The Prophet (pbuh) was especially fond of children and used to get into the spirit of childish games in their company. He gave lifts on his camel to children when he returned from journeys. (Al-Bukhaari)
Children too, loved his company. Seeing him, the children would come to him jumping with joy. He would pick them up one by one, hug them and kiss them.
An event is related as follows: Although he recited sixty verses during the first unit of morning prayer, the Prophet (pbuh) completed the prayer by reading one of the shortest verses in the second unit when he heard a child cry. When he was asked why he did that, he gave this reply:
- I heard a child cry and so I shortened the prayer so as not to give the mother distress ( Hadith, Nasai, Qibla 35).
The Prophet (pbuh) made jokes to his grandchildren, Hasan and Hussein, and to other children. A Companion named Mahmud b. Rabi related that when he was five years-old, the Prophet (pbuh) took some water from a bucket and tossed it into his face and that he did the same to the other children (Buhari, "Ilim" 18).
Also as a kind of physical contact, carrying children on his shoulders or back was an act frequently performed by the Prophet (pbuh). In particular, each time he visited his daughter Fatima, he would immediately put Hasan and Hussein, on his back as a gesture of affection (Alauddin Ali al-Muttaki, Kenzu'l-Ummal, XVI, 274).
Once, the Prophet (pbuh) kissed his grandson Al-Hasan ibn Ali, while Al-Aqra ibn Habis At-Tamimi was sitting with him. Al-Aqra said:
- "I have ten children and have never kissed one of them."
The Prophet (pbuh) cast a look at him and said:
- "Whoever is not merciful to others will not be treated mercifully." ( Hadith, Al-Bukhaari )
Prophet (pbuh) has told Muslims to be fair in their dealings with all their children . Once Nu'man B. Bashir reported that his father had assigned one of his servants to him (Bashir) as a gift. The Prophet(pbuh) said:
-"Have all brothers (of yours) been given this gift as given to you?"
He said: "No". Thereupon the Prophet (pbuh) said:
-"Then return him." ( Muslim, Book 12, Number 3964 )
( pbuh = peace be upon him )
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