Obligation to Your Children

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Obligations to Your Children

As a parent, you must treat your children with love and kindness. The Prophet Muhammad said, `He does not belong to us, Muslims, who is not kind to our young and does not respect our old'. (Tirmidhi.) Indeed, if people were to observe this single hadith in their inter personal relations, many of the evils and discords that plague society would be removed.

Each child has the right to a good name, good character, good training, a quality education, and to be married to a suitable and compatible spouse. The Prophet further emphasised, `No father can give a better gift to his children than providing them with a good education'. (Bayhaqi.)

Within the family, both mother and father have important roles to play in the growth and development of their children. But, mothers have an even more important role because they are the real teachers. The love and attention they can provide, the father cannot match. The father, of course, has to contribute as much as he can in spending quality time with his children and being the best role model for them. But, the real training will come primarily from the mother's affection, compassion, example and teaching.

We must also treat all of our children with the full care and attention that they deserve, be they male or female. However, in contemporary times, and a similar situation existed in the time of the Prophet, parents seem to give preferential treatment to their sons. This is why the Prophet has told us that we have a special obligation to our female off spring. Ibn Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him, narrated that he said:

Anyone who looks after and brings up three daughters, or sisters, educates them well, treats them with compassion, until Allah makes them self-sufficient, Allah guarantees him Paradise.' A man asked. `Suppose there are only two?' He said, Yes, two as well.' People said, And if there be only one?' He said, `Yes, even if there is only one. (Sharh al-Sunna.)

This is how he emphasised the rights and obligations towards our children with special regard towards our daughters. This is something we must consider carefully.