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Published in the 16-31 Dec 2003 print edition of MG; send me the print edition

Book Review
The Islamic way of upbringing children

By Jamilur Rahman

Book: Upbringing of Children: The Islamic Approach
Author: Maulana Muhammad Qamruzzaman
Publisher: Maktaba Darul Maarif, Allahabad
Year: 2003
Pages: 480
Price: Rs 300

God commissioned the seal of Prophet Muhammad (SAW) to establish moderate community on earth and bestowed on him religion of peace based on the middle way does not mean a compromise between a plethora of ways; but the straight way, the best way. Quran subjects parents with the assignment of better education and upbringing of children. A toddler should be nourished and cultivated in a way that his be an integrated perosnality and should pass a worldly life in modesty. Principles and methods of educating and upbringing children is in symmetry between other affairs of life taught in Islam. The short-lived personality ethic is never appreciated in Islam, but the goal is to endeavour towards perfection in character and have courage of prudence and deliberation.

Islam revolutionised society with hundred percent literacy. Ibn Khaldun, evaluating the secrets of success and being of extraordinary courage of the companions of Prophet Muhammad (SAW), in his Prologue writes that they were trained under Prophet’s guidance, where getting education was not a profession. The Prophet (SAW) used to teach provisions and ways of Deen (the system of life) and companions embraced those with the deepest and purest of heart. Thus, influences of every kind of falsehood vanished except the love and fear of Allah.

The author takes into account the course of upbringing a child from the very point a new born appears to adulthood. Abridged version in Urdu ‘Tarbiat-e-Aulad ka Islami Nizam’ and its English translation ‘Upbringing of Children: The Islamic Approach’ by Ibrahim Khan is from the original text in Arabic ‘Tarbiatul Aulad fil Islam’ (Upbringing of Children in Islam) by Abdullah Nasih Alwan of Syria is almost of fourteen hundred pages and is first ever written such voluminous book on the topic covers almost all dimensions of upbringing like physical, mental and spiritual well-being and explains in detail the means as well as aims and objectives of upbringing. The book is on descriptive and explanatory method, avoiding philosophical rhythm.

Quoting a narrative paragraph of the book, Abdullah bin Dinar (RA) says: "Hazrat Umar bin al Khattab (RA) and I left Madina for Makkah. In the way we had to lay down on the ground to take rest. Meanwhile, a shepherd descended from the mount. As a way to determine the extent of his integrity and moral state, Umar asked him to sell a goat to him." "I am just a servant rather than the owner," the shepherd replied. "tell your owner and lord that the goat was eaten up by the wolf," Umar suggested to him. "How can I miss Allah the Omnipresent," the servant objected to the suggestion of Umar. This wisdomful reply made Umar weep. Then Umar took him to his Lord, purchased from him and set him free, saying to him "It is your integrity which has liberated you from the bondage in this world. I hope the same thing will rid you of the hell-fire in the Hereafter."

Though the book mentions Islamic approach to the upbringing of children, but crosses the barrier of community concerned, and every segment is suggested to inculcate in building a healthy society. 

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