Teaching Children

A child is a deposit in the hands of the parents. The child's pure heart is like a precious gem. Like wax, a child can take any shape. When small, it has not taken any shape. It is like pure soil. You will reap what you sow in pure soil. If children are taught the tenets of iman [1], the Qur'an and the commandments of Allahu ta'ala and accustomed to doing them, they will attain religious and worldly happiness. Their parents and teachers will share this happiness of theirs.

If they are not taught and trained, they will become unhappy. The sin of each evil they will commit will be given to their parents and teachers, too. Allahu ta'ala declares in the sixth ayat [2] of Surat-ut-tahrim [3], "Protect yourselves and those in your homes and under your command from the fire!" It is more important for a father to protect his children against the fire of Hell than against worldly fire. And protecting them against the fire of Hell is to teach them iman, the fard and haram to accustom them to worshipping, and to protect them against irreligious and immoral friends. The source of all kinds of immoral deeds is an evil friend.

Our Prophet 'sall-Allahu alaihi wa sallam', by stating, "All children are born fit and suitable for Islam. Later, their parents make them Christians, Jews or irreligious," indicates that both for the settlement and for the annihilation of Islam the most important work on children can be done when they are still young. Then, the first duty of each Muslim is to teach his children Islam and the Qur'an al-karim. The child is a great blessing. If the blessing is not appreciated, it will be lost. Therefore, pedagogy, i. e. the science of teaching children, is a very valuable science in the Islamic religion.

[1] iman: faith, belief, beliefs of Islam; kalam, i'tiqad.
[2] ayat: A verse of al-Qur'an al-karim; al-ayat al-karima.
[3] suura(t): a Qur'anic chapter [a chapter of the Qur'an].