Being a Muslim, we will never get away from responsibilities in everything that we do in our life as we are the Caliphates in this world in which Muslims are responsible for their own actions. In this article, parents as well as society have to be responsible for their own children in every aspect possible. It is no doubt that Islam has always prioritised the importance of the rights of children. Even before the birth of children, Islam has mentioned that two people who are about to enter marriage life should not take marriage carelessly as it comes with great responsibilities like taking rights of children with responsibility. Children are also known to be the Amanah of the parents. Thus, in order to please Allah SWT, parents and society must play their roles to fulfil the rights of their children. One of the rights of children is where Islam has stated that abortion of child is prohibited if the reason to commit such action is due to being unable to support the children financially as mentioned in the ayat below: “…kill not your children because of poverty – We provide sustenance for you and for them”. (Quran 6:151)
This gives the idea that Allah SWT grants children as blessings for the parents not as burdens as what some people perceive nowadays. This is due to the reason that some people are not blessed with children and hence parents should be thankful to Allah for his blessings. More importantly, Al-Quran also provides right guidelines of raising a child in Islam in which people must commit to the commandment of Allah. The children are expected to be treated fairly, to be nurtured, to be loved and to be educated by not only parents but also the society. For instance, in order to raise a healthy child, parents must provide food for the children. In this case, it is advisable to breastfeed the small children in order to make them grow healthy as mentioned in the ayat: “The mothers shall give suck to their children for two whole years, (that is) for those (parents) who desire to complete the term of suckling” (Quran 2:233)
However, if the parents face hindrance in giving breast milk to their small children, then they can opt for wet nurse or use infant baby formula to fulfil the needs of nurturing. Allah would never put His servants into difficult situations. Verily, Islam is indeed a religion of leniency. Other than that, children must also be exposed to religious teachings at a young age so that they will get to know Allah and love Him. This responsibility of giving religious education also lies in the hands of parents. It is obligatory for parents to teach children to pray by the age of 7 years old in order to indicate the significance of praying. The Hadith that supports this statement which is narrated by Abdullah ibn Amr ibn al-‘As: “The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: Command your children to pray when they become seven years old, and beat them for it (prayer) when they become ten years old; and arrange their beds (to sleep) separately.”
According to Ibrahim Amini in his book “Principle of Upbringing Children”, he said that children who have reached the age of responsibility (baligh), the juridical norms are obligatory for them. It is also believed that the religious duties should be put into practice in their early childhood so it would become a habit for them to fulfil. Therefore, parents should play their roles in giving them religious teachings at a young age so that their children will make the duties as their habits.
There is an ayat where Luqmaan gives advice to his son about worshipping to Allah; And (remember) when Luqmaan said to his son when he was advising him: “O my son! Join not in worship others with God. Verily, joining others in worship with God is a great wrong indeed. (Quran 31:13)
The ayat mentions that Luqmaan tells his son to never associate Allah with others as the act is deemed to be unjust towards Allah. Despite teaching children about religious duties, parents also have to give formal education to the children and not solely on religious teaching only. For example, parents are responsible for sending their children to school for proper education to let children experience many opportunities ahead. To conclude, teaching kids about knowing Allah at a young age is essential in order to shape not only a dutiful child to parents and society but also to Allah SWT. It is undoubtedly true that Islam put high values on children. Islam is perfect but the Muslims are not. Some Muslims take responsibilities lightly and some are committed to it. It is only a matter with Muslims. Hence, we should always strive to become better Muslims.