Prophet’s affection for kids
HOLY Prophet (SAWW) was sent as a mercy for whole the world. He demonstrated unparalleled kindness, courtesy and affection to the people who ever found an opportunity to see him. His love for humanity was second to none.
People belonging to all ages and all walks of life were enamoured with the love and philanthropy that he (SAWW) evinced beyond the parameters of religion, cast, and colour.
The most appealing aspect of Prophet’s adorable persona was his loving behaviour with children.
He not only himself treated children with profound affection and care but also commanded his companions to imitate his example while dealing with kids.
We find numerous events in the books of tradition in which Holy Prophet (SAWW) is reported to have showed utmost love and tenderness to children.
Anas ibn Malik is reports that “I never saw anyone kinder and more merciful with children than the Prophet (SAAW).
His son, Ibraheem, would breastfeed from a woman in the ‘Awali area of Madeenah; he used to go and visit him and we would accompany him.
He used to enter the house in which Ibraheem was and find him with some splashes of the milk that he had drunk, on his face; he would pick him up and kiss him.”
‘Amr who was one of the Companions accompanying the Prophet (SAWW) in his visits, said: “After the death of Ibraheem, the Holy Prophet (SAWW) said: ‘Ibraheem is my son and he died whilst in the age of breastfeeding; he will have two women breastfeeding him in Paradise until he concludes the age of breastfeeding.’” (Muslim).
This narration reflects the noble manners of the Prophet (SAWW) and his kindness to children. It also highlights the virtue of being merciful with children and kissing them.
At another place Anas is reported to have said: “I never prayed behind an Imam who was more brief or more perfect in his prayer than Allah’s messenger.
If he heard a baby crying, he would shorten the prayer for fear that the mother might be distressed.
Another companion reported him as saying “when I begin the prayer, I intend to make it long, but I hear a baby crying and shorten the prayer, being aware of the mother’s emotion because of crying” (Mashkat).
From this very tradition, one can estimate about the amount of love and care that Holy Prophet (SAWW) had for the children.
Moreover, it was routine of the Holy Prophet (SAWW) that whenever his grand children Hazrat Hasan (RA) and Hazrat Hussein (RA) came to see him, he would make them sit in his lap and would kiss them.
It is mentioned in the book of tradition, once Holy Prophet (SAWW) kissed Al-Hasan (RA) while Al-Aqra’ ibn Habis was sitting with him, so Al-Aqra’ said, ‘I have ten children; never did I kiss any of them.’
The Prophet (SAWW), therefore looked at him and said: ‘Allah will not be merciful with the one who is not merciful to others.’” (Al-Bukhari).
In addition, the Holy Prophet’s (SAWW) patience with children was also quite exemplary. It is reported in the book of Hadis that Anas ibn Malik was a young boy when he had the honour of serving the Prophet (SAWW).
It is narrated from him that during his ten years of service, the Prophet (SAWW) never said a word of impatience or rebuked him.
Anas (RA) report himself: “I served the Prophet (SAWW) for ten years, and he never said to me, ‘Uff’ (a minor harsh word denoting impatience) and never blamed me by saying, “Why did you do so or why didn’t you do so?”(Al-Bukhari) Furthermore, when anyone brought the first fruit of the season, he would give it youngest child in the assembly.
Whenever he came back from journey, he would let the children who met him on the way to ride with him.
Inter alia, his love and kindness was not confined to Muslim children only
. Once in a battlefield, a few children came into battlefield and were killed. The holy Prophet (SAWW) was distressed about this.
Someone told him that they were children of unbelievers to whom he replied: “Even children of unbelievers are better than you. Beware, do not kill children.”
Sadly, a common problem amongst parents is to favour one child over the other. The Prophet (SAWW), commanded fairness in the treatment of one’s children.
An-Nu’man bin Bashir said, “My father took me to the Prophet (SAWW) to ask him to bear witness to something that he had given to me.
He (the Prophet) said: “Do you have any other children?” He replied: “Yes” He (the Prophet) gestured with his hand held horizontally like this, (saying): ‘Why don’t you treat them all equally?”(An-Nasa’i)
Always praising one child, constantly comparing children, preferring sons to daughters or showering one with gifts at another’s expense are all prevalent issues we face with parenting.
This should be avoided at all costs, as it is dangerous to a child who may develop low self-esteem and in turn, an inferiority complex. To conclude, I would quote a beautiful incident from the life of Holy Prophet (SAWW).
After migration, when Holy Prophet (SAWW) was entering Madinah, some young girls of Ansar were singing with joy in front of their Houses; he (SAWW) asked them if they loved him.
They answered in affirmative. To this, Holy Prophet (SAWW) said: “I love you too”…