The Methods of Child-Upbringing And Lady Fatima Zahra (PBUH)(1)

The Methods of Child-Upbringing And Lady Fatima Zahra (PBUH)(1)

Psychologists and child-training experts have always debated regarding the best age to commence child-training, and have not really reached to any substantial conclusion regarding the issue, even today. However, according to Islam, the point that actually starts affecting the soul of the child is the moment a name is chosen for him. And this is the first stage in the molding of the character of a child. It is because of this very important reason that Islam has laid great emphasis on care and attention in naming of children. Thus, a good name has a very deep and lasting effect on the soul of a child. In this context, Imam Ali (PBUH) has advised thus in one of his sayings mentioned in the "Nahjul-Balagha ("Peaks of Eloquence"):"... while the right of the child on the father is that he should give him a good name."(1)

In other words, one of the primary duties of parents, especially the father, is the selection of a worthy name for his child. It is for this very important and scientific reason that Fatima (SA), after consulting her husband, Imam Ali (PBUH) and her beloved father, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP), chose the best and most beautiful names for her children.

Sacrifice of a goat or sheep (Aqiqah)

Aqiqah (sacrifice of a goat or sheep) and also alms-giving, are highly-recommended acts that have been greatly emphasized in Islamic traditions. It has been recorded that whenever Fatima (SA) would be blessed with a child, she would sacrifice a sheep and would distribute the meat among people. Then on the 7th day of the child's birth, she would shave his/her head and distribute in charity (alms), the equivalent in silver, of the weight of the shaved-hair of the child. Also she would send gifts to the mid-wife as well as the neighbors such that they too, would share the happy event with her family. (2)

Another custom followed by Fatima (SA) was that as soon as her child would be born, she would recite the `Adhan' in his/her right ear and would recite the `Iqamah' in his/her left ear. This was because she was very well-aware that if the child would be acquainted with the names of Allah, Muhammad (PBUH&HP), salat, etc., from the very beginning of his early life, it would have deep and lasting effects on his/her psychological inclinations.

The Role of Maternal Emotions in Child's Upbringing

The soul of a human being is created in such a way that love and compassion are among one of its most basic needs. This is the reason why children who have been deprived of love, care and attention, become prone to various psychological and physical illness, a fact that has been proved scientifically. Research indicates that many crimes committed are rooted in the vacuum created by lack of love and affection in the life of an individual.

Fatima (SA) who had herself grown up saturated with the love and affection of her beloved father (PBUH&HP), showered the same love and warmth upon her children. An incident that has been narrated by one of the close companions of the Prophet named Salman, says: "One day, I saw Fatima (SA) who was busy grinding some grain. In the meanwhile, her son Husain (PBUH) became impatient and started crying. I offered my help to Fatima (SA), asking her whether she would prefer me to take to the grinding of grain or whether it would help her if I comforted the child. She answered by saying that it would be better for me to take over the grinding, since she would be better at comforting her child".(3)

This incident gives us the knowledge of the importance of a mother's soothing presence for a child. It indicates how no one else can soothe and comfort a child, better than his own mother, an important message to mothers in today's "crèche and milk-bottle" culture. She showed us just how important it is for a child to have his mother around when he needs her and how these little moments of attention go a long way in shaping a confident, secure and powerful personality for a human being.

Continue in the next article: ( The Methods of Child-Upbringing And Lady Fatima Zahra (PBUH)(2) )

NOTES:

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1. (Saying No. 409).

2. ("Bihar ul-Anwar, vol. 43, p. 257).

3. (Bihar ul-Anwar, vol. 43, p. 280).