Parents must take pains to ensure that their wards speak the truth and truth only. It is believed that falsehood gives birth to many other sins. Therefore, children must be taught to tell the truth. A person who speaks the truth automatically stays away from many a sin. The most revered Prophet (SAW) said: “There are four traits whoever possesses them is a sheer hypocrite, and he who possesses one of them, possesses a trait of hypocrisy unless he quits it. They are: when he speaks, he tells lies; and when he enters into an agreement, he acts unfaithfully; and when he promises, he breaches his promise; and when he litigates, he behaves treacherously. The liar receives the anger of Allah on the Day of Resurrection.” (Al Bukhari).
Lying is a trait of hypocrites and this is the only category of people whom the Holy Prophet (SAW) hated. The Holy Prophet (SAW) disliked hypocrites so much that he ordered them not to enter his mosque.
On another occasion, the beloved Prophet (SAW) said, “Lying leads to Hell-Fire and truthfulness leads to Jannah.”
Parents should not take this evil habit lightly, or consider it funny when their children tell lies because later on it becomes easy for them to lie without any compunction.
Children must be warned against backbiting, which means speaking slanderously about an absent person. The Prophet (SAW) said: “Do you know what is Gheebah (backbiting)?” They said: “Allah and His Messenger know best.” He said: “It is to attribute to your brother what he dislikes.” He was asked: “What do you think if what I say about my brother is true?” He said: “If what you attribute to him is true, then you have backbitten him, and if it is not true, then you have lied about him.”
At another occasion the most revered Prophet (SAW) compared backbiting to eating the flesh of one’s dead brother (Al Bukhari, Al Muslim).
Children must also be warned against mocking at others. Remember the person who is mocked at may be more God fearing, honest, truthful than the one who resorts to this detested practice.
The most revered Prophet (SAW) also forbade Muslims to refrain from circulating slanderous rumours against others. The Holy Prophet (SAW) said such person cannot enter Jannah.
Brotherly love and believers’ solidarity must be embedded in the children’s minds and that the believers are brothers-in-faith.
“They are merciful to one another but harsh to the infidels.” (Holy Qur’an, 48: 29)
Allah also addressed His Messenger (SAW) saying: “And were you to be harsh and hard-hearted, they would have broken away from you.” (Holy Qur’an, 3:159)
And among the worst of manners is reviling people and swearing at them. If this bad habit is not redressed while the child is growing up, it becomes hard for him to avoid it later on.
The children must be taught not to use abusive language. Islam enjoins guarding the tongues. The Prophet (SAW) said: “He who guarantees, what is in between his jaws (tongue), and what is in between his thighs (private parts), I guarantee Jannah for him.”