Sunday, 17 December 2017

Tafsan 

 

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TOPIC: The Islamic Views on Violence Against Children

 

We seek refuge in Allah from the accursed shaytan and start in the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful. Alhamdulillah. We thank Him for making it possible for us to see another Friday.

 

We bear witness that there is no God but Allah, alone without any partners, and we bear witness that Muhammad (SAW) is His servant and His Messenger.

 

Our sermon for this week would center on Islamic views on the Violence against the Children.

 

The definitions of children we have is as many as the number of philosophers, but the consensus opinion is that those who fall within the day of birth and the puberty stage are considered as children. Modern systems have set the phase of maturity at the age of 18 years. The age of attaining puberty varies from place to place. The major criteria to determine the puberty in Islam is the first menstrual period performed by female as well as the appearance of semen experienced by male.

 

The Quran has ordered the mother to breastfeed her child as follows: “Mothers shall suckle their children for two whole years; (that is) for those who wish to complete the suckling” and likewise obligated the father of the newborn to provide for the breastfeeding mother, “The duty of feeding and clothing nursing mothers in a seemly manner is upon the father of the child”. There are many forms of legislation and rulings in the divine code that aim to protect the child’s rights.

 

Many factors influence the development of this suffering by these children; it must be treated due to its adverse effects on the future of humankind represented in the children who will become the women and men of the future. Violence constitutes any behaviour involving physical, verbal or psychological force intended to hurt, damage, or kill someone or something.

Violence against the children can be in the form of any of the following, that can affect the children emotionally, physically or both, absence of family care on the children, children living on the streets, child labour, sexual abuse of children, domestic violence against children, child marriage and forced marriage, discrimination among children, violence in schools and educational institutions, child trafficking, violence against children through television and the Internet and other various forms of violence against children.

 

Replica of childrearing and caring and the children that were inflicted with one form of violence or the other is like farmers in their farming activities expecting to harvest after a while. Some of the plants cultivated die before the harvesting period, some plants are sustained till harvesting period despite different plagues that come across it. Some children despite this violence inflicted on them, the physical violence or emotional trauma faced, they manage to become responsible and reliable while some among them turn to become terror in the society.

 

Various ways by which the society is terrorized include any of the following ways, hired assassins, armed robbers, touts, militants etc. nursing vengeance on individuals, companies, government and the community, the entire world has been informed in the Quran, 8:25 “And guard against the mischief that will bring punishment not only to the wrong-doers among you”.

 

The parents, organizations (religious or non-religious) and the government have roles to guard against this violence. Some of the efforts of the government  to curb violence against children among others is the establishment of National Agency for the Traffic in Person (NAPTIP), an agency saddled with the responsibilities among others to guard against child trafficking. We also have the government Ministries at state levels with the program “Zero Tolerance on Child Abuse”.

 

Inability of some parents to adequately take care of their children cannot be ruled out as one of the causes of this violence against children and this is due to their non-challant attitude occasioned by poor income of parents as compared to the number of children, negligence of some low income earner single- parents (either due to the death of husband or divorce) contributed its quota to these children found living in unhygienic environment that later graduated to what has been popularly known as “Area Boys” in some places.

 

Islam urges proper childrearing and care and keeping the child away from anything that could hurt his or her health or psychological or social condition. Children are a gift from Almighty Allah, The Highest, and a trust placed on the shoulders of the parents, society and the state. Allah says in Quran 66:6, “O you who believed, protect yourselves and your families from a Fire whose fuel is people and stones, over which are (appointed) angels, harsh and severe; they do not disobey Allah in what He commands them but do what they are commanded”. Also, the Prophet (pbuh) has said, “Every one of you is a shepherd and everyone is responsible for what he is shepherded”.

 

Peaceful co-existence on the surface of the earth depends on adherence to the instructions of Allah as taught by Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). His interactions with fellow beings economically, politically, religiously, arbitration or judgment, human being relationship with fellow creatures is explained vividly. The rights of the children to decent life, education, healthcare, protection against any form of violence are numerously mentioned in the Quran and Hadith.

 

 

In spite of the attention given by international bodies like UNICEF on children and the numerous recent state institutions concerned with the care of children, in many countries these children still suffer physical and psychological abuse. This suffering has become a global phenomenon, varying in magnitude from one country to another. The child’s right is exemplified in the hadith of the Prophet (pbuh), “It is enough for a person to be [considered] sinful if he neglects the one whom he sustains”.