A CHILD’S FIRST FAST
By Hinâ’ al-Hamrânî
“You will not eat anything today until the Sun sets.”
Such a declaration can be dreadfully frightful to a small child. It seems like a very, very long time.
Many adult Muslims can recall the first Ramadan fast they observed when they were children. It is often a poignant memory. The difficulty of that day is easy to recall. Nevertheless, when the fast is successfully accomplished for the first time, the sense of triumph and of joy felt on that day is cherished for life.
One woman recalls that day as follows:
It was all a very long time ago, yet I can still remember some of the details of that day. I remember standing all puffed up with pride between my brothers. I was the only one fasting. Shortly before sunset, they brought sweets and gathered round to eat them. I just couldn’t resist. That day, I broke my fast. The next day, I steeled myself up for the challenge. On that second day I triumphed, and may Allah be praised.
Another woman relates this memory:
Who could forget those days? Fasting was very difficult for us. If our families found out that we were fasting, they would forbid us and force us to eat. To tell the truth, I couldn’t resist the smell of food. That was enough to make me break my fast.
A third has this childhood memory to share:
I woke up late one day in Ramadan. It was, as a matter of fact, in the afternoon. I felt extremely hungry, but I resolved to fast. Later in the afternoon, my mother sent me to the neighbors to borrow some drink mix powder from them. On the way back, I was so hungry that I ate the drink mix powder.
Another woman shares this memory:
The days were very long. I used to climb onto the roof of the house in the late afternoon to watch the Sun go down.
Some Motherly Advice
A number of mothers share with us their experiences with teaching their children how to fast. One mother tells us:
I would get them used to fasting by constantly reminding them of the blessings and rewards that a fasting person receives. I would teach them the wisdom behind fasting. I would also encourage them by preparing for them their favorite foods to break their fasts with. As the day progressed, I would keep them busy with beneficial tasks, and as the time for breaking the fast grew near, I would keep them preoccupied by playing with them. A final strategy was that I would instill in them a spirit of competition. The children would vie with each other as to who would fast the greatest number of days.
Another mother has this to share:
I would try to give my children strength by telling them things like: “When we were small, we would see our mother fasting, so we would fast along with her.” I would remind them of the blessings that they would receive and that our beloved prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) used to fast.
A third mother tells us:
Every time a child was about to eat something, I would remind that child of the fast. I recall one singularly humorous incident. I saw my little girl put a piece of gum in her mouth, so I reminded her that she is fasting. So she spit out the gum, looked at it for a while, then quickly put it back in her mouth and swallowed it. Then she looked at me and said: “That solves the problem.”
The Example of Our Pious Predecessors
The best example of raising children is that of our Pious Predecessors. They brought up the greatest of generations. Al-Rabî`, the daughter of Mu`awwadh tells us [Sahîh al-Bukhârîand Sahîh Muslim]:
We used to fast and have our children fast. When we went to the mosque, we would give them cloth toys to play with. Whenever a child would cry for food, we would give that child the toys. We would do this until it was time to break the fast.
This shows that the Pious Predecessors did not simply impose fasting on their children. They looked for ways to occupy their children’s time and make the fast easy upon them.
Is My Child Ready to Fast?
Fasting is more difficult for some children than it is for others. Children who have a weak constitution might not be able to fast. Likewise, children who normally need to eat frequently can find fasting difficult. Children who are extra active in their play are also among those who have trouble fasting. It is the job of the parents to determine whether their children are ready to fast. They know their children’s health. However, the parents should not be lax in the matter. As long as a child is in good health, the child can be introduced to fasting in some manner or another.
Dr. Rashâd Lâshîn has the following advice for making the fast easy upon our children:
Between seven and nine years of age, it is possible to gradually introduce children to the fast. At the beginning, they can be encouraged to fast until 10 AM. Then the time can be increased until the time of the Zuhr prayer, then until the time of the `Asr prayer. At this point, we can encourage them, saying: “Come on, be brave. Keep up the fast until sunset and complete it all the way.”
A healthy ten year old child can handle the fast. Medically, his body is able to handle cope with it. We can say to a child at this age: “Come on. Show us how brave and strong you are. Do something really great and fast the whole day.”
It is important for us as parents to adopt the following measures so that our children can get the maximum benefit from their attempts at fasting – and not develop instead their skills at lying and deception:
1. We must work to instill in our children’s heart the desire to fast. This means that compulsion is out of the question. Forcing them to fast is no way to develop their inner selves. Instead, it can cultivate ugly character traits like hypocrisy, lying, cowardice, and deceit.
2. Positive reinforcement works wonders and can make it much easier to get our children to fast. Praise and encouragement are strongly recommended. Prizes – both material and honorary – can be awarded to the children.
3. A great way to encourage our children is to cultivate a competitive spirit among them. This is especially effective when the children have peers who are fasting and who are praying in the mosque.
4. We must not neglect using the gradual approach with our children. This approach should be used so that the child steadily advances to the point of fasting a full day.
“I am fasting, Mom” (but only when you can see me)
What is a mother to do when she discovers that her child has not been observing the Ramadan fast, but has been lying?
Dr. Hiba `Îsâwî, a professor of Psychology at the `Ayn Shams School of Medicine, addresses this question. She stresses that the fasting of small children is a mother’s responsibility, since the children are too young to understand the importance of the fast. Therefore, when a mother discovers that her child has been eating in secret, she should do the following:
1. Encourage the child’s fasting by giving the child an allowance for each day successfully fasted.
2. Do not confront the child because of the mistake. Do not call the child a liar. Instead, inform the child indirectly – by using stories of others – just how serious it is to break the Ramadan fast and to lie.
3. Do not expect a small child to fast a full day from the onset. Increase the duration of the child’s fast in increments, according to the child’s age and ability.
4. When the child fasts, make sure to praise the child and to give the child recognition in front of the rest of the family.
5. Encourage the child to fast by only permitting fasting people to have the privilege of sitting at the table at the time of breaking the fast. In this way, the child will understand that breaking the fast early is a big mistake.
6. Do not place sweets and displays of food within the child’s line of vision before the time of breaking the fast. There is no need to weaken the child’s resolve with such temptations.
7. Cultivate a religious and celebratory atmosphere at home. Let the child sense the importance of this month by making it different that the other months of the year. Ramadan should be something special.
EDUCATION YOUR CHILDREN IN RAMADHAN
Source http://www.qss. o rg/articles/ ramadan/8. 5.html
Children (who did not reach puberty) are not commanded to fast. However, their parents or guardians are strongly recommended to encourage them to fast few days so that they get used to it and they grow up knowing of the worship of fasting as they would know that of praying. In fact this was the practise of the first women of Islam who were living around the Prophet, salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam. An example of that is ar-Rubayya’ bint Mu’awiyyah who reported that: “The Messenger of Allah,salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam, sent a man on the morning of the day of ‘Ashurah, to the residences of the Ansar, saying: ‘Whoever has spent the morning fasting is to complete his fast. Whoever has not spent this morning fasting should voluntary fast for the remainder of the day.’ We fasted after that announcement, as did our young children. We would go to the mosque and make toys stuffed with cotton for them to play with. If one of them started crying due to hunger, we would give them a toy to play with until it was time to eat.” [al-Bukhari and Muslim.]
Dear sister remember that among the seven that Allah will shade under His shade onthe Day of Judgement is a young man who grew up in the worship of Allah. Therefore let your children be one of these.
There are many ways to educate your children about Ramadan, the best and most important of which is to set the good example by fasting properly and behaving according to the Prophetic teachings. This is what your children will take from you first. When you are fulfilling this you can very easily [and they will accept it and practise it easilly as well] teach them what you want. Here are few tips that you can use with your children [you can think of others as well]:
* Depending on their age encourage them to fast a number of days upto every other day or more for those who are almost at the age of puberty. For those who are still young let them fast a day or two and praise them in front of friends and relatives for their achivement.
* Let your children go with their father to the Masjid for Maghrib prayer and break the fast with the larger Muslim community to make them feel the gretness of fasting and the unity of Muslims in worshipping Allah.
* If your children cannot fast let them eat with you at the time of Maghrib and teach them that you are breaking the fast even if they ate before.
* Teach your children the supplication of breaking the fast
* Take your children to the Taraweeh prayer so that they get used it and know about it from their early age. They may sit or stay in the back of the prayer room if they get tired.
* Teach them to give charity. Do it in front of them and tell them you are doing it because the reward increases in Ramadan.
* Teach them to recite Qur’an regularily and inform them that the Prophet (S) used to do that in Ramadan.
* Correct them if they behave wrongly or say unaccaptable words and remind them that they are fasting ot they are in Ramadan and this may alter their reward.
* Wake them up for Suhoor [even if they don’t fast] and Fajr prayer.
* Teach them to feed the people fasting and tell them about the reward for that.
* Dress them in the best clothes, give them a bath and take them with you to the Eid Prayer. Teach them that this is our feast and celebration and that christmas, easter, thanksgiving and other holidays are not ours. Stress the distinction.
And remember that the Prophet salla allahu alaihi wa sallam said:
“One who is given the responsibility of the bringing up of daughters and treats them well will be a shield for him from Hell. [Bukhari and Muslim]
MANNERS OF WELCOMING THE NEW BORN CHILD IN ISLAM
By Yoosuf ibn ‘Abdullaah Al-‘Areefee
Translated By Aboo Talhah Daawood ibn Ronald Burbank
The Excellence of Bringing Up Girls
The encouragement to seek children covers both sons and daughters, and along with this general encouragement Islam has given special merits to seeking and bringing up girls – contrary to the thinking of the people of ignorance (haahiliyyah) of the past and present, since the people of ignorance – wherever and whenever found – hated to have daughters and were grieved and angered by their births!
“And when the news of (the birth of) a female (child) is brought to any of them, his face becomes dark, and he is filled with inward grief! He hides himself from the people because of the evil of that whereof he has been informed. Shall he keep her with dishonor or bury her in the earth? Certainly, evil is their decision.” (An-Nahl 16:58-59)
But the Messenger of Islam, Muhammad (SAW), came elevating the status of this gift given by Allah (SWT), welcoming the daughters, and raising high the importance of their upbringing with words to delight the hearts of the believing fathers and bring joy to their souls: “Whoever takes care of two girls until they reach adulthood – he and I will come (together) on the Day of Resurrection – and he interlaced his fingers (meaning in Paradise).” (Reported by Muslim)
So can there be any greater honor given to daughter!? And for those who wish to have them and bring them up properly!? And he said in another Hadith: “Whoever has three daughters or sisters, or two daughters of two sisters, and lives along with them in a good manner, and has patience with them, and fears Allah with regard to them will enter Paradise.” (Reported by Abu Dawud, Al-Tirmidhee and others)
And in another Hadith: “They will be a shield for him from the Fire.” (Reported by Ahmad and Ibn Maajah)
And along with the Messenger’s (SAW) honoring the daughters with his words, we find that he also gave us a living example in his own actions and behavior – for example, “One day he (SAW) led his Companions in Prayer whilst carrying Umaamah bint Zaynab (RA) when he made rukoo’ he would put her down, then when he stood, he would pick her up.” (Reported by Al-Bukhari and Muslim)
So the position of daughters in Islam is very clear and the encouragement that it gives for them, and also the hatred it has for those who hate them or are grieved at their births! We know from this that hatred in some souls toward something – if found – is not a true judgement upon that thing and this is explained in the Quran, as Allah (SWT) says: “…If you dislike them, it may be that you dislike a thing and Allah brings through it a great deal of good.” (An-Nisa’ 4:19)
So how many righteous women have brought happiness and well-being upon their families and their Ummah!? And how many corrupt young men have brought every form of misfortune and trial upon this Ummah!?
Therefore, it is upon the parents who have intellect to accept whatever Allah’s (SWT) gift is with full joy and happiness, whether the gift is male or a female. Since its being a male or being a female is due only to Allah’s (SWT) order alone – He, the One free from all imperfections – and Most High says: “To Allah belongs the kingdom of the heavens and the earth. He creates what He wills. He bestows female (offspring) upon whom He wills, and bestows male (offspring) upon whom He wills. Or He bestows both males and females, and He renders barren who He wills. Verily, He is the All-Knower and is Able to do all things.” (Ash-Shura 42:49-50)
DEATH OF CHILDREN
Sahih Muslim Hadith 6370 Narrated by Abu Hurayrah: AbuHassan said to AbuHurayrah: My two children had died. Would you narrate to me anything from Allah’s Apostle (saws) a hadith which would soothe our hearts in our bereavements? He said: Yes. Small children are the fowls of Paradise. If one of them meets his father (or he said his parents) he would take hold of his cloth, or he said with his hand as I take hold of the hem of your cloth (with my hand). And he (the child) would not take off (his hand) from it until Allah causes his father to enter Paradise. This hadith has been narrated on the authority of Tamim with the same chain of transmitters. And he is reported to have said: Did you hear from Allah’s Apostle (saws) anything which may soothe our heart in our bereavements? He said: Yes.
MARRIAGE OF CHILDREN
By Khalid Dhorat
As soon as the children cross the age of childhood and reach adolescence, the parent’s responsibilities and anxieties take a new turn. The parents of fully grown up sons start dreaming of a house full of happiness, as their sons will bring in daughter-in-laws; and, in the case of daughters, they become worried and perplexed at the prospect of their daughter to belong to another household for ever, and of finding a good husband to look after her just as they had done. The marriage of children by their parents is a social, legal responsibility on the shoulders of the parents, as well as their natural desire.
Islam strongly advises to arrange the marriage of eligible and responsible children as soon as a suitable match is found for them. Ages may vary according to place, times and climes. The only reason for the delaying of marriage for a normal and healthy child, should be that a suitable match is not found or the child is not yet capable of supporting a family. Unnecessary delay in this matter and negligence in a matter as important as this, can have serious social problems and irrepairable damage to the iman faith and corruption of dignity of that child and his entire family.
The Holy Prophet of Allah, Muhammad bin ‘Abdullah (saw) had Said, “One who is bestowed with children by the Almighty Allah, should give them good names, fine training and education and get them married when they gain adulthood. In case if they are not married, and they transgress the limits of virtue, the father will be held responsible”.
In another tradition, the last Messenger of Allah (saw) is reported to have said, ” It has been ordained in the Torah: old-Testament, that a father, whose daughter reaches the age of twelve, and due to the delay in marriage, indulges in wrong behaviour, will bear the responsibility of that sin” (see Olgar, Musa Ahmad, Upbringing of Children, Madrassah Banat al-Salihat, Isipingo Beach Durban, South Africa, 1993 pp. 154-7.)
When finding a suitable match, take into consideration the following Tradition, and not rush into a matter which entails lifelong comittment. It is narrated on the authority of Abu Hurairah (ra) in the mishkat al-Masabih that the noble Messenger of Allah said, ” A woman may be married for four reasons: for her wealth ; her status; her beauty and for her piety. Try to marry a pious girl, and prosper”. A pious wife is termed as ” The best object of benefit in this world ” by the last and noble Prophet (saw). He also been reported to have said, ” Marry loving and fertile women, for indeed I will envy you for your numerical superiority ( to other nations on the day of reckoning) “.
CHILDREN DISTURBING THEIR MOTHER DURING PRAYERS
This was translated exclusively for http://www.bakkah.net from a cassette recording with the knowledge and permission of the shaykh, file no. AAMB017, dated 1423/6/25.
QUESTION: A woman prays in her house, having many young children and no family members or servants to assist her. She feels that her prayers are always deficient or unacceptable as a result of her lack of concentration due to the children’s constant activities. What is your advice to her?
ANSWER by Shaykh Muhammad ‘Umar Baazmool, instructor at Umm Al-Quraa University in Makkah
This woman, so long as she offers the prayer with its prescribed manner, after being purified (having wudhoo’), reciting (Soorah Al-Faatihah), standing, bowing, raising up, prostrating, sitting, prostrating again, with tama’neenah (resting fully in each position), then her prayer is valid in shaa’ Allaah.
And she should feel free of any blame by offering this prayer, by Allaah’s Permission. She (also) gets the reward for all of her work in the house and taking care of her children.
One time the Messenger (sallallaahu ‘alayhe wa sallam) was leading the people in prayer in the masjid, and he shortened the prayer. So they said, “O Messenger of Allaah! You have prayed in a way that we have not seen from you before!” or a phrase similar to this.
He replied (sallallaahu ‘alayhe wa sallam): “I heard the crying of a child, and I supposed that his mother was praying with us, so I wanted to free his mother for him.” 
So here the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu ‘alayhe wa sallam), praying one of the obligatory prayers in congregation, shortened the prayer, showing concern for this child. So in this there is evidence to support that if a woman was to shorten her (recitation in her) prayer due to her responsibilities toward her house or her child, while she has no assistance, then there is no harm in that, so long as she offered her prayer in the manner ordained in the Sharee’ah. And Allaah, the Mighty and Exalted, says : ( So fear Allaah to the best of your ability )
And the Messenger (sallallaahu ‘alayhe wa sallam) said: “…And when I have ordered you with something, then do as much of it as you are able.” 
Therefore she offers the prayer to the best of her ability, fulfilling her duty and thus freeing herself from any blame. In addition, she will be rewarded by Allaah, the Glorified and Exalted, for being a good wife to her husband, taking care of the family, and staying on top of all her responsibilities. By these things she reaps great rewards and obtains lofty virtues. And by these things, her reward is with Allaah, the Glorified and Exalted.
She will also have a magnificent reward from Allaah, the Glorified and Exalted, for all her patience and forbearance, (as Allaah says) : ( Verily those who persevere will receive their reward without measure )
 from an authentic hadeeth collected by Ahmad, see The Prophet’s Prayer Described (p.25 of the English version) sallallaahu ‘alayhe wa sallam
 the meaning of Soorah At-Taghaabun (64):16
 Saheeh Al-Bukhaaree #7288 (13/317 of Fat-hul-Baaree)
 the meaning of Soorah Az-Zumar (39):10
RULING ON HITTING CHILDREN
By Sheikh Muhammad Naasir Ad-Deen Al-Albaani
Excerpt taken from an audio cassette lecture titled “La Qushoor fil Islam”
Question: “The teacher may sometimes turn to hitting in order to discipline is student. Firstly, is it permissible to hit the student? Secondly, is it permissible to hit him in the face?”
Answer: “As far as hitting in the face, this is not permissible due to the statement of the Prophet, may peace and blessings be upon him, “Do not hit the face and do not disfigure.” Regarding the second part, is it permissible to hit the student in general as a means of discipline; the answer must make mention of the statement of the Prophet, “Command your children to pray when they reach the age of seven and hit them if they l eave it off when they reach the age of ten and separate them from each other in the beds.”
“In this hadith is a proof that for the student, rather the child, whether he is a student or not, it is not permissible for the one in charge of him to hit him due to his deficiency in obeying the commands until he reaches the age of ten. Command your children to pray when they reach the age of seven and hit them if they leave it off when they reach the age of ten and separate them from each other in the beds. Without a doubt, the Hukm (ruling) or Ahimiyah (importance) of whatever knowledge any teacher wants to present to his students will not be equal to the importance of prayer. Therefore, if the Prophet himself prohibits the father from hitting his child due to not praying, until he reaches the age of ten, then with all the more reason, it is not permissible for other than the >father (from those in charge) to hit the children for so mething other than leaving off the salah until he reaches the age of ten. Thus, it is not permissible for the teacher to hit the child even if he did not obey him regarding the salah. What else exists from the other affairs that are as important as the Salah. “In this connection, I would like to also add that the age of puberty for girls and boys differs tremendously from country to country. I know that in general, in countries of warm climate, the hormones may mature at a faster rate; thus the age of takleef (duty: obligation to observe precepts of religion) would be reached at an earlier age than it would in a colder climate. Then this rule should not be taken in a general way but rather each country should study the childre n or it should be done in a more detailed way. For example one would find out whether this particular child reached the age of puberty or is he still in childhood? So whatever seems to predominate from t his study, the hukm (ruling) would be decided.”
He was then asked: “With regards to hitting, if the child had bad manners and hit..” Sheikh Al-Albaani began saying: “There is no hitting, no hitting at all. Rather there is directing, advising and speech. Sometimes words have a greater affect on people than hitting. In addition, hitting with some people does not help at all, rather it makes them continue on what their upon more and more. What is important is that the best of all guidance is the guidance of Muhammad, may peace and blessings be upon him. Thus the child is not to be hit so long that he did not reach the age of puberty.
“On this note, I understand from the gradual teaching of the Prophet that was previously mentione d in the hadith, ‘Command your children to pray . ‘ to the end of the hadith, I understand from this hadith that it is wrong what I see take place with many fathers. He commands his child to pray be fore reaching the age of seven. This is opposition to the commandment of the Prophet, may peace and blessings be upon him. ‘Command your children to pray when they reach the age of seven.’ That is why it is not appropriate for the Muslim to put the commandment in effect before what the Prophet defined initially. It is ok for the father to permit his child to come along with him to pray with him in the masjid. But as far as him telling him, “Come here, get up, go make wudoo’ and pray.” and the child has not yet reached the age of seven, this is opposition to this hadith, so I just wanted to remind you all of that.”
He was also asked: “Sheikh, regarding hitting, sometimes you find students leave their houses and have no manners, even good advice< BR>does not benefit them, so does hitting them fall into necessity?”
Sheikh Al-Albaani replied: “There is no necessity, where is the necessity here. Can you comprehend that hitti ng would benefit when the One who created him said, do not hit him until he reaches the age of seven.”
WHY DOES ALLAH MENTION WEALTH BEFORE CHILDREN?
Shaykh `Abdul-`Azeez Bin Baz
Source: Fatawa Islamiyah, vol.7, p.105, DARUSSALAM
Question: In the Qur’aan, why is wealth always mentioned before children, despite children being worth more to a farther then his wealth? And what is the wisdom behind this?
Answer: Because wealth helps one to fulfill unlawful desires, the temptations of wealth are greater. The opposite is the case with children. Although a person may be tried in regard to them, and disobey Allaah because of them, but the temptations from wealth are more and worse. Allaah Almighty says: “And it is not your wealth, nor your children that bring you nearer to Us (i.e. pleases Allah).” (Saba’ 34:37)
He also said: “Your wealth and your children are only a trial.” (At-Taghabun 64:15)
And: “Let not your properties or your children divert you from the remembrance of Allah.” (Al-Munafiqun 63:9)
ADVICE TO THE YOUTH
By Shaykh Rabee’ Ibn Haadee ‘Umayr al-Madkhalee
Translated by Maaz Qureshi 
Verily Allaah the Exalted said: So No! By your Lord, they cannot believe until they make you (O Muhammad) a judge in all disputes that they have between them, and find in themselves no resistance against your decision, but accept them with full submission. [Sooratun Nisaa: 12]
We remind them that they should not exceed their sense of honour towards Islaam over the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam), nor over the leaders of Islaam.We hope for the Muslim youth that they do not open the door of destructive explanations for the Sunnah and for the Salafee methodology, as we hope for them to stick to the principles and foundations of the Salafee methodology, established upon respect for the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam), and lauding it, and revering it, and honouring it.
Verily these explanations and scrutinizations devalue the great position of the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) and they have left the door wide open for anyone to play around with the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) and his methodology.
So lastly we advise the Muslims, their general masses, and their youth especially with:
A) That they hold fast to the Book of their Lord, and the Sunnah of their Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) in their creed, and their worship, and the current affairs of their lives.
B) That they exert their seriousness at establishing the oneness of Allaah among the ranks of the Muslims, upon Tawheed, and the Sunnah, and truth, and trustworthiness.
C) That they single out Allaah in their worship, and their Jihaad, and their actions, and their sciences, and in their matters of conduct.
D) To spread between themselves that which is a reason for love and brotherhood, and friendship, and to distance themselves from everything that is a reason for differing and division, which is also the most dangerous weapon against the Islaamic Ummah, and which is assassinating it and it’s unity. And it is strengthening the one who works for the destruction of it’s fragrance.
E) That they keep good opinions of the scholars of the Sunnah and Tawheed. For verily having evil thoughts about the scholars is extremely dangerous. Not relying upon them, and not respecting them fires the youth with a zeal which makes them surrender their control to the people of innovation and misguidance, and to ruin, and ignorance, and disaster, and destruction in their worldly matters, and their religion.
So verily we perceive a great danger from some of the youth, so we call them with excitement to the fear of Allaah, and contemplating on Him. And to distance oneself from emotional outbursts, and to attending of the gatherings of the scholars so that knowledge can be learnt from them, and manners, and modesty, and being very gentle-hearted towards the Muslims. So one must have mercy upon the their young ones, and respect for their elders, and he must be aware of their authority, and their rank. They must then head towards the arenas of Jihaad for the purpose of defending against the aggressions of the transgressors, and for the expulsion of the greedy, and disregarding the cowardly, and the rumour mongers.
O Allaah! Establish this Ummah upon a righteous affair, strengthening by it the people who obey You, and subduing by it the people who disobey You, and raising by it Your Word. O Allaah! Bestow your blessings upon your slave and messenger Muhammad, and upon his family, and upon his companions; complete and abundant greetings.
 The following is a slightly abridged translation of the conclusion from Shaykh Rabee’s book, Sadd ‘Udwaanul Mulhadeen (p. 83-85).
THE CHILDREN OF THE MUSHRIKEEN
About the children of the mushrikeen who die young (not the children of the muslims) –
This is an issue that the ‘ulamaa’ have differed over. I researched this issue last year. I will summarize my research below, mentioning the opinions, some of the evidence for each opinion, and my conclusion. (My original research has many more points of daleel, the sources for all of the positions of the various ulamaa, and a discussion of the authenticity of each proof)
Ibn Abbaas and the two Hammaads, Shaafi’ee, Bayhaqee, Ibn Abdil-Barr and others believed that we have to say “Allaah knows best” and not talk about this issue, based on the statement of the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhe wa sallam, when he was asked about the children of the mushrikeen: (( Allaah knows best about what they would have done )) [Bukhaaree and Muslim]
I included those ‘ulamaa who said that the children of the mushrikeen were under the Will of Allaah in this category, since their statement is identical with a different wording.
2) They are in the Hellfire
This is the position of Ibn Hazm and some of the Hanbalees. They use the hadeeth of the Jewish boy who died after accepting Islaam. The Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alayhe wa sallam) said about him “Praise to Allaah the One who saved him from the Hellfire,” [Bukhaaree & Ahmad] meaning that if he had died without accepting Islaam, he would be in the Hellfire. And they use the hadeeth about “every child being born on the fitrah” too, and many others.
3) They are in Jannah
Those who hold this position: Al-Qurtubee, Al-Bukhaaree, Ibn Hajr, An-Nawawee, Ibn Al-Jowzee, and others.
One of their proofs: The aayah ( No soul shall bear the burden of another, and we are not to punish any people until after sending a messenger to them ) Israa’:15
Other proofs they use briefly: The hadeeth of Ibraaheem and the children around him from Bukhaaree, “And the children of the mushrikeen”
“The pen is lifted off of three… the boy until he becomes of age (reaches puberty)” At-Tirmithee
“There is no child except he is born upon the fitrah” and many others
4) They will be tested
This is the position of Abul-Hasan Al-Ash’aree, Ibn Katheer, Ibn Taymiyyah, Ibn Qayyim, Al-Albaanee, and Ibn Baaz, and others.
They based their position on the hadeeth of the imtihaan, one of its wordings as found in the Mu’jam Kabeer of At-Tabaraanee: “The incompetant one, the one who died in the period between messengers, and the one who died as a child will be brought forth on the Day of Judgement…”
Then the hadeeth mentions that they will be asked to enter a piece of the Hellfire as a test of their obedience to Allaah… “and if they enter it (the fire) it will be cool and calm on them” and in one narration, “So then these (those who refuse) will enter the Fire, and those (those who obeyed) will enter the Jannah.” This hadeeth has numerous routes and they are gathered and mentioned in Silsilatul-Ahaadeeth As-Saheehah #2468.
5) They are the servants of the people of Jannah
Al-Hasan Al-Basree from the earlier scholars said this, as well as Al-Albaanee from the later ones.
They rely on the hadeeth of Anas: The Messenger (sallallaahu ‘alayhe wa sallam) was asked about the children of the Mushrikeen. He said: “They have no sins to be punished for and thus become from the people of the Hellfire, nor do they have any good deeds to be rewarded for and become from the people of Jannah, they are the servants of the people of Jannah.” Hasan lighayrihi according to Al-Albaanee. See Silsilatul-Ahaadeeth As-Saheehah #1468.
6) They will be turned into dust (!)
This has been reported to be the position of Thamaamah ibn Ashras. This opinion has no clear evidence.
7) They are in LIMBO between Jannah and the Hellfire (!)
Some of the ‘ulamaa’ have mentioned this postion, however it also has no clear evidence.
These are the different positions that have reached me. As for the conclusion to my research, after discarding the weak narrations, and thinking carefully about the narrations, I saw a way to combine all of the authentic narrations within one answer, and that is:
1) They are from the mushrikeen in the dunyaa, and this explains the hadeeth: “They (the children of the mushrikeen) are from them (the mushrikeen).” As this was referring to their hukm in the dunyaa, ie if they are killed in a war unintentionally, then they are from them.
2) They will be tested in the Hereafter
3) Whoever disobeys Allaah in this test, will be from the people of the hellfire.
4) Whoever obeys Allaah in this test, they will go to the Jannah.
5) Whoever goes to the Jannah from them, they will be a servant to the people of Jannah.
6) We make tawaqquf about the specific individuals from them, ie we do not say that John the son of Henry Jones is in the Hellfire or the Jannah.
Then the last part of my research included refutations of each of the other statements.
I reviewed this research with Dr. Muhammad Baazmool who said, “You came to the right conclusion,” except he said that I did not make a distinction between the boy who is mumayyiz and the boy who is too young to understand Islaam. And Allaah knows best.
For further reading on this topic, I would suggest the following most important books of reference:
1) Ibn Katheer’s tafseer of Soorah Israa’:15
2) Fat-hul-Baaree 3/300 in explanation of the hadeeth of Ibraaheem and the children around him
3) At-Tathkirah of Al-Qurtubee (p.552)
4) At-Tamheed of Ibn Abdil-Barr (6/377)
5) Al-I’tiqaad of Al-Bayhaqee (p.195)
6) Sharh An-Nawawee, the relative chapters (8/428 and in that neighborhood)
7) Tareeq Al-Hijratayn of Ibn Al-Qayyim (p.584)
8) Majmoo’ Al-Fataawaa of Ibn Taymiyyah (24/373)
The first four are the best by far in terms of gathering the statements of the ‘ulamaa’, and there are others like ‘Awn Al-Ma’bood, Ash-Sharee’ah, Ma’aarij Al-Qabool, etc.
CARING FOR CHILDREN
By Imam Adullaah Saalih Al Qasier
O People fear Allah in all your situations. For Allah’s fearfulness and cautiousness is the best characteristic that you could have in your life and take provisions for the day of return and preserve the advise from Allah to you regarding your children for they are the greatest trust.
Allah says verses which translates as: “Those who faithfully true to their trust and duties and to their covenants and those who strictly guard their prayers these are indeed are inheritors who shall inherit paradise they shall dwell therein forever”(Mu’minun: 8-11).
Servants of Allah, Allah says which translates as: “Allah commands you as regards your children”(An-Nisa’: 11). He Subhanahu Wa Taala also says which translates as: “O You who have believed word off yourselves and your families against a fire whose fuel is men and stones over which are angels stern and severe who disobey not from executing the commands they receive from Allah, but do that which they are commanded”(At-Tahreem: 6).
Additionally Allah Subhanahu Wa Taala says which translates as: “Enjoin prayer on your family and be patient in offering them, we ask not of you a provision, we provide for you and the good end is for the pious”(Taha: 132).
Allah commanded you as regards to your children to properly raise them, encouraging obedience and discouraging disobedience, and to command them and enjoin prayers on them, and to utilize their times with things that will have pleasant consequences and to punish among them those who stray away and are disobedient and follow their lusts and desires.
The Prophet (Salla Allahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) said in the Hadith that is found in the Musnad of Al Imam Ahmad and Abu Dawood “Command your children to pray at age seven and at age ten punish them by hitting if they neglect it then separate between them in bed at the time of sleep”. Servants of Allah, caring for children and adhering to the command and advise regarding them, starts with the man and women asking their Lord to provide them with the righteous spouse, with good manners and sound faith.
Allah says while praising the servants of Allah as in “Those who say our Lord bestow on us from our wives and our offspring’s the comfort of our eyes and make us leaders of the pious”(Al-Furqan: 74).
Allah informed us of the story of Musa when he saw the girls of the righteous man, who were properly mannered and chaste. He says which translates as: “My Lord, truly I am in need of whatever good that you bestowed on me”(Al- Qasas: 24). This is how we must supplicate to Allah, asking him for a righteous wife that helps in being obedient.
In the book of Al Imam Bukhari and Muslim the Prophet (Salla Allahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) said as reported by Abu Hurairah Radhiyallahu Anhu ” You succeed with the religious wife, may your hand be dismayed with dust”.
In the book of Al Imam Tirmidhi, he said in a Hadith addressing the guardians of women “If a man comes to you and you are satisfied with his manners and his religion, marry your daughter off to him”.
Servants of Allah the second issue, which brings about joy and happiness, is that the husband and wife supplicate to Allah for righteous offspring.
As Allah informed us about Ibrahim, in Allah Subhanahu Wa Taala says that which translates as: “O My Lord make me one who perform prayer and from my offspring’s or Lord and accept my invocations”(Ibrahim: 40). Ibrahim also said with Isma’il that which translates as: “Our Lord and make us submissive on to you and of our offspring’s a nation submissive on to you”(Al-Baqarah: 128).
Allah says regarding Zakariyah, which translates as: “O My Lord, grant me from you a good offspring’s you are indeed the all hearer of invocations “(Aal-Imran: 38).
Allah says when mentioning invocations of parents that which translates as: “If you give us a righteous child we shall indeed be among the grateful”(Al-A’raf: 189).
This proves that a righteous child is one the greatest bounties and favors from Allah. Why would it not be when the Prophet (Salla Allahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) mentioned in the book of Al Imam Muslim ” When the son of Adam dies, he loses benefit from his deeds except from three. A charity that is continuous in benefit, beneficial knowledge and a righteous son that supplicates for him”.
Servants of Allah! Adhering to the command and advise of Allah concerning children and family, is to be sincere in supplicating for them to have all good. Not to curse them even at the time of anger, that is because the supplications for or against the child is accepted. Allah Subhanahu Wa Taala informed us about Ibrahim when he supplicated for his offspring when he said which translates as: “Keep me and my sons away form worshiping idols”(Ibrahim: 35). Therefore, Allah accepted his supplication and made his sons Prophets to guide humankind.
In the book of Imam Muslim reported by Jaabar, the messenger (Salla Allahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) said: “Don’t curse yourselves and don’t curse your children and don’t curse your wealth because you might coincide with an hour of acceptance with Allah, then he accepts the supplications and replies”.
Fathers and mothers, take care of your children, raise them righteously to be grateful and they will be helpful and heavier on your scale on the Day of Judgment, even though they might be at a young age because teaching and raising properly from a young age is like someone engraving on rocks, it stays and its effect is lasting.
Hassan Ibnu Ali Radhiyallahu Anhuma when he was a young child crawling on the floor took a date from the dates of charity and put it in his mouth. The Prophet (Salla Allahu Alaihi Wa Sallam)) took it out of his mouth threw it away and said “Did you not know that we, meaning the household of the Prophet (Salla Allahu Alaihi Wa Sallam)) cannot eat from property of charity”.
Amru Ibnu Salama Radhiyallahu Anhuma said: “I was a young boy under the care of the messenger (Salla Allahu Alaihi Wa Sallam)) and my hand use to go around the dish while eating. He said to me (Salla Allahu Alaihi Wa Sallam)) “O Boy, say Bismillah, and eat with your right hand and eat of the dish what is near to you”. Then Amru said “Since that I have applied those instruction while eating”, and he (Salla Allahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) also said: ” Command your children to observe prayers at the age seven and at the age ten punish them by hitting if they neglect Salah and separate them at the time of sleep”.
The command of the Prophet (Salla Allahu Alaihi Wa Sallam)) to separate between children at the time of sleep comes as a deterrent to prevent corruption and to bring the attention of the Muslim Nation of their obligations to safe guard and preserve the religion.
O Muslims, it is the right of your children upon you for you to be just between them when giving gifts. The Prophet (Salla Allahu Alaihi Wa Sallam)) said to one man “Your children have the right on you to be just between them “.
The Salaf use to desire this justice even in the distribution of kisses. The reason for that is, one of the companions specified the child in giving a gift, and wanted the Prophet (Salla Allahu Alaihi Wa Sallam)) to attend to that and testify to it. So the Prophet (Salla Allahu Alaihi Wa Sallam)) said “Did you do that with the rest of your children”. He said: “No”. The prophet said: “Wouldn’t you like that they all have the same level of dutifulness towards you”. He said: “Yes “. The prophet said: ” Then fear Allah, and be just between your children”. In another narration, he said to him: “Get someone else to testify on this, I do not testify to oppression”.
In another narration he said: “I only testify to that which is the truth”, so that man companion when back, took that gift back and was just between his children.
So, fear Allah, O Servants of Allah, and adhere and preserve the command and advise of Allah to you concerning your children and remember your position in the day of resurrection. As Allah says that which translates as: “The day when a near relative can not avail another near relative in ought, and no help can they receive” (Ad-Dukhan: 41).
May Allah bless you and I with the guidance of the Qur’an.
Advice On How To Raise Your Children
This is an except from the Book of : Imam Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyyah (d. 751 AH), a famous book called Tuhfat al-Mawdood bi Ahkaam al-Mawlood. One of the most important chapters of his book is the sixteenth chapter, which is entitled Fi fusool naafi’ah fi Tarbiyat al-Atfaal tuhmad ‘awaaqibuha ‘ind al-Kabr (Useful advice on raising children which will have good consequences when the child grows up).
Here is a summary of what Ibn Qayyim said:
1. The child should be breastfed by someone other than his mother, two or three days after birth. That is better because her milk after that time will be thick and contain different ingredients, unlike the milk of one who has been breastfeeding for a while. All the Arabs pay attention to that, and they give their children to desert women to breastfeed, as the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) was given to Banu Sa’d to be breastfed among them.
2. They should not be picked up and carried around until they are three months old or more, because they have only recently emerged from their mother’s wombs and their bodies are still weak.
3. They should be given only milk until their teeth appear, because their stomachs are weak and unable to digest food. When the baby’s teeth appear, his stomach has grown strong and is able to be nourished by food. Food should be introduced gradually.
4. When they approach the age where they will begin to speak and one wants to make it easy for them to speak, a little honey and salt should be placed on the infant’s tongue, because they contain substances that will reduce the excessive moisture that prevents speech. When the child begins to speak, one should prompt him to say Laa ilaaha ill-Allaah Muhammad Rasool Allaah.
5. When the time for the teeth to appear comes, the gums should be rubbed every day with butter and ghee.
6. Parents should not get upset when the child cries and yells, because he benefits greatly from that crying. It exercises his limbs, opens his intestines and chest, keeps his brain warm, warms his moods, provokes his energy, creates suitable conditions for expelling waste matter, and helps rid the brain of mucus and other waste.
7. The child should be protected against everything that may scare him of harsh and terrifying noises, frightening scenes and disturbing movements.
8. Complete breastfeeding lasts for two years. This is the right of the child if he needs it and cannot do without it. The Qur’aan confirmed that by adding the word kaamilayn (meaning complete or whole, in the verse “The mothers shall give suck to their children for two whole years” [al-Baqarah 2:233]). If the one who is breastfeeding the child wants to wean him, she should wean him gradually, and not wean him suddenly in one go; rather she should get him used to it slowly because of the harm that may be done by changing the child’s food and habit in one go.
9. It is mistreatment of children to allow them to eat their fill of food, and to eat and drink a lot. One of the most beneficial ways of training them is to give them less than their fill, so that they may digest well and be in good health, there will be less waste in their bodies and their bodies will be healthy, and they will have less sickness because of having less food waste in their bodies.
10. One thing that the child needs most urgently is close attention to his moral well being. He grows up with whatever the one who is raising him gets him used to when he is small. [If it is] resentment, anger, arguments, haste, being easily led by whims and desires, foolishness, hot-temperedness and greed, then it will be difficult for him to change that when he grows up. Hence you will find that most people are deviant in their character, because of the way they were brought up.
11. The child’s guardian should keep him from taking from others because if he gets used to taking, that will become natural for him, and he will grow up as one who takes and not one who gives. If the guardian wants to give something, he should give it by his hand [i.e., give it to the child to give away] so that that he will taste the sweetness of giving.
12. He should keep him away from lying and treachery more than he would keep him away from lethal poison. Once he lets him get the habit of lying and betrayal, he will have corrupted his happiness in this world and in the Hereafter, and deprived him of all goodness.
13. He should keep him away from laziness, idleness, a life of ease and too much rest, and he should force him to do the opposite. He should not let him rest more than is sufficient to restore his energy so that he can do more work, for laziness and idleness bring bad consequences and lead to regret. Yahya ibn Abi Katheer said: “Knowledge cannot be attained by letting the body rest.”
14. He should get him used to waking up at the end of the night, for that is the time when reward is allocated and prizes are awarded; some will take less and some will take more and some will be deprived. If he gets used to that when he is little, it will be easy for him when he grows up.
[Tuhfat al-Mawdood (194-203).]