Hitting Ones Children for the Purpose of Disciplining

  1. Shaykh Ibn Baaz rahimahullaah:

Q: What is the ruling on hitting children under the age of ten years, on what basis do they do this? And what is your advice? May Allaah reward you with good.

A: It is for the father and the mother to discipline their child if they see the need for that; even if the child was younger than ten, and even if he was younger than seven. If they saw the need to discipline their child – whether he was a boy or a girl – then there is no harm in that. However it is to be done with that which is appropriate, and does not harm the child. A light disciplining, that will benefit him and not harm him. Such as if he were to fight with his younger siblings, or mess up the house and caused harm, and the like of that – then he is to be disciplined with being hit lightly, or stern speech to deter him [from that], or a light hitting, or by preventing him from some things that he wants, until he becomes disciplined – by the mother or the father, or the older brother if he does not have a father or mother. Or by his paternal uncle, or his maternal aunt, in accordance with his situation. Meaning: those that raise him and look after him, it is for them to discipline him. Whether that person was ones mother, or father, or maternal uncle, or maternal aunt, or elder brother; in accordance with his circumstances. So the one who raises him and looks after him; he can discipline him with that which does not harm him. Something light that brings about benefit.

See: http://www.binbaz.org.sa/node/17865

  1. Shaykh Muhammad Naasir ud-Deen al-Albaanee rahimahullaah:

Q: Is it permissible to hit children for the purpose of disciplining them?

A: My view regarding this is based on his sallAllaahu `alaihi wa sallam saying: “Order your children with the prayer when they are seven [lunar] years, and hit them for it [i.e. if they do not comply] when they are ten [lunar] years, and separate between them in the beds.”[1]

And this narration means that one raising children – the father or the mother – it is not for them to hit their children due to this highly important matter, and it is the prayer; unless the child reaches the age of ten [lunar] years. As for before that [age]; then it is not for the father except that he uses fine speech sometimes, and he uses speech that has in it some harshness – in accordance with the age of the child – at other times. As for hitting, then it is not allowed unless the child has reached ten [lunar] years of age. This is what I understand from this narration.

  1. Shaykh Muhammad bin Saalih al-`Uthaymeen rahimahullaah:

Q: Is it permissible to hit a young child if he makes a mistake? And will doing so have an effect on his psychology? And how should a person direct a young child in the early stages?

A: If the young child can be corrected through hitting – and it was a must – then there is no harm in that. And this is from the [well-known] customary practices of the people. However in the case disciplining was not brought about through hitting, such as a baby in the cradle, if he were to scream and then his mother hit him; this is not allowed. Because it causes him pain without having any benefit.

And this matter [of hitting] revolves around: if discipline of the young child established through hitting or not? And [even] if hitting did discipline him, he is not to be hit forcefully, nor is he to be hit on the face, nor is he to be hit in any place that may kill him. Rather he is hit on his back, or his shoulder and the like; in the places that he will not die as a result of. And hitting on the face has its dangers, because the face is the most elevated and noble body part a human has. So if he is hit on his face he receives humiliation and shame more than if he were to be hit upon his back. For this reason hitting on the face was prohibited.

  1. Shaykh Saalih al-Fawzaan may Allaah preserve him:

Q: Regarding hitting ones young children for the purpose of disciplining them – what is your view regarding that; and is it from [the ways of] disciplining?

A: Yes, this is what the Prophet sallAllaahu `alaihi wa sallam ordered with; in his saying: ‘Command your children with the prayer when they are the age of seven [lunar] years, and hit them for it at the age of ten [if they do not comply], and separate between them in their beds.”[2]

So the parent hits his child for the purpose of disciplining them. However he does not hit him forcefully. Rather he hits him so that the child feels pain but the hitting does not harm him, in accordance with the command of the Prophet sallAllaahu `alaihi wa sallam.

The guardian hits and disciplines, and the teacher hits and disciplines, and the parent hits and disciplines – within the guidelines of the Legislation. These are things that must be done. They are from cultivation, and for the welfare of the people. This is not from domestic violence, just as some people who have appeared [claim]. They warn against the fathers and the teachers rule and command, and they warn against hitting. Hitting has in it good; however it [also] has its limits, and its place. So we must carry out that which the Messenger sallAllaahu `alaihi wa sallam commanded with, because it contains in it benefit.

[1] Reported by Aboo Daawood no. 495. Shaykh al-Albaanee rahimahullaah said ‘Hasan, Saheeh’; good, authentic in his checking of Sunan Abee Daawood.

[2] ibid.

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