Raising the Children
Muslims view the birth of a child as a small miracle and a blessing from Allah. Children are valuable gems not only to their parents, but to Allah as well. The Koran provides guidelines to help people raise their children correctly with regard to their health, education, and virtues. Both mother and father have separate and shared roles in the upbringing of their kids.
The Mother's Role
The Koran leaves no doubt that a newborn should be looked after by his or her mother. Only if the baby is an orphan or the child's mother is unavailable due to serious circumstances can someone else take over. Allah says that mothers should breastfeed their babies, preferably until they reach the age of two. Modern scientific evidence that mother's milk boosts a baby's health and builds a strong immune system shows the wisdom of this advice to mothers.
Discriminating between your children is a sin in Islam. The Koran and the Sunnah urge parents to love and treat their children equally without giving preference to any one of them. Such behavior plants resentment in children and leads to instability in the family bond.
The Father's Role
Fathers should spend quality time with their children, strengthening the bonds they share. Father-child relationships should be based on love, cooperation, communication, and respect, and the children should always feel they can confide in their father. Prophet Muhammad once heard of a father who admitted to never kissing his children. Muhammad scolded him for lack of mercy and compassion toward his children.
The Koran emphasizes the father's responsibility as a role model in practicing his faith. Men are asked to plant the seed of faith in their children from an early age and to teach them about the Koran. Since the child is 100 percent the responsibility of the parents, they will be held accountable for his or her upbringing on Judgment Day.