Children's Rights in Islam From Conception to Birth

The respectability of human rights begins with the way that a 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 Eighteenth Chapter of 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:

 

children's rights in Islam, Salam Islam

 

Children's Rights in Islam:

 

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, 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 which 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): “Eating pomegranate is a cause of increased sperm production for men and makes the child beautiful and healthy as well” [1].

 

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” [2].

 

It is important to note that many acts are not recommended during conception:

 

Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said: “Speaking during the actual act, leads to confusion in the child” [3]. 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” [4].

 

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.

 

Children's rights in Islam, Salam Islam

 

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] [5].

 

Notes:

[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" [6].

[iii] Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) 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". 

References:

[1] Wasāil ash-Shī~a, vol. 25, p. 104, no. 31499

[2] Biĥār al-Anwār, vol. 81, p.101.

[3] Al-Khisal, p.520.

[4]  Ilal al-sharayi, p.514. 

[5] Tuhaf al-'uqul. p. 13.

[6] Sayyid Muhammad Rizvi, Marriage and Morals in Islam, p. 64.