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Children: Godís Trust whether in Guidance or in Care(1)  *
                                                                                         

 

The child is the first brick in the society. If it is well placed, the whole building is straight no matter how high it raises and how great it becomes. He is the core of the coming generation; from it branches its  organs and parts. As the building needs engineering and balancing; the core needs the soil and the suitable conditions .The childís tendencies and capabilities need to be balanced: he needs the good soil when he grows up and has his talents crystallized; the sources of culture he receives, the civilization he adapts to, and his upbringing all need to be purified.

The child is a world in itself; he holds all the traits of life in its different phases: turmoil and tranquility, happiness and misery; intelligence and idleness, purity and malice, superiority and backwardness, faith and atheism, war and peace as well. The maintenance of reason and passion in upbringing and growth-the basis of manís happiness- must begin in childhood, since it is the best stage for learning the good way of life. The childís ability of acquisition and imitation, and his sense of adoption are intense, he can receive all his movements speech and actions with a accuracy incredible enough to be compared to the lens of a camera. While the childís body grows, his soul should move towards superiority and completion too. As his body is being cared for, so must his feelings and spirits be. He must be reared on cleanliness, politeness, honesty, sympathy, responsibility and benevolence and many other virtuous qualities as well. In fact, it is extremely difficult to change the conduct of those who were not accustomed to the right educational conduct during their childhood.

The happiest people are those who were brought up on the basis of good education and manners since their childhood. For this reason, parents play an important role in making their childrenís happiness- their responsibility towards them.

Imam Ali (p.) once said to his son al Hassan (p.)ĒA childís heart is like an empty land; whatever you give it, it takes, thatís why I brought you up on politeness before your heart hardened and your mind got busy.Ē A childís heart is white paper with neither a right nor a wrong idea; responsible fathers and mothers make good use of this fact to adorn their childrenís hearts with virtuous traits and good manners. A childís feelings  and emotions appear before his mind, so, one can take advantage of his feelings before his mental capabilities. All around the world, children are sent to schools after the age of four or five, during which their mental talents bloom, while his feelings and senses become active a long time before. A child who does not comprehend the scientific matters and perceive them can, on the other hand, perceive emotional matters which influence him, such as sharpness, tenderness, leniency, sympathy, compassion, respect, and negligence. The development of feelings and senses is of: significant importance in the educational matters. In the first place, parents are the most responsible for performing this duty, Kindergartens can never replace the family and the mother in reviving all the hidden feelings of the child properly and guiding him to the right way. In this respect, it is worth saying that parents must take care of their childrenís physical and spiritual proper nutrition, Due to this fact, the parents burden as responsibility is so heavy during the childís early stage. In fact, disregarding safe and healthy nutrition of the body and the soul leads to uncontrollable consequences. The childís development is completed in his early years; thus, his material and spiritual sides must be taken care of.

The shortage of spiritual or physical nutrition of the childís lie leads to dangerous consequences; besides, a small fault may cause a big problem which continues to influence a child up till the end of his life.

So, Moslem parents have to consider the religious responsibility they have towards their children, knowing that their children are Godís charge in their hands. Parents who fulfill their religious duties in upbringing their children properly deserve Godís rewarding. On the other hands, those who donít abide by their religious duty are betraying themselves, their children and the society they live in as well, and thus they deserve Godís severe punishment.

As a result, parentís only role is not making an enormous wealth and inherit it to their children; wealth would load them to concoction and misery if they were nit brought up well.




 

 Godís Trust whether in Guidance or in Care(2)  *

The instinct of superiority and love of perfection are innate in man.  The desire for progress and excellence are considered branches of self-love which reside in any manís nature.  The conscious guardians should make use of this psychological wealth, building the sound educational ways on this basis.  Consequently, they will guide the child towards superiority and excellence.  In this respect, a discourse for Al Imam Hassan (a.s..) was reported, ęHe called his children and his nephews and said to them, today you are children and tomorrow youíll be the leaders of your people, so learn today and he who canít memorize, let him write it  down and keep it at his homeĽ.  In this discourse we can see that Imam Hassan (a.s.)) had employed the childrenís self love and their innate desire for development to urge and encourage them to learn without resorting to intimidation or threatening. He made them understand that acquiring knowledge now is the way that leads them to dignity and magnificence in the future.

The method used in the above discourse in regarded as one of the greatest methods in the field of raising children and education nowadays. By following this method, every family can encourage its children to acquire knowledge, pushing them from the beginning towards superiority and excellence.  Later, children will become self-motivated for seeking knowledge ;they donít need to be threatened.

In this sense, there is similarity between the atmosphere of the family and that of the Islamic government, where the social discipline is built on the principles of freedom and justice.  Due to this fact, education in Islam is based on justice, freedom, and the development of the childrenís desires for superiority and perfection.

 Imam Ali (a.s.) said to his son Imam Hassan (a.s.) ęDonít be a slave for others, while Allah had created you and made you a free manĽ.  By this brief saying, the great father plants in his son the greatest wealth of personality, and makes him used to mental freedom.  With respect to childrenís education he (a.s.) said, ęHe who didnít learn during childhood, would not advance when becoming an adultĽ.  The qualified teacher is the one who makes use of the childís instinct for perfection and superiority, building most of his educational methods on this basis.

 

 

Godís Trust whether in Guidance or in Care(3)  *

 

The family, where a child grows up, plays an important role in his education.  It is considered as a school which develops his hidden talents and teaches him lessons in great human values.

Imam Ali (a.s.) was a perfect man, with  an ideal personality .  All the human qualities and virtuous manners appeared in this great man, who frankly boasted of the education he received in his childhood.  He told us about the great spiritual wealth he had gotten during that stage of his honorable life.

 He also boasted of his great teacher , the prophet of Islam (p.) when saying, ęYou knew  about the close kinship from the Messenger (p..) and the special rank he had given me  . He put me in, his lap, took me to his breast, and made me sleep in his bed, touching his body and smelling his hair. He (a.s.) proceeds saying, ęEvery day he used to teach me one  of his manners, and he order me to abide by itĽ.

All of Imam Aliís (a.s.) mental and emotional tendencies were satisfied during his childhood in the Prophetís tender lap.  On one hand, the Prophet (p.) watered his emotions from the spring of his affection and sympathy; on the other hand, he gave him lessons in manners and ordered him to follow them.

The profound, wise educational methods, that the greatest prophet (p.) had followed in upbringing Imam Ali (a.s.) revived the latterís all hidden talents and led him within a short time to the  highest posts of perfection, so he adapted Islam at the age of ten with awareness and perception.  Moreover, he spread its creed, following the Prophetís way of life.  Never in his life did he deviate from the right way.

The characteristic that makes the value of the family of big importance is reviving the childís individual traits.  Individuals do not only differ from each other in their physical appearance, but also in their spirits and psychologies.  This difference is one of the features of the divine might.

Why donít you beg God with reverence; He created you different from each other] (The Hypocrites: 8).

The Messenger (p.) said, ępeople are metals like gold and silverĽ.  Due to this reason, some children are born with certain qualities that do not exist in other ordinary children.  Some individuals, perhaps, have reason, perception, intelligence, wit, memory, acuteness, generosity, and self-control in an extraordinary way.

The childís upbringing should be based on manís natural perception and innate tendencies, methods built on this basis are sound, and they are the realistic way for manís happiness.

Therefore, what is the most important basis of education:

In the course of sound education, the first thing a child must be taught is making him feel Godís existence, and make him believe in Him using an easily understandable approach.

The need for believing in God is inborn, and it exists inside every manís nature-when the childís perception system is  ready  & good observation arises in him, he starts inquiring about reasons of things.  In this case, his pure self is completely ready to receive belief in God, and indeed it is a very natural matter.  The teacher should make use of this innate wealth, and thus make the child understand that God created man, plants, animals, objects and all the universe.  He is the maker of day and night.  He watches our deeds at any moment; He rewards us for our good doings and punishes us for ill ones.  Talking to the child in this way is so easy that it results in the childís submission.  He becomes a believer in God in a short time.  Following this approach, we can create in the childís a love for discipline, commitment, straight forwardness, and virtuousness. Besides, believing in God is not only the greatest refuge for man but also the most significant element that brings about his self-tranquility; it is the most important basis for his happiness and a major issue prophets dealt with in their call.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   
   

* By Grand Ayatollah H.E. Sayyed M. H. Fadlullah Copy Rights; http://www.islamology.com    http://www.bayynat.org 

 

 

 
 
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