Islam is a religion of truth and moderation with neither exaggeration nor negligence. Islam therefore does not completely prevent hitting of kids nor consider it insignificant in the upbringing of a child. The human soul rather needs this method, especially when other methods prove to be ineffective.
Islam in the other hand considers the psychological danger of beating and therefore puts some rules and regulations when resorting to beating children. Beating of children is only used in case of necessity, and it is used proportionately. Islam embraces a reasonable attitude regarding using beatings as a means of upbringing children.
The Noble Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) said; “Order your children to perform Salat when they are 7 years old and beat them for neglecting it when they are 10.”
Our Noble Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) did not order hitting of children below the age of 10 for neglecting Salat. Although he ordered the parent to command the child to perform Salat when they are 7 years old. This means there is 3 years difference between the two stages.
The Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) delayed using beating for three years and he only allowed parents to verbally correct their children during this period.
If the child keeps refusing to the orders of the parent to pray for 3 years, then the child is considered stubborn and therefore should be beaten. Provided the beating is not severe, then this approach of disciplining the child could lead to positive results.
Severe beatings lead to negative consequences. The child could feel that the one that beats him hates him and uses beating as a means of revenge.
The Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said in a Hadith; “Do not lift your stick against your wife and children and urge them to fear Allah The Almighty.”
Below are some rules of beating children in Islam:
1st Rule: Unless other means of upbringing have been used such as advice, direction, and kind admonishment, beating should not be used.
2nd Rule: Children less than the age of 10 should not be beaten.
3rd Rule: beating should be appropriate to the misdeed.
4th Rule: the method of beating should not hurt the child both physically or psychologically.
5th Rule: suitable setting for the punishment should be chosen, not in the presence of people, relatives, etc.
6th Rule: You should not beat the child when you are angry, so you can be aware of what you are doing. You should note that beating is required for discipline only, not for torture or revenge.
7th Rule: You should avoid hitting the child on delicate parts of their body such as face and genitals.
Parents should avoid beating children using wires, hard canes or throwing them to the ground or against a wall. Such ways of beating children results to dangerous physical consequences such as fractures or bruises. Such ways are unacceptable.
Parents should consider these Islamic manners when disciplining their children and they should not transcend the set limits.