Allah Ta‘ala has instilled a deep love within every parent’s heart for their children. This love manifests itself in many ways. At times, the parents may hug and kiss their children, at other times they may show them kindness and affection, while sometimes they give them gifts.

Love is an emotion over which a person does not have complete control. Hence, it is possible for a parent to naturally have more love for one child than he has for the other. Since this increased love is something over which he has no control, Allah Ta‘ala will not take him to task for having more love for one child than the other. However, our behaviour is something which we do have control over, and thus Allah Ta‘ala will take us to task for showing more favour to one child than the other.

Sayyiduna Nu’maan bin Basheer (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) once came to Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) and said, “I have given this child of mine a slave.” Hearing this, Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) asked him, “Did you give all your children a slave like this?” When Sayyidnua Nu’maan bin Basheer (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) replied in the negative, Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) said, “In that case, take the slave back.” (Saheeh Bukhaari #2586)

As parents, we should strive to maintain a standard of equality when dealing with our children. If a parent buys a house or a car for one child, he should do the same for the other children. If they do not need a house or car, then we should at least give them some other gift which is equal in value or give them cash to that value.

By doing this, over and above fulfilling the instruction of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam), we will not leave Shaitaan an opportunity to poison the minds of our children, causing them to think that we do not love them and only love our other children. By doing this, we will enjoy a good relationship with them during our lifetime, and after our demise, they will remember us and make du‘aa for us.