The right of the child to education and the acquisition of skills The right of the child to education and the acquisition of skills

The right of the child to education and the acquisition of skills

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Once the child reaches the age of comprehending and learning, he or she has the right to be provided by his or her parents with knowledge to develop intellectual capabilities that enable the child to recognize and learn to deal with the various surrounding aspects of life.

This helps the child realize that he or she is part of this collectivity, and cannot live isolated without the need for other humans and things other than humans.

Since the seeking of knowledge is a religious duty in Islam, parents are expected to perform this duty by providing education to their children as they take their first steps in life.

Any negligence in initiating this process means compromising their responsibility, with the consequence of further negligence in the subsequent stages of the lives of their children.

Once the foundation is lost, nothing remains on which to build a sound edifice. It is reported that Imam Ali bin Abu Talib said:

“Teach your children things you did not learn when you were their age, for they have been created for a time that is different from your time.”

The principles of Islamic Sharia offer males and females equal opportunities in education; this should be granted serious consideration. In a Hadith, the Prophet, Peace Be Upon Him, said: “The seeking of knowledge is obligatory upon every Muslim male and Muslim female.”

The Prophet practiced what he preached when he requested Al-Shifa’ bint Abdullah Al-’Adawiyah to teach his wife Hafsah bint Omar bin Al-Khttab to read and write so as to qualify for the task of memorizing and preserving the Book of Allah (the Qur’an).

The attention of Islam and the Muslims to learning goes beyond the spending of effort and money. Individuals are encouraged to acquire knowledge wherever it may be, in implementation of the command of the Prophet, Peace Be Upon Him, who said: “Seek knowledge even if it be in China.”

Islam goes as far as paying utmost attention to teachers, who are seen as the pillars of the educational process.

Those who truly understand Islam appreciate how great it is as it highlights the importance of educators and the significance of their roles and the influence they wield on children.

Muslim caliphs and governors have left us a legacy of recommendations made to teachers of children.

One such example is the written recommendation by Omar bin ‘Utbah to the teacher of his children. He said to him:

“Let your first action in attending to my children be in attending to yourself. Their eyes will see what your eye sees; they will see as good the things you do and as bad the things you renounce.”

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