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Fatima is Fatima

by : Dr. Ali Shari'ati

Back You are here: Home Books Family The Principle Of Education (Up' Bringing)

The Principle Of Education (Up' Bringing) - 8. Appreciation and Acclamation

Article Index



The meaning of appreciation and acclamation is that the "'parents" should respect their children, should appreciate their sweet and admirable tasks, direct them on the right path with sincerity and soberity. Make the atmosphere at home peaceful and dignified. These freshly bloomed roses are weak in physique, therefore adopt extreme Politeness and tenderness in making them to read and write, it is very important to take care of their ignorance. Therefore when a remedial measure is required, adopt love and affection!

Well, on hearing the issue of "appreciation and acclamation" with respect to their children, some parents may feel irritated! -- -But, what to do? To harness your beloved and dear ones, to foster a complete and fully balanced personality, these are the demands of the rules of psychology and the laws of Sharia'h The Holy Prophet (SAWAW) has ordained:-

"You should respect your children, enrich them with the qualities of decent etiquettes.

Allah would forego your short falls. 61 The Greatest blessings of the universe, Holy Prophet (SAWAW) has further directed: - "Do not under evaluate the value and prestige of any Muslim, because in the Grace of Allah, even the small children of believers have an extremely high stature ," 62 In this context, there is still another saying of the Holy Prophet: -

"Oh people! I stress upon you to unceasingly demonstrate honest and decent attitude towards your youngsters." 63 Now let us dwell a while on these sayings.

The first stage of appreciation of the children is to pay special attention towards the signs of their general recognition, i.e. their name. The name of every individual permanently binds to himself, and is permanently used for his recognit1on. Therefore the name should be so selected that, it should be beautiful (attractive), dignified, and a base for "the cognizance of Allah" rather the "cognizance of one's self".

Regarding this, the Prophet of Allah (SAWAW), guides us in the following manner:- "The first prize awarded to your child should be that you give him an extremely beautiful name." 64 Out of the special teachings that the Holy Prophet taught Hazrat Ameer (ASWS) one of them was:-

"Oh All (ASWS)! every son has a right over his father, that he should suggest a nice name for him, and should educate him by extremely refined techniques." 65 The seventh guide of the progeny of the Holy Prophet, Hazrat Imatn Musa Kazim narrates:

Once a person came to the Holy Prophet, and said: "Oh Prophet of Allah (SAWAW)! what is the right of this son of mine, upon me"? The Holy Prophet answered:

"Give him an attractive name, enrich him with the qualities of decent etiquettes and provide him with the best possible means to work." 66 Further in the same context there is another saying of lmam Musa Kazim (ASWS)

"Whosoever he may be, the first good deed he should do for his son is the selection of a decent name. Moreover, at the time of selection of the name everyone of you has to fully concentrate on it's beautification aspect" 67

There is no reason to refute the fact that, the elegance or the ill structuredness of a name has a profound impact on one's personality! Good names are liked by all, no one prefers a bad name! And the "beauty or distortion" of a name, produces a pleasant or repulsive reaction by which the biological composition of the body keeps on accepting positive and negative effects.

During a mutual introduction session in a gathering, any sensible person would definitely feel shy and uncomfortable by introducing himself, say by the name as Lousy, or his father as Crook, and moreover due to the persistence and continuity of this state, would certainly develop inferiority complex. Since name is an extremely significant issue of the whole life, therefore the leaders of the caravan, assigned to lead the mankind to the apex of perfection with peace and safety, did not deprived us from their divine guidance in this sphere.

To lead, right from the very start, the new generation to a dignified life, our guides who are well aware of "the Islamic mood", besides bestowing us with many other enlightenments for our thought and percept, also gave this divine guidance that we must decorate our beloveds with names, elegantly carved as emeralds; so that, when these innocent buds, in the garden of our desires, bloom out as roses, the sumptuous composition of their names and the fascinating grace of it's meanings, should start generating in them lofty waves of "life and colour".

Well, the measure of the beauty and grandeur of names is that, when called out, be graceful; when heard, be vibrant; and on writing be lucid. Moreover there meaning should portray nobility, bear grandeur, and encompass a world of well being and prosperity, in it.

Well there is a possibility that, someone due to his environment and mental stature, gets, impressed by a name because of it's literal subtlety (delicacy) and it's euphonic (sweet) melody, but while giving someone a name, just the lingual elegance and attractive expression, is not sufficient! Here all the relationships of grandeur and purity, both historical and traditional are essential in it's selection.

Otherwise, when someone is given an incomplete name, he would not only be deprived from his established right of "respect and acclamation", but it would also be an injustice with his personality! That is why the righteous leaders have very openly pinpointed the model and approved names. Hazrat Imam Muhammad Baqar (ASWS) says, that the Holy Prophet (SAWAW) has stated:-

`"The best names are those by which manifest dedication to Allah, and ideal names are the names of the Honourable Prophet!" The Holy Prophet says:-

"If some person has four sons, and none of. them bear my name, then he has been unjust to me!" 68 Sadiq-e-Ale-Muhammad lm?m Jaffa'r . as-Sadiq was being questioned: - "Oh Mola' (Our Lord)! We name our children on the names of your forefathers, would we be deriving any benefit out of it?"

lmam replied: yes, by God you would definitely draw benefit."69 The Ba'b-ul-Hawa'ij Hazrat Imam Musa Kazim directs:-

"In any family if the names (of males) are Muhammad, Ahmad, Ali, Hasan, Hussain, Ja'ffar, Ta'lib, or Abdulla'h, and the names of any of the female is Fatima, then poverty and hunger would never struck that home!"70

Under the chapter of "Respect and Honour", not only the adoption of an appropriate and suitable name is being emphasized, but the wealth of Islamic knowledge and ethics instructs us that the leaders of the religion of Allah, at certain instances, in order to satisfy the people and for keeping them as well-wishers, changed the undesirable names of personalities and localities.

Hazrat Imam Jaffar Sadiq, quotes through his father:-

"The bad names which the people, cities, and localities bored, the Prophet of Allah used to change them."71 Among one of the renowned personalities, to whom the Holy Prophet (SAWAW), handed over his written scriptures, is also the representative of Banu' Salim, named Rashid-bin-Abd'eRa'b. It is mentioned in the books of traditions, general history and history of narrators, it is mentioned that his name was originally "Za'lim (i.e. meaning a tyrant)", and according to Marzbani, before. Islam be used to be called as Ghavi (i.e. meaning Misleader)"! When he was blessed with the audience of Holy Prophet, the Grace of the two worlds, Hazrat Muhammad (SAWAW) changed his old name to "Rashid (i.e. meaning pious)".72

In the same way, there was another elder named as Abu-Rashid Abdar-Rahman Az'di. The editor of Asa'd-ul-Gha'ba. Ibne Kaseer, narrates that he belonged to Palestine. Probably in the year nine (9) A.H. he was blessed by the audience of the Holy Prophet.

The Holy Prophet inquired:What is your name?

He replied:Abdul-Ghuz'a. The Prophet asked:And Surname?

He replied:Abu Mghavia. on hearing this, the Prophet said:

"From today, your surname is Abu-Rashid, and name, Abdur- Rahman . "73 Imam Muslim-bin-Haj'jaj in his Sah'ih, chapter AI-A'ada'b, and Abu Dawood in his Sanan, chapter A'ada'b has mentioned this tradition:-

lbn-Umar states that the name of one of the daughter of Umar bin Khat'ab was As'siya (meaning sinner, culprit), the Holy Prophet changed it to Jamila (meaning beautiful, elegant). 74

Summing up the issue, in the instructions given to us regarding giving of names, there is no yielding! The name should be appropriate, exquisitive (refined) and purposeful. Our guides changed those names, where ever there was the slightest doubt of indecency or inappropriateness. They either replaced them with a better name, or made the persons feel the displeasure of his name and surname.

The Great authentic scholar, like Zurara-ibne-Aeyan Shiba'ni, narrates in this tradition, after directly hearing it from Baqar-ul- Uloo'm lmam Muhammad Baqar (ASWS):-

Zurara quotes that lrnam Muhammad Baqar narrates that, a person, whose surname was Abu- Marrah, frequently used to visit l-Iazrat lmam Zain-ul-Abe'edin, and when ever he used to arrive, he used to tell his surname, and request permission to meet. As soon as the Imam heard of his surname, he said that, for God when you come here next time do not get yourself identified by saying Abu-Marrah.

Note: Abu-Marrah 75 is the surname of Iblis. 76

Another method of giving respect and encouragement is by paying "attention"! Every child persistently requires the courtesy of the elders, to satisfy his ego, by the expression of his self through his talks, his means of sport, or by the small tasks that he accomplishes, and it is necessary upon the guardians to whole heartedly satisfy his needs.

If we do justice, we would certainly come to know that, this is not only the requirement of the off springs, but of the elders too! That is, when ever they speak the listener must pay full attention to what they say, give due importance to their discourse, and in the same context if they are involved in some favourite entertaining hobby, they would like that their involvement be free from intervention, disapproval or critic.

And moreover, when they are carrying out some task, this desire do persists in their hearts that, if not somebody else, at least the directly related circles must appreciate their efforts, and it's worth be given recognition!

Please consider, that children are also human! What if they are small? After all nature has awarded them with sense and understanding, comprehension and perception, along with the qualities of liking and disliking, inclination and displeasure. Just like their elders, these youngsters also get aware of the attitudes of "respect and neglect". And when it is an undeniable reality, then there is no reason whatsoever that instead of protecting their mini emotions and fragile feelings, we crush them mercilessly due to our unattentiveness?

The princess of Divine Light and the ideal lady of the universe, Hazrat Fatima Zahra (ASWS), often used to hear the "events" that took place in the assembly with the Prophet, from her elder son Hasan Mujtaba! and at possible occasions, use to invite Ameer-ul Momene'n Ali-Ibne-Abi Talib (ASWS), and would herself say emphatically:

"You should listen, and appreciate the style of expression of your son Hasan" The authorities on history and tradition mention that the Holy Prophet used to participate with full interest, in the sport played by his younger grandson Hussain lbne Ali. 77

And in this respect the most significant aspect is that the living environment of the "children", should be a nucleus of peace and tranquil. That is, that every nook and corner of the "home" be scented with the sweet fragrance of "well being and prosperity".

Regarding family life, the Holy Quran ordains us with the following philosophy: -

"One of the signs of Allah is that, He created a life partner for you, from amongst your own specie, so that you may live in peace; and Allah created the feelings of love and affection amongst you, Certainly there are many signs in it, for those who ponder." 78 Home does not mean, rooms, courtyard, walls and windows, and beautifully decorated furniture and material! but a location where the residents find love at every step, and peace and tranquility at every instance.

Islam intends that every' home be a model in itself! That is why the Shari'ah (Islamic code of life) has implemented such laws and injunctions, which protects and enumerates the rights and duties of each and every member of the family. So that every family could live with concord and harmony in his own tranquil atmosphere.

Well, the wisdon in this arrangement is, that when the peripheral conditions would be satisfactory, then the new generation would also be cheerful and glad, and as a result would increase the good and pleasant citizens, in the future!

But, God forbid, if there is a convulsion in the family life, the result of this tension would also entangle the nerves of these tender children, which would have extremely ill effects on the growth of these innocent lives. Please remember, may be due to their certain natural weakness, these innocents have a special affection with their "mother", and may be because of this, they pay special significance to the "personality of their mother".

But, if some ferocious and Ill tempered father, constantly scolds their "mother", disgraces her, teases her at all occasions, in front of them then surely there would be an ebb and flow, a strong turmoil in their emotions, and psychologically they would not remain normal, like other children! This should be considered as an extremely grave situation for the human society! Therefore, when we study religion in a little more depth and detail, we find that the Islamic Sharl'ah through It's system of education, has fully organised the development of a refined and cultured brains.

It has already been written at length that "the new off springs" greatly demand admiration and appreciation. That is why the religion of Allah has directed us to fulfill this demand from every angle and aspect. But the issue does not end up here when every child demands that he should be given affection and love, at the same instance he also desires that his "mother" should also have a highly dignified status. That is why our perfect guides have directed us:-.

"It is obligatory upon every individual that he should accept the respect and honour of "the mother of his child" as an important duty and as a authentic right" of his children". Quoting Prophet Muhammad (SAWAW), lmam Jaffar Sadiq (ASWS) states:- "Every son has this right on his father that he should behave with respect and dignity with his mother, and similarly every daughter has this right on his father that, her mother be honoured and dignified! 79