Looking after children

Al-Adab al-Mufrad Al-Bukhari

by Imam Bukhari
Translated by: Ustadha Aisha Bewley

V. Looking after children

45. A child is a source of both honour and cowardice

84. 'A'isha said, "Abu Bakr said, 'By Allah, there is no man on the face of the earth that I love better than 'Umar.' Then he went out and came back and said, 'How did I swear, daughter?' I told him what he had said. Then he said, 'He is dearer to me although one's child is closer (to one's heart).'"

85. Ibn Abi Nu'm said, "I was with Ibn 'Umar when a man asked him about the blood of gnats. He asked, 'Where are you from?' 'From the people of Iraq,' he replied. He said, 'Look at this man! He asks about the blood of gnats when they murdered the grandson of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace! I heard the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, say, 'They are my sweet basil in this world.'"

46. Carrying a child on one's shoulders

86. Al-Bara' said, "I saw the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, when al-Hasan was on his shoulder. He was saying, 'O Allah, I love him, so love him.'"

47. A child is a source of joy

87. Jubayr ibn Nufayr said, "One day we were sitting when al-Miqdad ibn al-Aswad when a man passed us. The man said, 'Blessing be to those two eyes which saw the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace. By Allah, I wish that I had seen what you have seen and witnessed what you have witnessed!' This angered al-Miqdad and that surprised me as the man had said nothing but good things. Then he turned to them and said, 'What made the man desire to summon back what Allah has taken away? Does he not realise what his situation would be if he had seen him? By Allah, if certain people had been with the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, Allah would have thrown them on their faces into Hellfire since they would neither have answered nor confirmed him? Do you not praise Allah Almighty since He brought you forth and you only know your Lord and confirm what your Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, brought? You see enough affliction in other people. By Allah, the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, was sent in the harshest state in which any Prophet was ever sent – in a gap (in the line of prophethood) and the time of Ignorance. They did not believe that the deen was better than worshipping idols. He brought the Discrimination by which it is possible to discriminate between the true and false, and which can part a father from his child. Then a man will think of his father, child or brother as an unbeliever. Allah has loosened the locks of his heart by faith and he knows that the other person will be destroyed in the Fire. Therefore his eye is not cool since he knows that the one he loves will be in the Fire. It is what Allah says, "Those who say, 'Our Lord, give us joy in our wives and children." (25:74)'"

48. A person who makes supplication that his friend will have a lot of money and many children

88. Anas said, "One day I visited the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and there was only myself, my mother and my aunt, Umm Hiram. When he came to us, he asked us, 'Shall I pray with you?' It was not the time of an obligatory prayer." One of those listening to the person relating this asked, "Where did he put in Anas in relation to him?" The reply was, "He put him to his right." The report from Anas continues, "Then he prayed with us and made supplication for us, the people of the house, that we would have the best of the blessings of this world and the Next. My mother said, 'Messenger of Allah, make supplication to Allah for your little servant,' and he asked Allah to grant me every blessing. At the end of his supplication, he said, 'O Allah, grant him a lot of money and many children and bless him!'"

49. Mothers are merciful

89. Anas ibn Malik said, "A woman came to 'A'isha and 'A'isha gave her three dates. She gave each of her two children a date and kept one date for herself. The children ate the two dates and then looked at their mother. She took her date and split in it two and gave each child half of it. The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, came and 'A'isha told him about it. He said, 'Are you surprised at that? Allah will show her mercy because of her mercy towards her child.'"

50. Kissing Children

90. 'A'isha said, "A bedouin came to the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and asked, "Do you kiss your children? We do not kiss them.' The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, 'Can I put mercy in your hearts after Allah has removed it from them?'"

91. Abu Hurayra said, "The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, kissed Hasan ibn 'Ali while al-Aqra' ibn Habis at-Tamimi was sitting with him. Al-Aqra' observed, 'I have ten children and I have kissed any of them.' The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, looked at him and said, 'Whoever does not show mercy will not be shown mercy.'"

51. The parent teaching adab and his duty towards his child

92. Numayr ibn Aws said, "They used to say, 'Correct action is a gift from Allah, but adab comes from the parents."

93. An-Nu'man ibn Bashir said that his father had carried him to the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace. He said, 'Messenger of Allah, I testify to you that I have given an-Nu'man such-and-such. (It was a slave). The Prophet asked, "Have you given each of your children the same"?" "No," he replied. He said, "Then testify to someone other than me." Then the Prophet asked, "Do you not want to show equal kindness to all of them?" "Indeed I do," he replied. He said, "Then do not do it."

52. The dutifulness of a father to his child

94. Ibn 'Umar said, "Allah has called them the 'dutiful' (al-Abrar) because they are dutiful (birr) to their parents and children. Just as you have a duty which you owe your parent, so you have a duty which you owe your child."

53. Someone who does not show mercy will not be shown mercy

95. Abu Sa'id that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, 'Someone who does not show mercy will not be shown mercy."

96. Jarir ibn 'Abdullah said, "The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, 'Allah will not show mercy to someone who does not show mercy to people."

97. Same as 97.

98. 'A'isha said, "Some bedouins came to the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace. One of their men said to him, 'Messenger of Allah, do you kiss children? By Allah, we do not kiss them.' The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, 'Can I put mercy in your hearts after Allah has removed it from them?'"

99. Abu 'Uthman reported that 'Umar wanted to appoint a man as governor. The governor said, "I have such-and-such a number of children and I have never kissed any of them." 'Umar said, "Allah Almighty will only show mercy to the kindest of His slaves."

54. Mercy consists of a hundred parts

100. Abu Hurayra reported that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "Allah Almighty has divided mercy into one hundred parts. He kept ninety-nine parts and sent down one part to earth. Because of that one single part, creatures are merciful to one another so that even the mare will lift its hooves away from its foal so that it does not trample on it."