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Encyclopaedia of Ismailism by Mumtaz Ali Tajddin

Children ought to be regarded as a blessing from God and their birth should be celebrated with zest and exchange of greetings. If one has no issues, he must pray for the grant of pious children just as Zachariah prayed for a noble offspring: "God! Give me from Your bounty a pious issue; undoubtedly You are the Hearer of the supplication" (19:516). One should not feel unhappy on the birth of a child on account of straitened circumstances, ill health or other reasons, and never consider it as sign of misfortune. Name the child with a decent and appropriate name. One should not frighten the children. Once thrown into a fright, it is likely that this fear may persist in them even after their attaining adulthood. Such children are usually rendered incapable of achieving a big success in life. The children should not be chided on trifles. In the first place, too much rebuking loses its effectiveness. In the second, it makes the child feel he is not loved. Instead of chiding and reproving on trivial matters and showing annoyance at their faults, one should try to be affectionate and tactful in handling them. They should be allowed to follow their aptitudes. The children should be treated with sympathy and consideration and their requirements should be satisfied as far as possible. This would develop sentiments of obedience and service in them.

The offsprings are the fruits of parents' desire, the props for their backs. The parent existence for them is like the sky, which provide shade. One should never become an unbearable burden upon them, lest they may become disgusted and even desire demise of the parents and dislike their association. The parents should try their level best to give decent and befitting education to the children in secular and religious fields. The Prophet said, "The best legacy a father can leave for his offspring comprises of proper training and good education." The parents must treat all children equally in matters of bestowal of gifts and affection. One should not partial towards a particular child, which may cause inferiority complex, hatred, frustration, and at last, it may develop rebellious attitude in the children.

The birth of a daughter should be celebrated in the same way as a son. Whether it is a son or a daughter, both are gifts from God. The daughter should not be regarded as inferior to the son, nor he should be given preference over her in any matter. Girls should be brought up with immense pleasure and sense of religious devotion. The Prophet said, "If a person brings up three daughters or three sisters, educates and teaches good manner to them, and treats them with compassion till they become independent, God will certainly admit him to the paradise." On another occasion, the Prophet said, "Anybody who is tested through the birth of daughters and negotiates that test successfully by treating them well, these daughters will serve as a shield against the hellfire."

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