Islam-beliefs

Rules concerning Treatment among Children

Introduction

A family may be considered as the smallest form (like a molecule) of a society. A huge number of families actually constitutes, to what we call, a society; thus the morals of the average families affects the society as a whole. You should be able to easily visualize as how every material depends on the individual molecules that it is composed of.

We all know that, a state/country can’t function properly without proper justice and equality, the same rule applies to the individual families in it. Generally, the parents manages the affairs of the family. Unity, love and affection within every members are only possible in an environment of justice and equality. The children will then be able to receive a proper upbringing and inherit the sense of being Just and Fair.

Analysis from the Quran and Sunnah

Justice and Equality

Allah(swt) orders us for Justice and Equality and restricts oppression:

INDEED, ALLAH ORDERS JUSTICE AND GOOD CONDUCT AND GIVING TO RELATIVES AND FORBIDS IMMORALITY AND BAD CONDUCT AND OPPRESSION. HE ADMONISHES YOU THAT PERHAPS YOU WILL BE REMINDED.

{Surah An-Nahl: Ayat 90}

We all probably know regarding the famous Hadith regarding 7 categories of people to be granted the shade of Allah(swt) in the day of resurrection. The 1st category among these are a Just Ruler (Parents are, in most cases, the Ruler of the Family).

The Prophet(sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said, “Seven (people) will be shaded by Allah by His Shade on the Day of Resurrection when there will be no shade except His Shade. (They will be):

  1. A Just Ruler
  2. A Young Man who has been brought up in the Worship of Allah
  3. A man who Remembers Allah(swt) in Seclusion and his Eyes are then Flooded with Tears
  4. A man whose Heart is attached to Mosques (offers his compulsory congregational prayers in the mosque)
  5. Two men who Love each other for Allah’s Sake
  6. A man whom a Beautiful Woman of High Rank seduces(for illicit relation), but he (rejects this) says: “I fear Allah”
  7. A man who Gives in Charity so Secretly that his left hand does not know what his right hand has given.

{Sahih Al-Bukhari Book 86, Hadith 36 and Sahih Muslim Book 12, Hadith 117}.

Another Ayat, inviting people to do justice(without biasness) and getting close towards righteousness.

O YOU WHO HAVE BELIEVED, BE PERSISTENTLY STANDING FIRM FOR ALLAH, WITNESSES IN JUSTICE, AND DO NOT LET THE HATRED OF A PEOPLE PREVENT YOU FROM BEING JUST. BE JUST; THAT IS NEARER TO RIGHTEOUSNESS. AND FEAR ALLAH ; INDEED, ALLAH IS ACQUAINTED WITH WHAT YOU DO.

{Surah Al-Ma’idah: Ayat 8}

Parents towards Children

Parents should be Just and Equitable while treating with each of their children. They should not show particular preference to some or any of their children, irrespective of their gender, beauty, capability, wealth/income etc. Few authentic Hadiths are discussed below.

THE PROPHET (ﷺ) SAID: ACT EQUALLY BETWEEN YOUR CHILDREN; ACT EQUALLY BETWEEN YOUR SONS.

{Sunan Abi Dawud 3544}

‘A’ISHA REPORTED: A POOR WOMAN CAME TO ME ALONG WITH HER DAUGHTERS. I GAVE HER THREE DATES. SHE GAVE A DATE TO EACH OF THEM AND THEN SHE TOOK UP ONE DATE AND BROUGHT THAT TO HER MOUTH IN ORDER TO EAT THAT, BUT HER DAUGHTERS EXPRESSED DESIRE TO EAT IT. SHE TOOK HER DATE AND SPLIT IT INTO TWO AND GAVE EACH CHILD A HALF OF IT. THIS (KIND OF) TREATMENT OF HER IMPRESSED ME(AISHA RA) AND I MENTIONED IT TO ALLAH’S MESSENGER (PBUH). THEREUPON HE SAID: VERILY ALLAH HAS ASSURED PARADISE FOR HER, OR HE HAS RESCUED HER FROM HELL-FIRE.

{Sahih Muslim Book 45, Hadith 191 and Al-Adab Al-Mufrad Book 5, Hadith 6}

AN-NU`MAN BIN BASHIR NARRATED: MY MOTHER ASKED MY FATHER TO PRESENT ME A GIFT(A SLAVE); AND HE GAVE IT TO ME. MY MOTHER THEN SAID THAT SHE WOULD NOT BE SATISFIED UNLESS THE PROPHET (ﷺ) WAS MADE A WITNESS TO IT. I BEING A YOUNG BOY, MY FATHER HELD ME BY THE HAND AND TOOK ME TO THE PROPHET (ﷺ) . HE SAID TO THE PROPHET, “HIS MOTHER, BINT RAWAHA, REQUESTED ME TO GIVE THIS BOY A GIFT.” THE PROPHET (ﷺ) SAID, “DO YOU HAVE OTHER SONS BESIDES HIM?” HE SAID, “YES.” THE PROPHET ASKED, “HAVE YOU GIVEN ALL YOUR SONS THE LIKE?” HE REPLIED IN THE NEGATIVE. THE PROPHET (ﷺ) SAID, “BE AFRAID OF ALLAH, AND BE JUST TO YOUR CHILDREN. TAKE BACK YOUR GIFT” MY FATHER THEN RETURNED AND TOOK BACK HIS GIFT.” ASH-SHU`BI NARRATED: THAT THE PROPHET (ﷺ) SAID, “I WILL NOT BECOME A WITNESS FOR INJUSTICE.”

{Sahih al-Bukhari, Book 52, Hadith 14 and Book 51, Hadith 20-21}

Scholars’ Opinion

There are two opinions among the scholars concerning the ruling on differentiating between children (Allah knows best). These two opinions are:

  1. It is absolutely haraam to differentiate between them whether the differentiation is done for a reason or for no reason. This is the well known view among the Hanbalis (Kashshaaf-al-Qinaa’,4/310; al-Insaaf,7/138) & Zaahiriyyah.
  2. It is haraam to differentiate between them unless that is for a legitimate Shar’ia based reason. This was narrated from Ahmad(al-Insaaf, 7/139) and the view was favoured by Ibn Qudaamah(al-Mughni, 5/664) and Ibn Taymiyah(Majmoo’ al-Fataawa, 31/295).

So the most relaxed opinion is that, differentiation is totally prohibited and might only be waived in the case of very strong justification.

Ibn Hajar mentioned in Fath al-Baari (5/214): Differentiating between children might result towards cutting off family ties and disobedience towards parents. As these two things are haram, so that which leads to them may also be haram.

Al-Mughni, 5/664: The fact that, giving preference to some of them than the others generates enmity and hatred between them, and also between them and their parents, so it is not allowed.

No Wills for Heirs

It is even not allowed to make/write a will to distribute one’s properties within their heirs/successors. It is a common sense.

Amr bin Kharijah said: “The Messenger of Allah said:

‘ALLAH, MIGHTY IS HIS NAME, HAS GIVEN EVERY PERSON WHO HAS RIGHTS HIS DUE, AND THERE IS NO BEQUEST TO AN HEIR.’”

{Sunan an-Nasa’i, Book 30, Hadith 33}

Similarly, Abu Hurayrah Narrated: I heard the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) say:

ALLAH HAS APPOINTED FOR EVERYONE WHO HAS A RIGHT WHAT IS DUE TO HIM, AND NO BEQUEST MUST BE MADE TO AN HEIR.

{Sunan Abi Dawud, Book 18, Hadith 9}

Factual Discussions

The consequences of unequal treatment among children might result to the below issues:

  1. The children may learn the unjust attitude of the parents and behave the same way with others. With time, this attitude may become a part of their natures.
  2. The children who are victims of such injustice has a strong possibility of becoming rebellious and disobedient towards their parents in the future.
  3. There is a strong risk of growing jealousy and enmity between siblings (brothers and sisters) which might reach to the limit of sometimes harming each other.
  4. The children benefited by the injustice might build the feeling of self-destructive pride and arrogance and the victims minds might be engraved with the feelings of dejection and oppression with the tendency of developing psychic disorders. “Is there not in Hell a residence for the arrogant?” {Surah Az-Zumar, Ayat 60}

From the stories of the Prophets:

  • Do you know the first crime of Humanity is Murder (worst of crimes), which was committed by Qabil (Cain in English – son of Adam AS). Qabil killed his brother Habil (Abel in English) due to jealousy between brothers.
  • In the story of Yusuf AS, his brothers had a feeling that their father loved Yusuf AS and his Brother Benjamin more than them (Surah Yusuf Ayat: 8) and their jealousy went to the extent that they plotted to kill Yusuf AS (Ayat 9), but later on they decided to throw him on a well (Ayat 10).

Let’s go through few writings of general individuals out of their own experiences:

One person has written:

“The memory of my childhood is very bitter and I am unable to forget it. Dad used to discriminate between us brothers. He used to comply with all his wishes and never for once considered my wants. He used to treat my brother with respect and treated me insultingly. Father loved him more and always had kind words for him.

As a result of this treatment I started thinking that Dad and my brother are not good. I used to think of taking revenge on my Dad for the unjust behavior with me. In my worried state I preferred to be alone by myself. I started spitting on the walls and tarnishing them. I used to break the glass window-panes to take out my spleen. What was the alternative for me? But Dad was totally unconcerned about this. He didn’t know that my actions were solely to harm his interest.”

One lady mentioning in her diary:

“…One of our closest relatives had two daughters One was a good student and very bright while the other was mediocre. Both used to go to the school. The elder daughter, who was not bright, used to secure lower grades in her examinations. The younger girl always used to perform very well in her studies. Their mother always used to brag about the brilliance of her younger daughter and run down the elder one. She used to be full of praise for the younger daughter and always criticized the elder one that she was wasting all the expense incurred on her schooling. She even used to say that all the good dresses and food given to her is a waste.

The same elder daughter is now married. She has several children. She is an ordinary housewife. She gives an unhealthy look and seems a victim of inferiority complex. She looks tired and lost in her thoughts. At parties she takes a quiet corner and doesn’t converse with others.

When I tried to talk to her, she only takes a sigh and says,’ about what can I talk?’ I remember, prior to her marriage, I took her to a psychiatrist. The doctor, after a long session of discussion with her, said that there was nothing wrong with her. In fact, her parents are sick that they have not treated her properly and reduced her to the present plight.

Once the doctor asked her, ’Can you cook?’ She started crying and said,’ I can cook. But whenever I prepare anything my parents say that my younger sister cooks better food.’”

Conclusion

We have a wonderful religion (Islam), the Quran of Allah(swt) and the Sunnah of our prophet Muhammad(pbuh), these are enough to deal with the solutions to the problems of Humanity. We just have to grow our knowledge and submit ourselves to our God – Allah(swt) and ask His help to protect us from the Shaitan. Indeed, the peace in this life and the hereafter can only be attained by the true Guidance of Allah(swt).

We all know that, it is impossible to treat each of our children exactly in the same way but at least we can try our level best to maintain equality and justice. Whenever we sense any form of deviation from the principle or a breach of equity we must try to rectify that as soon as possible and make dua to Allah(swt) for proper guidance.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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