Thursday, November 28, 2013

Islam and Discipline of Children

Islam and Discipline of Children
                                                                     By Grandma Jeddah

Anas Ibn Maalik said, “I served the Prophet (SAW) for ten years, and he never hit me, insulted me, or frowned in my face.” (Muslim)
What’s all this talk about raising your child without hitting?  This is not our way, you might say.  After all, there is a hadith that says at age 10 if your child doesn’t pray then hit him.1  And there‘s another hadith reported by Ibn Abaas that says to hang your belt where the members of the household can see it, for that will discipline them.2
            But have you heard about the position some of the well known scholars and educators have taken on the position of hitting kids, in light of the above ahaadith?  To find the answers, you might have to dig deep and search hard for the understanding.
The information that is profusely presented to most parents is that you should hit your child for misbehavior or you’ll spoil and ruin him. This is how most of us were probably raised. But is there a basis for this concept in Islam?  Is it based upon The Quran, sunnah or the ways of the Sahaba?  Or, is it simply a cultural habit that has been passed down from generation to generation among both Muslims and non-Muslims alike.
Some scholars, such as Sheikh Albaani (ra), have said that it is completely forbidden to hit your children if they are under the age of 10 or haven’t reached puberty.  During one of the Sheikh’s lectures a listener asked the following question about hitting:
“. . . regarding hitting, sometimes you find students leave their houses and have no manners, even good advice does not benefit them, so does hitting them fall into necessity?”
Sheikh Albaani (ra) replied, “There is no necessity.  Where is the necessity here?  Can you comprehend that hitting would benefit when the One who created him said, do not hit him until he reaches the age of seven [ten]?”

Sheikh Albaani (ra) then continued, “There is no hitting, no hitting at all.  Rather there is directing, advising and speech.  Sometimes words have a greater [e]affect on people than hitting.  In addition, hitting with some people does not help at all; rather it makes them continue on what they’re upon more and more.  What is important is that the best of all guidance is the guidance of Muhammad; may peace and blessings be upon Him. Thus, the child is not to be hit so long that he did not reach the age of puberty.3

Grandma Jeddah is the mother of 11 children and 13 grandchildren. She has taught hundreds of students for over 30 years at an Islamic school in Los Angeles, California.This is an excerpt from her book, Discipline without Disrespecting: Discover the Hidden Secrets of How to Effectively Discipline Your Muslim Child--And Keep Your Peace of Mind while at It.  Subscribe to her free newsletter at --

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