Author: Sayyed Mahdi Beheshti
Religious educating of children starts before birth till shaping their personality is a gradual process which has to be attended by parents who want to have a pious baby.
Mosque was the first consolidated base for the grand prophet of Islam after establish of government as a centre for religious, political, militaristic, educational and considering the Muslims affairs. Considering education and cultural affairs was one of the most important roles of mosque in the designed Islamic society by the grand prophet of Islam. Because many educational lectures and groups were created in mosque for the first time in the history of Arabia such as teaching Quran and the Islamic rules, writing and reading .
.(میانجی، مکاتیب الرسول،١/١٠٨)
These educations were not appropriated to a special age but it was designed for all people from the various ages. After victory of Islamic forces in Badr War, the grand prophet of Islam released many captured soldiers and commanded to those prisoners who were literate soldiers to teach the children of Ansaar till they could write and read completely if they wanted to be released. These lectures were taken in mosques as the base of educating the required human resources for the future of Islam.
(واقدی، المغازی، ١/١٢٤)
By referring to the manner of the grand prophet and his twelve sons, they advised people to religious educating of their children. When people took their orphans to the grand prophet of Islam for nomination, he let them to seat on his knee and behaved kindly and so softly with them. Even when one of these children defiled his dress, he didn’t let to shut on them.
(طباطبائی، سنن النبی،٣٨)
He followed this method for education and advised people to follow the same method for their children and said to parents: ‘’ respect your children and treat them well if you want to be blessed by God’’
(طبرسی مکارم الاخلاق، ٢٢٢)
According to the words in above, we conclude that the grand prophet of Islam took his children to mosque as a religious and political centre and advised others to go to mosques with their children.
It was the night prayer time. The grand prophet of Islam came to the mosque while Hassan or Hussain was seated on his shoulders. Then he put the baby down and got ready for praying. One of the prostrations took longer time. The narrator says: I finished my prostration sooner and saw the baby was seating on the back of the grand prophet and he is continuing the prostration. After end of prayer, the follower went to the grand prophet and said to him that we had seen such long prostration from you. What was the matter? He answered it was no problem. Just my son was on my back and I waited till he came down!
We can find many stories like this about the behaviour of the grand prophet of Islam with children containing many important messages for us:
1) Taking children to mosque is praiseworthy as an educational method. Imam Ali took his children to mosque even for non-religious affairs.
According to verse no.31 verse of Araaf chapter of Quran خذوا زینتکم عند کل مسجد (اعراف/٣١), God recommends to take your ornaments with yourself when you are going to mosque while Quran has introduced children as ornament.
2) We have to use attractive methods to encourage children to attend mosque. The grand prophet of Islam seated his daughter sons on his shoulder for going to mosque.
(صدوق، امالی، ٤٣٨) and sometimes played with children while he was going to mosque. ( Neyshabouri, the story of mosque, p.19)
3) The value and importance of children presence in mosque is more than matures and old people because according to the grand prophet of Islam’s methodology, he finished praying faster when a child’s crying sound was heard. (کلینی، الکافی،٦/٤٨ و بخاری، صحیح، ١،١٣٩٧) and his praying became long lasting when his daughter son seated on his back. (صدوق، من لایحضره الفقیه، ١/٣٩١)
4) It is recommended to parents to ask their children after coming back from mosque about his or her new learned points in mosque. Imam Husain went to mosque and quoted everything heard from the grand prophet of Islam for his mother Zahra (God’s blessing to them) - (قمی، سفینه البحار،١/٢٥٤)
5) We have to seat our children beside of ourselves and encourage them when we take them to mosque. The grand prophet of Islam seated his daughter sons beside of himself and sometimes kissed their face (مجلسی، بحارالانوار، ٤٣/٣١٤) and hugged and smelled them (فیروزآبادی، فضائل الخمسه من صحاح السته، ٣/١٩٥). Imam Ali went to entertain his children when they came to mosque (حلی، کشف الیقین، ٣١٢)
6) We should respect children in mosque and venerate them. The grand prophet of Islam seated his daughter sons on his knees while he was taking lecture many times. Even we read in history that Imam Hassan seated on the shoulders of the grand prophet of Islam while his feet were hanged down to the breast of the grand prophet (مجلسی، بحار الانوار، ٣/٢٠٥)
7) We have to make sweet memories in mosque for our children. Someday the grand prophet of Islam was taking lecture in mosque and his daughter sons were playing in mosque and running. Suddenly they felt down and the grand prophet of Islam stopped his lecture and went to them. He hugged and kissed them and seated his daughter sons on his knees and continued his lecture again. (ترمزی، صحیح، ٢/٣٠٦)