Maulana Wahiduddin Khan | Principles of Life | Al-Risala September, 1987

“Lack of love can stunt children’s physical growth, retard their intellect or even kill them.” This baneful pronouncement has been culled from a recent report by Western medical experts on what they term ‘deprivation dwarfism’. Figures which support this view have been gathered from orphanages where such deaths are not unknown. One of the worst tallies was in 1915 in the Baltimore orphanages in Maryland where around 90 percent of the children died in the first year of admission because they had no one to love them.

In the past, children used to be separated from their parents only in serious emergencies such as an outbreak of war, or the premature death of the parents. But this exception is fast becoming the rule in modern, so-called advanced societies where the sanctity of matri­mony has been so destroyed that children are frequently born out of wedlock or are left uncared for by parents who separate on flimsy grounds shortly after marriage. This alienation of children from their parents during their lifetime is little better than being totally orphaned.

Human babies are the weakest and most defenseless of all living creatures, and, as such remain in need of the care and protection of parents for a prolonged period of time. Without this, their fate is pitiable, and just as the human body can become dwarfed, so also can the human spirit. The only cure for this is tender loving care. It is only through love that the human spirit can grow, develop and finally blossom for the greater glory of God.