authority of Abu Hurayrah, May Allah Be Pleased With Him. Edition of Dar Al-Hadith publishers, Cairo, edited by Muhammad Fu’ad. Abd Al-Baqi. According to

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Text revised under supervision of Al-Azhar Al-Sharif No part of this book may be reproduced without obtaining prior permission from Al-Azhar University or from the United Nations ChildrenÕs Fund. Please contact: The Islamic International Centre for Demographic Studies and Research Cairo, The Study, Al-Azhar University Medical Administration Building, Fourth Floor Telephone\ Fax: 5122749 Office of Public Partnerships (OPP) UNICEF House, 3 United Nations Plaza, New York, NY 10017. 1.212.326.7000 Supervision and coordination: United Nations ChildrenÕs Fund Farida AliAkila Belembaogo Sahar Hegazi Nesrine KhaledArt and production: Cynthia SpencePrinting Services: PIXELTONE, New York Recorded at the national library Dar Al-Kutub Al-MisriyahISBN No. 17080/2005First EditionShawwal 1426H November 2005© Al-Azhar University Photos: © UNICEF/HQ/G.Pirozzi/2005 © UNICEF/HQ/New York ISLAMENGLISHVER.QXD 1/25/07 12:42 PM Page 2

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Contents Statementby His Eminence the Grand Imam Sheikh of Al-Azhar Al-Sharif Prof. Muhammad Sayyid Tantawi..1 Preface 3Introduction .5The Experts Who Prepared This Guidebook 7Chapter 1: The Rights of the Child in Islam 9The right of the child to a healthy start in life.11 The right of the child to a family, kindred, name, property and inheritance.12 The right of the child to health care and proper nutrition16 The right of the child to education and the acquisition of skills..19 The right of the child to lead a dignified and secure life21 The role of society and the state in supporting and protecting the rightsof children25Chapter 2: The Right of the Child to Health ..28Care for early infancy and the right of the child to live in health and happiness29Preserving the life and health of the child.30 ParentsÕ responsibility to preserve the life, health and growth of their child.30 Personal cleanliness and hygiene.39 IslamÕs stance vis-‹-vis children with special needs..45 Human immuno-deficiency virus/acquired immune deficiency syndrome(HIV/AIDS)47 cont.ISLAMENGLISHVER.QXD 1/25/07 12:42 PM Page 3

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Contents , cont.Chapter 3: The Right of the Child to Be Protected .51Protection from violence and abuse53 Protection from physical or sexual violation..60 Protection from economic exploitation..65 Protecting children deprived of parental care73 Protecting children in armed conflicts and natural disasters..81 Chapter 4: The Right of the Child to Education .86Bringing up children and developing their abilities in early childhood88 The right of the child to a good basic education without gender discrimination.90 The right of the child to continuously learn and acquire skills93 The mass media as educational tools.94 Key Messages 95The basic rights of the child in Islam.96 The right of the child to health.101 The right of the child to be protected..106 The right of the child to education117 Bibliography124ISLAMENGLISHVER.QXD 1/25/07 12:42 PM Page 4

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1Statement by His Eminence the Grand Imam Sheikh of Al-Azhar Al-Sharif Professor Muhammad Sayyid Tantawi In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, Most Merciful Praise Be to Allah, Lord of All Creations, Prayers and Peace Be Upon Our Master; and toMuhammad, who intercedes on our behalf, Prayers and Peace Be Upon Him, and upon all his kindred and companions. The Guide Book on Children in Islam: Their Care, Protection and Development, which hasbeen published by the International Islamic Centre for Demographic Studies and Research, is a magnificent work. It underlines and illustrates what Islam offers in terms of caring for children, for this is the process of preparing future generations. Islam has not left a single matter without setting Sharia-based, ethical, humanitarian and spiritual rules that complement the edifice of man, who is GodÕs vicegerent on earth. Children are gifts and awards from the Almighty Allah; they are a trust in our custody. We must therefore care well for them and preserve them by implementing the teach- ings of Islam, and following what has been stated in the Noble QurÕan and what our Noble Prophet Ð Peace Be Upon Him Ð has guided us to be in his pure Prophetic tradi- tion, where he says: ÒEach of you is a shepherd, and each of you is accountable for his or her flock.Ó If we see a child lacking in care or attention, responsibility for that omission lies on theshoulders of his or her parents, family and society. This is so because the monotheistic Islamic religion exhorts providing good rearing and care for the child, and keeping him or her away from whatever may harm his or her health, psychological and social conditions, so the child can grow into a righteous citizen who has a sense of belonging to his or her people, society and homeland. Islam also has set rules that guarantee the childÕs legitimate rights in the family, society and among playmates. The Messenger, Peace Be Upon Him, says: ÒHonour your children and give them good names.Ó He also says: ÒHe is not one of us who does not show mercy to our youngsters.Ó He also says: ÒHe who does not show mercy will be shown no mercy (on the Day of Judgement).Ó Honouring children can only be achieved through providing them with an honourable upbringing, through teaching them the basics of science andISLAMENGLISHVER.QXD 1/25/07 12:42 PM Page 1

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3Preface In its legislation and jurisprudential laws, Islam pays special attention to children andchildhood. It is possible to say that the issue of childhood constitutes one of the major objectives in Islamic legislation. Jurists and scholars in Islam agree that the Islamic Sharia is aimed at accomplishing fiveobjectives or purposes for humanity. These are: the safeguarding of progeny, the safe- guarding of life, the safeguarding of sanity, the safeguarding of property and the safeguarding of faith. The scholars of Islam express these five sublime objectives in terms of the five essentials. They mean by the word ÔessentialsÕ the fundamentals, without which life may not be possible. When any of these fundamentals is undermined, life will be compromised and may become chaotic. Consequently, humanity will suffer. The loss incurred will be on two levels: short term in this life and long term in the Hereafter. The issue of childhood is at the core of the first objective, namely, safeguarding chil- dren and immunizing them against dangers. On this theme, Islam introducesbountiful and precise laws that are almost nonexistent in other religions or social systems. It would suffice to point to the rigorous legislation dealing with the child from the early days of formation in the womb of the mother, all the way until he or she attains the age of puberty. In between, there are the various stages of pregnancy, birth, breastfeeding, weaning, playfulness, discipline and education, friendliness and companionship, and finally independence and self-reliance. Ò(With the child), play for seven (years), discipline for seven (years), accompany for seven (years) and then let go.ÓThroughout these stages, the child is attended to by rules, laws and guidelines thattogether form a Ôchildhood jurisprudenceÕ. This covers the childÕs upbringing and the rights that parents, the family and society need to protect. Islam pays special attention to equality between male and female newborns. It prohibits discrimination among children when it comes to care and attention, or to endowing them with gifts, grants or prizes. The basic elements that constitute the personality, mind and conscience of the Muslim child are subject to two indispensable guiding factors that exist in all Islamic systems. The first factor pertains to the fact that a Muslim, whether an adolescent, a child or anolder person, is controlled by the cycles of halal (what is permissible) and haram (what is prohibited). This is what the scholars of the fundamentals of jurisprudence teach as the five legal capacity provisions.ISLAMENGLISHVER.QXD 1/25/07 12:42 PM Page 3

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4The second factor pertains to the fact that the movement of a Muslim, whether child oradult, is governed by a comprehensive system of morality. This system does not permit a child, under whatever banner of freedom or personal rights, to be drawn towards any form of prohibited anomaly. They should not be embroiled in any ideological or behavioural aberration objected to by rational wisdom or divine religions. While there are some peda- gogic systems that facilitate the opening of doors for children to indulge in such activities under the pretext of freedom and the prevention of violence, Islam opposes deviations that it deems to be aberrations, diseases and ills that should be resisted and from which the young generation should be protected. This book has been able to sum up precisely and honestly IslamÕs legislation and rules applied to the upbringing and care of children, since the time they are formed in the wombs of their mothers until they reach the age of consent, and are able to shoulder their individual and collective responsibilities. Prof. Ahmad El-Tayyib Head of Al-Azhar University ISLAMENGLISHVER.QXD 1/25/07 12:42 PM Page 4

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5Introduction This guide book is an update of Child Care in Islam, which was previously published byAl-Azhar in cooperation with the United Nations ChildrenÕs Fund (UNICEF) in the year 1405 Hijrah (1985 AD). The previous document constituted an important advocacy and information tool for theIslamic world. Over 20 years, global developments and the emergence of several pressing issues necessitated the re-evaluation of the previous manual and its content, in order to meet the challenges confronting our children, who are the youth of tomorrow and the adults of the future.UNICEF approached the International Islamic Centre for Demographic Studies andResearch at Al-Azhar University with a request to undertake this task, considering the centreÔs long history of expertise in addressing such issues, and by virtue of the centreÕs connection with Al-Azhar and its religious and scientific institutions. By the Grace of the Almighty Allah, the agreement to undertake the task of preparing this guide book was signed between UNICEF and the International Islamic Centre on the 14th of RabiÕ Al-Akhir of the year 1425 Hijrah (3 June 2004 AD). The centre chose for this important work a distinguished group of scholars in the fields oftheology, medical science, psychology, sociology and education. These scholars discussed critical issues pertaining to the child from the various medical, psychological and social aspects, emphasizing advances that have been made in these areas in our contemporary world. The scholars of theology then explained the position of the lofty Islamic Sharia on these issues, supporting their arguments with verses from the Noble QurÕan and with authentic Hadiths (sayings) from the Prophetic Tradition. The group of experts deliberated over this work together in a number of meetings that result-ed in a preliminary document that was submitted for discussion by international experts from within the Arab Republic of Egypt and other states. Their expertise related to Islamic sciences, human rights, health services, law and the media. They also included representa- tives of the international organizations that work on behalf of children. When preparing this final version, those in charge of this work at the International Islamic Centre took into con- sideration the recommendations and proposals that emerged from these consultations. The guide book comprises four themes:child rights child health child protection child educationISLAMENGLISHVER.QXD 1/25/07 12:42 PM Page 5

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6Care was taken to keep the discussion of these themes brief, simple and supported byevidence from the Noble QurÕan, the Noble Prophetic Sunna (practices) and the Noble Hadiths. A summary of each theme appears at the end of the book.This guide book was principally designed for the use of the wide-ranging groups of people who serve the cause of the Muslim child. They include: theologians and imams (mosque prayer leaders), who preach protection and care for children; health care providers; governmental and non-gov- ernmental organizations that work in the field of child care; policy makers and programme formulators who address the rights and needs of childhood; international agencies working in the field of childhood; and experts and individuals concerned with childrenÕs issues both inside and outside the Muslim world. Iwould like to extend my most sincere thanks and gratitude to his Eminence the Grand Imam Doctor Muhammad Sayyid Tantawi, Sheikh of Al-Azhar, for his sponsorship of this work and his unwavering support, and for agreeing to contribute a statement. I would also like to express sincere thanks and gratitude to his Eminence Dr. Ahmad Al-Tayyib, Rector of Al-Azhar University and Chair of the International Islamic Centre for Demographic Studies and Research for his strong and constant support of the centreÕs various activities and for agreeing to write the preface to this manual. I would also like to extend an abundance of thanks to the deputies of the Rector, Dr. Abd Al-Dayim Nasir, Deputy Rector for Higher Studies and Research; Dr. Muhammad Abd Al- Fadil, Deputy Rector for Student and Teaching Affairs; and Dr. Izziddin Al-Sawi, Deputy Rector in charge of the Girls Branch, for their constant support and effective participation in completing this important work. I want to extend my sincere appreciation and gratitude to UNICEF, with special thanks to the Cairo office for the valued confidence awarded to the International Islamic Centre for Demographic Studies and Research, and for the fruitful and effective cooperation between UNICEF and the centre. My sincere thanks go to the committee of experts and to the editorial board, whichexerted enormous efforts to make it possible for this guide book to amalgamate religious and scientific studies, and achieve the kind of coordinated, collective work in which reli- gion and science combine for the benefit of Muslim children across the entire world. I would also like to extend my sincere gratitude to the honourable group of experts frominside and outside the Arab Republic of Egypt who took part in the consultative meetings. May the Almighty Allah guide us to serve the best interests of our Islamic Ummah (community), and may the peace, mercy and blessings of Allah be upon you. Dr. Gamal Abou Al-Serour Director of the International Islamic Centre for Demographic Studies and Research andDirector of the Project, Al-Azhar UniversityISLAMENGLISHVER.QXD 1/25/07 12:42 PM Page 6

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