The Blessings of Righteous Children
In addition to the continuous benefaction and the useful knowledge, the righteous child is like an open account for man after he steps into the lonely life to come. What a great help it is in a time when one point could favour the score, only to find oneself showered with unexpected blessings through a righteous child! It is reported the Jesus (A.S.) was passing by a man who was being tortured in his grave and is no longer tortured; he asked Allah about that and Allah replied, “ A child of his grew up and became righteous, following a right path and helping an orphan”.
One of the best blessings of marriage is the ability to add a righteous child to the Umma (the Moslem Community) so that if it was lost in a miscarriage, it would stand at paradise’s gate and not enter until its parents are let in; and if it was borne alive and died before them, they would be rewarded for their patience; and if it were to outlive them, he would pray for them. It is said that the man who lives to see his grandchildren is a fortunate man and the one who does not, is not.
The child’s rights begin in the early hours of the actual marriage, when the husband performs a two-unit prayer on his wedding night asking Allah to grant him righteous children and using the traditional supplications; and after that by naming him prior to his birth, for the aborted baby will complain about his father on the Day of Judgment saying, “ If only you had given me a name!” The best kind of names is what implies servitude to Allah and also the names of the prophets and imams. How undutiful it is towards a child to give him an embarrassing name or a meaningless name like the ones we are seeing these days.
Whispering Athan (call to prayer), Iqama (the second call), sura al-Fatiha (The Opening) and sura al-Hashr (The Mustering) in the newborn’s ears right after its birth and also introducing Karbala’s clay (on which Imam al-Husayn –pbuh- was martyred) onto his palate, all help to deepen the concepts of monotheism and devotion in the newborn and would make him grateful to his parents when he grows up knowing how kind they were to him doing all these rituals. How nice it would be to share the joy with the poor by doing the Traditional Aqeeqa (immolation).
The prophet’s and the pious people’s prayers highlight the importance of the offsprings as if it was a major concern. Mary’s mother at the moment she gave birth to her blessed baby, she prayed to Allah to ‘commend her and her offsprings to protect her from the accused Satan’. Abraham too asked Allah for his offsprings to ‘let them perform the prayer’, praising Him for granting Ishmael and Isaac though he was old. We too are commanded to make such prayers by frequently reciting: ‘ Our Lord! Grant us wives and offsprings who will be a delight of the eyes, and make us a model to the god- fearing’.
The Prophetic Tradition obliges us to ‘submerge’ our children with love. It entails a reward for kissing the child and made the mere looking at him equivalent to freeing a soul. We were also commanded to behave like children when dealing with the child. This does not necessarily mean that the child is to be spoiled by carrying out all his demands.
It is no longer a secret that everything around us has become corrupt and corrupting, as in Allah’s saying, “ Corruption has appeared in the land and sea, for that man’s own hands have earned”; and if it was possible for the people of those days to comprehend it, Allah might have included the sky as well! This is obvious in the atmosphere and curricula of our schools, the street and the market let alone the satellite channels and the web. This leaves us with the last stronghold, the family, and if this were to fall, surrender to the comprehensive cultural invasion is inevitable. Is it sensible or logical that the parent purchases with his own money and under his own supervision the tools of connection with the outside world without practicing any restrictions? Obviously, he is held responsible for all the consequences in this world and the world to come.
Turning away and showing discontent are useful ways of treatment. This is why refusing to share the bed was made as a way of disciplining the wife when she commits an indecency. Consistently using this tool-whether warranted or not- robs it of its effectiveness when it is really needed! Excessive anger could cause ridicule and rebellion on the opposite side. So is the case with beating, which is no way of treating humans, (except for the amount permitted by the sharia).
It is a grave mistake that the parents argue about their differences in bringing up their children, in their presence. This would turn the mother, in the children’s eyes, into a ‘warm bosom’ and the father into a harsh military commander thus preparing the grounds for them to act in an undutiful way to either or both of them. There must be an undisclosed plan upon which both parents agree. It is by doing these kinds of mistakes that we abolish what we achieved in long and difficult years of upbringing, especially in these hard times. It would help if one of the parents spent some time researching about child upbringing.
The following Hadith is one of the beauties of the Tradition of Ahl-ul-Bayt (A.S.) in that it reflects the extent of affection and mercy with which they used to treat their children, especially the females. It also reflects the depth of their relation with their grandmother Fatima al-Zahra (A.S.).
Al-Sokoony, a companion of Imam al-Sadiq (A.S.), said, “ I came visiting al-Sadiq and was distressed, so he asked me about it, I said, “ My wife gave birth to a baby girl!” He said, “O Sokoony, earth will take her weight, and on Allah is her subsistence, she will live in other than your lifetime and will live on other than your share of subsistence”. Hearing that, I was relieved; he added, “ What name did you give to her?” I said “Fatima”, he said “ Oh, Oh” putting his hand on his forehead for a while then said, “ As long as you named her Fatima, do not call her names, do not curse her and do not beat her!”