The family, where a child grows up, plays an important role in his education. It is considered as a school which develops his hidden talents and teaches him lessons in great human values.
Imam Ali (a.s.) was a perfect man, with an ideal personality . All the human qualities and virtuous manners appeared in this great man, who frankly boasted of the education he received in his childhood. He told us about the great spiritual wealth he had gotten during that stage of his honorable life.
He also boasted of his great teacher , the prophet of Islam (p.) when saying, ęYou knew about the close kinship from the Messenger (p..) and the special rank he had given me . He put me in, his lap, took me to his breast, and made me sleep in his bed, touching his body and smelling his hair. He (a.s.) proceeds saying, ęEvery day he used to teach me one of his manners, and he order me to abide by itĽ.
All of Imam Aliís (a.s.) mental and emotional tendencies were satisfied during his childhood in the Prophetís tender lap. On one hand, the Prophet (p.) watered his emotions from the spring of his affection and sympathy; on the other hand, he gave him lessons in manners and ordered him to follow them.
The profound, wise educational methods, that the greatest prophet (p.) had followed in upbringing Imam Ali (a.s.) revived the latterís all hidden talents and led him within a short time to the highest posts of perfection, so he adapted Islam at the age of ten with awareness and perception. Moreover, he spread its creed, following the Prophetís way of life. Never in his life did he deviate from the right way.
The characteristic that makes the value of the family of big importance is reviving the childís individual traits. Individuals do not only differ from each other in their physical appearance, but also in their spirits and psychologies. This difference is one of the features of the divine might.
[Why donít you beg God with reverence; He created you different from each other] (The Hypocrites: 8).
The Messenger (p.) said, ępeople are metals like gold and silverĽ. Due to this reason, some children are born with certain qualities that do not exist in other ordinary children. Some individuals, perhaps, have reason, perception, intelligence, wit, memory, acuteness, generosity, and self-control in an extraordinary way.
The childís upbringing should be based on manís natural perception and innate tendencies, methods built on this basis are sound, and they are the realistic way for manís happiness.
Therefore, what is the most important basis of education:
In the course of sound education, the first thing a child must be taught is making him feel Godís existence, and make him believe in Him using an easily understandable approach.
The need for believing in God is inborn, and it exists inside every manís nature-when the childís perception system is ready & good observation arises in him, he starts inquiring about reasons of things. In this case, his pure self is completely ready to receive belief in God, and indeed it is a very natural matter. The teacher should make use of this innate wealth, and thus make the child understand that God created man, plants, animals, objects and all the universe. He is the maker of day and night. He watches our deeds at any moment; He rewards us for our good doings and punishes us for ill ones. Talking to the child in this way is so easy that it results in the childís submission. He becomes a believer in God in a short time. Following this approach, we can create in the childís a love for discipline, commitment, straight forwardness, and virtuousness. Besides, believing in God is not only the greatest refuge for man but also the most significant element that brings about his self-tranquility; it is the most important basis for his happiness and a major issue prophets dealt with in their call.