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