The concept of child education has been reviewed from different perspectives through the ages, and the topic is still a subject of study today. This is because every generation has its own characteristics in terms of social structure and ideologies. The world is changing and normalizing what is considered unusual in ancient times. This simply means that life is evolving rapidly into what we understand as the manifestation of the signs of the hour. Thus, this write-up seeks to look into one of these signs, which appears in the famous Hadith of Jubril.
Meaning of the Hadith
The hadith meant is a hadith narrated by Umar bin al-Khattab RA, which witnesses the visit of Jubril to the Prophet and the Companions. The Hadith contains the meaning and pillar of Islam, Iman and the meaning of Ihsan. The Hadith then furthermore mentioned some signs of the hour in which the refrence point of our topic is included:
قَالَ فَأَخْبِرْنِي عَنِ السَّاعَةِ . قَالَ "مَا الْمَسْئُولُ عَنْهَا بِأَعْلَمَ مِنَ السَّائِلِ" . قَالَ فَأَخْبِرْنِي عَنْ أَمَارَتِهَا. قَالَ " أَنْ تَلِدَ الأَمَةُ رَبَّتَهَا"
Gabriel said, “Inform me about the Hour.” He (the Prophet) said, “About that, the one questioned knows no more than the questioner.” So, he said, “Well, inform me about its signs.” He said, “They are that the slave-girl will give birth to her mistress….”Sahih Muslim (8)
Scholars have made different commentaries on the meaning of this clause according to the circumstances surrounding their environment and age.Al-amah lexically means slave woman that is obtained as a prisoner of war. The meaning given to this clause can be deemed valid in the classical era. However, different scholars made various commentaries about the clause in the hadith.
According to Ibn Hajar, a prominent scholar of hadith, there are four opinions to explain the meaning of this piece in the hadith:
- Islam will spread and rule the territories of the unbelievers and enslave their populations. A man will have a child through a slave girl; then the child will be like her master because they are the child of the master. According to An-Nawawi, this is the consensus among scholars. However, Ibn Hajar noted that this viewpoint presents certain challenges because these things existed in the time of the Prophet (PBUH). According to a different version, a woman would give birth to a child who grows up to be the ruler of the land and will later, either unknowingly or knowingly, buy his own mother, who was a slave, to serve as a servant.
- Slave girls who give birth to the owner’s children will be sold by the owners. With excessive selling, the woman’s own son will buy her later and realize that it is his mother.
- A woman who has engaged in Zina gives birth to a child. The mother is after that sold until her own child purchases her.
- The children will disobey their mother and end up treating them like a slave, showing disdain. Ibn Hajar prefers this point of view.
The preferred view by Ibn Hajar correlates with the occurrences seen in the world today. We’ve all seen bizarre reports of children hitting their parents, limiting their freedoms, and shutting them up. These all signify that the world is changing direction, moving away from the status quo and toward something completely different.
Parents in Islam
Islam honors the sacrifices made by parents before birth and after birth in nurturing their child. Fundamentally, Islam teaches all mankind to be kind towards their parents after worshipping Allah in refrence to the verse:
وَقَضَىٰ رَبُّكَ أَلَّا تَعْبُدُوا إِلَّا إِيَّاهُ وَبِالْوَالِدَيْنِ إِحْسَانًا ۚ إِمَّا يَبْلُغَنَّ عِنْدَكَ الْكِبَرَ أَحَدُهُمَا أَوْ كِلَاهُمَا فَلَا تَقُلْ لَهُمَا أُفٍّ وَلَا تَنْهَرْهُمَا وَقُلْ لَهُمَا قَوْلًا كَرِيمًا
Thy Lord hath decreed that ye worship none but Him and that ye be kind to parents. Whether one or both of them attain old age in thy life, say not to them a word of contempt, nor repel them, but address them in terms of honour. Al-Isra 23.
The first decree in this verse is to worship Allah alone, which is Islam’s first pillar. The second is kindness to parents. Notably, being kind to parents is highly relevant in Islam. This verse literally shows the high category parents are placed in and how regarded they are. It directs the message in an imperative form to humankind. It forbids speaking contemptuously to them by using the word “Oof, “a simple groan or scorn. This act of kindness to parents is known to be typical but changing in justification of the Jubril Hadith we mentioned. In many other verses of the Qur’an and Hadith, Humankind has been instructed to take good care of their parents, create time for them, and talk to them gently. However, Parents are not being treated in the matter they deserve. People often fight relentlessly with their parents over extremely trivial topics, ignore them, and treat them like slaves. After all, working for children for so many years without receiving any of their mercy is worse than slavery.
The Qur’an states that Parents should be revered and even after their death, it’s a responsibility for the child to pray for them:
وَاخْفِضْ لَهُمَا جَنَاحَ الذُّلِّ مِنَ الرَّحْمَةِ وَقُلْ رَبِّ ارْحَمْهُمَا كَمَا رَبَّيَانِي صَغِيرًا
And make yourself submissively gentle to them with compassion, and say: O my Lord! have compassion on them, as they brought me up (when I was) little. Al-Isra 24
Education is a vital part of every human life, from birth until death. It is an unlimited process whereby the more man lives, the more he learns. Given this, a lack of education can cause backwardness in different aspects of life for humans. Education has, of course, emerged systematically through centuries, and there are different types.
It is the duty of every parent to educate their children Ethically and religiously. The failure in parenting starts from a lack of the proper education they ought to provide for the children. Ibn Hajar al-‘Asqalani emphasized the metaphorical meaning of the hadith and made reasonable points about the events of today. The accurate meaning of the phrase ‘slave-girl will give birth to her mistress’ is that children will treat their parents the way a master treats their slaves. Children will be seen forcing their parents to work for them, commanding them, disrespecting and not listening to them. This action whereby parents who are supposed to have authority over their children are overwhelmed by them is one of the last day’s signs. Nevertheless, the signs of the Last Day revealed can still be controlled by giving the children a sound moral and religious education.
Sad to say, the ignorance of the youths falling into the pit of these actions can be attributed to the fact that they didn’t have the opportunity to be acquainted with the education which will keep them on the track of guidance. Another buttressable point is the society and the peer group to which a child is accustomed. These two significantly affect the children’s memory, psychology, and, in reality, the characters they acquire. Little will school and college do to the mental state of the children but parents who are considered the main school have the most job to do.
It is incumbent on every parent who expects a good treat from their children in the future to provide an education which will remind them of their creator and his sayings. The world is evolving rapidly into the normalization of prohibited and unusual actions, and new strange things keep appearing as the day goes by. The signs of the hour revealed to the Prophet are constantly happening. Sound education can keep children guided from their childhood and protect them from falling victim to these manifestations.