Is the statement "The right of an older child over his younger sibling is like the right of the father" a hadith? Will you explain it?

Details of the Question
Is the statement "The right of an older child over his younger sibling is like the right of the father" a hadith? Will you explain it?
The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

Family is the smallest unit of the community that consists of a father, mother and children if any and that forms with marriage. Therefore, family is regarded as the building block of the community. Along with the mother, father and children, paternal uncles and aunts, and maternal uncles and aunts are also regarded as the members of the family.

Family is the essence and foundation of the community. Nations are formed by the combination of many families. The sounder the foundations of the families, the sounder and more peaceful the nations.

The religion of Islam gives importance to establishing families, encourages marriage and wants it to be protected. Allah Almighty states the following in the chapter of an-Nur:

“Marry those among you who are single, or the virtuous ones among yourselves, male or female: if they are in poverty, Allah will give them means out of His grace.” (an-Nur, 24/32)

The Prophet (pbuh) also encouraged marrying and having children. Therefore, it is not regarded nice not marry without a reason. The people who spend their youth by obeying the desires of their souls are destroyed in the end. Such people may attain the positions, money and fame that they want but they will be deprived of the joy of a cozy home and the loving and respectful looks of the family members; they will not be remembered well after death either.

Our religion gives great importance to the family and the relationships among the family members.According to Islam, the family is a holy environment in which a person is born and grows up. The feelings of love, respect, compassion, mercy and pity underlie this holiness. There is a place where everybody lives; it is our home. We call the building a house, flat etc., but we call the place where the members of a family live home. It is also called a nest and hearth. The terms like nest and hearth are used in the sense of the places that give us the feelings of comfort and security and where we feel the coziness. Thus, we call the material structure of the place in which we live a house but we call the spiritual environment where we live home, nest or hearth.

As family members, we share our joy in our family, laugh and have fun together when we are happy, feel sorry together when we are sad and seek solutions to our problems together. Joy increases when it is shared; we become happier when we share our joy in the family. Similarly, when we share our sorrow, we forget it more easily.

We learn to love, to be loved, to show respect and to love nature, animals and humans from our family. Our family teaches us to love children and respect elders. We learn from our family how to act in the community and how to be protected from evil.  

We have stated that familyconsists of a father, mother and children if any; children have a different place in the family. According to our religion, children are entrusted to parents by Allah. For, Allah states the following for children: 

“Wealth and sons are allurements of the life of this world;…” (al-Kahf, 18/46)

Parents are asked to pray as follows in the Quran:

“(Our Lord! Grant unto us wives and offspring who will be the comfort of our eyes, and give us (the grace) to lead the righteous!” (al-Furqan, 25/74)

It is one of parents’ main duties to bring up children in a way that will be useful to the community. The Prophet (pbuh) states the following:

“There is no gift that a father/mother gives his/her son more virtuous than good manners.” (Tirmidhi, Birr 33)

Children who are born of the same parents or from the same mother or father are called siblings. There must be love and respect on the basis of the relationship among children. Thus, the siblings who love and respect one another will get on well.

Siblings are like the parts of a whole that complement one another. Nothing should break this unity and alienate siblings from one another. Older siblings are like parents for younger ones. The Prophet (pbuh) said,

“The right of an older child over his younger sibling is like the right of the father.” (Ihyau Ulumuddin, II/195)

Therefore, younger siblings should respect their older siblings, should not oppose them and should avoid offensive statements and deeds. Older siblings should love their younger siblings and protect them with compassion. The Prophet warns us as follows regarding the issue:

“Those who do not respect older ones and who do not show mercy to younger ones are not of us.” (ibid, II/485)

One of the causes that decrease the love and respect among siblings isthe jealousy among them. The feeling of jealousy is not good for any siblings. Therefore, siblings should not be jealous of one another and should not annoy one another. In the Quran, the story of the Prophet Yusuf (Joseph) is narrated about the evil of being jealous of one’s brother in the chapter of Yusuf.

Siblings have certain duties toward one another. For, sibling means two parts of the same body. They resemble the branches of a tree that come from the same root. Therefore, a person needs to love his/her sibling, who is a part from him/her, as much as he/she loves himself/herself.

The siblings who grow up in the same house should establish their relationship among one another and between their parents based on love and respect; thus, they should contribute to the maintenance of the institution of the family.

Questions on Islam

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