Friday sermon: Treat children with gentleness and mercy

Treat children with gentleness and mercy, this week’s sermon tells worshippers.

“Our children are the fruits of our hearts, Allah has rooted their love in our instinct and they are a blessing in our lives,” says the sermon.

It quotes a verse from the Quran: “Wealth and children are an ornament of the life of the world. But the good deeds which endure are better in thy Lord’s sight for reward.”

Islam tells people to guarantee children’s rights and treat them with gentleness and mercy.

The Prophet Mohammed is the best example. As his companion Anas bin Malek once said: “I have not seen anyone more merciful with children than the Prophet, peace be upon him.”

“He used to be gentle with children even during prayer,” the sermon adds.

The Prophet once arrived for prayers with one of his grandsons. During the prayers he extended a prostration for so long that his companions thought something was wrong. But when the prayers were over and they asked the Prophet the reason for his actions, he said his grandson had climbed on his back.

“Indeed children are in extreme need for a merciful shoulder and gentle treatment.”

The sermon also cites an incident in which a poor woman visited the Prophet Mohammed’s wife, Lady Ayesha, with her two young daughters. Lady Ayesha gave the woman three dates, so the woman gave one to each of her daughters and raised the third one to her mouth. At that moment the girls asked her for it, so she split it in half and shared it between the two girls.

When the Prophet Mohammed heard what happened, he said: “Allah has guaranteed paradise for her with that action or will save her from hell fire with it.”

The sermon concludes by urging Muslims to look after vulnerable children and make sure their rights and needs are met.

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