Islam Forbids Using Violence To Educate Children, Says Perlis Fatwa Council

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Datuk Dr Mohd Asri Zainul Abidin.Datuk Dr Mohd Asri Zainul Abidin.

Recently, the nation was shocked over the unfortunate death of Nur Aina Nabihah Muhammad Abdullah, who was abused by her 35-year-old father in a series of horrible tortures and punishments.

Her father believed that the punishments would turn Nur Aina into a more obedient daughter and he even tried curing her using holy water obtained from an ustaz.

In response to the incident, the Perlis State Mufti department released a public statement to educate Muslims about the religion’s stance on using corporal punishments towards children.

In a post uploaded to the Facebook page of Perlis Mufti, Datuk Dr Mohd Asri Zainul Abidin, the Fatwa Council of the state issued a fatwa to condemn the act of parents punishing their children for any wrongdoings.

“The act of physically or psychologically hurting your spouse, children or students in any violent manner is forbidden in Islam, even with the intent of educating them,” the statement reads.

While beating and smacking children as a means of education is allowed in the religion, it must be done in a way that does not leave any negative physical or psychological impact on a child.

Though abusing them is forbidden, the Prophet (PBUH) did allow Muslims to lightly punish their children for not praying.

Abu Dawood (459) and Ahmad (6650) narrated from ‘Amr ibn Shu’ayb from his father that his grandfather said: The Messenger of Allah said: “Teach your children to pray when they are seven years old, and smack them (lightly) if they do not pray when they are 10 years old, and separate them in their beds.”

However, hitting someone in the face was strictly prohibited by the Prophet, regardless if the intent was for education or friendly amusement.

Abu Huraira reported Allah's Messenger as saying: “When any one of you fights with his brother he should avoid striking at the face.”

“Hitting other body parts that could result in heavy injuries, such as the genitals, are also prohibited,” the statement concluded.

Meanwhile, Negeri Sembilan mufti Datuk Mohd Yusof Ahmad explained that the use of holy water is allowed in Islam, as long as it does not contradict with the teachings of the religion.

However, he advised Muslims not to rely on such blessed waters too much in educating their children.

“In the end, it all depends on the blessings of God so don’t put your hopes too much on the water. Instead, keep praying to God and be patient in educating your children.

“Parents must always reflect on themselves, maybe they have done something wrong in the past that resulted in the problematic behaviour of their children,” Berita Harian reported Mohd Yusof saying.

-- mD