Question: What age is the most sensitive part of a child’s education according to Islam?
Answer: The psychological and Islamic point of view regarding this matter is that a child gets influenced as early as three or four years old. Typically, he is under the influence of the family atmosphere and surroundings. Therefore, additional attention should be given to the education of the child, especially during this time when the faculties of the child have developed, and communication has increased. Parents have a greater responsibility; they should take on an appropriate approach from an ideological and practical viewpoint, which should have a positive effect on their children. The root of ethics, faith and practice is planted within the atmosphere of the family until the age of five to six years. In a way, this root reaches its completion in the school too.
Therefore, an appropriate relationship should be developed between school and family. School should have an educational atmosphere, and alongside learning other sciences, students should learn about the basics of religion, faith in God and the Day of Judgement, faith in religion, and primary adherence to basic issues. The school should maintain contact with the family so that the family may also develop such an atmosphere. This will help them to inculcate within their child the knowledge of the basic issues of beliefs, ethics i.e. individual ethics, social ethics, and worship ethics. The basis of the society is formed within the atmosphere of family and school.
Therefore, this phase (5-6 years of age) should be focused on most, so that a basic adherence is inculcated within the child, and they are able to move on to the next phases. As the child gets older, the faculties of thoughts and actions start becoming independent. This independence should take place within the boundaries of that basic training, so that the child develops immunity to social problems.