Raising children is one of the important duties enjoined by Allah to the parents. This can be well understood from the words of Allah and his messenger (sallahu alahi wasallam).
Allah says: “O you who believe! Ward off yourselves and your families against a Fire (Hell) whose fuel is men and stones, over which are (appointed) angels stern (and) severe, who disobey not, (from executing) the Commands they receive from Allah, but do that which they are commanded” [Surah al-Tahreem 66:6]
Rasulallah (sallahu alahi wasallam) too gave the responsibility of raising children to the parents.
It was narrated that Abd-Allah ibn Umar said: I heard the Messenger of Allah (sallahu alahi wasallam) say: “Each of you is a shepherd and each of you is responsible for his flock. The ruler is a shepherd and is responsible for his flock. A man is the shepherd of his family and is responsible for his flock. A woman is the shepherd of her husband’s household and is responsible for her flock. A servant is the shepherd of his master’s wealth and is responsible for his flock.” He said: and I think he said, “A man is the shepherd of his father’s wealth and is responsible for his flock. Each of you is a shepherd and is responsible for his flock.” (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 583; Muslim, 1829).
It is the parent’s responsibility to raise them up from a young age to love Allah and His Messenger and to love the teachings of Islam. They should tell the children that Allah has a Paradise and a Hell; that His Hell is hot and its fuel are men and stones.
The Haraam (prohibited) form of beating or smacking
First of all it is important for us to understand what kind of beating or smacking is haraam in Islam:
It was narrated from Abu Bardah al-Ansari that he heard the Messenger of Allah (sallahu alahi wasallam) say: No one should be given more than ten lashes except in the case of one of the hadd punishments of Allah.” (Narrated by Al Bukhaari (6456) & Muslim (3222))
The Halaal (permissible) form of beating or smacking
Beating or Smacking is a means of correcting the child particularly when the child is stubborn & disobedient and all the efforts of advising by words has failed. There is a system of punishment in Islam, such as the hadd punishments & the non hadd punishments, prescribed in order to set the people straight and put a stop to their evil and disobedience. Prophet (sallahu alahi wasallam) advised parents to stop their children from doing wrong.
It was narrated from Ibn Abbaas that the Messenger of Allah said: “Hang your whip where the members of the household can see it, for that will discipline them.” (Narrated by al-Tabaraani, 10/248; its isnaad was classed as hasan by al-Haythami in Majma’ al-Zawaa’id, 8/106, Al albani said it is hasan)
The following are some summarized points on the permissible beating or smacking:
The Messenger of Allah (sallahu alahi wasallam) said: “Teach your children to pray when they are seven years old, and smack them (lightly) if they do not pray when they are 10 years old, and separate them in their beds.” (Abu Dawood (459) and Ahmad (6650), Classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in al-Irwa’ (247)).
Fatwas of Scholars
Ibn Qudaamah (may Allah have mercy upon him) said in al-Mughni (1/357): This telling and discipline is prescribed in the case of children in order to train them to pray, so that they will be used to it and it will become their habit, and they will not forsake it when they reach puberty. End quote.
So when the children are seven years old, they need to be advised to offer salah and they are to be beaten or smacked (lightly) when they are ten years old. Similarly they are to be told to fast Ramadan and should be encouraged to do good things, such as reading Quran, offering Nafil prayers, Hajj and umrah, and reciting a lot of tasbeeh, tahleel, takbeer and tahmeed, and they should be prevented from committing all kinds of sin.
Shaykh Ibn Baaz (may Allah have mercy on him) said: Take care of the members of your household and do not neglect them, O slave of Allah. You have to strive hard in their best interests, and tell your sons and daughters to pray at the age of seven, and smack them (lightly) if they do not do so when they are ten, a light smack that will help them to obey Allah and make them get used to offering prayers on time, so that they will adhere properly to the religion of Allah and know the truth, as is narrated in saheeh reports from the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him). End quote. (Majmoo’ Fataawa Ibn Baaz (6/46)).
Shaykh Ibn Uthaymeen (may Allah have mercy on him) said: The Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) commanded us to tell our children to pray when they are seven years old, and to smack them (lightly) if they do not pray when they are ten years old, even though they are not obliged to do that yet, so that they may be trained in doing acts of worship and obedience and may get used to them, so that it will be easy for them to do that after they grow up and it will be dear to them. The same applies to all matters that are blameworthy; young children should not get used to them even though they are not yet under any obligation, because otherwise they will get used to them when they grow up and will enjoy indulging in them. End quote. (Fataawa Noor ‘ala al-Darb, 11/386)
The command implies that it is obligatory, but it is limited only to cases where smacking will be beneficial, because sometimes you smack a child but he does not benefit from being smacked, it only makes him scream and cry more and does not serve any benefit. Moreover what is meant by smacking here is smacking that is not painful, a light smack that serves the purpose and does not cause any harm. End quote. (Liqa’ al-Baab il-Maftooh, 95/18)
He (may Allah have mercy on him) also said: It should not be a smack that causes injury, and it should not be a smack in the face for example, or a smack to a lethal site; rather he should be smacked on the shoulder or the hand and the like, which would not cause him to die. Smacking on the face is risky, because the face is the highest and noblest part of a person and if a person is smacked on the face it is more humiliating and shameful than if he were to be smacked on the back. Hence it is forbidden to smack on the face. End quote (Fataawa Noor ‘ala al-Darb, 13/2)
Shaykh Al-Albani said: Beating and spanking is not (allowed) at all. Instead the child should be advised. Sometimes words have a greater affect on people than hitting. And sometimes hitting does not help at all, rather it makes them persist in doing that. The best guidance is the guidance of Muhammad (sallahu alahi wasallam). The child should not be hit as long as he did not reach the age of puberty… (Excerpt from the audio lecture “La Qushoor Fil Islam.”)
Shaykh al-Fawzaan said: Smacking (lightly) is one of the means of child rearing. The teacher may smack, the trainer may smack, the guardian may smack for disciplinary purposes; and the husband may smack his wife in cases of wilful defiance (nushooz). But that must be within certain limits, and it should not be a blow that causes pain, breaks the skin or breaks the bone; rather it should be only as much as is necessary. End quote. (Ighaathat al-Mustafeed bi Sharh Kitaab al-Tawheed (282 — 284)).
The following question was put to Shaykh bin baaz (may Allah have mercy on him):
What is the ruling on hitting children that are under 10 years old for any incident they do? What is your advice for this?
Shaykh answered: “It is for the father and the mother to discipline the children if they see that (it’s correct), even if they’re under 10 and even if they are under 7. If he sees (it’s correct) to discipline his child, male or female, there is nothing wrong with this, but with something that suits him and does not harm him, a light discipline which benefits him and does not harm him. If he was oppressing his little brothers, if he was playing in the house in a way that harms, or what resembles that, he is disciplined with light strikes/ hits or with harsh speech that rebukes him or light strikes or prevent him from some of his needs which he wants until he straightens up. (This discipline is) from the mother and the father and from his older brother if he does not have a father and a mother or from his paternal uncle or from his maternal aunt according to his situation; this means from whoever is raising him and taking care of him. It is for him to discipline him (the child) whether it is a mother or father or maternal uncle or maternal aunt or older brother according to his situation. So it is upon the one who raises him and takes care of him to discipline him with something that does not harm him, something light but benefit occurs from it.” End Quote. (Source: http://www.binbaz.org.sa/mat/17865)
Dr. Saleh As-Saleh in his paltalk class, “Understanding Islam,” answered that it is permissible to spank for disciplining children if it is used as a last resort and done gently.
In reality, each child’s reaction to a disciplinary action may be different, and therefore, parents should investigate which forms of discipline are successful for their particular child. Raising children should be a balance between encouragement and warning. The most important element of all is making the environment in which the children live a good one, by providing the means whereby they may be guided; this means that their educators should be religiously committed, including their parents.
It is upon the parents of the child who should decide whether beating or smacking is required or not by keeping “dos & donts” of it in mind. Today we see ill mannered children all around our society. The main reason behind this is carelessness of the parents and the evil effects of kaafir culture. Parents must not only behave like father and mother to the child, but they should also act as a commander, a teacher, a policeman and so on. Depending on the situation, the parent should adopt the role and admonish the child. Those who say that one should not beat children for tarbiyah are irrational. When a child does not listen to words of parents, it is important for them to smack him up a little to admonish him.
Physical beating or smacking is a part of Tarbiyah which Muslims are ignoring due to the effect of kaafir culture. In the western culture, you cannot touch your child or else you will be behind bars. This is not in Islamic culture. Muslims must pay out most attention to do best Tarbiyah of their children. They should ensure that their children should not harm others or become a reason for causing trouble to others, should not disobey Allah, should not disobey or disrespect elders, should not fall into bad habits or company in society, or be a burden to the ummah, etc.
Parents should keep them away from the places of immorality and misguidance; do not leave them to grow up with evil things from the television etc, then after that expect them to be righteous, for whoever sows thorns cannot harvest grapes. That should be done when they are young, so that it will be easy for them when they grow up, and they will get used to it, and it will be easy for you to tell them what to do and what not to do, and it will be easy for them to obey you.
Tarbiyah of children includes admonishing through words (love & anger), beating, punishments, rewards, playing mind games to achieve something and making dua to Allah.
Your children are your future in this world and Akhirah.
Protect your future by taking proper action on time. They are the only source of good deeds after we die!
– by Abu Isaam Imran Ali
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The Author "Abu Isaam Imran Ali" is a student of knowledge in Islam. He studied at Jamia Darusaalam, Oomerabad for a short period of time and also completed his diploma in Islamic studies (Aqeedah) from India. He then set out on the path of knowledge to Al Madinah Al Munawwara, to learn the sciences of Hadith, fiqh, tafseer etc from Major Scholars. He completed his Diploma from Jamia Islamia (Madinah Islamic University) and is currently pursuing his studies in Islamic Shariah from Mahad Al-Haram (Masjid-un-nabawi).
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