March 22, 2011

Children's Rights: To Be Raised Upon Correct Religious Knowledge

In his work, Essential Rights, Shaykh Muhammad Saleh Al-Uthaymeen details the importance of raising our children upon correct knowledge: 

Children in accordance with Islam are entitled to various and several rights. The first and most famous right is to be properly brought up, raised and educated. This means that children should be given suitable, sufficient, sound, and adequate religious, ethical and moral guidance to last them for their entire life. They should be engraved with true values, the meaning of right and wrong, true and false, correct and incorrect, appropriate and inappropriate, and so forth and so on. Allah, the All Mighty stated in the Glorious Qur'an:

"O you who believe! Ward off yourselves and your families against a fire whose fuel is men and stones..." (At-Tahrim: 6).

Allah's Apostle, sallallahu alayhi wa sallam, said: "Every one of you is a shepard. And every one is responsible for whatever falls under his responsibility. A man is like a shepard of his own family, and he is responsible for them..." (Bukhari and Muslim)

Children, therefore, are a trust given to the parents. Parents are to be responsible for this trust on the Day of Judgment. Parents are essentially responsible for the moral, ethical, and basic essential religious teachings of their children.

If parents fulfill this responsibility, they will be free of the consequences on the Day of Judgment. The children will become better citizens and pleasures to the eyes of their parents, first in this life, and in the hereafter.

Allah, the All-Mighty, stated in the Glorious Qur'an: "And those who believe and whose offspring follow them in faith: to them shall We join their offspring, and We shall not decrease the reward of their deeds in anything. Every person is a pledge for that which he has earned," (At-Tur: 21).

Moreover, Allah's Apostle, sallallahu alayhi wa sallam, said: "Upon death, man's deeds will definitely stop except for three deeds, namely a continuous charitable fund, endowment, or good will; knowledge left for people to benefit from; and pious, righteous, God-fearing children who continuously pray to Allah, the All Mighty, for the soul of his parents." (Muslim)

In fact, such a statement reflects the value of proper upbringing of children. It has an everlasting effect, even after death.

Unfortunately, many parents from every walk of life, in every society, regardless of creed, origin, social and economic status, etc., have neglected this very important and imposed right of their own children unto them. Such individuals have indeed lost their children as a result of their own negligence. Such parents are so careless about the time that their children spent with no benefit, the friends they associate with, the places they go to etc. Such parents, they do not care, are totally indifferent about where their children go, when they come back and so forth and so on, causing the children to grow without any responsible adult and caring supervision. Such parents neglect even to instruct, direct or guide their children to the proper way of life, behavior, or even attitudes towards others. Yet, you may find these parents are so careful about their wealth. They are extremely concerned about their own business, work, and otherwise. They exert every possible effort to lead a very successful life in terms of materialistic gains, although all this wealth is not actually theirs. No one will take wealth to the grave.

Children are not only to be well-fed, well-groomed, properly dressed for seasons and appearance, well-taken care of in terms of housing and utilities. It is more important to offer the child comparable care in terms of educational, religious training and spiritual guidance. The heart of a child must be filled with faith. A child's mind must be entertained with proper guidance, knowledge and wisdom.

To read more from Essential Rights, please visit

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