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Hitting Children - Discipline or Abuse


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Discipline or Abuse?



Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allah sallallaahu 'alayhi wasallam said:

“Teach your children to pray when they are seven years old, and smack them (lightly) if they do not do so when they are ten, and separate them in their beds.” [Abu Dawood]



Ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allah be pleased with him)  said that the Messenger of Allah sallallaahu 'alayhi wasallam  said:

“Hang your whip where the members of the household can see it, for that will discipline them.”  [Tabaraani]




Read the following posts for  the answer.....


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Explaining a Hadith on Disciplining Children

Answered by Ustadha Naielah Ackbarali


Question: The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) advised parents to deter their children from doing wrong and there are many hadiths on how to do so. However, I came across this hadith and am wondering if it’s saheeh: It was narrated from Ibn ‘Abbaas that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said:


“Hang your whip where the members of the household can see it, for that will discipline them.”



Answer: Bismi Llahir Rahmanir Rahimi

When properly understood, the meaning of this hadith is a shining light that illuminates the spirit of Islamic principles concerning child development. It in no way advocates for the maltreatment of children. Rather, it is a reflection of the dire need for parents to actively engage in their children’s lives and dedicate themselves towards cultivating ‘little people’ who embody superior manners and outstanding conduct.


This hadith was originally related by the Companion ibn Abbas (Allah be pleased with him). Imam al-Tabarani included the narration in his al-Kabir and al-Awsat. The scholar al-Haythami classified both isnads as hasan (sound). [al-Haythami, Majma’ al-Zawa’id] Other scholars considered it to be weak. [al-Sakhawi, al-Maqasid al-Husna]


Scholars note that hasan hadiths are authentic enough to be acted upon and used as religious proofs, but they are not at the level of strength as a sahih (rigorously authentic) hadith. [al-Ghawri, al-Muyassar fi ‘Ulum al-Hadith]


The Prophet’s Treatment Towards Children

Many people take this hadith out of its context. The scholar ibn al-Abbari wrote, “The intent of this hadith is not about beating (children) with the whip because the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) never ordered anyone with that.” [al-Munawi; Fayd al-Qadir]


The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “He is not of us (the one) who does not have mercy on our young children, nor honor our elderly.” [Tirmidhi]


The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) himself never even hit a woman, a child, or an animal.


The Companion Anas ibn Malik (Allah be pleased with him) helped serve the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) for 10 years during his youth.  He described his personal experiences with the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) and said:


“I served the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) for ten years. He never said to me ‘uff!’ (a word in the Arabic language used to express one’s annoyance). And he never said about a thing I did, ‘why did you do that?’ And he never said about a thing I left, ‘why did you leave that?’ The Messenger of God (Allah bless him and give him peace) was the best of people in character…” [Tirmidhi]


“I served the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) for years. He never insulted me at all. He never hit me at all. And he never scolded me. And he never frowned at me in my face…” [al-Baghawi, al-Anwar fi Shama’il al-Nabi al-Mukhtar]

The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) is the best example for us of how to treat our loved ones and those around us. Allah all-Mighty says in the Quran about the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace), “And thou

(standest) on an exalted standard of character. [al-Qalam: 4]


Prohibition of Child Abuse In Islam

As such, this hadith in no way encourages child abuse as it is unlawful in Islam. The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “There shall be no harm and no reciprocating harm.” [ibn Majah]


Similarly, it does not grant parents the permission to unload their anger upon innocent children. The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) counseled a man who asked for his advice and he (Allah bless him and give him peace) told him three times “Don’t get angry.” [bukhari]


Parents who surpass the limitations of the Sacred Law must repent for their wrongdoing out of fear for their Lord as He says, “But those who disobey God and His Messenger and transgress His limits will be admitted to a Fire, to abide therein: And they shall have a humiliating punishment…” [al-Nisaa: 14] and when He says, “By thy Lord, We shall question every one of them for what they used to do…” [al-Hijr: 92-93]


Explanation of the Hadith

In truth, this hadith demonstrates the depth of the Prophet’s wisdom, especially in knowing how to deal with children and their various inclinations. The act of hanging one’s belt where children can see it is a measure taken to hopefully prevent children from falling into the vices of their surrounding environment by instilling a sense of awareness in them before they act. [al-Munawi, Fayd al-Qadir] It is a symbol that prompts remembrance in the child’s mind that he/she has a choice between doing what is right and what is wrong. It is an incentive to urge them towards being well-mannered and to shape them with exceptional character and complete excellence. [ibid]


This is one way, out of the many ways, to aid a child’s recognition in realizing the big picture of this Life. Allah has informed us of the wondrous, bountiful treasures of Paradise if we follow the straight path and the terrifying, eternal burn of the Hellfire if we deter from its course. We choose the lives we live, and our actions will determine how our fate will end.

Teaching a child the principle that there are boundaries in this World is a duty upon all righteous, God-fearing parents. Children depend on their parents and family members to guide them. A child is similar to the blind person outstretching his hand in anticipation that someone will hold it and steer him in the right direction. The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “Each of you is a shepherd and each of you is responsible for his flock. The ruler over the people is a shepherd and he is responsible for his flock. A man is the shepherd of his family and he is responsible for his flock. A woman is the shepherd of her husband’s household and she is responsible for her flock…” [bukhari, Muslim]


Rulings Related to Different Disciplinary Actions

There are various opinions of how to discipline one’s children. Some groups advocate physical forms of disciplinary action, while other groups completely oppose of it. The Islamic way is a middle ground between these two ideologies. Parents are only given permission to lightly smack their children in certain circumstances and with restrictive conditions. [Mawsu’a al-Difa’ ‘an al-Rasul]


For example, scholars note that it is permissible for parents to give their child a light smack if they’ve previously resorted to other methods of disciplinary action that proved unsuccessful. Or another example is if the child has reached the age of 10 years and refuses to pray, after the parents have attempted since the age of 7 to exhort and instruct the child to worship the Lord of the Worlds. [ibn Zayn, al-‘Uqubat al-Tarbawiyya al-Mufida]


If giving a child a light smack, one should know that

1. one cannot hit his face;

2. it cannot be a harsh or severe hitting;

3. it must be done with the intent to discipline the child, not out of anger; and

4. one cannot insult, degrade, or verbally abuse the child. Scholars concur that the best place to lightly smack a child is on the two hands or the two feet. [Mawsu’a al-Difa’ ‘an al-Rasul]

Finding the Right Balance

In truth, each child’s reaction to a disciplinary action may be different, and therefore, parents should investigate which forms of discipline are successful for their particular child. One female scholar advised parents to find a method that shows the child that one loves them but wants the best for them at the same time.


After living in the Middle East for almost six years, I have personally seen numerous examples of families who maintain the correct balance. Many of the religious, outwardly practicing Arabs are very forthright in correcting their child’s behavior, while at the same time accomplishing it in a manner that is still gentle and loving. Some use the alternatives of a stern glare, or a strong word, or a moderate spanking if the child is overly disruptive and has been forewarned on several occasions. Children grow up loving, admiring, and honoring their parents to an extent that I’ve never witnessed before in my life.


AlhamduLlilah, it is important to always remember that parents not only receive the reward for rearing their own God-fearing, religious children, but they will also receive the reward for the devout progeny that follow from generation to generation, inshaAllah.


May Allah give us success in raising a generation of righteous children with sound character who possess a strong love and desire to emulate the best of creation, the Prophet Muhammad (Allah bless him and give him peace).


Naielah Ackbarali

Ramadan 4, 1431
August 14, 2010

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani


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Children hit by Islamic Studies Teachers



What is Mufti Saheb’s view about hitting as a means of reforming naughty students?



The core of Islam is respect for the Quran (being the word of Allah) and the Hadith ( being the word of Rasulullah (S.A.W). Islam teaches us to be respectful in all aspects of Life. The equivalent of respect in Arabic is Azmat which means to regard as great and with high esteem. A believer holds Allah, His Rasul (S.A.W), and all Islamic values in high esteem.


The relationship between the Ustaad and Student should be a one of respect based on love and not on fear. The Ustaad is a means of cultivating the Azmat of Allah, His Rasul and all Islamic values in the heart of his students. The student will grow up with the Azmat  in his heart and practice Islam with the respect and high esteem it deserves. The Ustaad will be rewarded for that and whatever good emanates from that, it will be a Sadaqa Jaariya (recurring reward) for the Ustaad. The Ustaad is also making an investment for himself for the Aakhira. The student is a means for that. He should also be thankful to the student for giving him the opportunity to sew his seed of knowledge in his heart. The  Ustaad should value that and appreciate his student. He too stands to benefit by way of rewards from Allah. For that he too should sacrifice and bear with the student. He is an adult with more experience in life. He should contain himself against any odds emanating from his student. He must have the Azmat of Allah and the Quran in his heart at all times. To the extent that he has Azmat of Deen in his heart, that will be passed over to the student. It is also part of the Azmat of Deen to respect students of Deen. They are the visitors of Allah and His Rasul (S.A.W). The walk on the wings of angels. All the creations of Allah make dua for them. If an Ustaad is conscious of the lofty position of his students, he too will treat his students with respect. If by chance he witnesses anything unbecoming of his student, he guides his student. The student has placed his confidence in the Ustad to be guided. The student will appreciate that guidance. If that now he does not appreciate due to mental immaturity, he will recall it later in life and appreciate the advice. No advice and good character of the Ustaad goes in vain.


It is sad to note the conduct of the Ustad in this email. According to Shariah it is haraam to hit a student of Deen. I have written about this before and attached is the article.




Hitting students as a means of Tarbiyat


Almighty Allah Ta’ala outlines the mission of Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) on earth as follows: It is He (Allah) who sent to the Ummiyyeen (unlettered) a Prophet from among them who recites upon them His Aayaat (Qur’aan) and purifies them and teaches them the Kitaab (Qur’aan) and Wisdom.’ (Surah Aale Imraan Verse 164)


In a Hadith, Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) said, ‘I am sent as a teacher.’ (Ibn Maaja vol.1 pg.83; Beirut). Almighty Allah Ta’ala bestowed Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) with intellectual and phsychological skills to be a perfect teacher. Hadhrat Mu’aawiyah ibn Hakam (Radhiallaahu Anhu) narrates, ‘I have never seen and will never see a teacher better than Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam). I take an oath in the name of Allah, he did not rebuke, hit nor reprimand me.’ (Muslim vol.5 pg.20; Beirut)


The first Madrasah in Islam was at the raised platform behind the house of Hadhrat Aaisha (Radhiallaahu Anha). The students of that Madrasah commonly known As-haab al-Suffa (Radhiallaahu Anhum) were the guests of Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam). He spoke about their virtues to others and fulfilled their needs. It was this love and affection that attached the Sahaaba with Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) and made it possible to derive benefit from him. The Sahaaba (Radhiallaahu Anhum), in turn, passed over their knowledge to the Ummah. Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam)’s attitude towards his Sahaaba (students) was of care and love. He said, ‘I am to you like a father to his son.’ (Mishkaat pg.42; Qadeemi) He (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) also emphasised that a teacher should treat his students with care and respect. Hadhrat Abu Saeed Khudri (Radhiallaahu Anhu) narrates that Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) said, ‘People from far and wide will come to you in order to study and understand Deen. You should treat them kindly.’ (Mishkaat pg.34; Qadeemi). Therefore, a teacher should embrace the opportunity by showing love to his students and plant in them his seeds of knowledge. Be thankful to the students that they have offered their fields (hearts) to plant in them your seeds of knowledge. If there are no students of Deen, who will learn Deen? especially in contemporary times when the world offers many other opportunities. They have sacrificed and come to you. Appreciate their sacrifices and sacrifice yourself behind them. Imaam Abu Yusuf (RA), the famous student of Imaam Abu Hanifa (RA), advised that treat your students with so much care and love that people regard them as your children. (Aadabul Muallimeen pg.13; Rahmaniyyah) Our pious predecessors used to serve students of Deen as though they were masters. In one instance, during a discourse of Moulana Rashid Ahmad Gangohi (RA), it started raining. The students picked up their books and ran to shelter. They left their shoes in the rain. Moulana Rashid Ahmad Gangohi Saheb (RA) picked up the shoes of his students and placed them under the shelter. (Ibid)


However, if a student misbehaves and that interrupts his studies as well as the studies of his fellow colleagues, the teacher should apply wisdom and diplomacy in advising him. If the teacher treats such a student like his own child and makes Du’aa for the success of that student, Insha Allah, that student will be disciplined and will prosper in his studies. If the teacher is unsuccessful, he should communicate his difficulty with his administration or parent of the child. He should not resort to hitting the child as that may be a set back to the education of the child. How can the teacher fill the child’s container (heart) with knowledge by making a hole in that container (breaking the heart)? Furthermore, the teacher should be conscious of the implications and negative consequences of hitting the child.


It is indeed unfortunate that the need arose to establish a child protection unit. To a large extent, its establishment is due to our shortcomings. However, the child protection unit too may cherish the opportunity to disgrace Islam and its teachings by presenting a mole hill as a mountain. They should not be given such an opportunity.


If all possible methods of disciplining the child fails, then as a last resort one may punish the student with the following conditions:


1. The punishment should be to reform the child and not to give vent to one’s anger. If the teacher has no control over himself, how will be able to control his student?


2. It is not permissible to hit more than three strokes at once. (Shaami vol.1 pg.352; HM Saeed)


3. It is Haraam to hit on the face, damage the skin, break the bones and leave marks on the body. In such a situation, the teacher is liable for punishment.



It should also be remembered that Islam is also about respect and Azmat of Deen. The students and parents too should bear this in mind. The Ustaad is a human being. He is bound to err and an effort be made to correct him with respect. It is praiseworthy of him that he has apologized for his wrong. He has done that only because he realized his wrong. The parents will be placed in a situation of  pain for their child and Azmat of Deen they should find it in their heart to forgive the Ustaad and appreciate the hardwork he has done for their child thus far. The pain for the abuse is another investment for them and the child in the Aakhirat. This by no means should be taken as covering up the wrong of the Ustaad. You should meet the ustaad in confidence and offer your help to him. He is engaged in a lofty service. Win his confidence and let him present to you his difficulties. You could offer him some skills of anger management which will be useful for him and enhance the good work he is engaged in. For that you will be greatly rewarded in all his future endeavors.


And Allah knows best


Mufti Ebrahim Desai

Darul Iftaa, Madrassah In’aamiyyah


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Would it be correct to hit Madrasah Children in order to Discipline them?



Please advise me if it would be permissible to discipline a student for not following madrasah rules or for not working by slapping on the face and giving cuts on the knuckles?


Will this method be correct or will it create disdain in the student’s heart?


In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh.


The relationship between a teacher and his student should be one of respect which is founded on love and not fear.  The teacher is the means to spiritually nurture the child.  He equips his student with the core principles of Islam which will help him throughout his life.  The student must value and appreciate his teacher who is teaching him the path to eternal success.  Likewise, the teacher should appreciate the student for being a means of his salvation on the Day of Judgment.


Why was the Prophet (salallahu alaihi wasallam) so successful as a teacher? What pulled the hearts of his Sahābah (students) towards him?  Contemplate over the following statements:


The Prophet (salallahu alaihi wasallam) said, “Allah did not send me to be harsh, or cause harm, but He sent me to teach and make things easy.”


Sayyiduna Mu’āwiyah ibn Hakam (radhiallaahu anhu) narrates, ‘I have never seen and will never see a teacher better than Rasulullah (salallahu alayhi wasallam). I take an oath in the name of Allah, he did not rebuke, hit nor reprimand me.’ [ii]


Rasulullah (salallahu alayhi wasallam)’s attitude towards his Sahābah (students) was of care and love. He said, ‘I am to you like a father to his son.’ [iii]


He (salallaahu alayhi wasallam) also emphasised that a teacher should treat his students with care and respect.


Sayyiduna Abu Sa῾īd Al-Khudrī (radhiallaahu anhu) narrates that the Prophet (salallahu alayhi wasallam) said, ‘People from far and wide will come to you in order to study and understand Deen. You should treat them kindly.’ [iv]


If a student has improper conduct and it is effecting his education as well as the education of his fellow colleagues, the teacher should solve the situation with wisdom and diplomacy.  The teacher should follow the way of the Prophet (salallahu alaihi wasallam) in all his affairs.  He must feed love into the hearts of the students.


Hitting children in this day and age has no positive outcome; it has the reverse effect.  Children become rebellious and can confront the teacher.  With all probability, one who resorts to hitting children can find himself in a legal battle.


Some practical steps to discipline children:


1)     Make dua to Allah Ta῾ālā for the success of the student

2)     Speak to the child with love in seclusion.

3)     Use the silent treatment.  Do not give attention to the child.

4)     Deprive misbehaving students of privileges.

5)     Hand out detentions.

6)     Speak to the parents of the misbehaving child.

7)     Give sweets to those children who behave.  This will be an incentive for all children to work.


Once again, the best medium to discipline children is by winning their hearts.  Win their heart over and they will submit to you.  However, do keep in mind the nature of children.  They all still young and like to play around.  Even when we were children we were the same.  We could not sit still for five minutes.  Hence, give them time wherein they can play, talk and simply refresh themselves.


It is vital we make madrasah fun for children.  Devise various ways to teach them.  Be creative in your presentation.

We make dua to Almighty Allah He opens His doors of mercy for you.  Āmīn.


And Allah Ta’āla Knows Best

Mawlana Faraz Ibn Adam,

Student Darul Iftaa



Checked and Approved by,

Mufti Ebrahim Desai.




صحيح مسلم رقم الحديث 707


[ii] عَنْ مُعَاوِيَةَ بْنِ الْحَكَمِ السُّلَمِيِّ، قَالَ: بَيْنَا أَنَا أُصَلِّي مَعَ رَسُولِ اللهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ، إِذْ عَطَسَ رَجُلٌ مِنَ الْقَوْمِ، فَقُلْتُ: يَرْحَمُكَ اللهُ فَرَمَانِي الْقَوْمُ بِأَبْصَارِهِمْ، فَقُلْتُ: وَاثُكْلَ أُمِّيَاهْ، مَا شَأْنُكُمْ؟ تَنْظُرُونَ إِلَيَّ، فَجَعَلُوا يَضْرِبُونَ بِأَيْدِيهِمْ عَلَى أَفْخَاذِهِمْ، فَلَمَّا رَأَيْتُهُمْ يُصَمِّتُونَنِي لَكِنِّي سَكَتُّ، فَلَمَّا صَلَّى رَسُولُ اللهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ، فَبِأَبِي هُوَ وَأُمِّي، مَا رَأَيْتُ مُعَلِّمًا قَبْلَهُ وَلَا بَعْدَهُ أَحْسَنَ تَعْلِيمًا مِنْهُ، فَوَاللهِ، مَا كَهَرَنِي وَلَا ضَرَبَنِي وَلَا شَتَمَنِي، قَالَ: «إِنَّ هَذِهِ الصَّلَاةَ لَا يَصْلُحُ فِيهَا شَيْءٌ مِنْ كَلَامِ النَّاسِ، إِنَّمَا هُوَ التَّسْبِيحُ وَالتَّكْبِيرُ وَقِرَاءَةُ الْقُرْآنِ»  صحيح مسلم رقم الحديث 33


[iii] وَعَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ – رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُ – قَالَ: قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ – صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ –  «إِنَّمَا أَنَا لَكُمْ مِثْلُ الْوَالِدِ لِوَلَدِهِ، سنن إبن ماجه رقم الحديث 313


[iv] حَدَّثَنَا سُفْيَانُ بْنُ وَكِيعٍ قَالَ: حَدَّثَنَا أَبُو دَاوُدَ الحَفَرِيُّ، عَنْ سُفْيَانَ، عَنْ أَبِي هَارُونَ العَبْدِيِّ، قَالَ: كُنَّا نَأْتِي أَبَا سَعِيدٍ، فَيَقُولُ: مَرْحَبًا بِوَصِيَّةِ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ، إِنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ قَالَ: «إِنَّ النَّاسَ لَكُمْ تَبَعٌ، وَإِنَّ رِجَالًا يَأْتُونَكُمْ مِنْ أَقْطَارِ الأَرَضِينَ يَتَفَقَّهُونَ فِي الدِّينِ، فَإِذَا أَتَوْكُمْ فَاسْتَوْصُوا بِهِمْ خَيْرًا» سنن الترمذي رقم الحديث 2650


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Beating children to Teach the Qur'an



Is it allowed in islam to beat childern to teach them quran. I was told by many people that it is allowed infact necessary to beat children to make them hafiz or teach quran. Once my cousin's son mulana punched him in the stomach when he made a mistake causing the child to vomit, when appoarched by his parents the mullana said that he did not do anything wrong infact the only way to make chilren hafiz is to beat the severely if they make a mistake and that this is alowed in islam. Are we allowed to hit chilren on head or face, or hit them in a manner that marks are left on their bodies or great pain is caused. please give me some references from prophet (saw) life & sayings


Al-jawab billahi at-taufeeq (the answer with Allah's guidance)

Jabir (RadhiyAllahu Anhu) reported that Allah's Messenger (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) forbade (the animals to be beaten) on the face or cauterisation on the face. (Muslim)

Jabir (RadhiyAllahu Anhu) reported that there happened to pass before Allah's Apostle (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) an ass the face of which had been cauterised, whereupon he said: Allah has cursed one who has cauterised it (on the face). (Muslim)

It is understood from the above Hadiths that it is forbidden to beat an animal on the face, let alone a human.

Also, Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said, "It is unlawful to inflict harm upon your self and others.� (Mustadrak of al-Hakim)

'Aysha (Radhiyallahu 'Anha) reports: ''Prophet (Sallallahu 'Alayhi Wasallam) did not hit anything with his hands, besides the time when he made Jihaad in the Path of Allah. He did not hit a servant nor a women (wife, slave girl etc.)''. (Shama'il)

One should learn and teach the Quran with love, respect and patience, Du'a.

Allah Ta'ala Says:

"Whatever the Messenger gives you, accept it; and whatever he forbids you, abstain. And fear Allah; surely, Allah is Stern in retribution." (59:7)

And Only Allah Ta'ala Knows Best.
Moulana Qamruz Zaman
London, UK
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Hitting and Verbally Abusing Children


Muslim parents have the duty to teach their children correct behavior, both by word and example. The issue of whether and when to use corporal punishment is important both because of the need to fulfill that duty and because corporal punishment is outlawed in some places in the West. Parents in those countries must be aware that if they hit their children, the authorities can take their children away. Thus it is imperative for Muslim parents to understand and use the Prophet’s method of teaching children, which condoned hitting only as a last resort. It was reported that he himself (peace and blessings be upon him) never hit a child.

Focusing on the question in point, the eminent Muslim scholar Sheikh Muhammad Iqbal Nadvi, Imam of Calgary Mosque, Alberta, Canada, and former professor at King Saud University, Riyad, Saudi Arabia, states:

“This is a very important question. Actually, we are living today between two extremes: one group of people has gone to the extreme in the methods of discipline and punishment that they right away use beating as their first priority and the first way to discipline the child. On the other hand, another group of people has gone so loose in this regard that they ignore the issue of disciplining at all and they keep spoiling the child without giving him or her any kind of warning when he or she does a mistake. In Islam, both trends are not acceptable.

As far as the stance of Islam on hitting children is concerned, Islam strikes a balance between the above mentioned trends. We have to understand two things in this respect:

1. Islam considers hitting the child as a form of discipline and not a form of punishment and show of resentment.

2. If one happens to use physical discipline, it has to be the last resort when all other means prove to be of no avail.

One of the hadiths of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) that talks about this issue reads as follows:

"Teach your children to pray when they are seven; discipline them if they don't when they reach ten; and arrange their beds separately."

So, it is clear that physical disciplining comes as a last resort in the method of teaching.

Further, Islam instructs us about the way of using physical discipline. We have to avoid the face, sensitive areas, private parts; we have to use physical discipline very carefully in a way that does not leave any marks or causes any pain. It is just a symbol of warning and not a form of showing resentment, as we said.

As for the second part of the question, verbal abuse is totally rejected in Islam. We are instructed by the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) to mind our words and never insult any person or call him or her names. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) is reported to have said: "I am not used to insulting people or calling them names."



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Wise Advices



Imam Ghazali on the ways of Disciplining Children


Whenever a good trait or action manifests itself in the child he should be admired and rewarded with something which gives him joy, and should be praised in front of others; likewise, when once in a while he does something bad it is best to pretend not to notice and not to bring it to the attention of others (but never to reveal to him that it is something which others might be bold enough to do), particularly if the child himself has diligently endeavoured to hide his action, for the exposure of such deeds may cause him to grow emboldened, until he no longer cares when they are made public. Should he repeat the action, he should be privately reproached and made to feel that it was a very serious thing, and be told, Beware of doing anything like this again, or I shall tell others and you will be disgraced in front of them!. He should not be spoken to at length every time, for this would accustom him to being blamed for his misdeeds, and destroy the effectiveness such words have upon his heart. A father should rather preserve the awe in which the child holds his speech by reproaching him only sometimes: similarly the mother, when reproving him should frighten him by [threatening to mention the matter to] his father.





The  famous historian Allamah Ibn Khaldoon (R.A.A.) while very wisely discussing the nature of students and the unhealthy result of unnecessary harshness writes: 


Those who choose to discipline their slaves, children or servants with acrimony and harshness instil fear into their hearts.  As a result they become faint-hearted and lose their alertness due to which they become lazy and it provokes them to lying and a number of other evils. They learn to become sly and conspire to such an extent that eventually it becomes their nature.  However one should not be too lenient and not hit at all because due to this they sometimes transgress and become disobedient and it also removes the fear from their hearts.  This is understood from the Hadith of Nabi (S.A.W.) in which he says:  Allah showers His mercy on that person who hangs a whip in his house so that his family and children will be mindful of him.  In short, Tarbiyat should be made with lots of wisdom and hitting the child should be the last resort as understood from the Hadith of Salaah.  (Raddul Muhtaar, Vol. 3, Page 208, Bukhari, Vol. 2, Page 622, Haraam wa Halaal, Page 464 and 467)
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Advices of Scholars



I got angry at my kids because they were fighting  and making a mess at home, so i hit them hard.


You should not hit your kids out of anger and impatience, even if they misbehave. At certain ages discipline has its place, but must be done with wisdom and not out of emotion.


Never slap them on the face, and never punch them. That would only harm and humiliate the child, and physical abuse is unlawful.

You should make sincere tawba (repentance), and resolve never to do that again.





How I can become a more gentle mother to my children and not hit


Firstly- Make constant dua for your child even in anger. When shouting your child make dua like “May Allah guide you” “May Allah make you pious” instead of negative anger and spur of the moment heart breaking words. This also helps one concientize on Allah Ta’ala and will prevent you from just resorting to anger.


Also try the following steps-
a) Change habit of screaming and shouting and engage your child in constructive activities.
b) If child continues, warn with carrying out your warning like if you do this, you will not go swimming, etc.
c) If child is still disobedient, reprimand with eg 5 minutes sit in a place in the room where you are – note not long periods and not alone and never locked nor in a dark place.
d) Also remember children will try as they are children, be firm when necessary and start focusing more time on LOVING her and enjoying her.


Remember also focus on your sins and disobedience to Allah Ta’ala repent and make dua and work towards loving Allah Ta’ala and Insha Allah you will see the effects in your’s and your child life.





The Ideal Case


If parents have taken care to raise their children well by providing them with an atmosphere that attracts them to their religion, children will be eager to perform their religious duties, and it will only take the slightest encouragement from the parents to get them to pray, fast, and wear hijab, for example.  Often all it takes is to go out and buy ones child a new prayer mat and a hijab and tell her that this is a gift for her and shell impatiently wait for the opportunity to put on her pretty new hijab and to roll out her colorful new prayer mat and pray on it, just like the rest of the household invariably does.  If her mother is meticulous about her religion, and other women and girls she knows all follow the Shariah, shell want to be like them, too. 


Good companionship is of vital importance: parents should strive to make sure that their children have good Muslim friends.  The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) spoke the truth when he said, A man is on the religion of his friend, so let all of you look carefully to whom he takes as his friend. (Tirmidhi, Abu Dawud)


After 10 years

 Before children complete 10 lunar years, it is not permissible for parents to use hitting as a means to get them to perform their religious duties.  After they complete 10 years, however, parents have permission to use it.


 It should be noted here that the Shariah does not give parents a license to beat.  The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, Whoever has been debarred from gentleness (rifq) has been debarred from goodness in its entirety, (Muslim), and he certainly never hit any of his children or any of his wives.  Hitting is a last-resort measure that may be allowed under certain circumstances.  In the vast majority of cases, it is possible to achieve ones goal by employing other means.

Shafi'i Fiqh > Qibla.com

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The Perfect Example!



The Prophet sallallaahu 'alayhi wasallam is the best example for us of how to treat our loved ones and those around us. 

Allah all-Mighty says in the Quran about the Prophet sallallaahu 'alayhi wasallam,


“And thou (standest) on an exalted standard of character." [al-Qalam: 4]


The Prophet sallallaahu 'alayhi wasallam himself never hit
a woman, a child, or an animal

The Companion Anas ibn Malik (Allah be pleased with him) helped serve the Prophet sallallaahu 'alayhi wasallam for 10 years during his youth.  He described his personal experiences with the Prophet sallallaahu 'alayhi wasallam and said:


“I served the Prophet sallallaahu 'alayhi wasallam for ten years. He never said to me ‘uff!’ (a word in the Arabic language used to express one’s annoyance). And he never said about a thing I did, ‘why did you do that?’ And he never said about a thing I left, ‘why did you leave that?’ The Messenger of God sallallaahu 'alayhi wasallam was the best of people in character…” [Tirmidhi]






Sayyiduna Mu’āwiyah ibn Hakam (radhiallaahu anhu) narrates,


‘I have never seen and will never see a teacher better than Rasulullah (salallahu alayhi wasallam).

I take an oath in the name of Allah, he did not rebuke, hit nor reprimand me.’

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  • 8 months later...

Hitting kids is bad impulse. One needs to realize that we are all once kids and live and understanding is the key. If you are not a good parent it will be having a disastrous effect. I recommend one recites the supplications of the prophet to ease the pain.


Kids are a challenge and a blessing together

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  • 2 weeks later...
Disciplining children


Q: I would like to know how to inculcate good manners in my children. I noticed that if I am strict and firm with them, they start screaming and crying. However, if I am lenient with them, they take advantage of me and simply ignore me. Please provide me with some guidelines on how to discipline them.


A: To teach the child discipline and respect is the best gift a parent can give to the child. Respect and discipline requires firmness with kindness. A simple procedure in disciplining children is don't hit them but avoid giving them some luxury item that you normally give them for a week or two weeks.

And Allah Ta'ala (الله تعالى) knows best.

حدثنا ايوب بن موسى عن أبيه عن جده : أن رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم قال ما نحل والد ولدا من نحل أفضل من أدب حسن (جامع الترمذي #1952)

ومنه ضرب الأب ابنه تأديبا أو الأم أو الوصي ومن الأول ضرب الأب أو الوصي أو المعلم بإذن الأب تعليما فمات لا ضمان فضرب التأديب مقيد لأنه مباح وضرب التعليم لا لأنه واجب ومحله في الضرب المعتاد وأما غيره فموجب للضمان في الكل وتمامه في الأشباه (الدر المحتار 6/565)

Answered by:

Mufti Ebrahim Salejee (Isipingo Beach)

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