Rights of children in Islam


In the name of Allah, The Most Gracious and The Most Merciful

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.

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.

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.

The triumphs and tribulations of life are a test and children are no exception.

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 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.

The heart of a child must be filled with faith, peace and tranquillity, 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

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Umar’s Care For The Poor


Caliph Umar bin al-Khattab was the second caliph of Islam. He was such a responsible and caring ruler that every night he used to stroll on the streets to know the problems of his people. The following is an incredible example of his dutifulness as a caliph.Today, no poor can even dream that the ruler of the land will bring them their essential food supplies himself.

It was the year of the famine. Umar made efforts to ensure that adequate relief reached all people, and  that there were none in the city who went to sleep hungry.

One night as usual Umar went on his round. He was accompanied by his slave Aslam. As he strolled from  street to street all was quiet and the people seemed to be asleep. Umar thought to himself, “Thank God,  there is no one in this city whom the famine has afflicted.”

"Thank God, there is no one in this city whom the famine has afflicted", Umar said

Then as he turned a corner he saw a cottage where light was burning, and from where the sound of the  weeping of the children was heard. Umar went to the cottage. He saw that the lady of the house was  cooking something on the hearth, and the children were crying.

The sound of children weeping was coming out of a cottage

Umar knocked at the gate, and addressing the lady of the house Umar enquired why were the children  crying. She said that they were crying because they were hungry. “And what are you cooking”, asked  Umar. The lady said that in the kettle there was only water and stones. That was to while away the  children that food was being cooked for them. She hoped that exhausted the children would go to sleep.

The lady said that in the kettle there was only water and stones.

Hearing this tale of woe, Umar felt guilty. He had thought that because of the arrangements made by him,  no one was afflicted in the city and here was a family which was starving. Umar said to the lady that he  would arrange relief for her family immediately.

Umar said to the lady that he would arrange relief for her family immediately.

Umar went to the Baitul Mal. There he put the necessary provisions in a bag and carried the bag to the  cottage. His slave insisted that he would carry the bag, but Umar said that he would carry his burden  himself. Umar handed over the bag of provisions to the lady. Umar sat by the hearth and helped the lady  cook the meals.

Umar sat by the hearth and helped the lady cook the meals.

When the meals were ready the children were awakened and served with the delicious  meals. As the children ate to their fill and were satisfied they smiled the smile of happiness. Seeing the  destitute children smile Umar also felt happy.

Umar enquired of the lady whether there was none to support. She said that the father of the children  had died, and there was no body to support. Whatever little was in the house had been gradually used  up and they were starving since the last three days.

Umar asked the lady why she had not brought her distress to the notice of the Caliph. The lady said that  in spite of her poverty she had some sense of self-respect and she could not go and beg the Caliph for  any favor. She added that it was incumbent on the Caliph to ascertain that there was no one in his  charge who was starving.

Umar said, “You are right. Please excuse me for the remissness in the past. For the future it will be my  responsibility to see that your wants are satisfied.”

And when the lady realized that the man who had come to her relief was the Caliph himself, she felt  satisfied that the Caliph had discharged his onerous responsibilities creditably.

Caliph had discharged his onerous responsibilities creditably.

The incredible wisdom of Luqman


The story of Luqman is mentioned in Sura Luqman (31:12-19). More about Luqman is stated in Ibn Kathir’s book, “Stories of the Prophet”. A summary of that story is stated below.

Luqman Ibn ‘Anqa’ Ibn Sadun or, as stated by As-Suhaili from Ibn Jarir and Al-Qutaibi, Luqman Ibn Tharan, was from among the people of Aylah (Jerusalem). He was a pious man who exerted himself in worship and who was blessed with wisdom.

Luqman was gifted with wisdom

Sufyan Ath- Thawri narrated from Al-Ash’ath after ‘Ikrimah on the authority of Ibn ‘Abbas (May Allah be pleased with him) that he was an Ethiopian slave who worked as a carpenter. Qatadah narrated from Abdullah Ibn Az-Zubair that Jabir Ibn ‘Abdullah when asked about Luqman, said: “He was short with a flat nose. He was from Nubia.”

Luqman was a carpenter

Yahia Ibn Sa’ id Al-Ansari said after Sa’ id Ibn Al-Musayib that Luqman belonged to the black men of Egypt. He had thick lips and Allah the Almighty granted him wisdom but not prophethood. ‘Umar Ibn Qais and Al-A’mash narrated after Mujahid:

Luqman was a huge black slave, thicklipped. While he was preaching a man who used to know him saw him and said: “Aren’t you the slave of so and so who used to look after my sheep not so long in the past?”

Luqman said: “Yes!” The man said: “What raised you to this high state I see?” Luqman said: “The Divine Decree, repaying the trust, telling the truth and discarding and keeping silent regarding what does not concern me.” (This Hadith was narrated by Ibn Jarir after lbn Hamid after Al-Hakam.)

"The Divine Decree, repaying the trust, telling the truth and discarding and keeping silent regarding what does not concern me" (The reason for the elevation of status of Luqman)

Ibn Wahb narrates that Luqman’s answer to the question about what had raised his status that people came to him for advice was: “Lowering my gaze, watching my tongue, eating what is lawful, keeping my chastity, undertaking my promises, fulfilling my commitments, being hospitable to guests, respecting my neighbors, and discarding what does not concern me. All these made me the one you are looking at.”

Path of Goodness - Lowering gaze, watching tongue, eating what is lawful, keeping chastity, undertaking promises, fulfilling commitments, being hospitable to guests, respecting neighbors, and discarding the unconcerned

Abu Ad-Darda’ added that Luqman the wise was granted wisdom because he was self-restrained, taciturn, deep-thinking, and he never slept during the day. No one had ever seen him observing trivialities, or foolishly laughing. He was very eloquent and well-versed. He did not weep or cry when all his children died.

Luqman even used to frequent the princes and men of authority to mediate.

He even used to frequent the princes and men of authority to mediate. The majority of scholars are of the view that he was a wise man and not a prophet. Moreover, he was mentioned in the Glorious Qur’an and was highly praised by Allah the Almighty Who narrates his advice to his own son in which the first act that he forbids is Shirk (joining others with Allah.)

Polytheism is forbidden

The Prophet of Allah (S.A.W.S) also referred to Luqman’s saying this to his son,

“O my son! Join not others in worship with Allah, verily joining others in worship with Allah is a great wrong indeed“ (Luqman, 31:13).

The next advice that Luqman gives to his son and to mankind is taking care of parents. He states their rights over the children and tells the children to be kind to their parents even if they were polytheists. However, it is clarified that they should not be obeyed if they are inviting to polytheism.

Man should be kind to his parents

This is followed by: “O my son! If it be (anything) equal to the weight of a grain of mustard seed, and though it be in a rock, or in the heavens or in the earth, Allah will bring it forth. Verily, Allah is Subtle (in bringing out that grain), Well-Aware (of its place),” i.e., he forbids wrong to the people even in the slightest way, for Allah will bring it forth and bring him to account on the Day of Resurrection.

Abu Sa’id Al- Khudri reported Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.S) as saying: “If any of you performs deeds in a solid rock that has no door or hole, his deeds, whatever they are, will come out (to the public).”

Luqman’s further advice to his son is: “O my son! Aqim-As- Salah (perform As-Salah), enjoin (on people) Al-Ma’ruf (Islamic Monotheism and all that is good), and forbid (people) from Al-Munkar (i.e. disbelief in the Oneness of Allah, polytheists of all kinds and all that is evil and bad),”, i.e., with your hand, with your tongue and if you could not, let it be with your heart (i.e. reject and resent it).

Then, he advised him to observe patience, saying: “and bear with patience whatever befalls you,” for the enjoining of what is good and forbidding the evil, will probably earn enmity from those who resent being corrected (but, the final reward form Allah would surely be his). “Verily, these are some of the important commandments (ordered by Allah with no exemption).”

Bear with patience whatever befalls you, for the enjoining of what is good and forbidding the evil, will probably earn enmity from those who resent being corrected

Luqman warns his son against the sin of pride: “And turn not your face away from men with pride,” cautioning against being showy or arrogant. Further, the advice regarding one’s bearing is: “nor walk in insolence through the earth. Verily, Allah likes not any arrogant boaster.”

Luqman then advises his son to be moderate in his walking: “And be moderate (or show no insolence) in your walking, and lower your voice,” i.e., if you talk, do not raise your voice very loudly because the braying of the ass is the harshest of all voices.

Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) narrated: The Prophet (S.A.W.S) said: “When you hear the crowing of cocks, ask for Allah’s Blessings for (their crowing indicates that) they have seen an angel. And when you hear the braying of donkeys, seek refuge with Allah from Satan for (their braying indicates) that they have seen a Satan” (transmitted by Imam Al-Bukhari in his Sahih).

Other advice given by Luqman has been mentioned in a book titled Hikmat Luqman (Luqman’s Wisdom). From this valuable book, we get the following:

“On my son! Verily, wisdom has brought the indigent to the courts of kings” (narrated by Damurah after As-Sariy Ibn Yahia).

Wisdom has brought the indigent to the courts of kings

“O my son! If you come to a people’s setting, start them with salutation (saying As-Salamu ‘Alaikum (Peace be with you)), then, take a side and do not utter a word till they speak. If you find them observing the Remembrance of Allah, join them. But, if they observe anything else, turn away from them and seek others (who remember Allah Almighty)” (narrated by ‘Abdah lbn Sulaiman after Ibn Al-Mubarak after ‘Abdur Rahman Al-Mas’ udi after ‘Aun Ibn ‘Abdullah).

“O my son! Take Allah’s Obedience as your trade, and you will gain profits without having any merchandises” (narrated by Saiyar after Ja’far after Malik Ibn Dinar).

Take Allah’s Obedience as your trade, and you will gain profits without having any merchandises

“O my son! Fear Allah and do not let the people notice that you fear Him to gain honor (from them) while your heart is sinful” (narrated by Abul Ashhab after Muhammad Ibn Wasi’).

“O my son! I have never regretted keeping silent. If words are silver, silence is golden” (told by Hasan after Al-Junaid after Sufyan).

If words are silver, silence is golden

“O my son! Stay away from evil and it will stay away from you, for evil begets nothing but evil” (told by ‘Abdul Samad and Waki’ after Abul Ashhab after Qatadah).

“O my son! Choose between gatherings (of people) precisely! If you find a gathering in which Allah is mentioned, sit yourself with them. Thus, if you are knowledgeable, your knowledge will benefit you; but, if you are ignorant, they will teach you; and if Allah wishes to do them good, you will be benefited therewith.

If you sit with people who remember Allah, your knowledge will benefit you else they will teach you if you do not know.

O my son! Do not sit in a gathering in which Allah is not mentioned because if you are knowledgeable, your knowledge will not benefit you; and if you are ignorant, they will add to your ignorance; and if Allah wishes to afflict them with harm, you will be afflicted with them. O my son! Do not rejoice at seeing a strong man who sheds the blood of the faithful, for Allah appoints for him a killer that does not ever die” (narrated by Imam Ahmed after ‘Abdur Rahman Ibn Mahdi after Nafi’ Ibn ‘Umar after Ibn Abu Malikah after ‘Ubaid Ibn ‘Umair).

“O my son: Let your speech be good and your face be smiling; you will be more loved by the people than those who give them provisions.” And, he said: “It is stated in the wisdom of the Torah: “Kindness is the head of wisdom.”

Let your speech be good and your face be smiling; you will be more loved by the people than those who give them provisions.

And, he said: “It is stated in the Torah: “As you show mercy (to others), mercy will be shown to you.” And, he said: “It is stated in the wisdom: “You will gain what you give (or, harvest what you grow).” And, he said: “It is stated in the wisdom: “Love your friend and the friend of your father” (narrated by Abu Mu’awiyah after Hisham Ibn ‘Urwah).

Luqman advised his son not to befriend a fool for it might give him the impression that his foolishness is being approved of; and not to anger a wise man for he might distance himself (narrated by Dawud Ibn Rashid after Ibn Al-Mubarak after Mu’amir after Abu ‘Uthman).

Do not befriend a fool nor anger a wise man.

Luqman was once asked: “Who is the best one in terms of patience?” He said: “It is the one who practices no harm after observing patience.” Then he was asked: “Who is the best one in terms of knowledge?” He said: “It is he who adds to his own knowledge through the knowledge of others.”

Best one in terms of knowledge is the one who practices no harm after observing patience and the best one in terms of knowledge is the who adds to his own knowledge through the knowledge of others.

When asked: “Who is the best from among the whole people?” he said: “It is the wealthy.” They said: “Is it the one who has properties and riches?” He said: “No! But, it is the one who is generous in doing good when others seek it from him, and, it is the one who does not need anything from others”(narrated by Abdur Razzaq after Mu’amir after Ayyub after Abu Qulabah).

Yazid Ibn Hamn and Waki’ told us after Abul AShhab about Khalid Ar-Rab’i as saying: “Luqman was an Ethiopian slave who worked as a carpenter.

One day, his master ordered him to slaughter a goat and bring him the most pleasant and delicious two parts from it. Luqman brought him the tongue and heart. The master asked: “Didn’t you find anything more pleasant than these?” Luqman said: “No!”

After a while, the master ordered him to slaughter a goat and to throw away two of the most malignant parts. Luqman slaughtered the goat and threw away the tongue and heart.

The master exclaimed and said: “I ordered you to bring me the most delicious parts and you brought me the tongue and heart, and I ordered you to throw away the most malignant parts and you threw away the tongue and heart, how can this be?” Luqman said: “Nothing can be more pleasing than these if they are good and nothing can be more malicious than these if they are malignant.”

Nothing can be more pleasing than Heart and tongue if they are good and nothing can be more malicious than these if they are malignant.

Dawud Ibn Usaid told us after Isma’il Ibn ‘Ayyash after Damdam Ibn Zar’ah after Shuraih Ibn ‘Ubaid Al-Hadrami after ‘Abdullah Ibn Zaid: Luqman said: “Verily, Allah’s Hand is on the mouths of wise men; none of them speaks but with what Allah assigned for him.”

Verily, Allah’s Hand is on the mouths of wise men; none of them speaks but with what Allah assigned for him.

Abdur Razzaq told us after Mu’amir after Ayyub after Abu Qulabah that according to Sufyan Ibn ‘Uyaynah, Luqman was asked: ‘Who is the worst of all people?” He replied: “It is the one who does not feel shame if found committing a sinful deed.”

Abu As-Samad reported to us that Malik Ibn Dinar said: I found some pieces of-wisdom as follows: “Allah Almighty scatters and wastes the bones of those who give religious opinions that go with the people’s lusts and desires.” And, “There is no good for you that you learn something new while you do not practice what you have learned previously. This is like a man who gathered a pile of dry wood, then tried to carry it but couldn’t. Thereupon, he collected a second one.”

There is no good for you that you learn something new while you do not practice what you have learned previously.

Ibn Abu Hatim said: I was told by my father after Al-’Abbas Ibn Al-Walid after Zaid Ibn Yahya Ibn ‘Ubaid Al-Khuza’i after Sa’id Ibn Bashir that Qatadah said: Allah Almighty enabled Luqman to choose between Prophethood and wisdom and he (Luqman) preferred wisdom to Prophethood. Then, Gabriel came while he was asleep and poured the wisdom over him. And, he began to pronounce it the next morning.

Many from among our earlier scholars, foremost among whom were Mujahid, Sa’id Ibn Al-Musayyb and Ibn ‘Abbas (May Allah be pleased with him), were of the viewpoint that Allah’s Statement that reads: “And indeed We bestowed upon Luqman Al- Hikmah (wisdom),” means: discretion and religious understanding. He was not a Prophet and nothing had been revealed to him Al- Wahi (Divine Inspiration).

Quranic Verses related to the story of LUQMAN [Quran: Surah Luqman (31:12-19)]

The Holy Quran

And indeed We bestowed upon Luqman Al-Hikmah (wisdom and religious understanding) saying: “Give thanks to Allah.” And whoever gives thanks, he gives thanks for (the good of) his ownself. And whoever is unthankful, then verily, Allah is All-Rich (Free of all needs), Worthy of all praise.

And (remember) when Luqman said to his son when he was advising him: “O my son! Join not in worship others with Allah. Verily joining others in worship with Allah is a great Zulm (wrong) indeed.

And We have enjoined on man (to be dutiful and good) to his parents. His mother bore him in weakness and hardship upon weakness and hardship, and his weaning is in two years – give thanks to Me and to your parents. Unto Me is the final destination.

But if they (both) strive with you to make you join in worship with Me others that of which you have no knowledge, then obey them not; but behave with them in the world kindly, and follow the path of him who turns to Me in repentance and in obedience. Then to Me will be your return, and I shall tell you what you used to do.

O my son! If it be (anything) equal to the weight of a grain of mustard seed, and though it be in a rock, or in the heavens or in the earth, Allah will bring it forth. Verily, Allah is Subtle (in bringing out that grain), Well-Aware (of its place).

O my son! Aqim-As-Salat (perform As-Salat), enjoin (on people) Al-Ma’ruf – (Islamic Monotheism and all that is good), and forbid (people) from Al-Munkar (i.e. disbelief in the Oneness of Allah, polytheism of all kinds and all that is evil and bad), and bear with patience whatever befalls you. Verily, these are some of the important commandments (ordered by Allah with no exemption).

And turn not your face away from men with pride, nor walk in insolence through the earth. Verily, Allah likes not any arrogant boaster.

And be moderate (or show no insolence) in your walking, and lower your voice. Verily, the harshest of all voices is the braying of the asses.”