Introducing the Child to Allah Ta‘ala
The upbringing of a child is extremely important and can be likened to the foundation of a building. If the foundation of a building is firm and strong, then the building will also be firm and strong and will weather all conditions. If the foundation of a building is weak and shaky, then with the slightest tremor, the building will collapse. In the same way, the upbringing of the child is the foundation on which the child’s entire life is based. In order for a child to prosper and progress in life, the child requires a sound Islamic upbringing. Thus, if the correct Islamic upbringing is not given to the child, and Islamic values and morals are not instilled within him, then the detriment and harm of this will continue to manifest throughout his life.
The child will experience difficulty in his domestic life when dealing with his wife and children. He will encounter problems in his social life when dealing with family, neighbors and people in general. He will not know how to uphold the sanctity of deen and respect the rights of people. In essence, on account of him not being given the correct Islamic upbringing, he will not progress in deen and his worldly life will also be affected.
Giving the child an Islamic upbringing is the right of the child over the parents. It is reported that the Sahaabah (radhiyallahu ‘anhum) once asked Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam), “O Rasul of Allah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam)! We know the rights of the father over the child, but what are the rights of the child over the father?” Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) replied, “The right of the child over the father is that the father gives him a good name and teaches him Islamic etiquette and values.” (Shu’abul Imaan #8291)
It is reported that Hazrat Ibnu Umar (radhiyallahu ‘anhuma) once advised a person saying, “Ensure that you give your child a good Islamic upbringing, for you will be questioned regarding this on the Day of Qiyaamah. You will be asked regarding the type of upbringing that you had given him and the type of education that you had imparted to him, while he will also be asked regarding whether he was obedient and submissive to you.” (Shu’abul Imaan #8295)
In the upbringing of a child, the first aspect is introducing the child to Allah Ta‘ala. Hence, we witness that when the child is born, even before the age of understanding, Shari’ah commands that azaan be called out in the right ear of the child and iqaamah in the left ear of the child. All this is done in order to mold the heart of the child towards Imaan and create the oneness and greatness of Allah Ta‘ala in his heart. In other words, after coming into the world, the first thing that the child is introduced to is Allah Ta‘ala.
Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam), through his mubaarak action, taught the ummah that they should teach their children to take the name of Allah Ta‘ala at the time of meals. Hence, the child should understand that the food he is being served is being blessed to him by Allah Ta‘ala. Hazrat Umar bin Abi Salamah (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) narrates that on one occasion, when he was a child, Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) said to him, “Commence eating by taking the name of Allah Ta‘ala, eat with the right hand, and eat from your side of the plate.” (Saheeh Bukhaari #5376)
In this Hadith, Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) had imparted three sunnats to this young child, impressing on him that even when eating, we should be mindful of fulfilling the rights of Allah Ta‘ala. Furthermore, Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) had advised and taught the young child with such love and compassion that the lesson became firmly entrenched in his heart. Thus, he says that from that day onwards, he ensured that he ate in the manner taught to him by Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam).
As the child grows up, Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) taught the ummah that they should impress upon the child to fulfill the rights of Allah Ta‘ala, and from all the rights, the most important right is that of salaah. Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) said, “Instruct your children to perform salaah when they reach the age of seven, and discipline them for not performing salaah when they reach the age of ten.” (Musnad Ahmed #6689) In other words, although the child is young, and salaah is not yet compulsory upon him, we are instructed to emphasize to the child the importance of fulfilling the great right of Allah Ta‘ala known as salaah.
Likewise, the conviction regarding the infinite greatness and supreme power of Allah Ta‘ala must be instilled in the heart of the child from a young age. The child should grow up understanding that it is only Allah Ta‘ala who is the source for all goodness in his life, and that there is no might and power besides Allah Ta‘ala.
Hazrat Abdullah bin Abbaas (radhiyallahu ‘anhuma) reports that on one occasion, he was travelling with Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam). Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) addressed him saying, “O young boy! Protect the commands of Allah Ta‘ala, and He will protect you. Protect the commands of Allah Ta‘ala, and you will find Him before you (i.e. He will be with you and take care of your needs). When you beg for your needs, then only beg from Allah Ta‘ala. When you seek assistance, then only seek assistance from Allah Ta‘ala. Understand that if the entire ummah has to unite to try and benefit you, then they will not be able to benefit you except to the extent that Allah Ta‘ala has decreed for you, and if the entire ummah has to unite to try and cause you harm, then they will not be able to do so, except to the extent that Allah Ta‘ala has decreed. The pen (of taqdeer) has been raised and the pages (of taqdeer) have dried (i.e. whatever has been decreed by Allah Ta‘ala will come to pass and there can be no change in the decree of Allah Ta‘ala).” (Sunan Tirmizi #2516) 
From this Hadith, we understand the manner in which Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) instilled the greatness of Allah Ta‘ala in the child, and the way in which Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) connected the child with Allah Ta‘ala.
To be continued
 عن ابن عباس، قال: كنت خلف رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم يوما، فقال: يا غلام إني أعلمك كلمات، احفظ الله يحفظك، احفظ الله تجده تجاهك، إذا سألت فاسأل الله، وإذا استعنت فاستعن بالله، واعلم أن الأمة لو اجتمعت على أن ينفعوك بشيء لم ينفعوك إلا بشيء قد كتبه الله لك، ولو اجتمعوا على أن يضروك بشيء لم يضروك إلا بشيء قد كتبه الله عليك، رفعت الأقلام وجفت الصحف