Many parents and even some brave teachers slap children in the face as a means of discipling them, and in some cases to vent their frustration. Whilst some countries have laws that prevent it, other communities uphold the practice.
Jabir said, “The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, passed by an animal which had been branded and its nostrils were smoking. The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, ‘Allah curses any person who does this. No one should mark the face nor strike it.'” (Adab Al-Mufrad, Sahih By Sh Al-Albaani)
The Messenger peace and blessings be upon him said this in regards to an animal, so now what about humans?
The face is the most honoured part of the body, it is a means of respect. To strike someone’s face, is to harm them, they are often bruised in the process. Not to mention it is also a means of humiliation. It destroys self-confidence, and often breeds rebellion.
Narrated Jabir: “The Prophet (ﷺ) prohibited branding on the face and striking (it).” (Tirmithi, Sahih)
There are other means of disciplining a naughty child, striking the face is not one of them. one should establish a relationship of respect with their child, so that just “the look” or a few words can work wonders to discipline the child.
Also on the same thread of striking the face, we can address the topic of boxing:
The aim of boxing is to knock out your opponent, using blows to the face or other parts of the body. It is a violent sport to say the least. Yes, it is a means of self-defense, however there are other means that can take its place.
Boxing has caused many injuries, fatalities and permanent disfigurement. As result professional boxing has been banned in Sweden, and many activists across the globe are calling for its ban.
So why is boxing and striking the face prohibited?
There are two main reasons:
- Harm: no one can deny that boxing or striking the face brings pain, bruising, mental deformity and even death in some cases
- It dishonours the face which Allah honoured, the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), said: “When any one of you fights, let him avoid (striking) the face.” (Narrated by Bukhari, al-Fath, 5/215)
Al-Haafiz said: “This prohibition also includes all those who are struck for the purpose of hadd or ta’zeer (punishments or discipline). According to the hadeeth narrated by Abu Bakrah and others, which was recorded by Abu Dawood and others, about the woman who had committed adultery, the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) commanded that she should be stoned to death, and said, ‘Stone her, but avoid the face.’ (Narrated by Abu Dawood, 4/152). If that is the command in the case of one who is being punished and is going to die anyway, then the rule is even more applicable in cases of lesser severity.” See al-Fath, 5/216
In conclusion, no matter the reason, children and adults faces’ alike should not be targeted. In discipline, punishment, training and fights the face should be avoided at all times.