What is the Islamic opinion about physical punishment for children?
Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds; and may His blessings and peace be upon our Prophet Muhammad and upon all his Family and Companions.
Islam orders the parents to educate their children from an early age on the right religion and the good morals, so that they grow up on it. There are many Ahadith urging this to be done. The Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam) said: "Be generous with your children and educate them well" . [ Ibn Majah ] al-Tirmizi also reported from Ayub Ibn Musa from his grandfather that the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam) said: "No father has granted his child anything better than a good education" . al-Tirmizi also reported that the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam) said: "It is better for the man to educate his child than to give a Sa'a in alms" . al-Mannawi while interpreting this Hadith said that 'this is because when the man educates his child, the good acts of this child are considered from his father's continuous Sadaqa (deeds that the person keeps on being rewarded, for even after his death). While the reward of the Sa'a is given only once' .
Now, if the children are responding in a positive way then that is good. Otherwise, one can resort to some slight punishment to protect their benefits and to educate them in a good way.
the author of al-Fawakeeh al-Darwani said: 'The educator is requested to resort to corporal punishment while teaching Qur'an and good ethics, when the child swears, lies, steals or does any bad things that are forbidden for an adult. He can also punish the child if he flees from the school. This corporal punishment differs according to the nature of the act and the status of the person himself.
The evidence for the above is the Hadith that the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam) said: "Order your children to pray while 7 years old and beat them if they neglect praying or give it up when they reach 10" . [ Abu Dawood ]
Allah knows best.
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