Muslim Children & Parent
Responsibilities & Duties to each other
Author: Nazeer A. Khan (faculty of Civil Engineering Technology)
Objective: To present, discuss and stimulate thoughts on the Islamic development of children and to highlight the responsibilities of both parents and children towards each other. The information presented herein absolutely does not negate the Islamic responsibilities of parent or child towards each other as stated by the Qur’an and/or Sunnah.
The following information is presented from an Islamic perspective and is the
result of multiple Islamic sources.
Most Muslims are quite familiar with the responsibilities that are placed on Muslim children by Islam in respect to parents’ care. However, little or no information is propagated in respect to the parents’ responsibility to prepare their child to assume these Islamic responsibilities. An important question to ask is; will a child assume their Islamic responsibilities towards their parents if the child’s Islamic education has been neglected? The answer is; it is unlikely or no they will not. This places an important role on parents in preparing the child to be a practicing Muslim that adheres to the values of Islam. Being in an Islamic household in a non-Islamic society does not necessarily prepare a child in the practice of Islam if the parental influence is not evident from early in the child’s life. Non-Islamic values rather than Islamic values are more likely to prevail. The environments that a person is expose to have a profound influence on that person’s subconscious than is realized. To ignore a child’s Islamic education and then expect that child to be a practicing Muslim in their adult life and to assume their Islamic responsibilities as outline below is a surreal and unfair expectation.
The following is an indication on the importance that Allah has place on the Parents.
- Allah has ordered that, do not worship anyone but Him and be dutiful towards your parents.
- Allah has given life to all of us through our parents which has place a high importance on parents.
- It is said even if your parents are oppressors; they should be respected
- If both of our parents are pleased with us, then both of the doors of paradise will open for us.
- As was said by Prophet Mohammed (pbuh), “To take care of your parents is better than performing Jihad.”
- The Qur’an also places great responsibility on the child in regard to their parents, requiring the child to be kind to the parents, to help their parents in their old age, to never speak to their parents with contempt, to never reject their parents, to honor their parents, and to fulfill all these responsibilities with humility.
- Children are required to pray for the forgiveness of the parent’s sins after death.
- A son’s responsibilities to his parents take presidency over his responsibilities for his wife and other family members.
Responsibilities of Parents in Respect to Children
Prophet Mohammed (pbuh ) has impressed upon the parents to take care of the religious instruction of their children from the very beginning, otherwise they will be called to account for negligence on the Day of Judgment.
Parents should forgive children for wrong doings before they pass away
- Parents has the responsibility of the religious development of the child (Islamic education)
- Academic development of the child (boy & girl)
- Prophet Mohammed (pbuh) said “Whoever has daughters, teach her good morals, educate her well and feed her properly; she will be a protection for him from hell fire.”
What would a Bill of Rights for Muslim Children look like?
Muslim children have the right to learn and practice Islam even if one of their parents is a non-Muslim or non-practicing Muslim.
- They have the right to be treated as a person, in an environment that is conducive to their growth and maturity.
- They have the right to receive love, care, discipline, and protection from their parents.
They have the right to receive education, and financial protection for the future.
What would a Bill of Rights for Muslim Parent look like?
- Parents have the right to receive love, respect and affection from their children as
mentioned in the Qur’an.
- Parents have the right to educate and discipline their children as mentioned in the Qur’an and to teach by following the examples of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh)
- Parents have the right to monitor all influences that affect their children.
- Parents have the right to say no to unusual financial and other demands by hildren.
Note 1: The child’s rightsare concerning the development of the child and the parent’s rights are also concerningthe development of the child. Therefore, there is a common objective (child’s development)
Note 2: It is a reasonable
expectation that if both the parents and child understand their Islamic roles, a better relationship would emerge for the duration of their existence.
Note 3: The abbreviation (pbuh) refers to “peace be upon him” in respect to Prophet Mohammed.
There is absolutely no doubt that parents and children have Islamic responsibilities towards each other. However, the fulfillment of these responsibilities starts with the parent attention to the child’s Islamic education. This is the foundation for which all Islamic responsibilities will be satisfy or neglected.