Being mercy incarnate, the esteemed emissary of God showed great love and affection towards children. He never scolded any child nor showed them contempt. The young Anas b. Malik recounting his experience said: “I served the Prophet for 10 years. He never once said ‘fie’ to me [i.e. used an expression to show disapproval]. If I did something that I shouldn’t have done, he did not say to me ‘why did you do it?’, and if I left out something that I should’ve done, he did not say ‘why didn’t you do it’¹… the Prophet never once rebuked me for doing something wrong, even if others rebuked me. He would prevent others from rebuking me, saying: “Leave him.” “2

On another occasion, a group of Bedouins went to see God’s Messenger. They asked, ‘Do you kiss your children?’ They [the Companions] said, ‘Yes.’ The Bedouins said, ‘By God! As for us, we do not kiss [our children].’ Upon (hearing) this, God’s Messenger said, ‘What can I do if God has removed mercy from your hearts?””3 Showing love and affection towards children is an act of mercy and the Companions stated that they have never seen anyone more merciful towards children than the Prophet Muhammad

I Set forth by Ibn ‘Asākir in Tārīkh Madīna Dimashq, 4:88

I Set forth by al-Bukhārī in al-Ṣaḥīḥ, 5:2245 S5691. Ṣaḥīḥ, 4:1804 $2309. Muslim in al

² Set forth by Aḥmad b. Hanbal in al-Musnad, 3:231 S13442. Ibn Abi ‘Āṣim in al-Sunna, 1:157 $355.

3 Set forth by al-Bukhārī in al-Ṣaḥīḥ, 5:2235 $5652. Muslim in alṢaḥīḥ, 4:1808 $2317.

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