Islamic Concepts and Beliefs Islamic Practices

Parenting & Child Development – An Islamic Perspective

Parenting and child development

Throughout the civilized world governments, institutions, people in authority and the public create rules to protect society in order to establish a safer world. Without these rules and guidance, human beings would lose all bearing and sense of morality, and society would fall into anarchy and chaos. Indeed our children and future generations will be the leaders of tomorrow and thus their upbringing is a matter of great importance and key to whether we can maintain a peaceful, respectful and orderly society. Research strongly indicates that parenting has the single greatest influence on a child’s development and understanding the environment a child grows up in contributes to their emotional, physical, social and intellectual development. And these are key factors that indicate whether a child will grow to become a responsible and happy adult. Thus, positive parenting is essential to safeguard future societies and to foster peace at home and in communities.

Although there are similarities in parenting concepts globally, it is intriguing how parenting styles differ from culture to culture. They take into account various factors such as the child’s physical and social environment, customs and practices of child care in different countries and the parents or carers understanding of parental responsibility. Regardless of the varying global and cultural parenting strategies, Islamic teachings in relation to parenting are holistic and universal concepts for every parent worldwide; these teachings are not restricted exclusively to Muslim parents.

This article seeks to explore one of the most critical issues the world faces today, the parent-child relationship, and expounds on the Islamic concept of parenting.

Parents & Professionals Play a Crucial Role in the Development and Learning of their Children

Child Development, which is very recent, is a combination of studies in psychology, health, sociology and education, guiding parents and professionals about children’s development through a process of observations following what is known as the developmental milestones of the ages and stages of child development into adulthood. The key areas of development are: “the physical development, cognitive development, communication & language development, personal, social & emotional development”.[1]

Parents play a vital role as their children’s first and most important teachers. Dr. Lillian Katz, a professor of Early Childhood Education at the University of Illinois, describes four important areas of learning that are heavily influenced by parents: Skills, Knowledge, and Attitudes about learning, learned feelings.[2]

Child development studies, which theorists spent decades researching, have only recently come to light. However, it is fascinating that these facts and many more relating to child development were already revealed 1400 years ago and were sent to us in form of the Holy Qur’an. The Qur’an’s principles are based on the requirements of human nature and were revealed by God Almighty at a time when there were no means for scientific, psychological or medical research. God Almighty says:

“And We have sent down to thee the Book to explain everything, and a guidance, and a mercy, and glad tidings to those who submit to God.”[3]

Preparing for Parenthood

In preparation for pregnancy many people try to maintain a healthy weight and diet and ensure the couple are generally in good health because “the best prenatal care starts long before conception.”[4]

Islam goes far beyond this, by teaching us that first and foremost, our parenting efforts must start with supplications to God and teaches us to pray for pure and righteous offspring, “My Lord, grant me from Thyself pure offspring; surely, Thou art the Hearer of prayer.”[5]

And those who say, “Our Lord, grant us of our wives and children the delight of our eyes, and make us a model for the righteous.”[6]

Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, Founder of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, the Promised Messiahas has explained how he adopted this principle:

“There are certain prayers that are a daily routine for me. I pray for myself that God may enable me do the kind of things that would manifest His honour and grandeur and He may make me fully resigned to His will. Then I pray for my wife that He may grant me children through her who may prove to be the delight of my eyes and who may live their lives in perfect accordance with the will of God. Then I pray for my children that God may make all of them servants of His religion.”[7]

Qur’anic Evidence Relating to Conception and Pregnancy Revealed before Modern Medicine and Science

After conception, the Holy Qur’an further sheds light on the developmental stages of the embryo, the foetus, and the stages of the developing child during pregnancy:

“Verily, We created man from an extract of clay; Then We placed him as a drop of sperm in a safe depository; Then We fashioned the sperm into a clot; then We fashioned the clot into a shapeless lump; then We fashioned bones out of this shapeless lump; then We clothed the bones with flesh; then We developed it into another creation. So blessed be Allah, the Best of creators.”[8]

In the Short Commentary of the Holy Qur’an, a fascinating analysis has been provided of this:

“In the above verses, the Holy Qur’an proceeds to describe the different stages of the physical development of man and thus establishes a remarkable parallelism between his physical and spiritual growth. Leaving out biological technicalities, the Surah gives the description in a clear and understandable language. Biology has not discovered anything which even remotely contradicts the Qur’anic description. The words ‘we created man from an extract of clay,’ mention the process of man’s creation from the earliest stage when he lies dormant in the form of dust, and the inorganic constituents of the earth through a subtle process of change become converted into the life-germ by way of food which a human being eats. At this stage, then God says that ‘We clothed the bones with flesh;’ the physical growth of the embryo becomes complete. The words ‘then we developed it into another creation,’ show that the soul is not imported into the human body from outside but grows in the body as it develops in the womb. At first it has no separate existence from the body but the processes through which the body passes during its development in the womb distil from the body a delicate essence which is called the soul. As soon as the relationship between the body becomes completely adjusted, the heart begins to function. The soul then has a distinct existence of its own part from the body which henceforth serves it as a shell.”[9]

The Holy Qur’an also says:

“His mother bears him with pain, and brings him forth with pain. And the bearing of him and his weaning takes thirty months, till, when he attains his full maturity and reaches the age of forty years, he says, ‘My Lord, grant me the power that I may be grateful for Thy favour which Thou hast bestowed upon me and upon my parents, and that I may do such good works as may please Thee. And make my seed righteous for me. I do turn to Thee; and, truly, I am of those who submit to Thee.”[10]

The Short Commentary of the Holy Qur’an concludes:

“In Chapter 31, Verse 15 of the Holy Qur’an it was stated that the weaning of a child takes two years, but in this verse the combined period of pregnancy and suckling is given as thirty months which leaves six months as the period of gestation; and that seems to be the period during which a pregnant woman feels the burden of pregnancy, the fourth month being the time when she begins to get such a feeling.”[11]

During pregnancy many factors affect the development of the child. Penelope Leach, a trusted source of child development information and childcare advisor for parents all over the world, is a research psychologist specialising in child development and a passionate advocate for children and parents says:

“Overall happiness and good spirits affect the environment in which the womb provides for the baby via hormonal and chemical messages. In fact, babies in the womb may be permanently affected by their long term emotional state. Generations of women all over the world have talked about babies influenced by their moods”…

She further adds, “The most stress-free pregnancy possible is therefore a mother’s right and a father’s duty because it is an obligation to their child.”[12]

That is why Islam lays responsibility on the father of the child to provide for the mother and the child and to take due care of the mother during pregnancy.

Communication with the Unborn Child during pregnancy and after Birth

Science proves that “babies can hear from before birth and react with soothe pleasure after birth to recordings of sounds with which they have lived before it.”[13]

This is a very interesting fact which explains why Islam emphasises that the expectant mother recites as much of the Holy Qur’an as is possible during pregnancy. Many Muslim mothers will have experienced that after having recited the Holy Qur’an during pregnancy, their babies respond by being soothed and inclining towards them when they again recite the Holy Qur’an after birth.

Furthermore the Holy Prophet Muhammadsa said that when a child is born, the Adhaan (the Muslim call to Prayer) should be recited in the right ear and the Iqaama (the shortened Muslim call to Prayer) in the left ear.

Hazrat Mirza Bashir-ud-Din Mahmud Ahmadra (1889-1965), Second Worldwide Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, said in relation to this:

“Islam has expounded this great truth and has laid down that the training of the child should begin not only at birth, but long before birth. I almost think that the Holy Prophetsa would have gone even further back. He would have lay down that the training of the child should begin while the child is still in his mother’s womb. Therefore, the Holy Prophetsa lay down that the training should begin at birth.

The first thing is to recite the Adhaan [Muslim call to Prayer] in the child’s ear at its birth. Nobody should think that this is just a piece of magic incantation. Both the words and the meaning of Adhaan find their way to the mind of the child. Moreover, it is a reminder to the parents that they are responsible for the life of the newly born. The training of that life is now their responsibility. It begins from its birth. Besides the Adhan, the Holy Prophetsa has laid down that children should be taught good manners from their childhood.[14]

Feeding Children

The Holy Qur’an guides us on how to feed and care for children from the moment they are born, also emphasising the parental duty of the father.

“And mothers shall give suck to their children for two whole years; this is for those who desire to complete the suckling. And the man to whom the child belongs shall be responsible for their (the mothers’) food and clothing according to usage. No soul is burdened beyond its capacity.”[15]

The Short Commentary of the Holy Qur’an elucidates:

“This means that the suckling of the child should last for two years at the maximum. But it is allowable to discontinue it before the end of this period, if the father and the mother both agree on this course. The verse also implies that the child is not to be weaned before the end of two years without the consent of the mother.”[16]

Scientists have recently corroborated the benefits of breastfeeding. Penelope Leach informs us:

“Breastfeeding is definitely, measurably, unarguably better for your baby than bottle feeding. The advantages start on day one and last for years, probably for life.” She further adds, “[…] there are so many scientifically proven advantages to breastfeeding that when you see them listed, it’s surprising that not everybody who can breastfeed does. Breast milk is tailored to your baby – to what he needs this morning, next month and next year, it passes antibodies from mother to child. […] it contains beneficial bacteria which help keep his digestive tract healthy and high levels of essential fats. In fact breast milk is reckoned to contain at least 400 nutrients that aren’t available in any formulae.”[17]

After milk, parents introduce solids to their growing child, “Children’s growth, behaviour and development can be affected by their diet. A balanced diet will help children to remain healthy as well as to grow. Some children might lack nutrients in their diet. This can affect their concentration and behaviour.”[18]

Regarding food and diet, the Holy Qur’an guides and teaches us, “O ye who believe! Eat of the good things We have provided for you, and render thanks to Allah, if it is He Whom you worship.”[19]

Parenting Skills

Parenting can be very challenging, but it is important to remember that there is no one particular style of parenting that is successful for everyone. Parenting includes: key strategies such as:

  • Developing routines from birth
  • Good nutrition
  • Overall wellbeing and the education of the child
  • Clear communication and consistency
  • Managing behaviour
  • Positive encouragement and empowerment
  • Parental responsibility
  • Protecting children from harm
  • Making children aware of consequences
  • Teaching children responsibility and respect
  • Setting boundaries,
  • Providing a stable home
  • Spending quality time together

The list is endless! The beauty of Islam is that it provides guidance on all these areas. Indeed, many experts promote religious values while raising children. For example, one of Britain’s best known parenting authors, Dr Christopher Green, states in his book Beyond Toddlerdom:

“Humans are at their best when they see a future, a purpose and meaning to life. Religious faith provides this for many families. Religion at its best brings values, a common goal, family strength(and) a supportive community network.”[20]

Islam teaches that when parents reach an elderly age they should be treated with love and kindness. © Pressmaster | shutterstock
Islam teaches that when parents reach an elderly age they should be treated with love and kindness.
© Pressmaster | shutterstock

Islamic teachings can be incorporated into daily routines from birth. For example, the mother can recite ‘Bismillah’[21] with the child before beginning any task, and can say other small prayers of the Holy Prophet Muhammadsa before and after eating etc. In this manner, as soon as the child develops speech, he/she will automatically start uttering these prayers.

Positive Parenting

Positive parenting is an approach whereby parents try to raise their children based on mutual understanding whilst recognising and respecting the rights of each other in the parent-child relationship. This approach is in accordance with the teachings of Islam. Islamic teachings enable parents to inculcate a moral awareness of right and wrong in their children in a balanced way so that children grow to learn and understand that they need to conform to rules, regulations and boundaries within society and in their homes. This way they will create harmony in society and please both their Creator – God Almighty and also their parents, as Islam teaches that obedience to parents is highly meritable.

The Holy Qur’an states:

“Thy Lord has commanded, Worship none but Him, and show kindness to parents. If one of them or both of them attain old age with thee, never say unto them any word expressive of disgust nor reproach them, but address them with excellent speech.”[22]

According to Islam, after God, human beings should prioritise their parents over all other things and return their love and kindness with obedience and care in their latter days. If this is practised, it enables the development of a strong parent and child bond, which continues throughout adulthood.

Regarding the status of mothers, the Founder of Islam, the Holy Prophet Muhammadsa said, “Paradise lies under the feet of the mother.”[23]

Regarding the status of fathers, the Holy Prophetsa said, “The father is the most central door of all doors of Paradise, it is up to you that you may lose it or protect it.”[24]

Regarding a father’s input as a parent, a childcare expert writes:

“The impact of fathers shows up especially in adolescence. For example, in a classic German study, the children’s relationship with their fathers while they were toddlers predicted their sense of self-worth as teenagers.”[25]

Hazrat Abu Hurairara – a Companion of the Holy Prophet Muhammadsa, narrates:

“Three times the Holy Prophetsa declared, ‘May his nose bite the dust, may his nose bite the dust.’ [This is an Arabic phrase used to indicate that the person about whom one is talking has been disgraced and failed in his life.] The companions enquired ‘Messenger of Allah who is that person?’ The Holy Prophetsa indicated in response that ‘he is the one who found his parents in old age and failed to earn paradise by treating them with utmost kindness’.”[26]

The Importance of Emphasis on the Rights of Parents in Islam

Islam greatly emphasises respect and obedience to parents, because it recognises the innumerable favours, sacrifices and hard work bestowed by parents to provide for their children’s physical, emotional and financial needs. Consequently, God rewards parents by giving them a venerable position within their families and not as abandoned individuals, as is increasingly the case in many modern societies.

This is why Islam places great emphasis not only on the rights of husbands and wives and their children, but also the rights of elderly parents.

The Emphasis on Respect for children

Highlighting a very important point with regards to respecting children from a child developmental perspective, Alison Lee, a Childcare expert, in her book How To Grow Great Kids, states:

“Respect cannot be commanded: it must be earned. Just as your child needs to earn your respect so too will you need to learn to earn respect from your child. Being a parent does not give you an automatic right to be shown courtesy and respect, if you treat your child with no respect and simply expect them to do as they are told without giving them reasonable boundaries to follow, you will be heading for disaster. It is important therefore that parents see respect as a two-way situation. Teachers complain that the children in their classes show them no respect; police officers complain that teenagers are unruly and have no respect and the older generation are often heard saying that children showed respect back in the‘good old days.’”[27]

Islamic teachings corroborate this. Whilst Islam emphasises respect for parents, it also instructs parents to treat their children with respect.

Hazrat Anas bin Malikra, a Companion of the Holy Prophet Muhammadsa, narrates that the Holy Prophetsa said: “Respect your children and cultivate in them the best of manners.”[28]

Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmadra, an outstanding scholar of Islam and Islamic history who penned several books including The Life and Character of the Seal of Prophets, has explained the above narration as follows:

“Islam has defined the rights of parents over children and vice versa. On the one hand, it empathises service and respectful behaviour to parents, and on the other commands parents to treat their children with due understanding and regard, and to handle them in such a way as engenders in them feelings of dignity and self respect and to attend their education and training in particular, so that, when they grow, they may observe, with due propriety, their duties to God and His servants and become pioneers of national progress.

The truth is that no nation can make any progress, nay, no nation can escape degeneration, if its members do not leave behind their children in circumstances better than their own. If every father was to see to it that he will leave his children better off than himself, both in knowledge and in practice, the nation must gain from strength to strength and will, by the grace of God, remain immune to the danger of decline […] The other portion of this Hadith the one relating to respect to children, is of all the religious codes the distinctive feature of Islam; for, no other religion of the world has appreciated the point that without showing a proper measure of respect to children, high moral qualities could not be cultivated among them. Some foolish parents, in spite of loving their children, treat them evidently in such a low and vulgar manner, frequently indulging in abusive language that their feelings of dignity, self respect and self estimation slowly freeze into death. This injunction of our Mastersa [The Holy Prophet Muhammadsa] is worthy of being written in gold letters. It enjoins that ‘children should be treated with considerateness,’ so as to equip them with dignity, self respect and high moral qualities. Would that they valued this wise teaching!”[29]

This approach to parenting is supported by R. Dunn., a parenting expert who says:

“Some parenting styles are more positive and successful than others […] Researchers have studied the effects of each style of parenting upon the way in which children develop. They agree that the style of parenting that is loving and yet firm – now known in jargon as authoritative – is the most effective in terms of children’s outcomes and well-being. In this approach boundaries are explained, in the context of a warm, loving relationship.”[30]

The Founder of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmadas, had a “loving and yet firm” approach to his children and spoke strongly against corporal punishment saying:

“Beating of children is an act which can be termed as a sort of polytheism (shirk). It actually means that the illtempered person makes himself a partner of God in giving guidance and sustaining the creatures. I wish that, instead of punishing children, parents would resort to prayer, and would make it a habit to supplicate earnestly for their children as the supplications of the parents for their children are particularly accepted by God.”[31]

In relation to behaviour management, childcare expert Allison Lee, emphasises why it is important to have clear boundaries and consistent rules in the upbringing of children:

“Children need to learn from right to wrong and they can only do this successfully in a loving environment with rules which are easy to understand and which are consistent. Parents who continually alter these rules or give in to persuasion are likely to create confused children who are unsure of how to act. Set your rules and stick to them. Although flexibility may sometimes be needed, try to avoid changing your decisions too much or allowing your child to win you over just to keep the peace.”[32]

The Promised Messiah, Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmadas, practised what childcare experts exhort today, by setting broad rules and boundaries for his children. He always enhanced these efforts with prayer:

“I pray for my children and require them to follow a broad set of rules of behaviour and no more. Beyond this I put my full trust in Allah Almighty with the confidence that the seed of good fortune inherent in each of them will flourish at its proper time.[33]

From a Child’s Perspective

It is essential for parents to try and see the world through the eyes of their children.

It is important that parents remember that children are still developing physically and emotionally, from birth into adulthood. Consequently, children cannot rationalise or see logic in the way in which the adult mind can, because that part of their brain is still developing. Parenting is about finding the right balance, which can be achieved by following Islamic principles, praying and seeking expert advice where required.

Studying the views of parents and experts from other cultures reveals how the concept of parenting can vary across cultures and regions. Islam provides holistic teachings relating to the child-parent relationship. Parenting is not an easy task. Parenting is the most important responsibility one faces during a lifetime.shutterstock_162933494

Parenting concepts are deeply rooted in Islamic teachings that enable effective parenting, guiding parents to raise their children in such a way that children are taught not to discriminate against others, but to respect the faith of others whilst following their own Islamic beliefs. This approach enables children to become tolerant and peaceful individuals within society. Furthermore, Islam encourages learning and if parents study child development it can help them better understand their children’s development and what may be expected of them at each developmental stage. This learning can be combined with the application of Islamic teachings for successful parenting.

Obedience and Respect to Parents Teaches Good Life Skills

The concept of respect for elders and authority is first introduced at home. If children respect their parents, they will respect teachers and others in society. Thus respecting and obeying parents is a great blessing, as it teaches children many useful life skills, such as respect, patience, caring etc.

For Muslim children it is important to remain within the boundaries of Islam. This does not mean that Islam represents suppression and oppression. If freedom and independence means being disrespectful and disobedient to parents however, that surely cannot be a good thing. Islam encourages healthy, loving and respectful relationships within families.

When Parents Grow Old

Lillian Rubin explains:

“One of the great challenges facing both the nations and its families is how to take care of their elderly parents and grandparents. Children grumble about how hard it is to reason with their parents, about how they resist any change even when it seems clearly necessary. Parents complain about unwelcome intrusions, about being talked to as if they were incompetent children. ‘It’s what happens when you’re old. You lose all credibility, and people treat you as if you’re half brain-dead,’ observes an 86-year-old father heatedly. ‘It’s damn insulting, and I don’t like it any better when my children do it. Worst part of it is, they don’t get it. They just write you off as being difficult.’”[34]

If children are inculcated with Islamic values, by the time their parents become older and more vulnerable they would have learnt to be tolerant and respectful to both their parents and extended family.

The Holy Qur’an teaches a prayer for both parents and children:

[…]My Lord, grant me the power that I may be grateful for Thy favour which Thou have bestowed upon me and my parents, and that I may do such good works as may please Thee. And make my seed righteous for me.[…][35]

Thus, as parents we need to live according to the teachings of God and train our children to do the same.

The Holy Qur’an teaches us how to treat our elderly parents and to supplicate for them:

“And lower to them the wing of humility out of tenderness. And say, ‘My Lord, have mercy on them even as they nourished me in my childhood.’”[36]

When children reach adulthood, they usually realise that they can never fully repay the love and affection their parents gave them during childhood, and that their parents are irreplaceable. Islam teaches that they can make up for this deficiency by praying for them as mentioned in the above verse. This does not however mean that it does not matter if someone cannot care for his parents and that he can compensate for this weakness by praying. It means that one should try ones best to serve his parents and pray for them at the same time. This verse also indicates how elderly parents need to be looked after with such love and tender care, similar to that which they gave to their young children. This may include the tasks of feeding, clothing and washing them.

Regarding parents’ love for a child the Promised Messiahas said:

“God has commanded that you do not worship anyone save Him and are kind to your parents. Rububiyyat (Divine quality to sustain and nurture) is a wonder! A baby does not have any kind of strength and his mother takes great care of him in that state and the father gives the mother support in her undertakings. Out of His sheer Grace, Allah the Exalted has made two sources to look after fragile creation and has placed a ray of love in them out of the luminosity of His love. However, it should be remembered that parents’ love is limited and God’s love is real. Unless hearts are inspired by Allah the Exalted, no person, be he a friend, a peer or a ruler, can love another. It is the secret of the perfect Rububiyyat of God that parents love their children so much that they bear all kind of pains most sincerely while caring for them, so much so that they do not even hesitate to die for the life of their child.”[37]

The Duties of Children after the Death of Parents According to Islam

A man asked the Holy Prophetsa:

“‘Do I owe a duty to my parents after their death?’ The Holy Prophetsa said, ‘Indeed yes, in four respects: that you should pray for Allah’s forgiveness for them and call down His blessings upon them; that you should carry out whatever they undertook to do; that you should honour their friends; that you should strengthen the ties of kinship with those who are related to you through them. This is what you owe them after their death.’”[38]

The Holy Prophetsa also taught that when a person dies all his actions cease except through the benefits of the charity he may have given or the knowledge he may have shared or through a righteous progeny who pray for him.[39] This shows how Islam teaches that one owes a duty to parents even when they have departed this world.

May God grant the deceased parents of all a lofty station in paradise. Ameen!

“And lower to them the wing of humility out of tenderness. And say, ‘My Lord, have mercy on them even as they nourished me in my childhood.’”[40]

Navida Sayed, Editorial Board Member of The Review of Religions, is a qualified child practitioner and has been working for several years in the health and social care sector, specialising in providing parenting support for children with special needs. She has also previously worked as a health advisor, working with communities to improve health among all age groups.

 

Endnotes

1. Penny Tassoni, Kath Bulman, Kate Beith, Children’s Care, Learning & Development (Heinmann, 2008), 112.

2. “Parents Are First Teachers. Take Time To Teach Your CHILDREN!,” Mother and Child Expo, August 18, 2013.

3. Holy Qur’an, Surah Al-Nahl, Verse 90.

4. Heidi Murkoff and Sharon Mazel, What to Expect before you’re expecting (UK: Simon & Schuster, 2009), viii.

5. Holy Qur’an, Surah Aal-E-‘Imran, Verse 39.

6. Holy Qur’an, Surah Al-Furqan, Verse 75.

7. Malfuzat, Vol. 2, p. 4.

8. Holy Qur’an, Surah Al-Mu’minun, Verse 15.

9. The Holy Qur’an: Arabic Text with English Translation and Short Commentary (UK: Islam International Publications Limited, 2002).

10. Holy Qur’an, Surah Al-Ahqaf, Verse 16.

11. The Holy Qur’an: Arabic Text with English Translation and Short Commentary (UK: Islam International Publications Limited, 2002).

12. Penelope Leach, The Essential First year (DK, 2010), 14-15.

13. Penelope Leach, The Essential First year (DK, 2010), 75.

14. Hazrat Mirza Bashir-ud-Din Mahmood Ahmadra, Way of the Seekers: An Exposition of the Islamic Theory of Morals and the way of its translation into daily life (Silver Spring, MD: The Ahmadiyya Movement in Islam, Inc., 2002), 48.

15. Holy Qur’an, Surah Al Baqarah, Verse 234.

16. The Holy Qur’an: Arabic Text with English Translation and Short Commentary (UK: Islam International Publications Limited, 2002).

17. Penelope Leach, The Essential First year (DK, 2010), 81-82.

18. Penny Tassoni, Kath Bulman, Kate Beith, Children’s Care, Learning & Development (Heinmann, 2008), 82.

19. Holy Qur’an, Surah Al Baqarah, Verse 173.

20. Dr Christopher Green, Beyond Toddlerdom (2000), 189.

21. ‘In the name of Allah’, an invocation used by Muslims at the beginning of any undertaking.

22. Holy Qur’an, Surah Bani Isra’il, Verse 24.

23. Hadith of Nasa’i.

24. Sunan Tirmidhi kitaab, kitab al-birr wa’l-silah, Hadith no. 1900.

25. Grossman, “The Uniqueness of the Child-Father Attachment Relationship: Father’s Sensitive and Challenging Play as a Pivotal Variable in a 16 Year Long Study”, Social Development (2002): 11, 307-31.

26. Sahih Muslim, Kitab al-Birr wa’l-Silah-I-wa’l-Adab, Hadith no. 6511.

27. Alison Lee, How To Grow Great Kids (2010), 48.

28. Sunan Ibn Majah, Kitab al-Adab, Hadith no. 3671.

29.

30. Dunn, Richard Laygard & Judy, A Good Childhood (2009), 17.

31. Malfuzat, Vol. 2, p. 4.

32. Alison Lee, How To Grow Great Kids (2010), 43.

33. Malfuzat, Vol. 2, p. 5.

34. Lillian Rubin, “The Dilemma of Taking Care of Elderly Parents”, Salon, last modified November 27, 2011.

35. Holy Qur’an, Surah Al-Ahqaf, Verse 16.

36. Holy Qur’an, Bani Isra’il, Verse 25.

37. Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmadaba, “Friday Sermon: Follow the Commandments of The Holy Quran”, Al Islam, last modified July 26, 2013.

38. Muhammad Zafrullah Khan, Wisdom of The Holy Prophet (Surrey: Islam International Publications Ltd., 1995), 14-15.

39. Muhammad Zafrullah Khan, Wisdom of The Holy Prophet (Surrey: Islam International Publications Ltd., 1995).

40. Holy Qur’an, Bani Isra’il, Verse 25.