Question: My husband is quick-tempered. He does not tolerate the noises and mistakes of our children; therefore, he does not treat them but with beating and severe punishments. He is like a military officer, our house is like a camp, and our children are like powerless soldiers. As for me, I am worried about the future of our unlucky family. I want you to write to these fathers about the harms of severity and beating the children that they may decide to live quietly and comfortably. What is the value of a life in such tension?
The answer: One of the fathers’ problems is that they have not learned their religion concerning education and the rights of the family. They think they possess the necks of their wives and the lives of their children. Children are deposits that Allah has entrusted parents with, and women are humans having rights and duties just as men have.
The state of this father, as an example, is very dangerous, and he will be blamed and punished severely for it on the Day of Resurrection. The least danger of this state is that the children who graduate from this “military camp,” will be quarrelsome, severe, and violent against people and even against their wives and children. The guilt of this is the father’s, and he will receive the curses of people as well.
Beating is one of the widespread wrongs of education. Islam has prohibited beating except in some exceptional cases. Beating should be utilized for discipline only and within the following guidelines:
1. A child should not be insulted and blamed; rather it is his wrongdoing that is to be criticized.
2. Parents should be certain of whether or not their child deserves punishment, according to whether or not the wrong was committed intentionally.
3. Before beating, parents should make their child understand the harms of his wrongdoing.
4. Parents should choose a suitable place, suitable quantity, and suitable means for punishment.
5. Before being punished, the child should know the reason for his punishment.
6. After punishing the child, parents should deal with him as normal, with love and mercy.
7. Punishment should be carried out secretly and not in the presence of others, and this will be more fruitful and positive.