Advising the Children of Relatives

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Question:

Assalaamu ‘alaikum

Respected ‘Ulama

My nephew was playing and I noticed a red string on his hand with something small hanging off it. He was playing and found it, so he put it on his hand. I advised him to take it off as Allah Ta‘ala wouldn’t like us to wear something like that on our hands. I just felt that Hindus wear strings on their hands (especially red ones). Although this was obviously not his intention, I felt that this is something that should be inculcated from early. My sister (his mother) immediately chastised me for saying that to him. She insisted that I’m making him aware of something he didn’t think of, and I was over reacting over such a simple thing, as he was just playing.

I’ve been in this situation before, where my sisters think I’m over reacting. Another example was when I told my nieces and nephew that they shouldn’t read books about pigs or pay too much attention to them. They said that it’s an animal of Allah Ta‘ala so I shouldn’t make it such a big deal.

Please advise me, as I’m not sure as to whether I am over reacting.

Jazakallah

Answer:

Bismihi Ta‘ala

Wa ‘alaikumus salaam wa rahmatullahi wa barakaatuh

Respected Sister in Islam

In nurturing children and making their correct tarbiyah (giving them correct Islamic upbringing), it is important to inculcate the correct habits and mindset from a young age. Hence such aspects which are generally identified as being among the salient ways of Hindus, Jews, Christians, etc. should be discouraged from the time the child is still growing up and even if just a few years old. The same applies to animals. Since the pig has been declared completely haraam, it is good to inculcate the dislike for it in the heart of the child. If this is not done from a young age, then as they grow up, they would become very accustomed to such issues and not think anything of it. To thereafter change their ways and habits would become very difficult.

However, with regard to the children of family members etc. then merely express whatever has to be said in a very nice and encouraging way and then let it be. Do not get into any confrontation or argument with anyone. Simply advise in a nice manner and make du‘aa for those concerned.

Answered by:

Uswatul Muslimah Panel of ‘Ulama