The respectability of human rights begins with the way that society treats its children. Children's rights in Islam are not separated from human rights because children are the future generation. Our children are trust and assets for us from God. Furthermore, it is mentioned in the Eighteenth Chapter of the Quran (Surah Al-Kahf), verse 46 that children are an adornment of the worldly life.
The religion of Islam pays special attention to the rights of children and to the worthy manner to raise them. As the Prophet (PBUH) of Islam has asserted: "There are as many rights of children necessary upon parents as there are rights of parents necessary upon children."
It is worth mentioning that in this article, by children's rights in Islam we mean their rights over their parents. Admittedly, rights and duties are inter-related between parents and children, and children's rights in Islam are the duty of parents.
Accordingly, to fulfill children's rights in Islam, some parental obligations through specific guidelines are specified. Following guidelines are parental duties towards children (as the Child's Rights) in some specific ages:
1. Upbringing and Hygiene of Fetus (Before conception and during pregnancy)
Children's rights in Islam begin before conception and will continue during pregnancy. In this period, thoughts, actions, and nutrition of the parents (especially the mother) have an impact on the spirit, essence, character, and health of the unborn child; the child is like an organ of the mother and obtains all the necessary factors of development from her.
Emotional and respectful relations between parents and also mental relaxation of the mother are significant in this stage. Peace of mind has been affected by feeling assured in life.
Moreover, a healthy relationship between parents and a strong physical attraction is beneficial to conceive a pure and good child, while fear and worry will have negative consequences on the child.
One of the effective ways, to attain peace and confidence, is the remembrance of God [i].
Therefore, the mother should try her best to keep herself occupied with religious acts such as reading Quran, praying, and staying away from fruitless activities that will not benefit her or the child growing inside her.
On the other hand, the food individual eats not only has a high impact on the physical aspect of a person but on the nonphysical part as well. Some foods have also been recommended explicitly by Islamic teachings for a healthy, beautiful, and virtuous child. For instance, it is narrated from Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP): “Eating pomegranate is a cause of increased sperm production for men and makes the child beautiful and healthy as well” .
Another Hadith from Imam Sadeq (AS) narrates that “Anyone who eats quince on an empty stomach, the source of his seed production (sperm) becomes pure and healthy, and his child will be beautiful and decent” .
It is important to note that many acts are not recommended during conception:
Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP) said: “Speaking during the actual act, leads to confusion in the child” . And: “Making love when the man is muhtalim (i.e., become in the state of Janabat [ii] during his sleep) and before doing ablution (Wudu or Ghusl), as this results in the child becoming insane” .
The above narrations and recommendations are just some of these factors that may affect the conceived child. It is notable that many factors contribute to the physical and psychological make-up of the child, such as inherited characteristics, geographical terms, and social status, etc. Giving charity, reciting the Quran, and praying are strictly effective to avert possible negative consequences.
2.The recitation of The Call to Prayer (Adhan and Iqama) in the ear of a newborn (At birth)
In the earliest time possible, a newborn child should hear the remembrance (Zikr) of Allah upon his/her arrival into this world. Adhan should be said in the right ear, and Iqama should be said in the left one by a competent person such as the father [iii] .
[i] “Those who have faith and whose hearts find rest in the remembrance of Allah.’ Behold! The hearts find rest in Allah’s remembrance!” (13:28)
[ii] "Janabat" is a ritual impurity caused by the discharge of semen or by sexual intercourse, and the person on whom ghusl janabat becomes wajib is known as "junub" .
[iii] Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP) said: “Whenever you had a newborn boy or girl, say Adhan to his or her right ear and also say Iqamah in the left ear. So the Satan will not harm the baby".
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“He is only a child!”, “Be quiet, this is a grown-up issue”, “Go to your room and don’t disturb us while we are talking” … What do these sentences remind you of? Your own childhood? Your little son or daughter? you have probably heard these statements at least once or twice in your lifetime. Remember this, “ You are responsible for your flower ”. Now let’s read the following extract in this regard:
“It was the time of prayer (Salat). Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP) who was with his grandchild, Hassan Ibn Ali (AS), invited people to perform this holy task. While standing for Salat, Prophet put the child beside himself and started his prayer. People who were behind him wondered why he had lingered in prostration for a long time, but there was no way for them to find out the cause in the middle of Salat. After they had finished, they inquired the reason of the Prophet (PBUH&HP): ‘we had never seen such a prostration from you. We thought that you were receiving revelations from Allah that made you linger in your prostration for such a long time’. He answered: ‘No it was not a revelation. My child, Hassan (AS), was climbing over me when I was in prostration and I did not want to rush and put him down. So I waited for him long enough to come down himself’” .
“Once prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP) and other Muslims stand to perform Midday prayer (Salat al-Zuhr) in a congregational manner. However, after performing the second Rak’ah, Prophet (PBUH&HP) suddenly made haste in finishing the two remaining Rak’ahs. After the prayer was finished, the people around him asked: ‘Has something unpleasant happened that you made haste in completing your prayer?’ Prophet answered: ‘Haven’t you heard the voice of that baby who was moaning?’” 
These and many other examples from our kind Prophet shows the deep regard of our religion for the dignity and self-worth of children in Islam.
Through his speech and manner, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP) constantly invited his followers to treat children in Islam with respect and to devote great attention to their behavior toward them; when his grandchildren entered a room, Prophet (PBUH&HP) would stand up and welcome them warmlyi, he was always the first one who greeted children and never refused children’s request for playing with them and participated in their games .
As a result of this kind of behavior, children in Islam will feel worthy of respect and will show more confidence in their actions. Consequently, when they grow up, they will be able to take risks and use their full capacity not being afraid of failure and humiliation.
On the contrary, the child whose dignity has been neglected by his/her parents will end up being shaky and not confident, not able to decide for his/her life and find his/her way to success. A beautiful analogy by Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP) will clarify this fact more: “my cloth will be cleaned by water, but what will cleanse my child’s heart from the dust of discomfiture and the pain of humiliation?” 
So, in raising our children in Islam, it is our responsibility to be highly observant not to say something or act in a way that would deny their self-worth and dignity and belittle them in any way. Children are sensitive creatures, like flowers, an action or a remark which may seem to us unimportant and natural, can wither their beautiful and innocent souls easily, and mark a permanent injury on their heart. Remember, “You are responsible for your flower”.
[i]. This behavior of Prophet (PBUH&HP) was probably because of the great personality and value of Imam Hassan (AS) and Imam Hossein (AS), however, when we consider it along with other Hadiths, we can easily distinguish the affectionate and compassionate manner of him toward children.
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children's rights in Islam covers all the years of childhood and infancy and include all the needs of a child in the process of his/her growth
Having a good name is one of the important children's rights in Islam. This is because a good name affects 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&HP) has said: “It is the responsibility of every father to choose a good name for his child ".
According to the researchers, male circumcision reduces many possible diseases in a 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].
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&HP): “For a child, there is no milk better than the milk of the mother” .
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&HP) said: “Respect your children and behave them in a nice manner” .
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.
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 ilahailla ' llah (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)” .
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.
[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" .
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