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Prophet Muhammad ( صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم )
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Children are special people. They have their own identity. Our beloved Prophet Muhammad ( صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم ) showed this through his behavior. He loved children and was always compassionate and merciful towards them. He showed his affection for them in many ways. He hugged them and patted them on the back. He touched their
heads, combing their hair with his fingers.
He liked to hold little children in his arms. He made funny faces (like pulling his tongue out) to please them. When lying down he seated them on his legs or chest.
The Prophet Muhammad ( صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم) loved to play with children. He made them stand in a straight line, then he himself stood at a distance, spread his hands and told the children, “Come running to me. Whoever touches me first will get a prize,” they would all come, running and breathless. When they reached the Prophet ( صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم), they would fall all over him. He enjoyed this sport, gave prizes of dates and sweets to the winners and hugged and kissed the participants. Ref
He used to kiss children and loved them very much. Once he was kissing children when a Bedouin came and said, "You love children very much. I have ten children and I have never kissed one of them." Muhammad replied, "What can I do if God takes away love from you?".
The Prophet Muhammad (صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم ) was always pleased to see parents loving and caressing their children. He once said, “When Allah blesses people with children, and they give their children love and meet their parental obligation, Allah keeps them safe from the fires of Hell.” Ref
Jabir bin Samra, one of his companions, reported an incident of his childhood. "Once I offered the prayer with God's Messenger. After the prayer, when he went towards his house, I went with him. We were joined by more boys, and he kissed them all and me too." When Prophet Mohammad SAW was entering the town of Medinah, after emigrating from Makkah, some young girls of the Ansar were singing with joy in front of their houses. When he passed by, he said, "O girls! You love me." All said, "Yes, O God's Messenger." Then he said, "I love you also.” Ref
Yusuf bin Abdullah said that when he was born his parents took him to God's Messenger for his blessing; he suggested the name, Yusuf, and put him in his lap. He patted him on the head and prayed for the
Blessings of God for him.' Ref
Whenever the Prophet Muhammad (صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم ) passed by children, he tried to be the first to greet them and say “Assalaamu Alaikum.” When riding he would let children sit on his camel or donkey.
When children saw him, they came running. He greeted them warmly, picked them up, hugged them and kissed them. He loved giving them dates, fruits and sweets to eat.
In some prayers, the Prophet (صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم ) read long Surahs. But if he heard a baby crying, he would read a short Surah and say a short prayer. This helped the mother to take care of her baby.
He used to get into the spirit of childish games in their company. He would have fun with the children who had come back from Abyssinia and tried to speak in Abyssinian with them. It was his practice to give lifts on his camel to children when he returned from journeys. Ref
Among the instructions given before the conquest of Makkah, one of the important ones was not to harm any child. Prophet صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم was worried for their safety and wellbeing even at a state of war. This shows the compassion he had towards children no matter what the situation was.
Today we are inundated with masses of statistics, books, researches, psychological studies, and ‘notice of caution’ in relation on how to raise successful, happy children, children with great self-esteem, most productive adults and the alike.
In recent times access to all this information is just a ‘click’ away. Needless to say each lesson taught us by The Prophet was a valuable one full of wisdom. He educated us so as not to overlook even the smallest of things, He taught us the beauty incumbent in the ability to love, how to melt away all adversity with a merciful touch, and amongst many of the most wonderful things that He has taught us is that loving your child comes for free and simple. We have described all that we could find on how to achieve outstanding results in raising good children now it is upon us to practice all that we have learnt and shape the humanity in the most beautiful way.
Prophet Muhammad never held back his love for the children and always expressed his fondness to them. He would pick up children in his arms, play with them, and kiss them.
He played with them and took such keen interest in them. Narrated Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him),
Allah’s Messenger kissed Al-Hasan ibn `Ali while Al-Aqra` ibn Habis At-Tamim was sitting with him . Al-Aqra` said, “I have ten children and have never kissed one of them.” The Prophet cast a look at him and said, “Whoever is not merciful to others will not be treated mercifully.” (Al-Bukhari)
In one hadith Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated:
I went along with Allah’s Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him) at a time during the day but he did not talk to me and I did not talk to him until he reached the market of Banu Qainuqa`. He came back to the tent of Fatimah and said, “Is the little chap (meaning Al-Hasan) there?” We were under the impression that his mother had detained him in order to bathe him and dress him and garland him with sweet garland. Not much time had passed that he (Al-Hasan) came running until both of them embraced each other, thereupon Allah’s Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “O Allah, I love him; love him and love one who loves him.” (Muslim)
Anas ibn Malik (may Allah be pleased with him), the servant of the Prophet, had another recollection:
I never saw anyone who was more compassionate towards children than Allah’s Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him). His son Ibrahim was in the care of a wet nurse in the hills around Madinah. He would go there, and we would go with him, and he would enter the house, pick up his son and kiss him, then come back. (Muslim)
Give them importance
The above Ahadith also show how our Prophet used to give importance to children. This makes children realize their worth.
Prophet صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم also used to pay attention to children and their interests/hobbies so that they feel important
Anas bin Malik [ra] narrated: The Prophet used to mingle with us to the extent that he would say to the younger brother of mine, “O father of Umair! What did An Nughair [your sparrow] do?” [Muslim]
Strengthen their relationship with Allah
On the authority of Abdullah bin Abbas, we said: One day I was behind the Prophet and he said to me:
“Young man, I shall teach you some words [of advice]: Be mindful of Allah, and Allah will protect you. Be mindful of Allah, and you will find Him in front of you. If you ask, ask of Allah; if you seek help, seek help of Allah. Know that if that Nation were to gather together to benefit you with anything, it would benefit you only with something that Allah had already prescribed for you, and that if they gather together to harm you with anything, they would harm you only with something Allah had already prescribed for you. The pens have been lifted and the pages have dried”
Love all children above cast, creed or color
The Prophet’s love for children was not restricted to his children and grandchildren. The scope of his mercy and affection embraced all children, and he showed the same interest and gentleness to other children. Usamah ibn Zaid (may Allah be pleased with him) narrates:
Allah’s Messenger used to put me on (one of) his thighs and put Al-Hasan ibn `Ali on his other thigh, and then embrace us and say, “O Allah! Please be merciful to them, as I am merciful to them.” (Bukhari)
Being Patient and not hurting their feelings
The Prophet صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم was always concerned about everyone’s thought and feeling. The following hadith narrated by Anas ibn Malik (may Allah be pleased with him) proves his thoughtful character:
The Prophet صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم said, “(It happens that) I start the prayer intending to prolong it, but on hearing the cries of a child, I shorten the prayer because I know that the cries of the child will incite its mother’s passions.” (Al-Bukhari)
The Prophet صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم was always patient and considerate with children and took great pain not to hurt their tender feelings.
Narrated Abu Qatadah: “The Messenger of Allah came towards us while carrying Umamah the daughter of Abi Al-`As (Prophet’s granddaughter) over his shoulder. He prayed, and when he wanted to bow, he put her down, and when he stood up he lifted her up.” (Al-Bukhari)
In a another hadith, Narrated Umm Khalid:
I (the daughter of Khalid ibn Said) went to Allah’s Messenger with my father and I was wearing a yellow shirt. Allah’s Messenger said, “Sanah, Sanah!” (`Abdullah, the narrator, said that sanah meant “good” in the Ethiopian language). I then started playing with the seal of prophethood (between the Prophet’s shoulders) and my father rebuked me harshly for that. Allah’s Messenger said, “Leave her.” The Prophet, then, invoked Allah to grant her a long life thrice. (Al-Bukhari)
A companion, recalling his childhood, said, "In my childhood I used to fell dates by throwing stones at palm trees. Somebody took me to the Prophet who advised me to pick up the dates lying on the ground but not to fell them with stones. He then patted me and blessed me." (Abu Dawud)
Making life fun for them also makes it worthwhile
Mahmood bin Rabi (RA) narrated: When I was a boy of five, I remember The Prophet took water from a bucket in his mouth and sprinkled it on my face.
The Prophet’s tolerance towards children was unmatched. It is clear from this Hadith:
Narrated `A’ishah (RA): The Prophet took a child in his lap … and then the child urinated on him, so he asked for water and poured it over the place of the urine. (Al-Bukhari)
If the child fails they must not feel a failure
Prophet صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم used to teach children that failure doesn't exist. Narrated Anas (RA):
I served The Prophet for ten years, and he never said to me, "Uf" (a minor harsh word denoting impatience) and never blamed me by saying, "Why did you do so or why didn't you do so?" [Bukhari Kitab Al-Adab]
In a similar hadith Anas RA reported:
"I served him for nine years, but I do not know that he ever said to me about anything I did, why I did that, or about
anything I had neglected, why I had not done that." (Muslim)
We must also become a mentor and help the child believe in his or her ability to succeed no matter how long it takes!
Ignoring inappropriate behaviors
Many of the inappropriate behaviors of young children can simply be ignored or disregarded. The Prophet is our best example in this regard.
Anas bin Malik RA said: "The Messenger of Allah had the best disposition among people. One day he sent me on an errand and I said, 'By Allah, I will not go,' but it was in my mind that I would do as the Messenger of Allah had ordered me. I went until I came upon children playing in the street. Then the Messenger of Allah arrived and he caught me by the back of my neck from behind. As I looked at him, I found him smiling, and he said, `Unays
(nickname of Anas), did you go where I asked you to go'?' I said, `O Messenger of Allah, yes, I am going."'
Treatment of equality
Prophet صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم made emphasized that Muslims should be conscious totreat their sons and daughters justly:
“Fear Allah and treat your children [small or grown] fairly (with equal justice).” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)
Listening to what they have to say
The Prophet صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم used to give them attention. Whenever they had something to say to them he used to listen intently and not turn his face away from them.
No compromise on personality building
The love and affection for children that was displayed by the Prophet صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم was not restricted to gestures only. Rather he made efforts in grooming the children’s personalities and making them a responsible member of the society.
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