Monthly Archives: May 2011
Among the early well known Muslim doctors is Imam Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyyah (d. 751 AH), the author of a famous book called Tuhfat al-Mawdood bi Ahkaam al-Mawlood. One of the most important chapters of his book is the sixteenth chapter, which is entitled Fi fusool naafi’ah fi Tarbiyat al-Atfaal tuhmad ‘awaaqibuha ‘ind al-Kabr (Useful advice on raising children which will have good consequences when the child grows up). You can benefit from its contents, whilst paying attention to the fact that what he mentions are matters that are subject to ijtihaad, based on his level of knowledge and medical experience at that time. You can benefit from it in general terms and by studying similar books of modern medicine.
I will quote here a summary of what he said, because it includes useful medical information about dealing with newborn infants.
The child should be breastfed by someone other than his mother, two or three days after birth. That is better because her milk after that time will be thick and contain different ingredients, unlike the milk of one who has been breastfeeding for a while. All the Arabs pay attention to that, and they give their children to desert women to breastfeed, as the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) was given to Banu Sa’d to be breastfed among them.
They should not be picked up and carried around until they are three months old or more, because they have only recently emerged from their mother’s wombs and their bodies are still weak.
They should be given only milk until their teeth appear, because their stomachs are weak and unable to digest food. When the baby’s teeth appear, his stomach has grown strong and is able to be nourished by food. Food should be introduced gradually.
When they approach the age where they will begin to speak and one wants to make it easy for them to speak, a little honey and salt should be placed on the infant’s tongue, because they contain substances that will reduce the excessive moisture that prevents speech. When the child begins to speak, one should prompt him to say Laa ilaaha ill-Allaah Muhammad Rasool Allaah.
When the time for the teeth to appear comes, the gums should be rubbed every day with butter and ghee.
Parents should not get upset when the child cries and yells, because he benefits greatly from that crying. It exercises his limbs, opens his intestines and chest, keeps his brain warm, warms his moods, provokes his energy, creates suitable conditions for expelling waste matter, and helps rid the brain of mucus and other waste.
The child should be protected against everything that may scare him of harsh and terrifying noises, frightening scenes and disturbing movements.
Complete breastfeeding lasts for two years. This is the right of the child if he needs it and cannot do without it. The Qur’aan confirmed that by adding the word kaamilayn (meaning complete or whole, in the verse “The mothers shall give suck to their children for two whole years” [al-Baqarah 2:233]). If the one who is breastfeeding the child wants to wean him, she should wean him gradually, and not wean him suddenly in one go; rather she should get him used to it slowly because of the harm that may be done by changing the child’s food and habit in one go.
It is mistreatment of children to allow them to eat their fill of food, and to eat and drink a lot. One of the most beneficial ways of training them is to give them less than their fill, so that they may digest well and be in good health, there will be less waste in their bodies and their bodies will be healthy, and they will have less sickness because of having less food waste in their bodies.
One thing that the child needs most urgently is close attention to his moral well being. He grows up with whatever the one who is raising him gets him used to when he is small. [If it is] resentment, anger, arguments, haste, being easily led by whims and desires, foolishness, hot-temperedness and greed, then it will be difficult for him to change that when he grows up. Hence you will find that most people are deviant in their character, because of the way they were brought up.
The child’s guardian should keep him from taking from others because if he gets used to taking, that will become natural for him, and he will grow up as one who takes and not one who gives. If the guardian wants to give something, he should give it by his hand [i.e., give it to the child to give away] so that that he will taste the sweetness of giving.
He should keep him away from lying and treachery more than he would keep him away from lethal poison. Once he lets him get the habit of lying and betrayal, he will have corrupted his happiness in this world and in the Hereafter, and deprived him of all goodness.
He should keep him away from laziness, idleness, a life of ease and too much rest, and he should force him to do the opposite. He should not let him rest more than is sufficient to restore his energy so that he can do more work, for laziness and idleness bring bad consequences and lead to regret. Yahya ibn Abi Katheer said: Knowledge cannot be attained by letting the body rest.
He should get him used to waking up at the end of the night, for that is the time when reward is allocated and prizes are awarded; some will take less and some will take more and some will be deprived. If he gets used to that when he is little, it will be easy for him when he grows up.
End quote. Tuhfat al-Mawdood (194-203).
Most commonly when you deal with people, they treat you how they want to treat you, and not how you want to be treated. Not everyone you meet with cheerfulness is cheerful to you in return. Some of them may even become angry, think badly of you and ask, “What are you laughing at?”
Not everyone you present a gift returns your favour. You may give gifts to some people only to find them backbiting you in various gatherings, and accusing you of being foolish and wasting money!
Not everyone you are kind to in speech or praise generously or use kind words with responds to you in kind. Allaah has divided up manners for people, just as He has divided up their sustenance. The divine way to deal with the people dictates: “The good deed and the evil deed are not alike. Repel the evil deed with one which is better, then lo! He, between whom and you there was enmity (will become) as though he was a bosom friend.”
Some people have no solution to their problems and nor is there a way to reform them. You can only deal with them in accordance with their own wishes. In that case, you can either have patience with them, or leave them.
It is mentioned that a man once travelled with a businessman. This man would do all the work while travelling, such as serving his companion, offloading the luggage and feeding the camels, until he would become exhausted.
On the way back, the two of them stopped to have their meal. They made their camels kneel and dismounted. The man laid down outstretched on the ground while his businessman companion laid out a sheet, offloaded the luggage, and then turned to him and said, “Why don’t you gather the wood while I cut the meat?”
He replied, “By Allaah, I am very tired after riding the camel all this time!”
The businessman then stood and gathered the wood, and said, “Can you make fire?”
He replied, “The smoke stings me if I come near it”, so the man lit the fire himself.
The businessman then said, “Can you please help me in cutting the meat?”
He replied, “I fear that I may cut my hand”, hence, the man cut the meat himself.
The businessman then said, “Could you put the meat in the pan and cook the meal?”
He replied, “It is very tiring for me to watch the meal before it is properly cooked”. The businessman then began to cook himself.
When he finally finished cooking and felt very tired, he lay down on the ground, and said, “Could you please lay out the dining mat, and pour the meal out onto the plates?”
He replied, “I am feeling really heavy, and I don’t have the energy to do that right now.” The businessman then got up, prepared the meal and laid it out on the mat.
The businessman said, “Would you come over and eat?”
He replied, “By Allaah, I feel very embarrassed at constantly making excuses, so I shall relent this time!” He then got up and ate the meal!
You might meet people who are like him. Do not be saddened by this. Rather, be firm like a mountain.
Our model educator, the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), would deal with people rationally and not emotionally. He would bear other people’s mistakes and still be gentle with them.
Just imagine! There he was, sitting in a blessed gathering, surrounded by his companions, and in came a Bedouin asking him for his help with paying off blood-money. This man − or an acquaintance of his − had killed someone, and so he wanted the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) to help him financially to enable him to pay the blood-money to the victim’s family.
The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) then gave him something and enquired out of kindness, “Have I been good to you?”
The Bedouin said, “No! You have neither been good nor courteous!”
Upon hearing this, some Muslims became angry and were about to fight him, but the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) signalled to them not to.
The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) then walked towards his house, called the Bedouin and said, “You came to us, asked for our help, and we helped you. But then you said to us what you said.”
Then the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) gave him more of what he could find in his house and said, “Have I been good to you?”
The Bedouin said, “Yes! May Allaah reward you in your family and your kinsfolk.”
The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) was delighted to know that the Bedouin was pleased, but he was afraid that his Companions might still have hatred towards him, or that one of them may see him in the street and show his resentment towards the Bedouin. Thus, he wanted to remove this feeling from their hearts.
He said to the Bedouin, “You came to us for help and we gave it to you, but then you said what you said. My Companions are resentful towards you for this reason. If you were to go to them now and say to them what you have said to me now, perhaps this feeling would be removed from their hearts.”
When the Bedouin came, the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said, “This friend of ours came to us for help and we gave it to him, but then he said what he said. We then called him over and gave him more, and now he says that he is pleased.”
He then turned to the Bedouin and said, “Isn’t that so?”
The Bedouin replied, “Yes! May Allaah reward you in your family and your kin.”
When the Bedouin decided to leave and go to his family, the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) decided to give his Companions a lesson in how to win people’s hearts. He said to them, “The example of me with this Bedouin is like that of a man whose camel runs away from him. A group of people then chase after the camel, as it runs away from them being frightened. They only manage to make it flee further. So the camel’s owner finally says, ‘Leave me alone with the camel! I am gentler with it and I know how it thinks!’ The camel’s owner then grabs some fallen dates from the ground and calls it until it finally comes to him. He then ties the saddle around it and mounts. If I were to have obeyed you when he said what he said, he would have entered the fire of Hell.” Meaning, if you were to have made him flee, he might have left the religion and entered the fire of Hell. (Narrated by al-Bazzar with a disputed chain)
Gentleness only beautifies an action while harshness only serves to tarnish it. “The good deed and the evil deed are not alike. Repel the evil deed with one which is better, then lo! He between whom and you there was enmity (will become) as though he was a bosom friend.”
It is mentioned that when the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) conquered Makkah, and began to circumambulate the Ka’bah, there came Fadhalah bin ‘Umayr – a person who pretended to be a Muslim – and began to make Tawaaf behind the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) waiting for an opportunity to kill him by surprise. When he came close to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), he became aware of him. He turned around and said to him, “Are you Fadhalah?”
He replied, “Yes, I am Fadhalah, O Messenger of Allaah!”
The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him asked, “What were you thinking of doing?”
He replied, “Nothing! I was only remembering Allaah!”
The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) then laughed and said, “I seek Allaah’s forgiveness.”
Fadhalah later said about this incident: “The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) then placed his hand over my chest, and my heart came to rest. By Allaah, the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) did not lift his hand from my chest except that Allaah had placed in my heart the strongest love for him.”
Fadhalah headed to his family and passed by a woman he would sit and chat with. When she saw him, she said, “Why don’t you come over for a chat?”
He replied, “No.”
She insisted, “Come over for a chat.”
“No,” Fadhala said, “Allaah and Islam forbid you from it.
‘If you were to see Muhammad and his party victorious the day the idols were smashed
‘You would have witnessed Allaah’s religion become manifest
As polytheism became engulfed with darkness.’
Thereafter, Fadhalah became one of the righteous Muslims.
The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to capture people’s hearts by forgiving them. He would bear their harms in order to change them and bring them closer to what was good for them.
Abu Talib would frequently protect the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) from the harms of the Quraysh. After Abu Talib passed away, the Quraysh increased its pressure on the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). He was harmed the way he was never harmed whilst his uncle was alive.
The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) began to consider another source of refuge, aid and support. He left for Ta’if in order to seek the support and assistance of the tribe of Thaqif. He entered Ta’if and proceeded to meet three men who were the leaders and the noblest men of Thaqif. They were three brothers; ‘Abd Yalayl bin ‘Amr, and his brothers Mas’ud and Habib.
The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) sat with them and called them to Allaah. He asked them to help him in championing the cause of Islam and to stand by him against those who oppose him from his own people. However, their response was disgraceful!
One of them said, “I would tear down the covering of Ka‘bah if Allaah has really sent you!”
The other mocked, “Didn’t Allaah find anyone else to send?”
The third person thought about what his response should be. He wanted his words to be more malicious than that of his brothers.
He said, “By Allaah, I will never respond to you! If you really are the Messenger of Allaah as you claim, then you are too dangerous to be responded to! If you are lying upon Allaah, then I should never speak to you!”
The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) then stood up to leave after feeling disappointed by the best people from Thaqif. He also feared that the Quraysh may find out that Thaqif had rejected him, and subsequently begin to harm him more.
Thus he said to them, “Whatever you do, please keep this meeting a secret.”
But they did not. Instead, they incited the slaves and the foolish against him, until they began to follow him to hurl curses and abuse at him.
They gathered along his path in two lines and the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) was walking very quickly in between to save himself. Each time he raised a leg to move forward, they would stone him. All the while he quickened his pace, trying to avoid the stones being flung at him. His noble feet began to bleed profusely. He was a middle aged man, over forty years old. He moved away from them and kept walking until he found a safe place where he could rest under the shade of a date palm tree. At this time, he was overcome with the thought of going back and facing the Quraysh. How could he enter Makkah?
He looked up to the sky and said, “O Allaah! I complain to You of my weakness, my scarcity of resources and the humiliation I have been subjected to by the people.
‘O Most Merciful of those who are merciful! O Lord of the weak and my Lord too! To whom have you entrusted me? To a distant person, who receives me with hostility? Or to an enemy, to whom you have granted authority over my affair?
‘So long as You are not angry with me, I do not care. Your favour is of a more expansive relief to me. I seek refuge in the light of Your Face by which all darkness is dispelled and every affair of this world and the next is set aright, lest Your anger or Your displeasure descends upon me. I desire Your pleasure and satisfaction until You are pleased. There is no power and no might except by You.”
As he sat there in this state, there came a cloud that overshadowed him. He lifted his gaze to the sky to find Jibril therein. Jibril called out to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), “O Muhammad! Allaah has heard what your people have said to you, and how they dealt with you. He has sent to you the Angel of Mountains at your disposal so you may order him with whatever you wish.”
Before the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) could say a word, the Angel of mountains called out to him saying, “May Allaah’s peace be upon you, O Messenger of Allaah! O Muhammad! Allaah has heard what the people have said to you. I am the Angel of Mountains. Your Lord has sent me to you, so you may order me with whatever you wish.”
Before the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) could say a word or make a choice, the Angel of Mountains began making suggestions to him, saying, “If you wish, I could crush them between the two mountains.” He was referring to the two mountains on either side of Makkah.
The Angel of Mountains then waited for an order.
“Rather,” said the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) , trampling over his own wishes and the desire for revenge, “I will be patient with them, for I hope that Allaah will raise from their progeny those who will worship Him alone without associating any partners with Him.”
The relationship between me and my brothers
And my cousins is indeed problematic
If they consume my flesh, I spare theirs
If they destroy my honour, I build theirs
They do not hurry to my aid
But I hurry if they call me to theirs
I do not hold grudges against them
For the leader never bears grudges