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This is a common problem that we see today. And that is the problem of favoritism
among children.

Parents may show their favoritism for many reasons. Favoritism could be shown to
the oldest or the youngest. It could be a preference of a son over a daughter or the
preference of a child more beautiful than the other or simply for no apparent reason
at all.

Favoritism comes in many ways. It could be in the form of showing more affection
to a child, or excessive praise of one to the neglect of others, giving gifts to one
child only or giving better, more expensive gifts to one child in preference to
others. It can even be favoritism by simply ignoring one child as compared to the
others.
Islam condemns all kinds of biases and injustices and indeed, favoritism is a kind
of injustice. A person is not being just if he shows favoritism.

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(Qur'an, Surah an-Nahl:90)

Justice must be maintained in everything, even in how often we look at or speak to


each of our children. The following  shows us how important it is to avoid
favoritism when dealing with our kids.

Nu'maan ibn Basheer said: D & &



 
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In fact, it is one of the rights of our children that we treat them equally. The
Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam) said:

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And he (Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam) also said:

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Showing favoritism is wrong no matter how you look at it. It is injustice to the
child who is being neglected, it is injustice to the one who is being preferred over
the other and it is even injustice to the parent showing the favoritism in the first
place.

Showing preferential treatment to one child over the other siblings nurtures a kind
of jealousy and even hatred in the heart of the one being neglected. And as the
experts tell us, this may lead to various psychological and social problems that can
last well into adolescence and adulthood. While the one who is always preferred
and praised over the other may think he/she is somehow superior or better than
others and lead him/her to being arrogant and spoiled. And surely that is not
fulfilling our responsibility in raising our children in accordance with the way
Islam requires us to raise and educate our kids.

The Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam) said:

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The parent who is showing this favoritism is not being just to himself either since
he is supposed to be fair to all his children and is answerable to Allah as to how he
treated his family. By showing favoritism, he/she is being sinful and not fulfilling
his/her duty as a parent according to the teachings of Islam.

The Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam) said:

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Many mothers and fathers who show preferential treatment to some of their
children do so without realizing it. They do so unconsciously and if asked about
preferring one child over the other, they will immediately deny it. However, since
it is a matter about which one will have to answer to Allah one day, each of us
parent has to sincerely look deep into our soul to see if we are guilty of this
injustice.


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Therefore, the Muslim parent is the one who fears Allah in his dealings with his
children, one who is just in his speech and judgments. His sayings, actions and
dealings with his children are based upon justice with no degree of discrimination
or preference.

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