Message to parents
Children and playful activities
Playing is one of the most favourite activities of children. Alas! Some people consider playing to be a bad thing and deprive their children of it completely, whereas others, due to a lack of knowledge, consider playing to be a means of passing time only, and they busy their children in playing just to be freed of their burden. The reality is that children gain happiness and relaxation from playing, leisure and other permissible activities; their bodies gain energy and it brings joy to their minds and bodies. The proof of engaging in permissible play, while remaining in the boundaries of Shari’ah, is found in the Quran. While mentioning the reason for taking Sayyiduna Yusuf عَـلَيْـهِ الـسَّـلَام along with them, the sons of Sayyiduna Ya’qoob عَـلَيْـهِ الـسَّـلَام said:
اَرْسِلْهُ مَعَنَا غَدًا یَّرْتَعْ وَ یَلْعَبْ وَ اِنَّا لَهٗ لَحٰفِظُوْنَ(۱۲)
‘Send him with us tomorrow so that he may eat fruits and play, and we are indeed his protectors.’
[Kanz-ul-Iman (translation of Quran)] (Part 12, Surah Yusuf, Verse 12)
Respected parents! Playing can prove to be very beneficial for children, and they can learn a lot from it. Let us read a few of its benefits:
1. Through playing, they can attain some relief from the tiredness of studying; just as Imam Ghazali رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَلَيْه states: It is necessary that children be given a playful activity to do after studying, so that they can attain relaxation from the weariness of books. (Ihya-ul-‘Uloom, vol. 3, p. 91)
2. They can learn much while playing; they can easily learn such things that they would find difficult to learn usually; for example, spelling, the names of various things, recognition of colours, spotting difference between similar things, and much more.
3. Through play, they begin to understand the difference between correct and incorrect things, and they begin to become familiar with fairness, trustworthiness, treachery, lying and anger.
4. The bodies of the children begin to perspire through play, which is beneficial from a medical point of view.
Remember! Just like books, there is no discussion regarding playing being beneficial also, and there is no doubt that it is a means of increasing health and understanding. However, just as it is not permitted to read every book, similarly, there is not permission to engage in all types of play. It is necessary to differentiate the beneficial and the harmful, the correct and the incorrect, the permissible and the impermissible here also. The young nephew of Sayyiduna Abdullah Bin Mughaffal رَضِىَ الـلّٰـهُ عَـنْهُ was once throwing pebbles, so he رَضِىَ الـلّٰـهُ عَـنْهُ forbade him from doing so and said: The Beloved Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم said, ‘There is no benefit in this; it cannot be used for hunting nor can it be used to harm the enemy, and if it mistakenly hits someone, an eye can be damaged and a tooth can be broken.' (Ibn-e-Majah, vol. 1, p. 19, Hadees 17 Derived)
It is the responsibility of parents that when they specify a playful activity for their children, they should consider whether it is prohibited in the Shari’ah, whether it is harmful, what are the effects of that activity on the child, what will he learn from it, and the physical and mental benefits of it.
May Allah Almighty grant us the ability to educate and bring up our children in the correct manner.
اٰمِیْن بِجَاہِ النَّبِیِّ الْاَمِیْن صلَّی اللہ علیہ واٰلہٖ وسلَّم