Islam is the most just way of life, in which the rights of each soul are granted. When a man chooses his wife, it is top priority for him to choose one bearing the characteristics of a good mother.
Prophet Muhammad said, “Best of women who rode camels, among women of Quraish, are the most tender on a son in his childhood, and best caring for the husband when he grows old” (Al-Bukhari).
The pregnant or nursing mother should take care of her health and her nutrition so that she can pass good health to her child. She has been given the license to break the obligatory fast of Ramadan if the fasting may cause her or the baby any harm.
Upon their birth, children have all of their rights automatically in effect: feeding, clothing, health care, even the celebration of birth (`aqeeqah), Allah says in the Qur’an what means:
[Mothers should feed their children for two whole years (that is) for those who wish to complete the suckling term, the cost of their food and clothing on equitable terms is upon the father of the child.] (Al-Baqarah2:233)
Also, the Prophet advised us to give each child a name with a good meaning.
Motherhood and fatherhood are instincts that Allah has blessed us with, and the love for our children is built into our hearts even before they are born. Prophet Muhammad instructed us to show our love to our children:
He is not one of us who does not have mercy for children and respect for our seniors. (At-Tirmidhi)
It is reported that Al-Aqra’ ibn Habis saw Allah’s Messenger kissing his grandchild and said to the Prophet, “I have ten children, but I have never kissed any one of them.” The Prophet said, “He who does not show mercy (towards his children), no mercy would be shown to him” (Al-Bukhari).
Also, a Bedouin man asked the Prophet, “Do you kiss your sons?” The Prophet replied, “Yes.” The Bedouin said, “We do not.” The Prophet said to him, “What can I do for you if Allah has removed mercy from your heart?” (Al-Bukhari).
Islamic Law has given children the right to a good life and ordered the father to guarantee them the resources that can make them live well.
Prophet Muhammad said, “The best penny a man spends is that on his children, on his camel for the sake of Allah, and on his friends for the sake of Allah.”
Even in cases of divorce, fathers are asked to be fully responsible for their children regarding food, clothing, schooling, and health expenses according to the father’s standard of life.
[Let the man of means spend according to his means: and the man whose resources are restricted, let him spend according to what Allah has given him. Allah puts no burden on any person beyond what He has given him. After a difficulty, Allah will soon grant relief.} (At-Talaq 65:7)
The Qur’an also states that children have the right to inherit from the day of their birth.
Justice, in particular social justice, is a major theme in Islam, which was revealed in a time when justice was lacking. Islam’s teachings and rulings restored social justice in the tribal societies at the time.
Muslims who fear Allah in their heart and are keen to earn His satisfaction should treat their children equally, not favoring one over the others, in spending, treatment, and giving gifts to them.
Children are a blessing from Allah and to thank Allah for such a blessing, parents should fulfill the duties Allah prescribed on them towards their children.
*by Hoda Yasser
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