Rafed English

Rights of Children

The Holy Prophet said to `Ali (a.s.) O' `Ali, there are as many rights of children incumbent upon parents as there are rights of parents incumbent upon children. Rights and duties are inter-related. The right of `A' is the duty of `B'. Although, as mentioned above, natural parental love was a sufficient surety for the upkeep, welfare and upbringing of the child, Islam prepared some wonderful guidelines for the parents.

There are many important turning points in human life - right from birth to adulthood - in which a wrong step may prove fatal for happiness and success - both of this world and of the life hereafter.

Most important is education and characterbuilding. Here are a few sign-posts concerning these two aspects NAME: Amir al-mu'minin, `Ali ibn Abi Talib (a.s.) said The first beneficence of a parent towards his child is to give him a good name; therefore, you should name your child with a good name.

It is a fact that good names may have a good influence on the mind of a person. A child hears his name day and night; and it is reasonable to be lieve that the meaning of that name sub-consciously strengthens those characteristics which are implied in that name. Of course, it does not mean that no evil person has a good name. What is emphasized here is the fact that a name has a psychological effect on the person, provided it is not countermanded by rearing or society.

A bad name has one more tangible evil effect. Whenever that name is announced, the person will feel embarrassment and the name will become a source of constant irritation, effecting his outlook of society. Hence the emphasis in ahadith on giving good names to children.

The Holy Prophet used to emphasize this aspect of life so much that al-Imam Ja'far as-Sadiq (a.s.) said: "(The Apostle of Allah) used to change the bad names of people and places." It is recommended that the child should be named after the Holy Prophet and his family. Strangely enough, nowadays people name their children after film actors and actresses. This trend points to a far deeper malady of our society. It shows that now our daily life and dominating thoughts have lost their connection with the founder of Islam and his family. Now we are glorifying those whose lives are diametrically oppossed to Islamic tenets; and who depend on hardm (forbidden) actions for their livelihood. By giving our children the names of such anti-Islamic persons, we are teaching our children not to care about Islam in their lives.

Adopted from the book: "The Family Life of Islam" by: "Sayyid Saeed Akhtar Rizivi"

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