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Question: Is there any sahih (authentic) hadith that states that you can beat your children to learn? Please comment on this.
Answer:

There is no such hadith that is considered as authentic. Furthermore, teaching through corporeal punishment was never the method followed by the Prophet, peace be upon him. It is well known that the Prophet, peace be upon him, was recognized as the best of teachers by his companions: he taught men, women, young and old. He did so primarily through role modeling and practical examples. We learn from Aishah, his beloved wife, and the mother of the faithful, “The Prophet, peace be upon him, never struck anyone with his hands: neither a man, or a woman, or a servant, or anyone else for that matter...”

Prophet was known for his extreme gentleness, tolerance, and humor as a teacher; he never used threats or condemnation to correct anyone: Anas, who worked for the Prophet, peace be upon him, ten years to do errands for him, said, “I served Allah’s Messenger ten years; yet not even once he condemned me for anything I failed to do or a mistake I made...”

In conclusion: We should never use beating as a method of teaching our children; we should rather use the effective methods of teaching as demonstrated by the Prophet, peace be upon him, our perfect role model. I suggest you better get hold of the excellent work on the Prophetic manners by Imam Bukhari, which is available in English under the title: Imam Bukhari's Book of Muslim Morals and Manners translated by Yusuf Talal Delorenzo.

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