How Do We Fulfill the Rights of Our Own Flesh & Blood?
This is an excerpt from an upcoming e-book entitled "Your Flesh and Blood - The Rights of Children" by Shaikh Muhammad 'Umar Baazmool, may Allaah facilitate it. - (Note: This was 2007 - May Allaah bless him for his intention, Aameen) Chapter Five: How do we Fulfill the Rights of our Flesh and Blood? I will mention here some examples of this: 1. Choosing a good name for him: The proof for this is the fact that it is authentically reported on the Messenger of Allaah (sallAllaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) that he would change vile names and that he would encourage (his followers) to choose good names (for themselves and their children). Ibn ‘Umar (radyAllaahu 'anhu) reported that the Messenger of Allaah (sallAllaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) said: “Indeed the most beloved of your names to Allaah are: ‘Abdullaah and ‘Abdur-Rahmaan.”  ‘Aqeel bin Shabeeb reported from Abu Wahab Al-Jushamee – one of the Companions – that the Messenger of Allaah (sallAllaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) said: “Name yourselves with the names of the prophets. And the most beloved of names to Allaah are: ‘Abdullaah and ‘Abdur-Rahmaan while the most truthful of them are: Al-Haarith and Hammaam. And the vilest of them are Harb and Murrah.”  2. Holding an ‘Aqeeqah for him: On the authority of Muhammad bin Sireen: Salmaan bin ‘Aamir Ad-Dabbee narrated to us, saying: I heard the Messenger of Allaah (sallAllaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) say: “The ‘Aqeeqah is to be offered for the (newborn) boy. So spill blood on his behalf (i.e. offer a sacrifice) and remove the harm from him.”  3. Breastfeeding him: This is one of the initial rights that a child gets after birth. The noble Qur’aan has affirmed it and defined the maximum time-frame for it, saying: “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.” [Surah Al-Baqarah: 233] 4. Paying his expenses: Allaah says: “But the father of the child shall bear the cost of the mother’s food and clothing on a reasonable basis. No person shall have a burden laid on him greater than he can bear.” [Surah Al-Baqarah: 233] And He says: “And kill not your children because of poverty. We provide sustenance for you and for them.” [Surah Al-An’aam: 151] And He says: “And kill not your children for fear of poverty. We shall provide for them as well as for you. Surely, the killing of them is a great sin.” [Surah Al-Israa: 31] So if it were not for the fact that spending on them was an obligation, they would not have any fear of poverty. However, Allaah affirmed that and shows them that He is the One who provides for them and their offspring. Az-Zuhree said: Abu Idrees ‘Aa’idhullaah bin ‘Abdillaah informed me that ‘Ubaadah bin As-Saamit (radyAllaahu 'anhu) – who was present at the Battle of Badr and who was one of the chiefs on the night of ‘Aqabah – reported that the Messenger of Allaah (sallAllaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) said while a group of his Companions were around him: “Give me the pledge that you will not worship anything along with Allaah, that you will not steal, that you will not commit illegal intercourse, that you will not kill your children, that you will not bring forth a slander which you fabricate between your hands and legs (i.e. by making illegal children belong to their husbands), and that you are not disobedient with respect to (implanting) good. Whoever amongst you fulfills his pledge will be rewarded by Allaah. And whoever indulges in any of these sins and is then punished for it in this worldly life, the punishment will serve as expiation for him. And whoever indulges in any of these sins and then Allaah conceals it for him, the matter is with Allaah – if He wishes, He will pardon him and if He wishes, He will punish him.” ‘Ubaadah bin As-Saamit (radyAllaahu 'anhu) said: “So we gave him the pledge of allegiance upon these conditions.”  We also mentioned previously the report in which the Prophet (sallAllaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) said: “It is sufficient sin for a man that he neglects those whom he supports.”  Hishaam narrated: My father reported to me from ‘Aa’ishah that Hind bint ‘Utbah said: “O Messenger of Allaah (sallAllaahu 'alayhi wa sallam), Abu Sufyaan is a very miserly man and he doesn’t give me what suffices myself and my child, except for what I take from him without him knowing!” He (sallAllaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) said: “Take what suffices you and your child in goodness.”  Anas bin Maalik (radyAllaahu 'anhu) reported that the Messenger of Allaah (sallAllaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) said: “Whoever supports two girls until they reach the age of puberty will come on the Day of Judgement – him and I.” And he (sallAllaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) interlaced his fingers.  5. Being fair when giving out gifts: ‘Aamir narrated: I heard An-Nu’maan bin Basheer say while he was on the mimbar: “My father once gave me a gift but ‘Amra bint Rawaahah (i.e. my mother) said she would not agree to it unless he made Allaah’s Messenger (sallAllaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) a witness to it. So my father went to Allaah’s Messenger (sallAllaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) and said: ‘I have given a gift to my son from ‘Amra bint Rawaahah, but she ordered me to make you witness it O Messenger of Allaah.’ He (sallAllaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) asked him: ‘Did you give the rest of your children a similar gift?’ He said: ‘No.’ So Allaah’s Messenger (sallAllaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) said: ‘Then fear Allaah and be fair towards all of your children.’ So my father went back and took back his gift.”  6. Commanding them to pray and being patient with them upon that: This is based on Allaah’s statement: “And enjoin prayer on your family and be patient in offering it. We do not ask you for any provision, (rather) We provide for you, and the good end is for those with Taqwaa.”[Surah TaHa: 132] ‘Amr bin Shu’aib reported from his father who reported from his grandfather that the Messenger of Allaah (sallAllaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) said: “Order your children to pray when they are seven years old and beat them to it (if they refuse) when they are ten. And separate them in their beds.”  7. Beware of supplicating against them: ‘Ubaadah bin As-Saamit (radyAllaahu 'anhu) reported from Jaabir bin ‘Abdillaah (radyAllaahu 'anhu) that the Messenger of Allaah (sallAllaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) said: “Do not supplicate against your own selves. Do not supplicate against your children. And do not supplicate against your wealth. Do not correspond with Allaah on an hour in which He is asked something and thus grants it.”  8. The Order to Restrain Children during the Hours in which the Jinn spread out: Jaabir (radyAllaahu 'anhu) reported that the Prophet (sallAllaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) said: “When night falls, restrain your children, for indeed the devils spread out at that time. So when an hour has passed from the evening, you may then release them. And close your door and mention Allaah’s Name. Turn off your light and mention Allaah’s Name. Cover your containers and mention Allaah’s Name – even if you put something across it.”  9. Inciting them to keep good company and warning them about bad companions: Abu Moosaa (radyAllaahu 'anhu) reported that the Messenger of Allaah (sallAllaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) said: “The example of a righteous companion and an evil companion is like that of a seller of musk and a blacksmith. From the first, you would either buy musk or enjoy its good smell while a blacksmith would either burn your home or your clothes or you would experience a foul smell from him.”  10. Being merciful and compassionate towards them: ‘Urwah bin Az-Zubair reported from ‘Aa’ishah (radyAllaahu 'anhaa), the wife of the Prophet (sallAllaahu 'alayhi wa sallam), who narrated to him, saying: “A woman with two children came to me to beg but nothing could be found in my possession except one date, so I gave it to her. The woman took it and divided it between her two daughters. She then got up and left. When the Prophet (sallAllaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) came in, I told him what had happened. So he said: ‘Whoever is put in charge of some affair of these daughters and is good to them, they will act as a shield for him from the Fire.’”  Az-Zuhree reported: Abu Salamah bin ‘Abdir-Rahmaan narrated to us that Abu Hurairah (radyAllaahu 'anhu) said: “The Messenger of Allaah (sallAllaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) once kissed Al-Hasan bin ‘Alee while Al-Aqra’ bin Haabis At-Tameemee was sitting next to him, so Al-Aqra’ said: ‘I have ten children and I have not kissed any of them.’ The Messenger of Allaah (sallAllaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) cast a look on him and said: ‘Whoever is not merciful (to others) will not be treated mercifully.’”  ‘Aa’ishah, may Allaah be pleased with her, reported that once a Bedouin man came to the Prophet (sallAllaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) and said: “You people kiss children but we don’t kiss them.” So the Prophet (sallAllaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) said: “I cannot put mercy in your heart after Allaah has taken it away from it.”  Abu Sulaymaan Maalik bin Al-Huwairith reported: “We came to the Prophet (sallAllaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) when we were young men around the same age and stayed with him for twenty nights. He (sallAllaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) then thought that we missed our families so he asked us whom we left behind to look after them, and we told him. He was compassionate and merciful and said to us: ‘Go back to your families and teach them and command them (with good). And pray as you have seen me praying. And when the time for prayer comes in, one of you should make the Adhaan for all of you, and the eldest amongst you should lead the prayer.’”  11. Serving as good role-models for them: A child’s guardians should behave in accordance with their responsibility due to the generality of the afore-mentioned hadeeth: ‘All of you are shepherds and each one of you is responsible over his flock.’” 12. Teaching them the aspects of the Religion that they are required to learn: Anas bin Maalik (radyAllaahu 'anhu) reported that the Messenger of Allaah (sallAllaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) said: “Seeking knowledge is obligatory upon every Muslim.”  This goes along with a warning against children traveling abroad even for educational purposes until they first fortify themselves with religious knowledge and a righteous wife.
 Reported by Muslim in his Saheeh: Book of Manners (no. 2132)