According to the Western ideology, the concept of childhood was not addressed until the 16th century. It is not that the west did not have children or young people but rather they didn’t have the principles of how to safeguard their right.
Before revolutions in Europe, children were forced to work in harsh conditions like mines and they used hung machines. During this period, a lot of children had serious injuries or even lost their lives. There were mass demonstration against child labour. Then the governments started to pass laws to safeguard child’s rights. On the other hand, Islam has established children’s rights for 14 centuries. Throughout Islamic history and in Islamic literature the rights and responsibilities pertaining to children are clear cut. Parents, families, and communities have certain responsibilities towards children. Many of them are obligatory, and on the Day of Judgement, God will question adults about the treatment of their children.
Actually, the rights of a child begin even before birth … HOW !!!
Islam recommends men and women who are going to get marriage to choose their partners carefully, as the prophet (peace be upon him) said:
A woman may be married for four reasons: her wealth, her lineage, her beauty, and her religious commitment. Marry the one who is religiously committed.”
If a man and a woman have both dedicated their lives to worshipping and pleasing their Creator, then the rights of any children they may have are automatically guaranteed. Worshipping God means obeying His commandments and His commandments include securing the rights of the child. By marrying rather than having an illicit relationship, the couple has already begun to secure the rights of their future children. A child has the right to know and understand his or her lineage.
Islam also gives child the right to life . The Quran makes it very clear that all life is sacred. It is never permissible to terminate a pregnancy because one fears being unable to financially support a child or another child. It is God, who is the Provider and Sustainer of all life. Allah the Almighty said:
…kill not your children because of poverty – We provide sustenance for you and for them.” (Quran 6:151)
When making a decision to terminate a pregnancy it is important to remember that having a child is a blessing from God and all such blessings should be accepted with joy and gratitude. There are many people in the world today who are not able to have children, therefore when God blesses a family with one, it should be a cause for celebration and happiness. However, children are not toys or possessions. With them comes great responsibility.
Having children is great responsibility, so parents should be able to bear such responsibility. The prophet (PBUH) asserted this in his saying:
A man is the shepherd of his family and is responsible for his flock. A woman is the shepherd of her husband’s household and is responsible for her flock.”
Caring for and raising children in the proper manner is a duty on parents and it is not easy, the parents also should provide their children good life.
The correct Islamic advice for raising and rearing children covers all aspects of life. Just like Islam itself, it is holistic advice. Physical, emotional, and spiritual well being are all of equal importance. It is interesting to note that Islam has always covered the rights of children. After the birth of a child, mothers are advised to breastfeed.
Breast milk was designed by God to specifically fit the needs of each individual child. Modern science has proven the remarkable qualities of breast milk. Breast milk has disease-fighting cells called antibodies that help protect infants from germs, illness, and even ‘Sudden Infant Death Syndrome’. Allah shows its importance in quranic verse “The mothers shall give suck to their children for two whole years, (that is) for those (parents) who desire to complete the term of suckling” (Quran 2:233).
As soon as they are old, enough to understand children should be taught to love God. This is usually easy because children as naturally disposed to know and love God. It is straightforward for them to understand that God is the Creator. It is the parents or caregivers responsibility to teach children that God is One, that there is none worthy of worship but He.And (remember) when Luqman said to his son when he was advising him: “O my son! Join not in worship others with God. Verily, joining others in worship with God is a great wrong indeed.” (Quran 31:13).
The first school
Parents, guardians, and caregivers are responsible for teaching their children the duties of Islam. Children must be taught the correct way of worshiping God and the best way to do this is by example. From the moment that they can interact with their surroundings, children are learning. Even when a very small child hears the call to prayer, he or she will know that it is time for all worldly endeavors to stop while believers focus their attention on God. Children learn this by observing the behavior of those around them. From the traditions of Prophet Muhammad, may the mercy and blessings of God be upon him, we learn that it is obligatory upon us to teach our children to pray when they are seven years old and to admonish them for not praying when they reach the age of ten.  The reality is that children who live in a household where prayer and correct worship are visible, are eager to pray and often a very young age can be seen bowing and prostrating at their parents side.
At seven years old children must be taught how to pray correctly. By the age of ten children should be admonished for not praying. Whatever discipline is used it should be such that the child understands that praying is important.
Finally, Islam focuses on justice even among sons and daughters. This justice must create balance in raising them up. Islam tells us that it is important to treat children fairly. Prophet Muhammad, may the mercy and blessings of God be upon him, said:
Fear God and treat your children fairly.”
It is not permissible to show preference to one gender over the other or to one child over the others. This can lead to sibling rivalry, jealousy, and bad feelings within the family. Islam is a religion concerned with justice and respect. It is a religion that places great emphasis on rights and responsibilities.
In conclusion, Children have certain rights, the most important being that they are able to know and love God. It is the parents (caregivers and guardians) responsibility to feed, clothe, educate, and nurture the children that have come under their care.