Ussalaamu Alaykum The Quran has explicitly asked the children to be kind to their parents. It goes to the extent of warning the children not to express any discontent even in a manner of ‘Uff’. But on the other hand God has not given any directives regarding children rights; except not to kill them out of the fear of poverty. It seems that children hands are tied and parents are given free hand. One can make a discussion involving the rights of the children on intellectual grounds. But when it comes to evidence parents are very keen in showing the directives of God. Here the children feel helpless. Parents behave as if the children are their property disregaring their fellings and viewpoints. So, I wonder why God has not direct the parents to be very kind to their innocent souls; just as He did regarding treating the wife? Is there any explanation to this?
Islamic Shari`ah (i.e. Islamic Law) does not give extensive details about each and every aspect of life. It only corrects any deviations that might have crept in a society or an individual. Usually such corrections pertain to areas where humans – influenced by their circumstances and personal interests – generally tend to ignore the appropriate course and end up ignoring rights of fellow humans. The matter of treating children has not been addressed because humans generally do not ignore their responsibility in this regard for God has created in our hearts immeasurable love for our offspring. No ordinance can surpass the effect this selfless love and affection carries. Therefore the presence of a more strong desire renders any other factor unnecessary. We see that God does not direct humans to feed themselves. It does not require them to take rest. It does not exhort them upon building lodging for them and produce children for the continuity of their race for all these things are man’s essential needs for life. We see that parents all over the world bear children, nourish them and do not leave anything in their well-being even after they are grown up. Man does not usually err in their regard in all varying cultures and varieties of social setups. Love for children and desire for their betterment is so deeply rooted in humans that they never need any further exhortation in this regard. In presence of such strong love and affection any directive would, for all practical purposes been superfluous. Occasional cases of mistreatment are the outcome of other social or psychological problems one faces in his life. Man sometime tries to impose his line of action on his children either because he thinks it is the only right course for their children or they are influenced by other social phenomenon. Therefore some people end up in confiscating children’s rights and press them hard. Islam proves sufficient guidance for such imbalances in ones life. It exhorts the believers on exercising justice and adopting a reasonable approach in this matter. Individuals who cross the limits in this regard should be reasoned with and it should be explained to them that they can sometimes be wrong in their views of their children and should try to understand the views of their children and understand their needs.
Tariq Mahmood Hashmi