Know, 0 dear readers, that the training of a child’s character and conduct is of supreme importance. God entrusted the children in the hands of their parents. The heart of a child is bright like a jewel and soft like a candle and free from all impressions. It is soft like the soft clay in which any seed can grow. If he is given good training of character and conduct, he grows in that condition and acquires fortune both in this world and the next. If he goes to commit sins and lives a life of a beast he is doomed to failure and destruction. God says: ‘0 those who believe, save yourselves and your family members from Hell fire.’ As the parents save their children from the fire of the world, so they should save them also from the fire of Hell of the next world. This means that they should be given training of good conduct and character, save them from bad company and luxurious habits, delicious dishes and beautiful dresses. When a boy reaches the age of discretion, care should.be taken of his character. He gives up then something out of shame and takes up something.
He should be given the training of eating and drinking. The following are some of the rules of ea ;ng and drinking (1) Food is to be eaten with the right hand. (2)`h should be begun with the recitation of God’s name. (3) It should be taken from the side of the dish which is nearest. (4) It should not be taken before others begin to eat. (5) None should took to the ea$ng of others. (6) Food is to be chewed well and not hastily. (7) None should wipe his hand with his wearing garment. (8) Rice or bread without curry should sometimes be eaten. (9) The harms of over eating should be known. (10) Rewards of little food should be known. (11) White cloth and not garments of variegated colours should be put on and not silk cloths. 912) A boy should be directed not to join bad company. (13) He should not be allotted to mix with boys who dress luxuriantly, eat delicious foods and are haughty.
by Imam Muhammad Al Ghazzali Radi Allahu Anhu