Rights of Children and Elders
In the Name of Allāh,
the Entirely Merciful, the Especially Merciful
Praise is due to Allāh, Lord of the worlds, may the blessings and peace be upon our master Muḥammad, the last of prophets, on his family, and all his companions.
Resolution No. 113 (7/12) Rights of Children and Elders
The Council of the International Islamic Fiqh Academy of the Organization of the Islamic Conference, holding its 12th session in Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, on 25 Jumādā al-Ākhirah – 1 Rajab 1421h (23–28 September 2000),
Having examined the research papers submitted to the Academy concerning the Rights of Children and Elders,
Having reviewed the recommendations of the Medical Fiqh Symposium on the Rights of Children and Elders, held in the State of Kuwait under the auspices of the Academy and the Islamic Organization for Medical Sciences of Kuwait, on 9–12 Rajab 1420h (18–21 October 1999),
Having listened to the discussions of the Academy’s members and experts and other scholars,
First: Rights of Children
The preservation of childhood is the foundation of a morally sound society. Islam has paid much attention to the observance of children’s rights, urging people to get married and advising couples to carefully choose their prospective spouses to ensure a stable and healthy family environment.
Hence, the Academy resolves
- The protection of the fetus in the womb from all types of practices that may be harmful to the fetus or the mother, such as alcohol and drugs, is an obligation according to Shariah.
- The fetus has the right to survive from the beginning of its formation. Hence, it should not be subjected to hazardous acts such as abortion, deformation or any other
- After birth, every child enjoys several financial and moral rights. His material rights include, among others, the rights of ownership, inher- itance, bequest, donation and Waqf, while his moral rights include the right to have a good name, a kinship, religious upbringing and a national
- Society and the state must guarantee the rights of all children, including orphans, foundlings, homeless children, and child victims of war who have no one to support them.
- The child has the right to natural breastfeeding up to the age of
- The child has the right to be nursed and raised in an appropriate and healthy family The mother, if capable, is the most suitable person to look after him, followed by another kin in the order prescribed by the Shariah.
- Guardianship over the child’s person and property, whether by relatives or a legal authority, is an indispensable right for the child. This right must be guaranteed until the child reaches maturity, then he should be left free to manage his own affairs.
- Proper upbringing, moral commitment, education, training, gaining ex- perience, self-reliance, and acquiring professional skills permissible under Shariah, are among the children’s most fundamental rights. In addition, gifted children should be given special attention to developing their ex- ceptional All of these measures must be taken within the guidelines of Shariah.
- Islam prohibits neglect of children, whether by parents or any other per- son, to safeguard them from vagrancy and loss. It also prohibits the ex- ploitation of children by subjecting them to work that leads to the abuse of their physical, mental, and psychological capacities.
- Assault on the beliefs, personality, honor, property and minds of children is a serious crime in Islam.
Second: Rights of Elders
Islam has given much attention to human being at the various stages of his/ her life. Honoring all descendants of Adam is a well-emphasized aspect of the Shariah as Allāh the Almighty said in the Holy Quran, «We have certainly hon- ored the children of Adam,» (Al-Isrāʾ, 70) and He also said, «And your Lord has decreed that you worship not except Him, and to parents, good treatment.» (Al-Isrāʾ, 23) In this regard, Prophet Muhammad SAW said, “Every youth who honors an aged for the sake of being so, Allāh will make somebody else do the same with him at that age,” reported by al-Tirmidhī. The Prophet SAW also said, “Alienated from us, he who neither confers mercy upon our young nor acknowl- edges the honor of our aged,” reported by al-Tirmidhī and Aḥmad.
Hence, the Academy resolves
- An elder should be enlightened about his needs in order to enjoy a healthy physical, spiritual and social life. He should also be enlightened about the rulings and guidelines of Shariah for the fulfillment of his re- ligious and social commitments, as well as for the blessing and reward of Allāh the Almighty.
- Elders should have a role to play in their societies and should enjoy all human rights.
- The family is the best place where an elder can enjoy a happy In such an environment, the elder will be in a position to receive support from his children, grandchildren, relatives, friends and neighbours. For those who have no families to stay with, a proper family environment has to be made available to them at the aged hostel.
- Educational systems and mass media should be used to raise public awareness of the position of the elderly and their rights, with emphasis on filial piety.
- Aged hostels should be established to accommodate those who have no one to support them or those whose families are unable to support
- More attention should be given to promoting geriatric studies in medical colleges and health institutes, training physicians on diagnosis and treat- ment of geriatric diseases and establishing specialized geriatrics centers in hospitals.
- Elders should have their special seats in public transportation and public places and their special areas in parking lots.
- Adopting the Kuwait Declaration on the Rights of the
Indeed, Allāh is All-Knowing