Child Education in Islam

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Child Education in Islam


'Abdullah Nasih 'U1wan

Translatl'tl by

Dr. M. Mahmoud Ghali

Dr. M. Kamal Abdul-Ghani

Dr. A. Shafik Elkhatib

Dr. Ali Ahmad Sha'ban

Dr. M _ Ash-Shahhat AI-Gindi

Edited b}'

Khalifa Ezzat Abu Zeid Selma Cook

Translators' l.troductiQD

This is a translated summary of the book entitled "TarbiyalU AI·

Awlaad fi AI-Islam" (Child Edutation in Islam) by 'Abdullah

Nasih Ulwan. The book was published in Arabic in two volumel

by Dar AI-Salam for Printing, Publishing, Distribution, and

Translation, Cairo, Egypt, Hl 1418 A.H. 1997 C E.

l ~ translating the summary of the book, we have referred to the


- Dr. M. Taqi-ud-Din AI-Hilali and Dr. Muhsin Khan, the

Noble QUT'an, Darussalam publishers and distrib utors, Riyadh,

Saudi Arabia and Dr. Mu~ ammad Ma~ miid Q~al1. Toward,

Understanding the Ever-Glorious Qur'an, Cairo: Publishing

House for Universities, Co. 2nd Edition, 1998. This translation

of tile meaning of the Qur'an was used for rendering the Qur'anic

Ayal (verses) into English. In some cases the translation was

slightly modified with Professor Ghiill's pennission.

- Dr. M u~ammad M u~sin ~~iin, ~aJy{hu A I-Bu~~arf. Beirut:

Dar AI-Arabia, 1985. This transhtion of the Prophet's A~dd{lh

(t raditions) was occasionally consulted fo r the purpose of

translation in the Arabic summary of the book. Following ar:

some of the frequently used acronyms in the translation:

(c. E.): Common Era

(A. H.): After Hijrah (Anno Hijra)

( ft): Be He (Allah) Glorified and Exited

(~): Be He Exalted in Might (the Exalted and Glorious)

(~): May the blessings and prayer of Allah be upon him ( i.e.



(8): Peace be upon them (Allah·s Prophets)


(&): May Allah be pleased with him (i.e. One of the

Companions of the Prophet Muhammad)

( ~ ): May Allah be pleased with her (i.e. female Companions

of the Prophet Muham~ad such as Umm Salamah)

(6): May Allah be pleased \\.;th them (i.e. two orthe Proph:t's


(40): May Allah be pleased with them (Propht's Companions)

Some orthe symbols used in the transliterat ion of Arabic words

(i,e. representing them as they are pronounced in Arabie, using

Roman letters and some symbols) are:


Kh oT kh


5 or 5

d ,

Z or Z

gl] or gh









placed over a vowel ~ long vowel

Any corrections, comments, or suggestions for improving the

translation arc most welcome. May Alliih guide us all.

The translators


PTaise be to AUah who elaborated for mankind the right ways 0:

child education in the Qur·an. He also legislated the principles 0 '

goodness, righteousness, and guidance in the rules of Islam. Peace

and blessings of Alliih be upon our Messenger Muhammad tlIi:,

whcm All iih sent to humanity and revealed to him legislation

which achieves glory and honor •• talUs, and stability. And may

peace also be upon his household, good and pure Companion~

who presented great e~amp les in educating children and

estahli.hcd nations, and peace be upon those who follow thei:

ways until the world comes to an end.

Among the favors of Islam upon mankind is that it brought

comprehensive ways to educate people and bring up generations,

establishing nations and civilizations and se lting up the pri nciples

of glory and urbanization. That is :0 convert misleading hwnanity

fron the darkness of polytheism, ignorance, misguidance and

chaos, to the light of monotheism, science, guidance and stability.

Anah says:

~'( .....,::. ~( ~ '-'! I:: Q ~ ~ ': 5 ~ ;; ~I , ...... ~ ~[~ .:.i,

d~ ~!iiJ '~~I: ,JJf -.::Jl ; (j ~li ;:,;. ~".;.;; )",,11 jn ;--:'';';'-1

1: ~ j' .~ ).~

" Jlldud, tluTe hIlS come to )'0/1 from Alllill Ught (Propltet

Mu&amm~) plain Book (thi' Qur'all). WlIerewilh Aillih

guides all rllose ,,·110 seek His Good Pleasure to "'aY5 of peace, a",1

He brillgs tllem out of dtu'klless b)' lIis Will unto lighT und guideJ

them to a Straight Way (Islamic MOllotheism}." (Al-Ma'idah, 15-16)

Opponents testified to the growlh and conlinuity of Islam.

Enemies acknowledged its ~i talily and eterni lY. Western thinker!

and philosophers testified to Islam such as Bernard Shaw, Elia!

Abu Shubkah, Lane Poll and Ghustaf Lopon.(l) These acknowledgements

give to those, who have sound mind and understandi~g,

proof of the continuous and vital teachings of Islam.

If Islamic law is characterized by divinity, comprehensiveness,

glOwth and continuity then, is it merely theories written in books or

just beliefs in the mind, Of teachings practiced by people? Shaikh

Sayyed Qutb answered this ques:ion saying, "Muhammad ~ and

his companions achieved victory only when they practiced and

applied all the teachings of Islam. The Companions of the Prop~et

¢ wen: examples in applying its teachings. When people saw them,

they saw Islam. Hence, the teachings alone do not change mankind;

the QUf'an alone docs not change mankind; and the texts alone do

nolt change mankind. So, Prophe: Muhammad $ preferred raising

men who applied ther.e teachings above simply making speeches. He

succeeded to demonstrate and rCj)resent Islam in the fonn of piolus

ir.dividua ls. "

Generations of Muslims still benefit from their characteristics

and follow their ways in education, even in these days in which .he

rules of Islam are rarely applied, and the signs of the Muslim

Caliphate have been remolved, and enemies of Islam have been able

to achieve their malicious aim i.e. converting the Muslim world disp uting nations and countries of di ffe rent principles and

traditions. They also indulge in di sso lution and looseness and live

without aim and entity and are uffiieted with despair. Some

reformers and callers to AlIfih are also affiicted with despair and

frel hopeless of ever being able to regain the nation to its past

g;ory. Rather, solme of those callers call to isolation because they

think that this age is the last and the Muslim consequently should

run away from seditions tin he dies_ This despair is a result of;

(rt Tile 'pelling of all f

unctnain because th. author only«l the Arabi< trnnoliteration_ (<

I, Inability 10 understand the nature of Islam,

II. The love oflife and hating death,

HI. The ignorance of the aim for which M uslim~ were created.

This despair will be removed, and glory and victory will be

achieved when they recogn ize that Islam is:

a. 'Ihe rel igion of strength and pO'Oler,

b, The religion which calls to knowledge and science,

c, The rel igion which regards man as the vicegerent of AlIiih on

earth to live in, discover it, and to benefit from its provisions,

d, The religion which honors man and prdcrs him above all


e. The religion of work, activity, labor and vitality,

f. l hc religion of contemplation rutd thousht on the creations of

the heavens and earth so as to reach the truth about these


j. The religion which prohibits despair,

h. The religion of honor and dignity.

Despair will be removed alld glory and victory will be achieved

when Muslims in general, and callers and scholars in par ticular,

liberate themselves from the love of this life and indulging in

worldly pleasures. Also, when they liberate themselves from

eo..,;ardice, fear , and haling death and be sure that Alliih is til:

Provider, the Hann-Inflicting and the Benefit-Giver.

Despair will be removed and glory and victory will be achieved

if they recognize the sublime aim for which they were created. This

aim is to worship Allah. The Qur'an dec lares:

"{ _, fl,:~' "' ..-.-'..,-;:,''> .,J"H;' "'- C:.>' T,

"A " tI ! (AI/lih) a~tll~d "01 1M Ji"" anti mank jnd ~.T:Cl!pl lhal Ih' J'

$hollfd N'onllip lite (A lone). " (Adh-Dhariyyal, S6)

The question that arises is: What is the type of worship which

Allah commands us? It is submIssion to All iih's teaching.~ and

loyalty to Allah and His Messenger and the believers; it is also the

contilluous commandment of Allah to bring people out from the

worship of people alld idols to the worship of Allah; and reject ing

concepts and beliefs which are in disagreement with Islamic law.

This is the task and mission of the Muslim ;n this life. Thus.

Muslims should recognize the nalUre of their religion and Jibente

themselves from loving life and hating death and recognize the aim

uf thc il clcatiull :;u "s to ""hi"." gruwth fur blam amI regain their

previous glory and strength.

The question th"t arises is: What is the way to reformation and

what is the starting point to reform the good society? The answer

lies in the word ·'education" which encompasses many meanings,

concepts and lields. It includes education of the individual, :he

family, society and humanity. Under each meaning, there are other

t}PCS and divisions. All these meanings aim at setting up noble

societies and ideals. This education of children is a branch of

individual education in which Islam calls to prepare and reform

him to be a useful and good member of society.

This book explains the whole and right way of child education

in Islam. When you read it, you will rccogni7.c the chaTllctcristics

and comprehensiveness of Islamic Law. You will also recognizelhc

Wd)'S of Islam in education and reformation. When educators

follow his way, the Ummah will achieve stability, safety and

h.ppine,", ond disorder, fcar, and unhoppiness will be rcmoved.

You will recognize that Islam .s (he religion of life, humanity,

awareness, education, and refonnation.

It is noticeable that the Islamic library is PQor in regards to

books Oil child education ill Islam. I did not find a comprehensive


book about child education in Islam from birth to puberty save th~

book entitled "Tu/iflll AI-/lfaududji Ahkam AI-Mawlu"" by Ibn

Qa}'Yim Al·J awziYYilh .w. It deals with the rules of the newborn. I

have referred to It in the third chapter. I did my best and searched

in references and volumes to write a comprehensive book de;lim!

with chi ld education from birth 10 puberty. It also deals with the

complete way upon which parents ami educators should foHow.

I have divided the book into tbree parts, Each part is divided

into numerous chapters, and c',cry chapter contains several

subje<:U_ [t wi ll be as follows:

Pan One:

Chapler One: The Idea! Marriage and its Relationsh ip \0


Chapter Two: The I'sychological Feelings Towards Children

Chapter Three: General Rules Concermng the New-born baby

Chapter Four: Causes and Treatment of Children's waywardness

Part Two:

Chapter One: The Responsibi lity for Fa ith Education

Chapter Two: The Responsibility for Ethical Education

Chapter Three: The Responsibihty for Physical Education

Chapter Four: The R esponsibi~ty for Intellectual Education

Chapter Five: The Responsibility for Psychological Education

Chapter Six: The Responsibility for Social Education

Chapter Seven: The Responsibility for Sex ual Education

Part Three:

Chapter One: EfTcctive Means of Children's Education

Chapter Two: The Ilasic Principles of Education

Chapter Three: Necessary Educational Suggestions

These are the main points for eaeh chapter in each part of the

book. The reader will find other impoft1Hlt points and useful

subjects branching from these chapters. The aim of these points

and subjects is to provide and outline an evident and better way for

ehild education. Finally. [ ask Allah to make this work sincere fo r

[·Iis sake and to accept it as a good work on the Day of Judgment. I

a!k Him also to make it useful for mankind.

'Abdull all Nasill 'U1wan

Part One

L Claptcr One: The Ideal Marriage and its Relationship to Education

2. Chapter Two: Psychological F«lings Towards Children

3. Chapler Three: General Rules Concerning the New-born Bab}·

4. a' ''l't~, Fvu, . C;su."", alld T rca\':Icnt of Childrcn 's Waywardnc ..

P." Or.<:

Chapler Qne

The Ideal Marriage and ib Relationship to Education

It is preferable to demonstrate three aspect.~ of marriage before

setting out to explain the foundallons laid down by Islam for

educating children:

A, Marriage i. a human instinct

8. Marriage is a socia! interest.

C. Mar riage is a selcction and choice.

A. Marriage as a Human Instin(t

Islamic Slmrf'ali oppo!':s monasticism, which eonnicls with

man's instinct, and contradicts his inclinat ions, desires, and

motivations. Likewise, Islamic Sliar f'alt prohibites Muslims to

tbstain from marriage or renoullce it and intend to livc as a monk.

devoting Oneself to worship. AI-Bukhiiri and Muslim related that

Anas 4J. said, "Three people came to the houses of the Propr.ct"s

wives to inquire about his manner of worship. When they were

told, they seemed to have deemed it little. So, Ihey said, How come

we compare ourselves to the Prophet $ as hi~ past and future

miweeds have been forgiven. Then one of Ihem said, 'I will

perform prayer th roughout the night forever.' The other said: 'J

will fast throughout the year and will never break my fast.' The

third sa id, " 1 will keep away from women and will not mlrry

forever. ' So, Alliih's Messenger came to them and said, 'Are you Ihe

prople .... ho said so and so? By Allah, I am the mrut SIlbmissivc /0

Allah and mrul afraid of llim among .1'011: yet I fust ami hreak my

fast. f pray and sleep. and I marry wamen. So. he who dOI!HJOI follow

my tradilion in religion. is no/ one of my followers ."

So, it is clear that marriage i! seen by Islam as a human instinct,

that makes man's desires a)d lIIchnations materialise, and

comform to the naturat taw of life.

8. Marriage as a Social Interest

I. Preserving the human TD ct': thrO'Jgh marriage, the human race

continues to exist, propagate, and continue until the Last Day.

The Noble Qur'iin pointed to this social rationale and human

interest by saying:

~ ~J.l;.:t ~ ~il ~ fJ j;;,.-' ,~ :t )' ~ ~ ~ ~~ ,

"And Allah htl!J mutkfor you AZlfaj (matts or wi.t,,) of your own

kind, and has made for )"o",from yowr "'ius, sons and grandsons ... "

(An.Naht, 12) And AlIiih WI said,

W -f'~ ~ 4; ~.z q" ~; ;.:..~ ..,;L .;. j.)I;:. .;)( ?3.:; ;;.!i .,:.6i 'il!;. , ."" "0 mankind! & dariful ro your Lord, Who ( rtultd ),OU from a

single persoll (Adam), and from him (Adam) II~ crear~d his Wift

(f/a,.,wa (Ere) and from Ihem bnth fit cr~aled many men and

wom~n. " (",...Ni,,,, I )

2. Plcscn'ing Lineage: through ma:riage, the lineage or ancestral

line is defined. Were it not for marriage, which Allah has ordainee

for mankind, the society would have been swarmed wilh childrer.

of no lineage or honor; a situation that entails di ss ipating humar.

dignity, sublime manners, and awful diffusion of corruption ane


3, Kt-eping the SO(icty fret from immorality: through marriage, the

society is kept safe from immora~ly and social disunity. If the

instinct of inclination to the other sex is satisfied through

legitimate marriage, the nation will entertain the best morals and

manners, and WIll communicate the message, and fulfill their duty

as Allah wishes them to, Verily, nofling is more truthful than what

the Prophet 4: said to point out Ihe moral rationale or marriage

and its social benefits when he was urging the youth to get

married. He said, "0 youtll, Whoev(Y can marry must marry sinu il

wi/! kl'i'p his sighl "n,} priV{J/1! pliTt< cI~'rn (1m} PUFf/, but IfrOSt who

I .. " 0 ..

cannol marry. musl allelld 10/aJlillg. since il will cOMro/ his Je:mrU

desires . ..

4. I'resen' ing tile society from di sease: tllrougl1 marriage, tile society

maintains safety from widespread fatal diseases tllat result from

adultery, wlloredom. and fornication. sucll as syphilis gonorrhea.

and othcr deadly diseasc' that weaken the body, and diPuse

q"ndemie diseases.

5. Spiritual and psychological !;trcnity: through marriage, amity,

10\,1'. and intimacy grow between the husband and wife. Allah §fI:


'n" ,-, >, " 'w '''1 r"-" . ," j -<' ' I ,- ", ", " d - - - . ~..u .~ I .. ........, "+':' ~ """" ~ .;.-:;>-.J...- ,)I ' , •• ' in} T

~ ~lf':."- ~ 'j :,:'; ~; -! ~

"And arnot/I: lIis Signs is t~iJ, thot lie cuoud/or ),OU

among ),ourseil·es. thaI you may find upose in r~em, and lie hIlS put

hetwetn ),OU affectio" lind meuy. Yuif),. in t~ut are ;"dud 5iglllJ/n,

a people w~o "'flut." (Ar.Rum. 11)

Such a psychological and spiritual sercnity is a good aid for

raising children and caring for :hem.

6. Cooperation between spouses for building the family and rai, ing

children: through marri;tgc. the spouses cooperate to build a

family and bear its responsibility , as each of them arc

complementary to the other. So. the wife does what is prescribed

to her, and what confonns to her feminine nature. by supervlilog

lind managing the household chores, and looking 3ftcr the

chi ldren.

And the husband works within his domain, and does what

conforms to his nature and manhood. So he works. toils, and looks

after the family. By such cooperation between the spouses, a

faithful generation and good oITspring would come into being, and

Ihc house would be a place of love and stahility.

7. Uurning passion for parcmllood: through marriage, the p.trenls·

Tho Ideal M •• ri, SO and it> Rcla.ion>.bip to Edw::ation ~~~~~~~~~ 21

feelings and sentiments towards the children begins to burn, and

motivate them to care for their children and to bring them up

properly. These arc the most important social interests stemming

from marriage. They are very closely related to family reformation,

child breeding, and raising generations.

Co Maniage as a Sell'dion and Choice

Islam has established bases and rules for both the suitor and his

fiano&. If they follow them and take them as guidelines, the

marriage will be successful and will nourish, and the family will be

faithful, moral, and secure. The following are the most important

of them:

t. Choice based on reli gion: what is mcant by religion here is the

sound undcrstanding of Islam, practical application of all its

rulings and manners, and full commitment to the Sharf'ah 's

methlXls and principles.

If both the suitor and his fiance are up 10 such a standard of

understanding, application, and cO!;lmilment, we describe them as

religious and well-mannered. That is why the Prophet ~ guided

marnage seekers 10 look for a piom partner. AI-Bukhari, Muslim,

Abu Dawud, An-Nasa.'i and Ibn Majah relatcd that Abu Humirah,

said that the Prophet ~ said, "II is self-evident Ihal a woman is

soughl for marriage for four reasons: her riches. her nob/ebirlh, her

beauly. and her religion. So. gel the piOUS one and strive 10 get her. ··

In accordance with that, the Prophet tj:. guided the girl's family

to ~k the religious and well-mannered suitor. At-Tirrnidhi related

that Abu fi atim AI-Mazni said that the Prophet 3 said, "If you

were approached by he whose uligion and manners salisfy you, leI

him marry yoor daughter. if you do nol do thai. Ihere will be

dissell3iOll in the earth and greal corruption. ·'

Is there any greater dissension inllicted upon religion and

morals than a faithful girl falling in a libertinistic suitor's hands, or

11 ~========================================= P.~ ~

an atheist husband who bears no respect for honour or jealousy?

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