Parents obliged to ‘hit’ children who refuse to pray, says lecturer

pray ramadan-children_wide-10cede1b71d9be43d5cdbe43c4d91fc5560912bd-s6-c30

Waqiuddin Rajak

PARENTS are obliged to strike their children if they refused to or are careless in performing the five daily prayers once they have reached the age of 10, said an academician from Malaysia yesterday.

Dr Abdul Munir Ismail

Dr Abdul Munir Ismail

However, parents should not exert powerful force when using this approach as the intention is to teach and not to hurt, stressed Dr Abdul Munir Ismail (pic), senior lecturer from Universiti Pendidikan Islam Sultan Idris (UPSI).

He was one of the speakers at the third Usuluddin Education Seminat held at the Seri Begawan Religious Teacher’s University College (KUPU SB).

His presentation was based on his research on the Banjar community, specifically on approaches of parents in teaching religious obligations to their children.

“Sometimes when we tell our children to pray, they do follow for about a week, but given a month or so, we would see that some stop doing their prayers,” said Dr Abdul Munir.

Istiqomah (consistency) is important in teaching children to fulfil their religious obligations.

pray father-and-little-daughter-praying“So in cases like these, we are allowed to hit our children if they still refused to pray given that the children had reached the age of 10,” he added.

However, the senior lecturer warned parents against hitting children for a different cause such as loss of money, playing truant, or underperforming in school.

“Strict approaches should be applied only when children have refused to fulfil their religious obligations,” he said.

Dr Abdul Munir provided guidelines on using this approach which should only be used as the last resort.

“When hitting children, especially with a cane, parents should first ensure that they understand why they are being hit,” he said.

Parents should give initial warnings beforehand and only when the child refuses to comply should the parents resort to hitting.

“Parents should not do it in a harsh manner or forcefully; they should also hold their children’s hand as a sign of affection, because we hit to teach not to hurt,” emphasised Dr Abdul Munir.

“The next time, we could remind our children if they forget to pray; say something like there is a cane hanging at the back of the house so children would get scared and remember to perform their prayers.”

During the question and answer session at the end of the seminar, a number of questions were posed by participants.

One participant asked of the suitable age where the approach of hanging the cane would be most effective.

Dr Abdul Munir responded by saying that for the usage of psychology, usually reminding children with the existence of a cane is usually effective for children between the ages of four and 10.

pray1“Psychological approaches could also be helpful, like saying if children failed to pray, they will be caned five times and for younger children, they can be taught through the caning of their elder siblings who have fulfilled the age requirements (by organising a family meeting),” he said.

Dr Abdul Munir was also asked of his opinion on parents delegating the task of disciplining children through this method to the eldest child in the family.

According to the senior lecturer, it is not right for parents to do so as they (the older children) might cause hurt rather than teaching a lesson.

“This approach can be considered (for those aged 18 and above) but as I said, the hitting should not cause any harm to the younger children,” he said.

The Brunei Times
Thursday, January 9, 2014


The Prophet’s Treatment Towards Children

The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “He is not of us (the one) who does not have mercy on our young children, nor honor our elderly.” [Tirmidhi]

The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) himself never even hit a woman, a child, or an animal.

The Companion Anas ibn Malik (Allah be pleased with him) helped serve the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) for 10 years during his youth. He described his personal experiences with the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) and said:

“I served the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) for ten years. He never said to me ‘uff!’ (a word in the Arabic language used to express one’s annoyance). And he never said about a thing I did, ‘why did you do that?’ And he never said about a thing I left, ‘why did you leave that?’ The Messenger of God (Allah bless him and give him peace) was the best of people in character…” [Tirmidhi]



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