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Discipline Concerning Children

Discipline concerning children’s behaviour in Islam is deeply rooted in the principles of respect, obedience, and kindness. These values are integral to fostering harmonious family relationships and are explicitly emphasized in the Quran and Hadith. Here’s a detailed examination of how children are expected to discipline their conduct:

  1. Core Islamic Principles of Child Behaviour
  2. Respect and Reverence (Birr al-Walidayn)

The Quran repeatedly instructs children to show utmost respect and reverence towards their parents. This principle is second only to the worship of Allah. The Quran states:

وَوَصَّيْنَا ٱلْإِنسَـٰنَ بِوَٰلِدَيْهِ حَمَلَتْهُ أُمُّهُۥ وَهْنًا عَلَىٰ وَهْنٍ وَفِصَـٰلُهُۥ فِى عَامَيْنِ أَنِ ٱشْكُرْ لِى وَلِوَٰلِدَيْكَ إِلَىَّ ٱلْمَصِيرُ

“And We have enjoined upon man [care] for his parents. His mother carried him, [increasing her] in weakness upon weakness, and his weaning is in two years. Be grateful to Me and to your parents; to Me is the [final] destination” [Luqman 31: 14].

Children are expected to address their parents with humility and avoid using harsh or disrespectful language. The Quran advises: “And your Lord has decreed that you not worship except Him, and to parents, good treatment. Whether one or both of them reach old age [while] with you, say not to them [so much as], ‘uff,’ and do not repel them but speak to them a noble word” [Isra 17: 23].

  1. Obedience and Dutifulness

Children are encouraged to obey their parents, provided it does not conflict with obedience to Allah. The Prophet Muhammad said, لَا طَاعَةَ لِمَخْلُوقٍ فِي مَعْصِيَةِ اللَّهِ ” There is no obedience to any created being if it involves disobedience to Allah” [Bukhari]. This means that while children should strive to fulfil their parents’ wishes, they must not engage in actions that contradict Islamic teachings. As parents age, Islam emphasizes the responsibility of children to care for them. This care is seen as a duty and an expression of gratitude for the parents’ lifelong efforts and sacrifices. While obedience is important, children are also individuals with their own needs and aspirations. As children grow and develop their own lives, they should continue to honour and involve their parents, ensuring that independence does not lead to neglect or disregard for their parents’ needs and feelings.

  1. Practical Expressions of Respect and Obedience
  2. Kindness and Consideration

Simple acts of kindness, such as helping with chores, showing affection, and being attentive to parents’ needs, are highly valued. The Prophet Muhammad ﷺ emphasized the importance of gentleness, saying, “The best of you are those who are best to their families” [Tirmidhi]. Children should refrain from actions or words that could cause distress or hurt to their parents. This includes avoiding arguments, criticism, or any form of disrespectful behaviour.

  1. Serving and Honouring Parents

Children are encouraged to assist their parents with their physical and emotional needs, especially as they grow older. This support can include providing financial help, ensuring their well-being, and offering companionship. Praying for the well-being and forgiveness of parents is a significant way to honour them. The Quran includes the supplication: “My Lord, have mercy upon them as they brought me up [when I was] small” [Isra 17: 24].

  1. Dealing with Conflicts and Disagreements
  2. Maintaining Respect in Disagreements

When disagreements arise, children should maintain a respectful tone and seek to understand their parents’ perspective. Patience and forbearance are crucial in resolving conflicts without causing hurt or disrespect. In cases of persistent conflict, seeking guidance from a trusted family member or a community leader can help mediate and resolve issues while preserving respect and harmony.

  1. Spiritual and Moral Dimensions
  2. Gratitude and Acknowledgement

Acknowledging the sacrifices and efforts of parents in raising and nurturing their children is an important aspect of Islamic teachings. This recognition fosters a deep sense of gratitude and respect. Regularly expressing thanks and appreciation to parents is encouraged. This can be through words, actions, or gestures that show gratitude for their support and love.

  1. Reflecting Islamic Values

Children should strive to embody good character traits such as honesty, kindness, and humility, reflecting Islamic values in their behaviour towards their parents. Engaging in religious practices, seeking knowledge, and developing a strong moral compass are ways to honour the upbringing and values instilled by parents.

In Islam, the relationship between children and their parents is built on a foundation of respect, obedience, and kindness. Children are encouraged to show gratitude, provide support, and maintain high standards of ethical and moral conduct towards their parents. By adhering to these principles, children not only fulfil their religious duties but also contribute to a harmonious and loving family environment.

The love, respect and honour which Ismael AS had for his parents is remarkable in understanding the discipline children ought to show.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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