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Nurture and Protection of Children in Islam: Perspectives From Islamic Sources: Islamic Texts Command Affection, Care, and Education

NCJ Number
Child Abuse and Neglect Volume: 38 Issue: 4 Dated: April 2014 Pages: 585-592
Avner Giladi
Date Published
April 2014
8 pages
One of six articles in this issue on the beliefs and values of religion in nurturing and protecting children, this article focuses on the perspectives on this issue in Islamic sources.
The article first notes that Islam has developed in diverse cultures around the world in the course of its history, such that its views on the protection and nurturing of children are complex and varied; for example, in some areas of the Muslim world, child marriages to adults are common and defended by religious leaders; while in other areas, it is rejected and illegal. Still, despite the complexity and diversity of cultural beliefs that purport to be based in Islamic teachings, Muslim communities have common values and principles that foster the protection and nurture of children. These values date back to medieval interpretations of authoritative Islamic sources. Medieval Muslim scholars prescribed methods of childrearing, medical-hygienic treatment, and education. Laws were established to safeguard the lives of children, ensure their proper care and welfare, and secure their rights. The sacredness of children's lives is a central value in various strands of Islam. Islam affirms that all children are a blessing. In Muslim societies, the principal purpose of marriage is the bearing and rearing of children. Islam not only acknowledges warm parental emotions toward children, it also encourages parents to openly express love and mercy toward their children. Islam thus protects children by specifying various duties of parents in providing food and clothing for their children, along with medical care and education. Although corporate punishment of children seems to be accepted in Islamic law, many Islamic sources reprimand parents or teachers who apply this form of punishment excessively. 3 references