The Method of Bringing up Children Part 1

Bahishti Zewar, Fiqh, Part 4-Nikah (Marriage) in Islam / Thursday, September 30th, 2010

It should be borne in mind that the bringing up of children in the proper manner is of prime importance. This is because whatever good or bad habits they learn in their childhood, they do not leave them for the rest of their lives. From the time of infancy till they reach maturity, the following matters should be strictly adhered to:

1. Ensure that the child drinks the milk of a pious, religious woman. Milk has a great effect in the life of a person.

2. It is the habit of women to frighten their children by mentioning the police or other frightening persons or objects. This is an evil habit. Children become weak-hearted because of this.

3. Set aside specific times for making him drink his milk or feeding him so that he may remain healthy.

4. Keep him clean, neat and tidy because one remains healthy in this way.

5. Do not beautify and adorn the child excessively.

6. If the child is a boy, do not lengthen the hair on his head.

7. If it is a girl, do not make her wear any jewellery as long as she does not reach the age where she has to observe purdah. This is because this will pose a danger to her life. The other reason is that it is not a good habit to create a love for jewellery in a girl’s mind when she is still so young.

8. Have the habit of handing over the responsibility of distributing food, clothing, money, etc. that is to be given to poor people to your children. Similarly, give them the task of distributing food, sweets, etc. to their brothers, sisters and other children. This is so that they will inculcate the practice of generosity. However, you should remember that you must only ask them to distribute those things that belong to you. It is not permissible for anyone to ask them to distribute those items or things that belong to them from the Shar’î point of view.

9. You should mention the harms of over-eating to them. However, do not mention anyone by name. Instead, tell them that the one who eats too much is regarded as an ox (or any other similar example).

10. If it is a boy, incline him towards wearing white clothes and create a dislike in his heart for colourful and gaudy clothing by telling him that such clothes are worn by women and that he is a man. You should always teach him in this way.

11. If it is a girl, do not give her the habit of worrying too much about plaiting and parting her hair or wearing very stylish clothing.

12. When a child persists or insists on having something, do not fulfil all his wishes or else he will become spoilt.

13. Prevent the child from talking very loudly or shouting. Especially if it is a girl and she speaks in this loud shouting manner, you should scold her and reprimand her. If you do not do this, this habit will remain when she grows up.

14. Safeguard your child from speaking or mixing with children who have evil habits, who are not interested in their learning, who are in the habit of wearing stylish clothes or eating extravagant dishes.

15. Always inculcate a hatred for the following actions in your child, i.e. teach him to hate the following acts:
(a) becoming angry,
(b) speaking lies,
(c) envying someone,
(d) stealing,
(e) carrying tales,
(f) defending whatever he does or says,
(g) to unnecessarily “make up” stories,
(h) speaking excessively without any benefit,
(i) laughing unnecessarily or laughing excessively,
(j) cheating or deluding someone,
(k) not thinking about or not differentiating between good and bad.
If any of these acts or traits are found in him, stop him immediately and warn him.

16. If he breaks something or begins to hit someone, punish him accordingly so that he does not repeat such acts. Loving the child, consoling him or allowing him to commit such acts always causes the child to become “lost” or spoilt.

17. Do not allow the child to sleep very early.

18. The habit of waking up early should be inculcated in the child.

19. When the child reaches the age of seven, inculcate the habit of offering salât.

20. Once he reaches the age wherein he can go to madrasah, first teach him to recite the Quran.

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