Care For Early Infancy and The Right of The Child to Live in Health and Happiness

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It is well known that half of the deaths that occur in the first year of infancy take place during the first month. Furthermore, 75 per cent of these deaths occur during the first week after birth, in addition to the disabilities that afflict children during this period.

 

All measures should be taken in order to prevent the loss of life, even early in the embryo stage. Islam has a set of general principles that make it incumbent upon Muslims to preserve the life and health of the child.

 

One may conclude from these principles that negligence and carelessness in this matter constitute a major sin. One of these general principles, stated in the Qur’an, is the following:

…AND DO NOT THROW YOURSELVES INTO DESTRUCTION [BY NOT

SPENDING YOURWEALTH IN THE CAUSE OF ALLAH], AND DO GOOD.

TRULY, ALLAH LOVES AL-MUHSINUN [THE GOOD-DOERS]. (AL BAQARA, OR THE COW, VERSE 195)

 

This is echoed in the Hadith: “It is a grave sin for one to neglect a person whom he is responsible for sustaining.”

 

A person who does not care for those for whom he is responsible, with the consequence of compromising them, would indeed be committing a grave sin.

 

Preserving the life and health of the child

 

Islam’s attention to preserving the life and health of the child amounts to attending to the strength of the Muslims as a whole. This is how able-bodied and healthy individuals who are full of life and activity are raised. A healthy body not only contributes to the soundness of one’s thinking, but also makes it possible for the individual to interact with life and fellow humans. Islam has provided rules for the Muslim individual and a well-organized scheme of life to prevent ill health.

 

Second to Islam itself, good health is the best bounty Allah may bestow upon any person. A Muslim simply cannot act properly and perform his duties towards his Lord without good health. Al-Tirmidhi reported on the authority of Abu Hurayrah that the Prophet, Peace Be Upon Him, said: “Of all the bounties bestowed upon him, the first thing the servant of Allah will be asked about on the Day of Judgment is that it will be said to him (by Allah) did I not give you a healthy body.“

 

In another Hadith reported by Al-Tirmidhi it was said, “The Messenger of Allah, Peace Be Upon Him, did not like anything more to be asked for than good health.“

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