By Mawlana Nabil Ahmed | Rabi’ ul Aw’wal 1438
Our Prophet Muhammad (SAW) is a role model for us in every regard. He set a high standard for us when dealing with everyone, including children.
This focus on a child’s welfare went as far as him (SAW) encouraging careful selection of a righteous spouse to provide a suitable nurturing environment for children.
Showing kindness and respect
It is narrated that Abu Huraira (may Allah be pleased with him) said:
We were praying ‘Isha prayer with the Messenger of Allah – peace and blessings of Allah be upon him. Whenever he prostrated, (his grandchildren) Al-Hassan and Al-Hussain would jump on his back playfully. He elongated his prostration so as not to disturb them and took care when raising his head. After the prayer, he would sit them on his thighs respectfully.
Abu Musa Al-Ash’ari says:
I was blessed with a boy, so I came with him to the Prophet -prayer and peace of Allah be upon him- where he named him Ibrahim, he moistened his lips with a softened date and asked Allah to bless him.” [Agreed upon]
Shortening the prayers
Whenever he (SAW) heard a child crying during the prayer, he would lighten his prayer so that the parents could tend to their child and minimise their discomfort. He said:
“I rise up to pray, with the intention to elongate my prayer, thereupon I hear the cry of a child which makes me shorten my prayer disliking to make it hard on his/her mother.” [Reported by Al-Bukhari 868]
Respecting their feelings
One young companion, Abdullah Ibn ‘Amr, relates:
“My mother called me once when the Messenger of Allah – peace and blessings of Allah be upon him – was in our house. She said: “Hey, come here I will give you something”, to which the Messenger – peace and blessings of Allah be upon him – enquired: “what did you want to give him”, She replied “I will give him dates”, then the Messenger – peace and blessings of Allah be upon him – said: “If you did not give him anything (upon calling him) it would be recorded on you as a lie.”
[Reported by Abu Dawûd 4991
Encouraging good manners and discipline with kindness
Omar Ibn Aby Salamah narrated:
“I was a little boy sitting on the Prophet’s – peace and blessings of Allah be upon him – lap eating from all over the plate. The Messenger of Allah – peace and blessings of Allah be upon him – said to me: “O boy, say ‘Bismillah’ (In the name of Allah), eat with your right hand and eat from what’s in front of you.” [Agreed upon]
Caring for their wellbeing
The Prophet (SAW) emphasised the right of the child in inheritance through preparation of a will. He also stressed the rights of orphan ensuring their care and protection, preservation of their wealth and kindness towards them.