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War on Terror or is it War On Islam?

Upbringing of Children Disciplining of Children – An Islamic Perspective

The subject under discussion is controversial one in the Western World. Only recently ‘experts’ in the West have suddenly re-discovered that the old-fashioned age-old method of using the cane to discipline children is the only one that really brings results.

Man in the Western world is living in an age when the topsy-turvy values of Western culture have virtually reversed the role of parent and child. It is becoming increasingly difficult, almost impossible for parents to effectively discipline their children in the Western world. In most countries, a single slap to an intransigent child is deemed a criminal offense which could result in prosecution – a fine, or even a prison sentence. Children have been accorded such rights in the legal system of most Western countries, they almost dictate to parents, and parents have no option but to comply, or else face the chance of losing their children to some child welfare group, ostensibly removing them to a ‘safe’ home.

The Islamic viewpoint on this matter is very clear. It is a balanced approach. On the one hand, Islam allows disciplining of children out of necessity, so that children do not go out of hand. On the other hand, such strict rules have been imposed in this matter, that does not allow any abuse of authority by the parent. In accordance with the teachings of Islam, occasions do arise when children need to be disciplined, even to the extent of employing corporal punishment. Among the ten important advises that Nabi (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) had enjoined upon his beloved companion, Hadhrat Muáaz bin Jabal (Radhiyallaahu Anhu), one of them is ‘let your rod be hanging on them (children), as a warning and to chastise against neglect of their duties towards Allah’. (Ahmad; Tabraani-Kabeer). According to this Hadith, it is evident that Muslims should not spare the proverbial ‘rod’ in checking their children from becoming reckless in doing anything they like. Sometimes, it is necessary to use the rod. It is a general observation that many parents out of a false sense of pity and sympathy for their children, neglect and turn a blind eye to this important teaching of Nabi (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam), but when their children get spoilt, they cry and complain about them, ‘To spare the rod and spoil the child’ is no kindness at all.

If a child is physically ill, no amount of pain the child may experience will deter the parents from ensuring that proper medical treatment is administered to the ailing child. Yet, it is most surprising then, that the very same parents cringe at the thought of ‘disciplinary treatment’ for a child who is morally and mortally ill in terms of his behaviour.

Nabi (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) has often been reported to have said, ‘Enjoin Salaah on your child when he is seven years old and beat him if he neglects it after he reaches ten years of age’. (Abu Dawood; Durr-Manthoor). Once more, the emphasis on beating a child who defaults in the important duty of offering Salaah is clearly indicated in this Hadith. Initially, it is the fear of the rod that compels a child to fulfill the taxing injunction of Salaah, then by dint of habit it becomes accustomed to offering Salaah. Not only did Nabi (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) encourage the use of the rod at the time of need, he even prayed for those parents who kept the rod hanging in the home for the purpose of maintaining discipline and admonition. He is reported to have said, ‘May Allah Taãla bless the person who keeps a lash hanging in his house for the admonition of his house folk’. (Jami Sagheer). Luqman (Alayhis Salaam), the wise, used to explain the importance of the rod in these words ‘The use of the rod on a child is as indispensable as is water for the fields’. (Durr-Manthoor).

Nabi (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) advised, ‘When one of you beats anyone, he should avoid striking the face’. (Abu Dawood)

Shari Limits of beating
It should be borne in mind at all times that beating is the final resort and measure that is adopted for rectifying a spoilt child. When the extreme occasion of administering this painful punitive measure does arise, it has to be carried out within the limits of Shariáh.

The first and foremost rule to remember is NEVER to punish a child in the state of anger or emotion. In this state, the intellect becomes clouded and proper reasoning is impossible. Calm down completely, lie down, drink water, take a walk. Thereafter, think twice or thrice, over the gravity of the situation, the extent of mischief and misbehaviour. A suitable form of discipline should be considered thereafter. The outcome of uncontrollable rage at the time of disciplining can be disastrous. Terrible damage or harm could be done. It could leave behind a lifelong regret.

As a last resort, if the child is to be beaten, never strike the face, head or any other sensitive part of the body. Never inflict wounds, weals or bruises to any part of the body. This is forbidden in Islam. If these Sharée limits are not adhered to, the parent will be guilty of Dhulm (oppression), for which a heavy price will have to be paid on the day of Qiyaamat if pardon was not obtained from the oppressed. It must also be remembered that the forgiving of a minor is not valid; only after attaining puberty will the forgiveness of a child be valid.

Hadhrat Mufti Kafaayatullah (RA) writes in his famous Fataawa on this subject: ‘Excluding the face and sensitive parts of the body, it is allowed to beat a child for the purposes of discipline so long as the limits are not transgressed. i.e. to beat the child in a manner that a wound is inflicted, or a bone fractured or broken, or a bruise appears or an internal disorder results (to the heart or brains, etc.). If the limits are transgressed as described above in any way, even by a single stroke, such a person will be regarded as sinful’.

It should be borne in mind that repeated punishment is extremely undesirable as the effect is lost and audaciousness and shamelessness set into the child. Many other methods of disciplining exist other than beating which could be employed effectively, such as denying the child certain privileges. These prove to be more effective than beating in many instances. Finally, Duá is the most effective ‘weapon’ that could be employed for the disciplining of a child. It has worked miracles for many frustrated parents and teachers.

Mufti Z. Bhayat

35 Comments»

  Fatima Aziz wrote @

Hi Salam alykum everyone,

I think disipline is the main thing in bringing up a child, if you dont disipline children then they will grow up to think they can do anything and get away with it. When i have a child i will punish them if they do anything bad or break my rules within my house because disiple in the key to a healthy child.

Allah Hafiz

  nahida wrote @

aslam-o-alaikum every body,
I have three daughters ages 8 years, 7 years and 5 1/2. i,always, explain them islamic rules and duties and they follow them . But when it comes to little fightings among themselves and noisy situations they do not obey me and did not learn control over them. My mom always convince me to beat them but i am never convince as my thinking is that they will learn as they grow..
Any use full comment to solve this problem .

JazakAllah Khair

  Grandma Jeddah wrote @

Assalamu Alaikum Sister Nahida,
You might be interested in an Islamic site called Discipline without Disrespecting. You can find it at http://www.grandmajeddah.com

Your Sister in Islam,
Grandma Jeddah

  Connie Hunter wrote @

You sound like a loving parent who knows that over hitting doesn’t work. It is further hard because CPS is in our business in regards to disciplining our children too much howver having said that they are learning to express selves and I found wiith eiight children nothing worked at times and instead of flipping I put them to work cleaning and picking weeds at home and other family members. An early riising on a Saturday and then a few hours of weed picking/cleaning.. . .Also llist the things they like to do,put on a erasable white booard with names and space for check marks. When you are addressing their behavior and they argue,rasie a finger (each finger iis fifteen minutes) until you reach say 3 fingers, that iis 45 minutes lloss of television, an early bedtime,video,etc. Don’t argue continuous misbehavaior can result in a lump time consequence. . .days or a week or removal of an earned privilege. As they mature they will choose their battles and misbehaviors better. Heck if hitting worked we wouldn’t have to do iit so often. Just and idea God Bless

  fatma wrote @

Masha’Allah I am against punishing the child too, I am sure there are plenty of other ways to teach the child such as not rewarding the behavior

  Salmaan Nawaz wrote @

Assalamualaikum sister Nahida,In Islam,beating children is allowed only when you have no chances to make your children disciplined.Spend time with your children more.Since problem persist when they are alone only.Tell Islamic stories 2 them at any time.

  rebecca wrote @

Don’t you knot the psychological harm beating can cause a child. Do you really want your children living in fear ? In the one place that is suppose to be safe in this world, the home. Do you know the beating cause deep pain, a feeling of beyreayal, leads to agrression and violence, in inhibits higher brain function because the child is living in a state of fight or flight mode because it fears its own survival, therefore it enables a primitive minset only useful for survival. This breeds a single minded dear driven society which lacks intellectual ability. So, thank you very much but the west is capable huger thinking and realizeing the long term damage it causes, and in My personal experience, children respect and listen to parents more who don’t beat them, they feel a deeper connection of love, they are happier, safer, and are able to distinguish right from wrong based on reasoning both fear. A beaten child has no Conscience, it will do horrors if it doesn’t think it will be caught, a non beaten loved child will do good whether they are hiding it or not, because they have a conscience and a good heart that wants to do good. Oh and Muslim men are so angry that they almost always practice beatings puts of intense rage ‘

  rebecca wrote @

Fon’yy you knot the psychological harm beating can cause a child. Do you really want your children living in fear ? In the one place that is suppose to be safe in this world, the home. Do you know the beating cause deep pain, a feeling of beyreayal, leads to agrression and violence, in inhibits higher brain function because the child is living in a state of fight or flight mode because it fears its own survival, therefore it enables a primitive minset only useful for survival. This breeds a single minded dear driven society which lacks intellectual ability. So, thank you very much but the west is capable huger thinking and realizeing the long term damage it causes, and in My personal experience, children respect and listen to parents more who don’t beat them, they feel a deeper connection of love, they are happier, safer, and are able to distinguish right from wrong based on reasoning both fear. A beaten child has no Conscience, it will do horrors if it doesn’t think it will be caught, a non beaten loved child will do good whether they are hiding it or not, because they have a conscience and a good heart that wants to do good. Oh and Muslim men are so angry that they almost always practice beatings puts of intense rage ‘

  rebecca wrote @

Dpn’yy you knot the psychological harm beating can cause a child. Do you really want your children living in fear ? In the one place that is suppose to be safe in this world, the home. Do you know the beating cause deep pain, a feeling of beyreayal, leads to agrression and violence, in inhibits higher brain function because the child is living in a state of fight or flight mode because it fears its own survival, therefore it enables a primitive minset only useful for survival. This breeds a single minded dear driven society which lacks intellectual ability. So, thank you very much but the west is capable huger thinking and realizeing the long term damage it causes, and in My personal experience, children respect and listen to parents more who don’t beat them, they feel a deeper connection of love, they are happier, safer, and are able to distinguish right from wrong based on reasoning both fear. A beaten child has no Conscience, it will do horrors if it doesn’t think it will be caught, a non beaten loved child will do good whether they are hiding it or not, because they have a conscience and a good heart that wants to do good. Oh and Muslim men are so angry that they almost always practice beatings puts of intense rage ‘

  Brenda wrote @

I have never really beat my kids. A smack in the butt sometimes. Timeout. I used methods and still do from the Sunnah and I also adopted some really nice tactics for Supernanny. Ususally I use these methods with my 9 and 7 yr old sons. I believe though when all matters are exhausted and the child grows into a teen and starts direspecting the parents and doing actions which are sinful and you have done everything possible so they can understand and be remorseful and they are not. I agree with the Sharia limits of beating.

  Connie Hunter wrote @

If the foundation is one of gratitude with being alive instead of developing asense of entitlement.Videos, games, tooys and even ice cream is a privilege not a right. . With teens I found a list oof what they are responsible for and is expecxted and the earned privileges placed in a central area with each item listed. When they argue oor doon’t do what iis expected, As I am facing themI raise a finger each finger is worth fifteen minutes. I have dealt with a child who was disobediant and began to argue, I tell them to stop and do what was askked or I begin raising a finger and each fifteen minutes deducts time from say a bedtime. . .If bedtime iis 8pm.. . .3 fingers means they go to bed forty fiveinutes earlier oor stop talking on the telephone oor come inside from pplaying. It reduces my stress as I soo hate arguing with youngsters especially when they are caught misbehaving.. . Just a thought

  Arijah Batool wrote @

I think the way to discipline a child through corporal punishment is not good because it can affect the human body adversely and impair their mental balance..

  Samiira wrote @

Actually, I think that what the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) had stated is being misunderstood. When a child does something bad it is best to discipline them by either advising them or talking to them about it. Then if not ground them, or give them a time out. But there are moments when the child is still throwing fits even after grounding them, and advising them. And that’s where beating them comes in. When a child is beaten it freezes there desires in doing that bad action. It shows them that there are limits in behaviour. And it teaches them that they are not capable of getting away with everything. But there are rules in beating just as the Prophet (pbuh) had stated which is not hitting the face or delicate parts in the body and not leaving bruises. Also not to hit them constatntly but as a means of a last resort. If a child is never beaten, he will develp this notion of being able to do anything whenever however. And trust me giving a child time outs will soon wear out. Becuase sooner or later the child will realize he dosen’t need to follow these rules.And what will you do then? Pick him up and put him back in his time out chair? Then exhaust your selves out? Trust me the Prophet Muhammad’s wise statements always prove to be true. Trust me.
P.S – Never beating a child eventually resorts to a very disobedient and spoilt child.

  Syed Raza wrote @

Okay this does not mean that the child should be beat. We are all humans, if we were beat up by someone badly, we would live in a grudge where we would be angry, and want to get them back. Possibly live in fear. It’s the same thing with little children, when parents beat them, all in their mind is depression, sadness, anger, stress etc. Parents blame the children for problems in the house, when it’s their own fault. When they reach their teenage years, thats when it gets even worse. If they grow up getting beat, they will be veryy depressed in their teenage years. They might get into haram activities. Their behavior will get worse. I am talking in my own perspective, i am a 16 year old, and I have been beat badly since I was a little kid, till now. I am constantly depressed, My life is not happy like it used to be. I am saying parents should NEVER beat their kids it will lead to no good. Parents NEVER understand this, this is just my advice cause I have experience as a teenager. If you parents wish to continue this, i say good luck to your kid when he or she is a teen. You will regret it.

  Canuck individual wrote @

I’ll put it this way but some kids including some Muslim kids can act so annoying that they need firm punishment or discipline especially if they are being unruly. Truth be told and even if I’m civil to kids including Muslim kids who tend to be a handful doesn’t mean I have to please them the exact way I prefer to please kids including other Muslim kids who are generally better behaved and someone I can relate to.

  anonymous wrote @

Will you folks just submit to what the Prophet Muhammad sallallahualaihi wasalam says? Because that is what Allah says.
Listen I am fourteen years old, I am a teenager as well. I love little children and won’t see them harmed or oppressed in any way. But may Allah help us! Are we going to let the people do whatever in h!?! they want? Will we let them constantly disobey Allah? NO! Islamic law doesn’t even allow adults to get away with it without punishment from the Islamic government, sometimes corporal.
So listen. Before you punish someone for something you must first teach them and advise them. I have learned that this comes first, and that corporal punishment is the last resort.
It is not for us to be impatient with our children who don’t know better, but corporal punishment may have to be resorted to with an obstinate child, just as harshness is employed as the last resort with an obstiante sinner. And we are talking about patient teaching and disciplining and we ARE NOT talking about impatience, abuse, frequent severity and damaging destructive things.
So be quiet and do what Allah and Prophet Muhammad say. We will act for the benefit of children and not merley out of anger. We will act with patience in their ignorance and not with haste. We will use severity as a last resort and not as the first. We will be moderate in our discipline and not physically injuring or extremely painful. We will do this for Allah’s laws to be upheld and not merley out of hasty anger. We will make good intentions for Allah’s sake and think about what is best in the situation and not be hasty in rage. We will seek to help and cultivate and not to destroy. But we ARE NOT gooing to reject something advised to us in Islaam simply because of our own experiences. Perhaps your parents did not do what was advised in Islamm and went beyond limits, or were hasty in their rage. In this case Allah will call them to account for it. Or perhaps it is you. In that case Allah will call you to account. The religion is perfect, and it is the people who are sinners. Don’t reject something in Islam because someone may not have followed it correctly.
If parents discipline their children for the sake of Allah and not out of rage, they will not beat their children to blame them for problems in their lives that are not their faults. That is NOT what Islaam is telling us to do. No one should have to suffer for something that is not their faults. But if we follow Islam’s teachings. raising children and their discipline will be only for their sakes and for what they do, not out of impatience or one’s own personal rage. May Allah help us! So you understand that Islam’s teachings can’t take the blame for the sins that the people commit. They will be taken to account for it.

  America wrote @

Really Allah get a fucking life that’s no god- murerers who kills there children – get the fuck out off America !

  South africa wrote @

Hey u sick piece of ignorant crap.u faithless monster…on judgement day ur eyes wil be opened widely.may the truth find u…..

  Rajashekharan Nair wrote @

I am actually looking for my nephiews discipline. Even though he is 24 I used to administer him corporal punishments, Now I am in gujarat for the last six months and i can very clearly see a decline in my nephews behaviour. With a cane he is okay and without that he go zig zag. I am a hindu but i look forward to any islamic teacher in Kerala to teach him moral values and also severe canings if he falls out of way. He will obey if anyone is there to train him with strict disciplinary attitude. can anyone help me? please send your suggestions to my e mail id. I need a strict sir to keep him on the track. please mail me to
rajashekharannair@yahoo.com

  Roxas wrote @

If my Muslim friend is being beaten and comes to school with purple marks on his skin, and I also notice him being depressed and being in corners laughing to himself. He told me deserves it because he is not being Islamic enough for his parents. Is this considered evil or fair to your religion?

  Grandma Jeddah wrote @

You might find your answer at a site for disciplining Muslim children at http://www.grandmajeddah.com. Go to the “Grandma Jeddah’s Tips” page and read what she has to say.

  Muslimah wrote @

Dont u understand simple twqo year old english…..the writer an many others who commentd,REPEATEDLY MENTIONS THE LIMITS,BOUNDARIES,PREREQUISITES ETC.dont u understand that if the parent isnt doing it correctly,then inturn the punishment will be on the parent….????open up that brain u wer given.please man

  Analisa Bosland wrote @

Did you read the article before posting this question? It seems not.

  rokaiya wrote @

whatever quran sayz is alwayz proven right in all aspects our prophet muhammad (pbuh) was alwayz teach wht qurans sayz so parents shud alwayz follow quran and tha teachings of our prophet whtever problem ur facing dnt worry just pray to Allah tala he will solve all ur problems u just have to have faith in the almighty

  rokaiya wrote @

i was a non muslim before but from last 8 years i converted into muslim trust me islam is the best religion that one could have its the best remedy for humanity remember its ur dity as muslim to spread whtever knowledge ur having abt islam it is ur duty as muslim to strive for islam world is nothing but a desire to live in this world and to follow the satan rules which turn u away from the love of Allah and his forgiveness what is better than to serve allah and his messenger islam is the best solution for todays world oh mankind this is ur time to realize ur sin wake up for the time is near remember one day u have to die and that day no one will help for ur evil deeds come and taste the joy of islam allah is calling u come for success yeh duniya apko kuch nahi degi sivai musibat aur dukh ke pehechano apne aap ko us acchayi ko jo aap ke andar chupi huyi hai

  rokaiya wrote @

kya aap yeh nahi chahoge ke qayamat ke din Allah aap pe rehem kare aapne aapko dozag ke ag se bachao

  anu nehra wrote @

good info

thanks
anu

  constance wrote @

Mmmmmm If using the cane to inflect a break of an arm, a slash across ones face is an effective tool of disicpline it would have been used once ! The rest of us would have gotten it! It is the reason the child disobeys that needs to be looked at. Not an excuse. I agree children have too much input into Child Proctective Services. . They do lie howver we are their first teachers . . .
I am a supporteer of using physical punishment. . but each age and stage of development requires thinking not blanket civil law or Shirrea law But talking about it is so nice- Eva

  saidi hamisi wrote @

al akh. this is very educative, may the almighty reward you abundantly.

  jamelia wrote @

I have 3 girls and its very hard for me to controll them as I need to controll my self at a point where I go in to panic n scream like mad. There ages are 5 , 4 , and 2 years old they don’t lissen at all where I have to punish them to stand up and put there hands up so I don’t beat them but it doesn’t work as good they turn around run away when I’m not looking. So that when I hit them on the bottoms. Just in simple life kids sit nice on the sofa… This 2 cnt they ripping apart everyhing they don’t treat there toys nice and shout at eachother. Acording to teaching them islam they love to lissen the quran in the house n come pray with us and telling the school about our religion but when it comes to behaving is terrible even now as I’m writing this messge my daughter is standing facing a wall and she’s picking the wall apart I need some ones help my husband cnt take it he holds his head n says he wanna kill him self there’s a big tention in the house. My kids are soo clever mashallah they can do almost everything to the point of taking a chair standing on the kitchen and taking all sorts out of the cubord even medecine and that’s when we are a sleep early mornings we would hear fall n we be up on are feet in shock getting ready to hospital coz they swallowed thinks and that a 2 year old I cnt even say anything about the 5 and 4 they girls and I spoiled them coz I had bad upbrining and now I got it in my face some one pls email and suggest something duas or diff dicipline

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  Osman wrote @

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  Thatmuslimgirl wrote @

I cried while reading this because my
Mom and dad both beat me and leave bruises almost everytime. May Allah help them and me

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