Children’s Rights on Parents 1

Children’s Rights on Parents 1

One of the really Important issues on the subject of parenting which is often forgotten is the Children’s Rights on Parents. Most of Parents don’t know what rights they should care to their children including naming them, Saying Adhan in the ears and etc. it is also essential to mention that the rights are considered by Almighty Allah and the Fourteen Infallibles. So, it is important to parents to know and care. The article aims to present the dear parents and other readers what rights their children have on their parents and what duties the parents have to do to their children. Social commandments begin with the birth of a child hence we begin with the Prophets (PBUH&HP) sayings regarding birth and duties of parents to the newborn child.

1. Saying of Adhan (in the ears of a new-born child):

The Prophets (PBUH&HP) Companion, Abu-Rafey narrates that: I saw the Prophet (PBUH&HP) saying adhan and salawat in the ear of his grandson, Imam Hassan (PBUH), when the child was born to his daughter, Hazrat Fatima (PBUH).
Commentary: in the above Hadith (tradition) only the saying of Adhan has been mentioned, but in another tradition reported by Imam Hussain (PBUH), the Prophet (PBUH&HP) prescribed the saying of adhan in the right ear and Iqamah in the left ear of the new-born child, and also mentioned its auspiciousness. He said that on account of it, the child remained safe from infantile epilepsy.
As these traditions show, the primary claim of a child on his parents is that his ears, and through his ears, his head and heart are made aquatinted with the name of the Almighty Almighty Allah and His Oneness and with the Call of Faith and Prayer. The best way to it, evidently is that adhan and Iqamah are said in his ears, as these impart the knowledge of spirit and the fundamental practices of Islam in a most effect manner.

2. Naming a Child:

That the child be given a good name is also an obligation of the parents. Abdullah ibn Abbas relates that the Prophet (PBUH&HP) said: It is also a claim of the child on his father that he gives him a good name and teaches him good manners.

In another tradition, the Prophet (PBUH&HP) said: On the Day of Resurrection, you will be called out by your name and the name of your father. The call will be; so and so, son of so-and-so, therefore, give your children good names.

From these sayings and the practices of the Prophet (PBUH&HP), we get the guidance that it is the responsibility of the parents to give names to their children or have them named by a pious person.

3. Aqeeqah:

In almost all the communities of the world, the birth of a child is considered as a blessing and some ceremony is held to celebrate the event. Besides being natural, it also serves a special purpose, and makes it known, in a suitable and dignified manner, that the father has accepted the child as his own and there is no doubt or suspicion in his mind concerning it. It shuts the door to many mischief’s that can arise in the future. The practice of aqeeqah was observed among the Arabs, even during the Age of Ignorance for this very reason. The hair on the child’s head was shaved off and its weight equivalent was sacrificed as a mark of rejoicing - which was a characteristic feature of Millat-e-Ibrahim (the creed of Prophet Abraham). While preserving the practice in principle, the Prophet (PBUH&HP) gave appropriate instructions, and he set an example of how it was to be done. It is reported by Buraidah that: During the Age of Ignorance, when a child was born to anyone of us, we used to slaughter a goat and color the head of the child with its blood. Later, after the dawn of Islam, our practice became (on the advice of the Prophet (PBUH&HP) that we sacrifice a goat of aqeeqah on the 7th day after the birth of a child, and shave the head of the infant, and apply saffron on it.

Since, as we have seen, the aqeeqah served as a useful purpose in many ways, and was also in keeping with the spirit of Islam and, perhaps, like the rituals of Hajj, it was among the remaining practices of Prophet Abraham, our Prophet (PBUH&HP) preserved the reality of aqeeqah, but corrected the backward practices that had become associated with it. The aqeeqah ceremony was also observed by the Jews, but they sacrificed an animal only in the case of a male child which was indicative of the lesser value placed on girls in the pre-Islamic times. The Prophet (PBUH&HP) corrected this too, and enjoined that the aqeeqah of girls should also be performed, like that of the boys. However, keeping in mind the natural difference between the two sexes, the Prophet (PBUH&HP) laid down that while one goat was to be sacrificed in the aqeeqah of a female child, two goats should be sacrificed in the aqeeqah of a male child provided that one’s financial position permitted it. It is reported that the Prophet (PBUH&HP) said: To whomsoever a child is born, and he wants to perform a sacrifice of aqeeqah on behalf of it, he should sacrifice two goats for a boy and one for a girl.

Commentary:

As is evident in this tradition, aqeeqah is not obligatory, but it is among the mustahab or recommended acts, i.e., those acts which are recommended and rewardable but are not binding or compulsory. In the same way it is not necessary to sacrifice two goats for a male child. It is better to sacrifice two, if one can afford it, otherwise one is enough. In some traditions, the giving away in charity of silver equal in weight to the child’s shaved hair, or its price in cash, is also mentioned, in addition to the sacrifice of the animal. This too is, recommended act and not compulsory.
The command to perform the aqeeqah on the day of the birth has not been given, perhaps for the reason that, at the time the family is occupied with the needs and comforts of the mother and the shaving of the hair (head) can also be harmful to the child. Generally, after a week, the mother gets well and does not need special attention and the baby, too, becomes strong enough to go through the shaving of the hair.

In some other traditions, it is said that the child should also be named on the 7th day, together with aqeeqah, but from a few other traditions it appears that the Prophet (PBUH&HP) had named children even on the day of their birth. There is, as such, no harm in naming the child before the 7th day, but if it has not been done, the child should be named on the 7th day together with the aqeeqah. The aqeeqah ceremony, as we have seen consists of two acts: the shaving of the hair (head) and the sacrifice of the animal. There is a peculiar link between the two acts and these acts are among the religious practices of Prophet Abraham. In Hajj too, they go together where, the male pilgrims have their hair (head) shaved after the Adhiyah. Thus, aqeeqah also, is practical demonstration of our association with Prophet Abraham (PBUH) and of the fact that the child, too, is a member of the same community.

Continue in the next article: ( Children’s Rights on Parents 2 )