January 24, 2011

Sunnah of Childcare: Showing Mercy

SubhanAllah, as mothers, it's in our nature to love and nurture our children. Often times, the responses we give to our children are more motherly instinct than anything else. But if we reflect, renew our intention, and follow the example of our beloved Prophet, sallallahu alayhi wa sallam, we can easily turn those everyday actions into actions of mercy and, inshaAllah, be rewarded for it too. 

Abu Hurayrah narrated that the Messenger of Allah, salallahu 'alayhi wa salam, kissed Al-Hasan while Al-Aqra ibn Haabis at-Tameemee was sitting near him.  Al-Aqra said, "Indeed I have ten children and I have never kissed any of them."  The Messenger of Allah looked at him and said,  "Whoever does not show mercy will not be shown mercy." --Saheeh al-Bukhaari, 426/10

Merciful Act #1: Kissing Your Child
'Aa'ishah, radiAllahu anha, said that a Bedouin man came to the Prophet, salallahu alayhi wa salam, and  said, "You (people) kiss the children and we do not kiss them."  So the Prophet said, "Is there anything that I can do once Allah has removed mercy from your heart?" --Saheeh Al-Bukhari 426/10

'Umayr ibn Ishaaq said, "I was with Al-Hasan ibn 'Alee when we met with Aboo Hurayrah who said, "Show me where I might kiss you in the place where I saw the messenger of Allah kiss."  He replied, "Al-Qameesah" (shirt or upper garment), He said, "So he kissed the front of his stomach."  --Ahmed with a hasan chain

Merciful Act#2: Carrying Your Child in Prayer
Abu Qataadah said that the Prophet, salallahu 'alaihi wa sallam, came out to us with Umaamah bint Abeel-'Aas on his shoulders.  Then he prayed.  When he bowed, he placed her on the ground and when he rose from bowing, he lifted her back off the ground." --Saheeh Al-Bukhaari

On the authority of Abu Shaddaad, from his father, who said that the Prophet, salallahu 'alaihi wa sallam, came out to us for one of the 'ishaa prayers carrying Hasan and Husayn.  The Messenger of Allah stepped forward and set them both down.  Then he prayed and prostrated between their backs a single prostration that was lengthy.  My (Abu Shaddaad's) father said, 'Then I raised my head and the child was on the back of the Messenger of Allah while he was prostrating.  I then returned to my prostration.'  So once the Messenger of Allah had completed his prayer, the people said, 'O Messenger of Allah, certainly you have prostrated between two backs in your prayer.  Certainly the length of this prostration led us to believe that something had happened or that revelation had decended upon you.'  He, salallahu 'alaihi wa sallam, said, 'None of that occured, rather this child moved around me and I didn't wish to disturb him until he had finished.'  -- collected in An-Nasaa'ee, authenticated by Shaykh Muqbil

Merciful Act #3: Playing With Your Child
Umm Khaalid bint Khaalid ibn Sa'eed said, "I came to the Messenger of Allah, salallahu 'alaihi wa sallam, along with my father and I was wearing a yellow shirt.  The messenger of Allah said, 'Sanah, sanah!' (this means 'good' in the ethiopian langauge)  Umm Khaalid further said, 'Then I started playing with the seal of Prophethood.  My father admonished me, but the Messenger of Allah said (to my father) 'Leave her.'  The Messenger of Allah then addressed me saying, 'Ablee wa akhliqee, thumma ablee wa akhliqee, thumma ablee wa akhliqee.' (Trans. note: This phrase 'ablee wa akhliqee' is used by the arabs to supplicate for an extended life.  Its meaning could be conveyed in the following expression: 'May you live so long that your garments become worn and ragged.')  So she (Umm Khaalid) remained this way until (this supplication for her became actualized and subsequently) she would be mentioned by the people," meaning that she would remain until her garments became old and ragged. --Saheeh Al-Bukhaari 425/10

Merciful Act #4: Placing a Child in Your Lap
'Usaamah ibn Zayd said that the Messenger of Allah, salallahu 'alaihi wa sallam, used to take me and place me on his thigh and he would place al-Hasan ibn 'Alee on his other thigh, then he would come close to us and say, "Oh Allah!  Please be merciful to them, for indeed, I am merciful to them." --Saheeh Al-Bukhaari 434/10

Note: All cited information provided in this post was taken from the English translation of Umm 'Abdillah Al-Waadi'iyyah's book, My Advice to the Women. You can find the original online posting of this article entitled, Showing Mercy Towards Children is a Means of Achieving the Mercy of Allah at http://abdurrahman.org/


  1. As salaam Alaykum sister, Al-hamdulillah I did all these advices. I wished like to be a muslim, but Allah with all HIS merciful helped me raise my children in the best way and share with them from their birth until the present day. I believe Allah gives to every mother the sense to protect our children. I want to share something that I copy from a book (sorry I did not remember what book was)
    For Mom & Dad
    When you son……

    Looks to you with his eyes ... ... ... Look him

    Tends with his arms .. ... ... ... .... Hug him

    Looks with his mouth .. ... ... ....... Kiss him

    wants to talk ... ... ... ... ... ... Listen him

    Feel helpless . ... ... ... ... .. Protect him

    Feels alone .. ... ... ... ... .. Accompany him

    Ask that you leave him . .... ... ... Leave him

    Ask you come back ... ... ... ... Receiving him

    Feels sad ... ... ... ... ... .... Comfort him

    Is in an effort .... ... ... ... .. Animate him

    Is in failure .. ... ... ... ... ... Protect him

    Losing all hope ... ... ... ... .. Encourage him

    and never forget to teach him to believe in Allah (swa)

    The last end I did for my self, because now I am a muslim and beleive in just one GOD, Al-hamdulillah.

  2. MashaAllah! Beautiful advice, JazakiAllah khair.

  3. Great post with lots of really good information!

    Kids Day Care