By: Islaam.org (with minor edits for style and clarity)
All the Prophets, including the final and greatest of them – the holy Prophet Muhammad (Allah’s peace be upon him), have stressed that the brief earthly sojourn of a man is a prelude to the everlasting life of hereafter. It, therefore, follows that greater priority is given to the betterment of prospects in the life to come and attainment of felicity in the hereafter than to the affairs and interests of this life.
The holy Prophet (Allah’s peace be upon him) thus has enjoined upon the parents to take care of the religious instruction of their children from the very beginning, otherwise they will be called to account for negligence on the Day of Judgement.
It is related by Abdullah Ibne Abbaas (Allah be pleased with them both) that the Apostle of Allah (Allah’s peace be upon him) said:
“Have your children utter first of all, the Kalimah of Laa ilaaha illallahu, i.e., let these be the first words they speak, and exhort them to utter the same Kalimah of Laa ilaaha illallahu at the time of death.” (Bayhaqi)
The child begins to receive the impression of what it sees or hears from the time of its birth. The chanting of Azaan and Iqaamat in the ears of a newly born infant, also, gives a clear indication of it.
This Tradition shows that when a child begins to speak, it should be taught to utter the Kalimah of Laa ilaaha illallahu as a first step towards its education. It, further, tells that when the dying moment is near, a person should, again, be exhorted to pronounce the same Kalimah. Blessed, indeed, is the man who when utters the first words, on coming into this world, it is the Kalimah of Laa ilaaha illallahu, and the same Kalimah is on his lips when he departs.
It is related by Sa’eed Ibne ‘Aas radhiyallahu anhu that the Apostle of Allah (Allah’s peace be upon him) said: “No father gave a better gift to his children than good manners and good character.” (Tirmidhi)
It is related by Anas radhiyallahu anhu that the Apostle of Allah (Allah’s peace be upon him) said:
“Show respect to your children and adorn them with good manners.” (Ibn Majah)
Showing respect to one’s children denotes that they should be treated not as a burden, but a blessing and a trust of Allah, and brought up with care and affection.
It is related by Abdullah Ibn Amr Ibn Aas (Allah be pleased with them both) that the Apostle of Allah (Allah’s peace be upon him) said:
“When your children attain the age of seven, instruct them to offer salat (regularly), and when they are ten years old, punish them if they do not, and have separate beds for them (to sleep on).” (Abu Dawud)
Children, generally, develop the faculty of understanding at the age of seven, and it is time their feet were set on the path of the worship of Allah. They should, therefore, be told to offer salat regularly when they reach that age. At ten, their powers of discretion and intelligence are fairly advanced and they begin to approach maturity. At that time, the observance of salat ought to be enjoined strictly upon them, and they should be taken to task, in an appropriate manner, if they failed to do so. They should, further, be required to sleep on separate beds and not together (which is permitted up to the age often).
All these, in brief, are the rights of children, both boys and girls, on their parents, and the parents will have to render a full account in respect of them on the day of reckoning.