Whoever is kind, Allah will be kind to him; therefore be kind to man on the earth. He who is in heaven will show mercy on you. ~(Abu Daud: Tirmidhi)
Teaching children to be kind in today’s world where they see violence everywhere, makes it more important to instil kindness from a young age. A smile is one of the simplest forms of being kind. Prophet Muhammad (SWT) smiled often and it is a Sunnah for us to smile and spreads happiness.
The Qur’an teaches us to be kind to people who are around us. It really doesn’t take much to be kind. Once you do it with a sincere heart and to seek the pleasure of Allah, an act of kindness (al Ma’un) can turn into a reward to be counted on the Day of Judgment.
“Never belittle any good deed. Even your meeting with your brother (Muslim) with a cheerful face”. ~ [Muslim]
Children learn by example; so be kind and reflect what you want to see in your child. Teach your child that kindness can be sought from the smallest of acts such as saying something nice to someone. Giving salaam is a good example of doing something nice for someone. Another example, depending on age is washing or helping to wash dad’s car or helping mother in the kitchen.
As children grow, they will learn to appreciate and understand the sacrifice, nurturing and care that parents give. As they understand Islam more, it will reinforces their obligation to be kind, respectful, compassionate and patient.
“And We have enjoined on man (to be good) to his parents.” ~ Al Qur’an
Defined as the willingness to forgive and not to punish, mercy is seen as an important virtue to every Muslim. It is one of the virtues synonymous with being kind. It is an attribute that is commanded in every situation and action, and comes from the heart. Children are often out in situations where they can be merciful. An example is sharing, instead of playing alone with a toy that other siblings want to play with they can share and everyone gets to enjoy the toy. This demonstrates being merciful at a basic level.
“He who does not show mercy to others, will not be shown mercy.” ~ [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]
Throughout our lifetime our children come into contact with animals be them in the wild or as house pets. The way they interact with animals is important and we should always teach them that it counts for something. A simple act of kindness is throwing bread for the birds to eat. Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) encouraged those around him to show respect and dignity to all animals as they are regarded as part of the creation.
Also, on the Day of Judgment ill-treated animals will testify against whomever so abused it. So, teach your children to be kind to animals whether it be in their care or not and to encourage others to do the same.
“Whoever is kind to the creatures of God, is kind to himself.” ~ [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]
Gratitude is said to be a quality of being thankful and in Islam it is said to be a purpose of our creation. Teaching children that a simple ‘thank you’ takes no time but impacts over a lifetime is a very important yet simple act of kindness. A straight forward example is to give thanks when receiving something and with older children – remembering others in their prayers. Gratitude can strengthen their Imaan as they learn to perform acts of kindness with a sincere heart to seek the pleasure of Allah.
“If you are grateful, I will surely increase you [in favor]; but if you deny, indeed, My punishment is severe.” ~ Al Qu’ran
Generosity comes in all forms. Children can learn how to be generous by their interaction with other children, by simply helping them. A child is generous by helping his sibling find something. Depending on their age they can be generous with their money donating to charities and good causes. But, generosity doesn’t only mean helping someone financially; children can donate their old clothes, old toys to those in need. The quality of being generous is held in such high esteem that it part of the five pillars of Islam in the form of zakat/charity.
“And whatsoever you spend of anything (in Allah’s Cause), He will replace it.” ~ Al-Qur’an
By teaching you children the power of intention they will put a little more kindness in the world. With a sincere heart and for the sake of Allah (SWT) you both will reap the rewards. Kindness is an action of the heart. It lies in our words and deeds so spread some kindness to those around you.
“And do good. Truly, Allaah loves the good-doers.” ~ Al-Qur’an
First published: October 2017