAW) performed the Aqeeqah for his two grandsons. It is
also obligatory to mention the name of Allaah over it while
sacrificing, and if a close relative is performing the Aqeeqah then
he should add, ‘this aqeeqah is the Aqeeqah of so and so’ mentioning
the name of the person on whose behalf he is performing the aqeeqah,
as is reported in the hadeeth related by al-Bayhaqee.
The meat of the sacrifice may be distributed cooked or uncooked,, but
it is preferred that it should be cooked as this leads to greater
blessing as mentioned by a group of the scholars.
Shaving the baby’s head
On the seventh day after the birth the head of the baby should be
shaved. So when al-Hasan was born the Prophet (SAW) told his
daughter, Faatima (RA),
“shave his head and give the weight of his hair in silver to the
The right side of the head should be shaved first, then the left as
mentioned in the hadeeth,
“shave, and he indicated to the right side of his head, and then the
It is not permissible to shave a part of the head and leave a part,
as this was prohibited by the Messenger (SAW) as reported by al-
Bukhaaree. The strongest view seems to be that the head of the boy or
the girl should be shaved, as is reported that Faatimah weighed the
hair of her daughter (Muwatta) but the scholars differ on this, and
Allaah knows best.
The shaving should be done after the sacrifice, and our pious
predecessors liked to rub some perfume over the baby’s head after the
Then it is prescribed to give the value of the baby’s weight of hair
in silver in charity, and it is recommended to give this charity on
the seventh day also, but it is not necessary to do so, and may be
It is prescribed that the boy be circumcised, it is recommended that
the circumcision take place on the seventh day, but it is obligatory
to circumcise before the boy reaches puberty.
The rights of children are not guaranteed by the actions of their parents, their communities, or even their governments. Allah Himself guarantees children’s rights.
Islam establishes a legal framework and embodies a code of ethics designed to protect the rights of an individual, including his or her right to live in a secure society.
For children, security is of the utmost importance. In Islam, the rights of a child begin even before birth; in fact they begin before conception.
Caring for and raising children in the proper manner is a duty on parents and it is not always easy. In fact, Allah reminds us in the Qur’an that children may indeed be a great trial for their parents.
(إِنَّمَآ أَمْوَلُكُمْ وَأَوْلَـدُكُمْ فِتْنَةٌ وَاللَّهُ عِنْدَهُ أَجْرٌ عَظِيمٌ)
“Your wealth and your children are but a trial…” (Al Qur’an 64:15)
The triumphs and tribulations of life are a test and children are no exception. They can bring great joy but sometimes they also bring great sadness. Allah in His infinite wisdom never leaves an individual alone in the face of life’s trials.
Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said:
“Every one of your (people) is responsible. And every one is responsible for whatever falls under his responsibility. A man is like a shepherd of his own family, and he is responsible for them.”-(Bukhari and Muslim)
Children are a trust given to their parents and parents are to be held responsible for this trust on the Day of Judgement.
Parents are required to feed, clothe, house, nourish and sustain their children, and provide them with security and education.
Parents too are responsible for the religious training and spiritual guidance of their children. The heart of a child must be filled with faith, peace and tranquillity.
A child’s mind must be entertained with proper guidance, knowledge and wisdom, a true sense of purpose and moral and ethical understanding. All of this must be accompanied with emotional support and encouragement, a feeling of belonging and being valued.
Seeing the Prophet kissing his grandson, a person named Alaqr’a Ibn Habis found this behaviour strange and said, “I have ten children, but I never kissed any of them.” He Prophet replied, “The uncompassionate will not be treated mercifully.”- (Bukhari and Tirmidhi)
If parents fulfil this responsibility of showing compassion, they will be free from the consequences of its neglect on the Day of Judgement. The children will become better citizens and a pleasure to the eyes of their parents, first in this life and then in the hereafter. Allah says,
﴿وَالَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ وَاتَّبَعَتْهُمْ ذُرِّيَّتُهُم بِإِيمَـنٍ أَلْحَقْنَا بِهِمْ ذُرِّيَّتَهُمْ وَمَآ أَلَتْنَـهُمْ مِّنْ عَمَلِهِم مِّن شَىْءٍ كُلُّ امْرِىءٍ بِمَا كَسَبَ رَهَينٌ)
“And those who believed and whose descendants followed them in faith – We will join with them their descendants, and We will not deprive them of anything of their deeds…”-(Al Qur’an- 52:21)
Moreover, Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said:
“Upon death, man’s deeds will stop except for three deeds, namely: a continuous charitable fund, endowment or goodwill; knowledge left for people to benefit from; and a pious righteous and God-fearing child who continuously prays to Allah, for the souls of his parents.”- (Muslim)
Such a statement reflects the value of proper child-rearing. It has an everlasting effect, even after death.
Source: The Rights of children in Islam Reviewed by Muhammad AbdulRaoof