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April 25, 2005
Parents - Our Blessing

by Ibn Muzaffar Syed Hussain

Assalaamu 'alaikum.

It's been a long time since I wrote for Hidaya but Alhamdulillah I'm writing now. This is a khutbah I gave last semester and I thought that people, especially college students, should be reminded of a certain duty of theirs.

Aseer ibn Jaabir narrates: "Whenever people would come from Yemen, Umar would ask them, 'Is Uways al-Qarni amongst you?' until, one year, he met Uways. He said, 'Are you Uways al-Qarni?' He said, 'Yes.' Umar continued, 'From Muraad, then Qaran?' He said, 'Yes.' Umar then asked, 'Were you once afflicted with leprosy and your skin healed except for a dirham's area?' Uways said, 'Yes.' Umar finally asked, 'Do you have a mother (that is alive)?' He said, 'Yes.' Umar then said, 'I heard the Messenger of Allah (sallahu 'alayhi wasalam) say, 'Uways ibn Aamir will come to you with the delegations from Yemen, from Muraad, then from Qaran. He was once afflicted with leprosy and his skin healed except for a dirham's area. He has a mother, and he treats her kindly. If he was to ever swear by Allah (for something) Allah would fulfill his oath. If you can, request that he ask forgiveness for you.'' Umar then requested from Uways, 'Ask forgiveness for me.' And Uways al-Qarni did."

Allah Ta'ala commanded us, "And your Lord decreed that you should worship none but Him and that you be dutiful to your parents. If one of them or both attain old age in your life, then do not say to them uff (a word of disrespect), nor shout at them, rather address them in terms of honor / And lower for them the wing of submission and humility through mercy. And say, 'My Lord! Grant them Your Mercy as they brought me up when I was small.'" (17/23-24)

Regarding the above verse, Al-Husayn ibn Ali narrated that the Prophet (sallahu 'alayhi wasalam) said, "If Allah knew any smaller than uff (tsk) to be disrespectful to parents, He would have decreed it to be Haram!" In another hadith, a man came to the Prophet (sallallahu 'alayhi wasalam) seeking permission to go for Jihad. The Prophet asked him, "Are you parents alive?" He said, "Yes." He, sallallahu 'alayhi wasalam, said, "Perform Jihad (in your kind treatment) of them."

Being kind to parents. How many of us neglect it? How many of us sometimes don't even realize how ungrateful we are FOR and TO our parents? Parents, I can honestly say, are the biggest blessing we have in this life, aside from being Muslim of course. They are the only ones who are always there for us when no one else is; we know that when we can't talk to ANYONE, we can talk to either both of them or at least one of them. Yet, once we get a little independent, the first thing we want to do is move out and be by ourselves, or whatever else we thought of while growing up.

It's kind of like if someone offered you a free lunch, you would smile, speak kindly to that person, and have a special place in your heart for him or her. But, why then do our parents receive only cold stares, harsh words and bitter treatment when they are who they are in our lives? They fed us, clothed us, washed us, and showered their mercy on our soft skin for 20, 30 years. Their love for us never dies even if we do, their love goes beyond us, to our children and to our children's children.

Being kind and righteous to our parents is not just about respecting them, it's about being a believer. Al-Hasan al-Basri defined it by saying, "Al-Birr is to obey the parents in everything that they ask so long as it is not to disobey Allah. Uqooq is to disown your parents, denying them all of your goodness." Being respectul and obedient to one's parents is considered Fard, obligatory upon all of us, by the consensus of the scholars because of the verse, "And your Lord decreed that you should worship none but Him and that you be dutiful to your parents."

Here Allah is putting being kind and dutiful to our parents right after mentioning that we have to worship Him. Think about it. Us being kind to our parents is an act of obedience; being a Muslim and being ungrateful to them or being rude to them will only get us Allah's Anger. Ibn Abbas said that there are three things that will NOT be accepted if their mate is not fulfilled and one of them is thanking Allah and your parents. So, us being thankful to Allah WITHOUT being thankful to our parents won't be accepted. Even the Prophet (sallallahu 'alayhi wasalam) said that, "the Pleasure of Allah is from the pleasure of the parents, and then anger of Allah is from the anger of the parents."

And how DO we treat our parents? If they may need something, we turn or shy away. If we are away from them, we don't visit them or at least not as much as we should. And what's worst, when THEY need our help, in their old age, we put them in retirement or nursing homes. And when we get into an argument with them, as if we can afford to get into an argument with our parents, we shout at them as if they're our equal or worse, our enemy. These are our PARENTS, maybe we fail to realize what that means. We can't just treat them how we want, they deserve more than we can ever give them but we at least have to put forth an effort.

Oh, and how many of us prefer our friends over our parents? Maybe we forget the hadith, one that we all know, in which a man came to the Prophet (sallallahu 'alayhi wasalam) and asked him who is most worthy of his companionship and the Prophet replied "your mother". The Prophet repeated that two more times after which, on the fourth time, the Prophet replied, "your father". Maybe our reply today should be my mother or my father if someone asks us if we have a best friend. But for how many of us, are our parents our best friends? We don't think of them in that way do we? For many of us it's THEIR duty to do anything and everything for us, but we don't have any duties to them. When we become arrogant after maybe we've made something of ourselves, what exactly are we arrogant about? That it was because of Allah? Or maybe that it was our parents who brought us to this point? Or was it that it was all because of us???

You know I really don't think we realize that our parents' pleasure must come before EVERYTHING, except of course if it is in total disobedience to Allah. Many times we're busy doing something - whether it is working around the house, studying, etc. - and our mothers ask us to do something, but we ignore them. Yet consider this example that our pious predecessors set for us: Haywah bin Shurayh (may Allah be pleased with him), one of the Imam's of our Ummah, used to give classes in front of his home. During the class, his mother would call him to feed the chickens. He would stand up, leave the Halaqah, and go feed the chickens. How many of us have even BEEN to a Halaqah, let alone give one?

And then we always say that InshaAllah we will go to Paradise, but what's one of the easiest ways to attain Paradise? One of the companions of the Prophet (sallallahu 'alayhi wasalam) asked him, "O Messenger of Allah, I would like to go out and fight for the sake of Allah, and I have come to you for advice." The Prophet (sallallahu 'alayhi wasalam) asked him, "Is your mother alive?" He said, "Yes." "Then stay near her," advised the Prophet (sallallahu 'alayhi wasalam), "For at her feet is Jannah!"

However, we must also be mindful of the fact that, like I wrote earlier, angering or displeasing our parents is one way to earn Allah's Anger. And how many of us can afford to do that? We do things that we KNOW are going to upset our parents, whether it's staying out late, or associating with people our parents don't want us to, or not doing what we're supposed to. And I think sometimes we do it to just rebel and nothing else. Or maybe, we're not considered "cool" enough by our friends because we listen to our parents or what have you. Sometimes, we even think that if we do something good, something "Islamic" and our parents are unhappy, then it's OK. But consider this hadith of the Prophet (sallallahu 'alayhi wasalam): "A man came to the Prophet - sallallahu 'alayhi wasalam - to give him his pledge of Allegiance. He said, 'I have come to pledge allegiance to you for Hijrah! And I have left both my parents behind crying.' The Prophet, sallallahu 'alayhi wasalam, commanded him, 'Go back, and the same way that you made them cry, make them laugh.' Ibn Umar (raa) said, 'Making one's parents cry is amongst the 'Uqooq, a major sin!'"

When many of us don't have enough good deeds to save us on the Last Day, can we really afford to pile up sins, and at that major ones? And this sin is so easily avoidable. We, as children, have to put our wants and our desires aside, especially if we know that they will only end up hurting our parents. So the next time we want to leave the house without telling our parents where we're going or who we're going to be with, give it a second thought. Would our parents want us to be doing this? Or if we lie to them and tell them something that we know would make them believe us, like 'I'm going to the library to study', is it really worth it? Because we can fool our parents but we can't fool Allah. He knows we're lying because we're going to see that new movie that came out and not going to study, and THEN we're lying to our PARENTS of all people.

Our parents are the most compassionate of all people to us and the most tolerant of our faults. Many times they overlook our mistakes and forgive us. They struggle so that we can be happy and trouble themselves so that we may be at ease. They give to us in such a way that does not cause us to be indebted to them or in a way that hurts our feelings. They wish for us to have a long life. Yet, when we do something for them, a lot of times they feel indebted to us or we rub it in every chance we get; we forget who our parents are and what importance they have in our lives.

The next time we want to disobey them, consider this statement by one scholar: "SubhanAllah! How can we leave our parents sobbing, tears that the throne of Allah shakes for, tears that unsettle the Angels in the heavens, and then we claim that we want to go for Jihad so that Allah will be pleased with us? Go back and make them ahppy with your visit as you made them sad by your departure. If they laugh and are pleased with you, Allah will be pleased."

During the funeral of his mother, Al-Haarith al-Aklee (may Allah be pleased with him) weeped. When asked for the reason of his tears he said, "Why should I not cry when one of my doors to Paradise has now closed?" For those of us who still have our doors to Paradise open to us, let's break them down and rush in.

Now that we have looked at the importance of obeying and being kind to our parents, let's just reflect on some of the virtues of being dutiful and respecting them.

In Bukhari and Muslim, a man asked the Prophet (sallallahu 'alayhi wasalam), "What deed is most beloved by Allah?" He said, "Salah on time." The man asked, "And then?" He said, "Respecting and revering one's parents." He said, "And then?" "Jihad for the sake of Allah."

Brothers and sisters, do we even REALIZE that being respectful to our parents is greater than Jihad in the cause of Allah? We all say that we would give our life for Islam and would go out for Jihad, but do we really THINK that? Especially when we can't even respect our parents properly? We don't have enough patience to listen to what they have to say or do what they tell us to do, yet we can just suddenly go and fight Jihad? Does that make any sense? Let's be real folks. And remember Jihad doesn't necessarily mean going out and killing people; Jihad starts with oneself, and maybe for some of us, our Jihad is to start obeying and listening to our parents when they talk to us or when they tell us something. All parents want, and trust me I've learned this, is for US to be happy. They don't care about themselves, they care about their children. We don't realize it at all, until it's either taken away from us or when maybe our parents have left us and we become parents.

Being respectful to our parents is also a way to get our sins forgiven. Allah says, "And We enjoined on man to be dutiful to his parents. They are those from whom We shall accept the best of their deeds and overlook their eveil deeds, (they shall be) amongst the dwellers of Paradise." (46/15-16)

Abu Hurayrah (raa) said, "I heard the Messenger of Allah, sallallahu 'alayhi wasalam, say, "May he perish! May he perish! May he perish!" It was asked, "Who, O Messenger of Allah?" The Prophet, sallallahu 'alayhi wasalam, said, "He whose parents attain old age in his life, one or both of them, and he does not enter Paradise (because of his goodness towards them)."

I beg of you, please don't neglect your parents. Yes, Jannah lies at the feet of the mother and many of us maybe are closer to our mothers, but please, don't forget about our fathers. They do everything they can so that we can live a better life by living comfortably, having a good education and making something of ourselves. We never realize what blessings we have until they're taken away from us. Some of you might know that my father passed away last year and personally, I never realized how much I loved him until Allah called him back. Now, not a day goes by without me praying for him and thinking about him. And if I have one regret is that I didn't tell him enough how much I loved him. However, what gives me solace, and what should give those of you who have lost one or both parents a little peace, especially if we regret that we weren't as obedient to them as we should've been, is the following hadith of the Prophet.

Malik ibn Rabi'ah al-Saa'idi narrated: We were sitting with the Messenger of Allah, sallallahu 'alayhi wasalam, when an Ansari man came and asked, "O Messenger of Allah, is there anything left from my Birr to my parents that I should present to them after their death?" The Prophet (sallallahu 'alayhi wasalam) said, "Yes, four things: Pray and ask forgiveness for them. Fulfill their pledges. Be kind to their friends. And maintain the ties of kinship that come from only their direction. That is what is left from your Birr to them after their death."

Again, I just want to end this LONG article by saying that we really don't appreciate our parents enough. Parents are truly our greatest blessing in this world, after of course Islam, because they are the only ones who will love us UNCONDITIONALLY. We can do whatever, and how many of us haven't done anything to upset our parents, but they're the ones who we can turn to when nothing is going right.

And, brothers and sisters, for those of us who are away from our parents, whether with our families or in the dorms, please call them as much as possible and TELL THEM THAT YOU LOVE THEM; that will mean more to them than the whole world. Everyone wants to feel loved and who has more right to be loved than parents from their children?

O Allah, forgive us and our parents and reward them with the finest reward.
O Allah, elevate their position in this world and the Hereafter and make that which befalls them an expiation for their sins.
O Allah, grant them a place in Jannat al-Firdaws, the Garden under which rivers flow.

Anything that I have said that is wrong is from my own self and shortcomings and all that I have said that is right is from Allah, the Lord of the Worlds.

Wassalaamu 'alaikum


of and relating to...
Rami said

Asalaam Aleikum Warahmatullah Wabarakatu,

An amazing article masha Allah. Ameen to your dua's. May Allah help us to make that Jihad of the self to be even kinder and more respectful to our parents, and to treat them better then we treat our friends and our spouses.

Wasalaam Aleikum Warahmatullah Wabarakatu

on April 25, 2005 2:26 PM
gillette said

sources please.

on April 25, 2005 2:42 PM
asif said

Salaam Akhi Hussein:

I cannot tell you how pertinent this reminder is for me...this morning I could have been in loads and loads of trouble with respect to my parents, but Alhamdulillah, Allah saved me from doing foolish things!

jazakum Allah Khair!

ma'Assalaama

on April 25, 2005 6:32 PM
asif said

Salaam:

I read this in an article on Nature website:


"The Universe consisted of a perfect liquid in its first moments, according to results from an atom-smashing experiment....The resulting liquid is almost 'perfect': it has a very low viscosity and is so uniform that it looks the same from any angle.

This may help to explain why the deepest parts of the Universe seem similar wherever astronomers look, says Kharzeev. If the primordial liquid had been as viscous as honey, the Universe could have turned out much more lumpy, he explains. "We can be certain this will change our picture of the early Universe," he says."

You can read the article at this link:
http://www.nature.com/news/2005/050418/full/050418-5.html


Subhan'Allah!!!

Allah said about creation of heaven and earth and water in the following ayah:

11:7 He it is Who created the heavens and the earth in six Days - and His Throne was over the waters - that He might try you, which of you is best in conduct....

Also...

21:30 Do not the Unbelievers see that the heavens and the earth were joined together (as one unit of creation), before we clove them asunder? We made from water every living thing. Will they not then believe?

Reason why this article struck me with the above Quranic verses is because all scientist thought that after the big bang there was plasma, gas and balls of fires before the universe cooled down...BUT now, they have found that something closest to form in "water" was present right from the get-go.

Also, the scientist is exactly saying what Allah said in this Ayat, that there are no flaws in the way Universe exists as is:

67:3 He Who created the seven heavens one above another: No want of proportion wilt thou see in the creation of ((Allah)) Most Gracious. So turn thy vision again: seest thou any flaw?


Just something to ponder about....One more thing, I think in the next 10-20 years (if not earlier), scientist and astrophysicist will discover that there are seven heavene one top of another...Yes, I have already read about simulations and Hypothesis which are leading towards this fact!

on April 27, 2005 3:27 PM
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