Children's Rights in Islam From Birth to Age 7

Naming (At birth)

Having a good name is one of the important children's rights in Islam. This is because a good name affects the one's mind. A child hears his name day and night; and consequently, the meaning of that name unconsciously strengthens those features which are implied in it.

 

Therefore, the first duty of a parent towards his/her child is to give him/her a good name at birth. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) has said: “It is the responsibility of every father to choose a good name for his child "[1].

 

Male Circumcision (The age of seven days)

 

According to the researchers, male circumcision reduces many possible diseases in man's reproductive organ. As one of the children's rights in Islam, it is recommended that the boy be circumcised on the seventh day of his birth. But it is obligatory to circumcise before the boy reaches puberty [i].

 

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Breastfeeding (Birth to 2 years old)

 

Islam strictly recommends breastfeeding, as one of the most significant children's rights in Islam, besides every day more and more scientific evidence confirms the advantages of this act. Breastfeeding is one of the factors affecting the physical, psychological and ethical characteristics of a baby.

 

According to the Holy Quran: “Mothers shall breastfeed their children for two whole years…” (2:233). Therefore, it is considered a child's right to be breastfed until the approximate age of two.

 

It is narrated from Prophet Muhammad (PBUH): “For a child, there is no milk better than the milk of the mother” [3]. 

 

Children's Rights in Islam for the Infancy and early childhood (Birth to 7 years old)

 

This theory has been proved that the human mind at the very beginning is quite blank, and it only gradually that starts using the faculties of sight, hearing, etc.

 

As it is noted in Holly Quran,“God has brought you from the wombs of your mothers while you did not know anything and He gave you hearing and sight and hearts that you may give thanks” (16:78)

 

Consequently, the atmosphere of family and society continuously influence the child's mind, although he/she is not aware of this process. Children are reflections of their parents. The best way to inculcate good behavior in children is to treat them with good grace.

 

It is emphasized in Islamic thought that children should be kept in a nice and respectful environment. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said: “Respect your children and behave them with a nice manner” [4].

 

Although there is no compulsion on children to do religious duties, it is praised to gradually give children religious training. The impressions gained in childhood are very difficult to erase, and if respect and love of religion are infused into his/her mind in childhood, he/she will always remain attached to the religion.

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In this stage, the best way of familiarizing the child with religious teachings is performing religious duties in front of him; children are the mirrors of their surroundings.

 

Imam Baqir (AS) said: “When the child reaches three years, teach him seven times to recite la ilahaillallah (there is no God but Allah). Then leave him at that till he is three years seven months and 20 days old; then train him to say Muhammad-un rasul-u 'llah (Muhammad is the messenger of Allah). Then leave him at that till he completes four years. Then teach him seven times to say Salla 'llahu ala Muhammadin wa aali Muhammad (Peace be upon Muhammad and the progeny of Muhammad). Then leave him at that till he reaches the age of 5 years; then ask him which one is his right hand and which one is the left. When he knows it, then make him face Qiblah [i] and tell him to do prostration (Sajdah)” [5].

 

This is to continue until he is six years of age. Then he should be told to pray and taught The Bowing (Ruku) and Prostration (Sajdah).

 

Through mentioned methods, the children learn their religious duties without coercion and feeling any burden upon themselves.  

 

Notes:

[i] Imam  Sadeq (AS) said: "Circumcise your sons when they are seven days old as it is cleaner and the flesh grows faster and because the earth hates the urine of the uncircumcised" [2].

References:

[1] Al-Hurr al-Aamili , Wasail al-shiah, vol. 2, p. 618.    

[2] Al-Kafi   Al-Kalini, Abu-Ja'afar Muhammad Ibn-Yaqub. Al-furu'min al-kafi. Vol. 6 Tehran: Dar al-kutub al-islamiyyah. 1981:34.

[3] Mirza Hussayn Nuri ,Mustadrak al-Wasāil, vol.  15, p.156.

[4] Muhammad Muhammadi Rayshari,Mizan al-Hikmah, vol, 1 , p. 7109.

[5] Ibn-e Fazl-e Tabarsi,Makarim Al Akhlaq, p. 115.