The Prophet’s (pbuh) attitude towards children, his mercy and love for them make a great example for his ummah and the entire humanity.
When the Messenger of Allah met a child, he used to caress his head, hug and kiss him. His face was especially kind and merry towards children. He used to salute and ask after them. If he is mounted on a horse, he would seat them on the pillion and take them to their destinations. When talking and playing with the kids, he would act as if he was one of them and chat and joke with them.
Once, he saw some children racing and he run with them. He would share the children’s joy and console their sorrow.
He visited Zayd to give his condolences when Zayd's bird died.
When Zayd was 3 or 5 years old, he had a little bird he named Umayr. Whenever the Prophet (pbuh) saw Zayd, he would call him “Abu Umayr” meaning the father of Umayr. One day the bird died and Zayd was very saddened. When the Prophet heard about his sorrow, he went to visit the child in his house. He asked “What happened O Abu Umayr? What have you done with your Nuayr (sparrow-like little bird)?” This question cheered Zayd up. He took Zayd in his lap, caressed him and consoled him.
He was a father, a grandfather, a Messenger of mercy. He never frowned at the children, never reproached them, never scolded them.
Anas, who was raised with the Messenger of Allah, tells:
“I served the Messenger of Allah for ten years and he didn’t even say “uff” to me. For something I have done, I have never heard him saying “why have you done it this way; you should have done it that way”. He did not scold me when I couldn’t do something well, and never has he reproached me. I haven’t even seen the Prophet frown.”
The Messenger of Allah would respect the personalities of children and would compliment them. Sometimes he would praise their outfits and would visit them when they are sick.
While leading the prayer, if he heard a baby crying, he would keep the recitation short and finish up the prayer sooner. He would make the supplication of barakah when he was offered the first fruit of the season and he would give the fruit to the youngest child there.
“Those who do not show mercy to our young ones and do not realise the right of our elders are not from us.”
The children of the Age of Happiness were the happiest children of all times. They had the Prophet who loved them, cared for them and valued them so much.
The children of the Age of Happiness were the luckiest children of all times. They had memories with the Prophet who joked around and played games with them; who made duas for them, who hugged them and carried them on his back.
When Abdullah ibn Omar was a child, he participated in a journey with his father and the Prophet (pbuh). Abdullah was riding on his father’s camel. He was young and the camel was fast, so it was often getting ahead of the caravan. Abdullah’s father had to catch him and return the camel, and he often scolded the child for passing to the front of the Prophet.
Seeing that the father scolded the child, the Prophet (pbuh) intervened and asked the father to sell the camel to him. The father did not accept the sale but said, “It is for you O Allah’s Messenger”. However, the Messenger of Allah insisted and persuaded him to sell it. Having purchased the camel, he called out to Abdullah:
“This camel is for you O Abdullah (as a present) and you could do with it whatever you like.”
He was sent as a mercy to the worlds. At a time when girls were not considered offspring, he used to stand up when his daughter Fatima walked in, kiss her and seat her in his place. When he set out on a journey, he would see Fatima first and he would also stop by Fatima upon his return.
The Prophet of Allah used to give children nicknames that they enjoy and called them with these nicknames to cheer them up. He would change the names of children who had unpleasant names and he would address them kindly.
"On the day of Resurrection, you will be called by your names and your fathers' names, so give yourselves good names."
He was sent as a mercy to the worlds. His love and compassion were deep enough to encompass all the universe. The believers need to love one another and they need to express love to children as children are entrusted to us.
When the Prophet (pbuh) and Abu Bakr migrated to Madina, it was the children who greeted them the first. The children were playing their tambourines, singing, without yet knowing that they would be subject to the best of blessings. They were running around, yelling full of life, "Muhammad has arrived! Muhammad is here!" At such a moment, the Prophet (pbuh) approached them and asked, "Do you love me?"
The kids with one voice said, "Yes, O Messenger of Allah, we love you so much". The Messenger's face glittered. He smiled and said to the children, "Indeed, I love you too", which made the best news and the best gift for the children of his time and of all times.