One of Allah`s very great blessings on us is His granting us children.
وَٱللَّهُ جَعَلَ لَكُم مِّنْ أَنفُسِكُمْ أَزْوَٰجًا وَجَعَلَ لَكُم مِّنْ أَزْوَٰجِكُم بَنِينَ وَحَفَدَةً وَرَزَقَكُم مِّنَ ٱلطَّيِّبَـٰتِ ۚ أَفَبِٱلْبَـٰطِلِ يُؤْمِنُونَ وَبِنِعْمَتِ ٱللَّهِ هُمْ يَكْفُرُونَ
It is Allah Who has made for you mates from your own species and He is the One Who gives you sons and grandsons through those wives, and provides for you good things to eat: will they then, after knowing all that, believe that falsehood and disbelieve Allah’s favours?
Holding up your child, playing with them, even allowing yourself to be there boxing bag and your mountain and laughing at all the silly things they do and say brings tremendous joy and lightens up any parents heart.
Nowadays, we see people have become hard-hearted so that their attitude towards children is unpleasant. There are some who show much partiality toward one gender, and there are some who don’t treat others’ children with the same kindness or affection which they show to their own children.
It is common to see even people who claim that they act on the Quran and Sunnah showing less interest in playing with their children or giving them the due attention or expression of love.
The Prophet ﷺ is the model for the whole of humankind. His attitude towards children was always compassionate and merciful.
Being fond of children, Prophet Muhammad ﷺ showed great interest in playing with them. His involvement in children’s games shows us the great importance in playing with our children.
He would have fun with the children who had come back from Abyssinia and tried to speak in Abyssinian with them. It was his practice to give lifts on his camel to children when he returned from journeys.
Prophet Muhammad ﷺ never held back his love for the children and always expressed his fondness to them. In one hadith Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated:
عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ، قَالَ خَرَجْتُ مَعَ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم فِي طَائِفَةٍ مِنَ النَّهَارِ لاَ يُكَلِّمُنِي وَلاَ أُكَلِّمُهُ حَتَّى جَاءَ سُوقَ بَنِي قَيْنُقَاعَ ثُمَّ انْصَرَفَ حَتَّى أَتَى خِبَاءَ فَاطِمَةَ فَقَالَ ” أَثَمَّ لُكَعُ أَثَمَّ لُكَعُ ” . يَعْنِي حَسَنًا فَظَنَنَّا أَنَّهُ إِنَّمَا تَحْبِسُهُ أُمُّهُ لأَنْ تُغَسِّلَهُ وَتُلْبِسَهُ سِخَابًا فَلَمْ يَلْبَثْ أَنْ جَاءَ يَسْعَى حَتَّى اعْتَنَقَ كُلُّ وَاحِدٍ مِنْهُمَا صَاحِبَهُ فَقَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم ” اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أُحِبُّهُ فَأَحِبَّهُ وَأَحْبِبْ مَنْ يُحِبُّهُ ”
Abu Huraira reported:
I went along with Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) at a time during the day but he did not talk to me and I did not talk to him until he reached the market of Bani Qainuqa`. He came back to the tent of Fatima and said: Is the little chap (meaning Hasan) there? We were under the impression that his mother had detained him in order to bathe him and dress him and garland him with a sweet garland. Not much time had passed that he (Hasan) came running until both of them embraced each other, thereupon Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said: O Allah, I love him; love him Thou and love one who loves him (Hasan). (Muslim)
Anas ibn Malik (may Allah be pleased with him), the servant of the Prophet ﷺ, had another recollection:
I never saw anyone who was more compassionate towards children than Allah’s Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him). His son Ibrahim was in the care of a wet nurse in the hills around Madinah. He would go there, and we would go with him, and he would enter the house, pick up his son and kiss him, then come back. (Muslim)
The Prophet’s love for children was not restricted to his children and grandchildren. The scope of his mercy and affection embraced all children, and he showed the same interest and gentleness to his Companion’s children.
The following hadith narrated by Usamah ibn Zaid (may Allah be pleased with him) shows this humane aspect of the Prophet’s ﷺ personality:
Allah’s Messenger used to put me on (one of) his thighs and put Al-Hasan ibn `Ali on his other thigh, and then embrace us and say, “O Allah! Please be merciful to them, as I am merciful to them.” (Al-Bukhari)
The Prophet was always patient and considerate with children and took great pain not to hurt their tender feelings.