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Kindness to Children

Wednesday 07/07/2010

Abu Hurayrah, may Allah be pleased with him, narrated,

Once the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) and I went out during the day. While on the journey, he did not talk to me and I did not talk to him. When we reached the market of Bani Qaynuqaa’, he  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) sat in the front-yard of (his daughter) Faatimah's house and asked: “Is Luka’ home? (i.e., 'the small boy' - his grandson Al-Hasan)” But Faatimah, may Allah be pleased with her, kept the boy inside for a while. I guessed that she was either changing his clothes or giving him a bath. After a while, the boy came out running and the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) embraced him and kissed him on the mouth; then he  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said: “O Allah! Love him, and love whoever loves him.”[Al-Bukhari and Muslim]
 
In other narration of this incident, Al-Hasan, may Allah be pleased with him, came out walking quickly and jumped into the lap of the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) who had his arms extended towards him, and who then hugged and kissed him.
 
Abu Hurayrah, may Allah be pleased with him, said, “After I heard the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) saying this, there was nobody that I loved more than Al-Hasan.” He, may Allah be pleased with him, also said, “It is never that I saw Al-Hasan after having heard this, except that I cried.”
 
The saying of Abu Hurayrah, may Allah be pleased with him: “…He did not talk to me…” was probably due to the Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) being busy thinking about something, or being inspired, or receiving revelation at the time.
 
His saying: “…And I did not talk to him…” is due to him, may Allah be pleased with him, glorifying and honouring the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ); this was the practice of the Companions, may Allah be pleased with them, whenever they would see the Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) silent.
 
This narration is a reflection of how great the Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) was, due to his coming to visit this child, which illustrated the love and mercy that he had for him. This was despite the great responsibilities he had as a leader of the entire Muslim nation and the fact that he was busy being a guardian over their affairs, the custodian of their treasury, or Bayt Al-Maal, thedispatcher of the Muslim armies and the teacher and preacher to all Muslims; Moreover, he was also receiving revelation from his Lord and contemplating over what happened to the previous nations who had disobeyed Him.
 
Despite all this, he  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) did not forget, in the midst of all these tasks and responsibilities, to check on his grandchild and bring joy to him, as well as checking on his daughter and son-in-law. He,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) sat in front of the house waiting for his grandchild to come out, and extended his arms towards him when he did so; he hugged and kissed him, and this love was reflected and reciprocated by the reaction of the child who walked quickly and jumped into the lap of the Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ).
 
Another narration that reflects the kindness that the Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) had for children is that which is narrated by Anas ibn Maalik, may Allah be pleased with him, who said, “I never saw anyone kinder and more merciful with children than the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ). His son, Ibraaheem, would breastfeed from a woman in the ‘Awaali area of Madeenah; he would go and visit him and we would accompany him. He  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) would enter the house in which Ibraaheem was and find him with some splashes of the milk that he had drunk, on his face; he would pick him up and kiss him.”
 
‘Amr, may Allah be pleased with him,who was one of the companions accompanying the Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) in his visits, said, “After the death of Ibraaheem, the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said: ‘Ibraaheem is my son and he died whilst at the age of breastfeeding; he will have two women breastfeeding him in Paradise until he concludes the age of breastfeeding.’"[Muslim]
 
This narration reflects the noble manners of the Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) and his kindness to children. It also highlights the virtue of being merciful with children and kissing them.
 
Ibraaheem, may Allah be pleased with him, died when he was sixteen or seventeen months old, which is why the Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said that he died whilst at the age of breastfeeding, because the complete breastfeeding term is usually two full years, as mentioned in the Qur’aan.
 
Many of those who are busy with worldly affairs or matters related to the religion are thereby deprived of other matters; they are busy teaching or leading others, or attaining wealth, and are thereby deprived from kissing their children, playing with them, and nurturing them properly. No matter how busy a person claims to be, it is impossible that he could be busier than the Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) was, who had time for this despite his numerous and great responsibilities. The propagators of Islam, and others in general, have a duty towards their families and kinsfolk which they must fulfil, despite their responsibilities.
 
A child has a very special position in the Islamic community, and he should receive the required attention and care which would make him grow up balanced and well mannered.
 
Unlike what some may believe, possessing manhood, dignity and honour does not contradict caring for and playing with children; this is reflected in the narration of Abu Hurayrah, may Allah be pleased with him, who said, “The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) kissed Al-Hasan once while Al-Aqra’ Ibn Haabis was sitting with him, so Al-Aqra’ said, `I have ten children and never did I kiss any of them.` The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) therefore looked at him and said: ‘Allah will not be merciful with the one who is not merciful to others.’[Al-Bukhari]
 
A person who works as an Islamic preacher in a prison in a western country said that an imprisoned drug addict once informed him that he would always stub out his cigarette on his child’s body, until he killed the child. This is truly an ugly face of the West that is reflected by this story; what kind of civilisation do they have? What benefit did they gain from their technology when their communities are overwhelmed with immorality, lack of faith, and children who are murdered and tortured like animals? This has become such a widespread phenomenon that there are now designated telephone numbers for children to call and seek help and protection if their parents harm or torture them.
 
But who are these children seeking protection from? It is from their own parents, who torture them in such a barbaric manner that it shatters the feelings of those who get to hear about it.
 
A true believer should take lessons from the names of Allah, and one of His names is the All-Merciful, so a believer should strive to be merciful; Another of His names is the Compassionate, so a believer should work hard to be compassionate and kind to others, especially his children.
 
The father’s love for his children should not be buried under his load of work, or his numerous tasks; on the contrary, he should express his love and kindness to them and strive to nurture them properly.

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