5 Rights of Children in Islam
Aisha (RA) reported: The Prophet (SAW) said, “The best of you are the best to their families, and I am the best to my family.” - Sunan al-Tirmidhī 3895
As Muslims, we all want to live by the teachings of our beloved Prophet (SAW). We want to follow in his footsteps so that we would one day In sha Allah be in his company in Jannah.
One of the ways to attain this is by being the best to our families. We do so by fulfilling the rights that our families have over us. In Islam, children have rights over their parents, just as parents have rights over their children.
What are the rights that parents need to fulfil to be best to their kids? There are many rights of children in Islam but for the sake of this article, here are 5 rights a child has over his parents in Islam.
Choosing a righteous man/woman to be a righteous father/mother
Even before your child is born, they have a right upon you to choose a righteous parent for them. It is therefore essential for you to choose a life partner who you hope would be a good role model to your kids.
The righteous woman is the pillar, cornerstone, and foundation of the Muslim family.Therefore, carefulness and patience should be observed while choosing a wife, one should strive to find a righteous woman.
This is also important when choosing a husband. A potential husband should have a good attitude and be committed to his religion because in doing so he will automatically be a great father as he strives to live his life based on the teachings of the Quran and sunnah of the Prophet SAW. This will also make him a great role model to your kids.
Giving the child a good name
Our names are like melodies to our ears. We love to hear our names being called. But imagine having a name that does not carry a good meaning. Unpleasant right? Well did you know that a good baby name is a fundamental right of a child?
The Prophet (SAW) said, "You shall be called by your names and the names of your fathers. So, give good names to your children" (Al-Nawawi, Riyâḍ Al-Ṣâliḥîn, Meadows of the Virtuous).
In Islam, a baby's name serves as both a decoration for the present world and a symbol of the person's religious beliefs. It also serves as a title of honor for the person in the Hereafter. It is indicative of the religion to which he belongs and makes him feel that he is one of the followers of that religion.
Giving the child Islamic Education
One of the most important rights of a child in Islam is good education and teaching them the fundamental issues of religion. Every Muslim has the right to an education from birth. Islam places a high value on acquiring knowledge and the best investment a parent can make is in their child's education.
According to religious teachings, childhood is the ideal time for education. Therefore, providing a child with the atmosphere necessary for his education and training is his most vital right.
In Islam, education is not limited to Qur'an, Hadith, Fiqh, and Seerah knowledge but includes moral and values too. It means healthy all-round growth of child’s personality by giving them both religious and moral knowledge.
The right to a respectable life
What exactly is a respectable life?
It is a life that is considered to be of an acceptable standard or quality. It is a life without the neglect of rights.
According to Islamic law, fathers are required to ensure that their children have access to the resources they need to live successfully.
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.
The right to be shown love and affection
The prophet SAW was a prophet of mercy and he encouraged parents to show love and mercy to their children. He SAW said, “he is not one of us who does not have mercy for children and respect for our seniors” – At Tirmidhi.
For many families, there seems to be a disconnect between meeting a child’s needs and strengthening the bonds of love, affection, care, and support.
Children need food, clothing, and shelter but they also need to be shown love and affection. Spending quality time with your children should be a priority.
During the Prophet’s (SAW) time, it is narrated that once a Bedouin man asked the Prophet SAW, “Do you kiss your sons?” to which He replied, “Yes.” And the Bedouin man said, “We do not.” To which the Prophet SAW responded, “What can I do for you if Allah has removed mercy from your heart?” – Al Bukhari.
As a parent, prioritize spending time with your children and build a strong emotional connection with them. Children's have strong emotional needs and not showing them love can have a detrimental impact on them later in life.
Finally, remember that your kids are a blessing and an amanah on to you from Allah SWT. It is therefore important that you fulfil your responsibility as a parent by fulfilling the rights they children have over you.
May Allah guide us in doing right by them. Ameen.