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  • Morals And Morality: (3) Moral Standards [ii) Treating Parents With Kindness]

    Posted by Umer on June 11, 2021 at 8:10 am

    The second directive is that parents should be treated with kindness. This directive is present in all divine scriptures. Besides, this verse, the Quran has also mentioned it elsewhere in 29:8, 31:14-15 and 46:15. There is no doubt in the fact that among human beings a person’s foremost obligation is towards his parents. Thus after worshipping God, Muslims have been directed to fulfil it the foremost. The reason for this is that it is the parents who bring a person into existence and it is they who nourish and look after him. The way this directive is mentioned in 31:14-15 and 46:15 shows that among the parents it is the mother who has more right on the children:

    وَوَصَّيْنَا الْإِنسَانَ بِوَالِدَيْهِ حَمَلَتْهُ أُمُّهُ وَهْنًا عَلَى وَهْنٍ وَفِصَالُهُ فِي عَامَيْنِ أَنِ اشْكُرْ لِي وَلِوَالِدَيْكَ إِلَيَّ الْمَصِيرُ(14:31)

    And We have counselled man regarding his parents. His mother bore him with much [hardships which resulted in] weakness upon weakness, and he is not weaned before he is two years of age. [We counselled him:] “Show gratitude to Me and to your parents and towards Me is the return.” (31:14)

    In the upbringing of a child, a father too plays no less a role; however, the hardships which a mother bears during her pregnancy, at childbirth and then during breastfeeding are unparalleled. For this very reason, the Prophet (sws) has regarded a mother to have three times more right on her children than the father. [1] However, regardless of this difference, the Almighty has counselled man to be thankful to both his parents the foremost after God. This gratitude is not to be expressed merely through the tongue. There are some essential requisites of this gratitude which the Qur’an has related in the above quoted verses of Surah Bani Israil.

    The first thing mentioned is that a person should treat his parents in a manner that he shows respect to them not only outwardly but also from the depth of his heart. He should not show any aversion to them in his heart and also not say something before them which is against manners. In fact, he should treat them with love, affection and decency and in a manner that reflects his submission to them. He should comply with them and in the frailty of old age comfort them and be a means of re-assurance to them.

    In these verses, the objective for which old age has been specially mentioned is explained thus by Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi:

    it is this period in which those people regard their parents to be a burden who forget their sacrifices and selfless behaviour in their childhood. Obedient and respectful children remember that the way they were once nurtured by their parents when they were nothing but a lump of meat and bones, in a similar manner their parents have now been consigned to them when they are no more than skeletons; it is now their duty to repay them their favours. However, not everyone remembers this. These verses are in fact a reminder for this reality. In fact, the truth of the matter is that parents deserve love, respect and good behaviour whatever may be their age.[2]

    The second thing mentioned in this verse is that a person should always show obedience and compliance to his parents and this obedience should arise from his love and affection for them. The Quranic words used for this purpose are وَاخْفِضْ لَهُمَا جَنَاحَ الذُّلِّ مِنَ الرَّحْمَةِ. In them, is the subtle insinuation that just as parents hide and protect their children the way birds do through their wings, in a similar manner, children too should hide and protect their parents in their wings of love and obedience. The reason is that if ever children can repay their parents for their care, it is through this attitude.

    The third thing that is mentioned besides the above behaviour is that a person should keep praying for his parents that the way his parents raised him with affection and care, the Almighty should also shower His blessings on them in this old age. This prayer is a right of the parents on their children and it is also a reminder for a person to fulfil this right imposed on him. This prayer is also the motive for the feelings of love which the Almighty has demanded from the children in treating their parents with kindness. In Surah Luqman are mentioned the limits of this kind treatment. However, since they belong to the shariah, they shall be dealt in the chapter “The Social Shariah” of this book.

    Following are the directives of the Prophet (sws) in this regard:

    Ibn Masud (rta) reports that he asked the Prophet (sws): “Which deed does the Almighty like the most?” He replied: “To pray on time.” I asked: “Which after this?” He said: “Treating parents with kindness.” [3]

    Abu Hurayrah (rta) reports that the Prophet (sws) said: “Humiliation is for that person. Humiliation is for that person. Humiliation is for that person. People asked: “For whom O Messenger of God?” He replied: “A person both of whose parents or any one of them reached old age in his presence and in spite of this he was not able to enter Paradise.” [4]

    Abdullah ibn Amr(rta) says that once a person asked the Prophet (sws) to participate in jihad. At this, the Prophet (sws) inquired: “Are your parents alive?” The person replied in the affirmative. The Prophet (sws) then remarked: “Keep serving them. This is jihad.” [5]

    Abu Said al-Khudri (rta) says that a person from the people of Yemen migrated and came to the Prophet (sws) in order to participate in jihad. The Prophet (sws) asked: “Do you have any relative in Yemen?” He replied that he had his parents there. The Prophet (sws) remarked: “Did you seek their permission?” He said: “No.” The Prophet (sws) then said: “Go back and seek their permission, and if they grant permission, then only can you take part in jihad, otherwise keep serving them.” [6]

    Muawiyah narrated from his father Jahimah(rta) that he came to the Prophet (sws) and said: “O Messenger of God! I would like to participate in jihad and have come to consult you [regarding this].” The Prophet asked: “Is your mother alive?” He said: “Yes.” At this, the Prophet said: “Stay with her and serve her because Paradise is beneath her feet.” [7]

    Abdullah ibn ‘Amr (rta) narrates from the Prophet (sws): “The pleasure of the Almighty rests in the pleasure of the father and the displeasure of the Almighty resides in the displeasure of the father.” [8]

    Abu al-Darda (rta) says that he heard the Prophet (sws) saying that the best door to Paradise is the father; so, if you want you can waste him and if you want you can protect him. [9]

    Amr ibn Shuayb narrates from his mother who narrates from his grandfather that once a person came to the Prophet (sws) and said: “I have some wealth and I also have children but my father needs this wealth.” The Prophet (sws) replied: “Both you and your wealth belong to your father.” [10]

    In relationships which develop with other people besides the parents, a person should have this same attitude in proportion to their closeness to him. At another place, the Quran has unequivocally stated this in the following words:

    وَاعْبُدُواْ اللّهَ وَلاَ تُشْرِكُواْ بِهِ شَيْئًا وَبِالْوَالِدَيْنِ إِحْسَانًا وَبِذِي الْقُرْبَى وَالْيَتَامَى وَالْمَسَاكِينِ وَالْجَارِ ذِي الْقُرْبَى وَالْجَارِ الْجُنُبِ وَالصَّاحِبِ بِالجَنبِ وَابْنِ السَّبِيلِ وَمَا مَلَكَتْ أَيْمَانُكُمْ إِنَّ اللّهَ لاَ يُحِبُّ مَن كَانَ مُخْتَالاً فَخُورًا (36:4)

    Serve God and associate none with Him. And show kindness to parents and to relatives and to orphans and to the destitute, to neighbours who are your relatives and those you do not know and to those that keep company with you and to the traveller and to the slaves also because God does not like the arrogant and the conceited. (4:36)

    (1) Other Relatives:

    It is evident from the verse that after the parents, a person’s foremost obligation is towards his other relatives and kindred. The expression silah-i rahmi is used for the kind treatment of these people. The basis of a relationship between human beings can be multifarious: People can be class mates, neighbours, friends or companions; they can have common interests or common professions and this basis can even be being citizens of the same country; however, in all these relationships the greatest relationships are the blood relatives. This is the knot tied by the Almighty and it is not befitting for a human being to untie it. Thus safeguarding the rights of this relationship is a foremost obligation:

    وَاتَّقُواْ اللّهَ الَّذِي تَسَاءلُونَ بِهِ وَالأَرْحَامَ إِنَّ اللّهَ كَانَ عَلَيْكُمْ رَقِيبًا (1:4)

    And fear God, in whose name you plead with one another, and beware about your relatives also. Indeed, God is Ever-Watching you. (4:1)

    The importance of this treatment of the kindred and near ones is also found in the narratives of the Prophet (sws).

    Abu Hurayrah (rta) narrates from the Prophet (sws) that the word رحم originates from رحمان.Thus God has addressed it and said: “He who has joined you, I will join him with Me, and he who severed you, I will also dissociate from him.” [11]

    Abu Hurayrah (rta) narrates that at another instance, the Prophet (sws) adopted even more subtle words to describe this: When God had created His creation, رحم (womb) stood in His presence and said: “This is the place of the one who seeks your refuge from breaking relations.” God said: “Indeed, are you not happy with the fact that the one who joins you, I will join him with Me, and he who severs you, I will also dissociate from him.” [12]

    Abu Ayyub al-Ansari (rta) said that a person came to the Prophet (sws) and said: “O Messenger of God! Tell me something which can take me to Paradise.” He replied: “Serve God and do not associate anyone with Him; be diligent in the prayer and pay zakah and fulfil the rights of the kindred.”[13]

    Jubayr ibn Mutim (rta) reports from the Prophet (sws): “Any person who is guilty of breaking blood relations will not enter Paradise.” [14]

    Anas (rta) narrates that the Prophet (sws) said that he who likes that his earnings increase and his life should be endowed with blessings should fulfil the rights of blood relations. [15]

    The pinnacle of this fulfilling of rights is to fulfil them even for those who sever blood relations. [16]

    (2) The Orphan and the Needy:

    After relatives and the kindred, the orphans and the needy are also included in the list. It follows from this that they too fall in the category of the kindred; hence every Muslim should regard them to be so and with this motivation patronize them and be of service to them. According to the Quran, the very first step of the objective of attaining piety and goodness a person has been asked to achieve in this world is to free slaves and fulfil the needs of the orphans and the needy:

    فَلَا اقْتَحَمَ الْعَقَبَةَوَمَا أَدْرَاكَ مَا الْعَقَبَةُفَكُّ رَقَبَةٍ أَوْ إِطْعَامٌ فِي يَوْمٍ ذِي مَسْغَبَةٍيَتِيمًا ذَا مَقْرَبَةٍ أَوْ مِسْكِينًا ذَا مَتْرَبَةٍ (90: 11-16)

    But he did not attempt the steep path. And what do you understand what this steep path is? [It is] the freeing of a slave or feeding, in days of famine, an orphan near of kin or a needy [down] in the dust. (90:11-16)

    The style adopted in the following verses of Surah Fajr shows that the requirement is not merely helping the orphans and the needy but the real requirement is to give them a respectable status in the society:

    كَلَّا بَل لَا تُكْرِمُونَ الْيَتِيمَ وَلَا تَحَاضُّونَ عَلَى طَعَامِ الْمِسْكِينِ (89: 17-19)

    Certainly Not! You do not show respect to the orphans and do not urge one another to feed the needy. (89:17-19)

    The Prophet (sws) while referring to the reward of this treatment has said: “I and those who take care of the orphans financially will be close to one another in Paradise the way two fingers are close to one another.” [17]

    (3) Neighbour, Traveller and Slave:

    After this, neighbours, travellers and slaves are mentioned in the verse and Muslims are asked to treat them kindly too. In spite of the change in society, even today travellers become needy in some respect or another; however, slavery no longer exists. The measures adopted by Islam in eradicating it are mentioned in the chapter “The Social Shariah” of this book.

    With regard to one’s neighbours, the view of the Quran is unique in the history of religion and morality. It is generally considered that a neighbour is a person who lives next door or nearby; however, the Quran says that a neighbour is of three types:

    First, someone who is one’s neighbour and also one’s relative. The Quranic words used are الْجَارِ ذِي الْقُرْبَى and it is mentioned the foremost. It means that among other neighbours, he is more worthy of kind treatment.

    Second, someone who is not one’s relative, yet he is one’s neighbour. The words used are الْجَارِ الْجُنُبِ (unfamiliar neighbour). This unfamiliarity can be on the basis of being a relative and also on the basis of having a different religion. After a neighbour who is a relative, comes this neighbour.

    Third, a person who accompanies us in travel or while being stationed somewhere. الصَّاحِبِ بِالجَنْبِ are the words used for such a person. Muslims have been directed to treat him kindly too the way other neighbours should be.

    Following are the narratives of the Prophet (sws) regarding this treatment:

    Abu Shurayh (rta) narrates from the Prophet (sws): “By God! He shall not be a believer; by God! He shall not be a believer.” People asked: “Who? O Messenger of God!” The Prophet said: “A person whose neighbour is not secure from his mischief.” [18]

    He also narrates from the Prophet (sws): “He who believes in God and in the Hereafter should respect his neighbour.” [19]

    Aishah (rta) reports from the Prophet (sws): “Gabriel emphasized upon me the rights of a neighbour so much that I thought that soon he would make him a share holder in the inheritance [of a person].” [20]

    Abu Dharr al-Ghifari (rta) says that the Prophet (sws) advised: “O Abu Dharr! When you cook curry, add extra water to it and remain aware about your neighbours.” [21]

    Abu Hurayrah (rta) said that the Prophet (sws) similarly advised women and said: “Muslim Women! No one should consider a gift to a lady who lives in the neighbourhood to be meagre even though it may be the hoof of a goat.” [22]

    (Javed Ahmed Ghamidi)

    (Translated by Dr. Shehzad Saleem)

    __________________________________

    [1]. Al-Bukhari, Al-Jami‘ al-sahih, 1045, (no. 5971); Muslim, Al-Jami‘ al-sahih, 1117, (no. 6501).

    [2]. Amin Ahsan Islahi,Tadabbur-i Qur’an, vol. 4, 496.

    [3]. Al-Bukhari, Al-Jami‘ al-sahih, 89-90, (no. 527); Muslim, Al-Jami‘ al-sahih, 52, (no. 252).

    [4]. Muslim, Al-Jami‘ al-sahih, 1119, (no. 6510).

    [5]. Al-Bukhari, Al-Jami‘ al-sahih, 496, (no. 3004).

    [6]. Abu Da’ud, Sunan,vol. 3, 17, (no. 2530).

    [7]. Al-Nasa’i, Sunan, 426, (no. 3106).

    [8]. Al-Tirmidhi, Sunan, vol. 3, 465-466, (no. 1899).

    [9]. Ibid., vol. 3, 465, (no. 1900).

    [10]. Abu Da’ud, Sunan, vol. 3, 287, (no. 3530).

    [11]. Al-Bukhari, Al-Jami‘ al-sahih, 1048, (no. 5988).

    [12]. Al-Bukhari, Al-Jami‘ al-sahih, 1048, (no. 5987); Muslim, Al-Jami‘ al-sahih, 1121, (no. 6518).

    [13]. Al-Bukhari, Al-Jami‘ al-sahih, 1047-1048, (no. 5983); Muslim, Al-Jami‘ al-sahih, 27-28, (no. 104)

    [14]. Al-Bukhari, Al-Jami‘ al-sahih, 1048, (no. 5984); Muslim, Al-Jami‘ al-sahih, 1121, (no. 6520, 6521).

    [15]. Al-Bukhari, Al-Jami‘ al-sahih, 1048, (no. 5986); Muslim, Al-Jami‘ al-sahih, 1121, (no. 6523).

    [16]. Al-Bukhari, Al-Jami‘ al-sahih, 1048-1049, (no. 5991).

    [17]. Al-Bukhari, Al-Jami‘ al-sahih, 1050, (no. 6005); Muslim, Al-Jami‘ al-sahih, 1290-1291, (no. 7469).

    [18]. Al-Bukhari, Al-Jami‘ al-sahih, 1052, (no. 6016).

    [19]. Ibid., 1052, (no. 6019).

    [20]. Al-Bukhari, Al-Jami‘ al-sahih, 1052, (no. 6014); Muslim, Al-Jami‘ al-sahih, 1144-1145, (no. 6685).

    [21]. Muslim, Al-Jami‘ al-sahih, 1145, (no. 6688).

    [22]. Al-Bukhari, Al-Jami‘ al-sahih, 1052, (no. 6017).

    Umer replied 2 years, 8 months ago 1 Member · 4 Replies
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  • Morals And Morality: (3) Moral Standards [ii) Treating Parents With Kindness]

    Umer updated 2 years, 8 months ago 1 Member · 4 Replies
  • Umer

    Moderator June 11, 2021 at 8:10 am

    Lectures by Ghamidi Sahab on Morals And Morality: (3) Moral Standards [ii) Treating Parents with Kindness]

    (Part-1) – from 19:01 to 40:55

  • Umer

    Moderator June 11, 2021 at 8:11 am

    (Part-2) – from 00:00 to 40:19

  • Umer

    Moderator June 11, 2021 at 8:11 am

    (Part-3) – from 00:00 to 17:43

  • Umer

    Moderator June 11, 2021 at 8:11 am

    Parent Thread:

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